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Exotic in Thin Air (Part 2, Taxis)
Stumbling through Memories
Exotic in Thin Air (Part One, Speechless)
No definition or quote this time, since it's time ...
Dying with Strangers
Peering from the Hole
Playing with Knives
Chatting with Infinity
Targeting Desire di-rec-tion Function: noun ...

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Life, viewed sideways. Emotions, amplified. Answers, questioned. Me, between the lines.

- A Wounded Heart, Who Can Bear?
- Drowning Under a Tidal Wave
- Clawing My Way to the Sunlight
- Yes, Santa Claus, There Is a Virginia
- Fugu
- Touching the Spirit
- A Hole in the Universe
- Riding on the Dreams of Others
- Turning Into a Shark
 - A Heart, Ripped Asunder
- Surrendering to the Roller Coaster
- Hunting in the Jade Forest
- Dodging the Shark
- Dancing With Invisible Partners
- The Captain and the Harliquin
- Courting the Devils
- The Captain Makes His Mark
- Mad Dog to the Rescue
- Innocent in the Big City
- Dropping the Ball Briefcase
- Scrambling Brains
- Cheating the Reaper, Again
- What If the Man Behind the Curtain Is No Wizard After All?
- All of Us Have a Soundtrack
- Working With Broken Machines
- Happy Anniversary, Baby
- Standing on Stars
- Running the Film Backwards
- Identity Crisis ("Who am I?")
- Can We Ever Really Admit the Desires of Our Heart?
- Forgiveness is a Rare Thing
- Having Your Heart Caressed By the Creator
- Working With Broken Machines
- A New Leg to Stand On
- The Real Spirit of Christmas
- Chatting With Infinity
- Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
- We All Have a Great Capacity for Loss
- Brushed Lightly By Might Have Beens
- We See the World Through Our Own Looking Glass
- Every Storm Passes Eventually
- Accidents Can Introduce Destiny Into Our Lives
- Freedom Depends on the Walls Around Us
- Pulling Aside the Velvet Curtain
- Riding the Razor's Edge
- Dying With Strangers
- In Your Face
- Between the Lines
- The Bobcat
- Angel With a Coffeecup
- Innocent in the Big City
- Chains of Gossamer
- Playing With Knives
- Stumbling Through Memories (Ooops)
- Picture This
- Running the Film Backwards
- Playing the Score, Tasting the Music
- Coins and Corals and Carved Coconuts
- My God, I Confess
- Exotic in Thin Air (Part 1, Speechless)
- Exotic in Thin Air (Part 2, Taxi)
- Exotic in Thin Air (Part 3, The Pan American)
- Exotic in Thin Air (Part 4, Guano)
- Exotic in Thin Air (Part 5, The Andes Express)

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"From this hour I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines, going where I list, my own master total and absolute, Listening to others, considering well what they say, Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me."

Walt Whitman (1819-92)

"When I look back now over my life and call to mind what I might have had simply for taking and did not take, my heart is like to break."

Akhenaton (d. c.1354 BC)

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Saturday, February 14, 2004

Blindly on the Tightrope

lithium carbonate
Function: noun
1 : a crystalline salt Li2CO3 used in the glass and ceramic industries and in medicine in the treatment of manic-depressive psychosis
2 : a potential killer

Well, I overdosed.

Not on purpose, mind you, but the various meds they have me on decided to argue, and almost took me out in the process. Boy, that would have been a wonderful Valentines present for my wife, huh? Love ya honey, think I'll just get sick and die now.

The doc put me on lithium about two months ago, and it works better than anything he has ever tried to stabilize my moods. I was rocking back and forth (you can check my blog entries during that period to see it) and the lithium held the boat steady.

Problem is, the effective level for lithium is right about here, and the lethal level is here plus just a little bit. It's a tightrope walk on the best of days, and a critical and sometimes fatal mistake on a misstep.

I guess this week was a misstep.

Since I went on lithium, I started having some mild side effects, like hand tremors and drowsiness and stuff. These are fairly common, so did not concern me much. But two weeks ago, a side effect I had not noticed started this whole chain of events.

Before I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I was a type II diabetic. My regular doc and I had been throwing every pill in the book at it with no real success. When I started treatment for bipolar disorder, lo and behold the blood sugar levels dropped to normal ranges almost immediately, and stayed there. With no medication.


No pun intended.

Anyways, two weeks ago, I overheard that lithium could have repercussions on heart health. I figured I better check that out, so I did some research on the web. Well, at therapeutic levels it can cause problems, but they take a long time to develop and are easy to spot, plus they go away when the lithium is stopped.

But, I started finding another problem. It seems that lithium can cause diabetes. Hmmm, wonder if I should check my sugar levels? Even though I had been checked right before starting lithium and was fine, I took out my test kit.

Regular level should be 120. I was at 270.

And during the next day, it went way over 300.

This was not good, and I called my doc. Long story short, he put me on Advantia.

Now, with that, I was now taking seven prescription meds for one problem or another. That's asking for it.

During this week, I began trembling more and more. The drowsiness got worse and worse. Wednesday night I pretty much passed out for over an hour on the couch and only woke up when I smelled dinner burning since I had not heard the alarm.

I staggered around for thirty minutes, unable to get my footing or balance well. My head was splitting. I went to bed hours earlier than I usually do, too tired to go any further.

The next day at work, the same thing began happening to me at about lunch time. I mentioned it to a coworker, who made the obvious suggestion to call my doc. Honestly, that hadn't occurred to me, as used as I am to barreling through problems. So I called. I do not want to think where I would be today if I had not started that process.

The secretary said he would call back that evening.

Unfortunately, he was unable to.

The next morning on the way to work, I called and left my work number so he could call me there. But about thirty minutes after I arrived, I went rapidly downhill. Soon, my legs were shaking and I was having trouble walking. My head was aching and I had an uncontrollable thirst. I felt like I could pass out at any moment.

I called the office back. "Listen, I'm going somewhere right now. Is it the emergency room or your office?" I told the nurse. She suggested the office, they would try to work me in. I said I would be there in 30 minutes. I called my wife who left work to meet me there.

I was worried about driving myself. I really was not doing well at all.

When I said I was leaving, Gary said that I always did stupid things, like trying to drive myself to the hospital. He did not, however, offer any help.

So I left.

The drive was pretty uneventful, except for one portion where I went on this really high and narrow bridge overpass. But I made it. Barrel through, like always.

So, I got to the doc's office.

Lithium poisoning.

Fortunately, we caught it before I needed to be in hospital. He told me to stay off of it all weekend, we'll start again on Monday morning.

I think the Advantia somehow made the lithium dosage concentrate in me. If I had kept going, I would have died.

Well, I'm glad I am still here. Last night, even still suffering from the effects of the poisoning, I took my wife to a jewelry store and let her pick out something for Valentine's day. She said I was the best husband ever for doing that.

I don't know about that, but it was sure better than the alternative!

(Note: It's Saturday and I feel a lot better. The lithium is getting out of my system. The next couple of weeks are going to be interesting, to say the least.)

[Medicine is] a collection of uncertain prescriptions the results of which, taken collectively, are more fatal than useful to mankind.
Napoleon Bonaparte (1769 - 1821)

Permalink: 2/14/2004 02:37:00 PM |
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