The World kept on Turning

June 27, 2016

“I have been in Pennsylvania with  my family for four days. I did not bring any of the kids but Judah. It has been so hard. My family both here and away has been so supportive. I just continue to feel like a failure. Taking care of Judah twenty four hours a day has been so hard. I have not taken care of any of my children for a full twenty four hours since Judah was born. I went to see my best friend from high school on my second day here. Their new house was amazing. My friend was adorable and pregnant with her first baby. Life looked good for them. When I left, I began to cry and called her to apologize for not acting like myself. She was so wonderfully understanding. I cried the entire way home. I hate being sick and I hate being reminded that I am.

Yesterday we went to my aunt and uncle’s pool. It was lovely, my aunt didn’t know I had tried to commit suicide until I was there. Afterwards, she told me she heard a pastor say that suicide was the most selfish thing you could ever do. It hurt me to the core. I just never thought anyone could ever think that about what I did. Her friend was there. She was such a blessing. She lost a sister, had depression , and had contemplated suicide. She defended me. What a praise! 

Today, I woke up feeling depressed and like a failure.”

The road to recovery is rocky. You never know what each day will bring. Some are easy and smooth, others harder. Even when the meds are working, there will be bad days. Bad days were so hard for me. They scared me. I was constantly worried about a replace. Never knowing what the next five minutes would hold or where triggers would come from was paralyzing. 

Seeing my friends and family moving forward with their lives was crippling. It wasn’t their fault. They were just living their lives, but when you experience trauma, your world stops.  You go into survival mode and the world keeps turning. People get married, have babies, buy houses, graduate college, get raises, go on vacations. It feels like punch to the gut to see others blossoming when you are falling into the pit. Those two years, are almost completely lost in my mind. If it wasn’t for my journal, I wouldn’t even remember them. I even lost the first two years of my baby’s life. Someone just asked me yesterday whether he was a good baby, an easy baby. I can’t remember. It was as if time froze for two years, and when I opened my eyes, everything had changed. It was almost as if I was living someone else’s life, when I got back into the real world. My friends babies were now two, jobs had changed, people got married, people moved, people were pregnant. 

It was so hard to know how to plug back in. People didn’t understand what I was feeling. They didn’t know how to react. They some kind things and some cruel things. It was hard. I felt outcast, like I didn’t fit in anymore. Though, I couldn’t remember if I ever really had. My life had changed, I had changed, but the world had kept on moving without me.

Martha

June 6, 2016

“We just returned from a weekend together at Dollywood Dreammore Resort. We spent three nights and it was great. We went to Splash Country twice and Dollywood once. The kids had a blast! We had sitters come along to help. It was much needed. With all four, Brian and I got little to no sleep at all. That is par for the course. Having these little ones so close together can be a little chaotic. Extra hands are always welcome. 

I used to enjoy that people said, “I don’t know how she does it, or, You’re supermom.” I have learned that while it takes great stamina and a “go getter” personality to achieve being able to do things alone, what’s the payout? I had accumulated physical, emotional, and psychological exhaustion. Being placed in a mental health facility. It takes courage and humility to admit you need help. I am learning there is nothing wrong with it. I know God designed us for community and raising our families should be in community.”

This was one of the bigger lessons I learned from being sick. I am grateful that the Lord let me hit rock bottom, so I would no squander the rest of my life. I had bought into the lie that so many women do. “You have to do it all, do it alone, and look good doing it.” Almost all of the women in the facility with me had the same problem, we were overachievers. This is not biblical, it is from the enemy. Without margin in our lives, Satan traps us. He isolates us, takes our time away from focusing on the Lord, and leaves us utterly exhausted. Unfortunately, with social media, it is easier than ever before to believe that this is what normal should look like, believing we are not fulfilling our duty as a woman unless we are maxed out.

Luke 10: 38-42 is a beautiful picture of this. It is the biblical history of Jesus meeting with Mary and Martha. Martha was busy preparing the house, cleaning, cooking, etc. She was doing it all on her own. She even believed that what she was doing was the best choice. Performance was the stick with which she measured her success. She, however, was tired. She needed help. She was so consumed with what she was doing she didn’t stop to rest with Jesus, she wanted to push through and for Mary to join her. At the feet of Jesus she found her truth. 

 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Don’t we often do what Martha did? We are overwhelmed and weary. We are consuming ourselves with doing. When we need help, we don’t ask for help so we can take a step back, we ask for help to bring someone else into our overwhelming circumstances. 

