September 27, 2023 My September Surprise. It was a Wednesday. I remember talking with Ursula. She came to clean and we talked a little about family and life. We laughed and then she left around 12:30 pm. I have no further memory for many days to follow. The events below were relayed to me by family.

I was unresponsive. I was awake but utterly unresponsive. 911 was called. I was taken…from the bathroom of all places…cooperative with the paramedics, but blank affect. Later I had to be life-flighted to Honolulu. We live on the Big Island and resources are limited. I’m told this lasted 12 days. All medications were stopped and every test imaginable was conducted, repeatedly. No memory of this.

All tests were within normal limits. So, the good news was that my physical health was good. I had not eaten in over a week. They wanted to insert a feeding tube. My brother was asked to wait outside while they inserted the tube. He said there was a loud crash and my voice shouting “No!” No memory of this. My husband talked to the hospital dietitian and gave a chocolate milkshake recipe that he said I could not resist. He was right. And I started eating again.

It seems in the 12 days I had about 5 different hospital rooms I kept getting out of bed, they tell me. And they feared a fall. I would learn that the nurses had a camera in the room to keep an eye on me. I recall once getting out of bed and immediately alarms sounded. Oh, fuck! I thought…and a memory! have another memory, seeing my brother who lives on the mainland. I couldn’t understand why he was there…where? Then nothing. Months later and no further remembrances from the lost days. Unfortunately, it sounds like I was quite a handful and the medical staff was remarkable.

Through it all, no answers. The best guess was LITHIUM POISONING. The blood levels were fine. But the supposition was that it had accumulated in my tissues from my long time usage of the drug, 20+ years. It was the only med that could check my manias. I’ve sung the praises of lithium for years. In my book, “The Formula” I give great credit to lithium, and with good reason. I felt very fortunate that I was able to tolerate it so well. My manic episodes were wild and unrestrained. The real miracle is that I yet live! I know many will understand that sentiment.

I wish you excellent health and well-being!

Seems I have a book to revise.

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