Saturday, February 12, 2011

Why did God Do That to Me?

This post isn't - by far - the most tightly-organized on in this blog.

Writing it, I let my attention wander, doing minimal editing apart from adding headings by way of signposts along the path I took. There's a reason for that, which I may get back to: in yet another post.

Why this prologue? I figured you might appreciate a sort of 'heads up' about what to expect. Or a warning. I'll leave it up to you, to decide which it is.

I've sometimes wondered 'why did God do this to me?' (June 8, 2009) From what I've gathered about other folks, that's hardly a unique experience. Not even, most likely, a very rare one.

Oh, No! An Old Coot Rambling About His Symptoms

This is going somewhere, so please stick around. Or skip down to this post's next heading. Or take a break from the computer: It's up to you.

Where was I? 'Why did God do this to me.' Right.

For example, I was born with congenital hip dysplasia. A five-dollar word meaning that my hips didn't form properly. Between that, being born in 1951, and a medical experiment my parents didn't know about - but I've been over that before. (February 3, 2009) A few years ago I had both hip joints swapped out - along with some other long-overdue under-the-hood work. 2006 was a busy year. And that's another topic. (Through One Dad's Eye (June 3, 2007))

Not long after that, I was diagnosed as having major depression. Which explained quite a bit. Medication helped sort out my brain chemistry - then we discovered that I was ADD. Make that ADHD-inattentive. Next year the psychiatrists may have another term for that sort of thing. Another diagnosis: more medications.

Possible Side Effects Include - - -

Yesterday, after talking with the psychiatrist who's been working with me to fine-tune my brain's circuits, I made another slight adjustment in how much methylin/methylphenidate I take. It's a sort of generic form of Ritalin - and quite effective, in my case.

Still, anything that has "psychotic symptoms" listed as a possible side effect gets my attention.

- - - Sudden Death?!

I trust doctors. I also do a little research into the magic elixirs they prescribe before committing to a new medication. Following in my father's footsteps, in a way. After what amounted to a bad trip with a 'safe' prescription, he invested in a pharmaceutical 'whatsit' volume. Thick book, fine print. I do pretty much the same thing, except now there's the Internet. Yet another topic.

"Mild Central Nervous System Stimulant" - and "Psychotic Symptoms"

"Methylin is a mild central nervous system stimulant," according to the FDA. That outfit also says to look out for side effects like "nervousness and insomnia," "aggressive behavior or hostility," "psychotic symptoms," "hallucinations, delirium," and "sudden death."

I gave my wife the heads-up on what to look for before my first dose. Which was something of an anticlimax.

My experience with the stuff has been comparatively tame.

Apart from not having to 'fight the machinery' in terms of thinking. I haven't had this sort of clear-headedness since before my teens. Maybe ever. It's like having been driving a car without power brakes or steering, and with a sputtering motor - and then driving the same car with power everything, after a thorough tuneup. Same car - only now it works the way it's supposed to.

"I'm Not as Crazy as You Think I Moose"

I've seen that slogan - "I'm not as crazy as you think I moose" - on a button. It's silly, funny: and a pretty good example of the sort of thing I'm apt to say.

Off-the-50th-percentile thinking runs in the family. (example: Drifting at the Edge of Time and Space (November 12, 2010)) Can't say I'd recommend having my brain chemistry - but the package as a whole has its advantages.

Happily, the Catholic Church teaches that we're supposed to be ourselves - the way God wants us to be. I mentioned diversity, Catholic style, in the last post before this, and have been over the topic before. (August 26, 2010) Just as well, since I don't do conformity. Not very well, anyway.

Dishwater: Fascinating Stuff!

Quite a few folks around my age probably say they want to 'be themselves.'

It's a historical thing, partly. I was born in 1951, when the 'Man in the Gray Flannel Suit' conformity craze had some of the 'older generation' setting folks my age up to make Timothy Leary and Woodstock seem to make sense. By the time I was in my teens, quite a few of my contemporaries were defying conformity. By letting their hair grow out, and wearing jeans.

I wore white socks throughout high school - it was (just) inside the dress code. I'd probably have stood out from the crowd, anyway. Or been stood away from. I have yet to figure out which way that works.

Where was I again? Conformity. I don't have anything against folks whose dream is to be an accountant or a bank clerk. Or a lumberjack, or astronaut, or dental hygienist. If we were all alike, most of us would be redundant. And, probably, dead. Just getting things done seems to require different folks being more-or-less competent at different things. Yet again another topic. Topics.

I'm certainly not going to say that folks who are 'conventional' are dull as dishwater, which is a calumnym on dishwater. The stuff's fascinating. Many the time's I've watched flotillas of bubbles evolve, marveled at visible consequence of molecular interactions between water, grease, and detergent - and those are several other topics.

Eugenics: Eww!

That's partly because I think eugenics is a bad idea. A really bad idea. Good grief: another topic. (May 21, 2010) Criticizing folks who aren't 'colorful,' I mean: not dishwater. Even if the Church didn't have something to say about it (Catechism, 2268), and Western civilization was only now forgetting about Hitler's efforts to clean Europe's gene pool, I'd probably not approve of removing 'inferior' persons from the human race.

Mostly because I've been aware since my late pre-teens that I'd be culled soon after the first sweep. Which gets me back to 'why did God do that to me?'

Born a Cripple, Afflicted With Mental Disease: IT'S NOT FAIR!!!!!!!!

