In my last post here on The Wind, I shared how ashamed I was to not want to help myself get well. Upon further reflection the episode was cringe-inducing, and I must confess, my statements were frightening!
Back in pool playing days my motto was, “It’s not the dog in the fight, it’s the fight in the dog!” This , of course, referred to my uncanny ability to get behind 1-6 in a race to 7, and the saying fueled more than one come-from-behind upset. (remember Chanelle?) So, I always believed I was not a quitter. I was in for the long haul, and nothing was ever going to slow me down again!
I forgot something in my rush to judgement on myself, in my fierce denunciation of my own weakness. I forgot that I am human, and that I am made of dust. I forgot that I have a real, unmistakable disease, one among many, yes- but I believe the worst one:
I have Bipolar Disease, Bipolar Disorder, Manic Depression, The BIPO, and it is deadly. In this instance it stopped me, blinded me from recognizing a simple fact: I was physically ill and needed a medical doctor. I had become so discombobulated in my grip on reality that I did not realize I could not breathe!
I blamed my lack of sleep for my headache, for my terrible weariness. This I believed was due to a myriad of different causes, ranging from the bi-pap machine not working right, my bed not feeling right, the fact that I had too much caffiene the day before, even so far as to think I was being persecuted by the devil himself. The brain fog was so bad that I just lay in that agonized state, unable to pry myself from this bed of torment even long enough to take my medication, which would have at least enabled me to get to the doctor.
Finally, only through an extreme exertion of prayer, and a HUGE inner push did I roll, really roll out of bed and onto my feet. Still berating myself as a failure, and feeling hateful towards the entire medical community, I was going to cancel the appointment with my PC. For some reason, though, just due to my suffering, I suppose, I did find clothes and the courage to leave the house and fall into the car.
The heat stifled me, and the weather was blamed, the sun blinded me- so it was complained about. My car wasn’t right, my head wasn’t right, NOTHING WAS RIGHT!!!
Then she walked in, in a ray of golden sunlight, thermometer in her hand…
” Hello Ms. Martin, I hear you are not feeling well…”
“grrrr…mumble, mumble…headache…grrrr…pneumonia….grrr…sinuses…mumble, mumble….no sleep…rotten sleep apnea…grrr, mumble mumble….”, says I.
Doc replies, ” Alright then, lets have a listen to your lungs!”
“grrr, wheeze,,,grrr…well I did use some spray paint….grrr..wheeze…”
“OK, Susan, let’s get you a breathing treatment! I’ll be right back with the nurse!”, pipes Dr. Wonderful, as she floats out on her golden cloud of I-Know-What-I-Am-Doing-ness…
(Twenty Minutes and 1 Treatment Later)
“WOW, Doc, I really feel BETTER”
———————————————————————————————————————————- THE REALIZATION DAWNS
In retrospect, I DO NOT KNOW MORE THAN Highly trained Physicians. I do not recognize when my manic episodes have overtaken me, and I am unable to recognize how sick and confused I am when my Bipolar Disorder is not being managed properly.
Should I hate myself for giving into weakness and despair. THE ANSWER IS
NO-NO-NO-!!! A THOUSAND TIMES NO!!!
I would not berate someone with a terminal illness like Cancer for giving in to despair, especially when they are sick, sleep deprived, manic and lonely. I deserve the same consideration, and yes, LOVE, from myself. If my GOD, JEHOVAH loves and forgives me, then who do I think I am not to???
PostScript: My choice of featured Image reflects on feelings of Love for my puppy Izzy, who I had to put to sleep last month. It was one of the most difficult things I have ever done, because she was not at death’s door, of having a life threatening emergency.
No, my darling girl was just suffering. Suffering the pain an injured spine can bring, and the indignities of age on tiny Arthritic Feet. She lay awake every night panting and groaning, and spent each day unable to walk without crying.
She and I had a long, heartfelt talk, and she finally helped me to see that she loved me enough to let me go if I was suffering. And I recognized that this was also the most loving thing I could do for her. It was a hearthwrenching and agonizing decision, but for her, I did it. She would have done the same for me.
Goodbye my dear friend and ever loyal and dedicated companion. I will remember you. I thank God for the gift of our fuzzy cohabitants on this glorious planet He made for us.
His day is coming.