Thursday, November 30, 2006

Beam Me Up

The light box thing came. It’s pretty funky. I got the desk lamp version, partly because it was listed on the sheet my doctor gave me and partly because I thought I might be able to pass it off as, you know, a desk lamp.

Not a chance. This thing looks like it was left behind after an alien visitation. Everyone who’s stopped by my office has skidded to a stop and said, “WHAT is THAT???!!”

Though when I confess it’s a light box, they all say, “Ooooohhhh ... I want one!” So I guess there are more dorks out there than I suspected.

I’ve only had it for two days, which is a little early to expect results. It definitely feels different than a regular lamp. It doesn’t seem all that bright—until you switch it off, at which point the room seems to have been dunked in essence of gloom. So after spending the recommended half hour with it beaming on my face like a Gro-Light on a happy pot plant, I move it way over to the corner of my desk and point it down. I don’t know if this will cause a mania-inducing overdose, but a little hypomania wouldn’t be such a bad thing. This has been a really tough month. I don’t feel depressed, exactly; no hopelessness/helplessness/inability to imagine a better future, etc. I just feel melancholy. And yes, that’s normal, but it’s no fun, and it’s affecting other people. I’m avoiding posting, because I can only think of gloomy topics. I’m like a sullen, disaffected teenager. I seem to see only the sad facets of every situation. For instance, one of my students has a deformed thumb. So what, right? It obviously hasn’t harmed her success in the world thus far. But every time I see her, I find myself mesmerized by it, hardly able to focus on anything else. I’m afraid to comment on others’ blogs, for fear of focusing on the deformed thumb.*

Before I sign off, I do have one piece of happy news. One of my colleagues has been going through infertility treatment for a looong time (during which five different women in the office got pregnant, two in an “oops” manner). She underwent multiple interventions, including seven IVFs. Then she thought that she must be going into early menopause, because she hadn’t had her period in a while. You know where this is going … she’s fifteen weeks pregnant now. So how’d it happen? Did she “just relax”? Nope. She and her husband had a fight, followed by makeup sex, and ta-da! Her RE was like, “You got pregnant by having sex? Eww!” So now I have an irritating story to tell people who are trying. “Just have a fight with your partner! You’ll be pregnant in no time! I know this person …”

*Not to imply that anyone else has deformed thumbs, or deformed blogs.

24 comments:

E. said...

I love the image of you under your lamp like a happy pot plant.

Hey, as far as I'm concerned, you are welcomed to blog about gloomy topics and their sad facets. Anyway, sometimes getting the gloomy stuff on paper (on screen?) makes the gloom lift a bit.

The MSILF said...

I got me a fluorescent today, inspired by you. I might need to add a second one to get the same effect as one of the boxes. Let me know how it works out.

thumbscre.ws said...

See, I read that as "The Sade Lite". Which I guess would be a lamp which occasionally zaps you with electricity, or slices your finger on its housing. Damn, I would totally send THAT light back.

Larki said...

I'm sorry you're feeling melancholy. As you said, it's just a miserable way to feel. I hope the grow-light (that's the way I keep picturing it) makes you flourish like the healthiest and most optimistic of..hm...marajuana plants, I guess.

Rebekka said...

I don't think just a fluorescent can be used as a substitute - from what I understand, the special lights have extra red and blue spectrum added to make the light they produce closer to natural daylight.

gabbiana said...

My mom loooooves to remind me that I'm the accidental product of makeup sex, so I'm totally behind your theory.

I hope the light box pulls you out of your slump. Meanwhile I'm digging the marijuana analogy (and speaking of things that might pull you out of a slump...).

Cassie said...

Every morning, my alarm goes off and I start the daily irrational half-sleep. Part of this ritual, beyond thinking certain words, is turning toward the window. Back when there was light in the morning, I noticed that if it was rainy, I couldn't drag myself out of bed. Now that it's always dark, it doesn't help much-- but the sun's up by the time I'm awake.

Sometimes I like the reminder that I am made of biology instead of robot. Sometimes, if it's dark and the wake-up cue just isn't happening, it's a pain.

Orange said...

Please feel free to stare at my deformed psyche. It's much less appalling than the apparently stress-induced outbreak of goddamned whiteheads on my visage.

luolin said...

