Cartoon Clouds

Several years ago I cut a two-frame comic strip out of the newspaper. The subject matter was one of the mundane exchanges between men and women and of the mystifying differences between the two sexes. In the first frame, the words in the woman's dialog cloud were "What are you thinking about?" The reply in the man's dialog cloud was "Nothing." In the second frame, the clouds had become thought clouds. Her thought was "I wonder what he's really thinking about..." His thought cloud was empty.

I thought it was hilarious, but it made me start thinking and observing more.  Forgive the generalities, but here are my conclusions about a particular difference in the way men and women think.  If a woman's conscious mind can be compared to a theater or some other performance venue, the curtain is open with many threads in motion at once...sort of like a Cirque du Soleil performance.  We are used to this, and it makes us very good at multi-tasking.  When too many threads of thought are in motion, though, we get "busy head" syndrome.  A man's conscious mind is more like a multiple-slot electric toaster---something's cooking in there, but even he may be unaware of it.  Occasionally..BING!, a solution, answer, or idea he has been ruminating on will be finished and pop into the forefront of his consciousness the way toast pops up from a toaster when it's done.  Working things out in the back of his mind allows for very focused concentration for whatever task is at hand, but he's not that good at multi-tasking.

Today it has been exactly one year since I signed on at Cpnhelp.org.  It has been a mixed blessing.  It is saving Steve from MS progression and even reversing it.  I stand at the threshold of benefiting from it health-wise myself.  The only downside is the burden of heightened awareness of stealth infections and the role they play in human and animal illness.  That awareness is useful in your circle of control or influence, but it brings sadness when witnessing disease processes in those who are beyond your circle of influence.

Steve's cognitive function is impaired from past MS progression, but it's improving.  Now, I have a new confidence when I see a blank, remote gaze in his eyes, and I ask "What's on your mind?"  His reply is still usually "Nothing" (the standard masculine answer), but I know his toaster is working even if all the slots aren't full yet.

Take heart, Joyce. As you are so aware, patience is the first watchword here and renews our perspective daily. It is 2 1/2 years and a little for me and again daily things shift - I have a realization that some part of my brain is now emerging from a forgotten murky corner or a memory is dusting off a whole room that has been misplaced. And I can't even compare my energy and focus levels. Even now on the ninth day of my latest (again quite brutal) post pulse I put in my four hour morning and am taking my break till afternoon barn time of a couple of hours and will do evening from six to ten pm. Amazing. Yes - slow but so, so worth it. Your male brain thinking is right in line with mine. They may be as inscrutable to us as we are to them. Keeps life endlessly fascinating. Every day I am delighted with the willingness of a happy man.

 

Rica PPMS  EDSS 6.7 at beginning - now 2.  Began CAP Sept, 2004 with Rifampin 150 mg 2xd, Doxy 100 mg 2xd, added regular pulses Jan 2005. Jan 2006 switched to Doxy, Azith,  cont. flagyl  total 40 pulses NC USA

3/9 Symptoms returning. Began 5 abx protocol 5/9 Rifampin 600, Amox 1000, Doxy 200, MWF Azith 250, flagyl 1000 daily. Began Sept 04 PPMS EDSS 6.7 Now good days EDSS 1 Mind, like parachute, work only when open. Charlie Chan  In for the duration.&am

I laughed out loud, woke Hamish up from his afternoon nap, I think. It's hard enough communicating with a toaster, just imagine what it would be like if there were two theatres trying to communicate in the same household.   You would never get anything done.... 

I learnt as a young woman never to ask the toaster what it was thinking, the answer would either be "nothing", or "it's none of your business".   At times I see body language in Hamish that indicates that something is going round and round in his head and it takes him a while to identify what that is.   He seems surprised if I ask him what is worrying him, but after a few moments he is able to identify it.   So things are happening in the toaster that show on the outside, (getting hot, making noises, popping up) only it does not connect with the communication part of his mind.

Michele: Wheldon CAP1st May 2006 for ailments including IBS, sinusitis, alopecia, asthma, peripheral neuropathy. Spokesperson for Ella started Wheldon CAP 16th March 2006 for RRMS. Sussex UK

Michèle (UK) GFA: Wheldon CAP 1st May 2006. Daily Doxy, Azi MWF, metro pulse.

Thanks ladies...I knew I would have company in these thoughts.  Now I'm curious as to what Yoda and the rest of the guys here have to say about it.

Joyce~caregiver-advocate in Dallas for Steve J (SPMS) / Cpn indicated by reactions; Mpn, EBV, CMV positive; elevated heavy metals; gluten+casein sensitive / Wheldon CAP since Aug. '06 - doxycycline+azithromycin+flagyl pulses; antivirals; chelation; LDN.

