When I am recovering from pneumonia with it's accompanying PANS reaction (PANDAS, but a response to any bad infection or bad stress. Not just strep A, but any nasty infection.), I am not in clinic and can't see my patients. I start going to garage and estate sales, because I need a little social interaction. Having nearly died each time (four to date), I am rather in a PTSD mode. Also I am manic/ADHD/OCD/oppositional defiant/etc so I am usually abandoned by the medical people and friends disappear like rats off a sinking ship.

Not all of my friends. But when I am plagued by antibodies that turn on a ton of my dopamine receptors, I am exhausting to be around. B says I switch topics with no warning. He saays it tracks. It all made sense. But he was exhausted following it.

Yes, I know. I am IN IT. YOU TRY BEING A MANIC LIZARD. It actually isn't fun. And I can see how some people would tip over in to schizophrenia. Or maybe those are receptors that are not turned on in me, for which I am profoundly grateful and thank the Beloved.

Anyhow, I need to get out of the house and I need social contact but not to wear out the few friends who stand by so garage sales are what I choose. I spend money too. Manic? Well, you could argue that. However, I always took the IT and the EF back to school shopping when we were on vacation. Work is mostly so busy and so draining that I don't shop unless I absolutely have to. I shop when I am off. Add to that the feeling of I NEARLY DIED. With that, part of my self comfort is I GET TO BUY MYSELF A PRESENT BECAUSE I NEARLY DIED. I think finding things also releases the hormone prolactin, which is deeply comforting and healing. In women prolactin works a little differently than in men. Prolactin lets milk down nursing, but a female scientist studied it in her lab. She says that in women, it also triggers the "make sure everyone has a sweater" response. Ok, I made up that response, but that was the idea. Women want to gather supplies and make sure they have them for all the children/old people/spouse/neighbors/community. So some of the shopping/self comforting is related to prolactin. And finding a treasure to buy, or a nice avocado, releases serotonin. "You don't need more hormones, lizard, you have too much already." Yes, but the antibodies peak somewhere 6-8 weeks after I get sick or possibly 6-8 weeks after the infection is done with so after 10-14 days of antibiotics. SO, after two months the dopamine starts dropping. And that leads to the depression after being manic.

Really? Well, again, I am in theoretical waters. But when people are on continuous opioids, the cells withdraw mu receptors. That's why some people need more and more of an opioid for the same pain. The dose no longer "works" because there are fewer receptors. Some people can be stable for years, though it's pretty clear that opioids for years are NOT good for us. But others need rising doses and they are way more likely to get addicted.

I started antibiotics on March 20th. Say ten days from then: March 30th. Then six weeks from that. Approximately May 15. Then the antibodies start to fall. If the cells ALSO were withdrawing the dopamine receptors, well, there it is. Depression follows as the antibodies fall off. So, end of July approximately, would be when the antibodies are gone. We know it takes ages for the mu receptors to be replaced. Don't know re dopamine.

Today is July 16. The oxygen did amazing things for my mood. Two days of oxygen. I felt as if every cell in my body relaxed and said "Thank you!" at night. It was amazing. I was on a weaning dose of lithium, but I totally forgot about it when the oxygen started. Three days later I thought, oh, and then, I don't need it. Hypoxia from the dysfunctional tubulin makes the mood much worse: that's my working theory. And each person can have a different pattern of the three antibodies and so it is hella confusing. Doctors are NOT going to understand this for YEARS. If I am correct, it will revolutionize mental health treatment and we'll have a handle on at least some of chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. Bring it, baby. I hope I am right.

Back to the garage sales. You don't care about the garage sale, you are thinking about a friend with chronic fatigue and wondering..... yep.... anyhow, I went to a series of sales. B keeps asking if I should really spend money. Hmmmm. He says I shouldn't. Hmmmm. I think about what he says. At one sale I buy belts and buckles and fancy purses, $3 each. Super sale because he's getting rid of stuff so he can put the house on the market for $650,000. Four lots, 1970s house. And the market here is HOT, because tech people are fleeing the cities. I read yesterday that they are returning to San Francisco, at least. Yeah, we don't have that many coffee shots and the people here in town are like 75 and up. I am a "young" one at 60. Housing has priced out the truly young, so the two two lane roads into town are getting messy and accident prone fast. We really need to support housing but well, greed. Sigh. Fucked up, yeah.

One belt is a gun belt. Another woman says it's a kids' belt, but I say, "Nope. Too long." We ask the seller. It's for 22s. I buy it. There is also a halter that I buy. For a really big horse. (WTF, lizard? Why a halter? Ok, let's just say I go where the Beloved leads even when it is fucking weird. And otherwise I would be quite dead from pneumonia if I'd listened to my fellow docs instead of the voice inside. All they could see was the dopamine effects and I didn't run a fever and I didn't have an elevated white blood cell count and the chest xray was nearly normal. But my sats drop below 88% which is BAD. I CAN'T BREATHE!!!)

Then there is a shoulder holster with a cap gun. "How much for this?" I ask. "Why do you want it?" asks the seller. He thinks I am weird but interesting and I am buying 20 old designer purses, so what the hell. "I want the holster. It's leather." "Most people would buy it for the cap gun." "Not me." "Three dollars." "Done."

It takes me three days to figure out how to put on the shoulder holster. And it is WEIRD. It is adult size, not kid size, and too big for me. So who would make a functional shoulder holster for a cap gun? Homemade? For a developmentally delayed adult? That would be my guess. The history of odd things. It is the odd things that pull at me at sales and I ask about them. You hear some really interesting stories. And then sometimes the answer is "I don't know. My mother is dead." Yes. Sorry.

So B hunts. He uses muzzle loaders for elk. And a 22 for the invasive gray squirrels who are chasing out the red squirrels. I request a lesson with a 22. This is while we are at mild outs so he is not cooperative. But I know a lot of people and contact another one, who is happy to give me a lesson. Retired gun shop owner so I get a safety lecture to start with. Also I am told that I should buy some kid 22 but it's called something like a butterfly and is good for 13 years olds. Nope, I don't want one of them, no matter how appropriate.

A 22 gun belt, shoulder holster and halter for a really large horse. Honestly, I hope the horse is a loan and that I can give the owner the halter. I have never wanted to own a horse. But apparently I am going to have an adventure with one.

And shooting. I have requested a lesson. B has said yes but has not come up to scratch. My son was here and apparently they discussed me. B said that he doesn't think I could shoot a deer because I hate killing the tiny sugar ants and carry spiders outside in a cup and the mouse recently too. Don't like killing things.

I confront him. "I could too shoot a deer."

"I don't think so." he says

"You don't understand. I eat meat. I really like meat. So to be a responsible omnivore, I have to be able to shoot and clean the animal. For meat. And I've already helped butcher a deer in my parents' yard." A weird parental friend showed up with road kill that was still warm when I was in high school in Alexandria, Virginia. It had pellets in it, so I'm not quite sure of the provenance. "It is a point of honor."

B shrugs. He's skeptical. Yeah, yeah, go ahead, don't believe me. If he won't teach me, I will go to the other friend.


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