Sunday, August 28, 2011

2 Admin: Writer's Scatter, Rather Than Writer's Block

A more personal note here from CO:

I think I have the opposite of writer's block at the moment, and I'm calling it writer's scatter. While Lyme disease has left me with shoddy memory at times (Did I leave the water running? Did I leave something in the toaster?) in terms of concentration I am all over the map. I can be intensely focused on something for hours and the rest of the world disappears, or I can be so mentally scattered my mind will not rest on one idea at a time for more than a minute or two.

This is where I am at the moment, and it looks to all the rest of the world like ADHD. Except... for the most part, people don't see me as being hyperactive when my butt is firmly planted to the sofa all the time. But if they could see inside my mind, then what they'd witness is a very different phenomenon. It's one that is making it very hard to write about any one thing now.

I'll give you a peek into my stream of consciousness at the moment, so you can see just how many branches are splitting off the old mental tree:

I'm thinking of the letter that was recently published to the Lancet which I've ranted about, and the reception to that rant. A lot of people visited this site in the past couple days to read that rant, but only few people commented on it here. Why is that?

I'm thinking about how being a doctor is different from being a researcher and what that means when someone is discussing treatment versus discussing evidence-based medicine. Are these two things always the same things? Are they different things? When is and isn't that okay?

I'm thinking about the use of ketamine in mice to sedate them during experiments and wondering how that might influence the outcome of testing the effect of Borrelia burgdorferi on the immune system. I even wrote a post about it months ago but have never posted it, thinking few people would want to read about it.

I'm thinking about this stack of paperwork I have to sort through and find irritating to do so. I have to make some phone calls in the morning. I need to sign and put some forms in the mail. I am bound to not do half of what I need to do even if I write it down.

I'm thinking about my posts from months ago where at the bottom of each, I've written "to be continued in part 2" or "more in a future post on this topic", and part 2 hasn't been written nor has a future post addressed that topic. Where do I begin, when so many other topics and news have grabbed my attention and inspired me to write - and these old threads which have been postponed have not?

I'm thinking about how readers have suggested topics for me to write on and I haven't gotten to those, either.

I'm thinking about how it is that on some Lyme disease support groups - if you don't share the same opinion as the majority does and your difference of opinion makes others bristle rather than ask questions out of curiosity - how difficult that is for you to find support when you are already marginalized by illness.

I'm thinking about how the hell the kitchen is going to get clean given the state it's currently in. It looks like someone put a detonator in the crockpot and it went off. Five alarm chili just might mean anyone who looks in that kitchen is going to be alarmed... It is going to take a long time for me to do anything about it and I can only chip away at it for a few minutes at a time before my arms get too worn out.

I'm thinking about coming up with my own lazy bachelor with a chronic illness cookbook. It must include mixed drinks and easy snacks. Some of the recipes need to burn the roof of your mouth and clean out the sinuses, too. I don't want these recipes to be bland by any stretch of the imagination.

I'm thinking about all my friends who were in the path of the hurricane and lost their power. (Mine is fine, thankfully.) I've heard from most of them - their basements are soggy but they are alive and mostly well.

I'm thinking about how a year ago I told someone I don't want to be defined by this disease and I want my life back. And here I am, writing this damned blog. How did that happen? I swore I would get better and never do something like this. Yet here I am.

My ears are ringing. I need more sleep. So I'll end things here for the night.

Besides, I will just continue to have more random thoughts racing through my head like this until I pass out.


  1. Oh, CO I can relate to every inch of your frustration! Mail, phone calls, dishes, responsibilities are belittling to our brains and yet we expect life's pace to magically slow to a Lyme crawl. Sadly the world keeps spinning and we keep unwinding. There is nothing I can tell you to make it better. Except I get it. I really really get it. And it sucks but will pass. Sometimes it felt like I lost half my IQ and all of my marbles! Last month I hit the wall (bad low BP) but have since jumped the wall and done cartwheels of recovery. Leaps and bounds
    over the waxing and waning.
    The work you do on behalf of all of us is prize worthy! Cut yourself some slack. Get a maid. Take a break, turn the phone off and let yourself be stupid for a few hours. You have many fans out there cheering for you. Xoxox-Jess

  2. Hi Jess,

    Thanks for stopping by and for the words of sympathy.

    I am glad to hear you are doing better after your bout with low blood pressure - very low blood pressure is difficult to manage and can put you in danger of passing out when you move around. My BP has never been that low, but I know people who have been bedridden because of it.

    I can't do everything I set out to do at once, and I can only take things one task at a time. I know that. I just wish it could be easier and that my focus was consistent and orderly. The way my doctor and I have discussed it, my executive function is broken. Unlike my early days with Lyme disease, my reading comprehension is pretty good - but now my ability to organize and follow instructions in an orderly fashion is blown. How I think is still not back to normal and if I don't make lists and stick to them, I can't get anything done.

    It is frustrating. I have been trying to accept that some things just won't get done, or will get done but just much later than I wanted. I try to push the items like bill paying to the top and let others fall further down the list.


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