Joyce~caregiver-advocate in Dallas for Steve J (SPMS).  CAP since August 06, Cpn, Mpn, B. burgdorferi, systemic candidiasis, EBV, CMV & other herpes family viral infections, elevated heavy metals, gluten+casein sensitivity. 

Joyce, who is Yoda? -kk2

 

On Wheldon regime [Doxy, Azith, and Flagyl]  for rrms since October '05.  EDSS was 6.5, now 5.5.  United States.

Wheldon Protocol for rrms since Oct '05.  Added LDN 4.5mg qhs Oct '07.  All supp's.  Positive IGG's for Lyme Disease,Babesia, & Erlichiosis Sept. 2008.  Currently:  Mepron 750mg bid and Azithromycin 250mg qd for Babesia.

KK2,  I like to refer to JimK as our "Yoda."  The first time I did it, he responded with a very cute Yoda image which I just tried to find, but I guess it was lost in the upgrade shuffle.  As the Star Wars Yoda guided and mentored Luke Skywalker in his endeavors, JimK is a reliable source of Cpn/CAP wisdom and tops as a mentor to us.  Jim, don't worry, we don't expect perfection from a masochistic flagyllator like you, but you're pretty darn good in that role, even when you're pulsing.

Joyce~caregiver-advocate in Dallas for Steve J (SPMS) / Cpn indicated by reactions; Mpn, EBV, CMV positive; elevated heavy metals; gluten+casein sensitive / Wheldon CAP since Aug. '06 - doxycycline+azithromycin+flagyl pulses; antivirals; chelation; LDN.

Joyce~caregiver-advocate in Dallas for Steve J (SPMS).  CAP since August 06, Cpn, Mpn, B. burgdorferi, systemic candidiasis, EBV, CMV & other herpes family viral infections, elevated heavy metals, gluten+casein sensitivity. 

What can I say? I know this: Dianna laughed out loud; in fact, I think she snorted. Twice.

On the whole, it's not a bad simile, though. I am much more linear thinking than my female acquaintances, and much more flexible and free-associating than most males, too. So, although I can't walk in there, I think I can see a little way inside the circus tent.

I would second your notion that a lot of the slots sit empty when I am sicker, too. I get very, very focused; even obsessive, and it's very hard to switch subjects (slots?). I'm fine as long as I can stay with one train of thought, but don't expect rapid adaptation to changes when I am sick. For instance, in my work, I can write code pretty well even when I am sick, as long as I decided on the approach to use while I was well. I can't plan the architecture when I am sick.

Or, using a more common experience: when I am sick, I can vacuum a rug or clean a mirror just fine, if slowly. But "clean a room" will just make me look like a monkey. First I have the dustrag, but no polish. Then I go to get the polish, come back with the glass cleaner, but no paper towels. Then I go get the paper towels, and come back with the vacuum cleaner. Better hope the vacuum cleaner bag doesn't need changed!

I seem to develop some sequencing issues, one might say. When I am like that, I don't drive on the freeway; it is surface streets only for me.

Ron

On CAP for CFS starting 01/06 (NE Ohio, USA)

Currently: doxy & zith -- continous; metronidazole -- 5 days on, 7 days off.

Ron

On CAP for CFS starting 01/06 (NE Ohio, USA)

Began rifampin trial 1/14/09

Currently: on intermittent

When I have a remote gaze in my eyes, (I won't say blank) my reply to "What are you thinking about" is often "Nothing" so one might say I think more like a man and an aunt once said when I look like that I look just like my father, who died when I was a baby; but on the other hand, I can multi task quite well and I think my way through problems quicker than DW, which is not to say that my answer is the best, by any means.       For instance, "clouds" are "balloons" in the UK, we neither of us knew that they were "clouds" in the US, but I saw what you were talking about sooner.  It would be quite funny, though, if when doing a similar cartoon, the person who said "nothing" got it put in a fluffy cloud, the other person got a crisp balloon.  DW is good at cartoons.........Sarah     An Itinerary in Light and ShadowWheldon regime since August 2003, for very aggressive SPMS.  Intermittent therapy after one year. 2006 still take this, now two weeks every three months.  EDSS was about 7, now 2. United Kingdom.
Completed Stratton/Wheldon regime for aggressive secondary progressive MS in June 2007, after four years, three of which intermittent.   Still improving bit by bit and no relapses since finishing treatment.

I often think that "Nothing" really mens "Plenty, but I can't find the words to explain".

And I would love to have a look inside those opaque clouds.

Michele: Wheldon CAP1st May 2006 for ailments including IBS, sinusitis, alopecia, asthma, peripheral neuropathy. Spokesperson for Ella started Wheldon CAP 16th March 2006 for RRMS. Sussex UK

Michèle (UK) GFA: Wheldon CAP 1st May 2006. Daily Doxy, Azi MWF, metro pulse.

