Tag Archives: schizophrenia

For my Mother

You told me that I admit a glow.
Just like the sun. Just like the sun.
I was the light of your world like a ray of hope.
And I’d love to bring that smile on.

You’d combed your hair and just for me.
And sing those songs. Those childhood songs.
Your pills stuffed under bed railings.
Your days are long. Your days are long.

Change before you break
Your behaviour’s at stake
You’re getting nowhere fake
But the ashes you’ll make.

Your freedom is hidden in an urn
Your ashes burned
That I never came to claim.

I’m the reason that you’re dead
Your letters I has read
But never responded.
I didnt respond.

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Filed under poem, poetry

Sanity Version 1.1

I just received a call back from Dr. K’s nurse, and my lithium levels are now at 0.6. Therapeutic range is between 0.5 and 1.3, so all seems good. I also had a basic metabolic panel done, and everything was normal in that regard. I can keep taking the medication, and I can stay sane. All is well.

Work is going alright. I’m now working afternoon and midnight shifts, for the most part. Many long and lonesome nights, but no big deal. I’m getting paid. I’ve been able to buy a new phone, take Briley out several times, and even give my roommate some extra cash when he needed it. No loans–I think loans are cruel–I’ve just given him the money. Feels good. I feel a little more financially established rather than only managing to scrape by.
I’m certain I wouldn’t have been able to hold a job without taking the lithium.

It’s now been a month and a half since I’ve heard any voices, or seen anything that wasn’t there. I haven’t hidden under the bar or the kitchen sink since before I went to the hospital. It was hard on my back anyway, being all contorted into a small space.
Before, life was like trying to watch a movie, in a theater full of talking, screaming, fighting people. All throwing popcorn and being generally unruly. Some of them did unspeakable things. I don’t miss them. Now it’s just me and this movie called life, in a nice, dark theater, all to myself. It’s peaceful. I’ve got plenty of soda and popcorn, with free refills. The attendants keep it fairly clean, though the arm rests are rather sticky. That’s alright. Nothing is ever perfect. I still have most of my old quirks, minus the insanity. I remain myself, and I’m okay with that too. Anything can be worked through so long as I have a solid foundation to stand on.

–Just Another Movie-goer

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Filed under lithium, mad ruminations, sanity

. . . And Rising . . .

It’s been nearly two weeks for me without any form of delusions or hallucinations. I can hardly believe it. It all seems too good to be true.
I was never able to trust reality. Without the ability to discern from illusion, I simply shrank away in defense. I cut myself off from it all; the real and unreal; both concepts practically indistinguishable from my little stronghold of insanity.
Now I share a world with the sane. I feel a part of it; and not a broken one either. Perhaps dysfunctional as far as society is concerned, but perfectly me. The healthy version of me. Content. Unafraid.

I believe I know where my aversion to spirituality originates, and it’s all based around my disease. In the past, any time I’ve seen, heard, or felt something I could deem ‘god’, well, that was my cue that I’d really gone off the deep end. Such an obvious indication that I feared it with a vengeance. Even moreso if I allowed myself to be deluded; to believe. In the end it’s all turned out to be bullshit, denial, and pure insanity.
That, my friends, is why I do not seek god. Sadly I find the whole concept inseparable from madness. Maybe that can change, though it must be slowly. I’m only now reacquainting myself with normalcy. I’ve got to get a good foothold before I go chasing after divinity. But, it is a possibility in my future.
Not that I’m going to start regularly attending church and praying before bed and every meal. But I am a human being, and like others, I need something I can trust. Something with my interests in mind and the power to save me; to lead me to my destiny.
Though maybe, that something has always been, and always will be me.

–A wolf in sheep’s clothing

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Filed under delusions, divinity, god, hallucinations, insanity, mad ruminations, schizophrenia, spirituality, writing

Looking Up, From Above

I’ve finally decided that the first word on my about page should no longer be ‘schizophrenic’. Therefore I’ve changed it. My disease no longer has the power to define me. However small a gesture, I see this as another step towards being well and living a relatively normal life while still writing some pretty fucked up poetry.
So, no bad news out of me this morning.

