Remember that commercial from about 10 years ago that had an egg all burned up in a frying pan and the ominuous voice-over saying, “This is your brain…This is your brain on drugs…Think about it.”
Boy is that ever true. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder about 11 years ago. I take medication for that. I was disagnosed with Epstein Barr Syndrome out in California in 1990 and then fibromylgia in about 1994 here in New York. I take medication for that. I have problems with anxiety. I take medication for that. I have trouble sleeping. I take medication for that. I have bouts of depression. I take medication for that. I’m afraid of Regis Philbin. I take medication for that. OK, I’m just joking about that one. But the problem with all these medications are, that they have taken a person who was once very smart, i.e., an honor roll student and almost always the smartest person in the room, and made them into….I don’t know….Keith Richards.
I mean my brain is totally fried, people. I am forgetful. I have trouble doing paperwork. I haven’t done my checkbook in two years. And I think people think I’m kidding. But hell to the no on that one, sistah! I really am that blank these days. And the only thing that can even vaguely hold my attention is:
3) Petting Guardcat
And that’s about it.
I had a rather amusing conversation with the wench up at the medicaid counter yesterday. As usual I screwed up on my paperwork and left things blank and didn’t understand other questions. And we had a tangle over a certain question. Am I paying for services for a disability. I put YES of course, since I pay “A” a certain amount towards my therapy each month, and yet Obi Won (i.e., the extremely knowledgeable medicaid worker) didn’t seem to think being bipolar was a disability and therefore the answer should be no. Her thinking was that a disability was only something that would require a wheelchair or “would prevent me from walking or eventually kill me”. Sure I don’t need a wheelchair as a bipolar person, not unless I wanted to do a really cool “Evil Knievel” jumpie thing over a bunch of winos out in front of the medicaid office. But WTF? I kept telling her I’m on DISABILITY BECAUSE of bipolar disorder”. I mean I tried working with it back in the 90s, but I kept throwing things and scaring innocent bystanders. (That was before all the meds, by the way. Now I just do “road rage” in my car and on the internet thankyouverymuch).
But I did lose it a little in the last month. Frankly I don’t like medication. When I used to work at the mental health place, I used to cringe when people would almost gleefully spew forth of list of 15 or so medications dedicated to controlling their various mental illnesses. And I’d wonder why they were taking so many. Because some shrink was getting a free time share in Colorado or a golf membership from some pharmaceutical company? Probably.
I once even had a terrible argument with some snooty psychiatrist in a fancy office who wanted to put me on lithium and I refused. No. Way. I had been on it one other time and felt like Dawn of the Dead. If you can’t feel like you’re alive, why bother? So he literally threw the prescription at me when I got up to leave (who’s acting bipolar now) and I stepped on it on the way out. Yay me!
We should have done a little angry adagio dance on it too. So many missed opportunities.
Anyways, this last month has been terrible with the back pain and basically I’ve been abusing drugs. I was like Jack Lemmon in “Days of Wine and Roses”, stumbling out to my kitchen and grabbing the nearest bottle…this time a pill bottle instead of gin and downing what ever was in it. Nothing was helping really. And unfortunately sometimes when you complain alot, people stop listening. Have you ever noticed that?
So it was just me and my jumbo bottle of pain pills. And all my other pills. And some new recent ones. Yay! And I was basically just taking all of them willy nilly. And if I were lucky enough to finally fall asleep, I kept having weird dreams like the one where I was being dragged by my feet up and down the hallways of this big dark house. I couldn’t see who was dragging me, just cognizant of the fact that occasionally some large dog was licking my face.
Paging Doctor Freud!
Anyways, I think my regular doctor finally heard me (I went to her 3 times in 3 weeks for the same thing). As in Ow, this pain is really unbearable. And like everything else that is going on in my life (no love, no job, no money, a car leaking gas), I finally convinced somebody that I really needed to get some repair work started on my life. Enter physical therapy.
That first one was a bitch. I almost didn’t go back. I give up easily these days. You can ask anyone. “A”? But now after four appointments I am finally getting some measurable relief and have made some changes in how I stand, sit and walk. I mean my sciatic nerve still hurts quite a bit, but at least now I have someone who is actually listening to me and not belittling me and telling me I have nothing to look forward to in my future. And suddenly I am walking straighter…with effort. And its fooking weird. Walking straight with your face up? You can actually see people. And wow, they actually say HI to you on the hiking trail. Who knew! And now I’m always thinking about “my core” and trying to keep it straight. I mean, I can’t change the way my body has atrophied over 49 years in 4 appointments, but evidently, I am well on my way to lifting the vertebrae off the little soft nerve thingie and not having it pinch so bad. And more importantly, I’m not scrounging around like Courtney Love for illicit drugs.
I guess what I’m getting at is…don’t turn your back on people when they’re needing help. Even when they may ask for your help more than once. Because they might not be telling you the whole story, like about their night time re-enactments of “Days of Wine and Roses” because they’re too embarrassed or they don’t think you’ll listen.
Oh, so I suppose you want to hear about the pork chop? I’m truly not kidding about my brain being well on its way to Jessica Simpson-land.
The other night I cooked a pork chop for dinner and presumably put the other one back in the refrigerator when I was cleaning up the kitchen, to work on a collage on the kitchen counter. Anyways, I finished up the collage and it turned out really nice (I sold another one yesterday, by the way. Woot) and I put it in the living room with the other 300 pieces of artwork which are currently piling up nearly to the ceiling it seems.
So hours pass. I watched TV. I talked to my friend “G” down in Manhattan who just returned from L.A. working with the Spiiiiice Girls and had some words about them. And then my Mom called around midnight like she always does. And whenever the phone rings, that is like a Pavlov’s Dog signal for Guardcat to run out from where ever she is hiding to get fed.
Meow, meow, meow.
Since my kitchen is so tiny, I keep my cat food cans in the silverware drawer. So I open up my silverware drawer and what do I see in there? Go ahead and guess. A freakin’ pork chop….next to the forks.
Oy! I can only imagine where Courtney Love keeps her pork chops.