Saturday, March 14, 2009

Lock me up

As I sat in my car on March 3rd in the parking lot of the psych hospital, I had two bottles of pills with me. One contained Valium, the other - a cocktail of medications plentiful enough to kill 10 people. I sat in that parking lot for 2 hours trying to decide which bottle to open. I tried calling my therapist, even said it was an emergency, but all they did was transfer me to her voice mail. Tried my pdoc as well, but he was out of the office and I knew if I told them what I was thinking, they'd just tell me to get to the hospital.

Eventually I opened the Valium and started taking them two at a time, hoping it would provide me the chemical courage to get out of the car and through the front door of the hospital. After consuming 50 mgs worth, I finally forced myself to enter the building. As soon as I told them to lock me up before I killed myself, my therapist finally called back. Nice timing. I told her I didn't need her help anymore and hung up.

They didn't waste any time getting me admitted. Didn't have to sit around and wait for hours like I did last time. When I told the intake coordinator how much Valium I had taken she wanted to send me next door to the ER, but I told her I'd be okay and she finally dropped the subject, focusing instead on getting me upstairs, behind the steel door that would lock me in until others decided I was safe enough to leave.

This stay lasted 11 days. Some were good, most were torturous. Made some friends, but also made some enemies...most of which were staff members that bore the brunt of my violent outbursts. Had people done their jobs correctly, I wouldn't have lost control of my temper. One of the things they failed to do on the unit was to note my allergies, which could have had deadly consequences. Yet the staff seemed to think I shouldn't have been so upset about it. Did they not see the irony of possibly dying from an allergic reaction when I was locked in the hospital to save my life?

My pdoc switched around my meds about 5 or 6 times. He once again tried the Abilify, which I warned him would result in negative side effects. When I suffered a bout of akathisia after taking the second dose, he promptly took me off it. I only agreed to try it because he brought up the fact that I was on different meds the last time and maybe the combination was the cause of my mania and that it was possible it was not solely caused by the Abilify. I knew better, but agreed to go along with his decision just so he would see for himself that I wasn't making shit up.

So now my current psychotropic medication regiment is 20 mgs of Cymbalta, 200 mgs of Wellbutrin and 5 mgs of Valium in the morning. At night I take 300 mgs of Seroquel, 30 mgs of Buspar and 45 mgs of Remeron. It's more pills than I've ever taken at once and I'm rather uncomfortable with it.

I finally made full disclosure of symptoms I've been having since 2003 to my pdoc. Things he should have been told sooner, but I was too afraid to bring them up for fear my daughter would be taken from me. I told him about the voices, the hallucinations, the paranoia, the evil haunting me at night. I'm not sure whether he believed me or not though. I read my chart before I left and I didn't see him make mention of any of that in his notes.

Being back at home made me feel so uneasy that I'm doing the one thing I promised my pdoc I wouldn't do...drink. Instead of binging though, I've just been sipping on one rum & coke for the last hour or so. Had my daughter not been with me when I went to get my prescriptions, I would have headed to the liquor department and bought several bottles of wine.

I don't have time to consume large quantities of alcohol. We leave for South Carolina in six days and I'm so unprepared it's not even funny. I have a whole host of things that need to get done before we leave. Tomorrow, while I work on the laundry, I'll start compiling a list of what tasks need to be attended to before we go and prioritize them. I'll do a few each day and I'll even ask for help from my daughter and the old people, so I don't get overwhelmed.

I hope that as the days pass and I get through this vacation, that I'll feel better than I do right now. I still don't feel safe. I wanted to stay in the hospital longer, but it really wasn't an option. I couldn't disappoint my daughter or her grandma by cancelling this trip. I'll just monitor myself and if I feel myself going downhill again, I'm just going to check back into the hospital. I'm not going to fuck around with should I die or not.


Blogger Anonymous Drifter said...

"I'm not going to fuck around with should I die or not."

That's sound thinking.

8:23 AM, March 15, 2009  
Blogger Barb said...

I'm sorry the hospital stay didn't go as well as it should have. I once blogged about an unpleasant hospital experience and named the hospital. One of their higher-ups actually contacted me, but I still won't got back there.

We should talk if you're up to it. Please call if you still have my number. Unfortunately, I've lost yours.

9:37 AM, March 15, 2009  
Blogger tracy said...

Guess who else ended up in the looney bin the same time you were in the hospital? i'm sorry you had such an awful time, but i think i can relate a little...this was my worst stay ev-er. Now my husband is even more furious than ever and has even taken to sleeping in the spare bedroom.
i am so sorry to ramble. This is your blog. i hope the new med combo works out and you have a good trip. Try to relax and have some fun.

10:21 AM, March 16, 2009  
Blogger tracy said...

Hey, great idea, Barb. This hospital is Richmond Community Hospital...all or most of the African American Behavioral Tech's were wonderful, very helpful, sweet men, but a great majority of the staff, especially white nurses were just plain MEAN!!!!!!!!!!!

(PS...Yes, i am white, if that matters at shouldn't)

10:25 AM, March 16, 2009  

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