It is 11:00 on Saturday night and Parrish is in bed asleep. From Monday morning to Friday afternoon, his mania was unchecked, resistant to all the medicine we have on hand. It drove him to extreme episodes of hyperactivity interrupted by short periods of weeping. He didn’t know what triggered the episode but I suspect it was a combination his miserable mouth pain and a kind of dread about what is to come.
He repeatedly said he wanted someone to pull all of his teeth. He asked me dozens of times what I thought the oral surgeon would say and do. He persistently wondered aloud if I were going to be able to pay the bill.
His new doctor, like most in Macon, does not accept payment from Medicaid. Repeated attempts to assure Parrish that money was not the problem literally fell on deaf ears because he is having trouble hearing, not an uncommon symptom of his mania.
When he spoke, he gestured widely and was loud and inappropriate. When he cleaned up the kitchen he didn’t notice that his shoes were sticking to the floor where he spilled juice and Coke. When he called me to show how good the kitchen looked, I hadn’t the heart to mention the floor and mopped it myself.
Parrish was disappointed when Dr. Orange changed his medication regimen by dropping his anti-anxiety medicine and doubling his mood stabilizer. She didn’t change anything else. The fact that this regimen doesn’t work is borne out by the intensity of his mania for the last five days. With nothing to assuage his anxiety, it was intractable.
The mania lasted until today, becoming worse as the week wore on. He slept only in catnaps and woke me every night to ask me if I were okay. He ate in fits and starts and by Thursday wasn’t eating at all. Most of his calories were ingested as Budweiser. He was irrational and confused, first angry then sad. The roller coaster ride of bipolar disorder consumed him.
On Wednesday morning, he woke with a rash, along with some scattered hives, over his trunk. So we discontinued his antibiotic, knowing the doctor would prescribe a new one on Friday.
Thursday the madness intensified and ballooned into something I have never seen. P began obsessing about his scheduled appointment with the oral surgeon, repeating himself dozens of times, saying something had to be done. He could not stop talking about it and incessantly fingered his bad teeth.
He convinced himself that he was to have surgery on Friday morning, even saying he had to remember not to eat or drink after he went to bed. He continued to repeat his concerns. No one could finish a sentence for his interruptions. He was unable to focus outside of himself and continued loud and animated. He fell into tears from time to time, changing his focus to all the loss he has suffered, missing his grandmother and his Uncle John. He made up stories about both of them but I didn’t correct him.
P obsessed about the fact that most of his friends are professionals with a spouses and kids and big houses. He called himself a waste of a human life and continued on for what seemed like half an hour, berating himself for being a failure. The pity party was punctuated with declarations that he did not cause his mental illness, that he did not want to feel the way he does and repeating that he never intentionally hurt anyone.
I could not accomplish a task, even a small one. No matter what I set out to do, he found me and asked me to come and sit with him. Then he began recapitulating is earlier rantings.
He talked about the possibility of electroshock treatment several times, saying, “Hook me up right now! I will do anything to stop feeling this way.”
He was still hyper-manic when I went to bed at 1:00 AM and yesterday morning when I got up he had not been to sleep. P was dressed and pacing and insisting that I get ready in a hurry, so he could “get this nightmare over with.”
The oral surgeon prescribed a new antibiotic and advised us to find Parrish a dentist. He said to call for an appointment when his infection was cleared up and Parrish had seen a dentist for a cleaning. Period.
I went to check out and learned there was no charge. And I thought professional courtesy was a thing of the past.
All the way home P continued manic and was angry that he was not be treated right away. When we were back at home, I gave him an extra dose of mood stabilizer. He insisted on going with me to run errands, pushing himself to overcome the sedation. He talked to everyone we ran into, total strangers, reaching out with a handshake and an introduction.
He was winding down as we drove home and went directly to bed, where he remains. He woke me this morning to report another itchy rash, so we stopped the new antibiotic. Since then he has only been up for food and the bathroom.
No wonder he is willing to have electrical currents pulsed through his brain.
© 2013 cjschlottman