An update on the “Voluntary Hospitalization?” post, the overdose and why I didn’t end up in the ER

May 9, 2012

Life is beautiful, it’s precious, it’s [insert other euphemism]. It is the only one we know we’ll get. So why waste it? Why throw it away?

Sure, there are tsunamis that claw over, killing hundreds of people and hurricanes and tornadoes and earthquakes all leaving ravage in their wake; there’s disease and famine, and worst of all, the man-made stuff–if you don’t count some of the natural disaster stuff being partially an effect of some of the man made stuff.

But still, why throw it away?

I have often wondered “How does one get to that point?” of taking your own life, of constantly being bombarded by thoughts of suicide. I wonder about this, even when I myself have been there countless times. So I can only imagine how incomprehensible it maybe for someone who’s never dealt with chronic depression and chronic thoughts of suicide like I have.

I say take this as a trigger warning, please: I will refer to suicide a lot in this post.

********

I was at a low point–the lowest of lows in the low meter–three nights ago as I mentioned in my post “Voluntary Hospitalization?”

I’d been having increased urges again, not just the thoughts but the INTENSE URGES. What’s funny is I don’t feel “depressed” not in the sense that I had been feeling the last four months or so. Not in the least. I’ve been doing a lot more, generally. I’m hyper! i’m up. Maybe that’s the most dangerous time to have these “urges”. I’ve heard the saying many times that when you’re going through a deep depression, you’re just “too damn tired to kill yourself”. In a way, it’s true. So have I been a bit “mixed” or mixed up lately? I don’t know. Possibly, if what I’ve been feeling is what you would call that anyway.

What I do know is dropping the Wellbutrin (generic) and starting the Prozac (generic) in the same week was probably not the smartest move. It must’ve put icing on the cake. Then I had those dreams. And still so, I continued reading depressing blogs (no offense you guys, I love yall, really. I just should’ve taken a break from reading).

At any rate, you can add as many reasons as you want. It doesn’t matter too much when, after all was said and done, I’m alright now. Mostly.

********

So, I ended up taking about eight hydrocodone 500-5mg pills and two and a half 5mg Ambien pills in the course of, mmm, I’d say an hour or two(?). I passed out shortly after replying to Elaine’s last comment (thanks for talking to me Elaine and all of you who gave insightful comments). This must’ve occurred at four or five in the morning.

Around 7am, I woke up, flushed, cold and shivering, heart pounding nearly out of my chest at turbo speed, and I jetted over to the bathroom near my parent’s room because that’s were my wheelchair fits. And that’s when I had my first vomiting session.

The vomiting was so loud that my dad woke up and asked if I wanted a glass of water. “No thanks, I’m going back to bed. Love you.”

He tried to question me asking if I felt sick but I brushed it off and dragged back under the covers, collapsing and drifted back into the grey of dreamless sleep where I wanted to be anyway.

About an hour later, I woke up again, with the same symptoms and rushed back to vomit once more, only this time I didn’t think I’d make it. I was colder, shakier and weaker. See I usually get out of my chair once I’m in the restroom and tiptoe my way to the toilet. But by now, I was too dizzy.

My dad once again woke up concerned. (poor papi 😦 ) He scratched his head and again asked to get me water. I refused once more but he got me some anyway. So I took it, thanked him and went back to bed.

This occurred several more times that morning, to the point where I was only throwing up that yellow bile and my stomach muscles would only contract but were unable to release anything else because there was nothing left to release. I felt like I was going to die, shit, I could have! I mean that kind of dose for someone that only weighs 44lb/22 kilos is a fatal overdose now that I think of it.

Eventually, I think after the fourth vomiting session, my dad started stroking my back and saying to me, “why kind of virus could this be? have you had diarrhea yet?”

