My friend/landlady said she would come to visit today around noon and I was like “oh great!” Then she said she would have her son with her. Why the fuck would you bring a young kid to the psych ward? Now I wish she wasn’t coming but what can I do? He’ll be restless and bored and we won’t be able to chat so what is the point? Annoying.
I’ve had a migraine since two days ago so I’m just trying to stay awake until a decent bedtime to fix my sleep schedule. It is dead here with everyone out on passes, predictably. I just feel numb.
I feel just… wound up, like I have to get out of here before the rest of my life outside falls apart. The meds aren’t helping (yet), I cry when I go to groups, I’m bored and exhausted and on the verge of tears all at the same time. I’m only allowed to use my iPad after 4 pm (not to use it instead of going to groups) and I haven’t had the energy to blog after what seems like an endlessly long day. I just feel awful, basically.
I feel like I’m fine, then the nurse comes in and asks me that and I get all teary. My back hurts like a bitch if I move the wrong way, I have this shooting pain right through my butt cheek, so I was on the floor (which badly needs a Swiffer, so, gross) stretching for 40 minutes again, which barely helped. I am sure it’s a “jammed up SI joint” which is what my massage therapist has said in the past so maybe I will have to wait until I can get in for an appointment for a massage or chiro to help.
Anyway, back to the nurse coming in. He is a middle-aged Asian man, and came in to take my vitals and talk to me for a bit. He asked why I was here and “when was the last time I was in the hospital”, which I found interesting – now it’s assumed I’ve been in before, I’m chronic, that I am a Long-Term Mental Case. It is different from the last time I was here ten months ago, and I don’t like it.
So he asked why I was here (what had happened to make the depression worse) and I explained that for one thing I’d been waiting on a pain clinic referral since June and they’d called with an appointment time for next March, so the whole area of Dealing with Migraine is depressing, and then I started crying. Then we briefly went out over the other areas of my life (friends? Work?) and I cried while explaining them, or the lack of them.
I had two friends visit Thursday, then one coming today and one tomorrow, which is good because the weekends here are really dull – everyone is out on passes, there are no groups, etc., so I am actually welcoming the idea of social contact. Being in the hospital is already way more social contact than I ever get at baseline – I get hello and good night from my office mates at work, aaand… I make and am able to follow through on social plans every few months. I went to a movie with one friend in January, and went to another friend’s house in, I’m gonna say, around July? to visit and do some crafts. Otherwise it’s work and migraines. It’s a fucking depressing life.
The hospital only has an ancient migraine medication, which I haven’t taken since the 1990’s, and they keep saying “Maybe someone could bring in some meds from home?” But I don’t want that because all my meds are together in a train case and someone might just bring all of them in instead of picking through them, like I asked for – that’s what happened last time – and then they could take my suicide/overdose stash without my being able to stop them. I don’t want that; if they get me feeling better then fine, but if they don’t I want that option open to me, to be my own choice.
I had emailed Beth last week to say how crappy I was feeling. She responded with what, to me, was an unbelievable email:
I am really troubled that you are letting yourself spiral down again.
I know you can rise above your current feelings of hopelessness because I have seen you do it before, but YOU have to decide that. There are good things in life if one CHOOSES to look for them, acknowledge them and be thankful for them. There can be joy even in the small and mundane things in life.
I wrote back saying that I couldn’t believe I hadn’t managed to explain to her that depression is not just a choice… and let’s not talk about it anymore… then when I was admitted to hospital I emailed my cell number and said I knew her heart was in the right place, that I wasn’t well so hadn’t responded at my best.
She hasn’t called or emailed, and I sent that yesterday afternoon. So I’m sad and disappointed. And I am not sure how to interpret it — are they busy? They are scared of saying the wrong thing? Be it noted forevermore that just dropping out is the only truly wrong thing you can do with a depressed friend.
On the bright side, one of my long-distance friends called tonight and it made me feel like myself to talk to her. I would actually rather connect more with my long-term long distance friends than have most people visit in person, because then there is a kind of pressure to hold up my end that doesn’t seem worth the trouble.
So the psychiatrist came to talk to me today, as happens every day, and I was laying (laying? Lying? Never can remember that one) there crying. Nothing too particular, this was just the fourth day of a migraine and I had self-harmed after asking the nurse for ibuprofen and then she forgot after I waited an hour, and I took a shower but it was exhausting, etc. etc.
