Tag Archives: psych hospital

day 5 and a flare

Day 5 and a flare (warning, long post)

Last night, I had to go to the bathroom kind of late, around 2300 or so. I was also hungry so went downstairs. I must have went down four steps and my ankle went out on me. It became really painful. I stopped and hung on the bannister to prevent falling. Pain subsided a little and I went down a few more steps only for it to happen again. Shit. I held on again to the bannister and waited for my ankle to calm down a bit. I knew the downward motion of my ankle was causing it to get annoyed. I finally went down the rest of the stairs and did my business.

When I came back up to my room, my ankle felt okay. The game was late as it was on the west coast and I couldn’t stay up as I needed to be up at 6. Around midnight, I turned in, or tried to. My body pillow was a mess and was not making me comfortable. I must have flung it off the bed as when I came up to my room today, the whole side of it was on the floor. It collected all the dust that surrounded it. Great. I used a lint roller to get it off. I just decided to use a regular pillow and somehow fell asleep. I woke up about three hours later in pain. It was too early to take the 12 hr pill so I took the immediate release. Two hours later I was still in pain so took the longer acting med. I was early but oh well. I then slept for about an hour until my alarm went off.

I took my morning meds and then went downstairs to brush my teeth and wash my face. I was deciding on what to wear. I thought I could wear shorts but it was too cold and it was kind of rainy. I decided sweatpants and a long sleeve shirt were in order. Except, I couldn’t find the one I wanted to wear. I scrounged my bed and it was nowhere. Oh well, just go with the one I usually sleep in. I left to catch the bus. As I got to the corner, the bus I was to take rolled by. Luckily, another one soon followed so I didn’t have to wait long.

I brought my Dostoevsky book with me. I had 45 minutes before PT. I got coffee at the lower end coffee shop and a coffee roll. When I finished the roll, I got to reading until it was time to leave for PT. PT was not so great. She gave me a few new exercises but I think I am going to have trouble doing it on my left side due to moving my damn ankle/foot. I might have to wear the AFO (ankle foot orthotic) to keep it stable. We just did the right side and she explained what muscles were moving. Then she massaged my hip. She said my muscles were hard as a rock. I said like a tennis ball and she said yes. Some parts of where she was touching was bothersome to my thigh muscle. I had to remind her that my L2/L3 surgery fucked it up. We talked about the PTSD and stuff that surrounded my pain issues and she offered some concrete grounding techniques which I will try as the ones I were using were not working. I chiefly use distraction and music. She had me laying on my back under some kind of box thing. As we were ending, she moved my knee to my chest and my back cramped up badly. It hurt so much. I was able to walk out of there but I was hurting. I came home because my next appointment wasn’t until 1500. I made a fried egg that I kind of overcooked the yolk. Then I went upstairs and was hoping to catch a nap. Well my ankle said no to that soon as I laid down. I left an hour early than I wanted to. I went to Starbucks for espresso and a Danish.

I read my book as I brought that with me. I was going to get some serious reading done. But my god, did Dostoevsky talk and talk and talk. It was about 4 chapters of the prosecutor giving his closing argument. When he was finished, so was I. I have about 8 chapters left in the book and I should be able to finish the book this weekend. Progress. I promised one of my suicidologists that I would read her book so I will. It should be somewhat easy reading once I remember where I put it. HA. Don’t know if it is buried on my bed or I put it somewhere else.

I went to my psychiatrist appt. I gave her the run down of being hypomanic without euphoria and the cycle I seem to be in. She didn’t read anything I sent her but she said she would read it as she always does. I felt kind of deflated because I really wanted to talk about the article I sent her. I couldn’t bring it up if she didn’t read it. I actually was not really present. I just glossed over things and she accepted it. I told her my therapist wanted to meet with me twice a week but I am not sure if I can do it physically, especially with physical therapy sessions going on as well. I had told him I would think about it and get back to him. She thought it was good to be seen twice a week. Then we made an appt for two weeks and I left.

My ankle was kind of giving me grief but it wasn’t bad until I got within two blocks of home. Before the Walgreens by my house, there is this dead end street that leads to some houses. The sidewalk has a little handicapped ramp that, to me, is very inclined. I walked down it and it brought me almost to my knees. Pain was so fricken bad. I had to stand in place until it settle down. It was the same as last night when I was going down the stairs but 10 times worse. I didn’t know what to do. My sister was away (or so I thought) and there wasn’t anyone else I could call for a ride. I took my blessed time limping home. The block that lead to the final block to my street was hilly and downward. OMG did it hurt to walk downhill. I had to stop a few times to catch myself. I finally made it home and my sister’s apartment door was wide open as well as my door. I called for my niece but there was no answer. I stuck my head in my sister’s apartment and called for her again. My sister was home making dinner. My other sister was there as well eating some kind of cheese plate. I had some cheese and pepperoni and chatted with my sisters. I then went upstairs. I took my things up the stairs carefully. I took a seat in the kitchen and my ankle just went berserk. I had no idea how I was going to walk down the hallway to my room. I was in a serious flare. I have been on the new med for five fucking days. I have no idea if CRPS doesn’t care if you take meds or not. I posted the question in my support group. I am still waiting for an answer or support. I had to take the med when I finally got to my room. It was two hours early but I didn’t care. After I made dinner with a boot on, my ankle still flared again. I took the breakthrough med. It is going to be a long night and I have been up for 15 hours so far. I cried in pain while I was in the kitchen. My mother was oblivious.