Carry on . . .

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Filed under good news, recovery, schizophrenia

I’m Worrying Again

Time for another morning ramble.

Some of you may or may not remember a post involving some suspicious abdominal pains and later, a doctor’s visit for some blood tests. The results showed that everything was fine, and the pains had stopped, and I was nearly given a chance to forget.

I’ve developed some new pains now. All of which I’ve never experienced before taking Lithium. I thought I had a hell of a backache yesterday, uncommon enough in itself, but as the day moved on I began to realize the pains were situated around the area of my kidneys. Fucking A! Don’t tell me my kidneys are being fucked up now. I have been sure to drink plenty of water since starting the medication. Not only can it dehydrate you but it is hard on the kidneys. I’ve been micturating every couple of hours. I guess drinking the water hasn’t been enough. Strangely enough the pains disappeared when I got some food in my stomach.

Once again, I’d like to reiterate that pains, for me, do not always mean something’s wrong. But it’s still severe enough that I’m worried about being able to continue the Lithium, yet again. I thought that was behind me.

On top of that, the area around my thyroid’s been bothering me. Imagine having a thumb shoved into the area below your adam’s apple with as much strength as a thumb can muster. Did I mention there’s also a golf-ball stuck in your throat?
It’s not constant and is most bothersome in the afternoon. Good thing here is, if my thyroid is having problems, many people on Lithium have been given a thyroid hormone on top of it, and been able to continue the treatment.

As far as symptoms go, besides the physical sensations I’ve not been showing any signs of thyroid or kidney problems.

I’m thinking about going back to the doctor to have my blood tested, again. I thought they had done a thorough thyroid, kidney, and liver check but upon getting online and checking the results for myself, I’ve realized all they ordered was a basic metabolic panel. Alone it can signify problems in most of those areas, but I would like some more specific tests.
If, once again, I’m told everything’s fine, then everything will be fine. Even if these pains continue, I can handle that. The pain isn’t really the problem here, it’s the worry that’s been accompanying it. I got a little snappy with my roommate last night. I must be a little on edge from all this. Of course I apologized and we’re good. He’s used to me being the occasional ass, although I’ve been a lot more tolerable on this new form of treatment. I don’t have to wake up in the morning pissed off about being alive anymore. Makes a big difference!
So many differences the new medication has made. I don’t know if I can survive without it. Not sure now if I’ll even survive with it, considering. Ugh. Tired of worrying! Helps to get it out. My favorite form of denial is to simply not think or talk about what bothers me. Bury that shit.

I’m not burying this.

I all the sudden care about my self and my body and my life.
All I can do now is make another doctor’s appointment and keep my fingers crossed.

If any of you believe in good vibes or good luck, you can go ahead and send that shit my way. I won’t turn any of it down.

–Worried me

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Filed under kidneys, lithium, mad ruminations, medication, thyroid, worry

Bearable Things

Good morning yet again to the sun and to all of you. Just another rambling post interspersed with things entirely personal.

I think I’m reaching an equilibrium with my Lithium dosage. Negative side effects seem to be calming down. Good thing I never got nausea and diarrhea as is so common with this medication. I’ve been able to sleep these last couple of nights just taking the Risperidone and a couple of Benadryl. I ran out of Melatonin and I haven’t even needed the Soma–which is good. I hate taking it. Hate taking any controlled substance. It makes me nervous; like I’m slipping back into old habits; even if I am just taking one at night to go to sleep. Maybe now I can just stop taking it completely.
233333333333333333333333300 says my cat Mintkey. She uses this keyboard more than I do. Loves to pull up the help screen.

