Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Persuading myself

One year ago today, I got my first Covid vaccine jab. So much has happened in the year since (including two more jabs and fourth soon to come), but other, unrelated health things have continued. Maybe those other things will soon improve.

Over the past year, the best indicator of how I was doing at any given time was how I was getting on with projects around the house: If I got projects done, I was doing okay, but if I was stalled, maybe I wasn’t doing okay. I haven’t put it quite like that before, but it’s nevertheless a fact—although, in some cases projects stalled for reasons beyond my control, like lockdowns, unavailability of supplies, and so on.

However, a few months ago I pretty much stalled on all my projects for the house, which, as I’ve said previously, I’m convinced happened because the blood pressure medication I was on made me profoundly tired. Today, I started the new blood pressure medication, and it’s with the most hope I’ve had in a prescription change in nearly four years.

In fairness to me, the bad effects of drugs aren’t always immediately obvious because one’s body takes time to adjust to medications and changes like I experienced don’t happen all at once or suddenly. Also, since we humans are pretty good at adapting, and bad effects accumulate slowly, it often happens without us even noticing. Still, it was eventually obvious even to me that something wasn’t right, even as early as April, so why the f*ck didn’t I do something then?! The truth is that I’m angry at myself for letting the bad situation go on for so long: My life has been hell for three months and maybe I could’ve changed that—maybe.

It’s always been my nature to trust doctors and to “wait and see”—which is, if not my greatest flaw, it’s at least my most dangerous one: Doctors do get it wrong sometimes, what with being human and all. This has been a problem for pretty much my whole adult life.

I also know, though, that if Nigel was alive, he’d have told me in no uncertain terms to talk to the doctor—he could be very “persuasive”—and he’d have done it months ago. I know this in part because I went through the exact same thing a few years ago when doctors put me on beta-blockers, which turned me into a zombie, as Nigel put it when he was persuading my to go to the doctor. He had to persuade me again when the beta-blocker they switched me to was only a bit better. At the time, we were only weeks from heading to Australia, and he told me, “I’m not going to Australia with you if you’re like this!” I was thus persuaded to go back to my doctors who cut my dosage, and I felt quite a bit better after that. When I wrote about that dosage change at the time, I didn’t say why I’d changed my mind and gone back to the doctor early, but it was only because of Nigel’s persuasion. In the end, our trip to Australia was a huge success (apart from him catching norovirus…).

I now have to be my own persuader, and it’s still incredibly difficult for me to do. Even so, it’s something I absolutely must learn to do because my run on this blue ball in space may have 2 or 3 decades left, if I’m lucky (?), and I need to do for myself what Nigel used to do—I need to persuade myself to speak up for myself.

So, today I started the new blood pressure medication, and I’m realistic about it: It might be awesome, it might be far worse, but it also may be merely good enough. Good enough would be good enough—for now.

Another thing that held me back was the fact I knew my doctor wouldn’t believe me that the drug was making me profoundly fatigued, because doctors usually assume less common side effects don’t exist at all. I was right, but he agreed to change my drug, anyway. All my doctors have always done that, too—they’re not monsters!—but this is the firts time I asked for blood pressure medication to be change (doctors changed it twice before this).

Maybe this will be a turning point of sorts, letting me get back to where I was a year ago—or maybe even better? Simply getting back to where I was would be absolutely huge, because I’ve fallen so far behind where I wanted to be with this house by now (and far behind where I thought I’d be). I know that much of that is my own damn fault, and I can’t change that—but I can resolve to not let it ever happen again. I just have to master persuading myself, and that job has proven to be the hardest of all. Maybe that will soon improve, too.

I shared the photo up top on my personal Facebook this morning, only adding the “fingers crossed” emoji, 🤞.

1 comment:

Roger Owen Green said...

I just finished watching this video, and it reminded me of what you said about the difference between you and Nigel in approaching your health. https://www.ted.com/talks/tim_urban_inside_the_mind_of_a_master_procrastinator