The difference in the way I look today and 3 years ago in my last mania
I decided to make Sunday a regroup day for me. A day to complete the past week and start the next one a new. I want to take at least one picture a week of myself to see any difference in what may be happening to me. The picture I included in this post is of about this time 3 years ago when I was well into a mania. I was not sleeping much at all by this time as is indicated by my eyes in this picture, they look fatigued. It was rather early on in the mania of 3 years ago that lasted from about September of '13 to January of '14, some 4 months. During that time I wrecked a new truck, spent at least $30,000.00 on things I can't really show much for and got a DWI that cost me my drivers license for life in NY state. This picture is of me before the wreck which happen on December 12th I think. But back to how the mania all started the end of the summer of '13.
Going back a little further to June of '13, I was drinking about average for how I have been drinking most of my adult life. I would drink at least every night. If I was on beer, a 30 pack; if I was on vodka, about 22ozs of 80 proof mixed with something. That would be average drinking. I would have periods of drinking around the clock with mania and without. When I got into drinking the vodka hard around the clock before I got sick in June of '13, I was drinking just about a mag (1.75 liters) of vodka in a 24 hour period. I would drink and sleep, not remembering much and just existing to drink. Before I got sick in that June, Colleen went on vacation for I think 10 days. I drank the 1.75's the whole time she was gone. When she got back I was in the bed. I remember her near the bed, I had not been drinking in a number of hours so I was in withdrawal from the large dose I was on. She went down stairs and I followed her. She was in the living room and I came through and as I passed the doorway to the kitchen I laid down between the two rooms on my back. She said I began to shake and I turned red and purple for about 5 minutes. She said she was scared and did not know what to do. Then I came out of it. I did not know it happen to me. We decided to drive down to the VA emergency room. About 3 miles from here in Waterford, I asked her to stop and get me a cold Mountain Dew soda I had a craving for. When she came back out, I had blood coming from my mouth on the left side. I had gone into another seizure and this time bit my tong. I drank some of the Dew on the rest of the way to Albany to the Stratton VA medical center emergency room. I am trying to remember what they did for me that time. They did not send me to detox off site, but kept me in the hospital for I think 3 days and then released me. Not long after that, maybe a couple of three weeks, I was still on the vodka but not as heavy as when Colleen was on vacation, we went grocery shopping down the road to the Hannaford. I was pushing the cart around and started sweating a lot and feeling very cold. I was getting soaked from the sweat. We went out to my truck and I remember getting the cart to the truck and looking down into one of the bags and feeling lost. Colleen says I was drifting. As I was loading the groceries into the side door, I began to shake. Colleen held me against the truck open door to keep me from falling to the ground. An off duty respiratory therapist seen what was happening and went to assist Colleen. An ambulance was called for me and the woman waiting til it got there til she left. I was taken to the VA again and I stayed a shorter length of time, again they did not send me off site to a detox center.
So I am trying to think now. That all lead up to the June of '13 when I really got sick and nearly died. I was back to drinking nightly and thinking I was OK. I was not feeling well and walking any distance was very difficult for me. I thought I had a bad cold. It was the same time I was due for my regular check up at the VA so I had blood test run and I had an appointment with a doctor. When I went in for the personal consultation, she told me I needed to be in the hospital right away. I asked if she could just give me something I could take at home and she told me my potassium was at a critically low level. I did not want to go in, but I did. As it turns out, my blood pressure was dangerously low, so low they kept me in the emergency room over night til it raised enough to send me upstairs. My kidneys were failing and my weight was up 100 pounds to 400 pounds. They were giving me potassium orally and IV for a total of 5 days til it came up to a level I was able to go home on. I could hardly pee or have a bowl movement. When I did have a bowl movement, it would not come all the way out and my ass was so big, I could not reach my anus enough to clean myself. When I got home, Colleen had to do that for me until my weight came down which took a few months. I was keeping track of my urine coming out, measuring it each time. It wasn't very much, I was retaining water. The picture coming into this post is the tail end of this about November I would say. My neck is still fuller than it is now at about the same weight I am now.
