March 27, 2006

altered

i was finally cleaning my bookcases today, and picked up the Metamorphosis by Kafka. this is a great parallel to what happened to me and my mental condition at this time -- i really did wake up on march 3rd and (in a drug-induced state of psychosis, 1000 mg of prednisone IV and opiates, that is) i became a fearful, unintelligible cockroach. a psychotic, pumped-up on massive steroids one at that. in my mind, everything i told the doctors was a lie, and everything anyone told me was a lie. they asked me to describe the pain on the 9th day, but i couldn't even begin because in such a mind-altered state, i didn't know where it was coming from -- was it actual pain or was it in my mind? was i alive or had i already died? on the 10th day i woke up again and had a few days of amnesia.

same as today, no one really does know what it's like to be on these drugs, unless they are or have been -- in that sense, i am still the cockroach: a slave to my own disfigurement and inability to speak.

anyway, today, still on rounds of heavy drugs, i am still trying to figure out the best way to maintain my mental soundness. the drug of note is a synthetically produced, pill version of the hormone your body releases as response to stress; your adrenal glands pump it out when you are under pressure or trauma. dare i call the way it fucks with your head a feeling of perpetual adrenaline rush. corticosteroid is the catch-22 -- in your most physically and mentally exhausted condition you need to sleep, but it prevents you from sleeping in fits of terror. however, it is the most powerful drug to heal, and with the best results. since i only sleep 4-5 hours a day now, my daily pill regimen must grow ...

6 comments:

andrea said...

wow. kafka and 'the metamorphosis' have been on my mind quite a bit during the past few months, too.. i never thought about the story from a drugged up perspective. wonder why!

drugs (prescription; illegal) scare me to death. a recent conversation about mushrooms ended with the conclusion, "seems like a mushroom trip takes you to an irrevocable state of being".. however, mushrooms seem gentler to the body than stuff like cocaine or heroin or vicodin...

and just as people advise each other NOT to take mushrooms [etc.] unless they feel mentally stable in life.. perhaps it's not such a good idea for psychiatrists or physicians to prescribe patients mind-altering stuff unless absolutely necessary.

i recently did a search for the keyword "acupuncture" within Craigslist's job listings. an amazing number of bay area employers offer comprehensive health insurance packages that include acupuncture. and there are more chinese herbalists in the region than i ever guessed.

everything i've learned about medicine within the past 15 months has led me to this conclusion: i trust H.M.O. prescriptions less and less, everyday. i'd sooner take acupunctural needles in my feet or fingers than ingest bottled, synthesized chemical compounds. (unless my life/sanity depended on it.)

after filling my brain with facts/figures from "Men's Health" and "SELF" magazines during a 5-hour drive, i've become disenchanted by the industry that is composed of u.s. medical research universities/institutions. coincidentally, lots of the "findings" found in one zine was repeated in the other zine (even though they are published by different companies and are meant for different demographics). they seemed like so much redundant information that could've been confirmed by a crotchety/superstitious old immigrant grandma. and like i've bitched before- the u.s. pharmaceutical industry is pretty unethical when you think about it- there's a reason why it's self-perpetuating & self-sustaining!!

the state of health care in the u.s. is horrible. even europe is only beginning to slowly catch on to chinese medicine/methods that have withstood thousands of years of trial/error. maybe it all has to do with work culture!!!

keep taking care jean. you need more sleep!!

a said...

also-
'to heal'- does it have to involve fits of terror?

these doses of corticosteroid sound more like hair of the dog than balm. but if it works, it works.

Anonymous said...

what? huh? you? psychosis? omg i think im in lurv... -psycho

kt said...

:[

bruce said...

jean... listen to some electronica... it will be better... it will all be... better...

jean said...

bruce, if you move to europe the same time i do, we will indoctrinate you to the world of the future.

or watch a bunch of early 90s movies to reclaim the lost innocence of our childhood.