Category Archives: Crazy is not even the word for it

An old one, by Jim, new one by me

One-Flew-Over-the-Cuckoo-s-Nest

Reprinted from years ago when he lived in a dirty old concrete box full of overcrowded rooms [now he lives in a new, clean concrete box with only one roommate!]. One of the first poems he showed me. It was in the first year of my work as the last watercooler in hell. We spent months just talking and sharing poetry every week.

This one broke my heart.

Girlfriend

written 2/21/09 6:25 p.m.

lone

We watched a butterfly be born into the world

Held hands at a scary film

Thought silly jokes were funny

Smiled with our eyes

I love you was spoken a lot

Mingled with other couples

Broke up once or twice

People talked about our relationship

She wrote when I was gone in jail

This is where we failed

My time was longer than her love

Have a picture of her I can’t tear up

It looks like she is shaking her finger at me in the picture

Wish I wouldn’t have made my mistake

Stakes were too high for me

Alone again with 40 men

This next is mine, this morning.

Welcome to-

Arrive by jail van

drive through a garage door that closes behind you

the world has turned upside down

everyone has latex gloves

“Take off your clothes and get in the shower to the right”

frightened, you look for a human face

without success

you may not see those clothes again

people are watching you through a mirrored window

instructions come from the wall mounted speaker

high above reach

“If you can’t clean yourself properly we will send someone to help you”

you don’t want to be touched by those rubber hands

you do your best to obey but it is hard-

nothing makes sense, you suppress an urge to scream out loud

they are making sure you don’t have anything

anything at all

you are truly stripped by the time they let you into the next room

“Put on these clothes. We will help you if you can’t do it by yourself”

again you comply

“What is happening to me?

What happened to your face?”

“We will help you to get better”

time, ushered along, nothing is right

[correct, true, accurate, factual, fit, satisfactory]

go to your room

.   .   .   .

Doctor: “My job is to diagnose your illness,

prescribe medications

and take you to court if you refuse them”

“I’m not here to talk to you or listen-

in fact, if you see me coming that’s bad news for you”

and, you think,  I still haven’t gotten my self back

(or my clothes and by the way

NPR never sent me the tote bag they promised during the fund drive)

.   .   .  .

oh God, if I’m crazy what does that make

You

welcome-to-hell

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Filed under Crazy is not even the word for it, Jim, Mental Hell Treatment, pictures, poetry, Uncategorized

Personal Health Update [TMI Warning]

Who would even guess that I’d be writing a health update?

About 2 weeks ago I was woken in the night by severe pain in my left calf. For a few nights I was routinely awake with pain in the night. It was at first very localized in a specific part of my calf muscle (seemingly). I couldn’t get in to see my Primary Care Physician. She prescribed some pain medication to take at night. The medication had no effect and the area affected was spreading, so I went to Urgent Care a couple days later. They did their best to rule out the most diabolical possible causes using ultra-sound and blood tests. Nothing serious seemed to be happening and at the time the pain was still mostly at night, with some residual pain in the morning that tended to be reduced quite a bit by evening only to erupt again with some intensity at about 2 am.

The Nurse Practioner that provided my service felt confident that blood clots and other vascular issues were not present. She prescribed stronger pain pills for night-time and added a mild muscle relaxer (cyclobenzeprine).

The following night the pain was very severe and encompassed most of my leg from thigh to ankle. The pain was also not reducing as much during the day and I was unable to dress my self without great difficulty and time. I was beginning to feel it in my buttocks. Sitting on the toilet was very painful. I was also becoming quite constipated from opiod use.

I went to the emergency department at Kaiser Sunnyside. They gave me stronger pain medication, Dilaudid, and Valium (as a muscle relaxer). They suggested that I take various laxative products.

Somewhere in here I had had another visit to Urgent Care. X-rays were taken, no relevant information gained. They ordered an MRI, of my hip, lower spine and pelvis, which I had the very next day at the hospital. Then I heard nothing back for a few days, no result information was provided. 

By this time I had seen 4 different medical practioners on 4 different visitors and had been unable to talk with or even correspond with my Primary Care Physician. I was grateful that I had an appointment within a couple days with my doctor at my usual clinic. The pain was quite severe and had taken over my life morning, day and night. During this time I also had my first major bowel movement since being on pain med- it was excruciating. It was not painful at the point of exit but my left buttock and thigh hurt so badly I was left on the floor of the bathroom crying. It was the worst physical pain I can remember ever having.

[A very special thanks goes out to my most excellent friend Candace, my own personal nurse, who helped me through this process and kept my spirits up.]

