Saturday, March 14, 2009

Lost My Marbles

Somewhere during our vacation I went nutso. I tried fighting it and ignoring it as long as I could. It was like Barbara had left the building and some crazy woman had stepped into her place. This progressed over the days we were gone, but the last day was the worst.

Seriously.. if I didn't know that people with split personalities black out during times when another personality takes over, I would swear that was what had happened to me. But then most of my knowledge on this comes from movies and TV.

It was like someone else had control of me. Someone mean, spiteful, angry, irrational. At one point on the last day I had pulled over because I knew the puppy needed to walk. Hubby opened his door and I told him don't get out of the car. He started to anyway and I told him if you get out of the car I'm going to leave your ass here. He got out and I took off. Luckily there was a small part of sanity left in my head and I circled back and got him.

Later in the day when he was driving and I was trying to nap, he stopped to get gas. He woke me to see if I needed to use the bathroom and get something to eat. I could not speak. I could not move. I just started straight ahead and wondered what the fuck was wrong with me.. or better yet, where the fuck had I gone. I sure as hell wasn't there.. not in my head. Hubby tried to take the pillow I was holding in my lap so I could get out and I pulled it back and hugged it.

We sat there a while and then I did manage to get out and walk into the gas station to use the bathroom. It was one of those exit ramp gas stations that have everything under the sun including microwaveable food, coffees, cappuccinos, etc. I remember I had to wind my way around lots of people and all of them scared the shit out of me. I walked like a zombie.

When I got back into the car I burst out in tears then quick as a flash I burst out in almost maniacal laughter about something. Hubby mumbled that we needed to get home ASAP.

I spent most of the remainder of the trip sleeping. (I'm sure this was a relief to hubby.) Things have not gotten better since I've been home.

Like I said a few posts ago, I was out of almost out of meds and was taking what I had inconsistently, trying to make them stretch. My doctor's office is only open until noon on Fridays and I overslept that. I called the insurance mental health referral number yesterday and the earliest appointment I could get was for March 31. I took it. and am also on a cancellation list and can maybe get seen sooner.

Yesterday evening we went to the ER. I needed refills on the meds I'm out of and the mental health place said I should go there if things became unmanageable. I was able to get a shot of Ativan (relaxant) while there and small refills for Xanax and Lamcital (anti-depressant). Enough to hold me until I can get in to see my primary physician early next week.

Today has been hell. I look at the mess from unloading the car and I freak out. I start shaking uncontrollably, crying and stuttering that I just cannot deal with it. I don't even know where to start. I retreat (run) back here to my PC room and mindlessly play Pogo Games.

I see now that I need to be back under the care of a psychiatrist. I see that my primary physician is not able to correctly diagnose or treat me.

A therapist once told me that all I can do is all I can do.. and apparently sitting here trying to maintain and keep my ass out of a psychiatric hospital is all I can do. I'm actually very open to the idea of admitting myself if not for the fact that there would be no one left at home to care for the puppy when hubby returns to work on Monday. That may not be a consideration if things don't improve quickly.

I've had many, many ups and downs and episodes of mental instability over the years, but nothing even comes close to what the last few days have been like. Besides being nutso, and I'm also very scared being like this. So very out of control.

I doubt I've been able to get across how awful this has been.. still is. I've had more than one therapist/counselor say that it's hard to get a good read on me because I'm good at articulating my problems. I guess people with severe mental health issues are supposed to be slobbering, drooling and sitting in a corner sucking their thumbs, or in really bad cases, something else. I can honestly say I haven't reached that point. Yet.

A quick word about psychiatric hospitals. What you may know of them from movies and TV are so far from accurate it's not funny. There are no psychologist or therapists available to you at any given point in a day. There's no couch for you to lay on and go over your life and how messed up it may have been. Or even really to discuss the current problems.

You go to groups and you see a psychiatrist maybe once a day for ten minutes to review your meds. If you act up or act out, you get put in a quiet room. This is a room where you are put in restraints and heavily medicated until you are safe to be back out in the general population.

The rest of the time you can sit in your room (not a private one, by the way) and read, write, sleep. You can hang out in the community room and do puzzles or watch TV shows or G-Rated movies, at the discretion of the staff. They are not there to cure you. They are there to medicate you. Once they feel that has been done to their satisfaction, you are tossed back out into the world. Back into the same mess you left. I have admitted myself to psychiatric hospitals three or four times in the past. I do not want to go back at this point.

The redeeming factor in what's going on with me is that I don't feel suicidal or murderous. I don't even feel like cutting up my arms.. something I've done in the past. If I did feel like this I would find myself being admitted involuntarily.

Hubby, probably the most unsung hero of all time, is trying to take up the slack.

Obviously I'm not up to blogging much or visiting other blogs. Please forgive me during this time while I try to pull myself together. I do have a few paid/sponsored posts to do and will keep up on those. (Like mentioning netbooks in this one.)


??? said...

I hope that things will get better for you soon and that you will find a good solution. Reading about your trip was frightening, I can't imagine how hard it has been for you and your husband.
It's sad that there's so little money devoted to health care that psychiatric hospitals are little more than storage facilities. *hugs* to you and your husband, tell him that a complete stranger said that he's awesome for taking care of you.

i beati said...

I so identify with what you are writing here. It is a rough road and takes very special people to fully understaND SK

Jeni said...

Your description about psych wards/hospitals -so true! The one time I spent one week in one -I saw the shrink once! No counselors, no therapists -just nurses, handing out meds and taking head counts basically. No group therapy either. It was a nice enough place to visit -three meals a day that I didn't have to fix -but I sure as hell wouldn't want to stay/live there!
Barb, I hope you get the help you need and are able to get it soon too. Whatever the cause, when one is in a frame of mind that isn't exactly stable, it's difficult to explain the anguish it creates within so others can hopefully fathom the pain. And even then, generally only those who have experienced some problems along those lines can get a little grasp on what happens within others minds, ya know.
Peace, my friend. And prayers as well.

Misty DawnS said...

Do NOT apologize for needing time for YOU! We'll be here... You take care of yourself - that's what's important!

And - hug your banana several times a day - it's good for you emotionally!

Lucy said...

as I read this skits and my heart aches for you, I am blown away by HOW in-tune you are to what your needs are and How to find help. I think you're amazing! To be in a state like this, yet recognize whats best seems VErY Positive. I know you will feel better soon, YOU are taking care of you and that puts u in good hands! be well! I am here for u! xoxo

Grace said...

Barb... I found you through HoTs... but I follow you now because I've come to love your blog. My heart hurts for you after reading about your vacation. I will be praying that things straighten out for you soon and you are back to being managed. Thank God for your hubby... actually... you both are wonderful. Bipolar doesn't mean you are... how did you say it?...slobbering, drooling... no, how dare people think that... expecially the health community.

Queen-Size funny bone said...

You do what you have to do to feel better. Unfortunately these days its all about the drugs because its less work for the professionals.

Carolina said...

Oh Barb, I'm so sorry for you! And I so admire you for your ability to explain how you feel and just talk about it. That must help you so much.
I hope you'll get through this quick enough. Please tell your husband that he is the loveliest man on earth and hug your sweet little dog from me.
Hugs my friend ;-)

Anonymous said...

I'm reading backwards and just got here. Hang in there!