Last month, I was admitted to the psychiatric hospital for a variety of reasons. I was extremely suicidal, severely depressed, my medications were not working properly, and I just couldn’t get my bipolar disorder roller coaster under control. Not a novice to the whole “hospital” thing (I had 2 visits previously at another location) I knew that I had to attend the scheduled group sessions and do what the nurses and my assigned treating pDoc asked and I would be out in no time, and thus considered cured.
And that’s exactly what I did.
Until the meds went completely wrong.
My vision was off, I began hallucinating, my hands had tremors so bad I could barely hold a utensil to eat, and I couldn’t stand or walk. At that time, my legs were not just slightly tremoring, but shaking so badly the staff was afraid I was going to fall while trying to walk. Finally, on the 10th day, the doctor decided that the shakiness of my legs and arms had receded enough to enable me to go home. So I did, with the instruction to follow up with my regular pDoc. (Standard instructions.)
Now, a little side note. Why did the medication go so completely wrong? Well, by the time the pDoc in the hospital saw me for the first time, it was almost 2 days after I had first gone to the ER at the hospital I always go to! Why? Due to the lack of available “beds” there, they had to find a facility that DID have room for me. By the time they hunted around, got me transported, and then admitted, it was so late in the day, I could not see a doctor that day. Without seeing a doctor, they could not give me any meds (regardless of all my prescription bottles I had in my purse with instructions on them), so my last doses were the ones I had taken in the morning on the day I went to the ER. When I did get to see the pDoc he was convinced that I was not bipolar at all and just depressed. He wouldn’t give me my mood stabilizer because he had taken my blood levels (and since I had been 2 days without my mood stabilizer (Lithium)), the results showed that my levels were below the “therapeutic level” which this doctor interpreted to mean that the mood stabilizer wasn’t doing anything for me, so just one more thing confirming his “just depression and not bipolar” diagnosis, so I didn’t need the mood stabilizer.
After I was discharged, I followed up with my original pDoc and he was furious that this doctor had given me the diagnosis of depression after only speaking with me for about 5 minutes. He then tweaked the meds the doctor in the hospital had given me, but the shakes didnt stop. (Did I mention that the hospital doc also decided my Effexor wasn’t working and weened me off in 4 DAYS when the typical weening time for Effexor is several weeks because the withdrawal effects are so severe) I was beginning to become quite irritated at my inability to walk and use my arms. I couldn’t even type! Finally, with one more tweak of the meds by my Pdoc and suddenly, the shakes are stopping!!! HORRAYYYY!!!!!!!!
The shakes may have stopped, but the thoughts and the depression and overall sense of “I’m a loser,” and “What the hell happened to my life, I used to live on my own, have a place to live, had a job, and a career and now live on an inflatable mattress across from my parents bedroom,” attitude and for the life of me I can’t get rid of it. It won’t go away. I keep plastering on that smile and keep telling everyone “yes, I’m feeling better,” when really I’m not. But I think people are sick of me saying I don’t feel better. Who wants to hear that shit anymore. Have you ever been a “medicine test dummy”??? It’s not fun!!!! And here I am, a month later from my admission to the hospital, feeling like I need to go readmit myself because I can’t do it. I just can’t do it.
My life has become something so far from anything I ever dreamed it to be. There is one thing I am holding on to with all my might, but even they almost aren’t enough to keep my head above water.
I try everyday to get out of bed and do things. And I do them. I never finish anything because I can’t focus (oh yea, hospital doc took me off adderall which I had been on for about 7 years) so I don’t even feel like I’ve done anything worthwhile or important that day. I can’t help but want to just rip my heart and my brain out so these thoughts would stop and these feelings would just go away. I want to be a normal person again.
The last time I had gotten out of the hospital and went through all the therapy, it took 6 YEARS for me to relapse and end up in the hospital. This time it took me 1 month. What has happened to me? The strong fighter that everyone knew? She gave up when her brother gave up on her. She gave up when her ex-husband gave up on her. She gave up when her friends gave up on her. So now what??? Do I go to the hospital? Do I sit here all night long and cry? What do I do? I need these thoughts to stop. I don’t need those thoughts anymore.