Tuesday, June 07, 2011

"I've Got To Do My Penis Thing": Mr Fab's Mania For Maniacs

I usually update this blog every few days. It's been weeks since my last post, but I think I've got a pretty good excuse: I was sick to the point of (temporary) (I hope) madness. Two trips to my doctors' office, two visits to the emergency room, a high fever that ran for weeks, delusions, hallucinations, fever dreams...welcome to hell, enjoy your ride!

This is going to sound like a joke or something, but I really was tortured one restless night by a reoccurring punchline made by comedy writer Andy Breckman on his WFMU radio show "7 Second Delay": "Is this going to be a long story?" I don't remember what the set-up to the joke was, but Breckman's voice delivering that line kept bouncing around my head like a pinball in a pinball machine. I know this sounds funny, but I thought I was going nuts. I was also tormented for what seemed like several days by a song from my daughter's favorite show, "Yo Gabba Gabba!" Excellent kiddie fare, but I couldn't get the song out of my head, even deliberately trying to replace it with another, more innocuous one by humming something else whenever the bad song came back.

Brian WIlson recorded the noise-fest "Mrs O'Learly's Cow" with the Beach Boys to replicate the sounds in his head (as he said) when he was on the verge of a mental collapse in 1966. This is an unreleased bootleg, which I prefer to the cleaner official version Wilson released on his "Smile" album from a few years back. I thought of this track often during my illness, knowing, if even for a brief period, what Wilson was going thru:

After taking medication for a headache that left me unable to sleep and clutching my head like a Joan Crawford melodrama, I suffered an allergic reaction that had me sticking out my tongue as far out as it could go. Painful, tho it probably looked kinda funny, like Gilligan after a witch-doctor put a curse on him. This was alternated with my jaw clenching down so tight I couldn't open my mouth, and had difficulty breathing. Which did not look funny. Scared the poop out of me and my wife.

At one point in the hospital I started taking off my pants. My wife asked what I was doing. I replied "I've got to do my penis thing," apparently referring to peeing in a cup for a urine test...which I had already done. Fortunately, Mrs Fab convinced me of this, and thus spared me from soiling the exam room. Once I was furiously pounding away at my iPad, then gave up my internet search. Mrs Fab saw that I had been searching for something like "zxcvcxznnx nxcvbmvcxcvv." Apparently, I couldn't find it. So I sternly asked her to tell me "the story of the sick boy." I also said to her at some point, "They're giving me three-to-one odds," and left it at that. And I repeatedly grasped at things that weren't there, then was surprised to find that I had been grasping at air. I swear I saw 'em...

This is what my wife told me, as I don't remember most of these episodes. I'd always thought of the mentally ill - those poor souls pushing shopping carts down the street, mumbling to themselves - and folks like me as being poles apart. It's pretty alarming, then, to find how quickly and easily I slid into a li'l bit o' madness. It's been over three weeks since it started and lemme tell you, am I glad to be here. I appreciate simple things like a good nights' sleep and eating solid foods. I'm not 100% percent, but, as the doctors never could come up with a diagnosis, I'm just assuming I'm getting better since my symptoms have largely disappeared.

This song Grant Hart wrote for Husker Du in 1984 for their classic "Zen Arcade" album came to mind on more than one occasion during this period: "What's going on...inside my head?!"

On the positive side, I've lost weight (The Amazing Mystery Illness Diet!) And I will one day return to blogging. See ya soon.


Idem said...

Wow dude! Hope that doesn't happen again. Hang in there.

Loved that first track. Here's something from a crazy channel I found recently: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqcyDA2L5L0&feature=channel_video_title

Armchair Biologist said...

Glad you're feeling better, sir. Good to have you back.

dj trish said...

Im glad your back too.Hey did you get the CD I sent you?Trish

Mr Fab said...

I did get your cd but haven't yet written back everyone who's been emailing me and such in recent weeks, so apologies all around. But thank you, that was very thoughtful of you.

Anonymous said...

Holy crap!
That's awful, Mr. Fab! And not doubt distressing to your family!
Glad to hear you're on the mend, though! Hope it turns out to be nothing too bad.
All the best,

Don-O said...

DAMN! Headgames, indeed. Hang in there and keep it cool, Big Guy!

crepuscular said...

...WOWIE ZOWIE FAb!! ...i too have been very scared..{shot into the UNFAMILIAR}, right to the ubiquitous edge indeed... BREATHE, and {Famille}.., and BREATHE! i sincerely wish you the best i can think of.., to now remain in the FAMILIAR... in the state of being that YOU KNOW and RECOGNIZE. thank you for all the music!

Mr Fab said...

Thanks for the good wishes, folks, I appreciate it!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear of your recent ill health, and glad you're on the mend.
I've also experienced some mental health issues during my life and can totally relate to your story.
It's a very unsettling thing and difficult to articulate to anyone who hasn't experienced it, worrying for family and friends too.
I applaud you for taking the time to share your experiences.
Apparently at some point in our lives, 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem.
If we all speak out about our experiences it may help to remove some of the stigma associated with mental health issues and perhaps help someone going through problems in the future.
Wishing you a speedy recovery,
The Cap'n.

Briann Longasa said...

I'm glad that you are feeling better now.

Greg said...

I'm a little late to this party, but that's a harrowing story that I wouldn't wish on anyone.

It sounds like some of the weirdness was visiting you instead of the other way around!

Glad to hear you're out of the woods and hope you stay that way.

Greg B (Radio Misterioso)

Mr Fab said...

Thanks folks, and i wish continued good health to you Cap'n. I don't ever want to go thru this again.