Last week was fairly busy again, but I think I'm on a good road to getting to a better place in life. (Finally?)
Every year the Church of God holds its North American Convention (NAC) here in Anderson in June, so that took place last week. (Was it only last week?) The minister of music from my church led the worship, and I was very excited about this because it meant that I would have an opportunity to get the music ahead of time and make a braille copy of the words so that I could participate in the choir. This was all a fine idea except for two things. One was transportation. I could have taken a cab up or had a family member drop me off; but getting to the building and locating the place where I was supposed to be was another matter. I tried to network with someone from my church choir, but I never got a phone call. I could have made a call to her, but everyone goes on about family and friends coming in and it really leaves me feeling that I should not impose on their time. So after Steve went to the trouble to get the music to me--even in a form that I could read on my computer and use to make my copy--I sat out. The other issue was that the air quality tends to be poor and heat can aggravate my neurological symptoms. This was already happening anyway in my air-conditioned home because we were having 90 to 95-degree days. I feel like I'm just making excuses here, but I was pretty unhappy that I didn't take advantage of the rare opportunity I would have to participate fully in camp meeting choir.
I did go over to a presentation on Church of God doctrine on Wednesday afternoon, and it was quite intriguing. An AU professor presented a paper about "phenomena of the Holy Spirit" (speaking in tongues and being "slain in the Spirit") and another professor presented a response. Having been active for several years in the Assemblies of God, I found the presentation very interesting and was relieved to find the perspective very balanced. Coming back into the Anderson Church of God, my experience has been that people tend to dismiss these conceps as "fake" or no longer relevant. I was and am relieved to know that there is room for the acknowledgement of God's use of "the gift of the Spirit" in the life of the believer today!
C was with me only one day last week. I caught a cold and ran a fever over the weekend, so she stayed with someone else on Saturday. By Monday I was feeling much better and getting back to normal activity. Yesterday I realized that much of the housecleaning and sorting that I've been dreading for so long is actually almost done! J came by this morning and complimented me on the house, and that really felt good! C will be here again tomorrow, and then I will have two weeks off. I'm planning to use that time to work on some of my writing projects and the CD.
A couple of weeks ago, my doctor put me on Topamax for mood stabilization and hopefully better control of the migraine/seizure symptoms, whatever they are. I don't suppose we will ever know since I often don't have a headache and there's so much overlap between rare forms of migraine and partial seizures. In any case, Topamax is a medication that is gradually increased until the appropriate dosage is increased. I've reached the target dosage now, and I'm riding out the side effects to see if they will wear off in a few days. Most are not bothersome, but the vocal tremor is. I feel pretty jittery, and my speech makes me sound like I'm about to cry some of the time. Mom said last week that I seemed "hyper." I do notice that I'm quite a bit more animated than I normally am, but I've been a fairly melancholy person for most of my life yet always felt that this wasn't really "me." I never really knew how to explain that to anyone. I just felt trapped inside a lack of energy, a shell of fatigue and depression with occasional short bursts of energy that would then suddenly dissipate, often be replaced by dips into severe depressions with irrational thought patterns and then a return to that general melancholy state. But all the while I felt that somewhere inside was a person who was much more passionate about life than I was able to express.
So I am seeing how life on meds goes. So far I have been more satisfied at the end of the days with how my time has been spent, even when I haven't necessarily felt happy or well. The sadness hasn't been so overwhelming that I've lost my ability to do things. It hasn't taken over all of my physical energy. Along the same line, I've been able to recall my attention a bit more easily without plummeting when someone points out that my thoughts are racing and I'm interrupting them. So I do think that there is some positive regulatory effect, and this has all been at less than the target dosage. Next week we'll see about another review of this effect.