Drugs & diaries (not together but as separate subjects)(Wednesday, August 5th, 2020)

I’ve got drugs on my mind. In the broadest sense of the term, that is, based on the Oxford English Dictionary definition:

“Originally: any substance, of animal, vegetable, or mineral origin, used as an ingredient in pharmacy, chemistry, dyeing, or various manufacturing processes. In later use: spec. a natural or synthetic substance used in the prevention or treatment of disease, a medicine; (also) a substance that has a physiological effect on a living organism.”

Since last Saturday night when I saw I’d have to make due without my nightly Lunesta (as I hadn’t known my new pharmacy LCS Mail Order Pharmacy

(which I am now boycotting and suggest you might want to as well;  for a little more information you can read the entry where I discuss the pharmacy in a little more detail  

https://seanoconnorpoetry.com/2020/08/02/an-exhale-expressing-gratitude-for-how-blessed-i-am-with-the-privilege-and-luxury-of-a-day-to-relax-sunday-august-2nd-2020/ )

would take some 5 days perhaps to deliver my refill. (I did manage to offer my “two cents” on the phone with them on the notion that they could offer much more necessary information to their customers such as a contact number god forbid a medication does not arrive on time since they are closed on the weekend) *[1]why they close on the weekend, as a pharmacy, I don’t know. I don’t mean to suggest their employees ought to work seven days a week but like a grocery store or many other businesses, why not hire … Continue reading. I was told that in their eight years or so I was the first person to make a comment about this to them but that my concern would be relayed to their policy makers. I said if I was in congress I would try to make the sort of regulation that would penalize them for this as I believe their practice is somewhat a malpractice, negligent, unethical. I was told that they are not a Wallgreens and I said I understood but as a pharmacy that others may depend on their not being Wallgreens was besides the point as far as I was concerned…))

Trazodone is not a controlled substance

As I could not get in touch with my psychiatrist’s office as they were also closed on the weekend (again, I do think in medical situations there should be a bit more than a call answering service to take messages god forbid someone needs medication… I understand that means someone has to work on a weekend day but that does not mean every psychiatrist must but that the practice should simply have someone on call. The doctor who used to treat my insomnia, his office had a number I could call to ensure I had my medication on a weekend day if I needed it so it’s not like utterly abnormal) I decided to consult a doctor online via K Health

https://www.khealth.ai

; this is an online service that gets you in touch with a doctor you can text with who in certain cases can write you a prescription but not sedatives or controlled substances. I figured perhaps a doctor might be able to direct me to a medication I could use in the very short term—Trazodone maybe? – but the doctor didn’t tell me anything about best practices for sleep I didn’t already know.

Moreover, the doctor further disappointed by saying Trazodone is a “controlled substance” that she could thus not prescribe. Fine if she could not prescribe but Trazodone is not a controlled substance. The federal government explicitly says as much online.

https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=71961ab1-951d-1493-f76c-2ff25cca2a85

 I spoke with another doctor on their app (the K Health app) and he granted that Trazodone is not a controlled substance but that K Health doesn’t prescribe it. So, that was $19 down the drain (unless you really have no alternative for a doctor I don’t recommend spending the money on this site/app) not only for information I already know but for a little misinformation as well.

I was going to buy wine and maybe fall asleep that way but then it was suggested to me that I may want to give CBD oil a try.  

(You can read a bit more about that experience and how it made me paranoid here

https://seanoconnorpoetry.com/2020/08/03/too-much-cbd-oil-made-me-awfully-terribly-paranoid-monday-august-3rd-2020/ )

CBD oil reconsidered…

The CBD seemed like a deity’s gift to Earth on Sunday night as I felt relaxed. But I took a lot that night (I don’t know how much which is part of the problem. I woke up a few times and just sort of indiscriminately dropped oil in my mouth without being cognizant of how much was in the dropper each time) and when I get paranoid on Monday in a way I hadn’t felt, I didn’t think, since the last time I consumed marijuana (I think it was in a brownie) so my first guess was that the little bit of THC in the CBD oil may have just been too much for me, which may have had to do with my second thought on the matter—that maybe I’m just an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) who, if not reacting to the little amount of THC is easily squeamish and unnerved by significant changes in bodily sensation.

