Thursday, November 12, 2009

Is this Thing on ? Test... Test...

Above, a rare photograph of The Ogre Who Says No caught in reflection on the back of the resophonic mandolin

Well the new brain hardware is getting road-tested this weekend when our band, Whiskey Jacks heads for Homer to play Alice's Champagne Palace. In an earlier post, I explained why it was difficult to tell if the device was actually working as I stumbled toward the right mix of stimulation to medication. Now it's a different story. The effect of the electric stimulation seems to have become more pronounced in the past three weeks making me wriggle with involuntary movement.

After experimenting with my meds again over the past few days it seems that I am about at the correct level to avoid frequent "off" periods, during which movement is minimal and difficult, but the trade-off is that I spend much of my on time uncomfortably dyskinetic, or "Joe Cocker" to you lay persons out there. During these dyskinetic "Ons", I tend to wave my arms, grimace and stagger, presenting the appearance of a tipsy street preacher. This is even less charming than it sounds. I've begun to think of myself as alternating between "Off" periods and "Oaf" periods.

More important, it makes me a bit erratic at time keeping when flailing away at the mandolin. The upshot of all this is that I am now actually dialing back the strength of the electric current that flows to my brain. (Man, I just reread that sentence, how 21st Century can you get? My mandolin is acoustic, but I'm electric!) Let's hope I can achieve a harmonic convergence between medication and stimulation by Saturday night.

In the past I would have been spared this precarious position by the Ogre Who Says No, my old alter ego who could always find a reason not to do something new or risky. The Ogre would have pointed out, for example that Peter can't play the mandolin. And I never would have learned. Thanks for nothing, Ogre.

It's imperative to say "Yes" sometimes. To live "Yes". If you spend too much time wth the Ogre, you'll get smothered by the musty blanket of boredom.

So I'm sending the Ogre an invitation to the performance, (not that he'll come) and betting that everything will be OK, or better. And if I'm wrong, well, I'd rather answer to my band mates than the ogre any day.

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