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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1892821-Three-or-Four-Hours-a-Night
Rated: ASR · Short Story · Other · #1892821
Phoenix is exhausted, but still has work to do...
Three hours of sleep last night.  That is what Phoenix got.  He got up to study in the middle of the night - the time at which he does his best work - but could not focus.  Not tonight.  He did not have to this morning, though.  It was the weekend for him.  Friday.  At 0200 in the morning.  Phoenix tried to work for a half an hour, but just could not do it.  He went back to bed.  While sleeping, he had this dream about his psychiatrist, and another about some other thing that he could not remember.  The dream about his psychiatrist was vivid and stuck in his mind, though.  That was not a bad thing.  Phoenix found comfort in seeing and thinking about his doctor.  It always calmed him. 

Phoenix had just gotten out of bed at around 0900 when his spouse called to see if he was up yet.  Phoenix had taken his medicine and it was kicking in.  He told his spouse he was fine, but the reality was that the medicine was really kicking because he had changed his schedule on one and his dosage on another, per his doctor's instructions.  He took the full dose of one of the medications all at once that morning, instead of splitting up into half in the morning and half at night.  The other was a dosage change, an increase from 10mg to 15mg of his antipsychotic.  Phoenix literally felt high.  That was the antipsychotic working.  At least Phoenix was not hearing the voices telling him that he could not accomplish things and calling him nasty names.  He had not gotten the new prescription in the mail yet, but he had some left over from a previous dose increase of the antipsychotic.

Now it was time to get things done.  He had to check the mail.  He had to go to the VA and let them know when his next ECT treatment was so that they could set up a pre-op and labs before that.  He had to call the mental health clinic and let them know that he needed to change his appointment with his psychiatrist that week because he would not be conscious for it - it was the day of his ECT treatment.  He had to let everyone know right away so that they could all squeeze him in and find ways to get the appointments that he needed.  Technically, he could just call and leave messages, but it sometimes did not work out that the messages got to where they needed to go.  That was why he personally went to each facility and talked directly to the people that dealt with the appointments or left notes personally where he could not talk to them directly.  That worked much better for communication purposes and everyone seemed to remember the visits because the things that needed done got done.

Phoenix decided after all of that running around that he would stop at the bookstore cafe and work on an annotated bibliography of his articles for his thesis literature review.  He took his MacBook Air with him and set it up after using the restroom and ordering his customary iced Earl Grey tea.  He decided to utilize the free WiFi at the cafe to write a bit before getting into the business of his thesis work.  It relaxed Phoenix to write about his experiences and to get things off his chest.  Writing was a saving grace for Phoenix.  He had received a review on his work online from a person that admired his writing and told him that they used to write.  Phoenix encouraged this person to write again.  As a matter of fact, Phoenix encouraged just about everyone to write and to get things out in the open where they could be seen and evaluated.  It really helped most people he had recommended it to.  Regardless of whether or not you are inspired to write by Phoenix's success with it, Phoenix worked hard on his references and finally decided that he had had enough for a while after 75 minutes of it.  It was quite the process because he had to switch back and forth between programs, which turned into a pain very quickly.

Phoenix felt down.  Depressed.  He thought about calling his case manager since his doctor did not work on Fridays.  What would he say, though?  Phoenix figured that he was just coming down off of the high of his lecture presentation yesterday and that no one could do much for him.  That was wrong thinking, but Phoenix was thinking it.  He tried calling the his case manager's office first.  No answer, just the answering machine.  He tried the cell phone number next.  It took a long time to ring, and Phoenix decided to hang up just as it rang on the other end.  Almost immediately, Phoenix had a phone call from his case manager asking if he was trying to call her.  Phoenix answered that he had, but that he did not want to mess up her schedule.  He asked her how busy she was.  She was meeting a client in about five minutes.  Phoenix told her it was okay, but she said she would call him after she got done.  That would be okay, Phoenix told her, and they hung up.  Ten minutes later, Phoenix got another phone call from his case manager.  He said he thought she was busy and she replied that her client was ill and a no-show.  She offered to stop by.  Phoenix suggested the coffee shop and told his case manager that he would meet her there.  She spent almost two hours with Phoenix listening and getting him in a better mood.  Phoenix was feeling better by the time that they parted ways.  Phoenix felt less overwhelmed by the world for the time being.

The pressure returned later that night.  Phoenix was working on his thesis bibliography when it edged in again.  Phoenix was in psychological pain.  The agony he was feeling in his mind was screaming to get out somehow and Phoenix could not function.  He could not listen to music, nor could he work, nor could he even think straight.  The madness had him.  Phoenix, for the first time in several months, felt that he was in danger from himself and needed to go to the hospital.  The problem, though, was that it would be messy as far as the VA was concerned.  Phoenix knew that his doctor would be extremely hurt if Phoenix harmed himself in any way.  That kept Phoenix from doing anything extreme.  Phoenix had made a promise to his doctor that he would not harm himself no matter what.  Phoenix took his sleep meds and  went to bed, hoping that some sleep would help his situation.  He woke up at 0037 hrs.  The pain was alleviated somewhat and Phoenix felt that he could function a bit, though he still felt the insanity at the edge of his mind...waiting...
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