I had some really interesting things happen to me early this month. I remember almost nothing of Sunday, March 1. According to what I do remember, though, and according to witness accounts and the records from my ER visit that night, I was acting completely bonkers (talking nonsensically, trying to take Michael’s chairs apart because “the Germans were coming”) and also experienced loss of balance and fine motor skills — I was stumbling around like a drunk and I couldn’t type or tie my shoes. I wish I could remember all this because frankly from an outside perspective it sounds hilarious. Of course, from the point of view of Michael, and his parents, and my father, it was terrifying.
Then on Monday the 2nd I seemed much better, and drove to an appointment I had. I behaved normally when I attended the appointment…then completely forgot I had done so. I thought I’d missed it, since I couldn’t remember a thing about it.
I did, however, remember that after I returned home I got locked out of the house. My neighbor has a spare key, but she wasn’t home and I had to wait for her, sitting on the front steps, feeling quite contented in spite of things. The day was fine and warm and I enjoyed the feel of the sun on my face. When she arrived home I asked my neighbor to get the key and let me in. She had a hard time with it for some reason; the lock kept sticking. After a few minutes of watching her fuss with it I thought I’d try the glass deck door on the other side of the house. It proved to be unlocked and I hoisted myself up and went inside. I called out that I was in. When I opened the door, though, my neighbor was gone. I was surprised she’d left without telling me but supposed she’d gone back home.
I later discovered the event never happened. It was a cold and dreary day, I didn’t get locked out of the house, my neighbor was home all day and I never went over to ask for the key or for any other reason. I did, however, let myself in through the deck door. I don’t know why I would have done so. But I know I did because I later found my footprints in the snow. Michael was not pleased when he found out, since that door was supposed to be locked and it might have been unlocked for months, but no harm done.
On Tuesday the 3rd I went back to the place to reschedule my not-actually-missed appointment. I arrived at 8:00 a.m., opening time. I rescheduled, left the office, then suddenly it was 8:00 p.m., and I was sitting in my car parked at a gas station a few blocks away from where I’d been, and I had no idea how I’d got there or what had happened in between times. And I still don’t know. Twelve hours of my life, vanished, gone. I don’t even have any false memories to fill in that period. I could have murdered someone for all that I know. Novels have been written about this kind of thing.
My blood and urine sample at the hospital came out clean, and my MRI was unremarkable. I made an emergency appointment with my psychiatrist, thinking this had to be a psychotic episode or something. He said no: if I had been psychotic, I wouldn’t have recovered as fast as I did without medicine and I wouldn’t have had the motor and balance issues. It was delirium, he said, not psychosis. A neurological thing and not his department.
I’ve got an EEG scheduled for later this month to check for temporal lobe epilepsy. The prospect of having that condition would suck royally for me, as it would mean losing my driver’s license, and in this part of the country you really need to be able to drive.
However, a friend of mine has a friend who’s a psychiatrist who was fairly high up in the Navy during the Gulf War: he was in charge of all the psychiatric treatment given to the Navy guys during that time period. So he knows what he’s on about. My friend described the symptoms to her friend, and he recognized it immediately. He said he’d seen cases like this before, and the delirium was caused by a vitamin deficiency, and to prevent it happening again I need to start eating fruits and vegetables. A lot of them.
The fruits are no problem — I really like apples, bananas and grapes. But I just don’t know what to do re: the vegetables. The only ones I actually like to eat are carrots. My mom says broccoli is swimming with vitamins and all the stuff I need. I bought a head of broccoli and have been valiantly trying to eat it, but I just wind up grabbing a handful of florets, ripping them off the head, jamming them in my mouth, chewing as fast as possible and then swallowing and grabbing something to get that taste out of my mouth. (Green beans are out of the question. Last year I told Mom I hated them and she was like “you’ve only had the nasty canned kind, here’s some fresh from my garden, eat one, you’ll love it.” I ate the green bean and discovered, yup, I still hate green beans.)
I need something that will taste good enough I will be able to eat the recommended daily allowance without too much trouble, and that will provide enough of the right stuff to keep this kind of episode from happening again, because I caused a great deal of trouble and worry for those who love me and I am very sorry for it. And these dishes need to be easy to cook, because I don’t know the first thing about it. Right-out-of-the-can vegetable soup would be nice, but Mom said the soup-making process takes a lot of the vitamins out of the veggies.
Over 1,000 people read this blog per day…I thought I’d throw an appeal to you guys and ask for suggestions.