In-patient: Day 9 (I can’t fucking take it any more! Plus a timeless Urine-Protest Tale)

Good God (no, I’m an atheist, sorry), and here I was trying to clean up my blog, reorganize my blogroll & mix it up a bit, work on the others, but I have to post.

The women here range from 19 to 60 – there are a handful of the teens and they, again, think they’re on a movie set. One of them is

Why, Angie, WHY?????

thrilled about her insanity, another thinks she’s a Kardashian & goes about with her LV handbag, Prada eyeglasses (mine are Gucci, much less conspicuous) & pink robe all day, fully made up as if some NBA player is going to come swipe her off the unit at any moment. Another has her wrists bandaged, looks troubled and keeps mostly to herself. Her mother just brought pizza for them to eat and sat in the little seating area outside my Room – 238 – and asked if she could say a prayer: “Dear Lord, We thank you for this meal I was able to prepare and that we can be here with J (we?), etc., etc., etc.” Christ, now I’m going to slit MY wrists.

I found a trauma services place that isn’t terrified of high risk patients. We are their specialty. I am waiting to hear back on what kind of a waiting list I am on (I was put on it this morning but am waiting for a call from the Director, I guess they’ll get me in sooner depending on the severity of my case. I don’t even know how to categorize it at this point). In the meantime we raise the Celexa dose and add the hailed LITHIUM tonight. I haven’t been able to take it in the past because of a kidney issue, but apparently – and this was confirmed by the vaunted Wikipedia:

Lithium possesses a very important antisuicidal effect not shown in other stabilizing medications such as antiseizure drugs

So despite my one narrow renal artery, I am going to try it and see if it scares off suicidal thoughts. Strangest pharmaceutical fact I’ve ever heard – 2 drugs (the other one has a billion side effects and is never used) which can target specific lines of thought.  How is that even possible? Well, I just hope it works, and doesn’t cause my kidneys to fail.

All kinds of madness today, Or maybe not, I don’t know. At dinner one of the women kept crying, last night Angie-girl sat in a corner in the hallway all night, this afternoon one of the older women was running and screaming up and down the halls and ended up right outside my room, the staff were cornering her but we had no male staff today and this woman is built like a lumberjack, good thing these girls are skilled in what they do. Somehow they got her into the kitchen and sedated, she showed up at dinner ok. When I went to have my vitals taken there was a very big girl in TATTERS waiting to be taken to her room. Thank God I’m just a quiet suicidal little wreck just keeping to myself in my little cave. I wonder if that’s why I have my own space – don’t disturb the suicidals. Although I swear every time I pass by a convo between patient and team, it sounds like we’re ALL on a suicide ward, not PTSD – I think every girl in here wishes she was dead.

Now playing at Proctor House 2!

One of the younger women, 20’s maybe, had me in stitches last night briefly – I was walking to get my meds & heard a guitar playing and singing coming from the kitchen – when I got just past the kitchen a couple of the women were there fussing with the schedule board. They’d written in “Music Group: 9:15pm”. I got confused…wait, we have ‘music group’?  My fellow inmate said We do NOW! So we stood outside the kitchen kind of giggling to ourselves, but I was thinking it was nice enough that we have a relaxed crowd and people could sit about singing KUMBAYA.

But sure enough the young woman with the guitar – her room is beside mine – tonight she has been playing and singing in her room. To each his own. At least she sang “Hotel California.” I think all tapped women love the Eagles. But we had already established that.

So, enough with the drama, last night at “Wrap-up Group” – end-of-day-wind-the-fuck-down meeting – maybe a third of the girls showed up. So the woman running the meeting asked us to each tell something interesting or different about ourselves. She started us off by telling us about her shark diving experiences – how awesome!!!! I’ll have to add that to my bucket list. If I come up with a list of things I have to do before I kill myself, maybe I can keep myself alive.

So the 1st woman, N, tells us how she went nuts with her thick hair and shaved her head one day, got a wig and then had a date at the carnival a week later.  We were pissing ourselves. The next girl, J, said she had made guacamole with 15 avocados once and that it was

Too many?

way too much. The next woman, the guitarist, told us how she had spent 2 weeks in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina rescuing dogs – that was pretty cool. The next – M – was US National Champion Irish Step Dancer – so I knew she had to be from Boston (I asked her this morning at breakfast, South Boston). The next lady had just been admitted that day, didn’t speak much English, and passed. So it was my turn.

