On the 20th I reported on my extreme Lamictal withdrawal reaction. I mentioned that I’d seen my neuro-psych doctor and he helped me see the obvious. My extreme distress was due to the withdrawal. We spent half an hour doing neurofeedback after that. I recovered so quickly from such an extreme state I thought that it was possible the neurofeedback had helped. That day my doctor said my brain waves were doing stuff he’d never seen them do before. My brain looked like a different brain. It was in no way similar to my history. He ended up training it in a very different way and said I might have quick relief. Whatever the cause of the relief was (as I told you I also dosed myself with an emergency Klonopin that night) the next day I was fine. And the day after that and then the day after that. Fine. I actually felt better than usual. I felt normal—whatever the fuck that means. I was busy. I ran errands. I got excited about spending a simple Christmas with just my husband. I felt good. Then Saturday afternoon.
A string of things happened that may have triggered the worst hell I’ve lived through that I can remember. First I had a cup of green tea. I felt tired after running around all over the place. I do, after all, have chronic fatigue and I was feeling so good I did quite a bit more than I usually do. (No, I was not manic—not at all—this was normal activity and normal thinking patterns etc etc.) So I had my tea. I started feeling a bit out of sorts within an hour. I’m learning slowly but surely that I CANNOT under any circumstances have alcohol and coffee, but it’s sinking in rather slowly. Then the next day I woke up out of sorts. I had a fight with my husband—in large part because of my irritability. My reaction to conflict is like toxic sludge being thrown at me lately. Even mild conflict. It’s really poison. This fight was not a big deal though. Then as I started feeling worse and worse, my husband was refurbishing a piece of furniture and used some extremely noxious substance to do some filling. After that I became a somewhat catatonic, though hysterical (I know they don’t really go together, but I basically couldn’t move, but was distressed beyond belief.)
I laid in bed while my husband held me and I experienced a constant flow of impulses to hurt myself in a myriad of ways. The fantasies were outrageous. I’ve actually never experienced such pain, anguish, despair and suicidal, self-harm hell. Really. Never. In the morning, not improved I wanted to talk to someone. My therapist was out of town so I tried to get a hold of my neuro-psych. He is cool and wouldn’t have me hospitalized. I told my husband who made the call that I would talk to no one but him, knowing that most mental health professionals would be only too happy to throw me in the bin.
My doctor ended up being out of town and a “nice” woman called whom my husband, knowing no better, thought I should talk to. She immediately went into the string of screening questions that would land me smack dab in the middle of a psych ward. I lied on every question and told her I wanted to get off the phone three times before she would pay attention to me. She pissed me off. She had told my husband that if I didn’t want to talk she would respect my wishes and let me get off the phone which is the only reason I even agreed to talk to her. She went on and on for a good ten minutes while I repeatedly told her I didn’t want to talk to her. She is a (unbeknownst to him fucked-up) colleague of my neuro-psych so I didn’t want to hang up on her as even though my doctor is great I think he would find it hard to believe that his colleague really deserved to be hung up on.
Anyway that was Monday morning. The rest of Monday continued hellish. My husband wanted me to take a shower in case I had toxins that had to come off my skin. I sat in the tub, motionless while he soaped me up and poured water over me. It was bizarre. It was like I was hardly there at all except for the pain and misery. I couldn’t move and I walked to the bathroom like a rag doll or zombie, stumbling more than once.
By late evening I felt vaguely better. And then the next day, Christmas morning, I woke up fine. I cooked 7 dishes and had a great day. So I guess it was a total of about 50 hours. Hell and back. Going from perfectly fine to the worst hell I can remember, to perfectly find again.
Is it withdrawal? Is it withdrawal and hypersensitivity to chemicals? Is it insanity? Why so brief? Why normal to normal. The only extreme being in the middle?
If I had done what 99.9% of mental health professionals would have had me do, I’d still be in the hospital much worse off for having gone. This thought distresses me. Had I not had my husband, what would have happened? Why is there no safe place for us to go in crisis? What of all the single people?
50 hours. All better now. WTF?