Thursday, January 26, 2012

Posted 2/6/2010 9:33 AM PST

[Entitled "My Situation - Part I" from my profile.  Entered for completeness, this mess of a post was written while in substantial pain.  My apologies in advance.  Feel free to skip to non-historic posts, should they exist, as I hope to express what follows in better form.  This post is for the informational purposes of the interested.]

*     *     *     *     *

I have tried many times to write the basics out. I will try to get what I think are the most important facts, with a few references, and maybe a few of the entertaining tidbits. Know that I have a couple hundred hand written pages regarding what I went through (roughly 85% of which were journal type entries done before my arms became pretty unusable). Basically, I am pretty sure I have a book to write if I become able.

Given that I am quite self aware that my brain is slipping, I will gladly expand on any questions submitted, update the entry if possible, whatever. I know I will likely be unable to properly explain not only what I have been through, but what my hypothesis is as well. At least I am certain I can not explain it as specifically as I would like. Well, here we go.

First know that I have always been miserable, an odd individual. I was labelled "disturbed" by one of my closest friends. Once an adult, I learned that teachers had often requested I be put on ADD medications. My mother, a former teacher, refused to believe her son was "one of those" and elected to ignore the advice.

At 30, I began taking Aderall, and my brain was freed like never before. Know that I was always able to excel in studies and such, but never for extended periods. Example: My first law school exam, Property. I was the last one to finish reading (always a terribly slow reader, the pace of speech) yet always the first one done. Many thought I quit the exam as I left the room under 2 hours into it. Got a B+, on the damn Hastings curve, because while I had the questions all correct, I simply did not write enough to get an A, according to the Professor.

I noted this to point out that I have had my moments, mentally. I am (was) one of those people you meet and think, "Wow, this guy is really smart, but something is really amiss with him." This is separate from being a social misfit. More like, I perceived just about everything slightly different than everyone else, making basic conversation awkward at times (more like most of the time, I imagine).

This was prior to the Aderall. Post-Aderall, I could focus longer, could maintain conversations better, etc, could even count cards. It was pretty much a classic example of what the medication could do for an individual. Something, however, was still amiss. Fate (for I do not wish to get into it, being a whole other story - good one though) lead to an unemployment stretch and a decent bout of depression. I decided to turn my brain toward myself and see if I could figure out my real, more deep seeded, issues.

* * * * * * * *

Theories, theories, theories. Just know that for nearly a year, I was very introspective with occasional self-realizations, but nothing of tremendous significance. I did, however, entertain thoughts on topics I used to contemplate back when I enjoyed Physics - like the near oxymoron classification of the Gravitational Constant of the Universe.

Though possibly important to this discussion, I am not ready to get into any of the theories I entertained regarding the nature of the universe. I do not really know how to present them or properly articulate them. I did, however, realize the significance of waves. I always knew they dominated our existence, but never realized how insignificant physical matter was compared to wave energy. This realization lead to a rethinking of my personal issues.

To dumb it down - I wondered if ADD was really just feedback interference in the mind. I know I cannot do this justice at present. But basically I combined my knowledge of the Inversion Goggle Experiment (the brain adjusts itself in order to function) with simple ideas of feedback (from the screech of a microphone by a speaker to informational feedback like radar). If the mind keeps adjusting to differing internal stimuli, could that be causing the "distractions" associated with ADD? [Again, oversimplifying.]

Later, after thoughts regarding oscillation as a source of energy (an idea I really wish to return to some day), I thought about guitar tuning (I could never play. Hell, I could never even hold a guitar right, but I knew how to tune one). The idea of a internal kink in the bodies synaptic connection occurred to me, that that could cause the feedback I thought of earlier. The idea sat alone for a long time.

The most significant idea I had came to me because I was trying to analyze my physical self. I thought about my walk, which I had been told was very distinctive. I was a fast walker, very much on my toes (I grew up on a hill was what I always believed to be behind this). I had a significant forward lean, and put forth a great deal of energy with every step.

Yet, I had been considering evolution. So much effort went into each of my steps, but evolution would suggest the gait that uses the least energy would be more apt to be passed on, did it not? Was the way I walked wrong? I knew I did not have very good posture (though know one can never know just how bad there own posture really is). Did my walk effect my posture?

I decided to change my walk. I did some math (all in notes somewhere) and came up with a way to focus on each step, resulting in a walk that had my normal carriage quite changed. It was not the easiest thing to maintain.

Know that I am the kind of wierdo who has in fact watched a pot of water come to boil to see if I could do it, never turning my attention away. In retrospect, that was easy compared to the focus I maintained for the next several months. Most every step, whether from the couch to the fridge, across the dog park, or hiking in the East Bay hills, I did my best to use the NEW walk.

I forgot to add that, while I hardly practiced yoga, I knew a little, primarily the sunrise salute. This I did every once in a while, often before a hike or whenever I felt the need to stretch. This practice did not increase or decrease with my using the new walk.