Or it means "Plenty, but I'm not telling"........Sarah
Completed Stratton/Wheldon regime for aggressive secondary progressive MS in June 2007, after four years, three of which intermittent.   Still improving bit by bit and no relapses since finishing treatment.

There's such a thing as nonverbal thought; it's something of a male specialty. Converting it into words can be quite difficult. If you demand words, you're likely to get words that you not only don't like, but weren't even really intended, being nothing better than a very crude approximation of the real thoughts.

Personally, many of my nonverbal thoughts have a math equivalent rather than a spoken-language equivalent. If I'm speaking to someone who understands math, I reply with the math; otherwise I reply evasively.

Hey, women can do it as well, you know!  Well, some women, anyway.  I can know what I mean in a painting, but it can sound silly when put into words.  David does it as well with his writings.  That's why when David wrote his sonnet sequence I could do a series of drawings completely separately, then we laid them all out on my studio floor and an hour or so later we had each decided which drawing belonged to which of the fifty plus sonnets.  There was hardly any disagreement and we are both people of strong opinions......Sarah   An Itinerary in Light and Shadowdiv>Wheldon regime since August 2003, for very aggressive SPMS.  Intermittent therapy after one year. 2006 still take this, now two weeks every three months.  EDSS was about 7, now 2. United Kingdom.
Completed Stratton/Wheldon regime for aggressive secondary progressive MS in June 2007, after four years, three of which intermittent.   Still improving bit by bit and no relapses since finishing treatment.

 I've frequently wondered about how much of my scatter and need for singleminded focus to get anything done was from ADD tendencies, or from brain fog from all the sequelae of Cpn toxicity. Dr. Stratton has assured me that clearing the Cpn clears the brain fog, but I'm not quite there yet! I do have the perception that my relentless singleminded pursuit of a problem is masculine in mode, but have developed more capacity than some of my gender to admit that there is not "nothing" going on. There is a lot going on in men's minds, but I think there is a often a subliminal quality to it. To be suddenly asked to bring it forth brings evasiveness when one hasn't yet examinied it, as if one better look it over before admitting there was something there. Shame and shame-avoidance is a big factor in male psychology.

Still, there is a kind of "off" state that I see men and myself go into at time, where there really is nothing going on. A kind of mental idling, the flywheel turning but no belt hooked onto it to generate work. I think, though, we might not wish to be caught out at how much of this we dwell in, motor idling. 

CAP for Chlamydia pneumonia since 11/04. 25yrs CFS & FMS- Currently: 150mg INH, 300mg Rifampin, 200 Doxycycline, 500mg mwf Azithromycin, plus 500mg Tinidazole 2x/day pulses every two weeks. Whew! That's a lot!

 

CAP for Cpn 11/04. Dx: 25+yrs CFS & FMS. Currently: 250 aithromycin mwf, doxycycline 100mg BID, restarted Tini pulses; Vit D2000 units, T4 & T3, 6mg Iodoral

Sarah, Here in the midwest, they're known as 'balloons', but I certainly like the idea of 'thought clouds' better than 'thought balloons'.

The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.  Mohandas Gandhi

The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems. Mohandas Gandhi

When I used the term "clouds," I frankly didn't know what anyone else called them.  It's not something that comes up in conversation very often.  For all I know, "balloons" is what most Americans call them just as the Brits do...when it comes up in conversation on rare occasions. 

Joyce~caregiver-advocate in Dallas for Steve J (SPMS) / Cpn indicated by reactions; Mpn, EBV, CMV positive; elevated heavy metals; gluten+casein sensitive / Wheldon CAP since Aug. '06 - doxycycline+azithromycin+flagyl pulses; antivirals; chelation; LDN.

Joyce~caregiver-advocate in Dallas for Steve J (SPMS).  CAP since August 06, Cpn, Mpn, B. burgdorferi, systemic candidiasis, EBV, CMV & other herpes family viral infections, elevated heavy metals, gluten+casein sensitivity. 

It all comes down to the fact that the female gendre is more adept at verbal communication.   There was a quite well known experipent in educational circles that put a couple same sex children of age about three in a room with the same selection of toys and a video camera.   No adults...

The girls looked at each other for a minute and started role playing, nursing baby, driving to the shops, shopping, and then started intereacting with each other, escalating the scenario into a more complex interaction, some of it quite confrontational.   The boys on the other hand grabbed a couple of toys and started making sound effect noises for cars, lorries, guns and tools, dolls were used as targets...  Only towards the end of the 15 minute video did they look at each other and exchange a word or two.   Their exchange was mostly pysical, bashing card together, snatching things from each other, building and knocking down.

