Saturday, June 2, 2007

One More Hypomanic Symptom

It's 5:00 in the morning and I've hardly slept all night. I could have taken an Ativan but I've been taking 1/2 milligrams for the last ten days, and I'm already addicted. So, I've decided to stop. I just took another bath. As I lay in the tub, I began thinking about my day and I came up with an additional hypomanic symptom.

My cranium hurts. I know this sounds like a weird one and if anyone else has ever felt this, I'd really like to know. What I mean by this is that my skull actually hurts. Again, I used to think it was due to medication but now I know it's the hypomania. I've often wondered if a hypomania can cause a slight swelling of the brain. The worst pain is at the bottom of my skull near the back of my head and the top of my neck. But if I touch my face near my cheekbones, and my temples, they are very sensitive as well.

Solution: A massage or acupuncture, neither of which I can afford these days. But...what if those of us who have medical insurance (and I don't as you may recall from earlier posts) could call our doctors and say, "My cranium is swelling; could you prescribe a massage?"

The fact is that when I did have insurance (which was all of my life until three years ago when we could no longer afford my policy, which cost about $10,000 a year), I had a $15 copay for medication. What if my copay covered the complementary medicine options that I would have preferred...rather than medication?

So...when my cranium hurts, rather than taking a muscle relaxant or aspirin (both of which knock me out), I could see my chiropractor/acupuncturist or better yet, get a massage? I think the reason this option isn't available is because we're being punished for being bipolar.

On Wednesday, when my mother's new doctor visited her, he prescribed physical therapy for the neuropathy that accompanies her diabetes. Because it's a physical illness, there are limitless options. What does that say about the treatment of mental illness?

An aside...actually I'm in terrible physical pain all over...and it's kind of my fault. What I forgot to mention in my last post, was that when I went to my mom's assisted living facility to play music yesterday, I forgot my Autoharp despite the fact that I'd practiced playing for two hours the night before and I had tuned it.

I think the problem was that I was thinking about too many things. I had to load all my camera equipment plus a tripod in the car and I was in the throes of setting up a series of interviews for my new writing assignment.

Anyway, once I arrived at my mom's place, I realized that while I'd brought my music stand, my music, and the music for all the residents, I'd left my Autoharp at home. And I didn't have the time to retrieve it, which is a 25 minute drive both ways.

So, I decided to play a tambourine and sing a capella with Monroe's accompaniment. It was a disaster...for me...everyone else seemed to enjoy it.

First, I needed to hold the music in one hand and so I banged the tambourine on my leg and knee. By the time I got to UCLA to shoot photographs, I was not only stiff but both my knee and leg had black-and-marks. Second, I realized that my Autoharp covers a lot of mistakes. Evidently, Monroe and I are never in tune with each other, which became quite evident when I was singing without a loud instrument. Third, everyone else is out of tune--which I heard for the first time yesterday.

Finally, and this had nothing to do with anything and I'm not sure why it happened (other than the Ativan) but I was perspiring so freely that I was drenched. I kept on drinking water and wiping my face with a handkerchief but what I really needed what a shower--midway through.

The corker came at UCLA when I had climbed on a small wall in order to get a special shot of the medical school graduation, and fell over backwards. My only salvation was that if I'd been really hurt, I assume the new doctors could have helped me--although perhaps they wouldn't have because of my insurance issues!


marja said...

You're getting really funny here, Susan. I do hope you'll get more sleep though.

Cindy said...

Sorry to hear about the fall.

You know, your aching cranium sounds similar to some of my atypical migraine symptoms. Now I'm mentally reviewing past episodes in light of my mood swings and their timing, something I'd not thought to do before.


Anonymous said...

When my face and ears hurt I know I´m hypomanic. I have never heard anyone mention this before.