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Some easing of stress

Today things have gone significantly better than they had for the past few days. The plumber was able to complete all of the work this morning without incident, the tenants are taking care of paneling the wall (using plywood instead of drywall on the plumber’s recommendation since that makes future access easier in case any maintenance needs to happen), and everything’s all ready for the new washer and dryer which are set to be delivered tomorrow.

I also made it safely to San Francisco, and checked into the hotel. I was afraid of the worst, thanks to a bunch of incredibly negative Yelp reviews, but my room is totally fine. I thoroughly checked for any signs of cockroaches and bedbugs (both visually and using a UV flashlight) and nothing seemed amiss. The linens are perfectly clean, the mattresses are in Good Enough™ condition, and everything’s fine. The room’s just a bit dated, and it’s noisy what with overlooking Mission St.

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ADHD meds: probably not for me

I took a week break from dextroamphetamine, and tried taking it again with the idea that I’d just take it every other day. And all day I’ve had headaches, and what focus I’ve had has been difficult to direct towars the stuff I’m trying to focus on.

I don’t think that going to immediate-release would help with this either.

I’d like to just get my pain under control and go back to self-medicating with caffeine. And not be in a situation where everything depends on focus in the first place.

Meh.

Remember to be kind

With the current state of the world, everyone is on edge and quick to anger. Approach situations from a perspective of kindness. You never know what someone else is going through at the time, and responding with a default of anger to what seems like a personal slight is only going to make things worse.

Lots of people around you are struggling with mental health, anxiety, loss, grief, and more. If someone does something thoughtless, it’s best to just let it go. If it’s egregious enough to require correction, start out by asking them if they understand what they were supposed to do (in a kind way) rather than assuming that they were purposefully being malicious. They almost certainly weren’t doing it on purpose, and even if they were, is it really worth getting into a fight over it?

It’s also worth remembering that other people aren’t necessarily in a space for the same reason as you, and they might be inexperienced with the use of that space. Something that seems obvious and straightforward to you might be a confusing mess to other people.

And the inverse also applies; if you’re the one who has caused other people to blow up at you, regardless of intention, you don’t know what they’ve been going through either, or how many microaggressions may have led to them boiling over.

tl;dr: Assume good faith in others.

Vashon ferry encounter

well I just had a lousy experience that has me depressed and frustrated and withdrawn and just hating everyone around me

My therapist was trying to convince me to come out to an art gallery opening on Vashon Island and I wasn’t feeling up to it but I decided I was wallowing and I should get out and do something nice.

So I start driving to the ferry, and I follow the GPS instructions for getting there, and there’s a long line of cars so I go a few blocks up to try to not cut into the line, and I guess I didn’t go far up enough because when I got in line, the person who pulled up behind me ran up to my window and started yelling at me for cutting in line, and acted like I was being a jerk on purpose. And then when I didn’t immediately get out of the line (which runs parallel to a busy street and it’s difficult to tell when it’s safe to pull out) she ran up to the person in front of me and told him what I’d done and then he started yelling at me too.

This was too much for me and I had a meltdown and had to head home.

And now I just want to wallow some more.

From her point of view it probably did seem that I’d cut in line and I understand her being upset but I didn’t know, and if I’d been told nicely that “hey the line starts up at such-and-such street” and not gotten other people mad at me too, things would have gone very differently. But now I just like. never want to take the ferry every again because now I"m worried I’ll get people mad at me again.

It sure would be great if people didn’t assume malicious intent. I absolutely wasn’t trying to hurt anyone, I was just confused about where to go while having a bad mental health day already. Being yelled at and berated for an honest mistake, by multiple people who immediately assumed I was out to be a jerk, is not what I’d call a good time.

The worst part of this is that the people who yelled at me probably feel like victorious defenders of justice, and they’ll never know the actual end result of their actions.

Ugh re: Dextroamphetamine

Stop me if you’ve heard this one…

Dextroamphetamine was working pretty well for me for a few days. Then last night I had some pretty bad insomnia accompanied with a major panic attack. So I think I’m going to hold off on it again and only using it 1-2 times a week, and not on adjacent days.

Why is my metabolism like this?

Probably for the best though; while on it I was getting super-productive again, and having pain flareups as a result. I need to find a good balancing point.

Today’s ADHD medication discovery

Dextroamphetamine on its own has been working pretty well for me for the last few days, and my blood pressure has been only slightly elevated (not to the point that I could feel it).

