Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Rain-outside and in my heart

I'm so tired I can't keep my eyes open, despite the three cups of coffee I had prior to getting in the car and being taken to my psychiatrist. All I can think about now, as I wait in her waiting room is how my bladder is filling.

A very tall, handsome man comes in with a briefcase and a laptop. He sits down next to my mother and I, says hello, and opens the briefcase. I can see samples of Abilify. Ah! A Bristol Myers salesman! Not unexpected, I am just a few miles or so from BM US headquarters, as the crow flies.

Eventually, the doc comes out of her office, and ushers me inside. Everything is turned around, the couch is on another wall, and the chairs are facing a different direction. It turns me around, I do not like it. It's like the Feng Shui in the room is totally messed up by moving the chairs and couch around to different sides. I tell her I don't like it, and she says it was done by the person she shares an office with. Every time she moves them back, the next day they are in this pattern. I sense she is frustrated.

We talk a little small talk. I have 10 minutes total. One and a half minutes to small talk. One minute at the end  to pay, get a receipt and make the next appointment. Seven and a half to  Eight minutes for everything else.

The small talk comes easy. As a whole, I like my psychiatrist. She's about my age, the mother of a teenager and a pre teenager. She's a little smaller than me- I'm 5 feet tall, and she is 4 feet 10 inches. We both complain about our short stature and problems it entails. It's like we share one common bond.

It's really the only other thing we have in common.  She asks me the standard questions, I answer. She tells me flat out she thinks I should be in the hospital- I'm non compos mentis. My foggy brain kick starts- something lights up the gray cells and I hear myself saying "No. I've been in the hospital twice during the month of December. They are very short staffed. I don't want to go in now. Let's wait."

She's not sure. She asks me to consider going to this address (Robert Wood Johnson) and going inpatient. I've never heard of this hospital, I've always gone to Princeton House. i tell her there is no way I would ever go back as an impatient to Princeton House. She suggests Carrier. I don't know about this one, but I do know they let you keep stuffed animals with you.

I tell her I cannot go in, I need someone to take care of the cat. I can't afford to send her to the cattery, and I have no one to take care of her. I need someone to collect my mail. It won't work. No. I have a friend who can house sit for me, and cat sit, but he is over 200 miles away. I have to give him notice to get him to visit. Meanwhile...

She raises up out of the chair, and goes to get my mother. She tells my mother flat out I should be in the hospital, and gives her a piece of paper with a number written on it. I tell my mother, in FRONT of my doctor, do not ever call that number, the police will come and it will be involuntary. I won't go in involuntary- my insurance will automatically throw me out after two weeks and I am off to Trenton Psych. Please Don't. Call.

A compromise is worked out. I should get into the Princeton House IOP program- ASAP. And I shall see her once a week until I can get in.

When we are finished, mom takes me to the Omega Diner for lunch. Bless NJ for being the land of the diners. No Waffle Houses, but we have diners. I can't eat. I have a huge whole in my heart, my stomach is in agony. I drink some coffee, and a few spoonfuls of soup. I try not to cry.

"Mom, I don't want to be in any more hospitals , ever. Please promise you won't call that number."

She promises, but I wonder. I tell her how I am trying. I try to get dressed every day in clean clothes, shower. Some days that is pretty much all I can do. Some days I can do a bit more- the agoraphobia abates and I can leave my apartment. Go shopping. Go do things. Be around people. Other days I am so ... if I leave my bed, it's to use the toilet and feed the kitty.

I try to tell her my problems with out patient therapy- I've had as much if not more education than the therapists, and I know what they are doing. I've had the same courses. People might get better from these things, but I know too much about them. It's futile. This is why doctors make the worst patients. I even tell both psychiatrist and my mom I am seriously thinking of auditing a  psych class at the university to see if I could get a MSW or a PhD. Let's see if my brain can do it. I tell both of them I want to help other people who have been in my shoes, if I can get my stuff together, I can help others; be a better advocate.

It's just- well, I don't know. Futile. I'm doing the best I can.

