Where have I been? Good question. I’ll fill you in on as much as I know. Rephrase. As much as I know and care to rehash. Monday I woke up full blown manic. My hair straightener broke. My job requires me to look put together so if my hair looks like a bird’s nest – might as well not go in. So I freaked out. I hit things. I threw things. I yelled. And then the wall started the crawl. And I told it I did not have time for it’s stupid shit right now. I had work. I had a family. I had a test. I had a promotion I worked three years for hinging on my ability not to be crazy for at least the next month or so. So I told my head I was sorry, I checked my schedule, and I couldn’t fit mania in. Try back next month. Call my secretary. It didn’t listen. It took me three hours to get ready because it’s hard to get ready when things don’t look right and things move and such that should stay still. My brain wouldn’t shut up and I kept trying to negotiate with it. No go.
I got to work and obsessed about my hair and getting a new straightener. I counted seconds to lunch. And thought about lots of other things that my currently sedated brain can no longer remember. I felt like my skin was crawling off. I heard noises that weren’t there. People were watching me freak out over these noises, I was sure.
Lunch came, I ran to the store to get a new hair straightener. Wasn’t thinking (or thinking too much, too fast) and just bought what the lady said was best (and a handful or two of other products I “needed”). Got back from lunch, realized the iron was 1.75″. Fuckfuckfuck. I need 1″. I had to sit on my hands not to leave work. I reasoned to myself that they would understand that I needed this right now. No, it couldn’t wait until after work. It had to be now. The noises weren’t helping. I tried to study. Instead, I started looking up meds that would make the crazy stop faster. I was seeing more things, hearing more things. The thoughts were faster, more erratic, made less sense. Again, I’m kinda doped up on the sedatives now, so I can’t remember them all. But I was 100% manic. No “hypo” involved. I asked my mom if she could pick up my son because I wasn’t mentally able to handle everything. She said she didn’t think so. I yelled. I said just pick him up cause I needed to fix the straightener issue. She did.
You know what the most awful thing ever ever ever is? When you’re not you on either side – your kid knows. They just know. Like animals can sense things, so can kids. Adults probably could, but I think most of them shut it off on purpose. They don’t want to know things like that. So because I was losing it, even though I was doing my very best acting in front of my son, he knew. And he ran from me and screamed for my mom or my husband. My heart broken into more pieces than I could count. My own son knows I’m crazy and doesn’t want to be around me. Takes a lot to make a manic girl sad, but that sure did it. In fact, count that as one of the saddest moments ever for me.
My husband took care of our son when we got home. I took sleeping pills and went to sleep. Woke up worse. Begged my husband to stay and help me get ready. Had light balls that looked like Jigglypuff around my mirror while I was getting ready and my fingers were numb (side effect from Topamax that’s working so well). He did, thank goodness. He’s been great through this. Like, really. I can’t say enough about how amazing he’s been considering how awful I’ve been. I’ve yelled so much and had so many weird demands and said so many bizarre things and he’s been more patient each day. Actually, yelled at the random things I kept seeing in the bathroom. Threw things at some of them. Like they’d listen or go away. Which I know doesn’t work, but I get so angry and it makes me a little less angry. I used to scream “what do you want?!?!” and now I scream “I don’t have time for your shit right now!!” How sad is my life that instead of being freaked out I’m just mad that it’s not a good time for me?
But that morning I knew I was maybe a few hours away from weeklong vacation in the mental hospital. Started making frantic calls about where to go, what to do. It always amazes me how pdocs don’t have emergency slots. Like, if my son is sick, they always have some “sick” time slots open. Shouldn’t they have these for crazies too? I told someone so, I think. Maybe a few someones. My son screamed the whole ride to daycare for daddy. He didn’t even wanna be in the car with me. Big win as a mom. Got to have the “hi, sorry, I’m having a nervous breakdown” conversation at work” and ended up at the ER because I didn’t know what else to do.
