As is the case with many people on psychotropic medications, my bipolar meds have given me a robust case of tardive dyskinesia, a permanent neurological disorder that causes a range of involuntary movements including twitches and wiggles and shakes and grimaces and blinks and OCD things like repetitive face touching.
And I've won the tardive dyskinesia lottery and gotten the full spectrum of these behaviors, with varying degrees of intensity. Some days my knees just shiver. Some days I have epic squinting, face rubbing, rocking and anything else my body can think of to make me super-paranoid I'm irritating the hell out of everyone around me. People often ask me if I'm nervous (which happened once at a job interview I was otherwise rocking, to my eternal mortification) or cold (my veins actually course with reptile blood and I am NEVER cold) when they see me shaking. People have asked me why I'm always on my tiptoes when I sit down (the obvious answer: to help my body shake the living hell out of my legs more annoyingly). People have politely asked me to sit still.
And while these awake behaviors are bad enough, it's the nighttime manifestations of tardive dyskinesia that are killing me. Many, MANY times every EVERY night, I end up on my back with my legs bent and my feet flat and my knees slamming against each other so violently that they wake me up--usually somehow mummified in a tangle of sheets. Or I wake myself by repeatedly running my hands through my hair like I'm a supermodel being all sexy for a shampoo commercial as I ride with the top down along the 101. Or I just rub my face like I'm Lady Macbeth but the damn spots got all over everything and I need to URGENT URGENT WAKE UP AND TELL MACBETH TO ORDER DUNKIN' AND NOT MURDER DUNCAN.
Last night it was the face. Hoo boy, was it the face. And it was so borderline violent that it hurt ... and then it stung like an advanced-degree sunburn when the water hit it in the shower this morning. Which--if you see me today--is why I look like Hobo Santa because my cheeks are ultra-rosy and I'm now on my third day of not shaving and I don't care THAT much about how I'm going to look in the family Thanksgiving photos.
I take Gabatentin three times a day to help control the reason I'm extremely bad at stealing tambourines, but that is a six-paragraph discussion for another day. Key words: opiod epidemic.
Anyway, this post started out as a few sentences about how my face hurt in the shower this morning and then I was going to show you all a photo of the Hershey's Kisses I bought last night THAT LOOK LIKE LITTLE SANTA HATS. Sorry for rambling on like this, but look at the Hershey's Kisses I bought last night THAT LOOK LIKE LITTLE SANTA HATS: