Sunday, October 10, 2004

Brendan's Rant

One of the aspects of my relationship that I value the most is that Brendan and I can disagree with each other and scold each other without being afraid of jeopardizing our relationship. In fact, I don't know what Brendan would say, but I believe that disagreeing with each other and using our influence for the better is part of what makes our relationship strong and healthy.

Life is roses, but those fuckers can have some nasty thorns. And in a good relationship, your partner should tell you when you are headed for a thorny spot, even if you don't want to hear it.

When Brendan read my last post, he was not a happy camper.

So he let me know how he felt:

...I totally don't approve of this:

In talking with other bipolar people, I've found that a lot of us will tell each other about our benign hallucinations without feeling the need to tell our pdocs about it. Patients can be so strange, but I guess we all have our reasons.

I don't know, nor particularly care, what other bipolar people do, but YOU NEED TO TELL YOUR DOC about this stuff!!! You're probably right that it doesn't matter that much if it seems benign and doesn't affect your daily life right now.... but neither you nor I have the expertise to make that call!! What if your "benign hallucinations" are a warning sign that worse hallucinations are possible, and one of your medications might tip you into bad hallucinations if your dosage is changed at some point down the road? What if the "benign hallucations" indicate some heretofore unknown quirk in the diagnosis that is crucial to your future long-term course of treatment? The point is, you have GOT to tell you doctor about what is going on with you! That's what he's there for... that's what you pay him the big bucks for. You can't hide stuff from him! That's SO STUPID! It's like going to the doctor when you have a cold and not mentioning that you've been throwing up everything you eat ... how the hell is he supposed to know if you don't tell him? Not acceptable, not acceptable at all!! It's one thing if you feel some sort of undeniable urge to put on a "performance" for your doc by wearing weird clothes or something. Fine, whatever. But you at least need to tell him all the pertinent information and not keep things from him for ANY reason, including that you don't think they're important. That's not your call to make, because you're not qualified to make it, you don't have the training or the expertise. It's your doc's call (in consultation with you, of course), because that's his job, and he is qualified!!

Similarly, coming off your meds because you feel like it is also not okay!!! Don't trick yourself into shirking responsibility for your actions by saying, "Well, I was feeling kinda manic." I know you don't always have complete control over what's going on in your brain, but I know you, Becky, and I know that (except perhaps in your very, very worst moments) you do still have control over things that you know are very important. Like not actually crossing the yellow line, or not actually going and having sex with another man. Well guess what? You need to add your FUCKING MEDICATIONS to your mental list of things that are VERY IMPORTANT!!! You can't just fuck around with this stuff. I know the "trial and error" business sucks, but the fact is, you're making things worse when you make arbitrary changes, because now the doc can't even figure out the results of the "trial." If you have a change in your condition, how is he supposed to know whether it's because of getting on Lithium or because of arbitrarily getting off Lamictal? He can't know, because you introduced a variable that wasn't supposed to be there! If you're really in a place where you feel like a medicine is doing you absolutely no good, or even doing you harm, TALK TO YOUR DOC about it!! Honestly and candidly!!

And if I seem ticked off, well, I am!!! This is OUR future that's at stake here -- not just yours, ours! And our babies' future, too! (Awww...babies.) And I won't tolerate you playing these games with your health! You're smarter than that, Becky!!!

Okay, rant over. I think we're even now, on the scolding-each-other-for-being-dumb front. (Remember, you scolded me twice on Thursday. :)

I love you a lot. (Even when you do dumb things and/or things I don't approve of, I still love you!)

I miss you.

Brendan, a.k.a. your hunny bunny

Now that's a verbal smackdown if I ever heard one. So why am I not upset? Several reasons.

First, Brendan is not trying to be demeaning in any way. He's looking out for my best interests and I know that. Yes he's mad. But he's mad because he wants me to be in the best shape I can be in. Somehow, in the midst of this smackdown, I got the warm fuzzies because I know that Brendan cares so much about me and because I feel the same way about him, I'll probably redouble my efforts to hang in there while this whole medicinal Gordian knot is waiting to be untangled.

Second, I'm not upset because I do the same thing to Brendan when he deserves it. In my opinion, we have a duty to take care of each other and we can't do that if we don't confront each other about our mistakes.

And third, I'm not upset because I guess a part of me thinks he's right. Maybe I shouldn't admit that! :)

Either way, I'm just so in love with my Brendan. I have the real deal. I think that's part of how I know that I actually have an illness with this whole bipolar thing actually. If I can have the best man on the face of God's beautiful earth and still feel blue, something is definately amiss.

Awww. Warm fuzzies.