The amount of work I did tonight was negligible. I did finish another chapter, and I was about three paragraphs into the next one, when I realized that it just wasn’t happening tonight (whatever “it” is/was).
At first glance, this would be the ideal night to chain myself to the laptop and write the night away. Tomorrow is Veterans’ Day, which is a holiday for me, so I can burn the midnight (and predawn) oil until the Snapple is no longer working its stimulant effect.
The problem may have started because, like I have on many another occasion, I have forgotten that I cannot nap. I left work 1½ hours early today, which happens quite often on the eve of a holiday (especially a three-day weekend). I looked through the mail when I came home, and decided to go up to the bedroom just to wind down.
Famous last words.
When I next remembered anything, the sun had almost set, which meant at least two hours had passed. The sleep was not particularly refreshing, and only hunger drew me out of bed, although I was pretty much shambling once my feet hit the floor.
The cause may be that I forgot to take my Lamictal this morning. I had it refilled late Sunday afternoon, but forgot to put it in my knapsack before I left for work this morning. It has been excellent in keeping my bipolar disorder in check, and I see now that skipping even one day of it is not a good thing. It’s not a magic pill that will immediately cause me to produce prizewinning American literature just by clicking a mouse, but it does prevent the lows from getting too low, and, even though I may still cycle back and forth between euphoric mania and very deep depression, the changes are not as extreme.
It has been at least 10 years since my last psychiatric hospitalization, and I don’t see one looming in the near future. Medication and regular visits with my nurse practitioner (I am seeing her tomorrow afternoon) have managed to keep me on an even keel, and I have seen an overall upswing in my mood these past few months.
But physical health issues loom. An old friend posted on Facebook that he feels keenly aware of his own mortality, as his 50th birthday is just around the corner and his mother just turned 70. I try to obsess about the aneurysm, but every time there is the slightest twinge of pain in the left side of my chest, I panic. A doctor at the Ross Heart Hospital will be looking at it later this month, so we’ll see if it has dilated to the point where the word “surgery” starts coming into the conversation.
It took more than a year after the diagnosis, but I have been firmer in my resolve to not let the aneurysm turn me into an invalid. I have never been an athlete, and I’ve taken an almost perverse pride in that fact, but I eagerly look forward to my two-mile walks every day at lunch, and have taken some trike rides for the exercise, not just as a way to get from one place to another. Earlier in this blog, I’ve written about the Critical Mass Bike Rides. The trike has not gotten as much mileage this summer as it has in summers past, but this has been because walking burns more calories than riding.
And the day before Thanksgiving, I’ll be the guest of OSU East Hospital, for yet another sleep study, in the never-ending and vain search for me to find a C-PAP that I can actually tolerate. I awaken several times in the course of every night, usually just enough to know that I am awake, and look at the digital clock on my night table to see how long before the alarm actually goes off. Needless to say, this is not conducive to restfulness, and leads to a circular pattern where I am drinking more and more iced tea during the day as a maintenance drug. Of course, excessive caffeine consumption only disrupts the sleep cycle even further. (I have abstained from carbonated drinks, even Dasani water, since April or May, but my caffeine consumption is as high as it ever was, from drinking iced tea.)
I won’t be ending this entry with “And so to bed.” That looms quite a few hours from now.