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I suppose I should finally talk a little about me being in the psych ward, since it is the reason I’m still here and the reason I am writing my blog and book. My first two chapters of my book stop after my wreck and so don’t explain what happened for the next week. I’m going to try and do this super briefly, since blog posts shouldn’t be too long. I’ll split the days up I think….
So, the next day (Wednesday), I woke up and could only feel pain and didn’t really remember anything from the day before. I did know what had happened but didn’t know why I’d wrecked. I did know that my suicidal ideation all summer had been wrecking my car. Every time I drove, I would think about what would happen if I drove off the road into a ditch or into the river. Since I did not remember right before the wreck, I didn’t know if I’d done it on purpose.
Two of my friends called me early that morning and asked me what had happened. I told them briefly what I remembered and told them that I don’t know if it was intentional. Of course, both asked me to get help and go to the hospital. One knows a lot about the mental health field and so gave me a brief breakdown of what it was. The other just wanted my safety and knew how important it was for me to go. I asked my neighbor if she would take me, since she was going to take me to CVS to get my medicine filled anyway. Miranda took me to CVS and McDonalds, since she knew (because she’s amazing and takes care of everyone and everything over herself) that I would not eat all day being in the ER. She dropped me off and gave me a huge hug as I fought back my tears. I walked into the ER, told them that I thought I may have tried to kill myself but didn’t remember. In the ER, I had a ton of nurses and doctors come ask me a billion questions. My littlest sister Mandy came to see me, Connor came the whole time for the ER visit, and then Evaline came.
With Mandy there, Connor was able to ask questions about my medication and what was going to happen in the hospital. Mandy works in a hospital as a pharmacist, so it was a unique perspective and one that I think we both needed. I needed to see my baby sister for my own emotional needs and Connor needed to know the science of what was happening to me; if it was my medication change over the summer, etc.
After about an hour, Evaline came and tagged Mandy out of the ER (only 2 visitors are allowed). Evaline, since she works in the mental health field was absolutely essential for both of Connor and I’s sanity. Neither of us knew anything about the inpatient crisis care (psych ward) unit. Evaline was able to assure Connor that I would be safe, how everything worked, what would happen, etc.. She also was able to explain suicidal thoughts and attempts to him, since he’s not familiar with mental health issues and I have a hard time teaching him about it.
About 2 hours or so later, I finally was able to go to the psych ward. I was utterly terrified. At that point, it was around 8 PM; I’d been in the ER for a long time and I was exhausted, scared, sad, angry at myself, guilty for wrecking, sick to my stomach about endangering people when I drove off the road, and in a ton of pain from my neck down. I gave Evaline a huge hug and thanked her for teaching us what is going to happen to me, and for coming all the way to see me off. Connor I squeezed in a hug so tight I had lightning bolts go down my spine. I kissed him a few times and cried a little. I wanted to stay strong and not let him see me scared since I was the one that did this and made this choice. I failed. Tears fell and I couldn’t breathe on the way to the Imaginarium (psych ward has a lot of different nicknames, you’ll see them throughout the blog I’m sure).
Once in club meds, they took me to my room and did a skin check. I had to turn out my underwear and bra to make sure I wasn’t smuggling anything in. I did have my Chapstick in my bra from the ER, since they took my purse from me and I’m addicted to Chapstick more than anything else. I hurriedly told them it was Chapstick and not drugs in utter nervousness. The nurses were so sweet and could tell I’d been crying and was terrified. My first nurse was named Alex. Alex was just this teeny little thing with long French braided hair. She was so kind to me. I was in so much pain I couldn’t eat the ridiculously delish meatloaf they brought me (enter sarcastic font here). I tried to walk around and see where things were, but I ended up just sitting in the main room and watching one episode of Big Bang Theory (don’t judge, I don’t get to pick what was on, and Connor and I watch it all the time so it was cathartic). I was too exhausted so went to bed early then. It was maybe 9 PM. I woke up at 4 am like I warned Alex I was going to do, so she gave me malox for my stomach and something minor to help me sleep, but I can’t remember what it was. Nothing was allowed that was “prescription” since I hadn’t seen the psychiatrist yet. That wouldn’t happen until the morning. So, miserable and scared, I went back to bed and tried to read. I couldn’t focus for more than 30 seconds at a time so that failed. I stared at the ceiling until they came in and took vitals at 6:30 am.
I guess I’ll do the next couple days in the next blog post. So, to be continued!