Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Where the time may have gone and why


Sandy Denny and Fairport Convention, said to be from 1968.


When something is askew with me, my first thought is character defect, followed by general disintegration. It was not until learning last week that I seem to have been overdosed on thyroid supplements that I could make a new assumption.

One of the primary symptoms of excess thyroid, either on its own or via supplement overdose, is confusion, reduced ability to concentrate. Also high on the list are fatigue, anxiety, heart palpitations, tremors/shaking, elevated blood pressure, fever, joint aches and the oh-so-unwelcome thinning hair. Doesn't this paint a lovely picture?

When change in function creeps in slowly - especially if that change involves a somewhat wandering mind - being able to say what, exactly, is wrong is like trying to make a fallen souffle rise again. It did not involve memory, that has a category of its own, reserved for all after a certain age. Nor was it about loss of intellect. The closest I can come to a word is not even a word. The unword is drifty.

That this state of thyroid excess had been present for some time before the lab detected it is something only I know to be true. In medicine, numbers rule. There was no verifiable indication six months ago, but some of the symptoms have been with me for a few years. However, the drifty state was newer. It manifested, along with the fatigue, as difficulty sustaining focus. It explains why I have not been able to keep up with the writers whose blogs I follow, nor to comment very much when I visited. After a decent interval, I'll go back and read my posts of the past few months to see if they hold up.

There is an esoteric side to this, being that I have come to know myself as being inclined to a natural state of mental, let us say, float. From a lifetime of wondering why I either wandered - in a state of no-time - through meadows of my imagining, or wished that I did, I have begun to recognize this as me. Like once trying to wear too-small shoes because they were adorable and on sale, I have soul bunions from ways of being that did not fit the matrix.

Easy to understand that, as the drifting increased, I assumed that, rather than being authentic, I had tumbled over into sloth. The thin lines we allow ourselves, the rigid expectations. When I needed to do nothing, to nap, to simply be, I rarely allowed myself to do so without guilt. Consciousness, if it arrives at all, is the product of a lengthy gestation.

It is the fifth day of a reduced dose and, placebo effect or wishful thinking, I am less shaky and more present. Relief is my only response to learning the source, as best we can guess, of my symptoms. I am too happy to know that I have not been carried away from myself on some unexplainable tide, that this isn't a sign, not a permanent affliction. I may even be able to go about in the world without thinking I should spray my visible scalp with some gimcrack, tv-offered product supposed to cloak baldness. That my twitchiness, result of my particular life, will probably remain is something I can live with, if the shaking hands become still.

Reprieves, in my experience, are granted when we have no idea they are possible. Events combine, information comes to light, people appear. I am grateful to be sailing home to my real self. The reunion celebration has already begun.

20 comments:

Robert the Skeptic said...

There was a time when people assumed illness could be sourced to demons, "Incubi and Succubi. Modern Medicine today is indeed advanced by numbers, but if we are lucky, we find a practitioner who balances art with science.

I am happy to hear that you have discovered the root of your discomfort and therein advance a cure. Humans are complex creatures.

Penelope said...

Phew, Marylinn. What a sense of possibility that will allow you.

Pam Morrison said...

Oh good!! I'm very glad you've found the source of your disequilibrium. I love the analogy of squeezing your soul into too tight shoes. May perfect slippers clad your feet from here on in. xo

Isabel Doyle said...

As someone who is trying to adjust to a chronic, almost untreatable condition, I particularly responded to you saying :'When I needed to do nothing, to nap, to simply be, I rarely allowed myself to do so without guilt'.

I hope that you continue to feel an improvement.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Robert - We are complex creatures and having numbers define us only seems to compound the mystery. Thank you. It feels as though some wreckage has been cleared from the tracks.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Penelope - Thank you, it does just that. Those possibilities kept me awake part of the night, in the best way.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Pam - Thank you. It was disquieting, feeling that I grew smaller on the horizon and further from my intentions. Never again, the pinching shoe. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Isabel - Thank you. Chronic, untreatable, even indefinable conditions are isolating, not just for the need to nap or seek stillness, but because they are so misunderstood. It is not an easy state with which to make peace. I trust more will be known, and soon.

susan t. landry said...

dear marylinn,

if you can write as beautifully and as precisely as you do-- i think you have a rare ability to find the perfect word--and have something "wrong" with you, whoa: stand back when they get you all fixed up!

an anecdote of empathy. i had the losing hair thing for a while; according to the dermatologist it was a reaction to emotional trauma, which usually manifests 3 mos after the event. amazingly, my hair started falling out in wads exactly 3 mos after i told my husband i wanted to leave him. it gradually stopped, and then regrew, but was horrifying in process. there is something profoundly upsetting about sudden hair loss. i am glad your medication seems to be having good effect.

Erin in Morro Bay said...

How great to find out now, rather than further down the line. What a sense of liberation you must be feeling now. You go girl!
Erin

Antares Cryptos said...

Glad they figured it out, better late than never.
Rest assured the posts will hold up, while the irritability will go down if it was there.

Happy for you.

Radish King said...

Oh great relief that they found the floating world to be a rotating stage that they can fix it with a small uptick of this or that or a small downtick measure measure measure. worth getting a stick of the needle that's for sure. hurray for known reasons!
XOXOX

Marylinn Kelly said...

Susan - Thank you. Most sincerely, thank you. Having to "stand back" would be a happy circumstance. Glad to know that your stress response turned around. I hope for the same. At least we are going in a better direction. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Erin - That was my feeling...just happy to have some idea why things were going so wildly wrong. Relief and optimism. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Antares-Cryptos - Thank you about the posts. I will review them...later. Not so much irritability - though we should ask my son, I suppose - but certainly an unwelcomely altered state. :D

Marylinn Kelly said...

Rebecca - Thank you and yes, well worth a stick of the needle (and the lab always does the job painlessly and well). The doctor who originally prescribed the supplement gave me no indication of how delicate the balance could be. Here's to the rotating stage...I might have guessed, had I not been so confused. xo

Jayne said...

Marylinn- By way of your writing, I'd never have suspected mental float, so I'm surprised to hear you've been ailing, and so very happy that you've also found the cure for the same--that it is a treatable condition.
(I'm prone to wander, and the only elixir offered to me are ADHD meds, with which I prefer not to toy.
However, as I write this, I'm hearing myself talk myself into experimenting with Ritalin--how much more focused and productive I would be!)
Rest assured Marylinn, ailment or not, you are a present soul--it shines in your beautiful passages.

grrl + dog said...

thank goodness
it's a simple thing.

And that you had that knowing for some time,despite the numbers.
Hope the return from drifty isnt too jolty.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Jayne - Thank you...it appears to be treatable (much gratitude), though I began to wonder if I had never-diagnosed attention-deficit. For whatever path you choose, you have my whole-hearted support...though I, too, had no idea you were anything but productive and focused. As you mention other writings, classes and such, you seem to be working steadily toward your goals. My best. Thanks so much for writing. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Denise - Oh, dear. From drifty to jolty...I don't think so...but the jolty goes with the twitchy, doesn't it. Back to my yet-unwritten theory about how we all live adaptively, having to make our way in the world in spite of tics in every category. Thank you...going toe-to-toe with the numbers with only intuition on our side...sometimes the battle seems a bit too big. xo