Monday, January 26, 2009

Treatment Update

The MAOI had to be stopped temporarily on Friday because an absent-minded nurse mistakenly gave me the wrong medication Thursday night. Though they were probably acting too cautiously (and I told them so), the doctors wanted me to wait a full 72 hours to make sure that the MAOI wouldn't have an adverse reaction with the drug I had been given by accident. Now enough time has passed and my regular medication schedule can resume. By Friday, I anticipate that I will be feeling much better.

This weekend I've been contemplating why I and others have this affliction. I often wonder if there is some kind of biological, primordial basis for bipolar. Often I grapple with the idea that if we have a loving God (as I believe we do) then why would He allow illness in humanity. As a genetic disorder, and as a brain disorder, bipolar is a very complex malady which is not easily understood. Likely it involves the interplay of several genes working simultaneously with each other. My illness enriches my productivity and creativity at times, but during a depressed state it renders my muse silent and my output nonexistent. I would stamp it out if I could, but I know it has formed me into the person that I am today.

Sometimes I wish bipolar could be eliminated altogether in lieu of a cure. A society which advances eugenics would have all manic-depressives either surgically sterilized to prevent passing down the illness to subsequent generations, or in extreme case like Nazi Germany, simply euthanized. Until we understand it better, the risk factors involved in wholesale liquidation of manic depression are many since that might change humanity, from a genetic view, much for the worse. Everyone's working for a cure, but even cures tread a precarious ethical ground, since no one is sure how much science, with its strict black-and-white focus, can take into account the wide spectrum of expression that is inherent to bipolar illness. In short, bipolar is here to stay, and even though I'm on medicine I know to expect the soaring highs and the devestating lows, the mood swings, and the occasional bouts where I toe the line between sanity and insanity.


Gail said...

Hi Kevin-
I see you as one who could give lectures around the world on this subject. Your first hand insight, compassion and truth about bi-polar is so helpful to those with the illness and those who have family and friends with the illness.

And I was watching a movie last night, "The Templar", and one of the songs was "I'll Be Your Mirror", I smiled, and warmly thought of you.

love Gail

Jess Wundrun said...

I was watching the Actors Studio interview with Daniel Radcliffe a few weeks ago (the Harry Potter kid) who has been starring in Equus. He's asked if he thinks its a shame that ultimately his character is healed because healing means losing his passion. Radcliffe says ultimately that's the question. Which is better?

I think you know the answer, but of course it is lovely that we can live in a society that values the art that is able to ask the question.

All my best Kevin. You are doing some hard hard work.

Mauigirl said...

While I would wish that no one should suffer with being bipolar, I seem to know so many creative, wonderful people who are bipolar that I can't help but wonder whether the gene for this malady is also a gene for creativity and other positive traits.

Thinking of you and hope the drug mixup is rectified and you are back on track!