Sunday, December 18, 2011

On being awake

There's a new medicine on the scene.
You know I love adding new medicines to the fold. It just makes life so.... so..... Interesting.

This one has been needed for a while, but I've been afraid of it. It's been on my shelf for about a month, patiently waiting for me. Yesterday I opened it for the first time.
Turns out it delivers what it promised to deliver... alert wakefulness.

Ritalin. Yes, the drug that people, young and old, take for ADHD. It is an "upper", which seems counter-intuitive if it is supposed to help people with attention and hyperactivity problems. Well, I read about it, it is explained simply here:

Ritalin is a prescription drug that is sometimes given to people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). People with ADHD might have difficulty concentrating and might be unable to stay still for any length of time. So if Ritalin is a drug that might improve the concentration and attention-span of people with ADHD, how could it be an upper? It might not seem to make a whole lot of sense.
The chemical balance in the brain of someone with ADHD will be different from someone who does not have ADHD. Research suggests that people with ADHD have low levels of a chemical called dopamine, which can motivate people and increase joy. So in simple terms, Ritalin can help increase the dopamine levels for people with ADHD. If someone has regular levels of dopamine already, then Ritalin will increase those levels even more, and can make someone “high”, or bring them “up”. (taken from here)
Dr. Z gives this to his patients who suffer from sleeping too much as a result of the pain medicines. I decided that, although I believe that sleeping can be healing, too much of it, in my case, is devitalizing. I just wish I knew what constitutes "too much".

I guess I am going to have to play a bit with it and see what feedback my body gives me.
I always have more pain when I don't get enough sleep. That is an unwelcome and counterproductive sort of feedback, but it's there. I'll just try to be smart with it; use it when it seems logical. I'd like to achieve the goal of reclaiming my mornings. I'll start with that.
That would actually be *amazing*.

Looking forward to my hour & a half massage in the morning..... great way to start a new week!
Happy Chanukah!!!!!!!!


  1. Ritalin is also used for people with narcolepsy, so it makes sense that it might work to counteract some of the side effects of the pain meds. It also has a fairly short half life, so hopefully you find a dosing schedule that works to your advantage.

  2. As with children, it's best to start with a very small dose of Ritalin to see whether there are any side effects, and what positive effects -- if any -- it might bring. It wears off quickly, so if it's not to your liking, you haven't lost anything.

  3. wishing you a shavua tov and by taking the right medicine and dosage at the right time, you should start to feel better. chanukah samaech ! rochel.