I couldn’t lie when he asked that. I just couldn’t. The only other time I remember purposely ODing this bad was when I was a senior in high school. It was the day before graduation (I tend to do stupid things just as I’m about to accomplish something). Anyway, it was one of my worst depressions ever, lasted nearly the entire senior year. And I know part of it was because I was worried about graduating, not having my citizenship papers, not being able to go to college, etc. I hadn’t slept for three days prior to the day of graduation. I was getting to a point where I was mildly hallucinating. So in an act of desperation I took a handful of Zoloft (ha, yeah, I didn’t know then). My brother had just begun to see a psych at that time for the first time ever and he’d been diagnosed with OCD. That’s where the Zoloft came from. Funny enough, no one asked about the dissapearing pills. But anyway, I had a vomiting session that night–not as bad as this one–but back then, I had lied to my parents. I said it must’ve been a virus. I blamed it on bad tacos and overeating and graduation nerves. They didn’t question it.

So, I wasn’t going to lie this time.

“No papi, I don’t think I’ll get diarrhea. This isn’t a stomach virus. I just took a lot of pain killers last night.”

“Why?”

“I’m not sure.”

My dad, unlike me, isn’t very reactive or loud. He actually THINKS before he speaks in these situations. He just stood there quietly by the sink and ducked his head in deep thought.

His head rose. “How many?”

“Ummm. I don’t know eight, seven, nine. I’m not sure, yeah, eight. It must’ve been eight.”

“Why’d you do that?”

“I don’t know” Maybe it was a cry for help? Maybe I just wanted to shut up the damn mean things the Pretty Little Demons kept saying. I just wanted to knock myself out a while, I thought.

P, maybe you were just playing Russian Roulette. Oh let’s try this and see what happens.

I got another spasm and ducked to spew more bile. That was the first time I was glad to get a spasm because it was a perfect excuse not to answer his questions. My dad is usually VERY critical, always criticizing even the smallest things you do, so it surprised me that he didn’t push it with the questions this time. But then again, why would he? He must’ve been devastated by the look on his face.

Well, I wasn’t able to get my dad off my back by then. And I’m glad he didn’t and I’m sure he wouldn’t have left me stumbling even if I woud’ve resisted it. I didn’t though. I let him help me back into bed. And when I woke again around  1pm, I found a bottle of Gatorade at my bedside. I drank a little and sipped some water I had.

Again, I went to the toilet, only to throw that up as well, then more gags and more spasms.

Around 2, the worst was over. And I sat on the couch drained. I sat in awkward silence when my mom walked in from the bedroom. My dad had made soup and asked if I wanted to eat. I said sure and then he and my mom left me a plate and took off to run some errands.

********

I was left to my own thoughts, left reflecting on how idiotic this can become. I’ve tried really hard not to let myself fall into stupid guilt since then. Years ago, I would have beat myself up so badly about doing something so dumb, that I just may have gone and try to do it again to end the guilt. Isn’t that a funny circular way of thinking?

P do you not SEE, do you not REALIZE how much your actions affect others? <—- that would be my internal Punitive Parent starting her tirade.

But I do feel bad. Even if I’m not beating myself up like I normally would, not as much at least. I feel bad to have worried them so. I feel terrible at seeing how sad my dad looked and how he asked me if I wanted to end up like L. I felt terrible when he said that he’d die if I left. “Don’t do this to me. You won’t do this to me will you?” he said (I realize that last one was a tad manipulative on his part, but see that’s the thing, he didn’t know he was being so and maybe that’s how I’m manipulative too?).

I just felt dreadful seeing him like that.

Back when I was seeing Young Therapist, she would often screen me for “suicidality”. Basically, I’d just fill in a questionnaire at the beginning of the session. One of the question that comes to mind is:

Will I try to keep myself from acting on thoughts and impluses? If so, I would do so for the following reasons: a.) blagghalhl b.) hopes for the future c.) religious beliefs d.) I do not want to hurt my family.

I would ALWAYS select D.) I do not want to hurt my family.

The irony is I’ve already hurt them, even when I haven’t attempted.