For the last three days it's been raining. The mail carrier drops off my mail and forgets to shut the lid. Magazines and letters are destroyed from water. My cat is bored because the squirrels are not playing outside. She sleeps a bit more than normal. I can relate. I feel like sleeping more too. It's a Herculean effort to stay awake with the med cocktail I am on. No psych meds, just other meds to deal with the side effects brought on from the psych drugs.

In analyzing Literature, rain is the sign of renewal, rebirth. In analyzing art, it's the total opposite. Depression. It makes no sense to me. It's almost bipolar in it's reasoning, or is it like Ying and Yang? I can't decide. I don't know.

I don't know what I am anymore. It's very complicated. All I know is it's like the line from Robert Frost- I have miles to go before I sleep. I have miles of things to ponder and try to overcome before I go to sleep.


Spanner said...

Hi Susan, sorry you're having a tough time. Get stronger and better. Who else am I gonna share my donuts with?

Onwards and upwards, Spanner x

dfowler1976 said...

Susan, Devon here, your facebook friend I feel your pain, why are you needing to go inpatient?

Where do you live? I live in Marblehead Ma, I'm doing terribly.

Beautiful writing, you're doing better than me if you can go back to school...

Ruth said...

Sorry to hear you are struggling right now. Sometimes learning the theory doesn't help with the application. If life were school, I would say I have trouble with the lab.

Rossa Forbes said...

I feel quite angry on your behalf. How can you be non compos mentis if you write so cogently about your own feelings and frustrations? How can this person claim to be a psychiatrist if she only sees you for ten minutes? Hang in there, okay?

Med said...

This post was just beautiful.

Kristy said...

Hang in there! Have you tried light therapy. It has helped me in the past. I just have to watch it not to get to manic. I would be very angry if my mother and psych wouldnt follow my wishes.

Deputy's Wife said...

I am so sorry you're having to go through all of this! Please be reassured that you have helped me,just by your writing. Thanks to you, whether you know it or not, have helped me become my own advocate and make informed decisions for myself regarding my mental health. :) I can never repay you enough for that! Stay strong!

The Blue Morpho said...

I'm sorry that you are are feeling so badly. I know that words don't help much, but - I think you have a great blog, and I read it a lot. I hope you can find something in this time of year that you can enjoy, even a little thing, and that next year is so much better! Keep blogging, and know that there are lots of folks out there who 'get' depression and are fighting along with you.
Adventures in Anxiety Land

Jen Daisybee said...


I'm sorry things are so difficult for you right now. I'm glad your mom is trying to help you, so at least you are not totally alone in this. I'm glad you have a psychiatrist and aren't one of the people who are untreated and undiagnosed. But I'm really sorry you're going through this. You are a gifted writer, and a logical person who makes a lot of sense. I can see you getting a PhD, but first things first. Little steps are sometimes important before big ones. I think you are capable of getting better and that your mind is definitely capable of getting a PhD someday. Like others, I have read your blog over the years and been helped by it. You are someone who provides a lot of information and support for others, and I hope that you are proud of that fact and that you know that you are a valuable person who is cared about by many.

Fred said...

This is very well-written, even though you feel terrible.

I like your question about yin and yang. The flow between yin and yang are a major part of physical and mental health. I think depression is the slowing or ceasing of that flow.

Sometimes an adventure will get it flowing again.

Hinsley Ford said...

Hi :) It's been so long - not sure if you remember me. I had to leave blogging for a good while, but am considering coming back. What do you think? Do you find it helpful? I am so busy these days, but it might just connect me back to those I held dear. Oh, I wish I could give you a hug, my fellow writer, my fellower sufferer, my long ago blogging buddy. Do you need to talk? I'd be happy to oblige. The world can't lose more talented artists. Lots of love, Hinsley Ford

Kathy Garolsky said...

Very interesting.

Sarah (Nikki) said...

Hey Susan.....really sorry you're struggling...praying things get better really soon.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you are informed and empowered enough to have a say in your life experiences and treatment.

Love that you stand up for your self.

hypnosis for anxiety said...

Every struggle is a man's challenge to become stronger in life. Don't get yourself stressed too much and we all know that you can overcome all of your problems.

TheMarchHare said...

You are a very powerful inspiration and seem to be doing unbelievably well despite the horrible things you are dealing with which make me realize that I have no reason to complain although I can relate to a good deal of it, definitely keep going please.

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