My older sister, who I refer to as “Daisy” here, is not doing so well right now.
I’ve talked about her mental illness (bipolar) here before . She had been “stable” for so long, not manic, not depressed, just Daisy. She is married to a good guy who helps her to stay on her meds. She’s been staying on her meds, she’s kept a job for longer than she ever has before.
A while ago—one month? two?—Daisy got a horrible ear infection that just wouldn’t go away. It was giving her horrible vertigo to the extent that she couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs without getting sick. Her doctor put her on a steroid, after multiple other treatments didn’t work. The problem? The steroid sent her into a manic phase. But, for the first time ever, she was on top of it. She went to the doctor on her own and asked to be hospitalized to get stabilized. The doctor refused, saying that the medication will take a few weeks to work, and that she would be better off at home.
And now we’re back in it again. When she’s manic, she’s only something like herself, like the sister I know. She’s like a different person who looks like my sister. The thing is, I know this other person, too. I know this person who suddenly knows everything about everything (just ask her), this woman whose anger can flash unpredictably and uncontrollably, this one who talks so quickly and makes such little sense, this sister who tries to control everything and everyone.
It makes me so tired. And I was so hopeful, that since she went to the doctor (and she’s been multiple times) that she would get better quickly and it wouldn’t get like this. As far as I know she’s taking her medication, but I also know that if there’s anytime she’s likely to stop taking it, it’s when she’s manic, and the longer she’s manic, the more likely she is to go off it.
She hasn’t been able to work in weeks, and has been told by the doctor (actually doctors, her ear is still causing her problems) that it may be weeks before she’ll be able to return. But I know when I see her or talk to her that even without that doctor’s consent, or suggestion, she wouldn’t be able to work anyway. She can barely manage while not working.
I had been hearing about how she’s been doing from my parents, who tend to put a positive spin on things, especially my dad (“Oh, she’s doing much better!”). But then I actually talked to her today, and I know she’s not better, and I wonder how long it will take this time, and how broken things in her life will get before she does.