I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Slow The Fuck Down, Would You?

My life runs at double speed. Heck, sometimes triple speed - I always seem to be on the go, I have a million (at least!) things which need my attention, I've always got the phone ringing and the email pinging, and basically my life is completely insane. I love it (most of the time) - because I like being busy and needed, and I like having things to do and people to see and all that. The old adage of, "if you want something done, ask a busy person," totally applies to me.  I fill as much stuff into my life as I can because I enjoy living each day to it's fullest, and lots of things are important to me. So I make the time for the gym, for work, for friends, for STUFF.

It sounds a little nuts, but I live my life as though my time will run out, as though I am in a race against a hourglass filled with sand. I not only LIKE to live my life as busy as I can, I also feel I NEED to. For reasons I can't exactly explain, I just feel like I need to GO GO GO all the damn time. If I don't succeed NOW, if I don't pay back the business debt NOW, if I don't do everything NOW....well, I don't even want to think about the consequences of that. Will anything happen if I don't achieve, do, be, go, have all those things right this very second? Probably not, but I don't plan on finding out, either.

Sometimes, living your life at maniacal pace gets (a lot) exhausting, and sometimes that exhaustion manifests itself in funny ways. For the last several months, I've been struggling with my words - I trip over them, mis-spell them, forget whole phrases, and in general feel as though the words in my brain do not match those which come out of my mouth. It's very disconcerting because I am such a word-oriented person. I read - no, I DEVOUR - several books a week. I read and write blogs, talk a lot, handwrite notes, and so on.  I just adore words...so to be losing them is horrifying to me. Strangely, NONE of my family or friends have noticed this peculiar thing happening. It finally got irritating enough that I went to the GP, who although she felt it was just stress-induced, sent me along for a neuro consult anyway.

Today was the consult - and although things seem to have settled down a bit, I thought it was worth going along anyway. The doctor and I had a good long chat, and he did a whole bunch of tests, both physical and cognitive, and we had another long chat about what is going on. The good news is, there is not a damn thing wrong with me. There is no mysterious organic brain disease, I'm not suffering early dementia, no signs of anything at all untoward. He did take all of it very seriously, but smiled when he said most patients who present with brain troubles generally do NOT engage in witty banter between the testing questions, nor do they stop to tell him why the questions are flawed in the first place and suggest ways to make them better. He was particularly amused with my answers to one of the questions - which was - in 60 seconds, name as many words as you can which start with the letter 'p.' Apparently most people do not come out with words like 'polycystic' 'perpendicular' 'positively' 'prehensile' and so on - but being the professional that he is, he carried on with ALL the testing even though it became pretty obvious there was nothing wrong with me.(...and for the animals one...apparently 'tree frog' 'rhinoceros' 'wallaby' 'seahorse' and 'sulphur crested cockatoo' are not common answers either. Go figure.)

We got to the end of the consult and he looked me in the eye and said, "Okay, well, I think we've established there are no brain issues here, but there is no doubt that you are being driven a little crazy by what is happening with your words. So here's my suggestion: SLOW YOUR LIFE DOWN."

"That's it?"

"Yes. That's it. MAKE the time to have quiet time every single day. Learn to meditate if you need to,  listen to relaxing music, swing in a hammock, whatever it takes to make you just STOP for an hour a day and just learn to BE."

"You make it sound simpler than it is."

"Actually, it IS simple. The human brain is only capable of making ONE decision at a time, no matter how much the current social norms would have you believe we are capable of more than that. It's yes or no, on or off, but it's only ever ONE of those at any given time. Remember that - you are only capable of making ONE decision at a time. ONE. I never, ever want to see you in my office again, so I'll say this again so you cannot ignore me: SLOW YOUR LIFE DOWN."


Bad News: I probably need to actually take his advice.
Good News: I'm the only patient he has ever had who managed to get more points on the damn test than it was actually worth.


Keyzer Soze said...

SOmetimes Homer Simpson lifestyle has its benefits too :)

Claire - Matching Pegs said...

I am really glad you saw someone Em, even if it turned out to be nothing.

I'm a bit like you - an avid reader, and well know for a diverse vocabulary from quite a young age.

If I don't know a word, I will look it up, but can usually answer other people's word-meaning queries (just not grammar or basic spelling though).

In the last few years, when I have been rushed and under pressure, I have often failed to find the right word too.

I actively fight my inclination to let this freak me out - and tell myself that it is only stress.

You see, it was the main symptom that my sister presented with, when her brain tumor was discovered. It started mild and got worse (there were lots of other less obvious symptoms too though - eg. a much stronger sense of smell). So you can understand why having trouble with words tends to cause me a little anxiety.

Getting it checked out was a really smart move

I think it is really interesting how the specialist phrased things - "The human brain is only capable of making ONE decision at a time". We could all take note of that one.