There is a rhythm to life that can’t be seen until you look back through time.
Everyone has these ups and downs; however, The Law of Rhythm has an interesting feel for someone whose spouse lives with bipolar disorder. Deep depression followed by manic cycles often comes daily for my husband.
He has bipolar disorder and had just gone through electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) as a last resort treatment. With the expectation that he would be “cured”, we were disappointed that ECT instead caused anxiety, PTSD, and memory loss. The hidden blessing was that he was able to retire with full retirement benefits plus disability.
We were ready to see if a change of scenery would somehow shift his mental battle. So, we gave away most of our possessions and hit the road in an RV.
About 6 months later, having gone through many emotional ups and downs, we received a letter from the insurance company. It indicated that because my husband wasn’t taking any medication or seeing a doctor, he was considered cured. Therefore, they would no longer be paying his disability payments.
Their doctor, who had never met or talked with my husband, had “read his file” and determined that he was no longer disabled.
Didn’t they know that there is no cure for bipolar disorder?
Didn’t they know that he had tried all the medication offered which hadn’t worked, and why he had opted for electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) treatment?
Didn’t they know that the ECT hadn’t helped, but had given him PTSD and memory loss, and amplified his anxiety instead?
Didn’t they know that I lived in constant fear of my husband taking his own life?
Couldn’t they believe me when I expressed how I had held him as he cried begging me to “go with him”?
We were already living with my parents because the RV fridge had died. Could we survive on our own without this income?
Things went from bad to worse. February brought the coldest weather Canada had seen in 30 years and my husband confessed that PTSD had been giving him nightmares again. He was terrified to go to sleep, and just wanted to disappear. He had been staying up all night watching movies, but I hadn’t picked up on why.
He was in such a severe situation that I knew he needed professional help. My niece had just been admitted to a hospital in Utah, so I called to see if it was a place he could go. They only worked with teens but referred me to a facility in Florida.
This facility worked with us to arrange flights from Montana to Florida where they would pick him up. They even paid for the flights and agreed to accept whatever our insurance would pay for treatment except for $500.
The promised two weeks turned into a month and my husband begged me to pick him up every time I was allowed to talk to him. Since the doctors weren’t updating me as much as I expected, and I was worried about my husband, I made the decision to go to Florida. Just me and my dog driving 3294 miles in two and a half days!
The weather in Florida was beautiful that April! Since dogs were not allowed at the beach, I spent my time photographing iguanas and birds at a lake outside the hotel while I waited for my husband to stabilize.
We had been through this before. Four previous hospitalizations, where they changed his meds and sent him home. These hospital stays had only been for a week or two. Why was it taking so long?
Those three months were well worth the wait. The incredible doctors discovered the reason my husband’s medications hadn’t been working. His previous doctor had him on medications that counteracted each other. The awesome therapists taught him the skills he needed to thrive with his illness.
The transformation was incredible!
Because he had been hospitalized, the insurance company determined that he was in fact still disabled. The final blessing came when they resumed his disability payments and gave him backpay for the missed payments.
The Law of Rhythm reminds me when my stomach drops as the roller coaster rapidly descends, I can catch my breath and appreciate the upturn. Continue acting on faith in Christ and watch for the upturns in your life.
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