Today I decided to try using a small amount of cannabis as well, and within half an hour I felt my blood pressure spike. It’s “only” 140/90, which is pretty elevated and enough for me to feel it, but not enough to worry about.

Anyway, I looked it up and there have indeed been a couple studies that have found that THC and dextroamphetamine interact to cause a blood pressure spike. Oops.

I don’t remember which particular strain I had loaded up in my vaporizer; it’s either Harlequin (which is 95% CBD) or Lemon Smac (which is 100% THC). So I’ll need to try a more careful experiment in the future to make sure I’m even using the right strain to begin with, but I don’t think I’ll be doing that any time soon. I’ll also probably want to try it with something that’s nearly 100% CBD just to be relatively-safe.

Fenofibrate

Fenofibrate is affecting me the same awful way that Lipitor did, back in the day. If triglycerides are the problem underlying my pain, this medication doesn’t seem to be the answer.

Maybe I should try just eating nothing but salad for a month.

Dextroamphetamine, day 1

I took my little 10mg capsule when I woke up at 8 AM, and I felt it kick in during my shower. It’s led to a feeling of clarity and less chaos in my brain. I did a few put-off chores before work, and at work I’m not feeling totally overwhelmed by stuff. I’m still not focusing on what I mean to be working on, though.

Blood pressure is 131/89, heart rate is 65. Slightly elevated from my baseline but definitely nothing to be worried about. My hands are also slightly shakier than usual but not, like, alarmingly so.

This shows some promise and I’ll be working to adjust the dosage and timing accordingly. I might try supplementing with a caffeine microdose later today.

Also, last night was my first dose of fenofibrate, which hasn’t solved all my pain issues overnight but I’d expect that to take a week or so to be effective.

Twitter alternatives

Because of Twitter’s impending buyout a lot of people are talking about alternatives to Twitter, including Mastodon. I could write a bunch of long rambles about this, but I already have:

Basically, my problem with Twitter isn’t that it’s centralized, but that it’s Twitter.

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Pain, fatigue, and focus

Two weeks since my last ketamine infusion and my anxiety is… present, again, and my chronic pain never went away at all but now I’m feeling a lot more aware of it.

I went back and tried Adderall again and it didn’t mess me up, although it also didn’t help me like it did the last time I tried it. But neither Adderall nor caffeine are messing with my blood pressure or increasing my anxiety, so I’ve reopened the conversation with my doctor regarding other meds for ADHD. In particular, I asked about Dexedrine and Desoxyn. Both of them seem promising at the dosages I’m looking at, although my insurance won’t cover Desoxyn (which is unsurprising, there was a TV series about it) so we’re trying Dexedrine first.

Regarding chronic pain, my doctor went over my chart and he noticed that we never really did anything about my high triglycerides, and then he had a thought: what if my high triglycerides are contributing to my fibro symptoms? Doing some cursory literature search found that it’s plausible, at least, so I’m also going to start on Fenofibrate to lower my triglycerides and hopefully get my body in some sort of balance there. He’s also ordered some more labwork to see if I have any gaping vitamin deficiencies.

Have I mentioned how much I cherish this doctor? Of all the doctors I’ve seen, this is the only one where I feel like he actually listens to me, doesn’t talk down to me, understands that I know my body and have done my reserach, and is willing to try things to attempt to treat these complex, deep-seated issues that have caused me problems for the past 25-odd years. It’s a lot easier to be patient as a patient when the healthcare provider treats me with respect like this.

He’s definitely a rare breed.

Ketamine 4.1

On the plus side, my focus is way higher, and my anxiety is the lowest it’s been in a decade.

On the minus side, my chronic pain still sucks a lot, and this is still making it very hard for me to do my job.

It’s still been a huge net benefit for me though. And supposedly it takes a little while for ketamine treatments to have an effect on chronic pain. I’ll get there eventually.

Lo-Fi Beats at a New Lo-Fi Price

My album crowdfunding project was going a bit more slowly than I’d hoped, but thanks to the Qrates support team we were able to come up with better pricing, and now it’s only $29.50 a copy.

Unfortunately, Qrates is unable to simply lower the price of an album, they had to cancel all of the existing preorders, so if you were hoping to buy a copy, you'l need to redo your preorder… but on the plus side now the price is much, much lower, for the same great double-length album!

I hope this makes it easier for folks to join me on this lo-fi coffee journey.

Thanks!