Yesterday, for reasons that are too long to get into (and, for once, actually don't involve alcohol) I woke up feeling very strangely. The best description I can think of is that I felt like I'd gone two days without sleep, taken an ill-needed ride on the Rotor and then had my brain dumped into a vat of Karo syrup. I was dizzy, I ill-coordinated, and my brain was firing (when it fired at all) slooooowly.
As I nonetheless got up and tried to peer at my computer to write my daily news thing, I realized not only was I peering at the computer with the focus of a half-blind elderly person and moving the touchpad with all the coordination of a toddler, that I could not for the life of me get what I was reading. Tim Geither? Oh, yeah, Treasury Secretary and what was important about that? It didn't connect to anything else. If I had been capable of freaking out, I would have freaked out but it turns out that freaking out requires higher thought processes. I wondered if my new inability to process information in my normal way was how stupid people feel, struggling against the stickiness to grasp basic concepts with little success. I felt as sympathetic as I was, in that moment, capable of feeling (sympathy? a higher emotion) to the kids I had to TA in economics back in grad school.
After twenty minutes of struggling to re-master the basics of current American political news, I called Anna to admit defeat. I would have cried in frustration, but it turned out I was incapable of that, too. I went back to bed: first for an hour, and then for three. I woke up slightly less dizzy and slightly more capable of higher thought and wrote a little (albeit frustratingly slowly) and then went back to bed for another few hours. Slowly, over the course of the evening, my brain returned to normal. I tested: I wrote something business-y; I wrote something funny; I replied to e-mails; I wrote a blog post. I made dinner without burning myself. I talked to my mother. I opened up the freezer to discover that, at some point (I'm guessing mid-dinner party Sunday) I'd stuck a bottle of white wine in there to chill, so it was half-uncorked, having dripped slushy wine into the ice cube tray.
When I went to bed, instead of sleeping, I found myself incapable of shutting my eyes and not having my brain wander into Worst Case Scenario-Land about my personal life. I freaked out. I then got up and shredded papers for 45 minutes to fall asleep. I had vivid nightmares, but at least I slept.