I am in a small room and it came to life, scaring the bejeezus out of me.
A can fell off the shelf (but didn’t really). The smoke alarm rang out twice (but didn’t really). Someone slammed their hand on my desk (but no one was here). A pane in the window cracked (but didn’t really).
I covered my head with my pillow until I could get control of the fear that I was the one cracking up, then I was able to sit and allow the hallucinations their performances.
Why do I think they are gone, and they are gone for days, then come back full-force for no apparent reason? Am I going to have several more days or these noisy, annoying visions and sounds? No scents, at least so far, just the visual and auditory hallucinations. When I was in bed, I thought I felt something crawling on me, but ignored it and it went away, so maybe some tactile will wander back to my skin.
I tried to sleep, but the random noises kept occurring so I got up to write. This way I have some control over validating if these things were real or not.
I have a lot of canvas pictures on the walls and they keep tilting, which is impossible since they are stuck on with Command Strips. I blink and they regain their correct positions.
The best way to describe it is like a not-too-serious earthquake shaking things up, but when I blink or close my eyes for a few moments, everything goes back to their proper place.
I do wonder if I’m going headlong into mania. I thought I’d avoided it, but now things are picking up steam again. I still refuse to take the Risperdal, so if I fall over, it’s my own fault.
I have not slept since I woke up 23 hours ago despite the try when all the action abruptly started and I gave up an hour later. I would love to sleep, but am not remotely tired. I do get a bit worried when I have not slept for 24 hours or more, but not much to do about it.
I had a Cardiac Stress Test today. The ants came along with me. It’s ever so much fun trying to ignore hallucinations in a medical setting. More on that in a bit.
Besides being a fat girl, the COVID I had late December fucked with my heart and lungs. I had heart palpitations from early January until I went to the ER mid-April. (“They’re going to go away! Dr. Google said they are transient.” They were not.)
While in the hospital, a full work-up also found swollen lymph nodes in one lung. They weren’t too worried about that and said to go for another CT in six months. Easy peasy.
The heart, though. Well, let’s just say when I talked to the Electrocardiologist from my hospital bed at the end of April, he gave me an ultimatum.
These Are Choices?
“You can either completely change your life or you live in a nursing home.”
See, when people said I was going to die, that was pretty much saying, “You get out just like we all get out.” So what? I could not have cared less.
However, a nursing home?
I had pictures of myself at 400 pounds with some nurse’s aid wiping my ass. I could smell my life of urine and shit. I saw the rows of wheelchairs and my super-sized one in the corner waiting for me to go to a dinner of mush and slop.
(This might not be your view of nursing homes, but it was what my mind flashed to.)
Well, the idea of a nursing home was less than appealing, so I decided the other option of changing my life wins that argument.
I quit eating from Uber Eats.
I threw out the salt. Mind you, I put salt on salt, so not having salt was the most challenging change.
I only buy low-sodium/no sodium foods. (No lowER, sodium, I shoot for less than 1000 mgs salt daily.
I now drink Caffeine-Free Diet Coke.
I upped my vegan game, but the cardiologist said, “You might want to eat salmon for your heart and kidneys.” I eat a small bit of salmon three times a week and take Omega-3 supplements daily.
I take Metoprolol Tartrate for my heart palpitations (PVCs).
I take Lasix to keep the water from flowing up and squishing my heart.
What’s Changed So Far
The heart palpitations/PVCs are gone.
The Lasix has stopped my retaining fluid. Good LORD, salt sure had me retaining fluid. I had so much in my body it was actually squishing my heart! That is a fuck ton of fluid.
I’ve lost 60 pounds since the beginning of May.
I just got permission to start walking again. Woo hoo!
Today’s Cardiac Stress Treat
The stress test was a chemical one instead of the treadmill.
It took wayyyyyy longer than expected because I am a hard stick for IVs and they had to bring in the PICC team woman to ultrasound my arm. She found it quick and easy after 4 pokes from the nurses. “I am a hard stick. You might want to get someone with a sono to do it.” <ignore Barb/>
Ants on a Log
Yeah, I brought the ants with me to the hospital. I closed my eyes and meditated to my Queen mix, deciphering the different vocal and instrumental parts to keep my mind working and not seeing or slapping the ants. I could still feel them, but worked to not feel them as much.
“Oh, listen to Deacy’s bass. That goes well with Roger’s kick drum.”
“Listen to Brian, Freddie, and Roger’s harmony. That’s Roger up there. I hear Brian better on this section. Freddie sure has range!”
I laughed thinking what they would think if I demonstrated my hallucination dance. I might be put on another floor of the hospital. At least I recognize my hallucinations. I know I am lucky that way.
Sniffing… Well, Sometimes Glue (I think)
At the hospital, I realized my olfactory hallucinations (phantosmia) are back, too. They have been for awhile, but it didn’t hit me until I began smelling the scent of a rotten animal at the hospital, too. It has been an on-again-off-again smell in my room. I have torn it apart looking for a dead animal, not finding anything. My room is sealed! There is no way for anything to get in. Why that didn’t hit me sooner is beyond me.
My olfactory hallucinations have been the most frequent hallucinations I’ve had over the last 30 years. Even when I am fine and balanced, I still have them. I have not had them for over a year; no idea why not. But here they are again.
Usually, when I am depressed, I smell gross things like vomit, something burning, shit or… dead animals?
When I am doing well, I smell great things like the plumeria in Kaua’i, strawberries, and (this is hilarious) the scent of the paper fresh off the ditto machine.
Am I Sliding Into Mania?
Yet, here I am, not depressed but having hallucinations.
I’ve sat for awhile and thought about the last couple of weeks. I also scoured Dr. Google.
Written a LOT of posts
Written things I regret writing (blessedly not on the blog that I can see… yet, anyway… but sadly to someone who I love very much)
Am sleeping way less
Am talking louder than I need to be
Saying things that are out of character
Fuck. Maybe I am sliding into mania again.
I have an appointment with my Psychiatrist in one week. I will let you know how it goes.
Afterthought: I started off this post all happy and almost silly. Now that I am in this place with new light, I am not so giddy.
Deep inside my colorless cocoon, I have a vague sense of other lives nearby.
I slither through their reality; where is my own? Surrounding myself with the darkness of my depression.
My mirror’d existence bursts into color, fireworks exploding with energy that drains my body, but never my mind.
Having Bipolar Disorder 1 is, quite literally, opposing colors of my brain. I see auras anyway, but during a manic episode, the colors scream off my body, tsunamis of energy crashing into my brain again and again. Voices screech… or whisper… I, never knowing which will be next… raging about how I look, feel, need to act, need to fly, need to find this or that, things that are elusive even after hours of mentally and physically searching.
Exhaustion never comes.
When the electricity finally dissipates after months of zapping me, I collapse into that dark world once again, struggling to keep breathing and not smother myself with the thought that this will go on forever.
Reaching outward, always outward, needing several hands to keep me alive, I am fed my medication, waking only to swallow, then sleeping yet another 23 hours.
Writing is my emotional gauge. By how many words I write in a day, I’m able to see where I stand psychologically.
Not writing for days, weeks, months… I am in that dark place and need help. Too often, because I am alone, I do not recognize the need for many weeks and, by then, am buried by the pain.
However, when I write 20,000 words in a day… several blog posts for me, blog posts and essays for work… long emails to friends and family… run-on sentences with divergent topics… it is they who sense my need for help and their well-rehearsed phone calls are made to see who can get me to the doctor the fastest.
Walking the tightrope, umbrella in hand, I teeter, side to side, always searching for that inaccessible balance.