Tuesday, June 5, 2012

How Much Can I Continue To Bear?

       Natalie Grant - The Real Me

Foolish heart looks like we're here again Same old game of plastic smile. Don't let anybody in Hiding my heartache, will this glass house break. How much will they take before I'm empty. Do I let it show, does anybody know?But you see the real me. Hiding in my skin, broken from within Unveil me completely I'm loosening my grasp There's no need to mask my frailty...Cause you see the real me!

I chose this song because there was a time long ago when I could successfully wear the mask and at times only my wife could see through; see the real me and know the hurt I was feeling deep inside. Those times have all disappeared. The plastic smile melts before it is visible and now everyone knows. They do not know to what extent the pain is behind the plastic smile, nor do they know how what is exactly wrong with me, or the serious damage it has caused, and still does cause me and my family. "Something just isn't right." That is...for now all everyone sees. In addition living with daily multiple symptoms of the evil illness, thinking inside I am an open book does not help the situation. 

I'm sorry but this is a post like no other I have done I am not going to apologize how this will turn out. I believe you will understand when you finish reading it the state of mind I am in is not in any condition to turn out a perfect article…not that I succeeded it that area in the first place. The normal post, according to most, should be short as to keep the reader’s attention and not ramble on. Well, there are some things I am going to say and if it’s a little long…well so be it.

My intentions, among others when I started this blog were:
• Give you as much words of encouragement I could to lift you up and let you know you are not alone.
• Offer some information and plant some seeds that you can think about, take with you, and give you the desire to research more to learn as much as you can about your situation.
• Share some of my experiences with you that hopefully someday will educate, encourage, or at the least let you know you are not alone.

I hope and pray after all months and yes, years I have spent writing this blog I was able to accomplish a few of the above. I have not asked much from you but I am going to now. I so desperately need some words of encouragement—just a kind note will be worth gold to me right now.

Looking in reverse right now I see signs of my illness of over 42 years. Of that time, the last nine - plus years I have been faithfully going to the psychiatrist, taking whatever medications prescribed to me, seeing specialist and the way I am feeling this very moment, please forgive the sarcasm, all the money spent that the insurance did not pay was basically flushed down the toilet.

The last twenty days have been a full scale war with me. Look up the charts of all the symptoms on Bipolar I and every day for at least twenty days I have had anywhere from five to ten hitting me from time to time with no letting up. You name it from mania; rage; irritable; deep dark depression; the urge to fly away - where does not matter as long as this dreadful blackness following me cannot follow; daydreams; nightmares; and on and on. Looking at it from my point of view this very second the way I see it is a poison releasing itself into my system, even though a slow dose, and am all too aware that if continued even at the same level with no letup - it will surely kill you.

I'm sorry, this is not like me. You all that know me I will try to keep fighting and will continue to "hang in there" but does there ever come a time where enough is enough?

You don't really know the REAL ME! Even those who do know me probably have forgotten over the years. Years ago I was a friendly person who never met a stranger. I was passionate; romantic - I loved with all my heart and soul and my heart raced with romantic thoughts; I looked forward to life - dreamed and fantasized what life could be like; I lived for beautiful sunsets, photographs of beautiful scenes, animals and such. Once in a while, I am able to let a glimpse of this slip through on Facebook under Jerry D Parker (Eagle Mind). But it's getting less and less. The real me is still there but it is surrounded by a dark ugly shadow.

“If I can't feel, if I can't move, if I can't think, and I can't care, then what conceivable point is there in living?”

Kay Redfield Jamison, An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness

About two weeks ago I went to the doctor again, she is exasperated... As I mentioned before she stated I am one of the hardest patient to treat because my condition (symptoms) continue to change, but most of all my mind just does not respond to medication the way it should. One example was a fairly high dose of extended release that was supposed to stay in my system for 8 to 12 hours, would be gone in 3. Sure, she could totally dope me up to rid all the mental pain but I would not be able to function. I would be a zombie -better off in a mental hospital. There's a fine line between being able to be coherent enough to carry on a job to support my family and totally "out of it." My doctor stated after almost 10 years of treatment she could print a list of all the medication I have tried and the rolls of paper would spill out into the street. This does not even account for the combinations taken together and the doses changed. She has consulted with her colleges - something should have worked by now!