I had two stories I could have told, both of which I had meant to save for my Every Breath is Absurd blog. I went with the shorter, more vulgar one.  In fact it was, probably still is, the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for me. Who would think such an act could be chivalrous?

L & L were babies, I hadn’t gone back to work yet and H was working at Harvard Business School, so in order to make sure his pay checks made it home instead of headed up his nose or into a gambling pit, I used to make the trek from our apartment in Dorchester with the 2 babies all the way to Cambridge and across the Charles to HBS to meet him. I had long forsaken my looks and decided I needed a pick-me-up, so I had scheduled a 5:30 appointment with one of the hair salons in Harvard Square.  When we got there, me in my frumpy clothes and cheap two-seater baby carriage, H in his immaculate Hugo Boss suit and obscene good looks, the owner stepped forward to introduce himself to H.  I was like, WTF?  H stepped aside.

Mortified Salon Owner

Me: Hi, I had a 5:30 appointment scheduled?

MSO: For what?

Me: A wash & cut? What the fuck do you think?

MSO: It will be at least half an hour.

The fancy-shmancy salon was EMPTY.

Empty hair salon for only the most FABULOUS clientele.

I was suddenly ashamed of my total lack of sophistication.  Not Henry. Oops, there I used his name. Well, that’s the first, but I’ll tell you here – Henry died in 2007.

H: I think that place is a little too fabulous for you.

Me: Yeah. I just REALLY need a haircut.

H: You can book somewhere else?

Me: I guess. I felt like a piece of garbage.

H: Tell me you’re NOT going back in there?

I didn’t say anything. I wondered whether I could overcome Dieter back there and leave him no tip. I always looked fabulous after a haircut, surely my transformation would  intimidate him.

Me: No.

H: Give me 2 minutes.

He walked back into the salon. I called briefly after him but we were right there, I thought he was gonna beat the guy up or yell at him or something. Instead he smiled at him and the man marveled at my husband as H slid down the stairs toward the basement. Then the Owner leered at me through the fancy window. I stuck out my tongue. You can’t have him! He belongs to me and to cocaine! Get your own!

H came back pleased with himself. It was chilly, a fall night. (No, I did not go into this much detail in the meeting last night – this is reserved for you lot). We walked back towards the train station, down the brick sidewalks of Harvard Square, the smell of bread being baked tugging at us from Au Bon, a few geeks sitting outside in the cold playing chess. I had always preferred the campus at MIT. H took the baby carriage from me and asked if I wanted to eat in the Square somewhere. The babies were always so good at restaurants, we were told so by the stuffiest of Ivy Leaguers regularly.

Me: What happened?

H: *giggles*

Me: Seriously? Did you say something to him?

H: No, I just used the bathroom. It was really nice, all marble and a crystal chandelier…

Me: Why did you-

H: It’s a bit of a golden chandelier now, probably be dripping for weeks.

OH MY GOD! We both started cracking up at once. And me thinking it’s all romantic.

Me: You are SOOOO sweet! grabbing him by the arm and snuggling into him.

H: What did you think I was gonna do, beat the little guy up? That wouldn’t be fair, even if he did hurt you. You could have taken him.

Fuck, I miss him.

The group was amused, not mortified. The next lady passed, the next one’s brother had been the 1st Pluto at Disney World when it opened, the last lady passed.  We wrapped it up.

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Comments

  1. Ok, on so many levels did I love this post! (Except for the fact that you feel like shit) I took Celexa for over 10yrs and it was awesome. I fucked it all up by taking the prescription meth (phentermine) for so long. MOST people do well on the combo. I also did really well with celexa and wellbutrin. The meth just SERIOUSLY messed me over and now I jave beyond reverse reactions to all medications. Except my beloved klonapin, and im slowly going up on a drug called limictal (sp). I can only increase 25 mg every 3 weeks, I’m at 125 now and need to get to 300 before I notice anything. Nice!
    Next… the ward you’re in sounds similar to the good place I was at. Seriously, we don’t have a lot of options! I love telling stories about the people i’ve met. Some are sad, ok a lot are sad… but there’s some funny ones too!! 🙂 There is nowhere that would allow any kind of technology, shoe strings, even mirrors. And thats the GOOD place! There’s so many differences in the hospitals everyone have been in. I expected more similarities.
    Next… isn’t it seriously crazy how some of those movies (especially girl interrupted ) are like our lives? At certain points … One flew iver the cuckoos nest was filmed close to where I live. I just watched it for the first time a few months ago. F’ing crazy!
    Ok. I think that was it. I’m in my phone and it’s a pain in the ass to type and if I screw up (like iver) I can’t scroll back up.
    Hope something works soon. Laughing helps a lot. Look up Jack Handey jokes (my hero). 🙂 hugs across the country!

