10 Months Off Meds And Loving It?

I was in the middle of writing another post on a similar subject when I realized it’s almost been a year off of psychiatric medication and then I had to double check because that seemed like a lot of months to me considering I’ve spent the last 8 years going on and off medication at least three times a year. The most months I’ve stayed on medication was about nine. And that was 7 years ago. Let’s just say I’ve been as consistent with medications as I have been with this blog.

Throwing shade at myself.

I stopped my medication in the first place because I was sick of being tired, I was angry, hurt, and frustrated over a break-up and I just wanted something to alter my state of mind. Now that I look back on it, I can see that was my intention: distract myself from reality by overloading myself with a different type of reality.

I was on Abilify and Trintellix this time, with a psychiatrist ready to switch me from Abilify onto Vraylar. I think I ripped up his prescription though.

The Abilify I’d been on many times before. It’s the only antipsychotic that my body would tolerate. I have a theory about why, but I won’t go into that. Trintellix however, was very new. Not just new to me, but new to the market, and I agreed to try it because I’ve tried the majority of other SSRI’s and SNRI’s and hated each one. Psychiatrists liked to tell me SSRI’s were supposed to help with anxiety but that shit ain’t ever do shit. Straight up.

I figured the only way to get a real anxiety medication, like a Benzo, would be to prove I wasn’t an addict and the way to prove that was to be compliant with their plans first.

I’ve stopped every SSRI, SNRI, mood stabilizer, and antipsychotic I’ve ever been on abruptly. And by abruptly, I mean cutting my dose in half every week for about a month. There are studies coming out now that show you should reduce medication by about .25mg or less every few months in order to safely come down. I was cutting miligrams by the fives and tens (if applicable). Quickly. And I’ve never had an adverse reaction from it, even if I was on them for 6+ months.

*I do not recommend anyone do what I’ve done, or come off of medication without the watchful eye of a medical doctor who can pinpoint physical consequences easier*

But with a new, and very under-tested SSRI, I should have been a little more logical. I didn’t spiral immediately, it took about another month to feel the effects. I woke up depressed, more depressed than I’d ever been (and that’s saying something) and I remember a lot of dissociating and voices. Mind you, I stopped both medications simultaneously. I laid on the couch eating chocolate cake and chocolate chip pancakes during the days and spent the evenings drinking whiskey and heading into downtown. Oh, I also went to work. How? WHO KNOWS.

But eventually something had to give and I ended up in a bathtub with my clothes on arguing with my voices about killing myself. Good times. I didn’t pull myself out of that situation, in case you’re wondering.

But, I also didn’t end up in the hospital. And I’m glad I didn’t.

For the next few fuzzy months I went into an outpatient program, stayed at the mental health program I currently work at (little bit of conflict of interest there, but it worked out) and for a couple weeks was back on the medication. Then, I stopped it again and discarded of them.

What resulted from that was strange. A lot of depression, even the depression I experienced before I stopped my medication, lifted. I felt great. Not manic great, not even hypo-manic great. Just . . . content. That continued steadily and increased once I completely changed my diet and exercised (I’ve lost 35 pounds over the last four months).

It was only a couple weeks ago did I notice my mood become a little wobbly. I started noticing things, strange things again. People kept knocking on my room door and my walls, breathing through them, talking through them, and I could never catch them. I started distracting myself more often, which I didn’t notice until a few days ago. If I wasn’t listening to music, I was watching YouTube or television or playing video games–loudly. Sometimes I’d do all of it simultaneously. Sleeping has become more difficult and I went from getting 8 solid hours to 5, and more recently, 2. I started feeling touches on my arm and legs at night and when I spoke to people I misheard them. I mean, really misheard them. It’s not like when someone says something and they stumble over their words so you think they said cat when they said car. This was people saying full sentences and me hearing “you don’t know what you’re doing at all” when they really said “how have you been today?”

The mumbles have come back too, the hearing a crowd of people talking but not really catching what they’re saying, and so have some familiar voices, particularly one of the softer deep ones who has generally been kind. While I was struggling to get to sleep the other night listening to all the other shit, he told me “I’m proud of you” and for whatever reason, that helped. Me and him, we’re on the same page.

Now that it’s been ten months off medications, I understand why this is happening again. I think the real test begins now. Most of the medications are the lowest they’ve ever been in my system in 8 years and this will basically be me bare-assing my mind around.

My brain has a big ass and the meds were pants three sizes too small.

I’ll have to find new ways to deal with all this, and not get caught up in paranoid thoughts. Constant music and videos has helped keep my mind less focused on all the chatter, but I can’t live life like that all the time. It’s why I haven’t been able to read or write or stay motivated in general.

