When going through difficult life challenges AND having mental illness, things can get interesting and sometimes even pretty funny in an upside down kind of way. I thought for the heck of it that I would share some of my journey these past three weeks prior to my upcoming breast surgery with you. I am having a 4 inch section of my left breast removed for further inspection. This is after a needle biopsy found suspicious cells. Please excuse any language, strange actions, or anything else that may offend you that you may read. Please read this within the context of my going through four psych med changes, and being under a lot of stress while being over the age of 50! I really am quite normal if you don't know me very well.
I knew that when they told me they would have to change some of my psychiatric medications prior to surgery due to contraindication with the anesthesia; we would be in for a fun ride. I've been there, done that many times throughout the years but not quite as extensively or intense as recently.
Like a drug addict, I needed to withdraw, titrate, come completely off some meds and go on new ones during this time. The physical suffering of this is probably worse than the upcoming surgery I am having on Tuesday. What I put my husband and family through, in retrospect, now seems a little bit hilarious. I am finally at a stage where I can look back on the past 3 weeks and have a little chuckle! Fasten up that seat belt!
I ordered something from eBay and it said it was coming in one size, yet came in two sizes smaller than what I ordered. It came from Korea. I called the main number to eBay and proceeded to commence a tirade about how this is a Korean conspiracy. I yelled and screamed at the poor woman on the phone that the Koreans were all in on it and they were trying to rip the Americans off! I refused to spend postage to mail the item back and I demanded a full refund of my money and scared her half to death! I never received an eBay refund back so fast in my entire life! P.S. I am not by any stretch of the imagination racist, I hold nothing against the Korean population, and I have no excuse for my behavior other than I was strung out and in the middle of titrating off my meds.
Speaking of eBay, in the middle of the wee hours of the night, as my beloved husband lay sleeping peacefully and I was going through sweating, body chills, and body twitching, blinding migraines, gastrointestinal issues and not being in the most lucid state of mind, I managed to rack up some pretty interesting purchases. The next morning I wake up to all these purchase responses in my email box and just cringed because I didn't even remember doing it!
I do however remember that one of them was Tom Ford's newest perfume. Believe it or not, it’s called effing Fabulous, with the word spelled out. I figured I must need it because I am of course effing Fabulous, so I ordered the perfume in hopes that it would make me even better. Thankfully it was the smallest size and truth be told it smells effing awful. Do not, I repeat do not purchase this perfume!
Because of the med changes, I had a lot of fun calling my psych nurses. They took turns with me while I cursed my psychiatrist; the medical field in general and the fact that I even have to take psychiatric medication. I told them every facet of the hellish nightmare I was going through. I even told them about the one time I couldn't make it to the bathroom in time and my husband wasn’t there to help me, and would my psychiatrist like to come and clean up the mess? They put up with me by changing around a lot who took the phone calls from me.
I fantasized about different ways of inflicting severe pain on my psychiatrist this past week. When Joe and I were finally able to see him yesterday, I calmly told him about the various ways I had considered and that one of them was cutting his nether regions off! I can only thank God that he got a good chuckle out of that and is still willing to work with me and help me out of this mess even though he really put me in the mess in the first place. He actually finds me quite comical and has a thing where he puts his hands behind his head in a cradle formation where he rocks back and is entertained by my torment. The truth of it is that he is one of the better psychiatrists I have had throughout the years and he really does have a caring heart. It's just the whole system sucks and he knows it. He has a candle on his desk that smells like a tomato, no kidding. Therefore, I told him if he fixes my meds by the end of the week, I would get him a proper smelling candle from Bath & Body Works. I have a coupon.
I told my Primary Care Doctor that I wanted to have sex this weekend before I have four inches cut off my breast. She thought I wanted to have sex with her. My poor husband just sat there a few shades deeper red and admitted that I should probably have sex with him, not her.
I bought a pink sweatshirt that says, “I am Beautiful” to wear to my surgery and I intend to write goodbye on my left breast with a Sharpie marker. I am going to write the words don't screw up or kill me on my stomach. I don't know if my surgeon will allow this but I don't really care.
I asked my husband if we should take a picture of my breast while it is still intact. He said sure go ahead and he would be happy to post it on Facebook for me. See how faithful he is? Always there when I need him.
I had a meltdown for 10 minutes yesterday on the way to my therapy appointment. The knowledge of what was really going on kind of sunk in and I had a pity party for 10 minutes and cried my eyes out. I then met with my therapist and for the first time since meeting with her for over 6 months. She said she was completely speechless and did not know what to do with me, so she took some Holy Water that was blessed by the Pope and poured it on me and then took some oil from a 13 year old virgin martyr Saint and rubbed it on my neck. We figured that I was good to go after that. I'm not Catholic, but she was very sincere in her efforts.
I called my soon-to-be 90 year old mother, her birthday is May 11th, and started crying telling her I am going to be lopsided. She proceeded to tell me over the phone how to stuff my bra with toilet paper so that it wouldn't show. She explained how all the girls did it in her day growing up if they weren't the size they wished to be. She figured I could use a prosthesis if it was really bad. I am keeping this knowledge for future consideration.
I ate an entire pint of ice cream at 11 p.m. and then woke up with a blinding migraine and more gastrointestinal issues because I am lactose intolerant. It just tasted so good at the time that I could not resist and it made sense when it was going down.
I went to the gym and did 3 miles on the treadmill blaring Rock Me Amadeus, Billy Idol, and other hideous 80's music on my iPod with my eyes closed. I figured if my eyes were closed that people around me would not hear what I was listening to, even if I had earphones on. I then felt quite the heathen and ended my cool down with “It Is Well with My Soul”, at which point I started weeping again and quickly left the gym.
Various other occurrences transpired that I have purposely left out so as not to freak you out any more than necessary to make my point. We, who live with mental disorders and those who love us, understand that we are at the mercy of a system that has failed us for many years. My psychiatrist can actually discharge me as a patient if I do not comply. I like him and he seems to care, so I comply. Through it, all I still feel there has to be a better way then becoming a science experiment or petri dish as my doctors try to figure out how to stabilize me. Right now, there is no other way. Perhaps in the future one will exist.
I am happy to report that today, for the first time; my medication seems to be leveling off. This is a good thing as can be seen if you have managed reading this blog to this point. In the end, we have to laugh. Life happens and even those of us that have mental disorders have to go through the challenges that quote regular people go through. We are just a little bit more interesting while it is happening!
I hope I didn't offend anybody and feel like I need a legal disclaimer to close out this blog. Just know that I'll get back with you on the other side of surgery. Hopefully, there will be great news to share and I promise I won't post any pictures of my surgery, before or after.
1 Peter 4:12 (ESV)
Suffering as a Christian
12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.
2 Corinthians 12:9 (ESV)
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
With you on the journey, Alice