Tonight, I’m cleaning out my closet.

13 May

If you’ve met me, you probably know that I would never voluntarily give up drinking wine, eating carbs or having dessert. Unless I had a gun to my head.

Well, ready, aim, fire, people. A gun was drawn (in the form of the threat of celiac and potential liver disease from suspected autoimmune hepatitis) after last week’s colonoscopy. Yes. Lovely.

So that would be how I started last weekend. Being bitch-slapped by my snarkiness towards the [insert food group]-free diets that run rampant in the bubble that is my town. I immersed myself in gluten-free info and was promptly overwhelmed. I mean, never another beer?! Or pizza? Christ on a cracker. (gluten-free, of course).

But I embraced it with gusto. This may be just the change I need to kick my ass in gear and shift it down in size a ton or two while I’m at it. I spent the weekend treading lightly and was successful.

Then.

The hubby and I started talking about this book I’d recently read called CLEAN. And after more discussion, we decided to embark on a full-fledged cleanse. With the barrel of that 40 magnum (aka, liver biopsy) pointed straight at my temple, I was highly motivated. So we embraced that with gusto too. Feeling very confident that all of my tests would come back negative AND I would most certainly have even better results in three weeks after the cleanse. (No blood work for me until then. You hear me?)

We are now officially on Day Three of said cleanse (though we started on Monday unofficially). I haven’t craved anything I’m not allowed so far. So okay fine. Smoothies from the Vita Mix twice a day (thanks Profts!) with all sorts of delicious goodness like maca powder, spirulina, brown rice protein powder, acai powder, bee pollen, etc., etc., ad nauseam. And a ‘clean’ lunch each day. The food is quite delicious even though the hubby has to chef it up in the temporary/camp kitchen in the basement while our kitchen is gutted. So be it.

So it was on the first official day of said cleanse, I just so happened to have scheduled an appointment with one of the top psychiatrists in the area. Long story short,  something in Lexapro-land was not right. So I decided it was high time to dump the drugs and move on. But I wanted to be a responsible drug-user. And after the year I’ve had, I knew this would be a safe move anyway. My head is so full of junk that it could stand to be shrunk down a few sizes. For crying out loud.

True Blue made the recommendation and she was right as rain. He was just what the —er— doctor ordered. Very kind eyes drew me in immediately. Now, I’ve done my share of therapy, but I’ve never been to a psychiatrist. (I know, shocking, isn’t it?) I had no idea what to expect. And the conference table was a real surprise. No couch with the doc in the pondering chair. It was a business meeting.

I sat there for well over an hour while he did his evaluation. I talked almost the whole time and then it was come to Jesus time. My diagnosis. (Wow, that was QUICK. And I fancy myself so mysterious…)

Turns out? All that celiac symptom/liver dysfunction/lethargy/poopy-pants action has a simple explanation:  Bipolar II. (Catherine Zeta-Jones anyone?)

I had just read the People article about CZJ and it did strike quite a few chords. Her husband had cancer and she never popped back. Yes. Yes. And yes.

So it turns out I am her (sans the summer house in Mallorca and the ranch in Aspen of course). And, it turns out, the diagnosis left me shaken to the core.

You know, you spend an entire lifetime working to be the sane one. Working to NOT be your father and start fresh with your own little family. Then one day, you’re in bed. There’s a new infant somewhere in the house. And you can’t bring yourself to turn on the light and make sure she’s okay. Luckily you have an amazing partner in the hubby and he stands vigil for two days while feeding the babe the breast milk from the fridge and finally formula in desperation. The 6-year-old just thinks it’s a holiday with lots of TV.

Even though you come back from that particular psychosis relatively intact, it changes you. It tells you there is a darkness in you and you work so hard to make sure it never rears it’s ugly head again.

Then, your rock. Your solace. Your one-true-love falls seriously ill and there is a crack. Small, but detectable. It was started by the rock in the windshield called your beloved grandmother who was never to leave you dying. But you know that all hell just CANNOT break loose. It’s YOUR TURN to be the strong one. Finally. And you DO IT. Not only DO IT — YOU TOTALLY KICK IT’S ASS.

But just as you are brushing your hands of it in finality, the crack starts to widen. But instead of light? There’s the blackest black of darkness you’ve ever seen and it chills you to the bone.

So it isn’t without any suspicions that I called said doc. I’m a renowned self-diagnoser. But when you hear those words. Those ugly, black-and-blue words with all of their stigma and scariness, the bottom falls out for a minute. You call your mom and cry in the car, “Why ME?”

But then it’s bootstraps time. Get informed. Stay on the cleanse (it helps, apparently by a stroke of timing luck). And figure this out so you can be whole again.

So now, we went to get the hubby’s first post-chemo CT scan today. And it absolutely, positively has to be clean. No other option. But we wait. Then next week he has his colonoscopy and the follow up testing will be complete. We’ll wait patiently and meet with Dr. J the following week to catch up and hear those beautiful, bell-ringing words: “You’re cancer-free.”

And we’ll get through it all. We’ll cleanse. We’ll see more doctors. We’ll take more meds. We’ll feel healthy. We’ll smile. We’ll rejoice in life. And LIVE. No other option.

TODAY’S THEME SONG: Hurt. NIN. I wear this crown of thorns upon my liar’s chair. Full of broken thoughts I cannot repair. Beneath the stains of time the feelings disappear. You are someone else. I am still right here.

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