I recently got a new therapist. She hasn’t known me for longer than a month and a half. In our first session I told her I hadn’t heard voices consistently for a few months, so we’ll see what her reaction is tomorrow when I tell her

Conclusion: meds aren’t always the answer. Not taking meds isn’t always the answer. What works is what works. Will this work? Who knows. But I’d rather try and find out than never try and wish I had.

Two Years of What-The-Fuck

It’s pretty ironic that a few weeks ago I made a post on here saying I wouldn’t be on here for a while and instead of leaving I’ve been pulled back towards this site.

It’s been a long road. I was skimming through some of my older posts and having a laugh at not only the content, my aggressive nature which quite obviously came through in biting satirical wit, but also the comments and the beautiful souls I’ve met through this blog.

One person commented: “Are you mentally stable?”

If you have to ask that question, the answer is probably no. And I saw how many posts I wrote at 3am, 4am, 5am, and then came back the next day with either no sleep or two hours of sleep. I was busting my ass in Calculus and trying to find a job that wasn’t complete ass while simultaneously losing my mind. I’m pretty sure this blog helped me keep some kind of attachment to reality.

Then I ripped Alex Gorsky a new one (here) because there is no way in hell that man should have any kind of award in any kind of “humankindness” category. He’s a straight monster, and if I ever get the chance to meet him in person it’s going to take all of my strength not to spit in his fucking face. He hasn’t done anything that any other C.E.O of a major pharmaceutical company hasn’t done. The difference is he got caught. And I read about it. And that’s where the real danger for him is.

People ate that post up back in the day before I disabled the like button and couldn’t figure out how to get it back up, and it launched me into the blogsphere at a tremendous velocity. I became known for not only tearing apart pharmaceutical companies, but tearing apart anything and anyone who seemed to throw ethics out the window. And people who park in the red zone outside of my apartment. Fuck those people.

Where is this blog now? I have no fucking idea you guys. I basically recorded my decent into madness (I said that in some post a couple years ago) and the large gaps in between posts are indicative of me either being comatose in bed, in the hospital, or running the streets all hours of the night.

Those times consisted of a lot of weird shit. Like, weird shit. Like . . .like this:

Cat-Fish.

That isn’t even weird enough to really explain all the weirdness. I remember a lot of horrible dreams, traumatic dreams, all of which were caused by some unseen forces, dark forces, demons, which followed me around during the day, crowded my bed at night, whispered in my ears, fucked up my thoughts, intercepted them really, possessed people around me, and somehow I went to class and took notes and took exams and went to work and I guess I just sort of let my body work from muscle memory while my mind drifted into a different dimension.

At one point I remember being in hell, literal hell, and I was strapped to a torture board where some demons–I finally saw their true form, rather than the disguises they use here on Earth–turned their dial and stretched my limbs, trying to rip them from my body. That part was a dream, I’m pretty sure, but when I woke up they were still screaming at me, hissing at me, and I don’t remember much after that, just a lot of them screaming and cursing me, and they promised I would die.

One of these fucking things

Eventually I couldn’t keep up with the classes. Eventually I wasn’t picking up shifts at work, and inevitably, I stopped writing on this blog. The last hospital visit I had followed the Las Vegas shooting. Because those demons were after me, (and still are in all truth, that hasn’t gone away) they were hell bent on—

God it’s so much to explain. It’s so much to explain mini explosions detonate across my cortex when I think about it.

I believed I was here for a reason, on earth I mean, and I still believe I am. I believe everyone is. But for whatever reason this was heightened during this time, and I believed the safety of the human race essentially depended on me, and that was why so many dark forces had surrounded me–they knew what I knew, and they had to stop me.

They couldn’t physically touch me because I had the protection of my ancestors–that’s what I believed and still believe. So instead, they entered others around me. Strangers, friends, coworkers, and everywhere I went I felt attacked and unwelcome. I couldn’t tell anyone because 1) they’d think I was crazy and 2) they were all fucking in on it anyway.

So when the Vegas shooting happened, I immediately knew it happened because of me. I waited and waited and watched videos and theories and news stories, waiting for a motive to come out, and when nothing was found that only confirmed my belief: he’d been possessed and the shooting was a message to me, specifically, that they were coming for me. And that’s when they attacked my thoughts and I remember always feeling confused and drained of energy and I couldn’t sleep and I just wanted to die. I wanted to die and happened to mention my plan (I guess I didn’t really want to die anyway) and got the sheriffs called on me yet again.

I wasn’t in the hospital as long as people would expect. I have this problem. It’s called functionality.

She seems functional, albeit stressed.

Through all of this–and this built up over the course of a year, at least, maybe even two, of being out of my mind–I was still functional. I went to classes even though I had to drop them eventually. I went to work, some fucking how, and I wasn’t speaking strange or obviously disconnected from reality. I wasn’t walking down the street talking to myself or accusing people of things or anything. I was just . . . existing. A shell. My body moved, I responded to people when they spoke to me, and that was that–I was okay by mental health system standards.