I had that same model (or the 1990s version of it). It is way too ugly, and not in a funky way, to pass off as a normal lamp, but mine was at home. At one point, I had it on a timer to turn on right before my alarm went off and help me get out of bed.

Leggy said...

Well even if you feel gloomy, you sound funny as you write about your gloominess. I hope the lamp helps- I may need to invest in one myself.

whippersnapper snapping snapped said...

I read somewhere that in northern Norway, BY LAW, the building codes state that every room must have a certain number of light fixtures. It is just accepted as fact there that with the dying of the light each autumn, people's moods fall and need some artificial uplifting.

Enjoy your lamp. I love your blog. Take care!

Kim said...

I've missed you. Glad your light came. Hope you see near-immediate results. Don't stay away on my account.
I'm not pg after make-up sex, but after 3 miscarriages at 7-8 weeks - it's pretty thrilling to be almost 11 weeks along!

Anonymous said...

just so you know...there are a couple of pediatric residents out here who survive on your perspective. Sometimes pregnancy difficulties are even more paramount here, where over the past week we have had FIVE babies admitted for child abuse (and I can think of at least three pedi residents trying to get pregnant...will pass along the info on make-up sex.) As for focusing on the melancholy, I say go ahead...sometimes its important to be a little selfish (haven't been able to talk to my fiance in 24 hrs, which really isn't as big a deal as having trouble getting pg or being admitted to the hospital as a child, but I just can't get it in the right prespective...) Hang in there! (heard the light does wonders:))

Karen said...

Wow. that's some conception story. :)

Anonymous said...

I'd like a sunshine desk lamp too.

I also am one of your running maggots and sure could use a pep talk about running with the holidays and finals and dinners out on OMG there is too much to do ...

Thanks?

Kat said...

So yesterday I had a complete and total breakdown (spawned by the fact that I couldn't make cookies 'cuz we were out of eggs), and decided that I needed fresh air and exercise. So I strapped on my new shoes (unused, waiting for me to decide to start running) and jogged at the pace of an arthritic sloth for almost 30 minutes. I'm pretty sure it's the first time in my life I've run a mile without stopping, and I actually managed 1.6 miles!

Then I took my grow-light and napped under it for 4 hours, 'cuz let's face it, I was still cranky.

Thanks for making me one of your maggots! (Also, vet school finals are coming up - ugh)

Dr. Wannabe said...

I tagged you. Sorry...

Dr. Nostrum said...

Dr. Mama,
I can relate in so many ways. Besides the fact that we get 6 hours of light up here in Edinburgh, I got so burned out by medicine, I left-twice.
http://travelingmedicineshow.wordpress.com/
See what you see, Dr. Nostrum

Amy said...

I'm still waiting to hear about your study methods! You could blog about that. That's not a melancholy subject!

Sadly I am only able to get out jogging 1-2 times a week, but I am still doing it!!!

Midwife with a Knife said...

I think my blog has deformed thumbs. ;)

LL said...

Did I do something wrong??? Every time I try to comment, it acts like it accepts it, but then nothing shows up. And here I am, commenting about the fact, which is sort of asinine, eh wot?

Kal said...

You should sit with your feet in compost. You know, just to comploete the image :)

Kim said...

Come back, Dr. Mama, I miss you! Hope you are ok and the lamp is making a difference for you.

Liza said...

I just bought myself one of those lights. I haven't been diagnosed with SAD, and I don't even think I have it, but between my autoimmune illness being in flare-up state right now and one of my kids being acutely as well as chronically ill at the moment (and the other two also having chronic special needs) I just feel like I can use all the help I can get, y'know? I shine it on me while I do the dishes, which takes about thirty minutes, after breakfast.

The funny part, though, is that my two betta fish, which I bought for my children (who couldn't have cared less), and have survived all manner of haphazard full water changes and even in the case of the male once falling into the sink and down the disposal (freshly cleaned and off), and being pulled out and put back in the bowl, as well as routine neglect and starvation, finally died the day I first installed it over my desk where they lived. Originally I had it there but I was primarily at my desk at night and didn't want to hype myself up before bed, so I moved it to the kitchen. Anyway I told a friend of mine who is an MSW that I think they (the fish) died of the rapture, and just couldn't take the burning light of happiness; it pushed them over the edge and they died, like Mrs. Mallard, of "an excess of joy." Heh.