Under the Quilt

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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Back to Reality

The kids and I went to visit hubby in lock down today. He was cracking jokes left and right (said he must do so or else go "nuts") with the kids. Such as: look around the room and tell me what can be used as a weapon? (hint: clock on wall could be smashed and the jagged shards of plastic used to stab someone or self) Yes, they remove just about everything from the room that could be used to hurt oneself or one of the nurses/doctors/social workers. Here's a quick rundown.....paper bags in the trash cans (you know plastic ones can be quite dangerous), tv is in an industrial strength cabinet, bathroom can only be locked from the outside (just in case it's necessary to stuff the patient in there and lock them up until security shows up)....you get the picture.

I brought in his suitcase loaded with all the items he had requested. It was searched at the nurse's station with a few items confiscated: the strap from his bathroom bag, the ziploc bags with his shampoo toothpaste and toothbrush (I'm not sure what one could do with a quart sized ziploc bag), large plastic garbage bag (I packed it for him to store his dirty clothes in...what was I thinking?), cell phone and charger (apparently the cell phone interferes with all of their 'electronic equipment' and the phone charger has a cord on it).

So for the duration of his stay, he is stuck with using the communal phone which consists of 3-4 cordless (oh yes) phones that are passed between the residents in the whole psych wing. The 2 times that he called me, after just a few minutes of conversation, there was someone in the background asking if he was done because someone else needed to use it. So much for getting filled in on everything that's going on with him (and having any sort of time to be supportive).

I think the next time I go to visit, I'll do it by myself so I can stay longer. The kids needed to visit this time, but now that they've seen where he is and (to them) he's ok, I think it would be easier for everyone if I go alone. The kids were somewhat confused to begin with...."Why does dad have to stay there. If the doctors are just trying to figure out what medicines will work better for him, then why can't he come home?" Neither hubby or I indulged them with all the details. I don't think it would have been fair to them. They know just enough to satisfy their curiosity, but not so much as to be scared. While the kids were goofing off in the room (I'm surprised to mean nurse didn't come lock them in the bathroom), hubby quietly filled me in on the real reason why he admitted himself. I knew it was probably not just the usual "I had the strong urge to run away from life.....drive down the freeway endlessly without looking back" sort of episode. He said he was driving around at lunchtime and was about an eighth of a second from purposely driving head on with the oncoming vehicle. "How easy it would have been to just...BAM....let that one moment take away all the pain....all the anguish". He said he looked inside the oncoming vehicle and could see the family inside....three boys in the back, dad at the wheel, mom on the passenger's side looking around for something on her lap. All of the innocent lives that would have been affected. Not just that family, but our's too of course.

I'm not sure where this leaves us. He is annoyed that he didn't just run and hide somewhere until these feelings passed...like all the other times he's had irrational thoughts. He wants to be home with us to heal with people that love him.....not be in lock down. On the other hand, he said that taking that step and going to the hospital for help is almost like saying "Look! I really am sick!"

He says he wishes that I would just run away from him.....that it would be easier for him to just self-destruct without hurting anyone (yeah right...did you forget that the kids and I would be devastated because we LOVE you?). He doesn't want to hurt us, yet there is really no way around that. If I stay, we get hurt. If I take the kids and run, we get hurt because he really would self-destruct. Is the solution more drugs...better drugs? Currently they have him on six different things which include 2 sedatives. I don't think that's the answer. Neither does he.

He said he had been reading some info off the net about cases of people with depression. I forget the name, but essentially it was people who suffered from depression and were resistant to treatment (meaning their bodies were resistant to any drug cocktails that the docs could come up with). I'm not sure if this is the case with him, but I hope they can find something that will work. This kills me to see him suffering like this. And all the while, he's still worrying about the stress that he's putting onto the kids and I.

I now have to go call my mom (and bawl like a baby) since this has been my only outlet so far. I'm not sure that I will get very far with the conversation since I'm already breaking down just writing this. These are the times when I REALLY wish I didn't live thousands of miles from my family. Sometimes a phone call is not enough. Know what I mean?


  • At 9:32 AM , Blogger Liz said...

    Roxanne, I'm sorry this is happening. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that better, happier times are coming soon for you and your family.

  • At 11:46 AM , Blogger Invader Stu said...

    I'm sorry to hear about what has happened. I hope everything turns out alright.


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