So getting back to the mania starting about the September after that June near death event of '13. During this time of June til September, I was taking off the weight. Sometimes it came off quickly, 30 pounds in 2 weeks, sometimes slower, but eventually I would get back to a weight of about 300 which is where I have been and reached about 1985 when I got depressed and overwhelmed with the idea of becoming a father for the first time. I remember hitting 327 back then when I went into the hospital at the VA mental health ward for the first time. I remember I was afraid to go to the mental health unit because I thought you had to be really seriously crazy or something. I was just beginning to gather information and learn about bipolar disorder. I did not want to talk about what was bothering me, I just asked to be stabilized with lithium and antidepressants. The doctor I seen at the unit was concerned that I was a drinker on lithium and sent me to the alcohol treatment program after I stayed on the mental health unit for about a month. He was concerned that if I drank on the lithium, I could kill myself. I wanted to stay in the hospital and fascinated about places I could live away from my responsibilities. No, it was not 1985 that time, it was just before my second daughter was born, 1987 I believe. I felt so overwhelmed with now going to have 2 children and I still don't have my career or job lined up that pays well and I like doing. I did not want to be stuck in poverty doing something I don't like doing for a living like my parents did. Now that I think of it, maybe it was when I already had 2 kids and Colleen was pregnant for the 3rd. I could just see the whole pattern of my parents life happening to me and it depressed me. Whenever it was, it was the first time I got mental help and medication. I went to the alcohol treatment and did not like it. It was like boot camp. The whole day was very full and someone would shout out what was going to happen next every hour. When I got out of there, they referred me to a day treatment program at Samaritan Hospital in Troy, NY off site called MICA (mentally ill, chemically addicted). Now I remember how it went. It was just after a mania when my weight went up to 327. During the mania and before I was around 300. My weight went up sharply as soon as I bought the 6 unit income property in the inner city of Troy in March of '84 and is also when I started to drink every night. The mania of the end of '88 started with my 3rd child about to be born. I wanted to find something I liked doing that paid well. I always had this thing about having my own business. I tried it with contracting and other small things that came along over the years. But towards the time my son Michael was to be born, an old high school friend showed up in my life somehow and he was going to "The New School of Contemporary Radio" to become a DJ. I thought that was something interesting to me and I looked into it myself. It did not meet my needs as a career because it don't pay well, but it was interesting to me. So I signed up the end of the summer of '88. To make that a long story short, I did not feel that comfortable talking to a lot of people over the air but I did run into an ad in USA Today about Caribbean Clear pool purifiers. They were looking for people to become distributors and there was none around here. It was a system that runs electricity through silver/copper plates that distribute micro amounts of the elements into the pool water. The silver kills bacteria and the copper kills algae. So it eliminates the need for regular chlorine use. I thought this was my ticket. I checked it out that it worked and I even wanted to talk to a distributor that was already into it to see how he was doing. Of course it the season was over for selling it, but there was a guy in PA that had done it this past season. His name was Hank, I don't remember his last name. Now all this was going on while I was just finishing up a cycle of kind of being manic with some improvements to the apartment building that Spring and Summer. I had bought the property which was 2 addresses on one mortgage in 1984. Another mania I had in I think 1986 I went out and bought $8000.00 worth of sound recording equipment. I was somehow going to get my message out with that is what I thought, and when that did not happen, I got depressed and had it all on credit cards with large interest and payments. So I had the property resurveyed into 2 different parcels I was able to put a new mortgage just one of the properties at then a much better rate I got in 1984 when the rates where high. That left me with a property free and clear to put another mortgage on if I wanted to at a later date. All this time I was able to cover the expenses of the properties if I had them all rented out. Back to the new 1986 refinance on the one property. I took all my outstanding bills and put them on a mortgage that gave me a monthly payment the property would pay for as long as I had them rented out. That is what I did. Things were so so from '86 to '88, tenants came and went, I got by. The store front was the only thing that was steady since I bought the property. I got a B.O.C.I.E.S. pregame in there that had to move out of the school building down the street from me. The location was good for them. They served adult education classes of some sort for lower IQ clients as far as I understand.
