From September 2008 until January 2009 I was on a drug called Keppra. It's obviously a very strong seizure medication that has serious side effects. My side effects: suicidal thoughts, violent outbursts, panic attacks...
One morning I was on the phone with Sara about whether or not we were going to my parents house on a particular weekend and I had an outburst and punched a door and broke my hand. I was in a cast for a month.
No closed doors. Don't block the door. I need to be able to get out or I'd make fists.
If I don't know you or if I just met you I treat you like a little kid would treat a stranger. No handshakes, standing behind Sara for "protection".
Then it happened. Sara and I started arguing about my behavior. I ran down the hallway and ran my head into the bathroom door, again, again, again. I got on my hand and knees and crawled into our room growling and drooling, not knowing if I was bleeding from hitting my head on the door. I laid half on the bed and half on the floor. I was drooling anymore, just foaming and gargling, screaming words not even I could understand. Sara stood over me obviously trying to make sure I didn't hurt myself. This lasted for at least a half and hour. Once I calm down. She got me ready for the drive to the emergency room at Loyola.
My face was sunken in, eyes glazed, I wanted to die. We walked in and as soon as I saw people and the room I couldn't handle it. They brought me in, strapped me down into a gurney while I had another growling drooling episode. I arched my back, I screamed for Sara. They put me in a white room with a gown and closed the metal door that had a little window about 12 inches by 12 inches. I stood and stared. They opened the door, inserted an IV and pumped me with drugs.
They put me on another gurney and wheeled me into a room with curtains and told Sara they were going to look for a place for me at one of the mental health facilities. It got late so Sara reluctantly went home and I slept, drugged on a gurney.
We're on the west side of Chicago in the emergency room so there was bound to be some scary things coming in. Not long I heard a very drunk man cussing (F*** your mother!) out the entire staff... they put him in the white room. There was a shooting or something so people were being rushed in and I saw the mop come out for the blood. Then next to my room there was a man coming down off meth. He had overdosed or something. They were giving him some kind of drug to counteract the meth. He moaned, he fought, he cussed. These same events happened all night. I kept hearing them say my name when they were calling different mental facilities.
The next morning the side effects had subsided and I wanted to leave. I was scared. My Mom showed up, Sara was there. The psychological doctors came in to examine me and they really had control of my future. If they found a place to put me and had seen fit to put me there, they could. I told them I was fine and it was a side-effect to my medication. They brushed that off immediately like I was making it up. "No, no, Keppra!" Nothing. Then I brought out the big guns.
"Trust me, it's a side effect to my medication. I would never do anything to hurt myself. I want to live. I love my life, I love my family, I love my God. Please!"
They let me go. I still think to this day, "I love my God", where did that come from? Was that just something I said to get out of "jail"? I've never publicly talked divinity and Epilepsy. Why then? Was it the blood, meth addict, white room? I'm not at all religious but someone or something got me through that night.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
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