I’m Not Stoned (Much)

Many thanks to everyone who’s dropped me a line to see why I haven’t posted lately — I appreciate your support and concern! The last couple of months have been… interesting. I’ve been struggling with dizziness and nausea that really take the fun out of computer work, so I’ve been snarfing anti-nausea pills, anti-vertigo pills, and Tylenol for the headaches. I thought being stoned would be a lot more fun — I must be doing it wrong. 😉

In an attempt to mimic normal brain function (or as normal as I ever get), I’ve taken to jotting cryptic reminders to myself. They make sense at the time; but a day later, they only make me question my mental competence. For instance:

Run cold for tea!

Our household water comes from a well, so once a year we add chlorine bleach to the system to make sure nothing’s growing in the water lines on the “safe” side of our UV sterilizer. After we purge the lines, the hot water always smells like a public swimming pool for a few days. No big deal if you’re showering in it, but making tea? BLECH!

Normally I’d only gulp one mouthful that tasted like the dregs of a well-used hot tub, and then I’d remember ever afterward to only run cold water into the kettle. But apparently not when I’m on drugs. Hence the note.


Appointment at (fill in the blank)!

You’d think this would be a fairly useful and self-explanatory note. It wasn’t.

Whenever I’m making an appointment, I enter the date and time in my calendar and then read it back to the receptionist. I did that, so I’m not quite sure how wires got crossed. But my physiotherapist’s office also sends an automated email reminder; so I knew I’d be fine even if I forgot to look at my calendar.

The morning of the appointment I checked my calendar: Appointment at 11:20 AM. Fine.

An hour before the appointment, I double-checked the email reminder. Appointment at 11:00 AM. Yikes, I had to leave right away! As I hurried out the door, I wondered vaguely why I was having so much trouble keeping the appointment time in my head; but whatever.

Halfway there, my car threw a ‘Low Tire Pressure’ warning. I pulled over to check the tires, worrying that it would make me late. But as I got back in the car, my phone chimed: Half an hour to my appointment. Even with the delay, I was going to be 20 minutes early! I gave my head a shake, thinking I must be a lot more stoned than I felt. (And clearly I was, because normally at that point I would have figured out that something was fishy.)

But no; I finished my leisurely drive, then sat waiting in the car until my appointment time.

Yep, you guessed it: I had arrived on time for my 11:00 appointment; but I wasted it all, waiting in the parking lot until 11:20.


The good news is I’m finally feeling a bit better. I’ve been reducing the drugs, and my brain is working fine again. Which reminds me… Note to self: Remember to worzel the fimblegurb!

Book 18 progress: Intensive keyboarding still isn’t my friend, but I had lots of time to think while lying down with my eyes closed. Plotting is complete(ish) and this week I’ll start putting words on the page!

58 thoughts on “I’m Not Stoned (Much)

  1. Unbelievable…ugh…..my heart goes out to you!! I have enough issues when all is normal, but to add all you are dealing with…..again…ugh!! Hope you are much better sooner rather than later!! Take Care!!


    • Thanks, Kirt! I’m actually feeling much better now. The dizziness and nausea seems to be behind me, and now all I’ve got is a head cold that hit right after the other symptoms went away. (Because apparently viruses love to kick us while we’re down.) The cold is nearly vanquished, though, so I’m hoping to be able to get some writing done soon!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good to read you’re on the mend, Diane. Your appointment escapade gave me a chuckle… and you had the low tyre warning which you could have used as an excuse, if you didn’t want to blame yourself! 😉


  3. Odd. I know at least 10 people who are suffering from the effects of vertigo, plus me. 4 or 5 have frequent but not continuous vertigo; 2 or 3 days out of 10. 1 has such severe symptoms that she is in assisted living as she can’t take care of herself. A couple more are nearly at that point. Two others have nearly continuous vertigo but medication is keeping the worst effects at bay.
    As for me, any time my head is lower than my feet my inner ear goes nuts. So, no more working under the car on a roller dolly, fixing wires or pipes under the house, etc. I had a cranial CT scan done; the only problem was the vast empty space they found.
    Hope yours resolves quickly.


    • Thanks, Dave! You made me laugh with the ‘vast empty space’ — I’ve long suspected that might be my problem, too. 😉

      It’s weird that there are so many of us having dizziness/vertigo issues. I did come across one interesting thing as a result, though: You can get physiotherapy that helps. They call it vestibular rehabilitation therapy, and apparently it desensitizes your nervous system and convinces it to behave again. Not all physiotherapy clinics offer it, but it does seem to be readily available. Might be worth a try — I hope it works for you!


