This post is not about alien abduction or mind-controlling slugs out to conquer the Earth (Sorry, you X-files peeps). Still, this seriously scary stuff for me as a control freak who’s never been good at sitting still for over 5 minutes…
Imagine the worst hangover ever. The world spins around you and everything blurs into kaleidoscope-like shapes. An army of dwarves jump around inside your skull, pounding your brain with their hammers, laughing at your pitiful state. Waves of nausea run through you. You even want to vomit, just in the hope that it will make you feel better. No, it won’t. You simply suffer. A flying carpet is familiar to most people, but have you ever heard of a flying sofa? That’s the thing you’re sprawled on, holding your head with your eyes closed.
Sounds awful, right? Luckily hangovers don’t usually last more than a day. Only, that rule doesn’t apply if you’re living in AI-land. Here, this can be a normal state of being, lasting anywhere from only a couple of anguished hours to days, weeks, months or even years of pure hell. And there’s not much you can do about it.
When hung over, people don’t usually go to the gym. Or maybe they do, if they happen to belong to some weirdo religious cult that’s into self-mutilation and torture. If they can, they also skip work (ever called you boss you’ve got the “bug”?). What do you do when more than half your days resemble hangover-hell? Pray for a miracle and whip yourself a bit more today while you’re at it?
When I studied medicine, the textbooks said (and still, sadly, do) that once you get diagnosed with adrenal insufficiency and start your corticosteroid replacement therapy, your symptoms will disappear and you can and will live a normal, happy life as a contributing member of society. Yeah, right. And pigs fly. If you give them a good kick. Let me tell you a little insider secret: that’s bullshit. You can try to mimic your body’s intricate endocrine system, a product of millions of years’ evolution, but that’s about it. Try. Cortisol secretion is highly regulated by various hormonal and neural feedback loops, the circadian rhythm, overall hormonal balance and combination of physical and psychological stressors. Thinking that swallowing a pill 2-5 times a day will be as efficient is kind of arrogant, isn’t it? And who said we doctors don’t have a God complex?
I try to treat my body with respect. Sleep enough. Eat healthily – but not too healthily- this girl has got a serious sweet tooth with need of regular sacrifices! Restrict the amount of work I do. Relax and de-stress – well, I’m still working on that one. Still, there are days I simply cannot estimate my body’s needs for cortisone. I take too little, or too much. Or maybe I’m taking just the right amount but there’s something else going on that makes me feel so damn horrible. Maybe it’s all in my head (victory point for the shrink!).
Every day is a new learning experience. As I really am not mentally advanced enough to transcend into a higher level of being consisting of pure energy anytime soon, I guess I’ll have to try and cope with this weird and often uncooperative body of mine and make peace with it. Today I’m trying the well-tested method of eating some ice cream and reading more scifi.
Happy Saturday for you all 🙂 ! How will YOU make peace with your body this weekend?