Thursday, June 21, 2012

Determination in a Pill?


I suffer from restless leg syndrome (RLS). It was diagnosed two years ago and I declined prescription medication in favor of various “home remedies”. None of them worked. So last Fall I accepted a prescription for Mirapex. For my condition, it is a miracle drug. I'm sleeping well for perhaps the first time in my adult life. I fall asleep quickly at ten in the evening and I'm awake and ready for the day at five in the morning. I've got three extra hours in every day.

This drug has some unusual side effects. I've been warned to look out for compulsive behaviors. Apparently, it changes some people's behavior and compulsive gambling or compulsive sex takes over their lives. On starting the drug, I wondered if I could use the effect intentionally to do good in my life.

I started a new fitness program last Fall soon after starting the drug. I consciously tried to acquire a compulsion to exercise and watch my diet. It worked. I'm driven to exercise and have been able to stick with it with an unprecedented ease. I've dropped twenty-six pounds and I'm well on my way to reach my goal of six pack abs for the first time ever. It's really wonderful: my self image has spiked upward and I feel great. Perhaps that can be attributed to getting good sleep, I don't know.

Is my exercising a compulsion? I do feel very strongly that this is something that I must do. I'm fifty-two. If I'm going to be fit for the autumn years of my life, there is no better time than now to do it. It's not going to get easier when I'm sixty or seventy. If this is a drug induced compulsion, then I'm going to run with it. It's weird to think that my determination could have come to me in pill form.

If, in ten years, you see me all muscle bound and unable to lean over to tie my shoes, then we'll say that the compulsion has gone too far. Please intervene. However, until such time, I'll be in the back room lifting weights...