Friday, October 27, 2006

Mood Watch - 26

It’s been over two weeks since my last post, and my situation continues to be much as I reported it then: sleeping more than usual and having trouble waking up. To that I would add that my energy level and what might be called my mental coordination are much less than usual. The phrase “mental coordination” is something I picked up several years ago from a psychiatrist after hearing me describe the way in which bipolar disorder generally affects me. It seemed to him that I often had mild depressive episodes whose main impact was to reduce my ability to think as quickly and creatively as I can when I’m feeling more myself.

That’s pretty much how it’s been for the past three weeks. I can’t seem to get much done. When called upon to give a lecture, manage a meeting, etc., I function okay — in fact I would say few people can tell any difference. But whereas usually such experiences are energizing, I walk away from them feeling anything but.

The principal good news is twofold. First, aside from the symptoms I’ve described I don’t feel actively miserable. Second, I had a physical exam recently in which I checked out surprisingly well. I say “surprisingly” because I am within a few weeks of my mother’s age at the time of her death, and seven years older than my father at the time of his first heart attack (by the time he was my age he’d had a quadruple bypass).

I’ll be curious to see if I’ve rounded the corner just yet. Several times now I have felt as if my energy level were returning to normal, only to find myself mistaken. I think I’m starting to improve again, but have no way of knowing until it happens.

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