Nortriptylene day 4

Are these updates getting annoying? I figure that the point of having a blog is to be able to do bloggy stuff again, and if people only want to subscribe to Bigger Things they can subscribe to the category-specific feeds on my site or whatever. Or they can skip/skim these entries.

Anyway.

I didn’t post an entry for day 3 which went pretty well, actually, until it suddenly wasn’t. Most of the day I felt fine, but then I went to my weekly drawing group (which I haven’t done much lately) and things were feeling fine until about 7:45 when I suddenly felt very dizzy and tired and sick and like I needed to lie down. So I left early and went home, and just kind of zoned out all evening (and played more Tetris 99 but didn’t do as well as the previous night, oh well). But generally my pain levels were feeling a lot better. It helps that my new computer and keyboard tray had finally arrived at work and so I mostly spent time setting those up.

Oh also I had a cavity filled in the afternoon, and it was the least painful such experience I’ve ever had. I wonder if the lidocaine (or whatever the dentist used) had an ancillary effect on me though.

Anyway late at night when it was time to take my dose I felt very unsure about taking it, but I did anyway, and had more intense weird dreams that I had trouble discerning from reality.

So, today was actually feeling pretty good in general. I did have some low-grade chronic pain all day (and I still have it at this moment) but it just feels like background radiation rather than something front-and-center. Like, it’s registering as being the same sort of pain I usually have but it’s not hurting as much as it normally does, if that makes any sense. Is this what pain receptor downregulation feels like? My body telling me, “hey, you need a break, do some stretches” without it becoming A Thing that destroys my life? I honestly have no point of reference for what a normal pain experience feels like.

I left work early to get my CPAP machine, which was mostly a really long trek out to Redmond (I ended up taking the bus, which wasn’t too bad all things considered and it was way cheaper than Lyft and way less stressful/risky than driving myself). The fitting and training session was a multi-person thing, where they run multiple seminars per day to walk people through the setup/maintenance, ask everyone a bunch of questions, figure out which accessories are most to folks' likings, and so on.

One fun thing that happened when I arrived: my session had three attendees signed up, myself, someone named Diane, and some guy’s name I don’t remember (but let’s say it was Bill just for the sake of the narrative). When the session runner showed up, there were only two of us there, and she asked me, “Are you [my name] or Diane?” So, that felt pretty validating. (“And of course, you’re Bill” she said to the other person.)

It was kind of a fun session, and both Bill and I were very much looking forward to our CPAPs so she didn’t have to sell either of us on it, which she seemed prepared to have to do.

Modern CPAP machines are pretty neat, and my insurance sprung for a top-of-the-line model which has a surprisingly good user interface and a bunch of auto-adjusting features, as well as a built-in humidifier and warming tube. The “mask” itself is also pretty unobtrusive, and is designed with tossing and turning in mind, and was very easy to get set up and adjusted for my head. Rather than have a tube hang down from my face, it actually runs the air up channels by the sides of my head and then attaches to a swivel point at the top, which then stays out of the way. She said that some people end up complaining about the noise but when we tried it out I liked the noise, which was reminiscent of being in earshot of the beach. Given that I usually have a bunch of other background noise in my room anyway it didn’t seem like a big deal.

Also, a nice thing about it is that it just presses against the bottom of my nose and has little “pillows” to adjust the position, rather than needing to go over my face, which is handy since I have a Rather Large Nose and face masks generally don’t work that well with me (most VR headsets are a problem, for example).

While trying it out I found it was a bit difficult to exhale through my nose but she says that when lying down and relaxing it comes more naturally, and that’s how I should try to breathe since exhaling through my mouth apparently doesn’t work right for some reason? Which seems weird. Anyway since I have complex apnea and don’t snore I suspect it doesn’t matter quite so much.

Oh, and the thing has a built-in data recorder and it phones home via cellphone connection (she said it was specifically a CDMA modem). There’s also an app I can use to get sleep stats automatically; I wonder if it works with Apple Health, and if it’ll compete with the smart bed at all. Anyway now I have even more data to wake up to every morning.

I asked if I could take out the SD card and reverse-engineer the files on it. “We’d rather you didn’t,” she said.

Then Bill asked if I worked at Microsoft.

Anyway, back to the nortriptyline. So, yeah, it’s still kind of affecting me in ways I’m not sure about. I think its primary antidepressant effect is doing a lot more for me than I expected, since I actually seem kind of, like, happy? or something? in a way I haven’t really felt before. But I also have headaches a lot of the time too. I hope that’s just something I’ll adjust to at some point. I’ve been having a lot more fun doing IC RP stuff on SpinDizzy and started having fun with a new sentient punctuation mark which people are finding either amusing or confusing, depending on their disposition. I’m also way more interested in working on music again, and pretty fired up about the upcoming Big Website Migration at work (which I haven’t actually worked on yet beyond setting up a new git repo for it but whatever).

I just hope this doesn’t go the way my SSRI attempts went, and that this just becomes a new normal that I can live with (without being in complete misery over unending excruciating pain). I really don’t want to go back to that right now.

Anyway. This is a three-day weekend (yay for government jobs!) and I’ll try to get some more done on my Strawberry Jam game and maybe work on some music. If I do work on music I’ll definitely stream it on twitch.tv; please follow me there if you want to be notified when I start!

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