Narcolepsy, Perhaps?

Nothing—except sleep—holds much appeal for me lately. I am not necessarily as tired as I have been; I simply want to sleep. And the passion I usually have for writing…transferring thoughts from my mind to my fingers to the screen…no longer has the draw it had for such a very long time. From the moment I wake up and force myself to get out of bed, I have the urge to get back under the sheet and quickly fall asleep. Perhaps it is the fact that almost my only escapes from the house are visits to the doctor; simple boredom, I imagine. Yet even reading or watching television or film does not capture my interest. Sleep has become an increasingly attractive refuge from wakefulness. I explain to myself that I am tired, but that explanation is no longer as reliable as it has been since I started my chemo treatments in January. And all the supplemental injections and lab tests and bouts of pneumonia in the intervening weeks and months.  There will come a time when this dullness will subside and I will be able to look back at what I have written about this period and understand it better than I do now. That always happens when I experience prolonged periods of odd moods. I suppose I can legitimately call this an odd, moody period. Give it time and it will begin to make sense to me. In the meantime, I will try to relish as much sleep as I can get.


Yesterday’s doctor visit seems to have taken place at the tail end of my sinus troubles. I am not coughing as much as I was, nor am I nearly as stopped up as before. But I was given another prescription for antibiotics, a seven-day course involving two monstrous brick-like pills twelve hours apart. I can barely stomach the enormous assortment of pills and tablets and capsules I am told to take every day. One day, I may simply abandon the prescriptions. I would probably be healthier and happier and more energetic. Western medicine, in which I have always placed a great deal of trust, is wearing thin on me. Healthcare has morphed into a rigidly-controlled regimen designed to pump vast supplies of wealth into the pockets of pharmaceutical and health insurance company executives. Beyond that, it has replaced outcomes with bureaucratic procedures. Medicine, as a “healing art,” is stifled by inflexible processes. Though Eastern medicine probably depends too much on ineffective spiritualism, I suspect its roots remain more closely aligned with the concept of “first, do no harm” than its Western companion. That phrase, by the way, is not part of the Hippocratic Oath. Apparently, though, it does originate with another of Hippocrates’ writings, Of the Epidemics.


Today, while mi novia is out for lunch with a friend, I will remain home for a short visit with a home health nurse. I am not quite sure of the value of the home health service I was offered, but I imagine it cannot hurt. If nothing else, the impending visit will give me the impetus to take a shower. In the absence of the appointment, I probably would put that off until late tomorrow morning as I prepare for my visit with the oncologist. I guess I’ll shower twice in as many days, then. I’d rather sleep. According to multiple sources I’ve read, showering daily is not good for one’s skin; showering every other day is plenty, many experts say (whoever the hell they are). I selectively agree with the experts, especially when they share my opinions.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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