So to pick up my story of heading to the hospital…..
I was aware enough to know a few things. One was that I needed to let some people know, including YOU, my faithful blog readers. Even though you don’t know me, I figured you might get uneasy if I just dropped off the face of the earth. So I put a little post up for you. I also was able to text my good friends and let them know. I gave them my husband’s cell number in case they needed to call.
So we packed a few things and headed down to the hospital. One thing that’s important to remember is my emotional state. Every time I have entered the hospital I have been crying, sobbing, or just numb. It is a big low point in my life. Getting through the check-in can be tough.
There’s a process to getting in the hospital. You have to start with your insurance info at one desk. That went fast. I imagine me crying and blubbering made the guy type faster. It was quiet in that room, but I didn’t care. And why should I? If I am sick enough to be in a psych hospital, I am sick enough to cry in public. And should one really count a psych hospital lobby as “public”? I think not.
Once they know you are insured, they take you to a room where a social worker talks to you. They ask you a million questions. Have you ever been on drugs? Do you smoke? Does anyone in your family have MI issues? Any abuse in your history? And it goes on and on.
Now I understand they need to know this info. But they repeat exactly the same questions 5 or 6 times as you pass down the receiving line. And since you don’t feel too good to start with….this isn’t much fun.
They made my husband leave and took me to a room. The nurse asked me to take off my clothes and she gave me a set of hospital scrubs. (I honestly thought she was going to search me for drugs or something but she didn’t.) She took me to a room called the “chair” room.
The chair room is a new invention since I was last at the hospital. It’s sort of purgatory…. a place between the outside and the hospital. This is where they send you when there are no hospital beds open and you have to wait.
This doesn’t sound too bad, I guess, unless you are sobbing yourself apart and exhausted.
I get in the chair room and look around. It’s absolutely bizarre. It’s an immaculate room about half the size of a school cafeteria with no windows. Inside are rows of recliners set up like children’s desks. There were about thirty chairs in all. And there was a person sleeping in each of these chairs, except one. Mine.
There was a nurse’s station off to the side with about 10 nurses floating around. There was one doctor there all night and day. There were three “techs” at a time sitting at the back of the room. Their job was to unlock the bathroom door and generally maintain order I think. They were busy on their iPads, etc. and didn’t pay much attention to us.
They got me into a recliner and gave me some Ativan. It was weird to be tranquilized and staring around at all these other people sleeping. There was a huge TV on the front wall and we were all faced that way. They played a series called “Justified”. This was fine until you realized they were playing the same episode on repeat.
The recliner laid all the way back so you could sleep. They gave you four thin blankets: one to tie over the top back of the chair, one for the seat of it, one to serve as a pillow, and one to throw over the top of you.
Food came on a tray for each meal. I don’t remember a lot about this. All I do recall are the long nights and watching the other sleepers. It was like something out of a Robin Cook medical thriller.
I kept crying quietly and this one nurse kept coming by to ask me why I was crying. Which I mean, honest to God, is a lame ass question. Trapped in a recliner watching a repeat of Justified? Seeing more visions of things streaming out of the TV? No shower? (And you know I hate showers.)
I was there 48 hours before I got a bed.
When I got to the hospital proper, the first thing some guy asked me was “How long were you in chairs?” So now I have a new psych phrase: “in chairs”.
My next post will cover my time in the actual hospital.
As far as an update on my current situation: I am still exhausted. I am sleeping better and I did it without a Valium last night. I am planning on getting my nails done and attending my women’s support group tomorrow. I saw my pdoc on Friday and he left me on all the meds. I see him again in two weeks.
I feel better mentally but still have no energy. And boy am I hungry! I think it is the Abilify. But I have become super vigilant about what I eat. I am determined to at least not gain any weight. I got through part of a yoga DVD yesterday.
I have little interest in my blog. I don’t mean I have little interest in YOU…I appreciate each and every one of you and am glad you are here. But writing is hard. I also have had a hard time listening to my audio books. However, my husband reminded me I have not been out of the hospital that long.
I do feel restless and think once I get going, I will have more desire to go places. I already have two activities set up with good friends in the next couple of weeks. I am so determined not to cancel.
But let’s start with tomorrow…my nails and the women’s group. One day at a time, right?
So I will be back in a couple of days with another chapter of the fiction. And then the final installment of my hospital journey.
You all could help me if you’d like. Do you have any questions about being in the hospital? If you do, put them in the comments section. This will help me have a prompt to get started by.
love and hugs to all,