One more day, and it’s Christmas break. I am really running on reserve fuel now… and apparently it shows. One of the students I spend some of my classes with asked me today, “Are you doing ok?” I replied that I was being tired and needed a break, but this was quite the understatement. I was touched by the sentiment of him asking, though – how easy it appears to be for some people.
We got back two physics homework sheets today, one I had done when I was only halfway on the decline, the other I had submitted last week. The old one came back with a result of 31.5/32 points, the other with 8.5/34 points. Both were of comparable difficulty and length and I put equal effort and time into them. The difference is that the first one I did while not suffering from cognitive deficits, the second clearly shows that I could hardly think logically.
Once I go past a certain point, it’s not only fatigue and stiff muscles, but an increasing inability to articulate myself or recall memories. With each point my BDI-II score rises, learning becomes harder. My therapist, who has a background in neurology, actually understands this kind of symptom and takes it seriously. When we were talking last week, I couldn’t remember a word I was looking for and gave him a few others until I finally found the one I had meant to say. He replied, “Good that you remembered!” and nothing more, but from the way he looked at me (and from former conversations), I knew that he was aware of the struggle behind it.
This kind of problem usually starts out very unspectacular, you merely have to concentrate a little harder. But as time goes by, the concentration you have to bring up for understanding the text grows increasingly out of reach. Eventually, the level of your reading skills just isn’t up to it anymore – as if you gave a young child of 6 or 7 years a text written for adults. At the worst stage, sentences just stop making sense. You look at them and it is as if every word is written in a different language, and if you try to read one of them, they start moving over the page and never hold still long enough to actually see them properly.
I know that getting rest and sleep and doing recreational activities will “fix” this again, just as those symptoms disappeared during spring and summer before. I will not touch any of my uni stuff before January 2 – classes start again on the 9th.