Ask me how I’m doing at your own risk. I usually try to give people the chance to rescind by asking “do you want to know, or are you just being polite?” Uncomfortable and realizing the hypocrisy of the socially demanded question, people usually tell me that they really want to know. For those that know me personally, it’s pretty common knowledge that I’ve never learned to shut up or filter myself. The result is usually wide eyes and open mouths as I tell the truth.
Aside from dry mouth, I have been blessedly free of side effects on my current pain medication. For this reason my doctor has kept me on this drug rather than risk one that, while potentially more effective, may have significant impact on my life. Regardless, I’ve begun to notice a new impact, particularly in the higher dose I’m now (the highest safely allowed for long term use): any filter I may have had, (which, as we’ve established, was weak) is totally gone. It’s almost like having Terrets’s: any word that comes to mind, comes to mouth.
Last night after Julie asked Nathaniel to give me hugs before he needed to get in bed, he walked grumpily toward me and grumbled “sit” under his breath. Bruce was not around (I discovered later that he had been inadvertently left out and was, at the moment, curled up under the hedge trying to keep warm and dry: I’m a terrible owner), and I was already sitting, so we weren’t sure to whom he was speaking. Basic questioning made it clear that he was, in fact, saying something else. Apparently my lack of filter has taught my 3 year old the finer aspects of expletive use. Shamed, emberassed, and amused I hugged him goodnight.
Further, I’ve found that my emotions are always at the surface with the this medication. This is fabulous when I’m feeling happy, as I tend toward school-girl giggliness. If I’m feeling even remotely grumpy, I fly off the handle at the lightest provocation. And even the smallest melancholy brings me to tears. As you can imagine, this is simultaneously amusing and exhausting for my family, not to mention shocking for those who don’t know me.
This morning I was listening to the fabulous Peter Hollens while on the way to the gym. As I silently wept to Into the West, I wondered what the daycare employees were thinking, and I tried not to notice the tough guys I passed on the way to the locker room.
I haven’t learned how to address this seeming phycosis with those close enough to understand and merit an explanation, not to mention those who aren’t and don’t. Oh well, the weepy, bearded guy guy at the gym gets in the water where frequent dips cover the tears. Hiding my annoyance at the sloppy, splashing swimmers is a bit more difficult.
Ultimately, I find myself with the need to mentally delete some of my extensive vocabulary of expletives. It already includes a large variety of “dad” words (boogers and bugger start the ‘b’s) but also include the less appropriate “not dad words,” (there’s some ‘b’ words on that list too). My medicinally agrivated lack of filter means that if they’re on the list, they will be said.
Heaven help the poor soul who asks how I’m doing on a day involving digestive problems.