Sorry for the long absence. I was in yet another Connecticut hospital for 6 weeks, and as usual it was horrible. I admit that they — the staff — must have hated me as much as I hated most of them as well. I do not think that they understood quite how much I was “not myself” most of the time I was there. Luckily, perhaps, the weekend doctor was one who had treated me years ago and for several years at that, and she said quite openly that she had never seen me like that and knew something was wrong. But the other staff did not know me and so they took my rage and irritability as “bad behavior,” as one nurse called it. Why it didn’t occur to them that there was something strange about the fact that I didn’t even remember from day to day what had happened or what “I did” I do not know.
Anyhow, now I am on a trial of Saphris but I do not think it is going well. I cannot motivate myself to do much of anything, including writing, reading or any kind of art. I even look at my beads and wonder what on earth ever possessed me to want to do jewelry making. I am hoping that I will be switched back to Abilify soon (not Zyprexa on which, after the hospital, I gained at least 10 pounds). At the very least it must be added to the mix. Otherwise I do not know what I will do. Dr B and the visiting nurse probably will not agree, feeling as they do that it does not work for me. But I think it does and frankly I will not take anything else, so it is the Abilify and the Geodon, or the Abilify and the Saphris, or nothing at all. There is nothing else that works at all that I will take.
I will also add that after struggling to feel that Dr B was helping me, and that he “cared,” I have decided that we do not work well together. Maybe some other male psychiatrist and I would, but for now I am switching over to a female doctor, Dr C.. She seems very nice, and if she and I do not work out, there is yet another that seems promising. But so far I felt very good about Dr C right from the start.
So for now that is all that I have the energy to write. For the short time that I was on Zyprexa right out of the hospital I wrote a poem called, “How to Swim: Poetry Manual #2”, and I wish I could share it here, but I have sent it out for possible publication and I do not think the magazine would appreciate it if I printed it here first (they are fussy about things like that, alas.) So I will leave you with one that I think will go into my second book but which I probably won’t publish before then instead.
ARTICLES OF FAITH
Black ice. An accident’s chain-
reaction like toppled dominoes,
and you steer into a skid
on the frictionless slick
missing, by the merest sleet needle,
a chrome-crumpler 28 cars long. It’s night,
your face glows dashboard green
touched with gold as we pass
streetlights in review.
Someone up there
must be watching out
for us, you say, meaning you,
me, and this carcass of a 1986 Chevy,
in ‘03 still too good to let go.
But it is something more than
mischief in me when I remind you
of the 28 drivers whose cars accordioned
in the whiplash of impact.
Was the the big guy upstairs
not watching out for them, then,
or worse, deliberate in his neglect?
But this is not a theological poem,
it is only a prayer whistled
devil-may-care into the void
by a nonbeliever who knows nothing
is guaranteed save that none of us
will survive our lives. The pile-up
behind us, we’re wowed breathless
by the nearness of our miss
and though there’s still
the matter of those hapless 28,
even I whisper Thank God!
to still my trembling hands.
(When I pasted that in it came out in double space, but it was meant to be single spaced. Not sure how it will appear in the blog…)
That’s all I have the energy for tonight. When I have a little more, I will get back to you. Please do not give up on me. Thanks.