Another bit of good news. I have an appetite now. Had one ever since I got outta the hospital. A common side effect with both Risperidone and Lithium. And we’re not talking marijuana junk-food munchies either. I’ve been eating real food. I’ve even cooked dinner a couple of times for me and my roommate. (Hell, his name is Rick. We can just call him Rick from now on.)
I’ve been slightly underweight for years now. Not only that; these past four or five months I’d lost even more weight: Fifteen pounds off my norm when I was weighed two months ago, then at the hospital last week I’d gained seven of those pounds back, but I’m still too thin even now. That may change. Maybe I’ll get fat. Fat and happy. Hope Briley likes fat dudes.

Speaking of Briley, things are going quite well. Been spending time when we can–she’s been busy with work and school–and chatting online or by text all the fucking time. I love her ICU stories. She’s making me a magic pouch that I can wear around my neck, based around this Egyptian god called Wepwawet. She says it will help me to break through all the obstacles that hold me back. Fine by me. I’m going to wear it whether it works or not. I’m actually rather excited about the whole prospect. Can’t hurry genius I guess.

What else? Not exactly good news, just news.
I’m relatively broke now with all the hospital bills and doctor’s visits. It’s a good thing the Lithium and Risperidone combined cost me less than twelve bucks a month. I’ve got a five-digit check coming in November, but until then I’m cutting corners and making sure I’ve got my essentials–like food, medicine and bills–taken care of. So much for that new camera–at least for a while. My old Nikon worked fine, but it’s been in pieces after an attempt to transplant a new battery door. I dropped it one too many times and got tired of holding it together with a rubber band. I never finished that transplant. I think I may attempt that today, just for something to do. Just like performing surgery. I need a nurse. Briley please come over and hand me a scalpel.

And here’s something I’m not entirely proud to admit. I got high last night. For the first time in years. Didn’t buy any though, didn’t bring any home. I had gone over to my friend Matt’s house to watch the new South Park and Key and Peele, you know, just to get out of the house. His roommate slings the stuff and there was quite a crowd there. I had decided beforehand that if it was offered, I might give it a try. I had originally quit because I was afraid it was making me crazy. It’s obvious now that’s not the case. I’m crazy on my own. Now that I’m medicated well I just wanted to know how it would affect me. I got really fucking high (hash–pretty much concentrated THC) and had to wait to drive home. Upon my return I pigged out on Cheetos, followed by some cookies and milk and then proceeded to pass the fuck out.
Good thing is it caused me no hallucinations or any symptoms of psychosis. That’s good. That’s what I wanted to find out. Still, I’m not going to start buying the stuff and smoking it every day. Perhaps occasionally in social situations. The minute the thought of buying it goes through my head I’m just going to quit altogether. I can’t be doing that shit. I don’t need it. I’m fine without it. No sense in self-medicating when I’m well controlled as I have been.
Everyone else was drinking, but I didn’t. I had a glass of water. I am not going to start drinking again, socially or otherwise. Shit’s just not good for you. It takes away all your judgement. Weed does the opposite. It makes me more self-conscious. I tend to think more deeply and profoundly about the smallest things that I normally would not even consider. Somewhat therapeutic really.

Judge me all you want, people of WordPress. I don’t really care what any of you think.
Okay, maybe some very small insecure part of me does care. I admit it.
But most of me doesn’t care.

–A Human Being

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Filed under mad ruminations, writing

Lucky Numbers can’t Lie . . . Right?

Well, good morning to you all. It’s been a chilly night. Some mornings I awaken and say, “I wonder how many followers I’ll be scaring off today?”

I slept like a fucking stone. Yesterday morning–after taking my actual prescribed dose of lithium which is twice what works well enough for me–I woke around four and the area around my liver was sore as all hell. It had the be the medication. I haven’t had a drink in years and even then, I’ve never had such pains before.
I didn’t let myself get too incredibly worried as I was going to the doctor to get my blood lithium levels checked later that morning. By the time I arrived the pains had stopped–thank god–but I let him know what had happened. On top of lithium levels I got my kidney, thyroid, and liver functions checked out. Now I’m just waiting on them to call me with my results.

