Monday, February 10, 2014

The Many Faces Of Kellie

I tried finding my wife’s condition in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, but Kellieness is not a generally accepted diagnosis. Dissociative identity disorder, more commonly known as multiple personality disorder, was the closest match I could find after ruling out the only other likely candidates, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.

The first two of her alter egos I encountered were Low Blood Sugar Kellie and Tired Kellie. If not handled properly, these two personalities can rapidly dissociate into a myriad of other characters. I needed several years in residence before I earned my home degree in Kellie Psychology and mastered the techniques to identify and treat the underlying pathology. My choice of the word treat instead of the word cure is a deliberate one; you don’t cure Kellieness, you simply learn to live with it.

Low Blood Sugar Kellie needs to eat, and Tired Kellie needs to nap. You might think it’s easy to discriminate between the two, but it takes years of clinical practice to learn how to perform the differential diagnosis. What makes the evaluation so difficult is that the Kellie doesn’t recognize which personality is in control and both conditions often manifest themselves as Cranky Kellie. It’s easy to mistake Cranky Kellie for someone who’s just being unreasonable – a big mistake. Arguing with Cranky Kellie quickly leads to the appearance of Bitchy Kellie, often with her friend Angry Kellie; and Angry Kellie is scary.

Eventually I learned that the time of day was often a clue to which personality reigned. Morning crankiness is almost always a low blood sugar problem. Past noon, the appearance of any strange characters usually means it’s nappy-time. 

Treatment for Tired Kellie is rather simple; shuffle her off to bed for an hour or two and the problem is solved, at least temporarily. Dealing with Low Blood Sugar Kellie can be tricky. Early in our marriage, I frequently made the mistake of asking Low Blood Sugar Kellie what she wanted to eat. If her glucose levels were dangerously low, the inquiry immediately manifested a new personality – Indecisive Kellie – a babbling, incoherent woman who can only whine, “I don’t know, just feed me.” 

I’ve long since learned to deal with almost all the Kellies; Angry Kellie is still scares me. But managing her cast of characters is like playing whack-a-mole. For the past ten years I’ve been living with Vacation Kellie, a pleasant woman who insists on referring to vacations as travel. She thinks vacations are tawdry and common whereas travel is noble and refined. Over time, Travel Kellie has morphed into Cruise Kellie. Treatment for Cruise Kellie is simple but expensive, sometimes requiring six or more ocean voyages per year. On the positive side, Cruise Kellie often asks her hot friend Horny Kellie to join us, usually in the late afternoon after consuming several shipboard cocktails. I don’t mind administering Horny Kellie’s medication, though she sometimes complains that it makes her gag. Did I go too far?
------------------------------------------------------------------------ 

28 comments:

  1. There is a medical term for low blood sugar around our home. It's "Hangry". Hang out at my house and it's not uncommon to hear the kids say something like, "Don't ask Mom about it right now, she's HANGRY!" On another note, tell Kellie "travel" is not refined... We must refer to it as "Going on holiday." LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well, doctor, I think your diagnostic skills are commendable. Although you might be struck off the register for that last comment!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I debated that last line but then said, "What the hell."

      Delete
  3. You have more than a few feelings in common with my hubby. I get "taken" on holiday often for the very reason you diagnose above (he will say that I'm "easy" then). The last line, while past to some, is hilarious! At least it is to holiday Gina.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So, other women have the same affliction. I wonder if a contagious condition.

      Delete
  4. Haha! I love the way you write out these stories about your wife. Clever use of the DSM (I'm a licensed social worker). I think the last line is hilarious!

    Deanna
    http://mymutedvoice.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For some reason, Kellie fails to see the humor in that last line.

      Delete
  5. Bravo to you for combating the stigma attached to Kellieness and advocating for acceptance over a cure.

    ReplyDelete
  6. LOL! You remind me of a time I went back to my Dr, complaining about an injection that didn't give me relief from pain... she said, "The juice wasn't worth the squeeze?" Apparently Kellie thinks yours is!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like that "squeezing the juice" line. Kellie will hear that one soon.

      Delete
  7. My husband discovered Low Blood Sugar Natalie on our last trip to New York, and believe me, it was not pleasant for him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's tragic that so many women suffer from this affliction. Maybe someday science will find a way to prevent it.

      Delete
  8. Fabulous! You have truly earned your masters in the art of kellie... which should make for Happy Kellie! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Masters? No, no, no. I have a Ph.D.

      Delete
  9. I wonder how many Joes Kellie would be able to identify? :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Low-blood sugar anyone is indeed a formidable personality to manage. And Joe, those last lines. Oh dear!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kellie had a different exclamation after I posted this.

      Delete
  11. Whew, it sounds like a lot to manage, but at least you've figured out the appropriate treatments. Just don't go too far. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sounds like you might have gone deep enough to solve your problem.

    ReplyDelete
  13. My husband could learn a lot from this post. Once Cranky Marcy makes an appearance, his treatment technique is to avoid me and hope for the best.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Ha, Kellie sounds like me on most days ;) Great post :D

    ReplyDelete
  15. I am totally Kellie-- hungry Kellie and Tired Kellie. I never get tired of your Kellie posts.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I think you're on your way to a PhD in Kellie. I like how you wrote this--tongue in cheeky!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I get a lot like Kellie too, and my diagnosis is bipolar and PTSD.

    ReplyDelete