In the Forests of the Night

I am tired. Tired in the extreme. Tired enough to be a little concerned about driving.

Not half as tired as Carter, though.

Spring is flat lousy for some people with bipolar. No one really knows why; longer days, more sun, or some other reason (and don’t most of us feel a lift of mood and an increase of energy this time of year?), but for many people with mood disorders, Carter included, mania comes into the house and makes itself at home in the spring.

Spring also causes a decrease in the levels of mood stabilizing medicine in Carter’s blood. Lithium is a salt, and as the weather gets warmer, he drinks more water and sweats more, thus moving lithium through his body faster and allowing his blood levels to drop below their optimum therapeutic level.

Hence, suffering.

Carter is miserable with his inability to sleep (he’s averaging 6 hours a night for the past two weeks, with a few nights as short as 2-3 hours).

We’re miserable with his inability to stop talking and spinning.

No, seriously, he talks. Constantly. Without ceasing, literally. If he runs out of actual things to say, he does nonsense rifs composed mostly of curse words and slang scatological terms. In the bathtub, he sing-songs endlessly I’m gonna poop your ass! I’m gonna fart your butt! Poopy butt! Poopy butt! I know you have a poopy butt! Which is actually kind of funny for a few minutes, until it makes me beg Brian to saw my ears off with a rusty table knife.

And what does that even mean, poop your ass? I should probably know, since he says it at least 70 times a day.

Worse is that he’s terrified to go to school because he knows he’s barely holding himself together. Except that’s not exactly true; he hasn’t been violent, or even especially destructive, but he feels out of control and his anxiety is through the roof, so he’s afraid he will hurt a classmate or (much worse in his mind), say something to hurt his favorite teacher’s feelings.

I remember all too well the horrors of 3 years ago, and I know that, while Carter’s illness is active right now and it’s nothing anyone would call fun, it’s also a far cry from the worst we’ve endured. Carter barely remembers the worst of that time (thank God for slippery memories and the ways they sometimes protect us) and doesn’t enjoy the perspective that I do.

Although if I’m being honest, I will admit that at 3 am, perspective is bullshit.

Sleep is one of the purest, simplest pleasures in life, not to mention essential for happy, healthy daytime functioning. He deserves to enjoy more of it. I’ll be calling his psychiatrist tomorrow. If you pray, feel free to say a few words in favor of his doctor having an inspired idea that will get Carter sleeping again!

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11 thoughts on “In the Forests of the Night”

  1. Both of mine have been nonstop with the talking too. The bipolar is a bitch when the sun starts shining.

    I hope the Sleep Fairy pays Carter a visit very soon so you can all get some rest.

  2. Has Carter ever been on Gabitril? Our doc prescribed that for my bp kiddo 6 years ago to help with the nightmares….and it does wonders for knocking him out too. Alternately, my bp father has taken Seroquel in the times that sleep has been most elusive and had similar results.

    Prayers that your doc will find -something-.

  3. INTERESTING. Because Jake – though he doesn’t have a mood disorder diagnosis – has been really driving me round the bend with his constant talk, meowing and weird laughing. He is fixated on the word ‘stupid” (which IS considered a curse word in our house) inserting it into every sentence. Singing songs with it “Timmy is a STUPID kid.” So I guess it’s time for a visit to the psycho-pharmacologist. Ka-ching! Sigh.

    Also? I feel your pain babe, wish I could make it easier for you. All I can offer are cyber-hugs and -foot-rubs. (Does that feel good?)

  4. Prayers for you, always. Praying and hopng for that sleep which knits the unravalled sleeve of care.
    Each morning I look at my son’s door to see if it is open or closed, often a sign of how he has slept, hoping to determine his mood. Ever vigilant, ever concerned.

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