And so the hospital just wanted to help me sleep. And that’s what they did. They gave me some Seroquel so I would sleep, waited for about a week, diagnosed me with Bipolar 1 this time, and tossed me to the county mental health system back in my town which gave other optional diagnoses (PTSD–which I’d already been diagnosed with, Schizoaffective–there’s a newbie, Psychosis NOS–okay?) no one ever came to a conclusion on, and then they outright rejected me. I didn’t last long enough in their system for them to conclude anything, really.

Now, the wonderful thing about all this is somehow it’s all worked out.

And the weird thing is now that I quit my medication in the worst fucking way possible, a way that almost cost me my life, I feel so much better. I still get confused by my thoughts often, but a lot of the time I feel wonderful, sparkly, like I’m connected to every inanimate and animate object on earth; sometimes I know what people are thinking, sometimes I know that they know that I’m connected to them.

I haven’t heard any voices since I abruptly stopped my medication–it’s been five months. That’s fucking unprecedented. I’ve been a conundrum in the mental health system since I was 5.

I’m back writing, and that’s a good fucking sign. Welcome to whatever the fuck this blog is now!

Perhaps I’ll find another C.E.O to drag through the dirt and hang by his/her ankles.

The Night I Tried to Kill Myself

I don’t quite know how to put this experience into words. I haven’t written for some time again, due to feelings of inadequacy, depression, and general brain fog. I can’t seem to form coherent sentences as quickly as I used to, nor can I focus for long periods of time on something that I have a deep love for.

Thursday, 10.25.18 I remember walking into the outpatient center I attend for a therapy session. I remember the feelings of utter hopelessness attending with me, like a sack lunch I was carrying to school. I had made the decision to give up. I was tired of fighting, I was tired of trying to fight, and I was tired of the only option being fighting. I was tired of fighting myself, I was tired of, for the millionth time in my mental health career, coming off of medication, and I was tired of hearing I needed medication to thrive.

I was taking 10 milligrams of Abilify and 10 milligrams of Trintellix and I couldn’t find the energy to finish homework, or get out of bed, and I didn’t have the luxury of feeling any emotion at all: happiness, sadness, inquisitiveness, passion–nothing. And so I did what I always do: stopped the medication.

This usually happens without consequence. For the most part, I’ll stop cold turkey after a couple of months, struggle through a few physical withdrawal symptoms, and get on with my lifestyle. The last time I stopped these two meds, I regained my energy quickly, breezed through four classes, and managed happiness until the opinions of those I care about convinced me to try the medication again.

So I tried again, For maybe two and a half weeks. Then I stopped. I stopped and I noticed my energy did not come back. My mood was stable until it wasn’t. It plummeted. I focused a lot on what was wrong with me, the disappointment of my relationship ending (yes, I’m still stuck on that), and the worries of the future regarding my education, where I’m going to live after December, and the simple fact that I struggle taking care of myself. Those are the surface issues. There are deeper issues I don’t think I’m in touch with yet.

I’ve struggled with depression since I was ten years old. A low mood was nothing new to me, in fact I welcomed it because the darkness was comforting. It was an old friend, a sinister reminder that life is suffering and suffering reminds us that we’re alive. I was thankful for this friend to return because on the medication I didn’t feel alive.

I started planning fun things to do to keep me from falling further: A concert, an overnight trip to San Francisco, Halloween plans and costumes. I got excited: the week of the 21st would be marvelous.

But I started separating from myself.  I don’t remember when, and I don’t remember how, but part of me blacked out. I know I was around and talking to people because I went to work, had laughs, made plans. I don’t remember much of it, but I know I was there.

By Thursday, the 25th, I was moving slowly, not comprehending where I was, no hope or vision for the future, and I’d even lost interest in Halloween, my favorite holiday. I confessed to the therapist that I didn’t have energy to care much about my life, nor could I answer her questions. I didn’t tell her I’d made a plan to (somehow) kill myself after Halloween. It wasn’t fully developed yet, an undercooked chicken in the oven.

I don’t remember much about the session other than the ending: a mindful meditation seeking to locate my inner child. I remember a lot of pain resurfacing, so deep and profound I had never felt it before, and I snapped. I was gone. She asked me how I felt, and I told her dissociated, separated from myself. I remember that. She made me do some grounding activities to bring me back into my body. I don’t think they worked.
That night I went to a concert. It put me in a seemingly better mood.

Friday and Saturday I spent the days in San Francisco at the Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, Six Flags, and around town. Saturday evening, on the drive back, a sinister part of me reminded me of my plan.