Now it’s evening and I haven’t met my nurse for the night shift yet. I have been waiting to go get my dinner tray but there is this annoying old broad across the hall who has been yelling at the top of her smoker’s voice to the aides about how she’s shit herself so I want to make sure they are good and done with her before I have anything to do with food. At lunch they took the trays out and put them on the tables but ha! I grabbed mine and ran back to my room with it. I’m not normally socially anxious but I get really in a mood to hide here.
Anyway, the options. They are thinking of trying a new antidepressant that is an antiinflammatory, I will need to look it up -but I am relieved that we are not going with MAOI’s as a first choice. I was getting antsy about all the dietary restrictions. It’s funny how you can think of being dead soon and think of the future (well, the next few weeks) at the same time and as equally plausible, like you are planning for getting takeout or ordering pizza. Weird, but that is how it is.
i thought, maybe I have a migraine partly because I haven’t eaten. I mean, I’ve had a cup of milk or juice and a little fruit cup and some saltines, at most, at every meal but I realize that probably doesn’t count as Not Skipping a Meal where my migraine is concerned.
So I took the top off the hospital dinner to see if I could try it – chicken with broccoli, and pasta in tomato sauce – and got so nauseous. I got that rush of watery spit you get just before you are going to throw up and everything. I had thought that being in pain was so distasteful that eating might be less so, but nope, I just really can’t do it. I don’t know why – I don’t feel hungry, but that can’t be all of it.
It didn’t bother me when I was in the hospital before, and losing like 15 pounds in two weeks sure didn’t bother me, and tonight’s experience makes me feel like not trying again.
I called the outpatient mental health nurse, who I see every couple of months, to say I couldn’t make our appointment tomorrow, and why. She left me a nice voicemail but said that even though my psychiatrist walked me down, I went with him, and that shows a sign of hope or of trusting someone, or something like that.
Um, I think that’s nonsense. Once he decided to certify me I really had no choice. If I ran away from him on the way to the ER? They’d get security after me, and if I managed to outrun them they would call the police who would go to my house and legit break the door down. So unless I planned to suddenly go on the lam and not go home again in the next few days, which would mean I couldn’t kill myself the way I wanted because that’s where the pills are, that doesn’t seem like a course of action that would realistically end well for me. That, to my mind, is why I didn’t “choose” to run.
So i cut myself, if you can call it that (it is really more like scratches) when I get really upset. I managed a pretty wide but shallow slice in the emergency room with a broken gel nail and a plastic knife, then when I got back here I had the heavy foil that comes on top of milk and juice, that you can fold into a half-ass cutter.
I have had a migraine for 3 days now, which they are giving me some medication for at least, but most of the drugs I usually take aren’t “in the formulary” so the hospital pharmacy doesn’t have them.
Anyway, I asked for Ensure instead of supper like twice but they brought me a supper tray anyway with, yes, some milk that had my favourite foil topper. So I scratched myself with it a bit, and then was refolding it on my little bedside table with my plastic knife, and my nurse walks in. Shit! Look casual, I think. Ya, right.
Also I have a pair of wrist warmers, to cover the cuts, and had the one on the arm I was cutting pulled up. So I was like “oh hi!” and backed away from the table and sat up on the bed and he said hi and asked how I was doing, and by the way how were my feelings of self harm, had I been thinking of it? So I obviously was not at all successful in my attempts to Act Natural, which made me feel like a stupid asshole.
He said that obviously they couldn’t stop me (you could bite into your wrist with your own teeth if you were motivated enough) but that they hoped I could choose different coping strategies, etc. And I mean, I would hope so too… if deep breathing or colouring books had the instant endorphin rush I’d do them instead, but they don’t!
It is safe, I’ll give them that, but an awful place to spend more than an hour or two. The bed is a “Stryker” cot that absolutely kills my back. The walls are coated in some kind of plastic wallpaper so you can’t gouge out the drywall, the light fixtures and outlets are all smooth cornered with special screws, and of course the door locks from the outside. Oh, and there is a prison style sink and toilet, ew. Right in the room, no lid on the toilet, they could walk in anytime. My appetite disappears when I have depression so I won’t be having to make any number 2’s at least.
The light is always on – they turned off the main fluorescent fixtures to be kind to my migraine, but there is a pot light. It’s very loud – monitors, nurses talking to patients, people walking. Practically impossible to sleep.