I’m glad they haven’t told my brother about this, at least I don’t think they have.

********

When I saw the New Male Therapist who’s really a she (I’ll tell you why later, someday),  she asked me, “How long have you felt these depressive episodes and had these suicidal thoughts?”

“Since I was about twelve or thirteen”

“Oh, so most of your life!”

Yep, most of my life.

I’ve dealt with this kind of destructive thinking most of my life. And it seems when I hit a valley, a low low low valley, I don’t do anything about it. But when I start to fluctuate like I have been, that’s when I get dangerously impulsive.

That’s why I mentioned the hospitalization. I’ve been thinking. “Ok, you’re good now. You’re fine” But really? Are you P? Yes I am. No, you need to be somewhere don’t you think? No, really I’m good.

See, I keep telling myself, if reasonable, rational, positive P is still in there telling me the things I need to in order to stay alive, in order to survive as any living things tries to, then I’m good. But as positive P gets quieter and quieter and the Pretty Little Demons get louder, I just don’t know anymore. Can I really wait it out this time like I always say I will?

The previous two nights before the OD ordeal, I’d been having the same intensity of thoughts and feelings–the same urges–but only the first night did I manage to keep cool. The second night I scratched and scratched at my thighs. The third night this. Now what? Wait more? Pray?

Hmmmm… My form of prayer is very different from what most religious people would do. I try to meditate but when you’re so distraught you can’t even concentrate enough to do the simplest mindfulness, the simplest things, I just don’t… at least I can’t.

What I mean is, handling this instability on my own is NOT EASY. But like I mentioned in the other post, I’ve never been hospitalized, even when I probably SHOULD HAVE BEEN. You know that MONUMENTAL MENTAL BREAK DOWN I keep mentioning? Yeah, I should have been carried out on a stretcher then.

It terrifies me. These county wards are not the best. When I mentioned that people who get arrested go there, I don’t mean I’m “scared” of people that get arrested. Come on! By now you should know that’s not how P is. I talk to hobos on the street like they’re my buddies. I let a drunk homeless man serenade me one time because “you just moved me so, can I sing to you?” I didn’t see harm in it when I know most people would have thought me just as crazy as him for letting him get so close. No, that’s not what terrifies me about this city psychiatric hospital, which is part–a wing basically–of the hospital I go to for all my other care.

Besides, I’ve been to that ER several times. I know what it’s like having to be screened through the ER triage first. When I broke my arm in February, I was there. I was two beds next to this really cute guy who had been brought in by a police officer. I didn’t dare say anything to the man. He seemed too upset. ha. But I did stare at his gorgeous features. You know Sawyer from the show Lost? Yeah, he looked like him, only with curly hair and a beard. And I love beards!

********

So why I’m really afraid…

It’s because they take in ANYBODY, they take people who like myself, don’t have medical insurance, so yes that includes Mr. God-Knows-Why-You-Got-Arrested-or-Why-You’re-So-Damn-Gorgeous-Sawyer-Look-Alike. And what that means is they’re gonna be OVERCROWDED.

THAT’s what terrifies me. I’m terrified of being put in a bed next to ten other people, maybe the person next to my bed will be yelling or mumbling and won’t let me sleep all night. THAT is what scares me. Some of it is stereotyping but a lot of it is true. Another thing that scares me is that I’ll put my family through all this trouble just to get released feeling little or no better from it. Or worse, they KEEP ME THERE and I end up feeling worse.

Here’s a statement from their website which is part of the MHMRA: “The NPC (that’s Neuropsychiatric Center at Ben Taub) serves over 10,000 consumers a year. Adults, adolescents, and children come to the NPC for help. Many of those served are indigent or uninsured. Individuals seeking services may come voluntarily or may be brought to the NPC by law enforcement.”

