Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Getting high

My world was spinning around as I was trying to word my sentences at work. For the first time, I have been on such strong narcotics. I can see how it has messed up my brain.

For starters, my landlady said that I came out of surgery howling. I had no reason to do that, but anesthesia affects the cry-centers of my brain. She drove me back and brought me home, and as she did that, I passed out on the floor. I lost track of time. I had no energy to get up. I remember wondering what if the bed shrunk and I fell off it? The floor seemed safer. Such were my levels of delusion. She called my insurance (I had no idea where my insurance card was and my speech was a disaster), got me my medication, shoved them down my throat with a glass of water, all the while when I was splayed like a lizard on the floor, only, on my back, my hands and legs stretched out. I heard her come and go and come back. I was conscious that way. But since I had lost my sense of time, it felt a matter of a few minutes. I am glad she has a set of keys to my apartment.

There was utter confusion, lack of sense of time, and blurry speeches after that. I slept for hours, but did not realize how time flew. My emails were no longer coherent, and I kept forgetting words. The next few days have been a blur. I have restricted my activities to mostly the basics- finding food, eating, and getting back to bed. But today, I dragged myself to work. Two minutes into my bus ride, a strong bout of nausea hit me. I was dizzy, the world was spinning around me. The parking department guy takes the same bus (imagine the irony, parking guy takes the bus). I vaguely remember telling him that I am going to throw up. He not only escorted me to my office, but came back to check on me during lunch hours. Soon after, two kind colleagues barged into my office and literally ordered me to leave. The bus ride back was equally terrible.

That brownie I had in Amsterdam, I only felt a fraction of everything I am feeling now, only for a few hours. Saying that it was fun was a stretch, but it was educational. This is not. It's only been three days, and I am sick of these constant bouts of nausea. I cannot imagine how people take these drugs on a regular basis for pain management. It makes you realize how hard life can get when you are no longer healthy.

I am addicted to books on neuroscience and the brain. Reading is something, but experiencing first-hand how narcotics affect the brain is something else. Everything you do without thinking- speaking coherently, walking upright, digesting food without throwing up, being able to have a focused vision, and even a sense of humor, everything is going to be compromised. I have been sleeping 12 hours a day ever since, and I am still tired. I want to go back and reread Jill Bolte Taylor's book. But I can no longer read at a stretch without feeling dizzy. If you haven't read the book, you must at least listen to her TED talk.


1 comment:

A said...

I was reading 'Still Alice' last week and thinking on similar lines. How hard life gets when even the most basic task becomes a challenge.