Thursday, February 3, 2011

The nightmare starts to turn into a hell

Following the loss of my home, many of my belongings, and most of my dignity (see "The nightmare worsens even more”), I blacked out as the plane rose from SFO and headed north.


“What is in those boxes that arrived in the mail recently?” asked my sister after my arrival. “Clothing of mine that my friends decided I should keep,” I answered. “But I only offered you a place to stay for a few weeks,” she replied with surprise. Already, my “friend’s” plans for me were beginning to unravel.


As described in previous postings, I was not myself, and my sister was ill-equipped to handle that. Oddly, the fact that she was a nurse prompted no empathy or sympathy for me in my condition. In less than a week, she wanted to send me back to San Francisco. I convinced her to let me stay, but she clearly regretted inviting me to her home.


I remained largely unable to function normally; even simple tasks, like using the microwave or taking a shower, were challenging for me to do. My wild seizures occurred almost daily, some publicly, including my right leg lifting wildly into the air on every step as we walked down the street. Some seizures lasted hours, including a 10-hour stint of my arms flailing uncontrollably. Eating sometimes triggered the start of seizures. Red markings would appear on my skin, only to disappear before our eyes. Words would often come out of my mouth uncontrollably, and it was difficult for me to carry on any sort of normal conversation. I'd get lost walking two blocks to get to my sister's home. My usual elegant handwriting deteriorated to something scraggly and next to unreadable (see example in the image nearby). Use of my hands alone instead of a fork or spoon proved to be a more comfortable way of eating for me. Believers in demonic possession might have concluded that I needed a priest more than any kind of a doctor.


All of this easily disturbed my sister’s life, which was simple, routinized, and solitary. She was embarrassed, and she became frightened. Ultimately, she yelled at me that I was insane.


Throughout this, it felt as if my body was being eaten, and food and drink would sometimes immediately be rejected by my body and would burst out of my mouth. Though I usually wore 3 or 4 sweaters at a time and covered myself with several blankets, and though the Seattle area summer was setting records for high temperatures, I was almost always very cold. I was able to sleep for, at most, only three 15-minute periods each and every night. My hands and body would often shake uncontrollably. I had to dash to the toilet often to avoid peeing in my pants. My weight dropped dramatically.


My sister took me to the neighborhood clinic, but we could never get past the nurse practitioner to see a doctor. Then, one night, I felt as if I had become paralyzed, akin to the dystonic reaction I experienced to an anti-depressant in San Rafael. In the morning, my sister called an ambulance, and we went to an ER. There, another CT scan of my brain was done, and as before, it was declared clear of abnormality. Nevertheless, they referred me to a neurologist, but my sister clearly had had enough of me. (Note that, as before, a later examination of this CT scan revealed the presence of parasitic cysts.)


After I damaged the pocket of a jacket of hers and broke her desk chair during seizures, my sister’s behavior took a menacing turn (though I paid for a new chair and, for some reason, also new scratching posts for her cat and several new items of clothing for her). One day, I noticed that the side of a living room pillow had been slashed open; when I asked her what happened, she yelled at me that the pillow had always been that way (though it clearly hadn’t been). Knives started appearing all over the place, and she served food requiring their use. She would open the door of her home and begin to yell at me for no reason, as if with the sole intent of having her neighbors hear. And she appeared to do things to get my fingerprints onto all sorts of her belongings.


I confronted her about what was happening, and she told me she had to get rid of me somehow. Then one morning, she – who started every morning the same, exact way -- rose early and disappeared outside around the corner of the complex in which she lived. Earlier that morning, I had noticed that a police van had pulled up in the area to which she walked. I sat down and waited for something very bad to happen. A couple of hours later, she returned, only to drive away for the day. And all cars in the parking lot of the complex disappeared.


Shortly thereafter, a police van pulled into the parking lot. Later, kids who lived in the complex could be heard yelling to me to come out of my sister’s home. I stayed inside. Late in the afternoon, for some reason, the police just departed, and residents began to return their cars to the parking lot. I went outside, and the residents stayed inside their cars.


Two days later, my sister took me to my appointment with the neurologist. I expected her to drive me to the police station, but surprisingly, she drove me to the hospital. There, the neurologists interviewed me and agreed on the need for an MRI and lumbar puncture, both of which were scheduled two weeks out. However, before we left the hospital, my sister got angry and canceled the appointment.


Upon our returning to her home, my sister threw my clothing and other belongings into my luggage. She then made an evening flight reservation for me to San Francisco, and she called the folks in San Francisco to announce I would be returning and that I had "misbehaved" in Seattle. The folks – whom I had called a couple of days earlier to reveal what my sister was planning – was very angry, and I was scolded on the phone.


Before we left for the airport, my sister poured some kind of liquid all over her sofa and loveseat. She also did a bit of damage to pretty much everything in her home that I had ever touched. I was confused. Why was she doing this now that I was about to be sent back to San Francisco?


My sister dropped me at the airport, and I waited for the flight to depart. While waiting, my right leg started jumping all over the place, much to the amusement of some others waiting at the gate. I tried to make sense of what was happening, and feared I’d be arrested when I arrived at SFO.


I then made what proved to be the worst decision of my entire life.

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