Dozer, the bulldog

Dozer, the bulldog
Dozer: Spring training is upon us!

Rockin' and rollin'

Rockin' and rollin'
The author of Mark's Work

Coleus flowers

Coleus flowers
Why I grow flowers

HappyDay Farms bees are happy bees.

HappyDay Farms bees are happy bees.
Air-borne bees

HeadSodBuster and BossLady at the coast

HeadSodBuster and BossLady at the coast
Love is the greatest power.

Beauty abounds!

Beauty abounds!
Heinz tomatoes, used for catsup

If you've seen one butterfly, you've seen 'em all, said no one ever.

If you've seen one butterfly,  you've seen 'em all, said no one ever.
Painted Lady

Fall Jewels

Fall Jewels
Praying mantis, attending services on a zinnia...

My souvenir from Reggae on the River, 2017

My souvenir from Reggae on the River, 2017
Something I have always wanted...

Mahlon Masling Blue

Mahlon Masling Blue
My friend and brother.

Mark's E-mail address

bellspringsmark@gmail.com

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ready for Action-Ready for Danger


Ready for Action-Ready for Danger

Life is a mixed bag for me these days, a good news/bad news proposition, so to speak.  I am ecstatic that Annie is out of the hospital and back up here on the mountain, and on the way to recovery.  I am sad that she is recuperating elsewhere than here in our home, but I fully understand that it is necessary.

Annie needs to eat properly, and not just the occasional chicken cacciatore special. She needs to eat the kind of food that her daughters-in-law can prepare, and she needs the attention of others who can provide the emotional support that she needs, which I am unable to provide.

I mentioned in an earlier piece that I wanted to provide the support,  but in the end, I was not able to step outside my own disability, and rise to the occasion.  Therefore, I now must move graciously aside, while others conduct the business of helping Annie recuperate. 

Meanwhile, my own forward progress is going to elevate its game this Friday, as I once again meander down to Ukiah, for my visit to the Veterans Administration doctor, who will give me my first physical exam.  To him I am going to pitch my request for medication to help my mood spectrum disorder, after having steadfastly refused to go down this avenue, ever since the first visit to Dr. Garratt, last March.  My current psychologist, Dr. Cieri in Ukiah, has faxed a referral to Dr. Shepherd, the doctor I am going to see on Friday, to facilitate the prescription of this medication.

I have struggled to explain my hesitation to take on a mood-stabilizing drug; I think it is more out of fear than out of knowledge.  I wrote about the potentially lethal skin rash that has been known to accompany this medication, and I read about all of the other side-effects.  I never found the one that I was most terrified of, the one that would essentially take the real me, and replace it with a facsimile, who performed the same motions as me, but with a sugary coating over everything that indicated a false presence.  

I don’t even know what it is I am trying to articulate.  I was and remain very nervous, that the pills will remove from me, something that I am unaware is gone, but that will somehow mean that the passion and exuberance of life will be missing, in order to keep my illness at bay.

This thought has been creepy all along, and yet, here I am, ready to take the plunge.  Now it gets easy.  Why would I do something against my better judgment?  I would do it to prove to Annie that I now recognize that I am dealing with am illness that surpasses my own abilities to contend with it.  I even had Annie’s support to try and contend without medication, through sleep, exercise and diet.  None of that was remotely good enough to stave off the onset of MSD symptoms, in the days leading up to Annie’s surgery.  

Therefore, I now intend to prove that life with medication, no matter what the ramifications, is better than life without Annie.  In an effort to prove that I would do anything on earth to help her get better, I will begin my own version of recuperating from my illness, and see if I can keep pace.  

I need to progress from my current mental health level, to the next one, and that means taking medication.  It’s not my first choice, but it beats what’s been happening so far.  Wish me luck, and if you see me grinning vacuously on the street some day, you’ll know that the meds were a success, I guess, and we’ll all have a good time, because, well, you know, both the Giants and the 49ers are winning, and what better reason to grin?

6 comments:

  1. I don't know, Mark. Those types of medications have come a long way since Jack Nicholson . . . :) You are a good man, and I am constantly inspired and impressed by you and your love for Annie and your desire to do what's best for her. Hugs.

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  2. Mark-- I can relate to your hesitance to prescription drugs.

    I was extremely opposed to them myself, but a few years ago depression had me by the throat. I absolutely did not want to be on drugs, possibly for years or the rest of my life.

    In reading a book on depression, a fellow sufferer pointed out that if I had high blood pressure, I probably wouldn't struggle against taking a pill for as long as needed. Hearing that reasoning helped me to admit that the meds were helping a great deal, and I am thankful for that. Without the meds, I would probably not be able to function. With them, I can. That's my little story, for what it's worth!

    Good luck with the doctor and glad to hear Annie is recuperating on the mountain, my friend!

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  3. Melanie makes pretty much the point I was going to make. I struggled with the same thing years ago when trying to decide whether to try medication for persistent depression. I wrote numerous long-winded journal entries about how the medication would prevent me from being the "real" me and how it would make my life an inauthentic experience. Then, finally, things got so dark that I realized that even IF that was the "real" me, I just couldn't bear to be that person anymore.

    I wish there were easier answers and better options for everyone who struggles with any flavor of mental illness, but in the meantime, I hope it helps to know that you are not alone and that medication has made positive differences in the lives of so many people.

    Happy to hear Annie is on the mend. Hang in there, Mark.

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  4. To both you, Masked Mom, and to Melanie also, I tip my cap. Your words are exactly what I have been craving to hear. There is no forum for speaking to a person who has been down the path. I vlaue your words tremendously.

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  5. Bravo to you, Mark, for taking that hard step and giving it a try. You are brave and I wish you nothing but the best. Somehow, I have a very good feeling that it will all work out in the end.
    XXXXOOO

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  6. Mark, I appreciate your feelings expressed and your comments. This response is being written a week past your doctor visit. I can make an observation and also just a comment. The observation is that in my brief visit with you last Sunday I only encountered a real human being who was interested and intent upon connecting with others. Regardless of how consuming the MSD may seem to you, the positive regard you projected to me was genuine and appreciated. I found your new look/persona to be refreshing and authentic. Thanks for taking the plunge. The comment I will make about medication is that I personally would not give too much of my personal power to any prescription medication. The medication may provide some chemical assistance to certain cellular structures, but no medicine can alter your mind or soul. That being said, I would encourage you to retain your identity, chose your path, and not go down that slippery slope that believes that the medicine is going to change your basic core. It is not. Best of luck in your journey.

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