I knew ER was gonna end up bad when after telling the first nurse I was in for bipolar mania the doctor comes in and says “you’re in for anxiety?” Big sigh. Five room shits later, we were in negotiations. They wanted me in inpatient for a week. Or outpatient for three weeks from 10-3. Yeah…mom, job….not possible. They told me “people lose jobs.” Fuck the fuck off. I don’t have a nice way to say that. I almost failed high school over bipolar. Dropped out of college for a few reasons, but guess what a big one was. And yes, I’ve lost jobs over it. I’ve busted my ass for this one and I’m not losing it. Then we negotiated meds. They’d give me meds I’ve taken that that weeks to work (Risperdal) in hopes the antipsychotic would work faster than the mood stabilizer and take my normal Xanex more often. I was less than thrilled. I wanted something a bit stronger because I don’t have time for maybe because of this test. They said they won’t give me anything I haven’t tried before outpatient. Buzah? When I got to my doctor, he gives me a prescription for something I haven’t tired and sends me on my way. I never have to stay in his office a week to see how it goes. Hell, even when I get migraines they’re more than happy to shoot me up with dilaudid and kick me out and I’d argue that’s stronger than a bipolar med (although this is based on the fact that I’ve seen dilaudid on Intervention and no one on that show seems all that interested in Risperdal or Depakote or anything). So this logic pissed me off bad, but I didn’t wanna scream bloody murder because at some point they can commit you no matter what you say. So I left with instructions to restart meds I wasn’t a big fan of and take more Xanex to make my brain shut up. With a follow up appointment on Friday. Where a doctor will talk to me for less time than the ER doctors and probably write me a script for something I’ve never taken and say “call me on Monday.”
Every wonder why people with mental problems get so frustrated? This is why. Also, I’d never went to the ER for crazy before because I assumed they would do…pretty much what they did. It won’t be happening again.
They asked why I didn’t call my regular doctor. I said because I didn’t want to yell at him (true). But also, I feel like….well, imagine you have cancer and people keep sending you to spine specialists. That’s how I feel. Bipolar specialists are hard to find. I’ve only found two and I can’t see either of them anymore. Treatment in the form of a list of meds we cross off is usually okay by me, but in times of crisis, it doesn’t work. So when I just wanna go and get my regular meds refilled and suggest a tweak, my regular doctor is fine. When things are really bad, he’s over his head like the rest.
I’m feeling a little better, I think. Mostly doped up, so I don’t know if that counts. I better pass this test on Monday, because I have a feeling I’ll cycle so fast the other way it’ll snap my neck if I fail that thing. Trying to study, but my brain goes from slurred doped up thoughts back to hypomanic too fast to think thoughts. Mostly have stayed in the room, because I know what things are supposed to look like in here so I know how much in reality I am. If I went outside the room it got harder to judge. I got in the living room for a bit today. And the TV is on. For two days, lights and sounds were like screaming hell demons or something. I can’t watch my favorite reality TV junk (Hoarders, Intervention, other shows about people with problems) because then I might somehow get worse. But I can watch fluff. Progress.
Don’t take TV watching for granted.
Actually, scratch that. Don’t take your child’s hugs for granted. I know he can’t help it. I know he’s reacting on instinct and instinct says “avoid crazy.” Even though I’m a bit improved, I’m scared to be around him. Scared he’ll sense the crazy that’s still there. Scared he’ll run the other way. Scared he’ll know I’m still seeing things, though not as bad as before. Scared he’ll know mommy can’t fully take care of him right now. And while yes, daddy and grandparents have to step in right now, mommy can still give hugs and kisses. I can still tuck him in and maybe even read him a story. I just wanna be better soon so when he sees me his eyes light up and he runs to me instead of away. There is and never has been a greater joy in my life than him running to me and saying “mommy looooveeee yooouuuu!” Being cut off from that hurts. It’s motivation to get better, of course, but faulty wiring doesn’t listen much to reason. It does, however, give me a reason to take meds I’m not a huge fan of. That, at least, I can control.
I can’t believe I managed to keep my brain focused to write this. I’d been putting it off because I thought it would be fragmented. It is. Lots of stuff is missing. Mostly because I was delusional and can only remember parts and not even parts I can’t make a sentence out of. But that’s my few days.
Monday: Manic. Tuesday: More manic, ER, meds, sleep. Wed: sleep, try to study, sleep. Thursday: doped up, try to study, make this post, be annoyed with things. Oh! I also washed my face. It made me feel a little more normal.
But mostly? I wanna hug my son…and I want him to hug me back.
And I think I want a good doctor.