I’m sitting here in the main lobby of the hospital. I had an early appointment with my psychiatrist. 9am. That’s early for me considering the majority of the world had been up hours ago. Gone to work. Out for breakfast with friends. At the stadium walking the track. Outside walking their dog. Taking kids to various appointments. But not me. I was lying in bed, awake, staring at the wall. Trying to think up reasons to call in so that I could cancel my session. It wasn’t the session itself I was having trouble with. It was the whole process required to get be there.
But then I started thinking that because I was lying there like that, that in itself was a very good reason TO GO to my doctor.
Drag myself out of bed and make it up, to prevent the temptation of crawling back in.
Look in the mirror to exam my freshly cut and colored hair. Streaks of blue. Ironic. Every part of me feels blue. So I might as well have hair to match.
Eat a protein bar and take my morning meds with a glass of milk.
Put a little eye make up on to help me look alive.
Socks. Let’s start at my feet. Matching socks. Check.
Jeans. My favorite ones. They show off my bum. Or so I’ve been told.
Brush my teeth. Ack. Baking soda in toothpaste. Gross.
Hoodie. Long sleeves that come down slightly over my hands. Black. Safe. My safe coverup.
Feed Toby and have my morning chat with him. Sometimes he doesn’t see or hear me until the afternoon. He was super chatty this morning. I almost felt like he was giving me a pep talk. For a guinea pig he sure knows how to carry on a conversation.
Then I collapse on the couch.
All of this took me an hour and 35 minutes. I’m kind of glad David was at work. I really didn’t want him to see how much I was struggling. But, because he was at work I had to call a taxi to take me to the hospital. 40 minutes before my appointment I called and 15 minutes later I was sitting in my psychiatrist’s waiting room. Good timing.
We talked about how much I have been struggling. 6 months ago I was not in a bad place like this. I was feeling great. But one day I found myself in the ER because of a rapidly spreading skin rash. I was admitted and shortly after I collapsed and was then transferred to the ICU. I was experiencing Lithium toxicity. My body was poisoned. We were devastated. Then my kidneys failed. It was a painfully miserable 3 month hospitalization.
But since then, I have been caught in the rapid whirlwind of mood cycling. Mostly very depressed with random flashes of the hyperactivity that comes with Bipolar. Several medication changes have not fixed things. After being on at least a hundred different meds over the years, it’s hard to find something that will work. Lithium had been my miracle drug. It have me back my life and I had some really good years because of it. But since the poisoning last year I have not taken it.
Until today. With some very close monitoring a very small dose of lithium has been added to my current medication regimen.
So now here I am. Finished my appointment but not really wanting to go home. Now that I am around people I don’t want to leave. So I’m sitting by a window in the lobby of the hospital, watching people come and go. Taking in all the conversations taking place around me. Next to me 2 men in the approximate 50’s are talking about ice fishing and the extreme cold temps we have experienced this year. People may think I’m waiting for someone.
But no. I’m sitting here because this is probably the closest I will get to public socialization this week.