I don’t know what to do to make this pain go the fuck away. I thought the new meds would work and they did for a bit. Until I walked that handicap ramp, which I will never fucking do again. I wish I could say the same of the stupid stairs but I live in a two floor house so that isn’t possible. Even wearing the boot didn’t help. More than a few weeks till my date. I wasn’t going to go through with it. But I change my mind. I could still change it, again. I haven’t told anyone about this because people keep saying they need me and that makes me feel guilty. Someone also reminded me of the ripple effect and I told her to stop talking to me. I don’t want to hear it. I just want to be left alone in my misery that no one understands. I am so done with explaining about how suicidal I am and not getting any understanding about it. Not that I want support for it. That would be ridiculous. But to know at least where I am coming from rather than have supposed opinions. I just have become callous to anyone that thinks they know me.

I did ask my psychiatrist if she thought I was “treatable”. She said yes. But that is all she said without any elaboration. I am in too much pain, both mentally and physically, to tell her what I am thinking. I am also afraid of telling her what I am thinking for fear of another hospitalization. I won’t go this time, not unless I make an attempt. That is the only way I will go back. I just hope to be successful. Things will be really bad if I don’t succeed. I am scared though. I’ve never tried this method before. And if I don’t get it right on the first try, I am kind of screwed. I am just messed up.

About depression that I have to get off my chest

About depression that I have to get off my chest

There has been a LOT of talk lately about depression being treatable. Let me say first, that for some, it is. Therapy has been helpful to some in dealing with it. Medications and therapy still prove to be useful in treatment of depression or actually any mental illness. It was once thought that schizophrenia was a medication only illness. But I learned through one of my suicidologists that isn’t always true, as there was a paper written by him about he helped decrease an individual’s suicide risk by seeing him weekly or more if suicide was more present. It helped the patient feel cared for. If I find the article in my files, I will share it if you care to read it.

I am in no way saying you should NOT get help if you are feeling depressed. But my experiences (which are not the same to the whole depression population) beg to differ. I have yet to find anything that helps the mood shifts. Since my long time therapist stopped seeing me for reasons I have still yet to learn, I have been the most unstable and hopeless I have been in the 16 years I was in “treatment” with her. We had our disagreements about treatment. Transference and countertranferences were helpful at times but were no long lasting. She stuck with the way she was treating me and I stuck to being, well, depressed and suicidal.

What I have to get off my chest is that sometimes, depression is untreatable in a small percentage of people. There is such a thing as treatment resistant depression. Despite ECT (“shock” therapy), medication, and therapy, one can still feel depressed. There are a trillion reasons for this. Sometimes it has to do with the trauma one experienced. Some has to do with biology itself, that the genetic predisposition of a person makes them depressed. Other times it has nothing to do with a trauma or situation. It just happens that you start withdrawing from life, slowly at first and before you know it, you can’t go back to things you loved because, frankly, you are too depressed. Sometimes you maybe too depressed to seek help and a friend or family member needs to push you to get it. The thing is, depression still exists despite treatment. Some people have suffered depression for years and have never told a single soul. They are the small percentage that still go on with their episodes after they pass. They are less likely to die by suicide. Hell you don’t NEED depression to end your life. It has happened. Look at the Shawshank Redemption movie. The warden was “well” mentally and rather than be arrested and humiliated, he killed himself. Would anyone have thought he would do such a thing? No. And that is what my point is. Although we know what the risks are for suicide, depression and mental illness is only a small window into those risks. There are some people who die that have no history of mental illness yet die by suicide. I won’t go into more discussion about it because this is a loaded issue. I suggest reading the Myths and Facts of Suicide by Thomas Joiner. It is a really good book about what I am talking about.

