Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Brain Damage. Debts of Honor. Toy Pianos.

Driving to the lab today I was listening to an interview with Myra Bartok on NPR where she was describing the effects of a brain damaging car wreck. She said that her short term memory was unreliable.  That she would get lost coming home from familiar places and she had to have an elaborate bookkeeping system to allow her to continue her career as an author. I could not help but notice that her memory loss symptoms from brian damage were very similar to those that I am experiencing from the severe sleep deprivation that comes with new parenthood. I have been trying to complete three month worth of research for the last 7 months. I have a journal to remind what project I'm on and what I intend to do each day. I got lost going to Krogers and to the YMCA. I can't remember the correct words for things. On a good night I get 4 hours of sleep in a row. It has been like this for 6 months. I have tried scheduling, pampering, cry it out,  lavender, and warm baths, my little one is an night owl. I need to move to France so her days and nights will naturally be in the right order.

It is worth it when my little girl smiles or imitates my playing on the toy piano. She had a soft high pitched little song she sings when she is playing. She also says mama. It melts my tired heart.

I just hope that I can get enough research done well enough to get the next job when my post-doc ends in 7 months. There is nothing more terrifying than being the breadwinner and having to turn down more lasting jobs because I can not get my research done. I feel I have an debt of honor to my research group that can only be paid in scientific journal publications.

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