I’m not a stranger to hearing voices. I don’t hear them every day, and I haven’t had a bad episode in a while, not since my last hospitalization last year, but this time was different. This time I heard nothing external, and everything internal.

We all have an inner voice that reads to us, thinks for us, and we are in control of that voice, we dictate it. I’m dictating it now as I read back what I wrote, and as I write. But what I listened to that Saturday evening was not of my own doing. A different voice, a male voice, one inside of my head that I had no control of, which directly told me I needed to kill myself. He instructed me to open the door of the car and jump out in traffic–on the highway–and end it. He addressed me as “you” and I addressed me as “I”. That’s the only difference I can pinpoint right now. When I had a thought of my own, I said to myself “I need to calm down”. When I didn’t, he said “you need to do this. There’s no reason for you to live, you don’t deserve life.”

Was this a demonic entity interfering with my thoughts? I didn’t know. I sat paralyzed in the rental car my Ex drove, crying consistently for an hour and a half. The torment wouldn’t stop. “You don’t deserve to live. There’s nothing good about you. Jump out of the car. End it. When you get home, kill yourself. Hang yourself in the closet, no one will even find you.”

I had plans that evening with another friend, so I did not act on those commands. I did, however, drink quite a bit of whiskey and wander around the downtown city. When I got home, I drank more whiskey and fell asleep.

In the morning I awoke instantly crying. The day was Sunday, 10.28.18. I turned on Breaking Bad: I’ve never seen it before. I don’t remember much of the episodes because my head was so loud: “hang yourself in the closet. Take a knife, slit your wrists. You will never amount to anything. You don’t deserve to be on this earth, you don’t contribute to anything.” I joined in: “I can’t write anymore. I can’t enjoy things anymore. I don’t see this getting any better”.

It was 6pm that night when I finally stood up and searched my apartment for something, anything to hang myself with. I didn’t feel in control of my body, I was just going along with the motions.

“Fill up the tub, get in the water, slit your wrists.”

I grabbed a kitchen knife from the drawer and filled up the tub. I remember this part more clearly than other parts because my heart was beating out of my chest, my hands were clammy, and I couldn’t get a grip on myself, I felt like I was losing myself to someone else.

I got in the water with my clothes on and fought the noise in my head. I tried to give myself reasons to live–family, my cat, work–but it was always overpowered by that other voice. I spent a half an hour sawing at my wrists with a dull blade that could barely cut a tomato. I pressed as hard as I could and my skin barely broke. Eventually, I threw the knife. I remember a lot of crying and banging my head on the wall and hitting myself. The noise wouldn’t stop. I ripped out the string from my leggings I had on and wrapped it around my neck and pulled and pulled and pulled. Thinking back on it, I would probably pass out before I die, given my hands are the one pulling the strings, but in the moment I just needed to cause some sort of harm to myself. I kept trying the knife in between strangling myself and I sent one text message that I don’t remember.

It was a couple hours before I stopped. My neck was sore and I had stopped crying, but I wasn’t back in my body yet. The water was cold and I heard the front door open and footsteps running in.

We spent a couple hours talking, and I was gone completely. I don’t remember an ounce of the conversation. I remember seeing through my eyes my body stand up and go for the knife, go for the string, and my ex preventing me from doing so. I remember telling him I didn’t want to traumatize him.

There’s a block on my memory of the conversation, what I said, what he said. I remember being on the couch wrapped in blankets, soaking wet, distraught, eating pizza. I didn’t remember the last time I had food. It couldn’t have been too long. I took a Seroquel. I only had three or four left. It’s a shame I didn’t have a full bottle, or I would have just swallowed them all and called it a night.

The next day I didn’t awake until 1pm. I could barely move, my mind was paralyzingly loud, and I turned on more Breaking Bad. The urge to die was so strong. People took turns watching after me, texting me, calling me. I refused to let anyone call 911. The hospital is not a place to be when you’re in a crisis.

Today is Halloween. My head isn’t loud. I came back into my body and have trouble remembering what the depression felt like because I feel I wasn’t the one to feel it–this entity within me, whether it’s paranormal or just a fractured part of my self, is hell bent on destroying me.  I haven’t experienced a dissociative experience so destructive since high school.

Am I still depressed? I think. Mildly. Or it’s so severe that I’m incapable of comprehending the severity of it.

I didn’t learn to love life from this attempt. I didn’t learn to appreciate the little things or find new meaning or purpose. I still feel lost and confused. A hospital visit isn’t going to change that. What I did learn is that I’m more committed than ever to never taking psychiatric medication again in my life. After 7 years of being a guinea pig, I’m done.

My outpatient group counselor asked me why I despised medication so much. I told her it’s poison. She asked in what way. I told everyone in that room that long term treatment results in heart issues, liver issues, physical ailments that permanently scar your internal body and shorten your life span.