I can only talk about my experience, no one else’s. I have been depressed since I was 8, maybe younger. I only know this because I started thinking suicide was a good idea at that age. I was 10 when I tried to end my life for the first time. I suffered from depression and after taking Prozac, became bipolar because the medication caused mania like symptoms. Not once during my years of being on medication AND therapy did my thoughts of suicide leave me fully. Neither did depression. There were brief times where I felt contentment. I honestly don’t believe in happiness. Like anger, it is a fleeting emotion and doesn’t last. But feeling contentment does happen for me and I sometimes feel comfortable in it. I know it isn’t going to last long. It never does. The depression always finds a way back, maybe not right away but it does come back. Despite some of my successes in life, graduating from high school, getting my Associate’s degree, publishing two books, I still was depressed. I was elated for a little while but it was fleeing. Just like when I wrote the article for the New York Times. I couldn’t believe and still don’t, that it happened. I still have the check that one day I will frame along with the article. But soon after all the paperwork was filed and I was waiting for it to be published, I was intensely depressed. The New York fucking Times was publishing something I wrote and instead of being happy as a pig in shit, I was depressed. I learned that no matter what my success in life was, no matter how much money I made, good job that I had, I was going to always be depressed. I could do one of two things. I could accept that this was the way it was always going to be or fight it. I chose to accept it.

I knew I had been fighting it since I was 16 that I would always have to take medication for my mental illness. It wasn’t easy but I knew if I was to avoid a lifetime of hospitalizations, I would need to take medicine to hold off the demons. Yet despite this theory, I was still hospitalized. Many times. Some times it was like a revolving door during my worst episodes. In 1994, I suffered a huge major depressive episode. I was hospitalized almost every two weeks and then for two months because I tried to end my life. It was one of the lowest periods of my life. I couldn’t bring myself to do anything. Showering didn’t matter. I gained a ton of weight from the meds I was put on. I started living an almost double life. The life the psychiatrists wanted to see and who I really was at home, when I was by myself. Hopelessness was rampant and totally lost on me. I can’t say that I got better. I just got better at hiding from myself, to keep the darkness at a minimum so I wouldn’t be committed at the age of 19 to a state hospital. Even then the façade I built was hard to put down. I just did what I was told to do and when I felt like acting on my feelings of suicide, I told my therapist or psychiatrist, which inevitably led to another hospitalization. But the hospitals in the 1990s were different than they are today. Today they are nothing but holding pens. Two maybe three days you are in and then you are out. If you need more help and have an outpatient therapist, you see them. You don’t need to be in. Maybe you stay for a week or two. But never more than that. Insurance won’t pay for it. And you don’t really get “treated”. You are watched 24/7 to make sure you don’t harm yourself. You might find a “treatment team” that listens but that is ALL THEY DO. They don’t help you in what you came in for. That is for you and your outpatient therapist to work out. If you don’t have one, you might get referred to someone. I’ve never been in that situation so not sure how that works.

I have lost faith that my illness is “treatable”. Seems no matter what I do, I end up depressed or just stay depressed. I am okay with that. I’ve known for a while that there is no longer an antidepressant out there for me. I am grateful my mood stabilizer still works. I just hope that it does fuck up my sodium levels and I need to some off it. Then I will be really screwed. In that sense, I still take my meds because they help. I no longer have commanding voices every day and the accompanying paranoia and delusions. I have to take a med for that every day. But therapy is still elusive. I honestly don’t know if it helps. Talking with someone honestly, like writing this blog, has been useful. Sometimes it feels good to talk to my therapist and leave knowing that someone understands, even if he thinks I am crazy. He said that he is “taking my lead”, which I am not sure about but it is a learning curve like anything else. And I will stress again, that if you aren’t comfortable with the person you are talking to, if they make you uncomfortable or just not getting it, find someone else. There are a lot of different therapists out there. A lot of different degrees as well (but all should be licensed by the state you are in, if they aren’t, I wouldn’t see them). It will take some time to know if they fit with you. The average is about 3 or 4 sessions. Any more than that might be a waste of time if there is no connection.

Today’s flare up brought to you by taking off a sock

Today’s flare up brought to you by taking off a sock

I was out of the house around 1140. As I was walking to the bus stop, my nephew was coming up the street. He was going to Walgreens. He offered me a ride rather than taking the bus but I said I would wait for the bus. He went and when he came back, I was still waiting for the bus. He really wanted to give me a ride so I took him up on it. It was faster than waiting for the stupid bus.

I went to Starbucks and got an eggnog latte with no nutmeg and a turkey bacon sandwich. The barista added the nutmeg. I was not happy but I drank it anyway. After I was done and wrote for a bit, I decided to go to the bank to make sure my name was right as I had received a letter with my birth name. The said everything was changed over so it might have just been a glitch.

