Daily Archives: June 23, 2013

Don’t Do What I Did

Warning: Trip Trigger.  You might get stoned reading this, or just confused….this is a story of my confusion.

Yup, I did it.  Did what I have taken meticulous precautions not to do for the last two-and-a-half years, since I’ve been taking the heavy meds.  The fail-safe system failed, because I simply paid no attention to it, and I did it, and it blew my day away.

I took my night-time meds in the morning.

Night-time meds: Ativan, Clonapine, Zolpidem, Seroquel, Lithium.  I took all that, by accident, in the morning.  And not just any morning:  it was the morning of the day I closed on the lease of the most adorable tiny apartment in the most amazing neighborhood in Jerusalem.  Yep.  That morning.  The morning before I got on a plane for a 14-hour flight back to the States.  That morning.

Nighttime Knockout Pills

Nighttime Knockout Pills

I didn’t realize what I had done until the effects started coming on.  At first I was puzzled and thought I might be coming down with something.  I  had the whirly-heads: perhaps an inner-ear infection, my rational brain reasoned.  Then my vision started going double.  Not a good sign.  And finally the side effect I dread every night when I have to get up to go to the bathroom:  the floor seems to move and roll around, so that I never know where my body is in space.  Since I had never had this happen in broad daylight, I had not noticed that when I try to walk anywhere in this condition, I weave and stumble like a drunk.  That’s when I realized what had happened.

And then there was the issue of trying to stay awake.  Actually, since what I was experiencing was all the side effects that I normally don’t notice because I have been drugged to sleep by a combination of all that plus a shot or two of hard liquor (yes I know, don’t waste your breath), I found it hard to actually relax enough to fall asleep.  And yet I wasn’t quite awake, either.

I admit that I often forget to take my morning meds, which is not a good thing since my Lamictal is in there.  But I never forget my bedtime meds, because they are the means by which I sleep.  At all.  Ever.

So I checked my med box, and as well as I could make out through my double vision, it looked suspiciously like the little compartment for tonight’s bedtime dose was empty.  Shit.  Now what am I going to do?

Med Box

Roll with it.  What else is there to do about it?  Suck it up.  Live through it.  Fuck, what am I going to do about the lease and the landlord?  Can’t put that off, because just to make things even more fun, I am leaving the country at midnight tonight.  Shit.  Double shit.  Good thing my OCD demanded that I pack yesterday, so at least I didn’t have that to obsess about in this deplorable condition.

You know, this is the only time I can remember being glad I did so much acid as a youngster.  It trained me to “maintain.”  I don’t know if that term is still in service, but I’ll explain anyway, in case it isn’t.  To “maintain” means to act normal even when you’re tripping your ass off, the walls are melting in psychedelic flashing colors, and the floor has become like one of those funhouse rollercoaster tipping floors, which by the way is how the floors started feeling about mid-day.  Add to that trying to navigate the uneven cobblestone streets of Jerusalem, and the crooked ancient stone steps, and the gaping holes that appear without warning due to the recent construction boom, and you can bet I wished I had  a pair of crutches, or at least a walking stick to keep from stumbling from one side of the narrow alleys to the other, like a green sailor without sea legs on a rolling deck.  Oy gevalt.

The landlord called and wanted to meet in a place called Givat Shaul, which would have been two bus rides away from where I was staying.  I don’t recall what I said to him.  I think I just said “Ee efshar,” which means in Hebrew, “that is not possible.”  Then he suggested somewhere else, which I also nixed.   He finally got the idea that I wanted him to come to my place, and since he wanted to sign a lease, he consented.  I have mastered the  concept that if someone wants something from you that involves money, it is a good time to maximize your negotiating power.

By the time he showed up at my place with the lease in hand, I was feeling miserably sick.  We filled out the form and then had a sudden moment of joint panic when we realized that we each needed a copy of the lease, and we only had one.  He would go and get another form, he said, and we would fill it out again from scratch.  My head was pounding and I wasn’t sure if I could get through another lease form without throwing up.  No need, I said; the friend with whom I am staying has a copier.  He answers one of his three cell phones.  Most Israelis have at least two: one for business, one for friends and family.  I guess he has more than one business, or more than one family, or something.  None of my business.

Gotta go, he says.  You make a copy of the lease, and I’ll meet you at the Betzalel stairs at about three. (You don’t really need to know what the Betzalel stairs are, except that they are made of wavy, slippery Jerusalem limestone and require navigating several narrow alleys to arrive at them.)  OK, I say merrily, happy to have him out of my space for a while. Maybe I can take a nap and wake up feeling peachy.

No dice: lying down just increases my nausea quotient.  I grab the oil of peppermint bottle and stick my nose deeply into it.  My stomach quiets a bit.  Exhale.

