As you know, I was switched to Depakote, which did not work at all for me, and even after 2 med adjustments, and 6 weeks, I got in a fight with my daughter at dinner and was so upset that I was afraid of what I would do if I stayed in the house any longer so I went out in my car, sobbing as I drove, screaming at times until I finally pulled over in the back of Circle K lot. I tried to get all my anger and pain and hurt out, but more just kept coming and I didn’t think it would ever stop. I wanted so bad to end it all, I wanted to go home, lock myself in my room, and take all the pills I have, all the many bottles of lithium, all the many bottles of seroquel, and all the many bottles of everything else. But I didn’t want my kids to find me in the morning. So I stayed in the parking lot some more. Then I finally decided I needed some help to make it through the night, that if I was gonna live up to the promise I made back in 2007 when I finally got my shit together, got my lithium, came to Arizona, and got my kids back, that I would not be sick or hospitalized or crazy or hurt myself until they grew up and graduated and moved out. They are the only thing in my life, and I promised I will be there until they are gone. Then I can do what I have been putting off for so long, because nothing that matters will be in my life then, and I can finally do what I’ve wanted to for so long. The only thing I have ever wanted for so long. The only thing that will finally put me at peace. So, I called the Crisis Line, they came to parking lot and talked with me, evaluated me, and said they would only feel comfortable if I was assessed at a psych hospital. They asked if I would agree. I asked back what would they do if I said ‘no’, and they said they would call the police. So, I agreed. duh.
So, I spent the first night at an ER of a hospital that did not have a psych unit. They were so full, I was left on a gurney in the hall for the night. The next morning I was moved to a real bed in a small psych ward waiting pod. There were 5 beds, and 2 techs and one nurse. The techs never left at the same time. I stayed in that little pod waiting for a real bed in a psych hospital for 2 1/2 days. On the end of the 2nd day, they moved me to a psych hospital. They left me sit in a lobby for visitors with no one watching me and a door right out to the parking lot behind me. I could have left any time if I really wanted. But I thought to myself, no, you know you are in trouble, you don’t want to break your promise to care for your kids till they grow up, you want to get stable and be there for them a little longer. So I didn’t leave, didn’t just walk out. I waited 5 hours in that lobby before someone from the ward came to get me.
All of this, because my outpatient doc was concerned that my staying on lithium would worsen my acidosis over time. Well, I tell ya what: I only used to have it checked every 3 months, it was well managed, and I was already on lithium and already stable for the last 7 years. Now, she has made the acidosis worse, she put me on the awful depakote that landed me in the hospital in the first place after all this time being healthy, and then, the hospital doc changed her mind about how long she wanted to observe me.
My doctor promised on the first meeting to switch my mood stabilizer from the horrible depakote to tegretol which is the only one I have not yet tried. She promised she would give me long enough to show if I was stable on the tegretol or not, because if it didn’t work, I would need to be put back on the lithium after all, only now, since the renal acidosis problem is permanent. If the tegretol works, I will always need to be checked weekly for my acidosis. If the tegrotel doesn’t work, she said she would switch me back to the lithium to a therapeutic amount, and then discharge me. If that happens, I will have to have labs done for the acidosis every single week for the rest of my life. But she lied. She only started tegretol on the last 3 days, and didn’t wait to see if I was stable on it. I felt deceived, lied to, ignored and unimportant. Well, I got to thinking, if she was so gung ho on getting me to leave TODAY, and the only reason she even gave me an extra day was just for the labs that I HAD TO REMIND HER ABOUT, then I wasn’t getting any thing from being in the hospital for this last night, and I might as well go home like she first said today. But NO!! That is not how it went. I had to get the big guns out again and force and threaten and scream and yell and cry and beg to finally be let out today A.M.A. It took me 2+ hours before they finally gave in.
When first being admitted to the unit, they told me on the unit I couldn’t smoke my ecigs because 1) they couldn’t tell if they had the same amount of nicotine as regular cigs, and 2) they told me the refills didn’t come in factory sealed parts. Except my ecig does. It is clearly labeled how much refill cartridge has, and each refill is separately factory packaged. Then they just said, well, ‘it doesn’t matter, because its not procedure’. So the only way I could smoke was to get someone else to buy them and bring them to me. I was lucky. I made my anger very well known across the entire unit at midnight when they finally brought me in to admit me. I was just as full of rage to find that they would not allow me to put anything in my hair. At all. So the entire time, my hair hung like a limp noodle flat against my head. Boy, that really helps your self-image and confidence. Which I also made very clear to the entire unit. And then, I had to wear hospital gowns, one forward and one back, with hospital panties and hospital sockies. Then they allowed the men on the unit to use disposable razors to shave their faces and pits, but women weren’t allowed to shave their legs, not even with an electric razor. Whaaaat?!!! How the HELL is that not discriminatory and demeaning against women? Why is a man safe enough to shave his face, but a woman is naturally not safe enough to even be considered to try to shave her legs? Believe you me, the first day, I let God and everyone know exactly how I felt about everything designed to take every last bit of control away from the patients they were supposed to be healing.
