Tales from the Psych Ward (Part One)

Back Again

Okay, 12 years ago, I had to go to Southern Maryland Hospital for getting extremely triggered by my father and cutting the tendons in my hand. I talked about it a little in The Story of My Mental Illness. Well, I found myself back at the same hospital although it is now Medstar Southern Maryland Hospital (I have to look up when they became affiliated with them because some things changed for the worst). I personally was finding my way back to that place and hanging onto a thread although I swore I would never be back there and I meant it.

How Did We Get Back There?

Well, I have been on a downward spiral for a number of months (probably 6 mos now). I had spoken to my therapist for a few months and do not fault him for not really changing my meds or upping my dosage because…. COVID. We have never been like this before so COVID with seasonal depressive disorder AND bipolar disorder(s) 1 and 2 were coded. Of course I checked the codes because I’m a coder. I’ll check the HCC Coder tomorrow to see if there is an Excludes note on 1 and 2. If there is, you can’t code them together. Anyhow, here is a video that gives a little bit of a summary of Bipolar 1 and 2.

https://youtu.be/VNLSCuI4P0w

Anyhow, the seasonal depressive disorder and bipolar disorder kind of suck but they usually come together for some reason. For some people it comes in two seasons. The seasons mine seemed to come in in the past were Fall and Spring. This time it seems as though it came in Fall, Spring, and Summer and I couldn’t get out of it. To top it off, my daughter has been giving me problems and a lot of attitude. What sent me over the edge on Thursday was finally just being really treated like trash when the reason I live is for her. I couldn’t get the thought out of my mind that she would be better off without me. This came from a morning exchange where she literally disrespected me and, to me, this is a HUGE trigger. I don’t do disrespect. But I also have to remember that my daughter has a MODERATE intellectual disability as well as autism. See Having a Child with an Intellectual Disability WHILE Dealing with Your Own Mental Illness. So we have triggers and sometimes you can’t get past some of the triggers when they keep coming at you and you can’t literally beat your child up (especially one with a disability. Can you just hear the journalist telling my story? Mother Kills Disabled Child. Doesn’t sound right, does it?) so what do you do? You have to sit there and take it? No, but you have every right to get tired of it.

That day, I got tired of it. Here’s what happened:

First, I told my daughter to get up and take a shower. She got up, went to the bathroom, came out, and started putting clothes on. Now, she has to take a shower in the morning because she sometimes has accidents so it’s best to get up in the morning and shower.

I’m annoyed at her room and her not doing what I tell her so I tell her again to get into the shower. I then get a trash bag and start (trying) to clean her room as it is a hot mess at the time. I’m cleaning out the litter box (which she is supposed to do) and she turns the light off. I ask her to turn the light back on so I can see. Do you know what she says to me? “I’m tired of this, YOU turn the light back on” while standing right NEXT TO the light switch. At that time, I had to pray. Now, I have been having issues with her getting up daily and I understand why:

  1. There is no set uniform for ESY (Extended School Year)
  2. She hasn’t had to dress to go to school for a long time
  3. She hasn’t had to actually GO to school for well over a year

Although these are not excuses, I have to take these into consideration as routine is very important to children with autism and sometimes kids in general. So, with all these changes, it’s pretty annoying and hard to get back into a routine that you were once familiar with.

The Snitches

Well, I’m such a planner (again) that I was doing research to figure out how to commit suicide in the most non painful way. With that being said, I knew that I had bad luck in the past when it came to performing the act. Maybe it’s the Virgo in me but I’m a planner so I looked up “How to commit suicide” and was annoyed when Google gave me the Suicide Hotline info instead. That was counterproductive. I had a bunch of old Seroquel that I was taken off because of Diabetes (see So I Have Diabetes) but it was from a good 3 years ago so that wasn’t going to finish the act. Also, if I used my prescription meds (Klonopin) and it didn’t work, I would have to find a reason to ask for another refill for it which wasn’t going to serve me well. Then I started looking up jumping off bridges. The closest bridge we have is the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. So I started looking up what would happen if I jumped off the bridge. I found out that jumping with clothes could act as a parachute and slow down your fall but you would die a painful death mostly BUT there were people that survived the falls. I also didn’t get a chance to read up on how high the WW Bridge was because my complaint to my coworker (in Michigan that I have never met in person) got put into a group chat with myself and another friend that doesn’t live too far from me. Ohhhh, the fun they had.