When the beginning of '88 came around, I got interested in improving the kitchens and bathrooms of the apartments to be able to get more rent and not have to spend so much time getting them ready each time one went vacant. So I took out a $50,000.00 mortgage on the other parcel address. The property income would pay for me to live there and meet its expenses as long as I had them all rented out. I started in on the work. That is when I was looking for a good handy man to be able to do most of the work for me. I got a man named Chuck Breezy (now deceased) who was quite the pot smoker, as a matter of fact, that is how I got to meet him is through my pot dealing days. That was sometime before the remodel project, another mania in which I was not drinking but I was smoking pot around the clock. So much that I had to start dealing it to support my habit and since I was doing that, I may as well make some money at it.
I don't want to side track on that right now, back to the '88 remodel. Chuck was a great Carpenter, he had an eye for measuring. I bought him a digital radial arm saw he made payments to me on while he did the nicest half walls in the kitchens you could ask for. He could do sheet rock and paint well too. When I was on 771-3 River St apartment, I first met Tony Borsewicwitz (not sure of that spelling) for the first time ( also now deceased), He turned out to be my right hand man, well, drinking buddy for the most part, but right hand man as much as I could have one at that time. He knew Chuck and needed work. He had a girlfriend who was about to give birth to his baby. Tony was a draft dodger from the early '70's. He went to Army boot camp and then to Canada when he lived on the streets at first and then got work and lived til clemency came through. He had Hep C from dirty needle use in his drug use in Canada. He drank everyday and it killed him a number of years ago. The first day he worked for me I had him on a belt sander on the kitchen half walls and he somehow got his middle left finger caught in it and had to go to the hospital for it. He never asked me for any money or nothing. He was a Bursitis and I thought that for that reason we would become friends and have things in common. It was during this remodel project I got interested in the radio school then distributorship. The work was going along with Chuck and he got all the kitchens done. When he got to the last one, 769-3, he discovered crack. He got involved with driving someone to NY city to pick-up a package of cocaine to bring back to this area. For this they got enough crack for the both of them to do it all night and Chuck really liked it. He wanted me to lend him money so he could use crack while he worked. I knew that wouldn't work, I knew about crack. About this time I also had an opportunity come up to purchase a property near my mother-in-law's house also in the inner city. It was the other property choice she had when she bought the house she was living in, When my mother-in-law, Ruth, had to buy a building cheap, it was because her husband had just died of cancer and the house she was living in was being taken for back taxes. She had 2 choices, a brick one that had had a fire in the 2nd floor at one time in the kitchen with the bedrooms in tact or a few houses down a wood 2 family not that good of shape building. She took the brick one I think for $7000.00. The wood building was bought by a man who paid $5000,00 for it and the same person owned both buildings that was selling them. He turned out to be part of the same family that owed the bar kitty corner to my apartment building that kept me from getting the best rents and peaceful area.
Anyway, during this time Chuck left the scene me, he would return to work for me in a lawn service I had in the early 90's before he dropped dead. About this time, the man who bought the wood house wanted to move out and get a mobile home. He knew me and wanted me to have the building. God works in mysterious ways. He only wanted what he paid for it, $5000.00. So I bought it for cash that I had from the new mortgage I had taken out. This is when John Brandt came along. He was my next handy man, more of a plumber than anything and that is what I needed most. I had all my tools in 769-3 while I was going to and stopped going to the radio school when I got interested in the pool purifiers. I had a tankless water heater I wanted to install in 769-3 and John did it for me. I was impressed. He was moving and I had just gotten the wood 2 family we will call wood house from now on. John was moving and wood house had the previous owner on the 2nd floor. He moved out and I let his daughter and her boyfriend move in. They were big crack heads and crack dealers I came to find out. John took the 1st floor before I even collected any rent and security from him. I was moving too fast, not taking care of details. The next thing I knew, he had his motor cycle in the living room and he was not very clean smelling either. He got into the crack too. This was around the time I was making trips to PA to contact the dealer of the Caribbean clear. The first time I went down there, I took Tony with me. I was in a mania by then and I was in a mania. Drinking every night, sometimes some drinks during the day, smoking pot a lot. I even got offered the crack and tried that. That was very powerful, but I knew enough not to pursue that high down that road. Hank talked me into getting involved in his water filter business he had started recently. He got big on water purification when his wife got cancer. He ran across a company out of Atlanta that was a start-up and was making all their own units out of PVC pipe and such. The units multistage reverse osmosis and a bit of an over kill and very high priced for the average consumer. He convinced me I should get in under him and he would provide me the Caribbean Clear at his cost once the season started back up the following year. The dealership for Caribbean Cear was $30,000.00 from that company, and Hank only wanted me to get in for $10,000.00 of the water purifiers he was handling. I thought it was a good deal and got in it.