      • There is also a procedure called the Eppley Maneuver (videos on you tube) which was developed to put vertigo aright. Something about the tiny rocks in the inner ear getting out of place and this procedure puts them back in place. Can be done by yourself but I suggest hubby being near by. The result is immediate and violent, but transient, vertigo! The good news is that most people get maximum results with only a couple or three sessions. A session lasts about 2 minutes.
        I’ll ask a physiotherapist I know about the therapy you mention.


        • Yes, the Epley Maneuver has been my friend for a couple of decades. I’ve had quite a few episodes of vertigo in the past where my surroundings seem to be spinning wildly, and good old Epley fixed it in a session or two. But my current dizziness isn’t the room-spinning kind, and the Epley Maneuver didn’t fix it even though I tried quite a few times. Fortunately the physiotherapy seems to be helping. Hope it helps you, too! 🙂


  4. I’m glad you’re feeling a bit better. Your symptoms have been going on for a while. Have you figured out what’s wrong? I know from experience that migraines and needing to rest totally sucks. Especially when there is nausea involved as well. Forget about screen time.

    I’ve been suffering from headaches two days in a row and I can tell you that I’d rather rest in bed than bounce around on potholed tertiary roads. 🙂


    • I can only imagine how miserable it must be to bounce around with a bad headache. And for two days? Ouch! I’d be begging to stop after the first hour. I hope you get a break soon.

      I think (hope) it’s just strained muscles in my neck and shoulders, from typing with poor posture to compensate for my lower back problems. I’ve got a physiotherapist working on both now, so… fingers crossed! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, Cassity, our Landlord was here this afternoon and fixed the drawer glides. You were absolutely right about where the drawer unhooked from the glides but we had to remove the glides anyhow and reset all the screws. Cassity was the right size and age to do the fixing. She fit into the cupboard and I could have shut the doors. She said she had to learn by figuring stuff out as she was on her own since she was 17 years old (15 years perhaps). You two would get along when it comes to home maintenance.


  6. So glad you are feeling better and can cut back on the meds. “Half the meds to counteract the side effects of the other half”. Ain’t that the truth.
    Having had so much time to think about Book 18, will you have to revise any of it in like of your new ideas or did you just build on the preceding chapters. Of course wortzeled fimbelgurb would make for interesting reading for Elbonians
    I react to morphine by my body feeling like it is on fire and burning up though my temperature is perfectly normal. They put me on I think Fentanyl. When IV’d it is awesome. Slept like a baby. The nurses caught on about my lying about my pain level at 10:30 pm just to get a shot so I could sleep. They switched to pills which I found useless. They gave me a bunch of pills to take home which I never took and by the time I was done I likely had a few $’000 street value in the apartment. I hurriedly took them back to the drugstore like you did.


    • Other people I know have the same reaction to morphine. No fun at all. And I’m glad they didn’t try me on Fentanyl. The thought of getting addicted scares the piss out of me.

      I’ve only written the first couple of pages of Book 18, so no revisions necessary. It picks up right where Book 17 ended, so it’s easy for me to jump in. I can hardly wait to start making progress! And hey, maybe while I’m still on drugs I should whip off a quick novel for Elbonians. It must be a big market, at least according to Dilbert. 😉


      • You would not likely get addicted to Fentanyl unless there were other issues in your life that made the going up worth the coming down. If I had started taking enough pills to actually feel something, I might have had trouble. Two of my very good long time FaceBook friends work at controlled injection sites. I have learned a great deal from them about the sadness of the world.
        Hope you are much better now, off all meds and back to your usual funny sarcastic self.


        • Aw, thanks! I am much better and I’m off all the drugs, so I guess now I’ll find out whether my concentration problems were chemically induced or just a symptom of my not-so-young-anymore brain. 😉


  7. So sorry to hear that you have been dealing with what sounds like a nasty combination of maladies. In early January I got over a mild case of covid but two days later I woke up with vertigo. I have never had it before and hopefully never get it again. Coincidentally, it was my birthday — yay me! It took a week to get over the worst symptoms but am still not 100%. Glad to hear you are on the mend and wish you a speedy recovery on the remaining symptoms.


    • Ugh, that was a crummy ‘birthday present’! Thanks for your good wishes, and I hope you soon get back to 100%, too. Whose idea was this whole COVID thing, anyway?!? I want to know where I can lodge an official complaint. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Has the source of the issues been found yet? It’s good to hear you can cut back on the meds.

    I luckily am on only one prescription (for the hereditary hypertension that runs on my dad’s side of the family), so I have to thank my doc for helping me keep alive. But since it’s also partly a water pill, I have to time it so I’m home, or near a restroom, for a few hours after I take it. I’m probably due for another prescription or two for some minor issues but on the other hand, they can be helped through dietary and activity changes.

    I try staying away from the Ibuprofen but sometimes there’s no choice. If I get one of my nasty back spasms (or whatever they are), sometimes I use a little “edible” help. It does work, although I won’t drive after ingesting it, and I have to be kept away from food for several hours. 😁 My mind also gets a bit strange. It’s a combination of having my brain feel like it can’t be turned off (the thoughts are flowing at a made pace) but also feels as though I’m in a slight fog. Still beats not being able to move from a back spasm though!