The Lord showed me what he revealed to Martha. What Mary already knew. If we consume ourselves with the doing, and the island mentality, we will miss out on the Savior of the universe. We will push through our days. We will not stop and cling to him in every moment of our lives, we will not be surrendering to him. We will begin to believe that we need him less than we do. We will begin to slide ourselves onto the throne of our lives and push Christ aside. Martha was in Jesus’s presence and all she could think of was duty. The next thing. She was more concerned with impressing the Savior of the world than learning from him, than resting in him. 

I wonder what happened next. The Bible doesn’t tell us. Did Martha fall at Jesus’s feet? Did she change her ways? Did she repent? We don’t know. But the question is not as much about Martha as it is about us. What will you do? Will you hear the call of your Savior to created margin in your life? Will you say “no” to more and “yes” to less? Will you sit and snuggle with your kids, turn off the TV, listen to the silence, enjoy your child’s birthday rather than trying to impress the guests, play more games, throw away the “to-do” list, observe the beauty God created? When people ask what you are doing, will you be content to say, “nothing?” Will you stop today and rest at the feet of your Savior. Not just for ten minutes during your quiet time, but as a discipline? There is a more full, better life waiting at the feet of Jesus, waiting in the margin, the quiet still moments. It is filled with rest, peace, and joy. When did you last feel these things? If you don’t know, maybe you are being like Martha. Pray and ask God to reveal to you what resting at his feet looks like. Don’t miss it.

The Canaanite Woman

May 8, 2016

“Today was Mother’s Day! My gift was some friends of ours coming over and giving our back deck a makeover. They put pads on our chairs and bench, added flowers and planters, and an outdoor rug. It is gorgeous! This morning we went to church and dedicated Judah. It was wonderful. Church was on the Cannanite woman. She begged Jesus to just give her the tinniest amount of attention, though she did not deserve it. I have been her. I have begged God for help and desired just the scraps of his healing love. I felt the pull on my heart, as I approached the altar to weep and pray. I felt God say, “That is why the journey had to be so long and so painful. I needed the pain and severity to be so great that event the greatest doubter wouldn’t be able to explain the restoration of your life. It is complete and now begins the healing.” I believe. I believe that now restoration will come.”

It was such a blessing to have friends draw around me and give me something I couldn’t give myself. Having this gift of a nice outdoor space to go and get away was wonderful. So many people, during this season, just abandon us. They didn’t call and check in. They weren’t in the messy days. They simply went back to their own lives, when our lives became messy. It really broke my heart and made me angry with The Church as a whole. Christians were supposed to emulate Christ and get down in the trenches with the broken and hurting. However, we so often want to stay in the comfortable. We don’t want to be inconvenienced by other people’s struggles. We want to stay in our ivory towers where things look easier and prettier. Those, however, weren’t the people that brought healing to my life. They weren’t the people who showed me the love of Christ. The people who saw my pain and responded with authentic love. Those were the hands and feet of Christ that reached into the dark places of my heart and shined light. They were the ones that gave me hope that I wasn’t broken beyond repair. They were the ones who helped bring me out of the pit. To them, I am grateful.

Mother’s Day was, also, a hard day. I felt like such a failure. I was sick and making life harder for my own mother and my children. I felt unbelievable guilt. But I tried to push it aside, to go to church and truly hear the message that day. I could relate to the Canaanite woman. She believed in Jesus’s power. She didn’t come front and center demanding it. She was humble, begging for even the crumbs. She knew that anything Jesus could give would heal her demon possessed daughter. I have been there. In the hopeless state of illness, believing there would never be healing. However, the crumbs gave me hope. I knew it wouldn’t take a lot to heal me, even Jesus crumbs would be enough. I would sit and wait for the crumbs of his light and love to fall down upon me. He gave them to me that day. Hope. I would forget about this day, overtime. As he didn’t tell me he had healed me that day. That day was later. Much later. There would be more struggle to come before being released from my pain. It would be almost two years to the day before the healing came. But that day, I was given hope that this might now last forever. I held onto my crumbs, grateful for every one.

When For Better Becomes For Worse

April 30, 2016

“ I am back at home and times are hard. Brian treats me a lot like a child. He questions most things I do. He is always filtering what I say because I could be manic. I had a date planned and had a babysitter. Brian wanted me to cancel, so I did. He wants me in bed early. That fanned the anxiety flame and put me in the process of shutting down. I worry people will treat me like this broken person forever. It is devastating. Sometimes I just want to give up and be the person everyone thinks I am. It is hard to be making progress and to have people treating me this way.”