The drinking, pot smoking and excessive spending went on and when it came time to market the water purifiers, it was just before Christmas. The way we marketed it was to put out a plastic bag hanger with an empty bottle and flyer explaining how to provide a water sample to us. We were suppose to hang them on the door knob. Then we would go back the next day and collect all the filled out information on the person living there. We would send a sample of the municipal water supply out to an independent test company at a cost of $60.00 and get a detailed breakdown of everything in it. The idea was to make an appointment to get into someones house and show them the benefits of our water purifier over anything else. The long and short of it is I never sold one, I installed one in my apartment that the PVC joints were not glued right and broke apart. I just couldn't see putting them off on the public to save my ass a buck.
The remodel project got finished up, rented out. I tried to turn over wood house for a profit. I put an ad in the paper "CASH IS KING" and attracted a state trooper who was looking for an income property. I had wood house in pretty sensible shape with a new roof, repaired termite damage and treated for future infestation, it was good to go. Just when things were about to happen at $42,000.00, the crack head tenant dealer got raided by the police department and it made the news. The trooper backed out because of the nature of it all.
Everything fell apart after the mania. The project got done and the apartments got rented out but my tools got stolen. John stopped paying rent on wood house. I found some else to buy wood house but for less money, I think 40k. It was still good, because on top of the new mortgage and all that money I spent, I took out a personal loan for 15k for the water purifiers and whatever else I spent during that time. That is when I got depressed and weight broke 300 and was the first time I went into inpatient mental health.
Back to going to MICA. Now that I think of it, MICA came much later because my son Michael was in Kindergarten and I would take him to school in the morning, go to MICA groups, leave early to pick him up after he got out around 2:20PM I think. I am not remembering what happen after the '88 mania. I was carrying on the going out looking for something better thing in bars long after the business failed and I was getting depressed. I was looking for ways to support myself going out at night at the time Michael was born. The night he was born, I was making up a sign out of a 5"x8"a picture frame displaying that I was giving "Heart Card Readings" for $5.00. I was planning to sit around a crowded bar hopping someone would take me up so I would have some drinking money. As I was finishing up the sign and ready to head out, Colleen said she thought she might have just had a labor pain. Well, I knew that may be something that could happen quickly because the last one, the 2nd birth of Jaimie came about 45 minutes after her first pain and she beat the doctor to it. We went to Samaritan Hospital for Jaimie to be born and it happen quickly. We barely had time to give our name to the desk nurse and get into a room and Jaimie was coming out sack and all. They call that "Being born under the veil" and certain cultures believe it indicates a higher spiritual soul. I just think Jaimie wanted to be more comfortable. The room was a little cool and she had to get use to the change in temperature. Anyway, the nurse was going to pick at the sack and break it and I stopped her. I wanted her to come all the way out first and then come out. After that let her start breathing on her own before the cord is cut so there is not a sense of panic about being alive out here. Jaimie is a very calm person and very intuitive. She is very intelligent, without effort graduated salutatorian of her high school class just under the guy who busted ass to be number 1. I had learned about natural child birth before any of them were born and the plan was for all of them to have a gentle birth. Stacy, the 1st born was suppose to have a warm water bath and everything