Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What On Earth Does A Fibrate Do With A Manic-Depressive?

Last night I was watching that movie Red with my husband. It was pretty funny and we were about 10 minutes from the end when I noticed he kept screwing with his cell phone. I asked him what he was doing and he informed me that my little brother had just called him for the 4th time in 5 minutes. Curiously, I got up and fished my phone from my purse, only to discover 3 missed calls from him as well. Now normally this many calls from someone would warrant an immediate and urgent call back to see what on earth was wrong! But this many from my dear little brother usually indicated 1 thing...a cycle of mania was headed his way. See on top of being autistic, he is also bi-polar. And while he is very diligent about taking his medication, as many manic-depressives are not, the crossed neurological wires of autism make treating his mental illness extremely difficult. Of course my phone starts ringing again, and I answered it to see if he is okay. Oh there was no emergency, just an angry 22 year-old man ranting and raving about his litany of irritations and injustices. He hates his job, says they make fun of him. He is very frustrated at his lack of memory, side-effects of the many medications he takes and would love a girlfriend more than anything in the world. He goes on and on, and I only interrupt to get him off video-game superhero tangents and back to the real world. I also explained that I too suffer from memory problems and understand how frustrating it is. Then I told him I needed to get off the phone, for it was late and we were going to bed.

And that is when the snagle happened. He loudly and ferociously launches into a flowing tirade of all his anger issues and will not shut-up! I calmly repeat myself a good 4 or 5 times. Then he informs me his pinky is numb. I tell him he needs to call mom and continue to attempt to end the conversation, but to no avail. Then the threats start coming, how he is going to hurt himself to punish me and all sorts of ridiculous crap flowing from the activated manipulative and passive-aggressive part of him. My husband is telling me to hang up the damn phone already, he sees where this is going, but I feel bad for my brother and keep trying to end the conversation with at least a disgruntled "bye" from him, not cut him off in the middle of his diatribe. And then it happens. The pressure mounts, the anger boils, the bull-pinned-in-a-little-tiny-cage feeling takes over...and I snap. I launch into a full-blown rage attack. I spring up, screaming a trail of obscenities and throw the phone down, yelling and slamming things and so unbelievably angry that this problem I thought was under control is swallowing me up again! See ever since I had 2 strokes last July I have a serious problem with anger, confrontation, anything really that puts me on the defensive and requires quick problem-solving skills. I have been exercising regularly as a way to expend this energy and up my endorphins, but last night nothing seemed to temper this flare of ferocious anger.

So here I sit, day 1 of what I hope is a very short flare. My head hurts, throat is sore, face throbbing. Fibro pain is extra intense and sleep but an illusive wish. I am a scattered mental mess! And I had been doing so good lately. Actually practicing self-discipline and tackling my household chores in a way I had not in years. Spending that time each day to fix myself up , knowing that when I look better I feel better. Getting off of the facebook vortex and working on progressing The Fibromyalgia Crusade. And of course, the hardest of all, exercising regularly. Last night's outburst makes this flare all the more devastating as I stress out about backsliding and losing my hard-fought progress. So what do I do, to make sure this does not happen again? This is my brother, not someone I will cut out of my life, ever. And he is going to continue to wax and wane with the symptoms of his illness as I do with mine. It is very important for me to remain a positive influence in his life. A sister with a different perspective and life experiences than mom or dad. And yes, as much as I hope this day never comes, I will one day be his conservator once they no longer are able. So I have to figure out how to have a relationship with him, during whatever stage his bi-polar cycle he happens to be in. And I have to find a way to do this without activating my own illness and trashing my progress. When I figure all of this out I will be sure to let you know, but for now I think I am going to send him an email, tell him I love him and just need a little break for a while.

Thanks for joining,


  1. Leah,
    I am sorry that you had to suffer through this. I do not know what to say except that I can relate to your frustration. My oldest son is 15 years old. He is diagnosed with high functioning autism and bi-polor as well. I also can relate to you today, because I have suffered from fibro flares after a bad day or week with my son. Is your brother compliant with rules? Perhaps if someone like your mom or dad or husband laid some ground rules when he is not cycling, perhaps he might respect them in the future. I know with my son, once I convinced with that I was always for him and not against him, things have improved. But like a fibro flare, I always know in the back of my mind that I will be the victim of another rant. I hope you feel better soon.

  2. Try having both bi-polar disorder AND fibro. Good times. Good times. NOT! ;o)

    Just a little levity... I do have both but no-one's sending me a check... yet. Keep on keeping' on Leah! You WILL make it!

  3. My sister is a psychopath/and on drugs. I have been subjected to regular rants and tirades since I was a child. Lies, manipulations, family brawls. I won't even go into the rest of my family because it will just be overkill but truth. I read this to my husband and he said, "She sounds just like u". I too end up goin off on them and finally adopted the policy that if someone is dead at 2am in the morning, they'll be dead at 2pm the next day too, there's still NOTHING you can do about it. So, I just don't answer the phone anymore. Every single one of them kept me in a flare and didn't care if I was in pain. So I assume their problems are just as unimportant as mine and I don't talk to them. I figure if something is wrong, they can all 911, I'm not a police officer nor a paramedic and calling me 15 times in 5 minutes to simply aggravate the hell out of me I can do without.
    Leah, please really think on this conservator stuff, it's a BIG step for someone in your condition.You have already had two strokes, the next time you fly off, might be your last. It just isn't worth it.

  4. Hi Leah,I may be able to give you a little help with the Bipolar aspect but is there any possible way that I could inbox you directly or email you as it just involves things that I am not comfortable having the whole group know about- you probably have this from me joining the group but in case you don't my email address is chrisden39@live.ca

  5. Hi, I am Bi Polar, and I have RA and fybromaliga. I am laying in bed right now trying to fall asleep, but my muscles in my legs are aching, they feel like a toothache. I just keep going on with my life and because of this, people do not understand what I am going thru. I have always been high energy and having the fybromaliga is breaking my heart you can add this to my list!!!! I'm am so thankful that my husband is so great with me, he has soriatic arthritis so he understands about pain.
    Question, does anyone have a flair up of IBS when they have a flair up of fybromaliga??????