And the fog is lifting... but I don't want to jinx it.
For at least the last year, but most likely the last two years or more, I've had low blood pressure. By low, I mean a few times a year I would actually faint and land on the floor. Once a month a wall would hold me up.
Ideal BP is anything from 90/60 to 120/80. Average for me was in the 80s / 50s, which is well inside the fainting zone low. But fainting is not the only side effect, it also made me very lethargic and unable to focus, mentally.
Once I knew what was wrong, or more accurately the symptom of what was wrong, I did what every writer with a writer's insurance does, looked for cheap fixes on the Internet.
Salt. Check, tried it but it doesn't work well enough and comes with side effects too.
Lemon. Check, it works a little, no side effects, but doesn't keep me in the right zone.
Coffee. Check. Been doing that all along, but drinking even more coffee than I already was can't possibly be good for anyone. Any doctor in the world would say I'm taking an unhealthy or even a lethal dose of coffee already. If anything, I need to cut back on that addictive muddy water, not double up on it.
Basil. My first experiment with basil was a nightmare. I used too much and I went right past normal and into hypertension and stayed there for two days. I've never in my life experienced hypertension. It was Terrifying, but clearly this was my 'silver bullet' because it lasted for two days and a little went a long way.
I just had to get the dose right.
Because I had such a powerful reaction and it stayed in my system so long, this meant I would have to start extremely low, keep with it for a week, then increase a tiny bit and test for another week. Time consuming, but the safe approach.
I don't want to jinx it, but I think I've done just that and found the right dose.
For an entire week (since last Friday) I've been in the 90s/60s, right where I want to be.
The dose, 3/10ths a tsp per day. It sounded metric so I was pretty sure it had to be wrong :) , but that seems to do the trick and the fog that has clouded my head for the last two years is lifting.
Now, I still don't know, and probably will never find out, what the underlying problem was, but basil is covered by my insurance (10 cent seed pack at the dollar tree with my insurance card).
Oddly, after spending the last two years in a lethargic fog, returning to my real normal feels like I'm lacing my coffee with speed.