Thursday, March 6, 2014

Life as a Sine Curve


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Wednesday, March 5

For the first week after coming home, Parrish slept little, woke at frequent intervals, and could only string together about three or four hours of sound sleep at a time. After he took his first dose of Adderall on Thursday, he didn't sleep at all that night. He was manic over the weekend but went off with Lawrence on Saturday and did well. The rest of the time, on Saturday and Sunday, he was talking to me nonstop.

He was still stuck in the past, talking about every dog we ever had, naming his favorites, Lucy and Baby, saying that he had to admit that Honey is the prettiest. Saying over and over what a good time he had with is daddy on Saturday. He obsessed time and again about Lawrence's BMW, asking, "Can you believe he has that car? He's got five goddamned cars!" He was back in college, telling me for the hundredth time about coming back to his dorm and finding Michael slung up in the waterbed with four girls watching The Young and The Restless. He could not shut up about how much money everybody has, or he thinks they have. He obsessed about getting a bike, not just a bike but an expensive touring bike. He told me several times that he needs an allowance, and he bragged and bragged about how happy he is and how much he loves his room. Knowing full well that it's not an option, he asked me if I thought he could take up golf again. Then he gave me a blow-by-blow of his swing. I counted four separate times that he asked me what we were going to do on Monday. 

I made him come in my room and watch TV with me, but I had to kick him out because he wouldn't shut up. Then he went into his room and wrote me a letter telling me what a piece of shit he is and how sorry he is that he is sick and how he doesn't want to be the way he is. So I had to deal with that.

That night, I insisted he get to a meeting, so a friend from AA took him and brought him home. He was still manic but less so. He went to bed early, was up and down several times before I went to my room. When I woke on Monday morning, he was sitting in the den waiting for his medicine.

P saw The Therapist for the first time on Monday afternoon. He was extremely anxious before the meeting, but afterward he seemed relieved to have gotten the process started. I dropped him at an AA meeting that night and when I picked him up, he was in a bad mood, saying it was the strangest meeting he ever attended. He wanted only a small supper, and after we finished dinner around ten o'clock, he said he was still tired and wanted his medicine so he could go to bed. I sat up writing and fully expected him to be up several times before I went to bed, but he never appeared.

During the night, his door periodically slammed against the jamb because his window was open and the wind was whipping through his room. It woke me up, so I went to his room to see what was going on and stop the noise. While I was closing the window and securing the door, he snored loudly and showed no sign of being aware of the noise or my presence in his room. 

Yesterday morning, he was still in bed at ten o'clock. He appeared in about half an hour, shuffling and sluggish, and fixed himself a bowl of cereal, ate it and went back to bed. During the day, he was up every few hours just to eat or get something to drink, and I had to make him get up when The Addiction Counselor arrived. His speech was slow and sleepy, but we could understand him. He separated himself from us when she asked me to explain how he ended up in crisis stabilization for a month. He went to his room and filled his lower lip with snuff and sat across the room. We talked for a short time, then he stood as though to end the meeting.  The Addiction Counselor left, and he went back to bed.

When I woke him for dinner, he shuffled out of his room and muttered something indecipherable. He acted drunk, staggered a bit getting to the table. When I asked him to repeat what he said, his tongue was as thick and his speech as slurred as it was when he was in the crisis unit. My first reaction was to ask him if he were drunk, but of course he wasn't. There is no alcohol available to him, not even mouthwash. The liquor and wine is under two keys with his medicine. He appeared to be having difficulty holding up his head, couldn't follow simple instructions and couldn't find the place mats. He had trouble distinguishing left from right. He ate the oysters and green beans I prepared for him with some relish, leaving dribbles of food on his chin and shirtfront, but the minute he finished eating, he went back to bed.

I was witnessing an impressive bipolar cycle manifest itself in him. There was mania for three and half days followed by this dramatic downturn. I used to think these symptoms were alcohol driven and that if he'd just stop drinking and take his medicine, they would go away. I was wrong. Alcohol free and medicated, I saw the same signs in him that I saw when he was drinking. He denied being depressed, but the signs were unmistakable, down to the fact that he said he felt like he had the flu and was hurting all over. After dinner, he went back to bed and didn't get up until this morning when I woke him at eleven-thirty. 

He had a meeting at the ACT offices, so I sent him to shower. After he dressed, he fell back in bed and was asleep in moments.

On the way to town, I asked him to repeat himself so many times that he finally stopped saying anything at all. I realized he wasn't alert or articulate enough to participate in any kind of social interchange. We continued on to the ACT office because since he was scheduled to go in for the meeting, The Nurse met us there to draw his labs. He stuck Parrish four times and never drew blood, so we came home. He will come tomorrow and try again.

I had the opportunity to tell both The Nurse and The Addiction Counselor about the events which began on Monday night. Having seen Parrish the day before, The Addiction Counselor was able to recognize the breathtaking changes in him. I'm not at all sure The Nurse has great powers of observation, but even he could sense the change. I couldn't speak to The Psychiatrist. He was out of the office, but The Nurse promised to tell him about the changes in Parrish.

When we arrived home, P once more dove under the covers, forgetting about his midday medicine. I had to wake him to give him his lithium, but I held the Ativan.  I can't explain why, but even with these signs of lethal depression, I don't think he wants to hurt himself. For my own sanity's sake, I'm going to music night and check in with him from there. Honey will snuggle with him and keep him company until I get home.

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