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?