They didn’t like my tone. They did not think I was “fine”. One said she was calling the police but didn’t know my address, just knew where I lived. Well, the one I have NEVER MET sent her my address swiftly. And, with that, the police were called.

I went ahead and called the Suicide Prevention number and was talking to a lady when the police knocked on my dang on door. They asked me what was up, I told them that I was alive because of my daughter and felt as though she no longer needed me so there was no longer a reason for me to be here.

You Have TWO Choices

When you go away, they give you two choices ALWAYS: Voluntary or involuntary. Well, the police officer gave me my first set of choices. Either I go in the ambulance (voluntary), or I ride in the cop car with handcuffs (involuntary). Um….. which would you pick?

So, I took the ambulance, got my vitals taken, was asked some questions and taken to the ER for Behavioral Health to be assessed to see if they were going to admit me or not. I was in there chillin. I got to watch Law and Order: SVU but I wanted them to do what they had to do so I could get out. A social worker came and talked to me asking me what brought me there and I told her. She made the decision to admit me. I had two choices: voluntary (3 day stay) or involuntary (10 day stay). I chose voluntary and signed a 72 hour form (this will come back up). I was then in a rush to get upstairs so that my time could start.

Man, that rush was not cool. I would have much rather stayed in the flippin ER watching my shows because going upstairs was like going to hell.

I will stop here for now because I have chosen to go back to work but I have so many stories to tell. Some are funny, some are sad, and I almost got into 2 fights while there, not gonna lie. People like to test you and people are my triggers.

This series will have multiple parts:

  1. My first days there (almost fighting on day number one with a person that liked to pick fights)
  2. My roommate
  3. The lack of care that I felt was given on a 1:1 basis
  4. The fact that we were doing our own 1:1 sessions amongst one another and supporting one another
  5. The seemingly same questions given that could easily be answered so that we could get out of there
  6. Why you have to sign a 72 hour downstairs and once you get admitted and why you have to ASK for the dang on form when you get upstairs
  7. How some patients need not have roommates as they are only more stressful
  8. The difference in the food in the hospital given to the other floors vs the food given to the psych unit (and I know there is a difference as my mother was there about 3 mos ago)
  9. Just the pros and cons and maybe some research on other facilities for behavioral health
  10. Support from family and friends.

A Lot Has Happened in the Past 5 Days

I don’t regret it at all and don’t fault my “village” for caring enough for me to take action and not just take my word for it. They had been paying attention even with all they had going on in their lives and I appreciate them for it although they are going to have to pay. And they don’t like the way that I pay. LOL I had actually wanted to do a series on my “village”. There are some very beautiful and caring women in my village and I would like to introduce them to you one day.

For now, I thank you for reading and I hope you keep reading this series. Kpop will be mentioned, don’t think it won’t be. I had a lot of pictures but it seems as though my little welcome handbook got taken away by accident but it’s cool. I was going to showcase some of my marker and color pencil skills. LOL I actually have coloring books and beautiful color pencils that I love to use so I will continue doing that as it is very soothing. I might do it around lunch time.

Either way, there is a lot more to come and I need to actually do research to find out the actual job description for a med tech because it seemed as though they did more than was necessary and I respected them very much for that.

Until then, time for bed. Please look forward to my other posts about this experience. I hope that this can be a deterrent, however.

Published by tallgirl79

Blogging about life. Well, my life. As a black, bipolar, mom to a teenager with special needs, well, there is always a story to tell. From my aversion to having a man to my weird experiences while trying to avoid people, it's all there. Being me is.... different but it always makes for good blogs.

3 thoughts on “Tales from the Psych Ward (Part One)

  1. Hello lovely girl, I’m sending you a big warm hug. I hope that’s okay. I know some people don’t like being hugged. I’m so sorry to hear you have spiraled downwards and that you had to be admitted to a Psych ward 😦 it sounds like an awful experience and I’m saddened to have learnt that you got a room mate (who needs THAT when they’re already suicidal? I mean, come on now) , that people wanted to pick fights with you while in hospital (again – AWFUL when you’re already suffering) and sad to hear your daughter was so disrespectful. My heart breaks for you. Are you home safe now? You doing ok?

    1. I am definitely home. Got out today. The first time I was there 12 years ago, I learned a lot about mental health and finished my degree. After this experience, I might be thinking about going back to school. The experience was not all bad at all and I LOVE my roommate. Home today, going back to work tomorrow because it gives me a sense of purpose. Thank you for your kind words.

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