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It started with a very pretty little sparkling firework display while I was trying to get to sleep on Wednesday night after returning from the hospital. This replaced the ever-retreating bands of colour I normally see while I’m falling asleep with something a little more active. The display responded to things I heard, so it changed when I scratched my head, or when the music on the radio came on.

I couldn’t fall asleep, no matter how long I lay there. All the time the visions behind my eyelids grew more and more complex and engaging. Then they started being populated, and the actors played roles that I found witty and funny. I laughed out loud. It was fun, even though I couldn’t sleep.

Then the hallucinations started to disturb me a little. They weren’t unpleasant, but were no longer fun, and harder for me to banish. That was enough. I needed help, so I rang the number I had been given on leaving hospital. While I was talking to them, Gillian contributed the important detail that I had been manic ever since returning from the hospital. I was indeed very high, which is why I was finding life so much fun.

Drug induced psychosis

It turned out that I was having a psychotic episode, probably caused either by the steroids I was taking to control nausea, or by the morphine. I cut out both drugs, and over about the next 12 hours the symptoms faded. The replacement pain killers weren’t up to the job, so I had a dilemma. Should I ditch the new pain killer and go back to the morphine, which I knew worked but might make me psychotic again? Another call the the help line resolved that. It was almost certainly the steroids that caused the problem, so provided I were careful, and Gillian watched me like a hawk, we could slowly re-introduce the morphine.

And that’s where we are now. I have built up from very small oral doses of morphine and the pain is now almost under control. I have cut out the steroids, but left in the other anti-sickness tablets. I feel a little wobbly, but basically in control and much more stable.

I hope that by having described what happened to me, from the inside, it might help those who are searching for symptoms to understand what might actually be happening. It felt so right and good at first, but what followed was definitely not good. Much better to catch it sooner if possible.

As a bonus, the snow is thawing. This evening, things are looking up again.

{ 7 } Comments

  1. David Allsopp | 15 January 2010 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    Far out, man! 😉

    Glad you’ve got that sorted – wondered why you hadn’t blogged for a while, but I guess the entry might have been … colourful?

    All the best, David.

  2. icyjumbo | 15 January 2010 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    The entry does exist in hand-written form, and is, as you say, colourful.

  3. Sophie Jarrett | 17 January 2010 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Afternoon Christopher
    Well it’s Sunday now and I’ve read through your blog a couple of times. I love what you’re writing, but hate what you’re writing about (not in a badly negative way, but I think you’ll understand). I felt a bit bleak yesterday, because I hadn’t ‘got it’ yet, but reading today I can see what you’re doing. It’s always good to write stuff down and I admire your ability to share experiences. ‘Sparkly’ reminds me of a night out in the 90s! Not drugs (really) just a dose of Benylin and a Holsten Pils too far!
    I bet it helps to get it out there and I will keep reading and commenting. Don’t worry if I’m ever bitchy – you know me well enough by now. I am SO classy – I went to a musical last night in DARTFORD (yes, really) based on the songs of TAKE THAT (omg, really!) with lots of lovely(?) people from work! Jealous yet? Mind you I laughed so much at one point I nearly wet myself.
    Please write a bit more trivia for me ie. Just a Minute or I’m Sorry I haven’t a clue or Archers or Eastenders. Ta very much.
    Bossy old bag ain’t I?
    Love ya
    Soph Xx

  4. icyjumbo | 17 January 2010 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    It must have been quite a lot to take in all at once like that. I think it would make anyone feel bleak. But the point of the blog is to stop me feeling bleak, and to make me feel better, and it works really well.

    The sparkliness was really weird. I almost miss it. I was on a complete high for 24 hours, and it was great. Unfortunately, it stopped being great. I hoped that by writing about it I might be able to remember what the great parts were like. And someone else might be able to identify what was happening to them too, if they ever read this.

    Trivia? Hmm. I’ll see what I can do. But I’m no Barry Cryer, nor any Paul Merton. 🙁

  5. Paul Bowering | 19 January 2010 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    The Sparkly incident certainly sounds ‘interesting’! Josina would probably suggest I’ve got some music that would have fitted the episode perfectly…

    I have had a go with the filter (see Flickr) and it works very well, so thanks to you and Gillian, it will be put to good use.

    Best Wishes, Paul.

  6. icyjumbo | 19 January 2010 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Let me guess, Tangerine Dream? Glad to hear about the filter, and I’m off to have a look right now.

  7. Josina | 21 January 2010 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    If only it was tangerine dream… it’s far more ‘hippy’ than that!