I then went to the Sprint store to change my name. This is the 2nd attempt I made to do this. The first time I called, I was told that I had to change ownership. Then I looked at the website and it said I just needed to bring the legal document to a store and they could change it. I got to the store and the guy was telling me that I needed my changed license to change my name. Are you fucking kidding me?? I was so fucking annoyed. So after I get my name changed at the RMV next week and then get my actual license in about 10 days from then, I will go back to that jerk and have them change my name. What a waste of fucking time.

I had like 3 hours to go before my therapy appt. I rode the trains until it was time for me to get off at the stop to walk to my therapist’s office. It was a good session. I spent a good deal talking about being in the hospital and he wanted to know what was up with my ankle/foot. I explained it best I could and what would happen moving forward, which still looks bleak to me. I was able to move the bone scan to this Thursday. I don’t know how long it takes to interpret the results so I am hoping to have some answers soon or at least know what the treatment is.

Pain wise I was doing okay. On the way home, I stopped at Walgreens to pick up some more Neurontin. Apparently, I still had a bottle from last month that never got used, yet. I’m not worried about it because I am not paying copays at this time so the more I have the better. I plan on getting a refill next month, too, and then I will be set for a few months. I had dinner and then went up to my room. I got undressed to put my PJs on. I took off my socks, and when I took it off on my bad foot, it flared up. So now I am in a LOT of fucking pain because the elastic irritated my foot. I took it off as slow as possible to avoid it but obviously, my ankle/foot didn’t care.

While I was riding the trains, I thought about going back to the hospital, not to torture myself, but to try and see if staying a little longer helps decrease the amount of suicidal feelings I have. I kind of got overloaded last night when I was in a flare and didn’t go to sleep till around 0330. I just wanted to fucking die and started making plans again. Now I am in another damn flare and I want to fucking die. I just used an ice pack on the back of my head and neck to distract me but I am cold so it didn’t stay very long. I got to get up soon to take my night meds. Not looking forward to that.

home and sleepy

Home and sleepy

I got discharged from the hospital today. My sister called me an Uber for a ride home. It was fine. I wasn’t in much pain. I checked my mail before heading up to my room to change. One of my credit cards had changed my name but didn’t issue me a new card. I thought that was weird. I got to call them to find out why. I received my medical records from my PCP’s office so Monday I will be calling the LGBT health center for an appt. Nothing else was of importance. So I headed up to my room. I changed then went back downstairs to put the new screen in my newer laptop. Sadly, I think the connection is bad. The screen lit up but that is all it did. I’ll have to take it to a computer place. I was bummed.

I went back to my room to open some PDFs on gender change forms and the renewal for my license. I tried to change my name on the form but it’s preprinted on there and I can’t change it. I will just bring it with me when I go. I have to have the gender form signed by my doc. I was hoping to copy and paste a letter so it would be easier for my doc to write but I wanted to do that on my other laptop. Now I will have to do it on this old one. I hope I don’t have to buy a new laptop. That will really suck. I wanted to print off the forms but I have no energy for it. I will do it tomorrow.

After surfing the web for a while, I got tired so laid down until my mother called me down for supper. I mashed the potatoes for my mother and then got the dishes ready while she rested as her back was hurting. After we ate, I put the stuff away. My foot started to act up. I still feel pretty tired. I am sure I will sleep good tonight in my own bed, without staff opening and closing my door every 15 minutes.

I am dying to make an egg burrito tomorrow morning. I really didn’t have eggs while I was in the hospital because they were watery. I like making my own eggs. I might have to buy new half and half because it’s a week old and possibly throw away the almond milk, too. Last time I used it after an admission it wasn’t good. Least I don’t have to worry about the ice cream going bad.

Going home tomorrow

Met with my team this morning. We discussed discharge and I will be going home tomorrow because Friday is a holiday. Crummy SW ask if there was something to work on and I was like no. Like seriously, you came back on Monday and haven’t done a thing for me so why are you asking now? Idiot. My sis will be giving me a ride after she gets out of work. It might be a while as traffic could be terrible. 

Pain wise I am hurting. I was in the boot most of the day and took it off on second shift as my ankle bone was smarting. Now my foot is hurting, all three metatarsals. I can’t take anything until it is time for night meds.

I am glad I am going home. I looked at stuff my psych needs to fill out for my gender change for the motor vehicles registration. I also need a letter from her. Once I have it, I can then go to Social security to also change my gender.

I got to get my pain meds when I am out of here. I asked my mother to go through my pile of mail to see if my new insurance cards came for my prescription plan but it didn’t. I’m glad because I won’t be able to change my license for another 2 weeks. 

Pain is a 12 right now. All I did was throw shit out and ankle freezes up. I can’t bear weight at all on it. Staff provided a wheelchair for me to get around. I’m glad I’m in my room. It was getting really warm in the hallway. I still have a window open in my room. I’m glad I didn’t shut it. I’m in a rotten mood.