It's so hard to explain to you what is going on this very minute. I am so very tired. Mentally tired. I want some relief. I long for a break, even if it is short time. Oh what I would give for a few days of no symptoms whatsoever!

Many have asked me advice on various types of medications, how they have helped and what they should expect. Know you know why I have not even brushed the subject of medication. How can I give advice when nothing I have taken so far has completely helped? Is that because my system does not even acknowledge the medication at all? I could list some strong medicine I took that has the same effect as an aspirin.

I just saw the doctor again. She monitored the results of doubling the dose of the medicine I was on, and adding yet some different kinds at a high dose -one last effort. Her next recommendation is to go to a Renowned Psychiatric Ward in a large Hospital in my area for a battery of special tests including an MRI. Unfortunately with all the surgeries and radiation treatments I have went through, I have still have my deductible and out of pocket expense I have to cover, and now today I find out the company I work for just increased my deductible and out of pocket by $9000 more effective immediately. The doctor stated the treatments at the hospital will be very expensive, who can afford this?

I'm tired. I want it to end. I want, no I Pray desperately for relief. For thousands of years ones just like me have fought this illness. Just like me they did not know what path to take.They just did not think they could bear it anymore. However, many wonderful famous people found that little path and destroyed the dreadful, relentless illness the only way they knew how...they killed it.

I have suddenly come to the conclusion and embrace the fact that one way or another it will take more than doctors and their medications to help me get out of this hole. I long for the day when the Majestic Eagle sweeps down and lifts me up to a plane of peace and relief not known to man. I am clinging to this.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Early Morning Thoughts 11/5/11...(Sharing Again--Nothing Has Changed)

It was sometime between two and three this morning, when the world seemed asleep and at peace, I was sitting here trying to get over a major hurdle in the draft of the next post I promised when like the fog that slowly moves in just before daylight, thoughts of despair and helplessness started entering into my mind. Either brought on by what I was trying to write or just because "It" can, the illness inside of me caused my mind to think... 

"My entire neighborhood was quiet. Except for outside driveway light posts and an occasional porch light on, all the houses were dark. I thought of all the people in bed, asleep, "their" minds are wherever they go when peaceful sleep comes. When they awake, their mind will still be at ease. Mine, it seems, will be never know what that feeling is like. Proof of that is while the country is asleep or out doing what they enjoy, I am still up, possessed on writing about an illness that will not leave. 'It' may at times seem like it has left, but it really never does. It likes to tease and it never fails to creep back in and remind me - I am not in control, it is. I have no say when it will appear, how long it will stay, or how bad it will be. I live everyday a slave to it. What would it be like to go just one day without even one symptom to reminding me of it? And now, this main point I am trying to write so they will understand, does not seem it can be translated into words. By me anyway..."

So, as this happened, I was finished for the rest of the night. I was getting tired of trying to force this - "It" - away, and more thoughts kept coming so I took the medicine and went to bed. It was awhile later when I too fell asleep. I remember thinking just before I started drifting off how I so much looked forward to it. At least, I would not be aware of what was going on in this crazy manic-depressive mind, and the words on that draft that is so difficult to write would for awhile anyway, be forgotten.

I will leave you with a quote that seems like this one just fit the mood: 

"I’d been depressed before, of course. But I’m talking about really depressed. Not just feeling a bit down or sad, a depression that has something to do with biorhythms. I’m talking about the kind of depressed that floats in upon you like a fog. You can feel it coming and you can see where it is going to take you but you are powerless, utterly powerless to stop it. I know now"

Alan Cumming, Tommy’s Tale

"My Mind"