Just over a month ago, in Oops, I Did It Again, I talked about an appointment with Brent in which I expressed some suicidal ideation and he did not think I needed to be in inpatient. Fast-forward a week to A Narrow Miss and I had developed a plan (a combination of pills on January 1st) and Sadie reluctantly let me leave after signing a safety contract.
The plan was only to be enacted if life didn’t improve before the 1st, and life did improve. I bought a car only 2 weeks after totalling the previous one. It’s the same model and same year, just a different color (and in slightly better condition). I also adopted another cat, a very sweet-tempered Russian Blue. I no longer wanted to die.
Even so, I felt there was about a 10% chance of me acting on the plan anyway. I felt like I was going to fail by not following through. I was also feeling physical heartache over every little thing that happened. Despite my goal to get through all of 2015 without going to inpatient, I packed a bag and told Sadie that I thought it was time to go. I had to go to work doing yearly inventory, but on the 31st I had appointments with both Sadie and Brent scheduled and I fully expected to go to inpatient after seeing them.
Sadie was in favor of inpatient. She seemed to think that I would be okay if I didn’t go, but was concerned about that 10% chance of suicide. I was feeling a little better when I saw her, but the thoughts still wouldn’t leave my mind and she felt that inpatient would be willing to admit me if I told them the same things I had told her. I decided I would go to my appointment with Brent before making my final decision, but I really expected to be admitted.
It didn’t happen. I wasn’t feeling suicidal right that second and Brent said there was no reason for me to be in inpatient. So I went home, crying, and the next day I went to work with a bottle of Wellbutrin in my purse. I spent all day obsessing over taking it. Work was slow, so there was plenty of time to obsess. I managed to get through the day without taking the pills, but after texting with a friend I was pretty convinced I should go to the ER. I didn’t want my mom to be mad at me though, so I went home after work.
I was staring off into space when mom asked what I was thinking. I said, “I don’t want you to be mad at me…” She said, “But you want to go to the hospital and be admitted.” She said she would take me, but then she put her nightgown on. She said I could have her get dressed again, but I couldn’t work up the courage to ask.
The next day we went out shopping, primarily to go to an antique mall she wanted to visit. I was feeling a lot better that day, but kept worrying. I’m due to go to Chicago on the 9th to visit my best friend, and what if things got worse again and I did have to go to inpatient? If I didn’t go right away, I probably wouldn’t get out in time. So when we got home from shopping, I picked up the bag I’d had packed for several days and we headed to the ER.
Bear in mind that I work at the local hospital and pass through the ER on almost a daily basis. The nurse practitioner they sent to see me was a stranger, as was the nurse who took my vitals, but when I pressed the call button to ask for water it was a unit clerk I know who came in. He brought me two bottles of water and didn’t act weird at all about the fact that I was there, despite knowing that I was waiting for the on-call therapist to show up. In fact, he had to call over to CMHC after I’d been waiting over an hour, as the on-call therapist was late.
When the on-call therapist, a man I hadn’t met before, did show up, I explained why I was there and he agreed that inpatient seemed like a good idea, so he called the psychiatrist to get approval. I signed the paperwork to be transferred into inpatient, and he walked me downstairs and through the cafeteria, and when I set foot in the cafeteria I started panicking and whispering to mom, “I can’t do this. Don’t make me do this.” I expected her to stop the on-call therapist and ask if there was a way for me to back out, but instead she just said, “Too late, sweetie.”
I did calm down once I actually got inside and started the admissions process. Stories from my stay will be forthcoming, but at this point I’ll just summarize that I was there for 4 nights and got one med adjustment. They kept all my existing meds, but at my prompting added Lamictal. At this point I’m taking 25 mg twice a day, and the next dose increase probably won’t happen until I see Brent on the 27th.
The other important point is that, when I was released yesterday, I was expecting to go to an appointment with Sadie that afternoon. I called over from the inpatient unit to verify I still had the appointment and found out it had been cancelled. I was panicking all over the place, shaking and pacing around the room. Jean passed through and asked how I was, and I said, “Not good. Anxious.” She asked why and when I explained she told me to go to the nurse’s desk and ask the people there to call and try to get me another appointment.
It turns out, one of those people was the one who cancelled my appointment. I was pissed, but remained civilized. She did try to get me an appointment but they didn’t have anything available except for a day in the middle of my trip. I was still a bit panicked when mom arrived to pick me up, but it resolved later in the day. I e-mailed Sadie to tell her I was sorry I wouldn’t see her until after the trip and she ended up having a time available on Friday morning. I’ll have to cut it a little short in order to get to work on time, but I’m so relieved I’ll get to see her.