The It Notebook Saturday, January 29, 2011

9am-9:55 55 minutes

Stopped by going to sleep, intending to take a “power nap,” but set the alarm wrong and napped over an hour, so woke up with the next It.

What happened: I went to walk Puzzle, and hadn’t gotten far when I notied the warning signs.  I knew I had about ten minutes before the confusion would begin.  So I had to get Puzzle in fairly quickly.  She went to the bathroom and It, meanwhile, seemed to be fading.  I cane in and the warning signs and even slight confusion seemed to be gone while I was feeding her.  It had held off on account of Puzzle!  Imagine that!  Then shortly after, it was 9am and It started full force.  I knew this because when I decided to boil eggs, I went the closet to find the eggs!  I wondered if it was safe for me to use the stove while I was experiencing It.  I promised myself I would be very, very careful, and it was only eggs, right?  So I did it.  It was so hard to do this and took so much concentration.  I KNOW I did it safely, but it was not worth the intense effort and concentration I put into the task.  I will no longer use the stove while experiencing It.  See notes.

Then, I tried to rest, but felt very restless.  I tried sitting both in my chair and on my couch and neither felt okay.  Finally, I decided to take a “power nap,” at 9:55.  Instead of waking up at 10:15, I woke up at 11:20, becasue I had the alarm set for 10:15pm.

11:20-?

woke up very groggy after a nap, then realized I had woken up with It.  I tried doing the dishes but had to stop when It got too bad, and rested.

Later, I don’t know when, I called 911.  I panicked about the head pressure I experience because It was over but the head pressure wouldn’t quit. I worried about my electrolytes being off.  I was really scared.  I grabbed my things–cell phone, wallet, bus pass, this notebook, a couple of other things including a pencil and clipboard and paper–right before the ambulance arrived.  I plan to write a full report on what happened in the ER in my blog [really, it’s not worth it because I describe enough of it here].

In brief:  I was treated with disrespect because I am a mental patient.  The doctor told me to take Advil for my headache.  I told him I do not have a headache this is head pressure. He said, then take Advil for your head pressure.  I said, it’s not painful, why take Advil?  And so on.  Then checked my blood work: normal.  The nurse, meanwhile, had given me IV fluids, saying I looked dehydrated.  I guess I wasn’t.  [She also asked me why I was so skinny, and I told her exactly why.]  They sent me home, and meanwhile, It was starting up again.  They did not bother showing me where the exit was.  [Nor did they ask me if I had a way to get home, or if I was safe to take the bus, or if I had a ride, or if I could afford a cab, or if I needed a cab voucher.  Nada.  Just set me loose from the cubicle.]  After a number of false starts, I found the correct door to get out of there, and found the lobby.  I have precious little money left this month, not enough, certainly, for a cab, so I realized I would have to take the bus home.  Easier said than done for a person who has It. It was obvious that I had just missed one bus (I saw one pass by) so I decided to use the bathroom, but couldn’t figure out which was the men’s room and which was the ladies’ room.  Finally, I figured it out, peed, and went out.  I flagged down the wrong bus becasue I couldn’t see out of my glasses (this is an ongoing issue, whether I am experiencing It or not).  Finally, the bus came. I stayed on till the end of the line and got off and walked home.  I don’t know when It ended.

Notes: After a while, I felt okay again, but fairly depressed.  I walked Puzzle and fed her.  Feeling a little more energetic, I did some of the multitude of dishes that have piled up in the sink and cleaned up some, then finally unpacked my suitcase from my hospitalization and vacuumed and mopped the floor and did laundry.  I stayed up very, very late.  I love the wee hours these days.

I have decided on a “ten minute safety rule.”  This means, do not begin any potentially dangerous activity while feeling okay that I cannot quickly finish in ten minutes.  This is the time it takes for the confusion to get really bad.  So I will not walk further than Watertown Square. I can boil eggs and cook lentils but I can’t cook rice.  Well, it is because of this that I have purchased a rice cooker/vegetable steamer from ebay.  I already have a water boiler.  Now, I do not have to use the stove at all.  Even if It ends soon, the item is useful to have, and it cost me very little.

[…]

Another thing…my first hospitalization in Vermont, in 1983, I was completely unable to speak at certain times.  Could this be something similar?

I will end here for today.

Feedback and comments welcome!