The Evil Dex™.Kevin Drum

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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.

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