But yesterday, as the day carried on, I began to feel quite flu like. You know…woozy, head ache, muscle ache, chills, spurts of depression and anxiety, and I had trouble thinking or getting up from my couch. I was mildly incapacitated, it seemed, and felt such malaise that I put on Friends in the background to distract my mind which was growing paranoid that I might have been coming down with the flu or Covid, which then led to a mild panic attack. So I called out of work and lay on the couch. Then it occurred to me that on Monday I hadn’t taken my Effexor or my Welbutrin, and, as it was, my Effexor dosage had just recently been reduced from 150 mg to 75, and I hadn’t been taking my newly prescribed nightly 15 mg dose of Mertazapine as I sometimes get paranoid about taking drugs at night unless alcohol, Lunesta, or Xanax. It them seemed highly likely to me that I was going through a bit of Effexor or Serotonin withdrawal.

I was reminded of the one day I forgot to take my Effexor and how flu-like and highly anxious I was. Driving to and from my Creative Writing course that day was brutal as I feared having some kind of breakdown or utter trip/panic attack on the road.

To find out the best course of action I tried calling my psychiatrist but with the tropical storm power and phonelines were out for awhile. Pining intensely for relief I experimented with the CBD oil and… “knock on wood” but virtually all of my withdrawal symptoms, within a half hour, began to decrease (except for the chills and slight anxiety).

Now, because my Effexor is extended release, I can’t say with high confidence that the CBD was to thank. As it had been half a day since I took the Effexor after going the day without it, it’s possible the Effexor kicked in.

Last night I experimented with just taking the CBD oil and the Mirtazapine for sleep (so no Lunesta) and…again… “knock on wood” but I fell asleep and slept pretty well throughout the night. Thus, whereas by Monday night I was feeling skeptical of the CBD oil, I am now feeling more confident that it may indeed be helpful for anxiety and insomnia and my bad reaction on Monday morning might have even been due to the decreased dosage of Effexor starting to kick in. Either way, whether it was the CBD, the Effexor kicking in, or a mix of both, I felt less physically and mentally disrupted, as if my mental fog was beginning to clear.

So how much CBD oil did I take? About 33.304 mgs for the whole day—most of which was taken between 3 and 7:30. The final 8.326 mgs I took at 9:38pm which had knocked me out by 11 something. So, while I don’t yet know how much I may take to wind down after work versus how much specifically for sleep, if it is the sort of thing that stays consistent (for example, might I develop a tolerance?) I should not need to go over 33.304 mgs in a day. But…. “we shall see.”

These last few days I have not only had drugs and brain chemistry at the forefront of my mind but also a sense of my role as a “consumer” between vetting pharmacies, call services, websites (how they explain, let us say, CBD with more or less objectivity) *[2]a plurality, if not most of the articles on CBD oil that I read seemed utterly biased, as if they were PR spokespeople trying to sell the substance or win the favor of the public at large. Sites I do … Continue reading, coffee, Vegan products (I have gone all Vegan right now except for the occasional bit of honey that is sometimes in a food item), et cetera.   

Culture, self improvement, ethics, aesthetics…

I like how my cultural economics and broader cultural consciousness is growing not just along with but at times even as a result of my efforts towards self improvement (as, for example, with the medications, these go back to reducing anxiety and depression, facilitating better sleep, and thus feeling healthier…) which I view not only as the motif of my ambitions and plans for this diary but which I furthermore view, philosophically, as central to ethics and aesthetics—my ethical principle being, essentially, that in life one ought to strive for thriving, that doing so requires compassion, both for self (thus the need for self improvement) and others (thus both being critical of our role in culture, but also being critical of culture to better understand how we can best serve it). As for my aesthetics, what is more beautiful than the human being doing her or his best to thrive and live “the good life”–?

This is also one more reason why I prefer literature and art over rote philosophical theory (in terms of my own academic, intellectual, artistic projects); art enables us to get a more concrete, visualized, applicable sense of the philosophical (and other dimensions, fields, branches of life studies). This is furthermore why I see, as perhaps, my most foundational creative mentor, Michel de Montaigne, as we get this wonderful mix of philosophy in the theoretical/abstract, and life as it is lived, both in striving for, or refuting certain principles. At least, Montaigne is the foundation of my aesthetics but as for what I’ve actually felt compelled to do—keep this diary–  I have other literary role models—diarists– I’m learning a lot from.

some diarists I’m reading and their interesting takes on nationalism

Since, as of now, I’m not as overwhelmed with the abundance of diarists I find myself feeling the greatest affinities for/with, I’m reading a number of diarists fractally, or, I mean, as opposed to one diarist and their massive diary domes at a time, I read a little from one, and then move on to the next, and tend to have a rotation like this going on.

It really is fascinating to see HOW DIFFERENT each of us is despite the universals which bind us as grows more and more apparent as I read these various diarists. For example, Anais Nin and Witold Gombrowicz… Robert Musil as well—their diaries strike me (keep in mind, they have a lot of material and this fascination of mine is pretty new so my early impressions here of course may change considerably) as having a tone suggesting they viewed their diaries very much as serious projects because they have an elaborateness of depth—less general summary of the day and more contemplativeness of subjects and people. In contrast, Thomas Mann and Virginia Woolf tend to give more-so a picture of the day to day aspects of life. But what keeps Thomas Mann and Virginia  Woolf so interesting is how certain aspects of the day bring about passionate thought and elaboration. For example, Thomas Mann, literary a fellow as he was, was also very political and deeply opinionated and concerned about Germany. (What’s also fascinating about Thomas Mann is how well he truly seemed to understand Germany’s bleak fate towards the end of the first World War, believing that Germany would see darker days. On Saturday, September 28th, 1918, Mann writes about how he spoke with someone

“about the dark future; about the effort Germany must make to modernize, democratize herself, sweeping away the old, romantic, imperial Germany, a task that can only proceed agonizingly and against the grain, meeting extreme resistance because the old Germany is much too deeply and firmly identified, perhaps, with Germanism itself.” [3]See Thomas Mann Diaries 1918-1939 with a selection and foreword by Herman Kesten and translated from German to English by Richard and Clara Winston, published by Harry N. Abrams, Inc., Publishers, … Continue reading

 [4]Interestingly,  Witold Gombrowicz is also, in his diary, concerned with Polish nationalism… most passionately so in fact, as a Pole in Argentina… he complains of Poles who are “basking in … Continue reading

References

1 why they close on the weekend, as a pharmacy, I don’t know. I don’t mean to suggest their employees ought to work seven days a week but like a grocery store or many other businesses, why not hire people to be available on weekends? I have my speculations…such as cheapness and a wish to save as much money as possible, but I don’t have any concrete evidence to suggest how likely that may be the case.
2 a plurality, if not most of the articles on CBD oil that I read seemed utterly biased, as if they were PR spokespeople trying to sell the substance or win the favor of the public at large. Sites I do like on this topic include, but are not limited to: Medical News Today     and Healthline
3 See Thomas Mann Diaries 1918-1939 with a selection and foreword by Herman Kesten and translated from German to English by Richard and Clara Winston, published by Harry N. Abrams, Inc., Publishers, New York, 1982; page 9)

And criticizing a fellow German writer he says “I was tempted to say of it, as a Frenchman would, that it was written ‘like a Boche.’” *((Boche is a term often used as derogatory for Germans, especially between the first two World Wars

4 Interestingly,  Witold Gombrowicz is also, in his diary, concerned with Polish nationalism… most passionately so in fact, as a Pole in Argentina… he complains of Poles who are “basking in their own culture” and by doing so “baring their primitiveness” and that he would appreciate of Polish writers “if your words could encompass the horizon of not some poor backwater, but the world” and a little later he tells of how on an occasion he “began to speak as one who attaches no great importance to the attainments of the [Polish] nation, whose past is worth a great deal less than its future, a nation for whom the highest law is the present, the law of maximum spiritual freedom at a given moment.”—see the book Witold Gombrowicz Diary published by Yale University Press, on January 19th, 2012, translated by Lillian Vallee, pp 19-21–; —both men, in their diaries, though a few decades a part, write about the distaste, in the diaries, about disliking nationalism, utterly fascinating

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