She said okay,  well, then would you rather kill yourself now and not have a life to live, or have some little problems a little later?

I said that was a dumb question, and that heart arrhythmia’s aren’t little problems. I said I’d rather kill myself than subject my body to synthetic chemicals.

And through this experience, if it’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that the only two ways I will die is by my own hand or nature’s hand. I will not slowly die at the hands of greedy monsters making a profit off my death. If anyone is going to shorten my life span, it’s going to be me.

Should 911 have been called on me? Probably. I’m worried what I will do after Halloween–my original plan–and where my mindset will go. I’m worried I won’t be able to receive the support people are offering because I don’t know how. I’m convinced there is nothing left for me and that the only thing keeping me alive right now is fear of the unknown and a low threshold for pain. I’m worried this depression will slide past, unnoticed, and sky rocket into something more. I’m worried I’m not going to find a purpose again, that I’m not going to find a reason to live. I’m worried I’ll never feel passionate about anything again, or optimistic. I’m worried I’m shutting down, like the last stages of liver cancer. I’m worried I’ll pass as functional and be in misery for the rest of my life, however short or long that is. I’m worried someone will convince me to go back on medication. I’m worried that the only thought in my head right now is that I give up.

I’m worried that, recently, every time someone offers their help, my response now is “I don’t want it.”

My Brief Hospitalization Experience

Remember that post a few days ago where I said I go into the forest not to kill myself, but to not kill myself?

Well, I went in there to kill myself.

sleepaway-camp

*shocking twist*

Long story short, the police were called on me.

I messaged my boyfriend frantically saying someone needed to come get my car, and two minutes after he arrived we hear the sirens. A female sheriff rolled up and another male sheriff rolled up with a social worker from the county in the back of his car. They would not let me drive home. I had two options: emergency room at the regular hospital, or intake emergency at the psychiatric hospital.

Kill two birds with one stone why don’t we; remember in that last post how I said the magical ways I see the forest keep me out of the hospital? Well, fuck that to hell too. 

I refused to go to the emergency room at the regular hospital because they would only redirect me to the psychiatric one, most likely against my will. That’s how this emergency room operates now; they’ve changed their policy and the sheriff didn’t know I knew that.

The social worker was a very calm, nice man from the county. He knows about the place I work and coaxed me into heading to the facility. If I would have said no, they would have taken me involuntarily because of the self-harm that day.

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Swag As Fuck

They give me the little hospital socks in the intake room and take away my shoes. They take my vitals, including my temperature, then lead me to the interview rooms that are just white slabs of painted concrete and two leather chairs. They give me a blanket because it’s minus one thousand degrees Fahrenheit in there, at eleven in the morning.

A nurse comes in and starts firing questions. At this point my energy is drained. It didn’t really register that I was now in the lions den.

Another woman came in, an LCSW, who also happened to conduct assessments. She couldn’t really figure out how to break through my affect. She tried cracking jokes, she tried putting words in my mouth (something about how a part of me is “broken” and “needs a cast” and that hopefully I can get my “cast” at the hospital). I got to speak for a good four minutes out of the forty five minutes we spent together. She tried relating by using street language like “shit”.

I remained monotone. I try so hard to put emotion and gestures and make eye contact with people. But I couldn’t keep up the act anymore. I dropped everything and showed my natural state for once: no eye contact, no emotion.

When the woman tried telling me my low self esteem was apart of this, I jerked my head up for once and refuted very bluntly: I don’t have low self esteem; I’m pretty confident in my abilities and what I can do. She didn’t really know what to say at that point.

I was given a cup to pee in. I peed in it.

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They said I could either be in a quiet, lit up room, or a darker one. I chose the darker one with the television on: vice presidential debate. Could this day get any worse?

I figured they’d take about an hour or two figuring out “my plan”. The LCSW said she would recommend that I get transferred to a more long term psychiatric facility for a full evaluation but that it wasn’t her choice. Evidently it wasn’t mine either. I didn’t get a say in “my plan”. That should have been my first clue.

By the time seven p.m hit, I realized I wasn’t leaving. I also realized I was officially in the lions den and I needed to play this smart. 

We didn’t get beds, but recliner chairs that kind of turned into beds. I slept with about six or seven other people, all of us watching a marathon of “Chopped Junior”. Every two hours the RN’s came in checking my vitals particularly because they said my blood pressure was a little high and not going down. I fucking wonder why?

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Is this really how it is? Asking permission to use the goddamn bathroom like a two year old? I can have a spork in my oatmeal but can’t be trusted with a television remote? I’m so confused on so many levels.

