The Thoughts of a Frumpy Professor

............................................ ............................................ A blog devoted to the ramblings of a small town, middle aged college professor as he experiences life and all its strange variances.

Thursday, April 04, 2024

All I Can Do


Seemingly an apt title for today, but also arguably the very best (at least MY personal favorite) song ever recorded by the Carpenters

I am continuing to try to "pull myself up" by my bootstraps.  I have been working considerably on trying to get through the very harsh aftereffects of the damn olive pit on my TMJ.  Yesterday was a bit better.... the pain only started to form about an hour or so before bedtime.  I wore my bite splint most all of the day other than when I was lecturing.  And, I focused on chewing very gingerly and gently throughout the day in an effort to quell any flare-ups.  It may seem strange, but it is exhausting, thinking about and carefully chewing any food that I eat.  It probably will in the end help to decrease the calories I consume during this span as it gets tiring very quickly.  

In my previous post, there were a few comments I thought I would respond to:

Pat stated...  "I get the sense that simply by your nature you are going to be under stress and feel some sadness whether or not you are enjoying your pipes. But at least with your pipes you would have a tool to ameliorate some of your stress and sadness."

Right now, at this particular time of the year, I believe you are 100% correct about the stress and sadness.  I NEED to find a way to figure out how to quell those feelings and also figure out a way to get them to stop…. so that I can go back to my normal, happier living.  The biggest difficulty is that I have SOME things I CAN control to an extent (some damnable animal use paperwork that I have to finish and submit that just is frustrating and 10x more labor intensive than it needs to be, and with my having scant available time within the scope of my other work to devote to this arduous task, it never is getting done),  and so it continually looms in my mind.  But, I have no energy/ambition/desire to pull an "ALL NIGHTER" without sleep to get the damn work off my plate.  

You are also right that the return to my beloved pipes and pipe tobaccos WOULD ameliorate a fair amount of the stress and sadness.  I have been thinking about that quite a bit.  It seems like a grand idea to me most days.  But, I do tend to also have concerns in my (Freudian) ego and superego on whether to indulge in this context would simply be me "taking the easy way out" if you get my meaning.  What I mean is that I have been searching/contemplating/scheming of ways in which I could successfully engage a careful, well metered return to my pipes on OCCASION.  In reality, if I used "stress" as the benchmark for allowing me to indulge.... hell, I would be smoking my pipes MORE than I did several years ago. :)

The TWO bowls of pipe tobacco I have indulged in since starting the fasting journey were each so beautiful, fulfilling, near perfection.... and also nearly Nirvana for me. I would most like to find a workable pattern that allows this sense of Nirvana.....  but have it occur a damn bit more frequently than twice in six years and 50 days (as of today). 

Margaret stated... "No more olives for you, sir! I understand the stress of get togethers."

I love olives so very much.  Yet, since the first incident occurred, I have been visibly pinching all of my olives before adding them to salads or other foods to assure myself they HAVE BEEN PROPERLY PITTED.  Unfortunately, I think this most recent damnable olive pit was HIDDEN in the bottom of a bottle of a jar of green olives where the olives had been consumed… and all that (I thought) remained in the jar were some loose pimentos that had fallen out of the olive centers. I nonchalantly tossed these errant red pimentos onto my salad without thinking a damnable pit may have been lurking under the bundle of red pimentos.  And, yes, the stress of get togethers when there is the potential for negative outcomes tends to spoil the time.  I was on edge until the day was done.  

 Pam stated... "If your doctor would prescribe a mild tranquilizer for you, your life would be improved immensely. I say this as an anxious person who has successfully moderated my use of tranquilizers for 40 years."

Pam... THANK YOU for the above.  I want to assure you that in NO WAY would I think it a "weakness" to use a tranquilizer (as you suggested as a possible thought in your comment).  I think the use of medications of any sort that are medically prescribed can be and typically are WONDERFUL things.  Also, you mentioned that your advice was unsolicited.... that is not true.  Even though I did not specifically say "Pam... tell me....".... the reason I write here is to try to obtain the ideas and opinions of others.  I very much value your thoughts and ideas and advice.  

In regards to my taking a tranquilizer or hell, most any medication is something I am unsure about regarding MY OWN potential weaknesses in doing so.  Let me explain:

1.  I do not (as of yet) taken any medications in a continual fashion.  I have, of course, had a round of antibiotics a few times over the years, and I have on occasion taken some sort of over-the-counter remedy.  But, I do not have any long term prescriptions from my doctor.  Chronic prescription medication consumption does worry me a bit, because of potential side effects.  I know that the probability is high that someday my doctor will TELL ME that I must start to take "this" or "that" medicine.....but it does make me nervous to imagine doing so.

