Tonight’s TV will feature a new show entitled “Limitless” about a pill that allows the user to access 100 percent of the cells in their brain. It’s based on a movie by the same name that came out a few years ago. A couple of days ago on Facebook, there was a choice of a multiple number of things of which one was to access 30 percent more brain power.
Both of these seem to come at a time that seems serendipitous to me. For although I don’t have a pill that makes me smarter, I’m dealing with a pill that in some ways is doing the opposite to me.
I’m on my second migraine medicine. My first ended with me having terrible sores in my mouth, and we discontinued it. This one, Topamax, did a real good job of getting rid of the migraines. It also resulted in nausea, depression and an inability to think straight, which can be a serious problem for a college professor and an author. After seriously thinking that it was time for me to retire, I realized that maybe I should back off on the strength of my prescription. I called my doc and got permission and that got most of my head cleared up. But I am still having stomach cramps and my mental sharpness is not where it used to be.
My son was in an auto accident in 2002 and suffered a traumatic brain injury, and since then I have been fascinated with the brain and how little we know about how it works. When the doctor called us in at his accident, he explained that the brain is a black box. When something happens to it, no one really knows what will result from an accident or in my case, from adding medication. My situation is certainly not typical. When I went to my neurologist, he warned me of side effects, and the ones I am having were in the very slight minority. But that’s me: the slight minority. I see my doctor soon and I am going to see if I can back off some more.
I’m not bringing all this up so that you can commiserate with all of my suffering, but simply to show how our daily lives, and even something as simple as a little pill for a headache can affect how you live your life. It would be great to think a pill could make you a lot smarter and make your brain work better. It’s not so great to think one can do the opposite.