I totter over to the copier with the lease.  At least I can get this simple task done.  Fuck, out of toner.  Shit.

Good thing I still remember where that copy shop is, in the Binyan Clal, which is a great big building full of random shops, locksmiths, seedy restaurants and a pool hall, about five blocks away.  The sun is blazing.  It has to be a hundred out there, at least.  Where’s my big floppy hat?  Oh god, please don’t tell me it’s anywhere where I might have to bend down to get it.  I’ll puke for sure.  Oh there it is, on that chair.  Sigh of relief.

Desperately wishing not to be apprehended as a potential terror suspect by Israeli police for acting weird, I adopt the strategy of  hanging onto the walls of the stone buildings as I navigate to the Binyan Clal. That’s pretty normal, isn’t it?  I got across Agrippas Street without being run over by a passing bus. Small victory, but still.

After passing through security, just like at the airport (we have to do this when entering any public building),  I got to the copy shop.  A sweet lady copied my lease for me, for two shekels (about fifty cents).  I wove my way back to my friend’s apartment and waited for the call from the landlord, which came none too soon.  I wanted to get this overwith.

The landlord called at three exactly: American time.  If I had been an Israeli it wound have been four or five, but I’m American and he wanted to get this deal closed, and collect his checks.  This was duly accomplished, along with an agonizing half-hour of small talk, obligatory when doing business.

After being released from that exhausting ritual, I wove my way home from the Betzalel Stairs (remember them?) and had a blessed half-hour to myself, before Simha the tree surgeon, who doubles as a real estate agent, showed up wanting his commission for having found me the apartment.

Did I have cash, he wanted to know?  No, I didn’t.  Well, why don’t you go to the Caspomat (ATM) and get some right now, he says amiably.  Because I don’t feel like it, is why.  I’ll write you a check.  No, don’t do that!  I’ll have to pay taxes on it.

I got out of patience and roared, “HONEST BUSINESS PEOPLE PAY THEIR TAXES!!!”  He roared something back; I don’t remember what.  He got a check.  Don’t let the door hit you in the ass, I thought, as my head swam and I fell into the nearest chair.

Evening came and it started to be time to go to the airport.  I wondered what the night flight would be like.  Certainly this shit must wear off at some point.  Is this the reason my brain has stopped working in general?  These awful meds that I take every night?  Could be. But they also keep me from killing myself.  That’s the trade-off, I guess.

The flight came off without incident, thank God.  I took a couple of Ativan just so I wouldn’t have a seizure from skipping my night-time meds, the ones I had taken in the daytime and was damned if I would take them back-to-back, and managed to sleep fitfully through the 14 hour flight.

Moral:  Be really, really vigilant about which meds you’re taking when, unless you want a really, really bad day.


Lessons from the Mental Hospital

Reblogged from Pride in Madness:

Damn this TEDx Talk's relevancy!

Wow.....wow....wow.....please watch this. It totally turned my head around.

Chemical cyclone

I was in bed reading last night (Greg Isles’ “Mortal Fear”, for like the sixth time) and came across that term. “Chemical cyclone.” I had to find pen and paper immediately to write it down.

Because I have never seen a more apt description of bipolar or panic disorder.

It is a virtual chemical cyclone in your head, swirling, kicking up dust, spinning round and round at massive speeds…Only to stop and leave you looking at the wreckage left in its wake.

I LOVE that term.

Right now, what I would like is for the Trazadone fog to stop clinging to my brain. I only take 25 mg and I still get this crap. It’s why I didn’t take it for the longest time. But with the amped up summer mood and energy levels, I have been reduced to either being awake until 3 or 4 am every night with swirling thoughts and anxieties, or I take the pill and get some sleep. I take it as often as I don’t for an even balance. The doctor wants me to take it every day, at a higher dosage.

She’s so funny.

The bizarre dreams kick my ass. I mean, weird, weird, creepy dreams. That seem very real, and leave me questioning “Did this happen or was it a dream?” (Anyone old enough to remember those commercials “Is it real or is it Memorex? Eh, probably just me, the retainer of all useless banal trivia.) The only thing worse than Trazadone for dreams is Seroquel. But that seems at high doses, so I’m still gonna try the 50mg a day during shark week to see if it makes me less psychotic.

Have to go R’s house in about an hour so he can attempt to fix the car. I hate that car, the car he recommended I buy, because every day something new stops working. Yesterday it was the horn. Last week it was the auto unlock. The power locks are broken,. The air is broken. I was told it all worked. Ha ha ha ha, people lie. I am just waiting for the day I open the sun roof and a big rainstorm hits and the fucking power to the damn thing won’t work.

