What Brought You Here?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

But it won't get you ativan. . .

I told my psychiatrist the truth and he didn't fire me.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Moss is Always Greener on the Other Side of the Stump

Tomorrow I have an appointment with the shrink who's covering my new shrink at the formerly-off-limits OP Psychiatry Department of the "better" medical center in town. I like this guy- he treated me when I was on the psych ward (local) last week. He confirmed/ reaffirmed my diagnosis as M.D.D., discontinued my "mood stabilizers", and started me on an ass-kicking new anti-depressant. It seems to be working- almost too well. I was bordering on hypomanic this weekend. But I think I just need to adapt to it. Generally my initial response to anti-Ds (that go on to actually be effective) is a couple weeks of definitive activation syndrome.

I seriously need some Ativan. I promised myself that I would do my best to adhere to Doctors' Orders with this new opportunity. The doctors and other staff of this medical center actually have some experience with Eating Disorders, which has apparently eluded the shrinks at the county mental health center despite their many years of practice and (presumably) hundreds- no, make that thousands, of patients treated.

Dr. Covering New Guy offered to get me in to see a therapist who does EDs. I conceded. Most of my experience in therapy has been regressive and clumsy at best, downright traumatizing at the other end of the spectrum. Perhaps every 12th one was moderately helpful. It's hard to treat an eating disorder on the back of the Federal Poverty and Disability Insurance. It's simply not covered. So I definitely owe myself a trial with an actual referred therapist. It probably won't kill me.

It might even make me stronger. My side of the tree stump still looks greener, despite what I expected before going around it.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Bueller? Bueller?

Is there anybody out there?

I care terribly what you think of me, or even that you think of me at all.

Please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please leave a comment. Any comment at all, including the silly and unrelated. Just stroke my ego.

Examples: It's raining frogs and grape jelly in the UP today.


Yo! I'm here!

Istanbul was Constantinople

In addition to colostomy bag guy, there were other fascinating characters populating the tragicomedy of my latest admit to that fine public institution, the state hospital. Take, for instance, the Turk. He spoke perfectly decent English, suitable for embellishing on his illustrious- and presumably largely imaginary- academic career. He claimed a portfolio spread of PhDs in the hard sciences and in literature, decorated by any number of Nobel prizes. Yet he also claimed to have been born in 1996, which was clearly a delusion. He was easily three times the age he claimed. He would hold forth with extended manifestos of silliness in his native language, but he was entirely harmless and generally friendly.

Unfortunately he stuck out like a sore thumb on this secure ward of a midwestern and somewhat ignorant state hospital and caught a disproportionate amount of grief merely for expressing himself in his native tongue- from both the more agitated and aggressive patients and- a great deal less acceptably- from much of the staff. He was repeatedly singled out as being "loud" and sent to his room several times a day for not speaking English.

I actually enjoyed him, in measured doses. He was neither hostile nor agressively sexual toward me/ the limited female population. He clearly had a good head on his shoulders underneath all the detritus. And he taught me a Turkish word- "dura"- which means "hold on/ wait a minute."

He also served endless entertainment unbeknowest to him thanks to his unbelievably high-waisted jeans.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I am the ultimate asshole

Nothing poetic about it- I am scum of the earth and, ultimately, show loyalty and love only to my twisted compulsions.

I had some hope today- an appointment with a shrink experienced in eating disorders. I promised myself and all who would listen that I was going to do my damnedest to let him lead me and give all doctor's orders a silent but fair trial. Because clearly, I fail utterly and completely at taking charge of my own life. I was prepared to try medications that turn me into a fat-swarthed, drooling, twitching captive. I was expecting to be ordered back into therapy. I psyched myself out to be brainwashed by the 12 steps. I was expecting to be admitted to rehab or an EDU. I was hoping that he would perform some kind of magic to get me charity aid, as centers that actually treat both EDs and other addictions concurrently as few and far between, and none are covered by my state Medicaid.

Unfortunately, nobody bothered to note down that I was given an appointment today- instead they some assigned me the 30th of October. "If I make it that long," I wanted to mutter under my breath, but the reality is far too graphic and dire to diminish with a pathological passive-aggresive reply. I feel like another chunk of me dies every day and I am sick and tired and I will probably have to abruptly stop taking the anti-convulant prescribed to me because I don't have enough refills to last another month-and-a-half.

I just wish I had some goddamn ativan. And some sort of effective sleeping aid. If I could sleep until the date of that appointment, it would at least slow down the deterioration of all of me.

I wish I was a decent human being.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

In which I manage to stay out of the hospital for an entire month. . .

. . .Only to reemerge with a double-booking- admitted to the local psych floor not 2 weeks before being reunited with my much-maligned regional state hospital for the third time this summer.

I like to blame the latter on the former- I was discharged from the local ward on the second day of a total and abrupt restructuring of my crazy meds, scarcely enough time to pony up a life-threatening allergic reaction, let alone get all one's neurotransmitter receptors aligned and firing routinely on the same side. This was my first total med dump and fresh start in as long as I can remember. While I routinely discontinued my meds gradually in the days following a discharge, this d/c of my anti-depressant and anti-psychotic drugs had the unique characteristic of being thoroughly sanctioned by my prescribing physician. And please do note: I continued to take my shiny new rxes essentially as written through discharge and well back into my routine welcome-home flurry of self-destruction. I managed to spin myself into psychosis and the complementary OD on leftover anti-psychotic meds just fine on the trim new combo of oxcarbazepine and buspirone. Though I must confess that my latest delusional break was not the sharp departure from reality that customarily won me a free visit to the emergency department, and my accompanying OD was relatively trifling (a very large daily dose, really not even an overdose- though sufficient to cause partial seizures throughout my night on a heart monitor). Especially in light of the fact that I induced vomiting shortly after I began to feel the effects and called for my ride to the peanut farm not long thereafter.

I used the above as leverage for a swift and low-bullshit discharge from what turned out to be (at the time) a *remarkably* crazy bad unit of the state shithole. One night a patient decided to express his opinion regarding the shit on the unit by brandishing his colostomy bag and whipping it around the dining area and across the front desk counter. When staff denied him a replacement bag, he continued expressing himself directly onto the floor, leaving a trail as he traversed the hallways and two public TV rooms. The techs helpfully set up yellow >CAUTION! WET FLOOR!< signs around the major deposits and proceeded to ignore the human feces punctuating every major thoroughfare of the hall for a couple of hours, ostensibly in the hope that the patient have the shame? embarrassment? dignity? pity? to pick up his own shit after experiencing zero discomfort spreading it around to begin with. Such flights of fancy on staff's behalf only cost an evening's worth of major health code violation- not long enough for it to have any repercussions. And honestly, most of us sympathized with guy enough to tolerate the shitty protest for a couple of hours.
He possessed the intestinal fortitude to literalize what all of us coherent patients had mistaken for a only figurative retaliation against the unfairness of being confined to Monroe Hall. The colostomy patient shat for all of us that night.

It was particularly oppressive being female at a time when the patient population, for whatever reason, was 75% male.