Modafinil and Lao Tzu
Benefit My Pooh Dog

I have maintained for years that my essays are a type of Rogerian counseling. Essentially, my writing is my self-administered psychotherapy about how to address problems in my life. The three most transformational issues in my journey down my yellow brick road of life are my parents’ moving to Mt. Lebanon, my dancing with death, and discovering my family in Myanmar.

The move to Mt. Lebanon and my two dances were initially negative experiences. Nevertheless, once I woke up to reality, they became major axial moments in my life. My finding my Myanmar family started as a blessing and has continued to grow for the past seven years.

However, all these life-changing necessitated that I would respond to whatever the problem or event was. There is more to these axial moments than merely the occurrence of them. I had to act…not merely observe life. I discovered the truth of Lao Tzu’s one-liner, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”


If you want to get to any place, you must start by taking the first step. Your destination won’t come and get you.

While that is true, one of my obstacles is my Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). My ADD is within my brain. I have loads of ideas, tasks, dreams, and drives floating around in my head at the same time. It was difficult to get focused and remain focused. I would flit around like a hummingbird darting from one flower to another. I would waste a lot of time and effort due to my lack of focusing.

A couple years ago, my neurologist mentioned Modafinil. He suggested trying it for a month and report back to him. I was into my third week thinking that Modafinil hadn’t modified my ADD.

Suddenly, I realized that I was focusing on things. The importance of the task wasn’t a factor. I realized that I was remaining focused on the simplest to the most complex task. It was my wonder drug. Modafinil really helped me address issues one at a time rather than attempting to several things simultaneously. It allowed me to concentrate on the issue at hand.

This is an example. In the past couple of months, I have had a plifura problems some of which were trivial while others were critically important. One of the medically important problems was Ginger’s health. She has inflammatory bowel disorder and has been down to Purdue Veterinary Teaching Hospital twice in the past eighteen months. Her last visit was a couple months ago. They came up with a treatment plan for Ginger, which was sent to Ginger’s vet. Purdue wanted me to see Dr. Sabedra about their findings. Hopefully, Ginger’s medical issues can be controlled.

However, Ayanna, my granddaughter, moved into my home. She loves Ginger, and Ginger love her. Ginger is always wagging her tail, but, around Ayanna, she wags it so hard that the tip of the tail bleeds. Ginger did the same thing with Kayla who dog-sat for Ginger while I was visiting my family in Myanmar during winter break last year.

In the past week, you could tell where she has been in my house. This is the doorway to the kitchen.

Therefore, the first thing that I mentioned to Dr. Sabedra was about Ginger’s tail. Dr. Sabedra solved that problem with a dog cone collar due to Ginger was licking her tail. She said to use the antiseptic that Kayla had gotten for Ginger.

This is Ginger getting her tail sprayed. Everything went well for several hours. However, she was still smacking doorways or cabinets with her tail and leaving blood marks all over. This is where Modafinil entered the picture. While she was still leaving marks all over the house, somehow, she was able to reach the tip of her tail even with her cone collar. I got focused and realized that I could put some cotton pads for cuts or abrasions on the tip of her tail.

Great, my idea worked…for a couple hours. Ginger pulled off the pads and essentially removed her bandage. Additionally, it was still bleeding. I reasoned that I get a non-stick pad and taped it to the end of her tale. In that way, I didn’t have to remove it to spray the antiseptic onto her tail. While that idea worked for a couple hours, she was still smacking her tail against walls, cabinets, and appliances. Again, Modafinil kicked in again. I could add some cotton pads to the non-stick bandage.

I’m not sure Purdue Veterinary Teaching Hospital wouldn’t be impressed by my less than artful bandaging of Ginger. Nonetheless, she couldn’t worsen her wound while I was treating her bleeding tail.

If you want to get to any place, you must start by taking the first step. Your destination won’t come and get you.

Then I recalled Lao Tzu’s one-liner, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” I started my journey with caring for Ginger by starting and then continued my journey.

I was quite proud of my thinking outside the box while I cared for Ginger. However, Ginger didn’t seem very happy.