Sunday, October 1, 2017

Black dogs.

I continue to be busy. I'm working and taking care of Buddy and going to TMS 5-days a week during work hours. It's been a lot. 

The weather has been unseasonably warm in Montreal, so the fall is only starting to make an appearance. 

I've been thinking about how I'd like to write about black dogs as a theme. I read a memoir called Killing the Black Dog, apparenly the black dog is a metaphor for depression

I find it an odd metaphor, since for me black dogs have always been symbols of companionship and familiarity, since every dog I've ever had was black. A black labrador retriever, a black schnauzer and now with Buddy, a black pug. 

The labrador, a confirmation of my fragility and the cruelty of life.

The schnauzer, a crescendo of anxiety and tumultuous happenings.

The pug, an acceptance of the absurd and an attempt to move on. 

Depression to me may feel like a fog that creeps into the brain and covers me like a cloud. Or an evil spirit that feeds off of my energy, joy and ambition. I don't think a representation of depression in popular culture has ever been as spot-on as Dementors in the Harry Potter universe. 

TMS has been going well. The appointments break-up my day. After the first week and a half, I felt my brain to be less cluttered and "cloudy" feeling. Less foggy. It's like there was this density and weight I couldn't see past, and it lifted. I would imagine it to be similar to feeling congested, except without being centrally focused in the sinuses. It's also similar to being sleep-deprived. 

The doctor at the TMS/neurology lab also wants me to be tested for sleep apnea, since I'm perpetually exhausted. I'll be doing that this upcoming Friday. 

If TMS continues to go well (I'm about half-way through the 4-6 week treatment) I may experiment with lowering my anti-depressant dossage, and see if it helps with my energy levels and sleep. 

TMS isn't invassive. It's a time commitment and a hassle to get to, but it's covered by medicare. I think one American I read about having done it paid for it out of pocket and he said it cost him roughly 15 grand. SO, I thank my lucky stars for Canadian healthcare because that's the entirety of my savings for a downpayment. For a treatment that may or maynot help me. 

The treatment itself is a little odd. You sit in a chair, not unlike a dentist chair, lean back, and a large flat thing is put on your head. It's places on your frontal lobe area and then you get tapped on the head. That's basically it. It send you magnetic pulses that feel like being tapped on the head by a woodpecker with a blunt beak. Tap tap tap, 5 seconds, beep, tap tap tap and so on. 

After a few sessions I started falling asleep. It's not painful, just weird and hard to ignore. Some times the magnetic pulses must be stronger, because sometimes it's harder for me to fall asleep since I really feel them, and they make my eye and nose twitch. Other times I feel like a cat leaning into a scratch and barely feel them, but it's comforting. 

I think about writing a lot, I just don't want to spend more time in front of a computer. In a few months time I may start working from home a day a week, in which case I could set aside a little bit of time on that one day a week to write. We'll see. 

I'll definitely keep updating about TMS, since I myself came to it through online blogs and personal accounts, and there's very little out there about it.