    • OMG, JH is my FAVORITE! Him & Napoleon Dynamite soundboards!!!! I’ll try to keep the tales coming.

      I took lamictal at 2 different periods and it didn’t do anything for me, water pill. Everyone pushes it though, so it must work for some, hope it does magic for you.

      I refused to watch girl interrupted, actually, I think it was the whole mental-health-chic bit they were rocking with it. Cuckoo’s Nest – divine!!!!!

      I just heard a clinician tell a patient to “keep those tears closed down” Good lord!

      Big hugs!

      • I’m so pissed cus I responded and it was genius. So this might be sub genius. Blasted.
        I’m hoping that lamictal does something cus I honestly don’t know if there is ANY other drug I can take! I’ve tried them all! I have no coverage in the depression/OCD whateverthefuckelse department!!

        Lets just hope that we’re trading meds for the better. flipping a.

        I am a self punisher! The first thing I do is look for anything that will give me more reason to feel like shit. So of COURSE I watched Girl Interrupted, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest as soon as I got out of the hospital. Girl Interrupted actually helped convince me that yup… I’m BPD! (I’m just way hotter than Winona Ryder, JK!) The very first time I was in the hospital I managed to manipulate my way into getting my computer at night. I have NO IDEA how I got away with that. Not smart on their part. First thing I did? Look up suicide video’s. WTF right? I don’t do that anymore because those images don’t leave, and I have enough. I might again, I dunno. But I don’t right now.

        Close your tears down? WTF. Any word on getting to the other place???

        K, two JK by memory (so don’t quote me)

        It takes a big man to cry. But is takes a bigger man to laugh at that man.
        (my therapist didn’t find that funny)

        I think a mistake a lot of us make is thinking that the state appointed psychiatrist is our “friend”.
        (the hospital didn’t find that funny)

        True… said them both in therapy and in the hospital. Cus fucking A that’s FUNNY!

        (while you’re there, tell everyone that your name is Caw. Then when you hear birds, you can say “the birds seem to be calling my name!”

        Mandi

      • Mandi, I love you!

      • 🙂 Love you too!

  2. You make me laugh every time I read. Kind of tragic, all things considering! Wish i could be there and give you a big RL hug, and hope things turns to the better soon!
    HUG 🙂

  3. Dorothy says:

    Mcclean lets a lot of stuff happen in that ward. Faulkner doesn’t let people smoke, doesn’t let people eat except in certain areas, keeps all of the patients under so much control it’s like a prison. I was wondering how this particular floor was helping your PTSD with all of the “excitement” ……you know, this was really a great read for me since I’ve been in a few times.
    I loved your story about Henry…good for him!!
    Hang in there….hope the celexa does something productive soon and the Lithium doesn’t screw you up.
    A big, washed out , rainy day HUG for you!!!
    Dot

  4. Ha ha that’s a good story.
    And swimming with sharks is sooooo on my bucket list.
    xoxox

  5. I’ll never understand suicidal thoughts. If you need a reason to live, it’s this:

    To create.

    Yeah, who the hell does Hotspur think he is, just coming over here and handwaving everything? Well, I don’t know shit about this, but other people depend on me, and I can’t let them down. And even if I had no one, I depend on me, and I can’t let myself down.

  6. Suicidal thoughts are about as easy to control as cancer, Edward. It is largely thought that Mental Health Awareness is up next, after what I guess I would call the Homosexual Revolution over the past 30 years. Maybe in 30 years you WILL understand. So instead of criticizing on something that you have the luxury of not understanding (and it IS a luxury), do some research. But yeah, Hand-Waving Hotspur, I don’t go about stomping in your lovely garden, either support or shush. Mine is largely a mental health blog. I try to keep it light, but there it is. As Ali G would say “Yo! H’educate!”

    Thanks for your comment. Happy to be challenged.

    Cheers.

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