Now I’m praying they don’t call me and say “Stop taking that Lithium! It’s destroying your body!”
This is the the singular medication that’s actually worked well for me. I’ve probably tried over twenty different kinds of anti-depressants and anti-psychotics in the past few years alone. I’m afraid that without this stuff I’ll be nothing more than that pitiful creature I was before. Melancholic at best. Fucking desperate and murderous more often than not. Hallucinations screaming in my ear. Vibrating my ear drum. Shooting down that labyrinthine tunnel in my head. Fuck!

I’m hopeful, though. Contrary as it may seem as far as hope goes, I’m sensitive in the area around my stomach. Back in the day when I would smoke weed like a motherfucker my goddamn spleen would hurt all the fucking time. No doctors believed me because, upon a physical exam and some blood work I’d be told that everything seems fine.
So, just because my shit hurts it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s been damaged. I must have super-sensitive nerves down there. Briley told me I have weakness in my solar plexus chakra. I never even told her about my past and present problems. That did catch me off guard a bit.

Another reason I have hope would be my lucky numbers. Or at least, my numbers. They’re 0, 1, 3, 7, and sometimes 9. They’re certainly not unlucky as I haven’t experienced anything awful where those numbers are involved–at least, nothing awful that didn’t turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
Yesterday while I was waiting in the exam room I was looking back over my discharge papers and noticed my bar-code number. (Yes, you get a fucking bar-code in that place now.)

ACC3071397

It was a pleasant detail I hadn’t noticed before.
And so I’ve decided I’m not going to worry unless a phone call happens to reveal that I should. I just hold a slight concern for now is all.

Briley is coming over today. Finally! I had to go all of yesterday without seeing her, though we did text back and forth like teenage girls. I’m a giddy teenage girl today.

— Giddy and Hopefully me

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Filed under briley, depression, hope, lithium, liver, lucky numbers, mad ruminations, medication, schizophrenia

Who Cares Why?

140921_0002It’s possible I’m just typing this out of boredom. Move along if you so desire, but if I ever catch you back here again, I swear, you’ll wish you’d never returned. I can make people wish for things.

I’ll be going to see my primary care doc in the morning to get my blood lithium levels checked for the first time. I have an entire list of questions and concerns for him. It’s a good thing I’ve got the best doctor this side of the state. When the man walks in the exam room, he’ll look me in the eye and shake my hand. Then, unlike most doctors who’ll thumb through a chart and communicate in grunts and whistles, he sits down in a chair across from me and just listens. Every. Fucking. Time. Even if I’ve just got a head cold. Bad ass! Not the typical rushed feeling I would so often get with every other doctor on earth.

As far as my lithium dose goes, I’m only taking half of what the psychiatrist prescribed me right now. For a couple reasons. One: He told me to my face he was doubling my dose, but when I was discharged I realized he’d actually quadrupled it. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a mistake, but there’s still that nagging suspicion.
When it comes to lithium, the therapeutic and lethal dose are so close they may as well be fucking. Probably are. Which constitutes reason number two: plain old paranoia. If my blood work comes back and everything looks good, I’ll take the 600 milligrams per day that Mr. Psychiatrist put me on.

Considering all that, I thought it a decent idea that, for the first time today, I go ahead and take all 600 mg. Three hundred in the morning, same in the evening. That way we’ll know tomorrow where my blood level sits in relation to the dose the psychiatrist wanted me on.
So I took the second dose around seven. Felt that shit kick in. Now I’m more wide awake than I was when fresh out of bed this morning. Medication sure as hell isn’t going to knock me out tonight. Not yet anyway.
The thought of sleeping feels about as unnatural as the thought of laughing did to me only a week ago. I’ll be talking to the doctor about that too, although I don’t know what good it will do. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve had trouble sleeping for a few years and have tried damn near everything already to remedy the problem.

Just did a quick read back over that last paragraph and right at the end, I started feeling a little sleepy. Haha. I suppose I did take my bedtime nighty-night sweet-dream medications about half an hour ago.
Not to say that feeling sleepy means I’ll be able to fall asleep.