    As silly as it sounds, I wish my mother could have had some form of cannabis during those many times she suffered through cancer and chemo–it could have helped ease the pain, the nausea, and overall discomfort. I figure that since the Native Americans used it for centuries for medicinal purposes, they were onto something long before prescription medications came along. Side effects? Sure. But I find they are more annoyances than anything else. Not chemical reactions of prescription drugs working against each other. I keep thinking back to the wicker basket of pill bottles my grandparents had, and how seemingly half of them were to counteract the side effects of others.

    This is all in the back of my mind at the moment since a local doctor was sentenced to almost 17 years in prison and a $30 million penalty for fraud involving opioids. It makes me wonder at what point a pharmaceutical company decided that developing an opioid was actually a safe and valid way to treat pain. I’ve had morphine and Vicodin before, and hated both (post-op for shoulder surgery). I can’t imagine ingesting anything more powerful than those two.


    • Yikes. Me, neither. I had morphine after one surgery, and I’m still missing memories from those three days. They prescribed Percocet afterward, and I took one pill before returning the whole bottle to the pharmacy in horror. I guess it was a missed opportunity — I probably could have sold those pills on the street for quite a bit. (Except that I’d never do such a rotten thing to another person.)

      I wish my mother could have had cannabis during her cancer treatment, too. Chemo is still horrible now, but forty years ago it was absolutely barbaric. I’ve never tried cannabis myself, but it’s nice to know that there’s still something I can try if I get desperate.

      As to the source of my current discomfort, we’re pretty sure it’s just a ripple effect from my lower back injury last year. In trying to find typing positions that protect my lumbar spine, I’ve aggravated the nerves and muscles in my neck and shoulders. Then I threw in an allergic reaction to my COVID booster and my whole body rebelled. But everything’s slowly getting straightened out now. Physio is my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

      • My typical writing position is cranked back in a comfy recliner with my laptop angled comfortably against my legs. I’ve spewed close to a million words onto a screen that way and I’m none the worse for wear. Just a thought. (Lots of stuff in the deleted scenes pile, but every word was typed that way.)


        • That’s one of the positions I use. Plus I’ve rigged up a monitor arm attached to a scavenged rolling chair base, so I have portable monitor I can hook up to my laptop and raise/lower/tilt so I can even work lying nearly flat on my back. It kinda works, but the typing is still hard on my neck/shoulders. Then again, I don’t want to count how many million words I’ve typed, on this laptop alone. It’s already on its second keyboard — the keys wore through on the first one. 😉

          Liked by 1 person

          • I’m only on my second laptop. But it’s six years old at least, with its fourth trip through the repair shop under its belt. The only reason I haven’t traded up is because I’d be stuck with the new version of wretched Office and Word. Dreading that, I am.


            • Grrr! Me, too. I’m seriously considering switching to Linux just so I can get off the damn Microsoft merry-go-round.

              I should also note that wearing through my keyboard isn’t quite as impressive as it sounds — it was a cheap piece of shit in the first place. My original old boat-anchor laptop never even showed a hint of strain; but unfortunately it couldn’t be upgraded to the version of Word I need to be compatible with Kindle publishing. Sigh. Hmmm, I bet my old laptop would make a pretty good Linux box, though…


              • It’s not too difficult. In fact, on my last computer build, I installed Windows 10 and Ubuntu in a dual-boot configuration. (It acts more in a server capacity than as a computer I directly interact with.) If you have nothing valuable on an old computer, download one of the popular Linux distributions, clear the hard drive, and install it. Installation is a far cry from the old days of Linux, where it was all done via a command line. Now it’s a very similar GUI to any modern OS.

                I think my main complaint about Ubuntu or Linux in general is how few mainstream applications there are. I use Ubuntu on the servers I manage (primarily web and database servers) and know my way around well enough to make it work and/or get myself into trouble. All of that is done at the command line, though.

                I’ve been using Excel and Word from the early 1990s onward. I also have a subscription plan for Adobe’s photography bundle (whatever it’s called) as I regularly use Photoshop and a couple others in the bundle. For the audio system, I have a Roon subscription (it’s a player/server system for music). I wasn’t exactly sold on the subscription model for software, but on the other hand, it is nice to always be running the latest versions and not have to worry about paying for major upgrades or waiting a long time for bug fixes. Others I own outright are Sound Forge (an audio editor), Adobe Premiere Elements (video editor), a suite of Arturia synthesizer/keyboard emulators, and others. There are even smaller utilities I have that aren’t replicated on other OSes.

