Here are a few things I discovered over the course of the past ten days or so.
…I learned that I really can be a gracious hostess, even in the middle of hypomania. Two of Will’s brothers and one of his sisters were here, and even though I was waaay overstimulated, I was able to subdue it for the most part and act like a rational human being. Which is why I’m resistant to screwing around with my meds, despite the fact that Sarah, my psych NP, wants me to at least think about trying lithium.
…I learned that I’ve been diagnosed bipolar 1 again. Twice, actually: once by Kathy, and once by Sarah. I suppose that means I should start believing it.
…I learned that if I’m feeling like I could jog all the way to Texas and back, I’d better double up on the Zyprexa for a night or two. (That’s per Sarah.)
…I learned that being greeted by four Pomeranian puppies in the mornings is worth getting out of bed for.
…I learned that their sharp little barks echo VERY loudly in the hall outside my bedroom, which is what wakes me up in the first place.
…I learned that pumpkin pie doesn’t taste nearly as good in April as it does in October. I’m ready for key lime pie and peach cobbler. And strawberries, and watermelon, and apricots…
…I learned that I may be developing a serious Coke Slurpee habit. I don’t know why now—it’s not like they haven’t been around for most of my life—but it seems to meet a need other cold drinks and sweets don’t. It could be worse…beer and cigarettes come to mind. But why don’t I ever get cravings for broccoli and Brussels sprouts?
…I learned that I’m not the least bit interested in the lives of the contestants on Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune. Just get back to the game already, will you?
…I also learned that watching someone you love fade away little by little is like Chinese water torture: it’s hard to endure, it messes with your head, and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.
Every week seems to bring another symptom, another indignity. Every day he loses a little more of his vitality, and we both know it’s not coming back. He remains optimistic and even cheerful most of the time, but he sleeps for longer and longer periods and moves more slowly with each passing day. He’s still got a ways to go before he begins the active dying process, but it could happen at any time and even though I know what’s coming, it’s going to shock the hell out of me when it does.
I’m not ready. I’ll never be ready. But I can’t let myself think that far ahead. For now, all I can do is let him sleep when he wants to, and enjoy him when he is awake and alert. And always, always thank God for every moment I get to spend with him in this final season of his wonderful life.