Time to start taking bets! Where’s my money going? No fucking clue! Are you crazy?! It’s much too late to be worrying about money. After all, I’m the bookie.

— A Dreamer

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Filed under insomnia, lithium, mad ruminations

Swoop

I never managed to send Briley that text.
Instead, she text me this morning.
She had read my blog. Saw how much I missed her. Was then aware that as bad as I just wanted to see her again, I was having trouble re-breaking the ice.
So she did it for me.
Beautiful girl.
She sent me an apology concerning the reason for our initial break up. Although it wasn’t her fault. It was mine.
I apologized too. Asked her if we could wipe the slate clean, forget about those previous worries that accompanied me like a heavy cloud. I don’t want her to have to watch what she says anymore.
I really am a different person since my little hospital visit. Since I got this Lithium in me, a relatively dangerous drug, I’ve still been me, but lighter. The doctor must have seen it fully necessary. I’m going with his judgement.
With all the risks and paranoia the Lithium has caused (oh god my hand is shaking! is it a bad reaction? even though my hands usually shake anyway) I have no desire to stop taking it. Ever. If there is even the slightest possibility, that for the rest of my years I could feel as normal as I have so recently . . . Well, I call that hope. My life has been too devoid of that notion. Optimism. And no point in even worrying about it.
I had complained in a post a month or so ago, about how I hated anti-depressants because they make me feel hollow. This is different. I feel whole versus that familiar cut-off feeling.

Excuse me, I’m rambling again.
Long story made short, I think Briley and I are going to work this out. I’m going to see her later today. Butterflies in my tummy. The good kind.
I’ve been so in love with her. Still am.

.

On a slightly different note, I’m still having trouble sleeping. One of the few residuals I still have to live with. Risperidone is supposed to knock you out. Yeah right!
My primary care doc, after trying damn near everything to help me sleep (even 800 mg Seroquel with no luck) tried me on 350 mg Soma, a pretty strong muscle relaxer. It helps more than other things but I have to take a few benadryl and melatonin on top of it.
Not even that’s been doing it for me. I’ll feel exhausted . . . like the moment I lie down I’m bound to pass the fuck out. Disappointment inevitably follows.
Tuesday night in the hospital I got about four hours. Preceding nights at home have wielded a lucky six hours tops. Yesterday evening it was really starting to catch up with me. Naturally I function best on nine or ten hours of sleep. Finally took two of the damn Soma last night and thank god, I finally got a good night’s sleep. About eleven hours, but I needed it.
The occasional night of sleeplessness is no big deal for me, it’s when the days start adding up that it becomes a real pain in the ass. Literally. Even my body gets sore. Worse, lack of sleep alone can cause psychosis even in the normally sane.

So I guess the point here is that, today is all good news. Got some sleep. Going to see the girl I love later.
Today ain’t bad at all.

— JT

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Filed under briley, hope, lithium, love, mad ruminations, medication, schizophrenia, writing

Diagnoses

140920_0000It’s always amusing to me the various diagnoses I receive for every different doctor or therapist I’ve had to see. I wouldn’t disagree with the notion of Bipolar Disorder with all my highs and lows, if it could be diagnosed alongside schizophrenia. Apparently that’s not possible. Psychotic symptoms present with bipolar are known as a schizoaffective disorder. Yeah, I guess I could accept that too. Then again, this doctor may have spent ten minutes with me. I know my mother had a severe case of schizophrenia, plain and fucking simple. The last therapist I saw on a regular basis diagnosed me as a schizophrenic as well.
So, I’m not entirely sure, and I’m not sure if I even care anymore.
Except when it comes to which tags I should be using on my blog posts.
As long as the medication I’m on is finally fucking working.
As far as post traumatic stress disorder goes, yeah, I’ve got no question concerning the validity of that diagnosis.

Who else thinks they know what I’ve got? Come on, throw some labels at me. I can take ’em.

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Filed under bipolar, diagnosis, lithium, mad ruminations, pictures, ptsd, schizophrenia, writing