So yesterday I talked about my long absence and how bipolar depression wreaks havoc on my life. Bipolar patients used to be called manic-depressives because they lived life on two extreme ends of the same spectrum, with the middle being considered “normal”. You don’t have to read the entirety of yesterday’s post to understand the depression side, but do feel free to page down to the large blue lettering to jump right into my symptoms.
If you’ve read about my extreme lows, here is a partial example of my behaviors during an extreme high. I am leaving out destructive behaviors and illusions of grandeur because, frankly, I am not that forthcoming about my life. I am, in person, a private person. I have worked with people for years and they know practically nothing about my life outside of the job despite the fact I am fun and engaging and seem to have sincere connections with those very same coworkers. Some people describe me as mysterious. I’m not trying to be mysterious, alluring, or secretive. I just feel safer keeping my private stuff private.
Now that is a crazy statement… a blog writer, who shares her innermost thoughts and feelings on the Internet where nothing is erased and anyone can stumble upon it, describing herself as a private person!
Today’s Thursday, right? Where to start? Oh, yeah, at the beginning. No, that’s not right either, it actually started earlier than that, Saturday. Yes, Saturday, Oct 29th. I had gotten my normal sleep schedule 2 a.m. to 11 a.m. — well, I guess technically that is Sunday — I got my solid 9 hours sleep as recommended for adults my age. Saturday itself had been a pretty normal day for me. You know, me lying around in bed, not getting dressed, eat, sleep, repeat. Eat, sleep, repeat.
Anyway, back to Sunday. As you know, I had to fast all day and begin drinking that nasty prep at noon for my procedure the next day, Halloween Monday. I drank tons of fluid and used the restroom frequently and entertained myself with brainless Netflix fodder. Scuttling off to the restroom every few minutes or so meant no real hope for rest that night so I didn’t even bother pretending I would be going to bed. I just kept on keepin’ on. I had to check in at the hospital at 9:30 a.m. Monday and it is an hour’s drive. My internal workings finally settled down at 6:00 am Monday and so I did manage to get 2 hours of sleep. The procedure lasted only half an hour so I got another half hour’s rest at the hospital. And when I woke up they were taking the endoscopy mouthguard out of my mouth.
I had been dreaming. It’s nice to know that when they put you into a full sleep for surgeries you get to dream (rather than having zero, nothing, blankness and blackness like when having a grand mal seizure).
A friend picked me up and drove me to her house where after about 2 hours of chatting I asked if I could go lie down for a cat nap on her bed. She said yes and just as I was standing at the bedside, removing my shoes, my son arrived to take me home. We had the hour drive and a stop at the pharmacy. We got home. I ate dinner and WHAMMO! I wasn’t tired anymore. So I turned on the Netflix. And around my normal time, 2 a.m. turned out the light to go to sleep. But I didn’t fall asleep. I tossed. I turned. And I harrumphed. I listened to the clock ticking off the seconds of sleep I wasn’t getting and I watched the sun become brighter through my windows.
I did manage to make it to group that morning, Tuesday. My first time back in a year. And it felt great seeing my old friends again. I puttered around afterward getting my errands done and in the evening pulled up, what else, my handy-dandy, ever faithful, binging buddy, Netflix. And then I felt it sneaking up on me like a herd of wild elephants. I was awake. Wide-wide awake. My mind was clear and the fog had lifted. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep that night. I had too many notes to make; too many things I would need to write down so I would remember when the fog inevitably returns.
So yesterday, Doc, yesterday I was feeling pretty great and I accomplished a lot! I did laundry, cleaned my bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen and even made three meals and, shockingly, I even hopped on the treadmill! Then I stayed up all night cleaning up my email boxes and working on two of my blogs which I haven’t touched in 7 months. At 10:00 a.m. I decided to try and sleep so I turned out the lights and crawled into bed. It felt warm and cozy and welcoming. Two and a half hours later I awoke full of energy and made a beautiful breakfast, put the clean dishes away, swept, vacuumed and even moved furniture to do a real thorough job on all the floors. Then I cleaned the terrarium, took out the recyclables and garbage, packed unwanted stuff into my car and went to Goodwill, the bank, the grocery store, the pharmacy, got my son the flu shot, picked up applications at the Y for membership, bought gas, returned home, put the groceries away, walked the dog, answered important emails, and then made dinner. And I feel like I can just keep on at this crazy whirlwind pace.
Please doctor, what is your diagnosis?
So now as I write this blog post on Friday I can tell you that I did force myself to sleep by taking a sleeping pill. Went to sleep at 2:00 am and woke up at 10, so that’s 8 hours of sleep last night. And today I was very active again just as I was on Wednesday and Thursday. But I can feel the tide beginning to turn again. It is always so short lived. The happy, bouncy, proactive, efficient, productive Memee is starting to retreat again. Tomorrow I hope she will give me one more day with several good hours before she hibernates for weeks or months again.
I did the math for you I have gotten 10.5 hours of sleep in a time span of 144 hours.
The wonderful photograph was taken by Emre Ergen and acquired through Unsplash. It’s a great source for free photos under the Creative Commons Zero license, so check it out!