Adjusting parameters is pretty much all I’ve ever done that has challenged me. It’s why I took to programming and software so well, because it follows simple A + B = C or A -B =C. If you know two variables, you know the third one for those a little rusty on their algebra.
Down from the esoteric logic of the process, I’ll explain using the sample of the problem I’m working on right now. Set A = base state (at this point that means medications as prescribe, normal activity levels), and B = stimulant levels, because that’s a very easy to adjust variable that also seems to be consequential (that moment that your math teacher picked those particular object lessons because it was the shortest path they could come up with to the goal) So to add stimulant I use A+B, or to subtract stimulant I use A-B. Thinking about the logic of this they’re all REALLY A+B, because you can’t subtract an artificial substance from a body without it… but then I return to my definition of base state being a “normal dose”. A resets every time I run the average of my biochemistry. A-B represents a decrease in dose, A+B an increase.
The way intuition works is it takes guesses based on previous results, but one of the things that keeps me excited by science is how often it runs against intuition….
Which brings me to the outcome of one of my experiments; I removed some of the low effort places to get caffeine, which has been by greatest ally and greatest enemy at the same time for decades. Too much kills my appetite, and really too much makes me anxious. The problem I’m having is with the floor, the minimum amount I need to take in to be productive. It’s some, I’d say somewhere around 100 MG of caffeine which is one average strength cup of coffee.
So I stopped using my instant coffee thing, kcups while lovely rely on a machine that keeps breaking down, and might be part of my over indulgence problem. I keep my cold brew in the fridge as an emergency back up; if I’m in pain because of how little caffeine I have I need a way to get more into my body fast.
But the way I’m allowed more than that is higher effort. I have to fill/run the kettle, get a filter and measure out ground coffee into my pour over maker, and then about five minutes later carefully fill while trying to leave room for cream.
So we’re talking about unintended consequences. I didn’t intend to stop drinking hot coffee, however I realized this morning when I was making myself a cup that it had been some days since I did it, and this was an outcome of adjusting accessibility.
Now I have a bugged system to fix. Do I learn to live with less, or do I adjust the ease of making coffee?
On the surface it seems pretty minor, but since my blood sugar is on the line it isn’t minor at all. This is a life and death decision…. okay that’s a bit over dramatic; this is a function/not function decision.
Quick answer: Option #2 – adjust the ease of making coffee. I use the Balzac method which is boiling straight coffee grounds and drinking it without straining the grounds. He wrote an essay about it, but I’m pretty sure he meant it as a joke, that only batshit crazy people eat coffee grounds but what can I say, I’m batshit crazy.
Disclaimer: I’m also on the threshold of suicide 24/7 so my advice could be taken as anti-advice.
But yeah I also have a love/hate relationship with coffee, i.e. stimulants. I’d happily switch to any other stim available but coffee is the cheapest. So I’ve learned to cut through thr froufrou and just drink it straight, boiled coffee grounds. Be careful with this method though, it’s essentially more like european espresso so just 2 tsp of coffee grounds can keep you wired for 12hrs (easily crossing into anxiety and outright panic). But as far as scientific efficiency goes, it’s the shortest distance between 2 paths.
Ideally though, we should all cut back on caffeine & all chemicals. But I gather your nedication is so heavy you’d be a zombie without stimulants to balance it out. This is the trap I fell into. My everyday anxiety & insomnia require depressants, but then I’m literally depressed so I need stimulants to be normal. It seems like an absurd contradiction but I’m convinced it can work if we can get in sync with a natural circadian rhythm of wake/sleep.
If you think about it, life itself is an absurd contradiction of wake/sleep, work/rest, inhale/exhale. But there’s nothing we can do about that so we have to try to find our own rhythm.
Thats also what’s driving my drug binges vs. sobriety cycles. I fucking hate it but that’s how the universe is set up.
So going back to your ABC equation I’d say the problem is that it’s not a straight algebraic problem. There’s a time component (what time of day is appropriate to take coffee) and there’s also your body’s memory (tolerance which changes the required dose) and finally there’s the variable of what the real world will throw at you each day (call it the bullshit factor BS). All of this forms a maddeningly complex equation of 2nd or 3rd order calculus. Because each of these variables is highly time dependent so each has its own ‘velocity’ and ‘acceleration’. Your body is adapting to the drugs at a certain velocity, craving more drugs at a certain acceleration, and who knows what’s happening in your brain (probably some 3rd or 4th order derivative that would approximate a conscious desire to take more, i.e. addiction).
The problem is doctors aren’t mathematicians so they don’t think about this. In my experience ive noticed doctors are mathematical dumbshits who think in scalar terms. “Illness A requires drug A” is as far as they calculate the consequences of medication. We have to figure out the rest on our own.