Monthly Archives: September 2018

It’s déjà vu all over again (with apologies to Yogi Berra)

Dr. Cream (Jones): Ah, come in, now what seems to be the matter?
TV host (Palin): I have this terrible feeling of déjà vu, I…
(Scene repeats ad nauseam)
Monty Python’s Flying Circus (“It’s the Mind” sketch from S2E03)

I’ve probably said it before, but I really need to write more often in this blog, don’t I?  Well, naturally I’ll start with my current medical situation: I’m gradually increasing my half-days at work to full days in (and have even been offered extra work on Sunday, which will be paid double-time!), but I should add that I still get a certain amount of dizzy spells, albeit nowhere near as bad as they were before my brain surgery operation in May.

For example, they seem to be most common on Mondays (and perhaps at the weekend), which suggests I’m eating too much chocolate (no, really?!), and that alcohol interferes with my medication (which is itself thus still necessary, at least for now).  They also often involve a significant (but not exactly “terrible”) feeling of déjà vu — for example, this weekend when “drummer-trucker” (our old housemate, and definitely back to being a buddy these days) was visiting “best mate”, and they were cooking in the kitchen and listening to music, I found myself wondering if the exact noises where what I’d heard in my head before, and that my old attacks of “mind static” were somehow predicting the future…

But don’t worry, I suspect it’s part of the healing process — as my brain repairs itself following the surgery, and my nervous system at the surgery site restores itself (known to cause pain as this happens).  The Wikipedia article on my apparent condition, temporal lobe epilepsy, implies that I could start forgetting words — but that only started happening after the surgery, and is something I’ve been recovering from since then (words on the tip of my tongue sounding familiar as soon as I recall them, and not being somehow new to me).  It’s almost as though my brain is in the process of reorganising my verbal library, and this is supported by the fact that I never seem to lose the ability to understand the English language, as happened too often in 2017 during the build-up.

It might just be the stress of returning to work (and thus getting up in time to leave the house at 8am, hence I won’t spend too long on this post before I go to bed), and of course the noise of (a) the London Underground, (b) the office, (c) Gwar through my headphones, and (d) actually talking to actual people a lot of the time (which has been capable of bringing on a sense of unreality since even before the major problems in December 2016), that builds up towards my dizzy spells, but I’m confident I can get used to it again, and recover once and for all (well, at least for 5-to-10 years)… as long as I continue taking my pills for now.

However, one of my female housemates says she’s getting similar symptoms nowadays (hence why she leaves the house to go for a walk every night) — and so she wonders if it’s actually something being inflicted upon us by Big Pharma, so that we have to buy their products to reduce the symptoms!  That, of course, would suggest that I was lucky to have my brain tumour found, as without those symptoms caused by something completely different (sorry, am I piling in too many Monty Python references?), I wouldn’t have seen the quacks and had the MRI scan that found it, and never suspected I had any brain issues (other than wackiness).

But never mind the conspiracy theories — I can report having symptoms potentially as early as 2010 (since I recall feeling déjà vu and quasi-memories very rarely while working at Camden, at a much lesser intensity than in 2015).  I also had a certain kind of visual aura (an expanding fuzzy patch, over the left eye) one night in late 2012 — and, before that, one morning in or near 1993, on the bus to school in Worthing!  I’ve also seen momentary patterns of light when getting stressed, as early as 2008 (such as when about to set off to work from our flat on Caledonian Road), and something described as a “firefly aura” now and then, perhaps as early as when I was ten and in a PE lesson (I thought I was seeing meteors on an overcast day)… hmm, have I said any of this to you guys before?

Well, a lot of stuff in my life seems to repeat itself — this year, for example, at times has felt like 2014, especially in terms of taking a considerable time off work; fortunately, this time I was on paid sick leave, rather than redundant, living off savings, and trying to break into the IT industry!  There’s also been little things, like me replaying the special edition of Deus Ex: Human Revolution and the StarCraft games, going on a bus down Finchley Road (fortunately to meet “Polish female best friend”, not to commute to a shift-based job in Brondesbury Park!), and even running low on paper for my printer (though because I’m printing timesheets for “best mate”, not job applications for the Job Centre).

I’m also having mobile signal issues again, though fortunately this time it’s just draining my work phone’s battery, rather than stopping me making or receiving calls unless I put it on the windowsill — and by astonishing coincidence, my work phone is on the network I briefly switched to at the end of 2014, only to switch back when it turned out to be a stupidly expensive network, even charging you to access voicemail… but what do I care, my work’s paying for it!

(Oh, and one major, scary repeat: my last post turned out to have the exact same title as a post I wrote back in April 2014!)

I hope that’s the extent of how this year will repeat 2014, as I don’t want to go through that employment situation and strong feelings of anxiety all over again, and risk losing everything and having to move back to Worthing (rather than help my folks escape that dump).  After all, I’ve got a good life now — a job I enjoy (hey, I’ve joked about that proving I’m insane before, haven’t I?), enough income to support my mother and grandmother if they need help (and get them expensive Christmas presents), friends who have supported me (and maybe, just maybe, “Polish female best friend” will turn out to be… no, don’t jinx it!), a damn good computer setup (at least while Windows 7 remains supported — I hate Win10!), and even our landlady being grateful to me for organising our bills as a household.

Mind you, that aspect of my life might be the source of a new problem: Barnet council sent us a Council Tax form demanding all our details (luckily I was able to get everyone’s date of birth, including my own), but acting as though we would all have moved in and started our contract at the same time!  And this even though we make our council tax payments on time every month, for the amount they demand… one wonders if they’re looking for any excuse to fine us, as a source of revenue.  But no, they’re a Tory council, and that’d imply that Conservatives want any excuse to line their pockets — next you’ll be saying they’re cutting off disabled people’s benefits by any means necessary!

I just hope I’m not disabled and living on benefits when Brexit comes around… hey, maybe it’s time I wrote a “soapbox” post — can you remember the last time I did that…?

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P.S. You want to see the Monty Python’s Flying Circus sketch?  Well, how lucky it’s on YouTube… and if you get a terrible feeling of déjà vu, that’s because you saw it on TV before!