skeleton thinkerI was stumped by yet another medical mystery.

A prescription drug that helps me immensely also makes me tired. I have trouble waking up. I feel fairly alert in the morning, but I ache to nap all afternoon. And forget the evening—I’m ready for bed immediately after dinner.

My doctor has been helping me experiment with different remedies for this problem. Now, granted, I can still function. The problem isn’t severe. In the past, I have been on medications that made me significantly groggier. Still, if I can maneuver myself into a life situation in which I feel more alert more often, I will happily take it.

The trouble, however, is that doctors and scientists, even in this advanced age of medicine and technology, don’t really know how the brain works. And they don’t really know what happens when different chemicals are introduced to it. We know a whole heck of a lot! Sadly, though, that whole heck of a lot amounts to a patchy understanding of what’s going on up there. The brain is just too complex and intricate and multivariate and changeful.

As Gary Greenberg writes in his article “Psychiatry’s Incurable Hubris,” in the most recent issue of the Atlantic, “Psychiatrists . . . cannot precisely predict for whom and under what conditions their treatments will work.”

Sigh. That explains why my doctor is forced to help me experiment. Since different people react differently to any given drug, it’s not possible to know beforehand what will work for each patient.

Thus my doctor, thinking we might make a change and see how I felt, prescribed me a new medication.

I felt different right away. Within a few hours, I felt like I was floating on a cloud. A very nice cloud. The niceness of the cloud intensified over the next few days. It became softer and fluffier and cozier . . . and I felt like sleeping. All day long. Zzzz. . . .

In the meantime, I made a profound discovery about this medication. Listen up, literary friends, because this is crucial! This is key! This is vital! My new medication . . . gave me writer’s block!!!!

I could no longer write blog posts! With sufficient amounts of caffeine and junk food, I was able to edit and proofread, but write a paragraph? Nope! (Needless to say, since you are reading this post, I went off that drug pronto.)

Why is this significant? Well, listen to this fine theory of mine. If this drug energizes some people—not me, obviously!—then might it not also cure any writer’s block those people might be experiencing?*

I humbly invite the reps of said drug company to call me ASAP, so we can discuss my payment for this lucrative marketing idea.


 

*In case it isn't sufficiently clear, this is a joke. Do not try this at home, or at work, or on a sailboat, or at an amusement park, or in an airplane, or anyplace else you might find yourself. Please also refer to the footnote in my original Medical Mysteries post.

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