Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Back on the chain gang.

When I was in seventh grade, I was in Advanced Science. We did all sorts of cool stuff, like use microscopes and figure out our blood types. Or, at least we thought we figured out our blood types ... I discovered years later that mine was wrong.

Anyway. We dissected frogs and cow's eyes and even fetal pigs. In hindsight, this was sort of a waste - what seventh grader is really getting a lot out of dissecting a fetal pig? Wouldn't that be an activity better suited to a high school biology student? But I guess 12-year-olds are safer with a scalpel than your average 17-year-old, so perhaps there was a method to the madness.

Seventh grade also meant science projects. These trimester-long projects were so grown-up and so stressful. Each student had to come up with a hypothesis, a procedure, results, and a conclusion. The project was student-driven and culminated in a long research paper.

Well, long as in five pages. Long for seventh grade.

My science project was measuring the impact of water pollution on horticultural growth. Or, rather, testing the impact of watering mustard seeds with laundry detergent.

I know. I can't believe it wasn't picked up by Scientific American either.

I had trays and trays of mustard seeds. The control group was watered with tap water. The test group was watered with a combination of tap water and good ol' liquid Cheer. I carefully measured the amount of liquid poured on each plant, and I carefully measured the height of each plant.

The conclusion? Watering your mustard seeds with liquid Cheer isn't a good idea. The plants were smaller than the control plants.

The next trimester, I think I did a variation of the same experiment, but tested eastern sunlight versus western sunlight in addition to the liquid Cheer. If memory serves, my dad had a TV tray of mustard seeds right next to his closet, as this was the best spot in the house with eastern sun. The man should get a medal.

I don't recall the exact conclusion of the east / west sunlight debate, but the learnings of the first study held true: liquid Cheer ain't plant food, people.

So, it was an experiment gone somewhat awry. But I still learned some stuff. Like how being a scientist is a pain in the ass. And that clean water is good.

I've drawn conclusions to a more recent experiment: going off Zoloft isn't a good thing. Can I live without it? Yes. Is my quality of life better without it? No. I've been going round and round, having trouble getting out of bed, being anxious about everything, but still being sort of OK ... and a whole lot stubborn. And finally, this weekend? This weekend, when I stood in the first sunshine we've seen in forever and instead of feeling joy, I felt panic because spring means having to clean up my yard? And then I had to take an Ativan just to get my sorry ass out of the house to go to yoga? Well, I drew my final conclusions about going off Zoloft.

It was an experiment gone somewhat awry. But I still learned some stuff.


mel said...

Hmmm, I feel all those same anxities. I've never been on Zoloft, and now I think I've learned some stuff. Like, maybe making through this PPD alone isn't the best idea??

Anonymous said...

oh yeah. the anxiety. i hate it. i'm fighting it now. i've done a couple of stints with Lexapro -- stint one -- great, stint two -- sucked. if the zoloft works hold onto the zoloft.

and keep writing. and doing yoga. and don't worry about your yard -- i'll send you pics of mine and you'll feel all better

and my confirmation word is outters...

Caron said...

Making it through PPD alone is not the best idea, so please talk to your doctor, Mel.

If zoloft helps, go back on it and enjoy life more. I understand the stubborn, too.

CheckerMom said...

Whenever I try to go off antidepressants, something severely stressful crops up in my life. It's like God is saying "See? You're supposed to be on this." Who am I to argue with God? I mean really! It's not a failure any more than insulin for a diabetic is. Life is meant to be enjoyed. If it takes a little Zoloft to do that, so be it. Hang in there chica. Better days are coming.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm sorry the results weren't what you wanted, but at least you learned something. I say that about a lot of things, too. For instance, "I now know that 3 is too many kids." And "Shouldn't use good silverware to pound nails."

sherilee said...

Hang in there. Spring yard anxiety is a national predicament, I'm pretty sure. My solution is to avoid the yard until there's simply no other option. Or we're expecting houseguests who will undoubtedly look out the windows and gasp in horror at the piles of tumbleweeds, whichever comes first.

As for zoloft, if it works, baby, don't argue.

Iron Needles said...

I just want spring so bad it hurts.

8 said...

DO whatever makes you happy. Who cares what anyone says or feels about it. At the end of the day, if it improves your quality of life than GO FOR IT!

P.S. My word verification is "sinies". Do I hear a new name for my group? Sinies! Yes! I am getting a t-shirt made. Should I send you one too?