Not one RN or therapist talked to me the rest of the day, night, or the following day. I went to sleep with my final realization that I couldn’t take it any longer. There were no windows, and because of where this facility is located there is also no outdoor place we’re allowed to go. If they can’t trust us to go into a bathroom than there’s no way in hell they’re trusting us to be in the parking lot.

You had to ask for food. You had to ask to take a shower. Ask to use the bathroom. Ask for pillows. There weren’t even any clocks. Ask for this, ask for that, like I’m a toddler on a leash stuck in a windowless hell. I couldn’t take it. Not after seeing how Second Story is run.

Although I had no choice in coming here, because I didn’t make a fuss in making the choice to come, I was considered voluntary. They asked me in front of the seven other people if I still wanted to kill myself. That’s how they woke me up. For fucks sake. And that RN really wonders why my blood pressure was high?

I told them not at the moment. Which was a lie. We went into the other room for a more full assessment and I was done playing their game. I knew if I chose to let them keep me on a hold, if I chose to go to the longer termed facility, my rights would vanish.

vanished

In the time I was there, I refused medication anywhere between twenty to thirty times. I was there for almost three days. If I signed my rights away to the long term hospital my refusals would have been for nothing because they’d stuff pills down my throat faster than a neuron can fire. That’s pretty fast.

So I left the hospital feeling pretty confused on what the fuck just happened. I was so happy to see sunlight I started laughing hysterically out the door. That looked totally normal.

I thought about the few people I’d actually got a chance to meet. One guy was so drugged up he didn’t know what the hell he was doing, and woke me and this other girl up at seven in the morning by running around on all fours like a possessed monkey. I thought he would climb on the walls and twist his head around and screech. One of the other guys held his hand out and was like “whoa boy, heel, heel! Slow down there!” He told the guy running around to protect his stuff while he went out in the hall.

The guy who went out into the hall got bombarded by a RN who needed urine sample from him. He argued. And argued. And argued. Finally the RN just screamed “Just pee in the cup!”

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He went to the bathroom with the cup. The nurse asked him if it was water. They argued and she took it back to the lab. When she came back, she held it up to his face and shouted “This is water and spit! Now why would you do something as silly as that?”

Me and the other girl were having a jolly time laughing it up. What the fuck was going on in this place?

It was funny until the one guy who was climbing around on all fours suddenly stopped moving. He’d either sit in the doorways or just stand. Sometimes he’d pace in circles and bang really hard on the door. It was obvious he just needed some attention. But people told him to stop banging and ignored him. Until he finally plopped down in the middle of the floor and refused to budge.

Rather than sit down next to him or ask how he was doing, a nurse called in his ear like he was deaf: “do you want some medication? We’ll get you something to make you feel better.”

At that point I was officially done. As much as I need a break from everything in my life, and my mental health, I’m not risking my fucking safety for this bullshit. The last thing I told the woman in the chair behind me was “God, get me the fuck out of here.”

She wished me good luck, and I her.

Now I am home. Rattled, depressed, and more frustrated. What a waste of time.

Can’t wait for the bill because of my no health insurance. Wonderful.

 

CommonSensepam; Take Daily Dose With Food

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I’m thoroughly disturbed.

I’m disturbed I’m addicted to the internet and just paid $8 for a full 24 hour of Wifi from Comcast while simultaneously saying “fuck you, Comcast” as it sucked the money from my account.

I’m disturbed  Nikki Minaj is in Barbor Shop Three. YouTube just shoved the Ad in my face. What the fuck Ice Cube?!?!?! I ain’t watchin’ that shit.

I’m disturbed at how upset my stomach has been these last few days. That YouTube Ad didn’t help.

I’m disturbed that hospital “steak and gravy” tastes like canned Catfood smells.

That’s a “Fancy Feast” if I ever had one.

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Ha, I’m a fucking riot.

I’m disturbed that after four hours of being home, my dad went upstairs with the neighbor and had a beer.

That’s the heart of true addiction right there. You were in a medically induced coma for two days straight with a breathing tube down your throat and your blood pressure sky rocketing into the two hundreds, you stay in the hospital for five days straight and then get out and go right back to it.

I’m disturbed that because we can’t afford “high end” health insurance like Blue Cross that we’re not worthy of good health services.

3500 dollars for an interventionist for a fifty minute session and a couple days of planning? And you don’t take Medi-care? Or Medi-cal? Suck my dick.

It’s fucking stupid.

It’s not even about the money and corporate gains and insurance companies lying in bed with drug companies at this point. No, at this point, it’s plain human ignorance. Disrespect for others lives.

