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asleep at mal 9/09
12/5/10 12:16
asleep at mal 9/09
"I spent eleven months trying a wide variety of substances and nothing worked. It either didn't make a noticeable difference or impaired my thinking to unacceptable standards. And the side-effects were quite unpleasant."

That is a quote from http://archiveofourown.org/works/133861?view_adult=true, spiderine's short fiction (NSFW) set in the world of Sherlock Holmes as reinterpreted for the new BBC series. And damn did it make me cry.

Sherlock goes on to say he tried morphine after all the legal prescriptions had failed, and while that helped, it made him stupid. But then "Cocaine, ironically enough, made my thoughts quicker and made me more agreeable."

One of the most brilliant, logical people in his world resorted to cocaine, and used it for several years, in an attempt to be "normal". I understand how that feels, when you'll try anything to feel "normal" even if the normal I'm looking for is totally not the fit in with society, get a job as a policeman that Sherlock was trying for.

People online and IRL keep wondering why I've stopped writing as much, why I don't come out to as many events or go out to dinner with them, why I'm not as present in their lives/our community. The first paragraph is pretty much why, although since I'm doing all this experimentation with a series of doctors it's taking much longer.

My newish doctor is good; we're making progress, and I'm thrilled with that. But I still struggle with sleeping through the night; I'm still in pain nearly all the time (the pain isn't as bad as the side effects of the meds that make it go away). And I'm trying to learn how to cope with the memory losses, the blank hours and days.

Ok - this sounds really self pitying, but in all honesty it's not; it's anger and frustration that nothing fixes it. I'll never be a NOC manager again, I can't remember what my grandmothers' faces look like, swathes of my life are disappearing and no-one can figure out why.

Physically, I'm feeling better than I have in over a year; the right thyroid medication and such make a big difference. I'm working out (as opposed to just stretching) again regularly, and while it hurts it's a good pain, not one that knocks me out for days afterwords. I still have bad days, usually when the weather is miserable and/or cold, but not as bad or as often as before. Yet there's nothing we've tried that helps my brain function the way it once did, and I suck at coping with that. The more stressed or upset I am, the less likely I am to remember basic facts, what you said last, or how to comprehend my surroundings.

It's infuriating. And there's not a damn thing I can do about it.
12/5/10 20:38 (UTC)
I am orry. In pain this very moment, so empathizing to a bit of degree. Ow and ow. Please, I hope that you and yours figure and fix all the wrongness.
12/5/10 23:47 (UTC)
I hope whatever you're struggling with gets better too. One day at a time, and perhaps eventually the anger will dissipate.
12/5/10 21:50 (UTC) - (hugs)
I can't imagine your frustration with this, I know I would be an absolute wreck. I'm glad you're not in as much pain. I hope they can make some progress with the memory blanks too.
12/5/10 23:49 (UTC) - Re: (hugs)
Thanks. I hope things get better for all of us soon (ie: you find work, Nate sells lots of art and gets paid for it, etc).
(Deleted comment)
12/5/10 23:53 (UTC)
Thanks. "Anger is an energy, anger is an energy..." has become one of my mantras. I don't plan to give up anytime soon.

The working out seems to help my energy level and endorphins still work a little, so that's a plus too. And stompy industrial is a great soundtrack for an hour on the bowflex.
12/6/10 1:45 (UTC)
There's not much I can add here besides: *hugs*

I hope that your new doctor enables a breakthrough for you.
12/6/10 3:11 (UTC)
Wow. Part of this is win..new doctor, progress, better shape & working out..all part of better dealing. But yeah, you're dealing with a massive amount. When I had back spasms, I was only in pain for a few weeks - I can't imagine what that, plus memory loss, plus the frustration of not feeling like yourself anymore ALL THE TIME must be like. :( It must feel so easy to get discouraged.

You're missed, but anyone close to you knows the epic level of the various struggles in your life. Don't add guilt to the nonstop "beat yerself up" drone that must be going on in your mind: I want to do this, why can't I? What did you say? Where were we going? Folks are happy to hear from you whenever you have the energy.

Happy to hear of you; happy there is at least some kinda progress; still pleased you moved to L.A. when you did, as the weather elsewhere would have you in agony a lot more & pleased you have friends & a good partner by your side throughout what you're going through.

Wishing you patience w/ yourself, the same kinda you give others, and sunny weather for as long as possible. *huggages*

12/6/10 5:16 (UTC)
12/6/10 13:55 (UTC)
This sounds awful, I hope they get you sorted out soon. *More hugs*
12/6/10 16:30 (UTC)
okay can't brain good at moment, but wanted to say I think I understand what your going through. And I'm sorry to hear it every time.

I'm rooting for you & hope you find some respite. I know how difficult it can be.
12/6/10 16:41 (UTC)
*HUGS* Glad to hear there's some progress, I really hope it accelerates!
12/6/10 18:47 (UTC)
With any luck you'll forget me...I mean there has to be a bright side there!
12/7/10 20:10 (UTC)
Thank you for writing such a thoughtful, honest comment.

When I wrote it, I wondered if it would hit a sensitive spot for some people -- given how utterly personal medication and health issues always are -- but it also seemed something very incharacter for Sherlock. He's stubborn enough to put himself through the wringer if he thinks it will lead to a result, and impatient enough that he wouldn't wait for medical input. Combined, those two traits make sure he'd fail.

In a lot of ways, it's why he needs someone like John. Someone who accepts most things about Sherlock (who doesn't overreact) and who also forces Sherlock to be practical and slow down sometimes.

It's infuriating and difficult to find the right medication, the right combination to help function, but as hard as it is, if you don't do it, it really can't work. (Not that Sherlock would ever understand that, but John would.)
12/7/10 20:22 (UTC)
It did hit a tough spot, but in a way that made me seriously think about all the struggles with medication. I know Sherlock is fictional, but it reminded me that I'm not alone in a way that real people's experiences sometimes don't.

Fuck that's creepy to say, and I'm well aware of my reaction to beautifully written fiction. This isn't the first time (nor will it be the last) when a character in a story helps me see something that a real person couldn't. Anyway - thanks!