                My main complaint is that I would have to abandon software I’ve been paying for that have become part of my regular routine, and put up with “open source” alternatives that claim to be better but at best, are always at least a step behind the commercial alternatives. Very few of those above have Linux equivalents. I still remember a speech class several years ago–we all created Powerpoint presentations, except one group that used the OpenOffice equivalent that was supposed to be compatible. Turns out it wasn’t and their presentation wouldn’t open. When I submit articles to my editor for the magazine, I know I am safe sending a Word document since I know he can open it and mark it up, and I can track his changes to see what was edited.

                Browsers like Chrome do have Ubuntu equivalents, so at least there is some familiarity involved and honestly, if I have to do a day’s work completely online, the choice of OS doesn’t make a difference–a few dozen open tabs is all I need to get the work done.

                I’m not an OS zealot by any means, but I’ve primarily used Windows for desktop work for decades and it is where I find myself most productive, and it’s also where my money is tied up in software. Ubuntu or other forms of Linux work well as servers for me, so I stick with those. (I’ve learned parts of Windows Server, but it is a lot more complex in many ways and having not used it much, I’ve forgotten a lot of what I’ve learned.)


                • Yeah, it’s that whole compatibility issue that stops me. I was thinking seriously about it a couple of years ago and decided to try OpenOffice for Book 16. I did some tests to make sure that it would do the style formatting I needed, and I ported a test document back and forth between Word and Writer several times just to be on the safe side. It performed fine, so I kicked off the novel. Everything was good until about halfway through, when Writer inexplicably ditched my styles and navigation map. Not only did it mess up what I’d already done; it also contaminated the rest of the document even after I gave up and went back to Word to finish the book. I ended up manually formatting 50+ chapters just to produce something the publishing algorithms could port into ebooks. GRRR! Never again. So I guess if I have to run Word under Linux anyway, I’m not really winning…


                  • There are emulators that let some Windows applications work in Linux but even there, behavior can be unreliable–some work fine, and others are constant problems. About all that would do is change the OS behind the application. I’ve even tried the Mac OS (or whatever the heck it’s called this week) a few times but found it was way too limiting for the type of work I do–I’d have to hunt and peck with the mouse several times to dig down to what I needed, as opposed to having things a click or two away in Windows. And many small utilities I use don’t have Mac equivalents.

                    OpenOffice would be fine for someone printing documents or creating PDFs out of them, but like you saw, compatibility leaves a bit to be desired.

                    To think I used to use WordPerfect all those years ago. That dates a person. Early Cro-Magnon, I’m thinking. 😁


                    • LOL! I’m right there with you! I loved WordPerfect and mourned its demise. Then again, I also used a Micom 2000 with a daisy-wheel printer before that; and I loved the IBM Selectric typewriter when I started using it after my 50-pound manual typewriter… *grunt* me *grunt* like *grunt* typing-thing *grunt*


      • I’ve read, and heard from a couple others who’ve had it, that brain fog from COVID itself is a real thing, and it doesn’t surprise me if vaccines have those lingering effects, and others, as well. In my case, it’s difficult to tell if the minor changes in how I’m feeling relate to the booster, or just advancing age. You and I are around the same age, if I remember–I’m reaching a major milestone birthday in 363 days (*cough* 40 *cough*…I wish…) and I don’t know what to think anymore.

        If anything, a fair amount of weight needs to come off, and that’s an ongoing issue. I’d found a way to try the Noom app for a year, but it seemed too upbeat and too motivational vs. offering a true plan to drop the pounds. But one thing that is really motivating me right now is that I read part of the first section of a book by Penn Jillette–“How I Made Over 100 Pounds Disappear.” (The “Look Inside” feature on Amazon provided that.) That introduction is rude, crude, and in general he puts himself down virtually with every sentence. Despite that, the overall message is that after decades of explaining his high blood pressure and weight to himself, he came to the realization that he was the only thing responsible for his weight. That was more of a wakeup call for me than anything else I’ve heard recently. Although I’m not looking forward to my next doctor visit, that’s for sure…


        • It’s certainly possible that the dizziness and nausea were all part of my reaction to the COVID booster. I had heart problems for a couple of months afterward, too (fortunately all better now). If that’s what the vaccine did to me, I’d hate to actually get COVID.

          Hey, happy belated birthday — only two days ago! But my milestone birthday is still a LONG way away (if you consider a year and a half to be ‘a long way’). That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. 😉


  9. Sigh. I so understand that brain fog. Nausea and vertigo are bad enough on their own. Teemed up with headaches they are vile. And the ‘helpful’ medication has an issue or six of its own. I am so glad that equilibrium is being restored.


  10. I’ve gnarfled the garthag many times, so I’m well versed on your malady, M’lady. You sound rather phleppid, just so you know.

    Glad you’re on the mend, Sista! Welcome back to the land of the living! Glad you’re feeling better. 👍👍


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