Saturday, October 2, 2010
The news keeps getting better. I had a "numbers check" with my endocrinologist yesterday. The craziness of finding a balance for all my hormone levels is sorting itself out. Endocrinology is a tricky subject within medicine because you can't micromanage too much. The body responds slowly to hormone replacement therapies and if you increase or decrease dosages too quickly you can make a mess of yourself in no time.
My testosterone, once scoring a measly single-digit seven (when normal is 300 to 800) now registers off the charts at 1130, an increase of over fifteen thousand percent from my initial recovery period. Burning within my soul now is a secret desire to crush things. Soda cans, tree branches, small farm animals. I must learn self-control once again.
My return to full-time work also has gone more smoothly than I had anticipated. Coming home from our summer of seclusion in the quiet woods, I was worried about how the workload would affect me. I had turned resting and healing into an art form and it concerned me that I might be run into the ground after the first week, the summer behind me a complete waste. But it looks like our plan worked. Whatever healing or reordering inside my head that had to take place seems to have settled in. I feel stronger now, and also for the first time I get those much-needed second winds when I play a three-hour rehearsal or concert. Before, it always felt like starting at the top of a hill and then rolling straight into a ditch by the middle of the concert. No energy in reserve to get me to the finish line. But now I feel fine with that.
I have had a few, fleeting moments where the "auditory aura" phenomenon has hinted at coming back. A few seconds here or there, happening every few days. But this is nothing close to the half-hour-long episodes I experienced previously. I don't know why they started or why they went away. My best guess is that my surroundings in Grand Rapids are filled with more audio cues to keep my brain tuned in to the here and now. Cars whizzing by, phones ringing, or a regular work schedule are all "cues" that segue your thoughts from one point to the next. Nestled deep in the woods, on the other hand, things feel more open-ended and there are not as many audio cues to encourage your thoughts to follow a straight line. It is wonderful for creativity and composition because there are no interruptions to dilute your imagination. But the quiet and solitude of the woods also allows for something as complicated as an auditory aura to bloom fully.