but she came too fast and when she came out she was beat red with with too much blood in her body. The doctor cut her cord right away and she was pissed. She has been pissed ever since then. Michael almost was born in a '86 Toyota Tercel hatchback in 5 degree weather. There is no way I could have delivered him in that car with the doors closed, it would have been a very cold shocking birth to him. As soon as Colleen said she "thought" she was having labor pains, we went into action. We were planning to have a natural child birth in what was the Birthing Center down in 500 Federal Street near the Green Island bridge in Troy. We had sheets packed and ready. We just had to get Stacy and Jaimie ready to go outside in the 5degree weather to drop them at Ruth's house. We called the doctor to meet us at the birthing center as it was around 10pm and after hours. On the way down, Colleen said, "I feel this baby is coming." I pulled to the side double doors and tried to open them, they were still locked. The doctor was not there and Colleen said that the head was coming out. I don't know why, but I tried the doors again and whoever locked them, did not latch the bottom latch and it came away from the frame enough for me to twist the door enough to pop the top latch out of its location. The door came open and we went in. I remember I tried to get away from the doors as far as I could and I put a sheet down and told Colleen to take her pants off and lay on her back. The next thing I can remember is Michael's head was fully out face down and blue. I remember thinking he might be stuck and I thought of pulling him out. I tried pulling on his head a little but he was in there tight. The next thing I knew, Colleen had another contraction and he came the rest of the way out all at once. I caught him and flipped him over onto Colleen's stomach and waited for him to start breathing. When he didn't start breathing right away, I wondered what I could do to assist him. I looked at the cord and it looked too twisted to me so I thought I would unwind it some. I started to pick Michael up and a half turn at a time counter clockwise, I started spinning him up and down on Colleen's stomach. It did not take long and what I know know that my picking up gently pressed on his diaphragm enough to get him to start breathing. It all worked out, my thought process at the time. So once I heard him breathing, I put him on Colleen's Stomach and covered him up with the sheet. About that time the Cops opened up both inside and outside street doors and said "What's going on in here?" I said, "I just delivered my son, either get in or get out but please close the doors." They left without saying another word. When the doors opened, the alarm was not shut off and they answered it. Just about 10 minutes later, the doctor showed up, cut the cord and we all moved up to the top floor where they had a bottle of wine in the refrigerator that I drank. I got to drink after all that night.
I think that is going to be about all for this section of my life story. I will move on to where I started with the beginning of this post with the mania of 3 years ago. The picture of me I am going to close with is one taken in January just after I wrecked the truck. I am clearly beat by this time, I have been up for weeks on end. Before I wrecked the 2012 ram, I had another minor accident with it. It was early one morning, side note, all my early DWI arrest were after 1am, and I was extremely tired. I was nodding out at the wheel but I was not drinking. I kept nodding and pulling to the right. Then I hit something hard, I don't know what it was but I went back left right away. The right front tire that only had 11,000 miles on it was cut with about a 3 inch gash (I found out later) and I came to a stop with the flat. I had my cell phone and thought of calling a tow truck to get towed. When I called for service, they suggested just having someone come and change the tire for me, and that is what was done. That move cost me $220.00. There was also a little damage to the fender flare but not visible when you looked at it from the road.
