Saturday, January 21, 2006

My Stay In Hospital...

Here in E. Texas we usually say "I was in *the* hospital". But I have always loved the way the English say "in hospital". So, that is how I say it--with a Texan accent. Yehaw!

When my doctor (back in November) said "I think it's best if you go to the Behavior Health Clinic and stay for a few days. You can get treatment. They can help you." I almost passed out. He was talking "Funny Farm", "Nut House", "Psycho Ward". But his next words were scarier. They were said to Moonpie. "Take her right now. Right now. They are waiting for her. Don't go home and get clothes--you can get those later. Take her now." Holy Crap. The lookon Moonpie's face. I'll never forget it. His voice wavered when he told the doctor: "But she is breastfeeding. What do I do with the baby?" His advice? "You'll figure it out."

So Moonpie took me. I sat in the waiting room crying. Wanting to run. Wanting to go home and hide under a bed. But scared that they would come get me. Put me in a straight jacket and throw me in a padded room. So I cried. And waited. They took me in a little room and interviewed me. Asked me my history. Wanted to hear my suicide plan, in detail. Asked me about what medicines I had been taking. Trying to figure if I was addicted to Vicodin...I wasn't, tho I easily could have been, in time. This is where Moonpie had to leave me. He had to pick up the kids from school--go relieve my sister, who was watching the boys. And he had the task of telling everyone "she is crazy and I need HELP--get here now, before *I* have to take care of these kids by myself!!!!" Then a nurse came and got me. She took my blood pressure. Weighed me. Took my shoelaces from me---OMG. That made me bawl my eyes out. Then she took my picture(!?). I'm sure it was quite the glamour shot.

Then I was taken to the ward. I was told I would be on a "good ward"--whatever that means. I think now that it meant "people over there are crazy--but they aren't thowing poo or taking off their clothes yet". It was quiet on the ward. About 8 people were there then. Some in their rooms (soem crying in their beds). Some in the "day room" watching TV. A a couple on the (two) telephones. I was shown my room--which I shared. Two to every room when it's full. We weren't allowed any glass bottles--no makeup. Nothing with belts, ties. No food or drink in the rooms. I spent the first few hours on my bed crying. Waiting for Moonpie to come visit at 7PM (for an hour) and bring me clothes. I finally went into the dayroom at lunch time. I was told that until I saw the doctor (the next day, sometime) that I would be on "lockdown"--I have to eat all my meals on the ward and then I would be evaluated. So the rest of the group went to the cafe--walked in a single file line with a "tech" on gaurd--watching them, constantly counting them. Unlocking and locking doors for them as they went.

Later that evening a girl came up to me. Brandi. We talked briefly. She told me "the run down"--this wasn't her first (or second) rodeo. She had been diagnosed with bipolar (can't remember the version) and was chemically dependant--and very addicted to nicotine! No one was allowed to smoke--or drink caffine on the ward. You could drink cokes in the cafe--SMALL ones. But no smoking ever, never, ever. I don't smoke, so it didn't bother me at alllll. But it made the other natives restless! I was made aware that we would be "in classes" most of the day. Group therapy. Some classes were for depression/bipolar/scitzo and the other classes were for chemical dependancy/alchohol. I was in the crazy classes.

Moonpie came. Brought me PJ bottoms with a drawstring--couldn't have 'em. Brought me my makeup bag--couldn't have more than half of it due to glass bottles. And he brought me my breast pump--my boobs were about to explode. He had tried to feed the baby a bottle--but he was having a hard time. Caden wouldn't take it. My sister had to feed him with a medicine dropper. drip drip drip. That night they gave me an Ambien (sleeping pill). I was told they were powerful. But I laid on my plastic bed. On my flat plastic pillow. Covered up with my hospital smelling blanket...and thought "When is this thing going to---ZZZZZZZ". Best nights sleep EVER.

Over the next few days more people checked in. I became good friends with alot of the patients. There was George, who had tried to slit his wrists. He lived in another state...and he had to stay there for 4 days wearing blood stained jeans. There was Anthony. He was a prision guard (inhis uniform) who was depressed over his marriage breaking up and was having anger issues. He slept for the first 2 days. There was Cullen (my favorite). A 19 year old homosexual who was addicted to everything. Speed was his favorite tho. When he came down off his high we found that he is high on life all the time. He has a very UP personality. So funny. LOVE him. Wanted to slap mayo on his head and eat him up! There was Amelia (my roommate). Laura. Mona. Susan. Fanny. Miss Viv (who was the epitome of style and money--and a MAJOR vicodin addict). We all had our stories. Our problems. It was easy to talk to them--most of them KNEW what I meant. They had felt it. Lived it. Breathed it. It was in their souls too.

I was there for 4 nights, 5 days. I was put of 3 diff meds. Then weaned off one. I had therapy all day long. I had handouts. Notes. I had visitors every night--most there had no visitors AT ALL. I left on the condition that I go to out-patient there too. 5 hours per day. Monday thru Friday. I did that for a little over 2 weeks. Then I was put in 2 times a week 1-on-1. Then Once per week. I cried when I left in patient. I will never forget those I met there. My last day I made a plaque in "activities" (HAHA). It was a small wooden board. I glued beautifully colored tile stars all over it. Then wrote everyone's first name down that was on the ward. It is on my night stand. I will carry them in my heart always. I pray for them too. And I know they pray for me.

2 comments:

SuziQ said...

M,
I love you more than you could ever know! I have tears in my eyes as I write this - I DEMAND that you call me LOOONG before it ever get that bad again and just say "come here now". I will be there in less than 15 minutes! Even if it is 3am, and you KNOW I like my sleep. ;)

Yolanda said...

Tears came to my eyes while reading this. I'm so blessed in the following ways 1. that they were able to get you help so that you are still here with us 2. that you were able to meet people who could truely support and understand you 3. that you would so openly share your story so that others might be helped from it. I wish I were close enough to give you a big hug- you've been through so much and you deserve all the happiness you can stand