So, with cautious optimism, I went to my appointment with my doctor. Unfortunately, she was out sick and my appointment had been turned over to an apparently overworked and surly gentleman who provided very little information, as quickly as he could, re-filled my Dilaudid script and gave me an after-visit summary hat included no useful information about my condition. The important things I learned at that visit were that the MRI provided evidence of some multiple nerve problems associated with possible herniated disks in my lower spine and that I would be taking oral prednisone right away followed by steroid injections. Scheduling the injections required use of imaging equipment to insure proper administration of the steroids. I was not told of potential side effects of the injections but was assured that I would receive substantial pain relief.

Yesterday I wrote an email to my doctor wondering out-loud if anyone was actually in charge of my care or if it was actually as fragmented and un-coordinated as it appeared. I asked if I would soon be given a diagnosis, in writing, of what was happening to me and when I might be able to return to work or at least do ordinary things like go to the bathroom or put on my own clothing.  I was able to get her one the phone very soon later that day. She assured me that she was reviewing all the information, she apologized for being sick (she didn’t need to do that- I would have loved to get an apology from the surly and uninformative doctor who took her place). She also made an appointment with me for tomorrow- after my appointments with other specialists where I hope to get the promised relief.

[Now, I have what is considered in this country to be a “Cadillac Health Plan” of substantially higher quality than average and at a level the our new “Affordable Health Care” law will probably tax me for. I don’t mind that, really. If I am getting more than my fair share of the pie I am happy to pitch in if it means that more people, if not everyone, can get access to basic care.]

The pharmacist told me that the prednisone would have possibly drastic effects on my blood glucose levels which I would need to monitor very carefully. He also said that I could anticipate some mood irregularity and that it was important to follow the directions exactly, especially concerning the weaning off of the prednisone because of potentially serious side effects.

I look forward to tomorrow with “cautious optimism”. I learned this phrase from my very articulate and precisely spoken co-worker, Malcolm.


Completely unrelated:

Astronomers Discover New Kind of Supernova

and

Sesame Street – Martians yipyip

yip-yip-martians-o

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Filed under Crazy is not even the word for it, personal story, pictures, silly, sound bite, space exploration

Last day before I return to work

I think I’m ready but I am a bit nervous. I’ve been off since 2/10/2012. Oregon State Hospital- here is a state propaganda page.

Some things have changed while I was gone. Everyone is now moved into the new hospital building. Even me. No more big comfortable, private office- I’m in a giant cube-farm. This will take some getting used to.

The word is that most patients find it to be much more prison-like. There is no real “outside”- yards are internal, surrounded by tall walls, space is limited more in some ways. There is no real space where people can congregate and talk. Dining is now in shifts of 30 minutes each, treatment groups happen in rooms attached to crowded narrow hallways.

Staff are also concerned about the new building and the whole new set of rules and restrictions that have emerged over the past 6 months

...but oh, so clean!!

Many staff there are excellent people. Most of them are having trouble working in the new environment. But the propaganda machine is telling everyone it’s great, so really what are people complaining about?

Recently a staff person died while restraining a patient. The death was your basic heart attack unrelated to the events, other than there was probably some physical exertion going on. The guy is someone who always looked like a walking coronary. He was 36  years old.

Peace out Matthew. Rest easy. You don’t need to come to work tomorrow. I do though.

my co-workers

Wish me luck. I will need all the good vibes I can muster.

Okay, lets do something different. Funny stuff or things that caught my eye. And a bit of music. We’ll start with music to make the whole segue thing more realistic. Lisa Germano singing “Destroy the Flower”.

This is cool- if you like this sort of thing-

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120423131902.htm

the above is from my older son’s art/ pictures pages…

Below is important instructions from Goopy

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Filed under animated gif, animation, comedy relief, Crazy is not even the word for it, Music, pictures, silly

Book review and Superb Owl Sunday

Followed by the usual weekend nonsense;  Superb Owl and other topics.

God is playing with us. It’s a mistake to be too serious.

Moth Moon by Matt Jasper- available on Amazon here

click thumbnails below for bigger pictures of the front and back.


Matt sent me one of these over a year ago and asked me to read it. I lost track of it. Then he sent another one this week- I am really impressed. I should have read it before.

I don’t read a lot of poetry but I will recommend this to everyone I know. It helps that most of the people I know have some sort of mental illness.

This book speaks to me. Or it whispers. Or is using sign language. Or it is raving. Hell, I don’t know anything anymore.

Don’t get this book unless you want to see what’s behind the curtain. Then, dance as though no one who can have you committed is watching.

Excerpt (hope this is okay, Matt):

Now, on a different note-

Superb Owl

 

treeoflife

Less0n for today (click for image full size or if it doesn’t appear)-

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Filed under Crazy is not even the word for it, poetry, silly