I just woke up to pouring rain. It’s my birthday. I take this as a sign God is washing away my pain. From the comfort of my bed I see blue sky under the dark dark clouds and it’s taking over the sky. It never left. It was just temporarily covered.
I am warm, comfy in bed propped up against three pillows in a soft shirt my friend gave me and my Cookie Monster pants. Bright orange and pink socks on matching palm tree sheets. God is good.
I got out of the hospital on the 15th. Nineteen days. The most painful experience of my life, to my conjecture. And probably the best. 19 days. I don’t want to forget those days.
I went in for a severe mixed episode, rapid cycling from suicidal & lethargic to euphoric or agitated energy about every 20 minutes. I had two doctors because Dr. N was on vacation the first week. Dr. H was great. She put me on a new med that calmed the cycling but it caused such bad muscle problems that I could barely walk. I had dystonia in my legs, stomach & back. But my mood was great. At first. Until the pain wore on me and I couldn’t take it anymore.
When my doctor came back (sunshine) we stopped all my meds in 2 days to start over, find a baseline. We’d reached a deadlock. Ah, the pain. We expected either my body would get better and my mind would get better or my body would get better and my mind would freak out and we’d fix it.
Instead, my mind did much better than expected and my body flipped out. (remembering) Pain. Attacks of being stabbed in the neck with burning knitting needles that would break like thunder into muscle spasms all over my body. Out of control blood pressure. Random spikes in bp and pulse. The muscle spasms at night hurt so bad I couldn’t move or talk. They became constant. My face twitched so bad I couldn’t see straight, made me dizzy. My fingers were constantly tingling & freezing. My feet tingled. The roof of my mouth tingled. I wasn’t sleeping or eating. I became frail, which was pleasing to me but angered my doctor. I hid under the table from the voice in my head, heard an unfamiliar one for the first in a long time. My hands would stop working & turn cold and purple. My doctor didn’t know what to do.
God sent me angels. I could see and feel them with me. He spoke to me. He came as a hummingbird. All around me was God and I was never alone. I cried out to Him to take me home. I was so scared but He was not. He told me, through the words of my mouth and a cloud, “Don’t take your eyes off me. It is written,” quite firmly. I knew the storm was coming. I didn’t see the glory. Before each spike in pain I would hear God’s song. He gave me music. Calming songs would start before and play through and my angels were with me. I was never alone. Heart racing, shaking, body writhing, unable to breathe. They would ask if I was nervous, having a panic attack. No. I felt calm.
Many days of this wore on me. With no psych meds my mood was all over. I wanted to die. We started adding back in meds, building a new ground. The staff were amazing & my fellow patients priceless. Friends. Something finally clicked and I was ready to come home.
Which brings us to now – 3 weeks later. It is my birthday and I feel good. I can’t remember the last birthday I felt good or even semi-ok. Last year I screamed and cried and refused to get out of the car and slept most of the day, reclused. Today I feel good. It’s morning and I am awake. The birds are chirping. My kitty is watching. The clouds part and I feel JOY. Praise God!
This whole experience has drawn me closer to Him. I’m listening. I’m paying attention. I joined a church choir and am reading “The Story.” I don’t feel as scared. I’m taking care of my body, trying to lose some weight. I even want to decorate my room. Goals seem possible.
A different life seems possible too. I don’t feel trapped. I get to choose what to do and what not to. I can move in any direction. That said, I am still exhausted. Trying on shoes last night knocked me out. I am exhausted but not weary. I see the light. Praise God.
May 27 be the best year yet.
My goal is to LIVE.
My theme: Break the Rules.
Even dark clouds pass.
© Michelle Routhieaux 2013