How does it make sense for the low income people to have to pay out of their pocket? Obviously we can’t afford a thirty five thousand dollar treatment program. It’s hard enough trying to get him to see that he needs help. A counselor is good and all but he’s been addicted to substances since he was 15; a counselor is not enough. He’s in strong denial. He says it’s between him and God and he’s not even religious. He can’t stand authority (which is probably where I get it from) so when doctors try and tell him he “needs to eat healthier” he’s like fuck you.

He needs a program to help him teach himself to say “I need to eat healthier” or else he’s never going to get it.

Convincing him to do residential treatment is going to be one of the hardest things. I’ve watched a lot of intervention episodes, I was there in front of the T.V for every new episode and I still catch up with it online without cable. But he’s water and I’m an alkali metal.

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Besides, since I’m his daughter, he doesn’t take anything I say seriously. He’s never taken anything I say seriously because I’m “just a child”. A twenty year old child. So I tell my mom what to say. He’ll listen to her with more of an open mind.

But anyway, back to the financially inadequate in this country. Obviously none of that information is new. I’m not big on conspiracy theories but damn does this shit look like it’s done on purpose. Who’s more likely to be addicted to drugs? The Poor. Who’s more likely to act how you want, to be a zombie for money? The Poor. We need a poorer class in our society to feed off of or else capitalism doesn’t work.

I use the term capitalism very loosely. We’re more like a sixteenth democratic, 90% corporate capitalists, 5% socialist (welfare, e.t.c; it’s only five percent because it’s fucking horrible service) and the rest is just random shit that gets made up along the way.

So if you’re going to shove us in the dirt, keep us low, and laugh in our faces, at least let us get adequate health services. You need us healthy or else we’re all going to die off. Ya pricks.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being rich. It’s not the average rich or wealthy or middle class person I’m going after here, it’s the people who design the systems who make the billions that I’m going after.

Doctors say “Get help for addiction”.

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Well you dumb son of a bitch, why don’t you get over here on the other phone line and listen to these fuckers tell you over and over again that you need to pay three thousand dollars a day and that they don’t take your insurance provider and that there’s nothing else they can do and really, they should give them your condolences for your loved ones in the event of their likely demise.

Or their social workers come in and say “we’ll give you paper work for some places locally who can help” and they never give the paperwork.

Happens all the time.

They say “call me” and you call them and they don’t answer, they don’t call you back, and you never see that potentially life saving paperwork.

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What the fuck are you doing? Are you understaffed? Too many poor people walking through the emergency room doors who need help with their addiction and/or mental health that you can’t keep up? What the fuck is the problem? Identify the problem! You know, third grade math skills! You know there are wireless printers, right? Put a printer or fax in all the rooms and fax the fucking papers from the social worker straight to the patient (if they’re competent enough for it; some patients are just downright combative). If you really want to get progressive, if you really make an attempt at helping someone, fucking put your brains together and come up with some very simple, very cost effective ways to be more efficient. Old ass fax machines are like ten bucks on Ebay bitch.

Or be a dick.

You have two choices, it’s very simple.

Got all that donation money and what do they do? Paint “Hello Humankindness” on the elevator doors and make their walls and pretty and give the receptionists nice new desks and update a few IV and medication machines. Their communication from department to department has the strength and effectiveness of a deer shot in the head.

It’s like having a kid who is a little bad ass and screams and punches you until you give him what he wants, but you dress him up like an angel and tell everyone how wonderful he is all the time.

It’s like thinking you’ll fill that hole inside of you if you get liposuction and Botox and butt injections and breast implants and thirty other cosmetic surgeries.

What I will say is that those hospital staff, most of them, work their asses off to do the best they can, especially the nurses. They’re doing the best they can with what they’re provided and that’s their job. It’s the people far, far above them fucking everything up.

I think this is a well known fact.

But what good has knowing a fact ever done unless you do something with that fact? Sure, you’ll sound intellectual and so in-tune with politics and badass and that hot kind of anti-establishment, but that’s not doing anyone but your ego any good.

This is part of my inspiration to become a psychiatrist. I’d like to see what goes on in the world the public doesn’t see.

I’d like to work with the financially insecure, the ethnics, the addicts, the people and youth in institutions, because they’re the ones who need the help.

Not like if you come to me with a family willing to pay $400 dollars a session (there’s a psychiatrist in my area who charges that, I saw her profile; new Stanford graduate) I’m going to turn you away–of course I’ll work with you. For one, I want to help, for two, those will be the people who make it possible for me to work with the people who can’t pay as much.

We need the rich people just as much in a capitalist society sometimes.

 

This Floor Shall Be My Laughing Space

 

 

 

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Tonight is another cold, cold night. I’ve taken up driving with a blanket around my shoulders. Don’t think I’ve mentioned the fact that my car heater only works when I push on the gas pedal. The AC doesn’t even work at all.

