It was my own damn fault, I was swimming very intense intervals. I had been doing so every day. I was not resting on the down lap but continuing to swim at a high rate. Your arteries are made of muscle. I pulled a muscle. Nutritionally, I was a moron, I knew way too much about computer technology and information technology and nothing about my own body.
I just drove it around and told it what to do.
If I had lived in the states, we would have run out of money, I’d be dead and my wife would be living under a bridge. I was put on a number of medications including 80 mg of Lipitor per day. So I got three opinions.
When I questioned the reason for being prescribed this medication, every time I asked I was given the same reason, the equation was simple: Cholesterol causes heart attacks: Lipitor reduces cholesterol and medical research indicated that my chances of having another heart attack would increase if I did not take my medicine. Talk about addictive drugs! Talk about a script, a programmed talking point!
Eighteen months later in October 2007, in a state of profound confusion and depression, I quit my job at the City of Campbell River and dropped all my personal business customers. I never returned to work. 2008 just disappeared, there are no receipts, no tax records, nothing. I thought that a bully at work had triggered PTSD due to childhood experiences and chronic back pain from an industrial accident.
I screwed up my mother-in-law’s tax return. And my wife's. I constantly felt confused, I was stupid. I could not figure anything out, I could not understand why. I was in flow like water unable to remember the rock. Weirdly I have a clear memory of the last thing I clearly remember. Sitting at the computer unable to fill out an unemployment form after leaving the City of Campbell River. I never applied for unemployment.
I attempted to repair myself with increased exercise, long walks and meditation but experienced a roller-coaster of highs and depressions. Over the next few years I experienced multiple blood clots in my legs requiring surgical interventions and long stays at the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria at times with 24 hour a day critical care and a nurse in my room at all times.
I began to paint in 2011 and in a manic burst of energy created 32 paintings in six months while papering the walls of my garage workshop with Plan B before collapsing into a paranoid depression.
By then my savings were gone so I applied for CPP in November 2011 the year I turned 60. My physical health collapsed. A two-week stay at the Royal Jubilee Hospital in the spring and another in the Fall due to blood clots in my right leg. Each time with multiple tubes and injection sites, unable to move more than a few inches, unable to roll over aggravating my chronic lower back condition, and then being awakened every few hours for more blood samples and tests. My wife was continuously at my side anticipating my every need, protecting me from the rote response of the healthcare system. I almost didn’t make it out the second time in the Fall. Highly anti-colligated the radiologist unable to close my artery said to the Nurse: "go get his wife".
After that experience, realizing that that exercising and getting cold was leading to the hospital but not understanding why, I stopped exercising. I also stopped producing endorphins. In 2013, my journaling led to a series of emails to my former employer, the City of Campbell River who sent the RCMP to my home. An irrational fit of rage led me to throw my 40 year old son and his family out of the house at Thanksgiving.
In February 2014, at the age of 63, I was diagnosed with Bipolar II disorder and placed on a 150 mg of Seroquel, an anti-Antipsychotic and 900 mg of Lithium a mood stabilizer. My heart medication was changed from 80 mg Lipitor to 20 mg of Crestor.