* * * * *

OK, time for a break. Fate stepped in again. Don't need to get into it too much, but my inability to deviate from what I believed ethical, my integrity, basically, which had lead to my unemployment, also lead to the lack of employment opportunities of my wife (we had been in the same office). As such, her only employment opportunity lead us to Sacramento. My fault. You can imagine my depression that followed. Yes, I am still miserable at being here more than anything else. I so miss the Bay.

That said, I had to leave my friends, and more importantly, my doctors, behind. Kaiser took a long time to get my medical records transferred, which you will see, caused issues. Things are about to get weird.

So, I had new doctors, most notably a new psychiatrist to get Aderall from, one who straight away did not seem to like taking my word about how I ended up getting Aderall, the hoops I had already jumped through, nor my alleged improvements. He kept prescribing, but seemed quite reticent.

Still, I continued trying my new walk, which I brought up to the new Psych doc. His thoughts were that posture improvement could never be a bad thing, and even suggested some readings which I do not recall.

* * * * * *

The first time it happened was the oddest, most confusing experience of my life. I have the details written out in journal entries. My wife wrote them on this first occasion. I dictated. I was unable to write. I was unable to stay still or calm down. I had done something incredible.

While doing chores outside, I felt something akin to a slipknot unworking itself in my back. A great sensation of power filled my body. I even felt taller. I felt euphoric. My throat felt odd, and I coughed up an absolutely disgusting glob of caked mucus and blood that must have been hanging from my sinuses for who knows how long. But, . . . , I felt taller.

There was also a realization that a great pain had eased. Something that nagged me for so long that I did not even notice it until it was gone. It was quite a realization. There was some new pain, too, further up my back from where the slipknot seemed to have been, but it was nothing, really. Compared to the pain I had not realized I was even in (the one that, now gone, had me euphoric), it was no more than a minor bump or bruise. I felt so much energy flowing through me, and, again, I felt taller.

I had always been precisely 5' 9 1/2" tall, since 16, and I was now 33. I measured myself. Sure enough, I was, in fact, a quarter inch taller.

* * * * * * *

I need to note the first problem which arose at this time, and my first poor decision. I failed to go to my new doctor with this news. I had a psych appointment, the usual one to go with the renewal of an Aderall script, and decided to tell him instead. After all, he was a psychiatrist, not a psychologist, so he was supposedly a doctor, and had even suggested books regarding posture changes for health benefits to me.

By the time I saw him, another two slipknots untied. or as I called it, I had two more "adjustments" in my back. I now stood 5' 10", a half inch taller. Each height increase had been instantaneous with the "adjustments".

As I told my Psych doc this, including the pain portions, he nodded interestingly, making notes, and then giving me my script. He did add that he would like to meet my wife. To this, I thought, OK, he wants confirmation of my claims. It would turn out I was grossly wrong.

Psych Doc concluded I was delusional and needed to be taken off of Aderall (his notes mentioned my claim, incorrectly, to have "grown" and failed to include the amount). When my wife and I next met with him, the confrontation over stopping Aderall commenced. He had no interest in my wife's confirmation of my height change. No, to him, I was clearly delusional.

This in itself can become a book's worth of information on what happened with Kaiser's psych department and how it spilled into the physician care aspects as well. I tire and probably need a few days before trying to write so much again. But let me just add a little more before I stop.

* * * * *

I became stubborn with Psych and abandoned them, KNOWING I was onto something beyond Psych Doc's comprehension and assuming (ooops) all would be fine sooner or later (wrong on both counts).

The adjustments would continue, my height eventually reaching a touch over 5' 11", over an inch and a half taller than I ever was.

That pain that originally was nothing became much more than nothing. Kaiser, convinced I become a drug addict because of Aderall and was already diagnosed as delusional by the Psych department, did NOTHING but refer me back to Psych. No pain medication. No real examination of my claims (even after a year had passed and my medical records confirming the height change had finally arrived).

One doctor had me touch my nose like the DUI testing, then told me I did not have a brain tumor, and as such could not have grown. For two years, no one was able to distinguish between getting taller and growing. Try being in excruciating pain with doctors quite literally unable to comprehend what you tell them while they presume you to be insane, such fun. As I said above, I could write a novel on the Kaiser experience alone. My own biographical Kafka novel, anyways . . .

The "adjustments" which continues were no longer slipknots, but significant skeletal posture/placement changes of position, radically altering my physique, my posture, and even my facial expressions. These changes I must touch on in my next entry. I hope to include the deductions I have made, the theories I have made, and why they may be relevant in significant ways.

I am at peace with the rather high probability that I will not get well, even relatively, but I believe this experience can prove very important for others down the road, and that (helping others) may help me get to sleep a night or two just a little better. Admittedly, I have not given up hope for myself completely, not yet.

[poorly edited once while not in the best of shape. my apologies.]

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