Dealing with mental illness is hard enough on its own, but dealing with a marriage in the midst of mental illness is extremely trying.  My husband and I were in a really good place before my brother passed away. We were tired but excited to welcome our fourth child. My health, however, immediately began to fail after Hunter died.  It was scared for Brian. He would tell me that I had lost my brother but he had lost his wife. When my mental illness started, I went to a very dark place very quickly. I became incompetent. I couldn’t take care of my children or myself. I needed someone with me at all times, to keep me from hurting myself. I essentially became a fifth child for my husband. He was alone. 

When I first became sick, he didn’t want to see it. It was too painful. He didn’t want to believe I needed help. I persisted, however, in asking for treatment. I knew something was wrong. Once I went into the hospital, I felt like I lost all dignity. I was no longer a wife but felt viewed as a child. The respect we once had was lost. My decisions and things I said were no longer trusted. When I returned home,  he didn’t trust me to watch the kids or be alone. He required that I complete all of my self-care activities or he feared I would fall apart. He kept inventory of what I did and how I did it. Always watching for signs of another spiral. I had to have eight hours of sleep, three meals a day, read my Bible, exercise, color my mandalas, and use my Emwave. 

I no longer felt like a wife, it was so painful. The pinnacle of this was when I scheduled a date night for us and he made me cancel so I could be in bed on time. I felt like a shadow of my former self. It was so trying. It actually made my sickness worse, in some ways. I further diminished my hope and gave me a reason to live. It made me fearful life would never be the same. I longed to be the Nurse Practitioner, wife, mother, and sister I had been. From where I sat, then, it looked like it may never happen again. I said  goodbye to a future self and became completely engrossed in my current circumstances. Only time would begin to heal these broken places.

Goodbye Hospital

Leaving the psychiatric facility was relatively uneventful. After I started Risperdal, I started progressing towards stability more rapidly. In the first forty eight hours, I started to see glimpses of myself again. The side effects from Risperdal were overwhelming initially. The tremors, instability, and muscle weakness were terrifying. I, also, had cogwheeling. This is where your muscles grind and bounce like gears moving, rather than a smooth motion. I knew that these side effects had potential to be permanent. However, I started Benztropine and my symptoms improved within five days. As well, the physical tremors and muscle weakness began to dissipate within a few weeks. Initially, walking down stairs was difficult, but it improved as time passed. As soon as my symptoms were stable, I was able to leave the unit and return home. We stopped locally to make sure we had all of my prescriptions and, then, came home. 

April 27, 2016

“Transition to home has been smooth until now. Today was hard. I was experiencing fatigue, overwhelmed by little kids all talking at once, not feeling hungry. There are so many things to think about and do. The end of school is a very busy time. The yoga has really helped with my ability to relax. I am glad to be doing things with Brian. I became overwhelmed, which normally leads to anxiety but I transitioned to depression. I took a three hour nap and was refreshed. I think that how I was feeling before could have been hypomania. I was wanting to stop thinking about going to Disney world, but I couldn’t. As the depressive symptoms came in, I had no more energy. I didn’t think suicide felt as crazy. I wanted to curl up and sleep.”

Coming home was more difficult than I expected. I had improvement in the hospital, but there were no outside factors to impact my health. Now, I was back in the role of mother and wife. I had daytime babysitters, so that I could focus on my coping skills. It involved me sleeping all night, eating three meals a day, journaling, coloring the mandalas, having a quiet time with the Lord, and exercising. I had to stop exercising so intensely, as this often lead to increasing my mental intensity. I had to try as hard as possible to maintain a clam environment that was low stress. I would often do yoga, do ballet, or go swim laps. 

I found a local yoga studio and my husband and I began to go together. It was such a quiet and peaceful form of yoga. Power yoga and hot yoga were not in the realm of yoga types that helped with my anxiety. So, I devoted myself to a new form of exercise. Swimming was also helpful. Getting in the water and swimming without hearing anything else was so soothing. I would use the time to process my life and pray. It started to become a really sweet time. 

I started noticing myself becoming obsessed with activities or future goals. For me, Disney became a big focus. My family’s trip to Disney World had been one of the happiest weeks of my life. I found myself longing to feel those emotions again. Unfortunately, I became unable to let the idea go. It was neither financially feasible or physically possible at the time.  However, I had laser like focus and would speak of it all of the time. It felt as if the trip was vital to my survival. I couldn’t bear to hear from any detractors and this became a sour of pain and stress for myself and my family.