After the first day, I really did try to be good. I really tried to get everything I could out of the unit. I went to all the groups, I agreed with everything they said, even when they said day after day, ‘all mental illness is learned behavior, and anyone can relearn how to behave normally’. And I asked, ‘what about schizophrenia and bipolar, which we know from many studies, is caused by certain genes and alleles being activated, and the amount of neurotransmitters is either too low in some or too high in others, and can only be regulated by medications.’ They all continued to say that they had never heard that, and it was not true. Medicine does not allow you to recover from any mental illness, only changing your behaviours does. I didn’t argue. I smiled and nodded.
And I haven’t even touched on how the nurses (most of them) were so disrespectful to the patients, punishing them for any slight they felt the patient had committed. If you asked for your prn pain pill at 7:55, and you could have it at 8:00, they would tell you ‘no, its not time yet, go back and sit down, and when I get to it, I will come give it to you’, and you might well wait another hour before you got that pill. Just because they didn’t like you asking for it early, or they didn’t believe you were in pain, or had anxiety, or needed a muscle relaxer, or just because they didn’t feel like giving it to you because you had the gall to bother them.
There were some really good nurses, but far and few between. In the 7 days I was there, I really don’t feel they did a single thing for me, except barely start the tegretol. I am disgusted. I went for help before I hurt myself. I wanted to feel better, to NOT feel like hurting myself. But I came out even more depressed, even more unstable, and even more decided to do so. And now I have discovered that in the move we just made to a new apartment, I apparently was feeling positive, and have thrown away all my bottles of lithium. But it seems I can always buy them online, which is what I will probably do, since what is money if I will not be here?
I am supposed to return to the outpatient day program, Momentum, which I had just completed the first week of before going to the ER. I called to make sure it was arranged, got mixed messages, and ended up talking to the intake guy I talked to when I started before. He seems very concerned that I am not stable, positive, happy, and still angry and unstable. He was supposed to call to just check on me yesterday, but didn’t. He is supposed to come here today to visit me, but I am not very convinced it will happen. I guess I will not be able to use that outpatient program because I am too unstable and angry, even though the hospital made it a requirement of my release. Oh well, it probably wouldn’t help anyway. I guess you have to be healthy already to qualify for programs to help make you stable and positive. Huh. Quite the catch 22. And I’m probably sick enough to return to the hospital, but I already know now that I won’t get any help there either. I’ll just end up worse off than I already am. So, I guess I am just on my own since no one else is on my side. No one else cares. They only care about policy, procedure, and rules. There is no compassion, no real connections, no one who really wants to help.
So, now I am looking for a way to not depend on anyone, not look for anyone, including my kids, to help me. I am considering asking my ex to take my daughter for the remaining two years, so I don’t have to deal with her walking out on conversations because she THINKS I am going to get angry. She never even gives me the benefit of the doubt. She has told everyone that she thinks I abuse her emotionally by being angry, by yelling, and has said she wants to call CPS. I think maybe she should. I wouldn’t argue this time. I would just let them take her. Or I would ask my ex. He might do it because his child support payments would go down. My son may move out in December, when he turns 18, because he too thinks I am ‘crazy’ even when I’m not. He is just better at not getting reactive toward me when I do, and so I don’t get as upset for as long, and things go back to ‘ok’ again. He might stay here til he graduates, but I’m not sure about that at all. But at least I could handle him being here til May. Then I could finally get permanently out of this rat race of pain and torture that has no end and not do it in front of my kids.
So, I am positive that I will not return to a hospital, because there is no help there either. I am probably not allowed to return to an outpatient program, because I am not in a good space. And I can’t stand having my kid(s) here, mostly my daughter, because all she does is make me more and more upset and angry. I just want them to be in a safe place, so I can do what I have been waiting for for so long, leaving all this and ending the pain of this life. I can’t wait any longer, can’t get through the pain anymore, can’t keep suffering, need to let go. There is simply no more fight in me, no more hope.
I will be finishing up a few posts that are still drafts, but then I will probably not be around here much, at least in the way of posting. It seems silly to be here, asking for compliments, fishing for advice to hang on, clinging to those who are moving ahead, who have hope, and bringing them down with my problems.