My father’s blood pressure was 190/108 tonight, again, so we got to the bottom of their medication bullshit. Turns out they were giving him the blood pressure medication combination he also takes at home, but they didn’t read the prescription instructions because they gave him both medications in the morning. After he received them, his blood pressure was 135/90 or something like that. As the afternoon went on it started climbing, and climbing and climbing because the doctors didn’t order more medication for the evening.

At home he’s instructed to take one in the morning and one in the evening and his blood pressure stays relatively even; the last time he had a doctor’s appointment his blood pressure was back down to the 130’s. It’s all about even dosage; every twelve hours, you know?

I felt like it was common sense; if one thing hasn’t been working for two days straight, obviously you need to try something else.

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I’ll just say this hospital doesn’t have the best reputation but I’ve noticed some changes since they’ve remolded the emergency room and got updated equipment. The nurses are more informative, especially if you ask them questions, and the doctor we spoke to in the emergency room four days ago gave us all the information we could have asked for. Usually they say one or two things to us and tell us to get out. This time this woman actually seemed like she gave two shits.

Because they’re crowded and busy, I know it’s hard to keep tabs on every single patient, but it seems like the doctors and nurses don’t communicate very well. It doesn’t even seem like the nurses communicate with each other very well. One of the RN’s today said people don’t make eye contact with each other here, they just go on independently without speaking a word to each other. I don’t know if that’s typical for a hospital setting or not, but it doesn’t seem very productive.

The real test comes whenever he gets out. He’s already whined all night tonight about getting out; he started looking for his clothes and shoes tonight hoping he could put them on and walk out–he’s done it several times. They can’t stop him but they could at least give us a fucking ring and tell us “yo, he just left man someone should go find him”.

I’ve said this before, but I wrote about it months ago so I’ll reiterate: He has some pretty odd reactions to the drug ativan (one of the reason i was so scared when they gave it to me for my panic attack in the hospital) where he started hallucinating things were climbing up the walls and people were invading his “house” (the hospital ICU). They had him in restraints. We told them he wasn’t acting right and that it might be the Ativan (I knew a bit about the drug from the books I read) and they told us it wasn’t the medication.

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Whatever.

Anyway, we figured they’d get it through their thick skulls sooner or later. When he got transferred out of the ICU into transitional care, he was still on the Ativan and still combative and hallucinating and tipping towards some kind of psychotic state. He was highly suspicious of everyone and always trying to escape the restraints and break the bed and get away from the intruders better known as the nurses.  He rolled around on the floor laughing his ass off at night and somehow got to roaming up and down the halls. He wandered out of the hospital.

Three hours later we came to visit. The head nurse looked at us and said he hadn’t been in his room for quite some time. He told us everything that happened that day, including the laughter and paranoia and such and said they didn’t know where he went but they suspected he left the hospital.

Turns out some hospital security saw him outside (thank fucking God) and called the police (I take back my compliment) and he was sent to jail for the night. We picked him up at three in the morning and he was still a little loopy but much better. He had a few laughing fits but he was easily controllable and feeling much better.

They’ve given him Ativan three times and each time he has a weird reaction to it. Now we just tell them he’s allergic because they don’t listen to what we say if we just say he has a bad reaction. The EMT’s and the nurses just look at us like we don’t know what we’re talking about.

Little do they know, I speak some (very little) of their language. I’ve schooled some of them some times because they think they’re talking to incompetent public citizens.

common-senseWould he have been sent to the jail if he wasn’t African American? I couldn’t say. But it seems like if you have a hospital patient who is not in his right mind and is wandering around saying random shit and rolling around the floor laughing and hallucinating after you gave him some bullshit medication, they would bring him back up to the room or transfer him to the behavioral health unit, not call the police.

The three police officers, by the way, tackled him to the floor and bruised half of his body.

Slowly but surely, the more changes I see the more respect they earn. They’ve been helpful and even showed us how to tell where valves are in your veins by looking at them.

But you can understand my hesitation when they said they were giving me Ativan. I was halfway-passed out and I couldn’t breathe and I didn’t even feel them stick the IV in my vein but all I could think about was my dad hallucinating and laughing on the floor and being tackled. I didn’t want them to do that shit to me because of what they gave me. They did that to the poor guy who thought people were stealing his ribs.

Actually, a nurse ran by and said give him Haldol. So I felt worse for him than I did for me; I’d take a quick dose of Ativan over Haldol any day.

Anyway, I had the opposite reaction. My heart rate calmed and I was singin’ “Everybody wit me drunk as fuck, break it down then roll it up” like it was my theme song. Then they gave me a CT scan and put contrast in my blood and I threw up twice. At home I passed out and woke up fully two days later like what the fuck happened.

Different medications do drastically different things. Expect the unexpected and don’t get mad because a few medications don’t work for you. Maybe there’s a better option.