My marriage would also be affected by my illness. My relationship with my husband would change. It would be hard.

A New Arrival

April 14, 2016

“Positive ways to cope with stress! I am so thrilled by the coping skills I have learned. I want to continue to read, journal, color mandalas, paint, do yoga, take hot baths, be mindful, do meditation. I have got to find a balance between doing things independently and asking for help. I need to continue to use yoga to help me cope. The transition home won’t be easy while I use these skills, but it should get better.”

April 15, 2016

“Today was a much better day. My symptoms of blurry vision, muscle weakness, and tremors are nearly gone. We got to go outside, go to Starbucks, cook, and do art. It was a fun Friday! At dinner time, Brian surprised me by bringing Judah. I went bananas! I was so excited. What a truly blessed day.”

Yoga was such a vital part of my healing in the hospital. This was a new way of working out for me. It was not a fitness yoga but a meditative one. It was slow and focused. Meditation was a key component. It was nice to take time to focus on my core self without distraction. It was a pleasant feeling combined with releasing of hormones related to exercise. Those endorphins feel so good. As well, Shavasna was incredibly healing. It was such a peaceful and reflective time. Our instructor would position us and we would go into a deep meditative state. I would go into a state of prayer usually ending with crying. She would also walk around and massage us during this time. It was so healing. After I was finished, it was always like a burden had lifted. I highly recommend it as a coping skill and process toward healing.

The medication side effects were debilitating. It was unexpected. I found myself falling over into the wall. During yoga, I could not balance well at all. Even kneeling was a chore. The tremors added to the difficulty. I found it hard to eat my breakfast or write in my journal. My hands were unsteady and weak. The weakness prevented me from doing many of my daily exercises and participating in scheduled activities. It was not only challenging. It was scary. I was afraid, as they could be, they would be permanent. I remember leaving the hospital and being scared we would have to move because my thigh weakness wouldn’t let me go down stairs without falling. These symptoms, however, were only temporary. The cogentin kicked in and the symptoms faded. Eventually, I was able to wean off cogentin. They symptoms were only temporary.

Judah arriving was the lift I needed to make it through the end of treatment. My husband was with me everyday. It was hard, however, to watch so many of the patients with their babies. I wanted mine so badly. I loved him, and the separation was hard. I had even taken down pictures of my family. The pain of missing them exacerbated my symptoms. It was such a blessing to see my happy baby come through those doors. His snuggles were the best. It was a joy to even be able to nurse him. As the staff had an expert in psychiatric medications and breastfeeding. They tailored my treatment to support this. It wasn’t until later that I would have to stop breastfeeding all together.

Happy Birthday!

April 9, 2016 – Journal Entry 7

“Happy birthday to me! ‘I sought the Lord and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.’ Psalm 34:4”

April 10, 2016 – Journal Entry 7

“My birthday was wonderful! I am blessed. Brian, mom, and dad were there. We had strawberry shortcake from Nantucket Bar + Grill in Chapel Hill, NC. 4 family members sent flowers. We had Ben +Jerry’s assorted ice cream. Some friends sent some strawberries dipped in chocolate from Fannie Mae Berries. My aunt sent a journal with scripture inside and a stuffed giraffe. We celebrated in the day room with the girls on my floor and nursing staff. Then, I pumped and got an hour off the unit pass to walk with my family. We went to the gift shop and bought gifts for my floor mates. A coloring therapy book, a body butter, and a baby blanket. I am so glad to give back to these women. Their needs are so much greater than my own. I love giving back to others. My mom and Brian got into a disagreement about my care. Anxiety swept over me and I started down the spiral. I colored in my therapy book, read a book, did the Emwave, and used my beads to calm myself. I was really withdrawn for about four hours after that. I watched a show and ate Ben + Jerry’s chocolate chip cookie dough ice-cream. Finally, I did yoga and went to bed. I slept pretty well last night. I am tired and a little withdrawn today. Overall, a wonderful birthday in the psych ward.”

My thirtieth birthday was spent in the psychiatric hospital. It was a super depressing moment in my life. I felt ashamed and low. 30 is supposed to be a great celebration and I wasn’t even in control of my own choices at the time. However, we made the best of it. We celebrated as much as you could in a psychiatric hospital. The time off the ward with my family was the most special.

