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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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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