Saturday, February 13, 2016

Better Living Through Chemistry

I got my neuropsychological testing results back a couple weeks ago. There were a lot of surprises but all of them were good! The test said that I have superior verbal IQ, my memory, and attention span are above average, and I have only two stroke related deficits. I have difficulty with visual integration that is a result of organic brain damage. Which means I should have trouble with directions and diagrams. Also, increased emotionality is due to my stroke. So, I have an official report telling me that I am smart! Man, all those years worrying and feeling damaged were such a waste. I showed Super Boss the report proudly with a huge smile. I am keeping a copy in my desk drawer in case I need a reminder on a bad day at work.

I went back on anti-depressants last Friday. I have been unmedicated since July and feeling the full range of human emotions for months was good but man the energy managing them is incredibly tiring! The sleep difficulties were hobbling too.  I'm still seeing a therapist regularly and I hope medication will round out some edges to help with coping. I went on an SSRI - a good mainstay. I knew it was time to seek extra help when I started joking about being hit by a bus at work saying, "God, willing, I have 15 sick days." That got a big concerned reaction from Baby Analyst and then I realized I had slipped back into my depressive fantasy of being in a hospital. You know that hospital right? The one where you are away from bills, obligations, and stress. Yeah, I know no hospitals like that in the real world. I know spas like that! Since I have more experience with hospitals than spas, that is where my mind goes.  Not good.

As part of me taking better care of myself, I have two vacation days approved this month.  I took the first one this Friday and the second is the 29th.  I am also taking a class Friday nights in Cambridge about Broadway musicals.  It's a small group that sings selections from various musicals and we discuss the history and meaning.  It has been so much fun!  I really like the instructor. I showed up so early for the first class, we wound up having a pretty extensive discussion about musicals.  Man, I thought I knew stuff about musical theater, but talking to him I wound up having to nod and say, "Hmmm..." while making a mental note to do some research when I got back home.  Like Hamilton?  I had no idea about it.

Prince Analyst has been MIA for most of the past month for two reasons.  His father is in the ICU and he had booked vacation time he never told us about before he was hired.  So, he is being forced to take the time unpaid and any unauthorized absences would get him disciplined.  Guess what?  He's being disciplined now.  In theory, our group is all staffed up except for the senior analyst position.  But in reality, we have a body and name attached to the analyst job but not someone who does work.  It has been a minor annoyance until this past week.

The analysts got a huge legal deadline dropped on our laps and the snow day Monday made things a lot tighter.  We had to clean up the system data before we could even tackle the deliverable for this deadline.  This is system data that had not been fixed for over five years.  It was a two person job so Tuesday Super Boss and I tackled the first round.  The plan was that Prince Analyst would help me Wednesday to finish up.  Guess who called in sick Wednesday?  Prince Analyst. Guess who worked until 10:00 PM Wednesday to finish the data clean up?  Me and Super Boss.  It wasn't completely horrible.  There were flashes of fun and very dumb jokes.  Most of the work was reading off several codes and checking multiple places in our system for a match.  We played with how we read the codes, noted good number patterns, read out loud in different languages or goofy voices.  Super Boss killed me with laughter with a really odd voice and look. I had to beg through tears of laughter for him to stop.  After a 14 hour work day, the system has the cleanest data it has had in years. I didn't leave Wednesday night until we ran a query to see how short the problem list had become.  Super Boss said it's a historical fix.  On top of that awesomeness, he insisted I get a comp day for the overtime.  I asked him, "Do you get a comp month?" The guy deserves it!

I'm going to need this next week

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