Wednesday, December 7, 2011
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.