Very enlightening... I saw the same thing happen to my two children.   Ella, 18 months younger than Alastair, was speaking for him at the age of 10 months.   He on the other hand was reading maps and giving directions at the age of 5.   Age 3 I remember him sitting on top of a climbing frame watching the other children play, seemed to be enjoying the spetacle but was not tempted to join in.

Michele: Wheldon CAP1st May 2006 for ailments including IBS, sinusitis, alopecia, asthma, peripheral neuropathy. Spokesperson for Ella started Wheldon CAP 16th March 2006 for RRMS. Sussex UK

Michèle (UK) GFA: Wheldon CAP 1st May 2006. Daily Doxy, Azi MWF, metro pulse.

I like clouds as well, after all, I paint them!.....Sarah
Completed Stratton/Wheldon regime for aggressive secondary progressive MS in June 2007, after four years, three of which intermittent.   Still improving bit by bit and no relapses since finishing treatment.

In retrospect and in consideration of comments on clouds vs. balloons, it seems that balloons are appropriate for dialog (hot air), and clouds are appropriate for thoughts (ethereal).  Come to think of it, they are even drawn differently.  A dialog balloon has a smooth outline with a comma-like tail pointed at the speaker.  A thought cloud, though, is often drawn with a scalloped outline and has a trail of mini-clouds or bubbles ascending to it from the thinker.

Joyce~caregiver-advocate in Dallas for Steve J (SPMS) / Cpn indicated by reactions; Mpn, EBV, CMV positive; elevated heavy metals; gluten+casein sensitive / Wheldon CAP since Aug. '06 - doxycycline+azithromycin+flagyl pulses; antivirals; chelation; LDN.

Joyce~caregiver-advocate in Dallas for Steve J (SPMS).  CAP since August 06, Cpn, Mpn, B. burgdorferi, systemic candidiasis, EBV, CMV & other herpes family viral infections, elevated heavy metals, gluten+casein sensitivity. 

I've been thinking ...............Sarah    Image removed.   Oh, this isn't a painting, but a photograph, courtesy of iStockphoto.        An Itinerary in Light and ShadowWheldon regime since August 2003, for very aggressive SPMS.  Intermittent therapy after one year. 2006 still take this, now two weeks every three months.  EDSS was about 7, now 2. United Kingdom.
Completed Stratton/Wheldon regime for aggressive secondary progressive MS in June 2007, after four years, three of which intermittent.   Still improving bit by bit and no relapses since finishing treatment.

Perfect! 

Joyce~caregiver-advocate in Dallas for Steve J (SPMS) / Cpn indicated by reactions; Mpn, EBV, CMV positive; elevated heavy metals; gluten+casein sensitive / Wheldon CAP since Aug. '06 - doxycycline+azithromycin+flagyl pulses; antivirals; chelation;

Joyce~caregiver-advocate in Dallas for Steve J (SPMS).  CAP since August 06, Cpn, Mpn, B. burgdorferi, systemic candidiasis, EBV, CMV & other herpes family viral infections, elevated heavy metals, gluten+casein sensitivity. 

pts

My brainfog has lifted or I choose the moments for thoughts. I dedicate time for thinking, time for reading, time for computer and so forth. Anyone seen the film 'The constant gardner' with Peter Sellers When I was working I had the problem of being 3 hour ahead of people, I needed to think in term how to guide them when discusing things(I was the techi). A year later I hade trouble following simple discussions. The first signs for me was I couldn't do what I normaly could perform. Old stuff took long time. New stuff was hard and peolpe started to ask why it took me so long why did I wait. When the phone rang I couldn't recognize what room it was from to my workmates amusement, I belived every time it was my phone. I made a pan of coffee but without the container. My palmpilot Vx is my rescue for my longterm memory. The short term needs continues training. I used to be be able to hear 6-9 digits once and remember them. Its interesting to discover that I can use only 3 digits as most PIN is 4 our more. 3 digits is OK when I got to # 4 the rest was completly gone. And remember more than one sequense of digits were impossible. When I turned the digits into sequense of movements I was more OK. I never played piano before. I started in january to take piano lessons and it's fun and I'm getting better coordination when training visual, hearing + left and right hand. The first time 20 minutes and I sleept for 3 hours. It's more like things are misplaced and I need to look to find them. Today I have the luxury of using dark glases (NoIR 10%) most of the time. I can shut my eyes and nobody knows. Brain fog and pain is almost gone. I'm slowly starting to remove the dark glases. When I get to much ligth my eyes get red and I just have this empty stare, my whole body is effected included speech and how I choose my wording. Nothing or empty cloud is that I live now and the thought gets interupted when I answer, when the answer is given I'm thinking of nothing. /Per
/Per ----- Chronic Neuroborrliose,abx+E-vimin+selen+Q10+B12 antrophsofic medicin and therapy. First I was afraid, I was petrified Kept thinking I could never live,Oh no, not I
I will survive