The other women on the ward had such needs, that I didn’t want to be the only person getting something that day. We went to the gift shop and picked out presents. My family and doctors were not thrilled. They thought this was a symptom of my illness. I, however, felt otherwise. I was so upset that something as simply as wanting to bless others was seen as a sickness. It increased my shame. After the festivities, we were all in my room together. My mom got upset because she had bought me a boombox for my birthday day. I wasn’t allowed to have it because there was a cord. Her stress and upset started to upset me and to upset my husband. So, my mom and Brian went into the hallway. They got into a fight about my symptoms and my care. It was so upsetting that I had to emotionally detach from their problems. That, I don’t believe, is uncommon for loved ones. The stress of watching the person you love in such circumstances is overwhelming. It would have been better, had I had a plan to deal with such a stressor but hindsight is 20/20. The Emwave helped tremendously. It is a hand held device that helps with breathing and tracks your heart rate. When a certain biorhythm is detected, it turns green and you have calmed down. It is a great tool to help with self-care.

That was the last time I would see my parents until I got out of the hospital. It was so hard to watch them leave so upset. There was nothing I could do, however. The stress caused me to have a relapse of symptoms that affected me for the next twenty four hours. A minor setback, but every one increases your stay.

The Unit

The Perinatal Unit was unlike anything I had seen yet. The hall had five rooms on it. Four were private rooms with an attached bathroom. The fifth room was one that was shared by two roommates. Two of the girls had already decided to room together, so that I wouldn’t have to share my first day on the unit. It is so nice to know we have some choices. There is a nursing straight through the first set of locked doors. It seats two nurses and is filled with computers. This is where we go with questions and to get our medication. There is a phone and a computer in the hallway. We can actually have internet access when our sessions are occurring. There is, also, a portable computer that can be used in your room.

Here, clothes still can not have any strings. That is to keep us from using them to hang ourselves. We are allowed to use our hairdryer, straightener, curling iron, and makeup but it stays at the nurses station until we need it. If we need to shave, a nurse will come and watch us perform  the task and dispose of the razor after. The meeting room has a dining table, a TV, some chairs, a couch, and a coffee table. This is where we have out sessions and where we can go during free time. At the end of the hallway, there is another set of locking doors.

Our schedule is set. We have scheduled breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The menu is the complete hospital menu, unlike the restricted menu on the other units. We place our orders in the morning and evening. The meals are delivered to the unit, so leaving doesn’t become an issue. Our therapies include physical therapy/exercise, occupational therapy, counseling, spiritual counseling, yoga (optional). Family can visit for approximately four hours a day, in the evenings. They encourage families to bring the babies, during this time. Mother and baby bonding is so vital as this can be strained due to post partum depression. If we were cleared by our psychiatrist, we would walk off the unit once a day. We would go to Starbucks and then often sit outside and talk. It was so nice to see the sunshine. It was a welcome privilege to be sure.

Standing on a Ledge

April 7, 2016 – Journal Entry 6

Changes to treatment – therapeutic yoga
Lithium – watch for kidney damage, platelet changes, tremors, gait disturbance
Wean off Wellbutrin – thinking it is making my anxiety worse

April 8, 216 – Journal Entry 7

“‘Gratitude gets us through the hard stuff. To reflect on your blessings is to rehearse God’s accomplishments. To rehearse God’s accomplishments is to discover his heart. To discover his heart is to discover not just good gifts but the Good Giver. Gratitude always leaves us looking at God and away from dread. It does to anxiety what the morning sun does to valley mist. It burns it up.’ – Max Lucado

I am grateful for last nights episode and subsequent desire for suicide. It helped the doctors to see what my mood fluctuations look like and to know how to treat me better.”

I sat in my room. My thoughts were racing. My eyes darting around, trying to see anything I could use to harm myself. “No, stop,” I tell myself. It is not use, the thoughts come barreling back again. If I could just stand up on my bed, I could use the edge of the sprinkler to slice my wrists open. “No, don’t think it, don’t do it, you will be locked up. You will be put in a room alone or sent back to crisis. It is not worth it.” I can’t shake the feeling. The urge consumes me. I can taste the sensation. I can feel the release that would come. The anxiety, the panic, the pain, I can’t make it stop. My breast pump tubing. I could tie it around my neck and tie myself to the bed. It will slow circulation to my brain until I pass out, that will be it. “I can’t do this, I have to stop myself. I can’t risk loosing this unit and its privileges. I have to tell someone.”

