Off Da Spool?

Well, no, not really…….unless you look at my mood charts for the past couple of weeks. I use two: the mood tracker at Psych Central as well as a pen-and-paper one that I sometimes bring in to show my p-doc if either of us is worried about which direction the pendulum is heading.

I’m very cognizant of the fact that these charts are somewhat limited in their ability to accurately gauge whether you’re off the spool, or how far you’re off the spool, simply because they’re so subjective. If your family member or friend were to assess your level of crazy, however, I suspect the results would be considerably different, especially if you’re soaring.

For example, a few days ago when I called my p-doc about my current episode of so-happy-I-could-just-shit, I rated myself as “a little hypomanic”. He didn’t quantify his evaluation of my symptoms, but he obviously thought they were more significant than I did because he jumped all over it. He usually advises me to try harder to get enough sleep, or start wearing my amber “dark therapy” glasses before bed to encourage my brain to sit down and shut up so I CAN sleep. Not this time—it was do not pass Go, do not collect $200, just start pounding down the Geodon and call back if it doesn’t get me off the moon within a few days.

I’m not sure, but I’m beginning to wonder if maybe—just maybe—I don’t take my highs seriously enough. (Although I don’t care what the daily self-test on PC said this morning—I am NOT “moderately-to-severely manic”. Been there, done that, and this ain’t it. See what I mean about the limits of these things?) After all, what could possibly be amiss when you’re driving home from work on a hot, sunny afternoon with all the windows down, radio on full blast, and singing at the top of your lungs with pure gusto? And what’s so bad about having the energy of someone half your age, working all day and playing music on the computer while tapping your feet incessantly for half the night, when you don’t have to be up at the crack of dawn?

Except it really doesn’t stop there, and on some level I know that. If it did, no one would accuse me of being manic when I think I’m only elevated, or throw meds at me, or get annoyed when I’m tangential and can’t stick with one topic of conversation any longer than a bird can stay on one twig. Unfortunately, I STILL have a hard time telling when I’m hypo as opposed to merely over-amped, which is probably why this particular high had been going for about a week before it occurred to me that my mind was racing even faster than usual, and I was gettin’ jiggy widdit while ingesting nothing stronger than coffee.

But, not to worry: the meds WILL kick in at some point. They have to. I’m not one of those people who can run around on 4 hours’ fitful sleep (and little food) for very long. I’ve literally fidgeted off five pounds just in the last week alone….not that I’ll miss them, of course. It may not being doing much for the bipolar, but losing over 60 of ’em just since last October has done a world of good for the rest of me—my blood pressure is better now than it was in my 30s, my blood sugars are completely normal, my lipids are looking awesome and I’m more active than I’ve been since my late 40s. And I’m still what they call morbidly obese…….Lord only knows what I’ll be able to do when I lose another sixty pounds.

Which brings to mind something I read today in a newsletter for physicians that I, as a lowly RN, have dared to subscribe to: More and more evidence is being found that BP goes hand-in-glove with a whole host of other health problems, e.g. obesity (HELLO!!), metabolic syndrome (got that too), migraines (had ’em all my life up until menopause), diabetes (yup), substance abuse (hell YEAH), and thyroid malfunction (uh, no, but then life’s not over yet). And what I want to know is: WHAT TOOK SO LONG??! Some doctor should’ve figured me out years ago—well, one finally did, but in retrospect, I wonder why no one—including me—ever put two and two together.

Ah, well, it’s all water under the bridge now, and pissing and moaning over lost opportunities to get straightened out earlier in life is irrelevant.  Then again, so is this post, so if you’ve gotten this far into it, thanks for your patience. I should be back to whatever passes for normal in a couple more days; but if you find me first, please give me a call so I can collect myself (not to mention the few marbles I have left) before somebody organizes a search party. Haha!

Published by bpnurse

I'm a retired registered nurse and writer who also happens to be street-rat crazy, if the DSM-IV.....oops, 5---is to be believed. I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder at the age of 55, and am still sorting through the ashes of the flaming garbage pile that my life had become. Here, I'll share the lumps and bumps of a late-life journey toward sanity.... along with some rants, gripes, sour grapes and good old-fashioned whining from time to time. It's not easy being bipolar in a unipolar world; let's figure it out together.

3 thoughts on “Off Da Spool?

  1. Love you deah, and yeah, altho this post is very articulate and interesting, it is also part and parcel of the whole thing – I write profusely (and well, I might add) when I am manic/hypo… and gosh do I love that.


  2. Yeah, I’m gonna have to call tomorrow if something doesn’t happen by tonight….I’m still pretty high although I got about 6 1/2 hours sleep last night, which is a lot better than 4 1/2. Not sure how high I really am, but my mood tracker is on Red Alert….ah, the meds will kick in soon. I think.


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