Rough Day Yesterday..

Wow what a rough day yesterday. I work with stroke survivors and man. One of them, in fact one that I've had a particularly hard time with IRB - she was just ... lord. She kept talking about the craziest things. And whats worse, is I am overloaded at work but not the most impolite person - if you come to my desk saying there be demons. I will listen to you.

The thing is, she's not crazy. I know this. But what do you do, when someone is so belligerent? I work on speech patterns alone and I am not innocent all the time, I promise but I swear to you that I am not beaming thoughts inside anyone's head. Where do people get thoughts like that?

I guess I should say that I am, in real life, an incredibly lonely - but happy person. I have almost zero people around me that I can party with. My best friend is a catholic priest novitiate. My best shot at having fun is to see if I can't nudge him along the way to becoming a jesuit + taking me along for the ride to where he's going. And he does drink by the way, which is all the worse because I don't.

I have a fan in the back of this Dell I am hacking away on that is making a sound that drives me up the wall. Sometimes I wear an iPod to make the sound go away. Maybe I will go to Microcenter today (I love that store!) and just get a new one.

I haven't been running alot either, which bothers me. When this happens I usually slip into a dark frame of mind and steel myself for something off the wall, like putting together a half-ironman or doing a good strong distance on the bike. The weather has been damn. damn hot. 110 degrees yesterday. I have blown off almost 30 miles of running and 120 miles on the bike but I +will not+ let that get me. Theres a trick to weeks like that, and its to use the weeks previous as a taper down and then just go fly down the trail as hard as you can.

Only problem is, with this one human subject, I get so worried about her I don't get very far from the office. I am frankly worried about her for two reasons, one selfish- the other not so selfish. The selfish reason is that she was one of my very few test subjects that had recorded speech before her stroke. (I do research on speech patterns, particularly something called prosody - my job is to find the prosody and intonation curve patterns in speech and try to feed them into a program that makes speech recognition work better.) So I don't want to lose her in the study. We are trying to figure out how to help people rapidly regenerate their speech capability and we're studying the speech pattern disruptions that occur during dysarthria in a post mild-stroke test population. I really don't want to see her get torpedoed.

The not so selfish reason is that its beginning to dawn on me that I can love multiple people in the world. And that I would be seriously hurt if this person died. I am not sure if the madness (a mild form of it) is related to post stroke TIA or the fact that she has a horrific earache, or what. I know I shouldn't have feelings for human subjects but I do sometimes. This person comes to the hospital with her children, two adorable little creatures. Age six and nine. And she loves them, you can tell.

I half expected this morning to wake up this morning with a missing kidney. I really did.


I am beginning to feel way too selfish for this. I care about you and want to support you....but I feel so incompetent and too far away to be of any real help.

Thinking of you and being with you in the other world can't take you from what is important to you.

I don't know what to do!

Is the 1st important? Maybe not. I just need to think it through before it gets too far to stop.

You must run and feed your soul so you can feed the needs of those who depend on you. You can't stop for me....