It is dark, it is nearly midnight. I shuffle my way to the nurses station in tears. “I think I am going to kill myself, if someone can’t help me.” They immediately respond. The calmly walk me into the common room and sit me on the couch. One nurse stays with me, while the other gets me a towel with lavender. They soak the towel and I press it to my forehead. I take deep slow breaths in and out. The essential oils tingle my nose. Then, there is music. Soft, slow, calm music. It plays lightly in the background. I keep taking my breaths. The nurse rubs my back and tells me she will be back in a few minutes. I sit there in the dark, breathing deeply. A calm starts to come over me. My thoughts begin to slow down. I can feel my tense muscles begin to relax. It is working. After about twenty minutes, I decide to lay down. They cover me with a blanket. I decide to stay in the common room until I am just about asleep. Another twenty minutes, and I am there. I tell the nurses I am no longer suicidal and I go back to my room. That is all it takes. A few minutes. Minutes between life and death. That is what I have needed so desperately. Support, no judgement. I think I am going to get better here.

Psychiatric Crisis Unit

April 5, 2016 – Journal Entry 5
“Journaling again, and yes, in pencil. I am looking forward to getting pens back. This night has been pretty rough. I am awake at 3:00 am and I can’t go back to sleep. The Ambien finally knocked me out. I was sitting up in bed crying, thinking of killing myself. So, they gave me 10 mg of Ambien and I slept about five hours. We are hoping and praying to get a bed today. Crisis may be the first floor besides perinatal to have an opening. Judah went back home because he can’t be in this ward with me. He is my little ray of sunshine. Sometimes I feel like the rules are for safety. A nice sharpie would be great. I need to pump. I have to travel to another unit for that. Praying that goes well. I feel like I am living my worst nightmare.
Jeremiah 30:24 – ‘The Lord shall not turn his back until He has executed and accomplished the thoughts and intents of his mind.’
1 Corinthians 1:7-8 – ‘So that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ who WILL sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God us faithful by whom you were called into the fellowship of his son, Jesus Christ our Lord.’
Psalm 105: 18-19 ‘His feet were hurt with fetter; his neck was out in a collar of iron, UNTIL what he said came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him.’
April 6, 2016 – Journal Entry 6
“Pens! Yay! I could not be more excited about that. I spent my first night on the crisis unit and I am waiting for a bed to open up in perinatal. I met with the psychiatrist and about 10 resident student. They give no feedback, so, who knows what they are thinking. Brian visited at 7:30 am this morning. Dad called at 7:30 am, before the phones even turned on. I am glad to have a good support system. I pray that have healing. I pray they get my meds right and I repent of the ungratefulness of my grief. I got a knock on my door from OT. They have an opening in peripartum and are transferring me! Praise be to God!”
From the psychiatric ER, they moved me to the crisis unit. Here, it is cooed. There are men and women everywhere. Some have done this many times before, like my roommate. She was kind and helpful. She helped me understand how the unit worked and to get acclimated. She said she could see my pain, and that she was a healer. She planned to take some oils she had with her and try to heal me that evening. I was scared but afraid to tell her no. What if I upset her? She slept in a bed beside me.

Others are new here, like this sweet college student. She has been really encouraging. It is an eclectic group. There are all sorts of disorders present, including withdrawing drug addicts. They make me really nervous. I am fearful to sleep and fearful to be alone. I worry when I shower and when I use the restroom. What if one of these men come after me? What could I do? The nurses assure me that they round every fifteen minutes. I wonder what could happen in fifteen minutes. It is anxiety provoking, and sadly, they hold that against me.
After breakfast, it was time for doctor rounds. I was called and sent to a room with one MD and approximately ten residents and medical students. They asked me to share why I was there and what had happened. I began sharing my story. Midway through, they cut me off and told me to go. There was no discussion about my medications or treatment plan. Awhile later, I began to feel anxious. I went to the nursing desk and asked for my anxiety medications. I was told that all of my medications had been suspended until further notice. I began to have a panic attack. I went back to my room, and a few minutes later a staff member from the perinatal unit arrived. She told me that it was therapy time and that I was allowed to join them, since my goal was to transfer there eventually.
It was a breath of fresh air to be on that unit. It was all women, the staff was supportive and caring. I could tell they were there to help me rather than babysit me until my medications kicked in. I had hope. When the group therapies were over, I was sent back to the crisis unit. I was devastated. I began to cry to the nurse transporting me, about how my medications were taken away and how anxious I was. She made sure staff knew I was upset and came the check on me. I sat in my bed, coloring. Coloring brought me such peace. It was a welcome escape. I started praying, at that moment, the perinatal nurse returned. Someone had had a miraculous recovery in the last twenty four hours, she was going home. There was a bed for me. I had finally made it to the Perinatal Unit!