2.  I DO consume a few various multi-vitamin and mineral supplements each day.  I do this only because I am not always certain if I adequately meet these needs with my diet.  I started this LONG ago when I was working on changing my BMI..... fearing that while in weight loss, there was a potential for me to not obtain the necessary vitamins and minerals as I strived to reduce caloric intake. 

3.  Another concern for me is if a medication is neurally active in some fashion.... my worry is.... what if I LIKE the damn thing too much?   Is that a path that would be a struggle for me to for me to navigate?  Sincerely, I do not really know how to answer that question.

I believe across my lifespan, I know of three neurally active substances I have consumed.  The results were variable:

A.  Pipe Tobacco.... hell, everyone knows and understands that I love and relish pipe tobacco.  I loved and relished pipe tobacco long before I smoked my first bowlful.  And, smoking my first pipe-full only CONFIRMED what I thought.... that pipe smoking to me was utter bliss and Nirvana.  That idea is as true today as it ever has been. Even though I have been away from it for so long now, its appeal does not change.  For whatever REASON pipe tobacco and pipe smoking is damn near magical for me.

B.  Alcohol...  having a drink or two (or sometimes three) is enjoyable.  But, truth be told, it is enjoyable to me rather sporadically.  These days I typically may indulge in a one or two beers a month.  But... also very, very truthful.... alcohol used to be more enjoyable.... when I enjoyed it as a WAY TO ENHANCE how wonderful my pipe and pipe tobacco was!  I can still remember so well, when I would go over to my FILs on many Fridays across decades, and we would sit, and have a drink or two while we talked.  There were several times over the years when I would very purposefully not indulge in a pipe the morning before I went to visit my FIL.... because I was looking forward to the beautiful intensity of that first pipe after I had drank a beer (or other alcoholic beverage) a bit earlier.  It is difficult to describe... but the best I can say is that what truly enjoyed about a drink was MOSTLY how it made the beauty of my pipe enhanced.

C.  Following a dental procedure where some of my gum had to be removed by cutting and cauterizing (it had overgrown due to movement of my below the gum surface, impacted wisdom tooth, and I had ended up chomping on it with my back molars, causing bleeding, infection, inflammation, etc), my dentist gave me a few pain pills that at the time, I didn't give much thought to them.  I took them for the three days following the procedure.  Nothing noteworthy.  Only a year or two later did the headlines start to sprout up about "Oxycontin" and I looked around for the empty bottle.  Sure enough that is what my dentist prescribed for me. But, it did not bother me in the slightest.  

So, while my foray into Oxycontin seemed wholly uneventful, and my drinking mode is modest a worst.  The passion I have for pipe tobacco makes me a bit worried that if another neurally active medication were to be something I end up really liking.... would that simply be a new stress to have to work through?  I do not know. 

The whole lyrics of the song "All I Can Do" are listed below.  I think this is lyrically and musically a very strong song.  It expresses emotions I can definitely relate to:

Yesterday, I thought you'd stay, I thought you'd see things my wayBut now I see my hope may be deadI should have known when you said I was the one that you wantedWanting meant nothing more than today
All I can do is cry over you and hope you return somedayAll I can do is cry over you ever since you've gone away
Every road that I follow leaves me with no tomorrowI need someone to show me the way
All I can do is cry over you and hope you return somedayAll I can do is cry over you ever since you've gone away


Blogger Pat M. said...

Regarding Pam's suggestion, Professor, I'm sure you are well-aware that your pipe tobacco naturally contains lithium in sufficient quantity that it surely functions as something of a mood regulator. Perhaps, when you were smoking your pipes regularly, your moods were gaining that benefit, which is no longer present during your abstinence. I would suggest going back to your pipes before considering another mood-regulating substance, but if you are determined to stay away from your pipes it does make sense that you try to find something to replace the lithium you were ingesting for so many years.

Thursday, 04 April, 2024  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

I can imagine the discomfort. It seems that frequently, very frequently, have cankers. While I am sure they pale in comparison to your issue, I do have to be careful and often talk a bit funny trying to avoid the sore spots.

Friday, 05 April, 2024  
Blogger Margaret said...

I hope that your mouth is better by now! I associate having a drink with chatting mostly or sitting in a bar people watching. I drank more on my trip than I have for years. Now that I'm home, I will mostly abstain. :)

Saturday, 13 April, 2024  

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