The wreck I am going to post a picture of when I am done with this story happen December 12th early in the morning. There was a snow squaw that hit and I was driving around in it. I liked using the 4 wheel drive. I went down the road from my house that leads the back way up an incline out of the Hudson valley. I live a couple not far from the Hudson River. I have seen it flood up to a house down the street a few years back, I figure I had about 9 more feet and my house would have been affected back then. Anyway, the valley goes up steep the back way to route 40 about 2 miles north down the road from me. I was coming down the other way, it is called Irish Road there. There was a guy trying to get up in a car and the snow was real slick in that area. I stopped and told him I would tow him up the hill. I went down the hill, turned around and came back up in front of his car. I backed down slowly using my rear view camera til I was in hook-up distance. I had a 14' chain stowed in the compartment in the back seat of the quad cab. I told him how to get it and he hooked it up. I slowly took the slack out, then pulled him up the hill to where it leveled off some. I kept going a little faster til I got him well away from the area. He thanked me and stowed the chain back and I went underway. I am not sure if it was the same shawl I wrecked in or not but I was on the top of the Hudson Valley about 8 miles south of my house in the city of Troy on South Lake Ave going south. I was using the transmission as both traction and breaking device with the engine. I was cruising about 30 mph in fresh snow about 1" thick. I was taking corners well and I was approaching a left bend and I did not pay attention to the very well posted signs on the fence before the bend that warned of a stop sign right in the middle of the left bend. When I came up on the stop sign, I hit the brake which was my mistake. If I just continued with using the engine and 4 wheel drive around the bend I would have been all right. Instead, even though I had anti-lock brakes, the truck when in a straight line right off the road into a 3 foot berm that shot the truck up into the air all 4 tires and across a small creek that flowed below. I sailed about 75 feet in the air and came to hit a tree right dead center on the other side of the little creek bed that was about 50 feet deep. I was wearing my seat belt under my arm because it was bothering my neck. The air bags did not deploy and my face hit the steering wheel disfiguring it. There was blood spatter on the ceiling above the rear view mirror and the truck fell on its right side partly in the creek. Water was coming in a little and I was hanging from the seat belt. It was very uncomfortable and I couldn't get the seat belt unbuckled because of the tension on it. The gas tank was on the right side that it was not leaking out and the motor was still running. I had a heavy key on the key pog that broke the pog off in the ignition and I could not shut the engine off. A man came by and asked if I was OK. I said please send me a tow truck so it can upright me and get me out of this hanging position. I got his attention because he said he "felt" the impact hit from inside his house. He called 911 and the fire department came within not that long. I was really hurting from hanging from the belt. I remembered reading a card from "A Course in Miracles" that day that said something to the effect "If you feel your thinking is distressing you, try thinking about it a different way." A number of firemen climbed down into the little valley and stood watching where the truck laid and one of them came over and tried to open the door which was towards the sky. I was making several attempts to get to the unlock button so he could get in without having to give me a glass shower. Somehow he got into the back quad door and was able to get my door unlocked. I told him if he could cut the seat belt, I could swing my legs down to the right side of the door and stand up in the shallow water. He said he would be back with a seat belt cutter. That happen well and I was standing in the truck ready to get out. They wanted to take out the windshield and cut the roof off and peel it back. I said all I need is a ladder that goes up to the top of the door and back down the other side. They had just the right size one on hand and set it up. I climbed up to the top without no hand rails and down the outside of the truck as they reached for me as I came down. I started to make my way up the side of the hill out of the little valley I flew into. I got to the top and there was an ambulance waiting keeping nice and warm for me. I was not wearing a coat and had to stand there for awhile til someone opened the ambulance up for me and got the stretcher out for me to get on and take the ride to the hospital to get checked out. I called Colleen and told her what happened and asked her to meet me there. By the time I got into the ambulance, I was freezing. It was a brand new ambulance and they said the heater was not that strong at recovering after opening the doors. While I was waiting to leave, a woman trooper opened up the door and was standing there with it open. I asked her to get in and close it. She got in and gave me a breathalyzer test which I passed with a 0.00. I was giving 2 tickets. I forget what they were now, but I got them reduced later to parking violations once I proved to the DA that I did not hurt anyone. I am posting a picture of the black eye I got from the accident. Other than a little bruised ribs from the seat belt, there was no injuries. I don't know how the blood splattered on the ceiling, that was the only trace of it to find. The truck was a total lose but I got all my money back that I paid cash for over a year earlier which was $33,000.00. I put it down on a 2014 ram sport that was better on gas and in many other ways that I financed the rest of to bring to 52,000.00 which I have had since then. I am really wanting to make this post. I have been writing all day and doing other things that have come up and wondering if I would loose all of it if the computer froze up on me or if there is a time limit on how long you can leave this site idle while you do something else. I will put up the truck pictures and related items now. I have other pictures I want to put up from yesterday and some more to talk about for today, but for now I am posting this and taking a break. Colleen is in from her birthday overnighter and we have shows we like to watch on Sunday's since we have been following politics.