I love my computer, but as for driving something computerized, it fucking sucks. I want my damn 1986 back. Just as I am comfortable with my “dumb” phone, the outdated flip style. Anything that requires a degree in rocket science to operate and maintain can bite me. This car is making me want to become a pyro and just set it on fire. If it were a horse, it’d have to be euthanized.

Okay, so I am a little manic right now. That happens as the trazzy d fog lifts. It just lifts sooo slowly.

On the plus side, the air conditioning in here is working so well and feels so good. I am normally marinated in sweat by now. This is awesome. Maybe I won’t be so cranky all summer.

Now..I need to roust the cranky butt, get us both dressed, and put on a smile and gratitude face so Mr. I’m so Important can fix the car. I am grateful  he fixes shit. I just have this big problem with people who say they are gonna do something but don’t do it. I mean, can you image if I said I’d be at the shop Tuesday at 8 am, so he can attend his stepson’s school function, yet was a no show no call?

It’s always different for him, though. We’re fortunate to luxuriate in his time.

Blah. Bitter and bitchy.

Stomach knots have started up. Every time I have to deal with him.

I’d loooove to blame it all on him, but sadly, this is just the way my body handles everything that stresses it.

Part of the chemical cyclone.

 


A Sad Lack of Crafting (Shake That Cane)

I’ve not been able to pick up my knitting in days, to my dismay. Well, I could have picked it up, but I couldn’t really do anything with it — all my joints are angry right now. I’m not even sure why — could it just be the relative humidity combined with that whole aging thing? And okay, perhaps they don’t hurt per se, but most of them feel rather weak and wobbly.

It’s frustrating, to say the least. I’m having to ration my typing after a fashion; I picked the perfect time to switch to posting here every other day for the time being in that regard. It makes me feel hella old though. Even knowing the sister after me has been dealing with arthritis and scoliosis since she was a kiddo, me and my rubber joints have been largely unaffected. And really, I can move and do things just fine for the most part, as long as I don’t ignore my body’s commentary on what is about to tip over into Painsville. And hey, at least I’m really low energy right now, so that helps remind me to take it easy! Yeah yeah, I’m the master of pulling the bright side out of the darkest clouds — it’s what keeps me sane.

So yeah, I’m still in good spirits. It feels admittedly fragile, like it could all shatter around me, but I’m doing my best to not let my thoughts stray into dark places. One day at a time continues to be the ideal modus operandi — es mejor que nada (it’s better than nothing)!

Back to caffeine and being floppy. I hope everyone has been having a pleasant weekend.

<3

The post A Sad Lack of Crafting (Shake That Cane) appeared first on The Scarlet B.

Not enough Valium on the planet

Okay, the title is kind of a misnomer, as I have never actually had Valium in my life, but I assume it’s the mac daddy of tranquilizers. And still, as of this moment, not a hubcap sized Valium would lower my stress level and sheer irritation with…EVERYTHING.

I had two days where the mood was pretty level. Though towards evening last night it did start a descent, but that was mostly because it was 93, and my trailer was 100, and he wouldn’t turn on the air at the shop, and we went to their house and they wouldn’t turn on the air and we sat in the humidity…I don’t handle heat with too much grace and it did make me cranky as hell. But that was an external factor, so I don’t count that as a crazy pill mood swing.l This was just life.

Today, things started out good. I am not sure when the tides turned. My dad and his crew came over, put the air conditioners in for us, and wow, it makes a huge difference. Just can’t run both at the same time or it blows my circuits. I can deal.

By the five o clock hour, and not so much as a text from R, I began to simmer with anger. He told me he’d fix my car last night. Then, no he was too tired and hot, I’ll do it tomorrow…Then at 8:15 tonight he finally calls and says, “Bring the car by in the morning, I didn’t forget you, I just got caught up in so and so’s broken this and that…” Meanwhile, my car is running so crappy it stalled out and I nearly got smashed into, but by all means, someone’s fucking washing machine totally trumps that. Yeah. Hard not to cop an attitude. What’s tomorrow’s excuse? And why does he do this shit, where he promises to help someone, yet lets these other people jump ahead in importance?

I don’t know I expect differently, he runs his business the same way. I used to think “first come, first serve”. With him, he just fixes things willy nilly. Some people get their TV back the same day. Some people wait three months. Often, there’s a valid reason. Often, he just doesn’t see if as money maker, he puts it aside.

And he does people the same way if they simply aren’t important enough to motivate him. I guess I top that list.

Okay, that rant is done.

Onto my kid, who won’t listen to a word I say and refuses to even attempt to potty train. She is driving me nuts. I know most of it is normal kid stuff, but when she piles it all in in a three hour space (bathing in 2 bottles of body wash, washing her lollipop with toilet paper, yelling ‘no,i don’t want to” in public and running away) I get stressed out.

I know I am being ridiculous.

I am just so damned frustrated with it all.

I did well for two days. I guess that’s something.