Paso Robles, California
January 26, 2012 5:21am CST
It's been a long day. Our neighbor / tenant, who lives across the driveway from us, whom I will call m1 has been acting strange for three days now. She has a history of bipolar and she has it under control most of the time. But for three days, she has been manic. She came to clean for us last night, something she normally finishes in three hours. But she was talking to my husband for six hours while she cleaned part of that time, and it was evident she's not herself. She came to tell me today that strange things (that weren't strange at all) have been happening on the property. Hubby wasn't here, and I was alone. I stepped outside, because I knew it could get long. I also had a headache that wouldn't quit. I let her talk for several minutes and knew it wasn't going to go anywhere, so I finally asked what I could do for her, and she said nothing, she had just wanted to let me know. I assured her that what seemed strange had a simple explanation and she shouldn't worry, but I'd keep an eye out. (When she last was having episodes, it was about this same time of year, and it manifested in paranoia .) I finally told her I had to get back to work and she said she had to go do some errands, which included picking up some meds. I was hoping they would be the ones for bipolar. She was gone several hours. Meanwhile, Hubby came home from a day business trip that's six hours round trip, and he'd been gone about nine hours. He was tired and hungry, and I got him fed and put some medicine on his toenails, which he can't reach himself since his hip replacements, so he could go to bed. He fell asleep at once about 11. I went upstairs to work on my computer. About 12:45 I heard screams as my neighbor was yelling at us for help, and I was, at first, afraid she might have flipped out. I ran downstairs, and she was pounding at my door, telling me her friend (whom I will call m2, had passed out and might be dead. I wasn't sure how much to believe, but I knew m2 had been on drugs again and m1 had taken her in to try to keep her clean. She was screaming at me to get Hubby (who was already asleep) to help her get m2 in the car so she could take her to the ER. I sort of froze so she walked straight into Hubby's bedroom and got him. He got his slippers on and he told me to call 911 even though my neighbor didn't want us to. I called and explained and said I'd go out to the road (we live in a rural area on acreage) and shine my lights so the ambulance could find us. My husband was over there by then and they had m2 propped up. I was glad to see she wasn't dead. I went out to the road to wait for the paramedics. It seems forever, but they got there -- one large engine, an ambulance, and an unmarked car of some kind. I thought it could have been a coroner, since I had told the operator the person who came to me thought her friend might even be dead. I directed the emergency vehicle parade up the hill to the mobile home. My neighbor kept trying to tell the medics what to do and they told her to stand back. (I had told them she was probably manic and might need as much help as the one she'd called about.) We decided to let them sort things out and retreated back home. M1 went to get dressed when the ambulance left, and a few minutes later we heard her car leaving for the hospital. A few minutes after that another car drove up. I presume that was a friend she might have called to come wait with her at the hospital. They are all AA members and recovered alcoholics, and they do support each other in times of crisis. After seeing that my neighbor wasn't home, the other car left, probably to join everyone at the hospital. After praying and sitting up with my husband until he was ready to go back to bed, I decided I needs to write this all out and tell someone. I'm glad the friend showed up. I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop. I've left a lot of unnecessary details out, since it's a complex human situation. I'm hoping someone at the hospital will notice what's wrong and do something to help, but I don't expect it will happen. We would like to help, but don't have the training. M1 is an adult and does not know she needs help and even though she knows her history, she would not believe she was manic even if we told her. I'm glad Hubby will be home tomorrow, but if anyone knows how to handle someone in a manic stage, please offer your tips. M1 is a wonderful person, but she's not rational and doesn't know it. We know her well when she's normal, and so we know she is not herself. We know worrying about M2, for whom she feels responsible, is probably putting her under even more stress. She has also lost an important customer and has a quite irrational explanation for it. I'm afraid she will lose even more, and she's out trying to find new clients while she's in this state. I feel so bad for her, but don't know how to help. Any ideas out there? I just heard a car come back. I'm not sure if I should go to bed or not. I'm certainly ready to. I feel very drained all of a sudden, now that I have this out of my system. If you were in my shoes, how would you handle it?