"Fair?" I've read Job. I don't expect to understand what God does. And certainly not why the Omniscient, Omnipotent Lord of Hosts does what he does. And I'm not about to demand an explanation. That kind of trouble I don't need.

That doesn't keep me from being curious.

I was born with bad hips - and God allowed (at least) a doctor to use me as a sort of lab rat. Without my parent's knowledge or consent. (February 3, 2009) Decades of pain later, I'm walking around reasonably well - but it hurt, in several senses of the word.

God also blessed me with a brain that operates at somewhere between the 95th percentile and off-the-chart. Except for being able to concentrate, or hold onto data for short-term operations.

There are a few folks in the state of Minnesota who'd make worse accountants than I would - but not many.

That's not speculation, by the way: being tested recently, I did the verbal-intelligence test perfectly, and barely scored in what used to be called "clerical speed and accuracy."

No bragging, or complaining - that's just the equipment I was conceived with.

What's bothered me is - why would God decide to give me a body that pretty much guaranteed that swimming and parallel bars would be the only athletic activities I was competent at; with a brain that's crazy-powerful in some ways. And just plain crazy in others.

My wife's suggested that I was born a cripple so that I'd have opportunities to learn humility. She's got a point. If I had been a star athlete as well as an intellectual whiz kid: I might have been even more insufferable than I've been at times.

About the extreme peaks and valleys in my psychological and intelligence tests? This is sheer speculation: but I've suspected that maybe I got the smarts, to give me a fighting chance for dealing with the deficits; or maybe those neural speed bumps were put there to keep me humble?

I - really - don't - know.

And that's okay. I don't need to. Uncertainty, and dealing with it, is part of life-as-it-is here on firebase Earth. And I've posted about that earlier today. And on April 5, 2009.

Sort-of-related posts:


David Torkington said...

Stay strong Brian..

Brian H. Gill said...

Thank you, David Torkington. (And sorry about the delay in response.)

Like it? Pin it, Plus it, - - -

Pinterest: My Stuff, and More


Unique, innovative candles

Visit us online:
Spiral Light CandleFind a Retailer
Spiral Light Candle Store

Popular Posts

Label Cloud

1277 abortion ADD ADHD-Inattentive Adoration Chapel Advent Afghanistan Africa America Amoris Laetitia angels animals annulment Annunciation anti-catholicism Antichrist apocalyptic ideas apparitions archaeology architecture Arianism art Asperger syndrome assumptions asteroid astronomy Australia authority balance and moderation baptism being Catholic beliefs bias Bible Bible and Catechism bioethics biology blogs brain Brazil business Canada capital punishment Caritas in Veritate Catechism Catholic Church Catholic counter-culture Catholicism change happens charisms charity Chile China Christianity Christmas citizenship climate change climatology cloning comets common good common sense Communion community compassion confirmation conscience conversion Corpus Christi cosmology creation credibility crime crucifix Crucifixion Cuba culture dance dark night of the soul death depression designer babies despair detachment devotion discipline disease diversity divination Divine Mercy divorce Docetism domestic church dualism duty Easter economics education elections emotions England entertainment environmental issues Epiphany Establishment Clause ethics ethnicity Eucharist eugenics Europe evangelizing evolution exobiology exoplanets exorcism extremophiles faith faith and works family Father's Day Faust Faustus fear of the Lord fiction Final Judgment First Amendment forgiveness Fortnight For Freedom free will freedom fun genetics genocide geoengineering geology getting a grip global Gnosticism God God's will good judgment government gratitude great commission guest post guilt Haiti Halloween happiness hate health Heaven Hell HHS hierarchy history holidays Holy Family Holy See Holy Spirit holy water home schooling hope humility humor hypocrisy idolatry image of God images Immaculate Conception immigrants in the news Incarnation Independence Day India information technology Internet Iraq Ireland Israel Italy Japan Jesus John Paul II joy just war justice Kansas Kenya Knights of Columbus knowledge Korea language Last Judgment last things law learning Lent Lenten Chaplet life issues love magi magic Magisterium Manichaeism marriage martyrs Mary Mass materialism media medicine meditation Memorial Day mercy meteor meteorology Mexico Minnesota miracles Missouri moderation modesty Monophysitism Mother Teresa of Calcutta Mother's Day movies music Muslims myth natural law neighbor Nestorianism New Year's Eve New Zealand news Nietzsche obedience Oceania organization original sin paleontology parish Parousia penance penitence Pentecost Philippines physical disability physics pilgrimage politics Pope Pope in Germany 2011 population growth positive law poverty prayer predestination presumption pride priests prophets prostitution Providence Purgatory purpose quantum entanglement quotes reason redemption reflections relics religion religious freedom repentance Resurrection robots Roman Missal Third Edition rosaries rules sacramentals Sacraments Saints salvation schools science secondary causes SETI sex shrines sin slavery social justice solar planets soul South Sudan space aliens space exploration Spain spirituality stem cell research stereotypes stewardship stories storm Sudan suicide Sunday obligation superstition symbols technology temptation terraforming the establishment the human condition tolerance Tradition traffic Transfiguration Transubstantiation travel Trinity trust truth uncertainty United Kingdom universal destination of goods vacation Vatican Vatican II veneration vengeance Veterans Day videos virtue vlog vocations voting war warp drive theory wealth weather wisdom within reason work worship writing

Marian Apparition: Champion, Wisconsin

Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.