Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works from Elan.Works, a designer and editor at GenderAvenger, and a speaker who has spoken across North America. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

#638: I'M SUPPOSED TO HAVE A CHART? WHAT CHART?

I have an appointment with my doctor today regarding my first two weeks on a low dose of a drug that is supposed to make me less depressed / irritable / insomniac / anxious / existentially angsty. When she handed over the prescription, she also wrote up a rough version of a chart she wanted me to keep that rated things such as mood, concentration, appetite, and the like on a daily basis. I must have looked pretty nasty the day I went to see her, because all the sample ratings she wrote on the chart mock-up were between one and three out of ten. I was hoping that I at least looked like a four or a five.

As I expected would happen, I haven't kept a chart. I knew that I probably wouldn't even as she was drawing it up and I was thinking what a good idea it was. As the days in which I was not keeping the chart drew on, I kept believing that I would make one up over lunch in Excel and fudge the days I had missed. I considered getting out the pad of graph paper I still have left over from high school and guesstimating my psychological and physical experience of the whole two weeks. I even wondered if I should use different pens to make it more believable and scratch stuff out occasionally to make it look like I gave the ratings some serious consideration. When I told the Palinode what I was planning out loud, though, he looked at me like I was just a tad ridiculous. Suddenly, I realized that I was behaving like I was in the seventh grade again and had to fake a book report out of what I could glean from the dust jacket so that I wouldn't get busted for not caring about Julie of the Wolves.

Tell her that you forgot it at home, he suggested. He's so brilliant, that Palinode. That is exactly what I am going to do. I forgot it at home: what a simple plan. I tend to create elaborate fictions where a simple sentence would suffice. Being a nervous liar when faced with a perceived authority figure, I would have spent the appointment this afternoon with my doctor overexplaining my faked chart, making up what caused the supposed appetite pitfall on day nine and the loss of concentration on day three in an attempt to establish its basis in absolute truth.

I know that I will still have an urge to overdo proving my own honesty, but I woke up this morning with the perfect diversion to keep me from repeating the sentence I can't believe I left the chart at home, doc, especially after being so careful to fill it out honestly for fourteen days in a row about eight times. My newfound diversion is twofold: I woke up at 4:00 am with cement blocks for sinuses and tonsils that could asphyxiate a rhino. Now I can drone on about phlegm and antibiotics and the value of neti pots instead of my chartlessness.

I should also probably mention the fact that the brain drugs aren't doing much aside from making me spaced out and sleepy, because in light of my chart-making stress, do you think that the meds have done anything for my anxiety? I'm thinking NO.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go worry about whether I really need to use conditioner this morning, whether my gums are receding from lack of proper flossing, and the possiblity that the clocks are wrong and will make me miss the bus to work.

Happy Wednesday!

A Bath, A Stream, And The Loss Of Safe Water