Sunday, April 17, 2011

Wasn't mentally present

At approximately 5:15 pm on Friday, April 8th, I sent what I thought would be the final text of my life....."tell my daughter I love her and I'm sorry". I couldn't find the courage to tell her myself, so I sent that text to my sister instead.

In the days leading up to that, I finally did call the hospital I had wanted to about doing their outpatient program, but was told they don't accept Medicare. Instead, they referred me to the hospital nearest me, the one I've been inpatient at about a dozen times and where I've done their outpatient program (or at least tried to) about 4-5 times.

Feeling very uneasy and panicked I gave in and called that hospital on Wednesday the 6th, after running several errands, to schedule an intake appointment. The soonest one they had available wasn't for another four days, which meant my choices were either try and survive those 4 days or do a walk-in and pray they didn't lock me up on the spot. I chose the latter. Not knowing what the outcome would be, I packed a bag and put it in my trunk just in case.

Somehow I managed to convince them I wasn't suicidal, because in my head, I actually didn't believe I was. After talking with the intake counselor for about half an hour, she left to call my pdoc...well, the former one that I had made an appointment to go see again on April 22nd. Surprisingly, he agreed that the partial program would be okay. I was given some paperwork and told I'd receive a call the next day as to when I'd be starting the program.

They had me start on Friday, the 8th...which is when all hell broke loose. I remember being extremely suspicious about every little thing. Wondered why they took me to the intake department first when I was told they were taking me to registration. Why was I filling out paperwork that was similar to what I had filled out just a couple days earlier.

I've looked at the paperwork they had me fill out that Friday, but I honestly don't remember doing it. The information, or lack thereof, I wrote on the safety plan they had me fill out should have sent up major red flags that I wasn't even the slightest bit mentally present at the time. I read it now and think, how did they not use that to lock me up by 9 am that morning.

I remember going to two groups, the first one being weekend planning. I don't remember a single name or face of anyone else that was there, but I remember the woman leading the group mentioning something about how I needed to ground myself and be present in the group. Suddenly it was lunch, and since I didn't know anyone and didn't really want to talk to anyone, I grabbed a sandwich and sat alone at a small table with my ipod blaring into my ears.

The group after lunch was in the gym. I arrived late because I didn't have a clue where I was supposed to be going. Everyone was sitting on chairs or mats in a circle and one of the counselors was talking about deep breathing and relaxing. I wasn't there long before I was called out by the pdoc assigned to fill-in for mine who had gone out of town for the weekend.

After that, all memories of that day get really fuzzy. It was as if I didn't exist, but my body was still functioning, moving and talking without me. The pdoc asked a lot of questions, but it was extremely difficult to focus on what she was saying. I remember we were in one of the privacy nooks, but there were a lot of people walking up and down the hall talking and it kept distracting me. I believe she's the one that gave me the chemical dependency paperwork to fill out and I remember telling her that I haven't had a problem with alcohol outside of the 3-4 months I spent binge drinking two years earlier and I was tired of the people at this hospital trying to force me to believe I'm an alcoholic.

I don't think I returned to the group the pdoc had pulled me out of. I think as soon as I was done talking with her, I'd had enough and left. I did call when I got home and told them thanks for the help, but I would not be returning.

Once I was at home, I cranked up iTunes on my computer and proceeded to clean the house. Could have been to burn off the anxiety, or could have just been a way to pass the time and hopefully distract from how suicidal I was feeling, not really sure. Somewhere along the way, the voices in my head took over. They were telling me how great it was that I was cleaning so no one else would have to when people started coming over to offer their condolences to my family. I scrubbed every inch of the bathroom and living room.

Upon walking into my bedroom, I decided I'd just let someone else go through my stuff to see what they wanted to keep, throw away, sell or donate. I was finished. I cranked the music louder, got a knife, razor blades, pills and a can of soda. I then laid an old blanket and towel on the floor, and proceeded to cut myself. The first cut on my arm wasn't deep enough and I wasn't sure I'd be able to reach the vein, so I tried both the razors and the knife. When it still wasn't deep enough, I tried cutting both of my legs with the razor, just to see how hard I'd have to press in order to get deep enough.

It took about three tries, but I finally hit the vein in my arm. After that I just started downing pills by the handful. As I began to lose consciousness, I sent the text to my sister. Figured I was too close to death that even if someone tried to save me at that point, it would be a futile attempt. The last thing I remember was the setting the phone down next to me and then laying down on the blanket so as not to get blood everywhere. I didn't want anyone to have to clean it up.

After that, the next thing I remember is waking up in a room full of people, but it didn't seem like the hospital. The room was too small and I don't remember anyone wearing the typical doctor gear, lab coats, scrubs or even the latex gloves. One of my sister's friends was there, though I couldn't figure out why. I know she's a respiratory therapist, but I didn't think she worked at the hospital near my house, which made the whole experience even more surreal. I had no idea where I was and to this day, I'm not entirely sure where I was.

I did something, though I have no clue what, that caused about a dozen men to suddenly swarm around me, trying to hold me down to put me in restraints. I could swear someone had walked me to the bathroom only a short time earlier, so it's not like last time where I pulled the bladder tube out. The force with which they held me down was excruciating, almost as if two or three of them were actually on top of me on the table I was on. One of them must have elbowed me in the face because I had (and sort of still have) a black eye. I'm actually black & blue all over, though they're starting to fade.

I'm assuming they shot me up with Haldol or something because after that, I remember waking in the quiet room of a psych hospital. I was still unsure where the heck I was. I still hadn't made a connection with my own mind and body yet, so it was confusing. Took me at least two hours to realize where I was, though I still have no idea what medical hospital I was in prior to the psych hospital.

Stayed in the hospital 8 days before I talked my way out. For the most part, I was feeling better mentally, but the boredom and having to deal with some of the other patients was making me feel homicidal, so it was best that I left, whether I was truly ready to or not. Since my pdoc stopped trying to push Seroquel on me, I agreed to take the med he offered instead, Clozaril. I understand the risks involved are much more severe than those associated with Seroquel, but at the moment, I'm willing to risk it...if only because I might actually die and it wouldn't be via suicide.

Right now I'm in limbo. I don't know if I'm supposed to see my therapist tomorrow like I usually do on Mondays or what. When I tried calling, I found out she's now only working 2 days a week instead of 3, so I'm starting to worry she's going to be let go because of budget cuts. Guess I'll find out soon enough.


Blogger Walkingborder (Karen) said...

If she lets go of anyone due to budget cuts, it won't be the patient who was in the hospital the week prior due to a suicide attempt. There would be legal consequences to that. Right now, only you can terminate that relationship, not her.

11:09 AM, April 18, 2011  
Blogger FishRobber said...

i'm really glad you made it back to us. That is such a horrible fucked up feeling. people just don't understand the desperation that leads to that point. [hugs]

8:48 PM, April 20, 2011  

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