Fixing the things that have been broken

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Tomorrow afternoon* I will be in the hospital for a quick procedure which, I’ve been told, will allow me to hear properly again. Eventually.

I have some hearing in my left ear, but that’s like wetting the bottom of a glass and saying you have some water in your cup. My right ear is mostly open, but if normally I can hear the entire sound — 1 2 3 4 — with partial blockage I can only hear the mid-range, the 2 3 parts.

My ears have been both better and worse since January 25. I’m on blood pressure medication thanks to the panic attacks I was having when it first happened. I don’t have them anymore, and I don’t feel nearly as claustrophobic when I lay down to sleep at night.

But for the past two weeks my ears have been… not popping, but creaking whenever I yawn, drink, sometimes when I eat, when I move my jaw a certain way, and sometimes when I’m talking. It’s incredibly annoying, and kind of fun at the same time — like playing with a scab while you’re lost in thought.

Or cracking your knuckles.

For the past few weeks, because my hearing has been so bad in one ear and almost fine in the other, I’ve been hearing in mono. When the phone rings I’ll walk towards the sound, but then realize it’s coming from the other direction. Or when people speak to me I have to cock my head.

It’ll be nice if all of this is gone, finally, by Thursday evening.

The doctor will freeze my ear, make a tiny slice in my eardrum and insert… it’s not a tube, although in most cases it would be, it’s more like a ring, like one of those O-ring ear piercings the really, really cool kids have.

The ring stays in my eardrum for up to a year, earlier if the eardrum ‘heals’ it out.

The problem I have right now, is I don’t know how long it’ll be until I actually get my hearing back. I was so excited at having a doctor tell me there was a treatment, that I forgot to ask him about what happens afterwards.

I’ve been reading some comments and questions left by people who have had a similar procedure done, and some of them are concerning me. Like, apparently, my hearing might be muffled for a few days, possibly longer. I don’t like Dr. Google, he’s mostly an idiot, so I’m not too worried yet.

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What I am worried about is something massively stupid I did last week… I put the wrong insulin capsule into the wrong insulin pen, then I used it like the right insulin.

I take two types of insulin every day — at least I’m supposed to, the schedule has been broken for a month or two now. The first kind is Humalog, and I take it with my meals. The amount is determined by a blood test, but no more than 24 units per meal — ideally it’d be 0-2 units.

The other type is Lantus, which I take at bedtime. It’s a slow release formula that takes care of me through the night. When I’m ready for bed I take 100 units of Lantus.

Maybe you can see the problem already. For a week, every night at bedtime, I was taking 100 units of the Humalog — in addition to the Humalog I was taking at mealtime.

During the night I had severe leg, ankle, foot and toe cramps. I was desperately hungry after a few hours of sleep, I was walking into things, I felt like 10lbs of shit stuffed into a 5lb bag. Yet, for most of a week, I kept on overdosing, because I was just happy to be finally getting back into the fighting diabetes groove again**.

The two capsules are both the same size, but the Lantus has a purple tip with a thin purple stripe just off the tip, where the Humalog has a brown tip with a thick brown stripe around the end where the plunger enters.

I have no idea what the long term effects will be, or could be, from taking basically 250 units a day instead of a maximum of 72. Or the effects of taking 100 units, and then not eating. Especially since my kidney functions are already down to 37%. But, after checking with Dr. Google, I don’t think it’s going to be good.

So, since I realized my mistake, I’ve been back to the normal levels and things have gotten better. No more cramps, anyway.

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**I haven’t been paying much attention to my diabetic or bipolar recovery since Evangeline died. It sounds obvious, but because I wasn’t paying attention to me, or my patterns, I didn’t realize just how depressed I have been.

I stopped monitoring my blood sugar, since April I’ve been checking once or twice a week instead of three, four or five times a day. Even before my daughter passed away, back when my only real problem was my hearing, I had stopped being diligent about the testing.

But I had been taking the bipolar medications regularly. But, roughly two weeks ago, that stopped as well.

I ran out of the Wellbutrin, my purple pill, and instead of making every effort to get a refill from the pharmacy I can see from my living room window, the one I walk past almost every day, I let it slide. Until a few days ago, when it became apparent to me, through my girlfriend’s growing uneasiness, that I was not right.

I had become withdrawn, unwilling to step outside, I was snapping at her, I was depressed and uncommunicative beyond the point of rudeness. At times it was like I wanted to talk to her, but just absolutely could not.

I think, by stopping the Wellbutrin, I let the depression I’ve been feeling for a long time — especially since Evangeline — have some time to play out.

But it’s just too destructive. I’ve been back on the purple pill since… Saturday-ish, and I feel much better. Much safer, and much more capable of dealing with the depression, and its causes.

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Because of how I was feeling we haven’t been able to order the monument yet. Depending on how the ear thing goes tomorrow (today) we’ll do it in the afternoon.

We have planted flowers over Evangeline’s grave, some annuals and some perennials. And we made sure to lay down three large bags of top soil before we did, so there’s some definition to the site and it doesn’t just look like a deserted inner city patch of dust. Which is nice.

I have deposited all of the cheques, money orders and PayPal things I’ve received. And I believe we’ve received more than we initially needed. We were asking friends, family and blogging people for a total of $450, and (I think) we’ve received almost $550… to be honest, I only received $50 from family, and nada from my offline friends. So, really, it was all you.

So thank you, and you will receive a photo either by email or snail mail.

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*But really, by the time I post this, it’ll be happening later this afternoon.

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...thanks.

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About Gabriel...

...diagnosed with manic depression in 1989, for the next 14-years I lived without treatment or a recovery plan. I've been homeless, one time I graduated college, I've won awards for reporting on Internet privacy issues, and a weekly humour column. In 2002 I finally hit bottom and found help. I have an 8-year old son, and a 4-year old son... I’m usually about six feet tall, and I'm pretty sure I screwed up my book deal. I mostly blog at saltedlithium.com....
This entry was posted in Bipolar, Bipolar Disease, Bipolar Disorder, Clinical Depression, crazy people with no pants, Diabetes, Health, Living With Depression, Living With Manic Depression, Manic Depression, Mental Health and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Fixing the things that have been broken

  1. PAZ says:

    I’m glad you got what you needed for Evangeline. Hugs.

  2. PAZ says:

    p.s. You also have a hearing problem? I have otosclerosis from the OI. I’m nearly deaf in my right ear…

    • Gabriel... says:

      Hi Paz, thank you for the hugs, and sorry it took so long to respond.

      I had an ear problem, until just a few days ago. Back in January I had an ear infection that left with fluid behind my eardrums and temporarily deaf in my left ear, and mostly deaf in my right. Thankfully the fluid drained and my hearing is back…

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