Yet Another Health Update

The Evil Dex™.Kevin Drum

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

Why am I blogging at 6:30 am Pacific time? In fact, why have I been blogging and reading all night?

You may recall that back in 2018 I took 8mg of Dexamethasone once a week. It kept me up all night, and I mostly used those nights to take pictures and to write idiosyncratic explanations of general relativity. In January I rebelled and stopped taking the dex. It took two months to wear off, but by March I felt pretty good—which is to say, normal. In May I took a trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Sadly, my cancer load increased, and in July I restarted the dex along with a new drug. In August I was casting around for a trip to take before the dex kicked in, and that’s when I went to Colombia.

Now, my doctor and I had agreed on an experiment: instead of 8mg of dex once a week, I would take 4mg of dex twice a week. This might allow me to sleep on dex nights and would have milder side effects on the other days.

The first part worked: with a big slug of Ambien in hand, I could manage 5-6 hours of sleep. Not bad. The second part was a failure. Not only were the side effects just as bad—fatigue, lots of napping, etc.—but they pretty much lasted all week. There was no break from feeling lousy.

So yesterday I went back to the old regime: 8mg of dex on Monday. So far I’ve noticed two things: I’ve been more talkative than usual and I was up all night despite taking the strongest Ambien I have. I expected that. So I’ll ditch the Ambien completely and just become a talkative night owl on Mondays. I will still suffer the side effects, of course, but hopefully they will last two days, maybe three at most, and I will have at least Thursday-Monday to feel relatively normal. We’ll see.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate