Thursday September 2, 2004
I can’t remember ever before being so conscious of the nights drawing in this early in the year. It may be the contrast between dark and light, because we’ve had as much sunshine as I can handle, and the nights here are particularly dark in the absence of street lighting and nearby towns. It could be the daily switch between hot and cold, with the days still getting a little uncomfortable when the sun is at its highest, and the evenings and nights deliciously cool almost immediately following on sundown. And of course I must not discount the increase in aches and pains that comes with winter. But, really, who knows?
It may or may not be the earlier nights and the daily switch of temperature but I’m feeling the onset of my winter slump in energies more markedly than ever before. The first doctor who listened to me trying to explain what was going wrong with me each winter diagnosed it as ‘TATS’—’Tired all the Time Syndrome’, and went on to suggest that my seratonin levels were slipping. That was when I got my first box of Fluoxetine. Subsequently, a doctor who was less of a comic named it as ‘SAD’—’Seasonal Affective Disorder’. Other doctors since have been equally supportive but no more certain of the cause than the first, except to agree that chemical adjustment of seratonin levels seems to be an effective treatment.
So, each year when I feel the symptoms coming on, I pop along to the surgery, pick up my pills, go home, and start popping one every morning.
It works. Within days my energy levels pick up, and my tendency to ill temper and irritability fades away. I even find that my creative juices and my intellectual capacity get a kick up the backside, restoring much if not all of the joy of life that seems so quickly to slip away when summer comes to an end. So, all in all, with my daily pill, I’m happy without being daft, content without being bovine. I’m a happy rabbit once more.
The downside? Well, when I first start the treatment I get a couple of days feeling a little squiffy and disoriented. Easily handled by taking plenty of liquid and napping when things get heavy.
That’s where I am now. I reached for the Fluoxetine this morning and, with an hour or two, it made me feel decidedly out of this world. I recovered by lunch time, and we went out to Boston so that Graham could research the compatibility between Palm handheld computers and the Pocket PC equivalent. I think he’s about to rejoin the Wonderful World of Windows™.
Things, as they say, can only get better.