********

So, I decided to email my dear BPD friend. I tend to keep her at a close distance these days but I love her dearly. She’s the person I always thought of when I wondered if I had BPD and the reason why I had ruled off having it just because I thought I didn’t act out as violently or extremely as she did. I just wouldn’t do that, so I can’t be BPD, I thought to myself. (ha! the irony)

We hadn’t talked in months, not even online. She had a little boy in October and has her own responsibilities to deal with, so we’d drifted a little. I hadn’t even told her about L! And she’d met L!

Well, I have now. I sent her a desperate message on Facebook and she called me. We talked a good while. I asked about her baby. She asked about L and even sounded teary 😦 . I was quite calm in my retelling of it, surprisingly. Anyway, she said that her experience at Ben Taub’s Psychiatric Inpatient unit was NOT HELPFUL AT ALL. Of course, I may need a second opinion. But I took that as a confirmation of my fears.

What I did next was, I called NEW MR. MALE THERAPIST (not a male) and asked her if there were any group therapies Ben Taub offered. She said yes, and sent out a referral to a DBT group. (I should be getting an answer from them soon).

The next thing I told MR. NEW MALE THERAPIST was the most difficult.

“Uhhhm. One more thing about this crisis situation I’ve been feeling… I kind of ODed.”

And that’s when she suggested I go inpatient. FUCK. Why did I tell her? Because you knew it was best to P.

So I asked her if she knew what it was like inpatient. She didn’t know much but asked if I planed on doing it again because she’d call an ambulance right then and there if I did. I said I didn’t (I really don’t think I will).

Sooo, I managed to get her not to call an ambulance on me but she later called me back and asked if she could speak with my “caregivers,” meaning the people who are currently in my life, seeing my day-to-day actions. Since I currently live with my parents, I gave her my mom’s cellphone number.

“I don’t feel comfortable, but sure go ahead and call her.”

“Wow P, that’s was a contradiction.”

“I know, I tend to contradict myself. What I guess I meant to say is ‘I don’t feel comfortable if you tell her this, but I know it would be best’. How about that?”

So we said our goodbyes and she made me promise her that I’d get back as soon as I talked to Young Therapist and if I felt that way again anytime soon.

I then phoned my Ex-Young Therapist and asked if they would take me back at the university. I didn’t tell her about the OD or the worsening suicidal ideation. I just said that the Harris County (the community hospital where Male Therapist works) Hospital District’s therapy services wasn’t going to work out for me.

“The session was only twenty minutes and my next appointment is at the END of JUNE. The most she said she could see me is every four to six weeks given all the people they take and the few therapists they have. I just don’t think I can do that My dear Ex-Young Therapist. It’s not beneficial, practical or even reasonable, especially in the state I’m in. ”

“You’re right. I’m so sorry it’s not working out. I’ll see if I can get you transfered over to another one of our residents but I’m doubting it P. I really will try but you may have to go back on a waiting list with us. In the meantime, why don’t you try going to the website for the Mental Health Association America and search under the guides for Houston.”

I am more than a little frustrated.

I then phoned the psychiatrist at the Harris County Community Clinic (these are all off-branches of the same Ben Taub Hospital). After phoning in three times I didn’t get an answer, not even a “leave a message”! What the fuck?!

I’m going to call back again as soon as I finish this post. I just need a minute to decompose.

********

Today I also happened to have an appointment there, at that clinic and was so out of it that I didn’t think to go straight over to the psychiatry office and ask them right then and there. I WAS THERE earlier and didn’t think to go see them. Uggh. Now I’ll have to phone in again and hope for an answer.

While I was there earlier today, I also had a very uncomfortable, awkward moment. My PCP, primary care physician, was looking over all the notes they have on computer now and there they were: My NEW MALE THERAPIST had placed in a suicide note to all my doctors.

He looked over at me sadly and asked if I’d tried to kill myself. I just ducked my head and said, “No”

“You didn’t try? You can look at the notes here if you want. P, I’m not a specialist in these things, but I’m your everything doctor, you can tell me. Were you trying to kill yourself?”

I wanted to cry but I just said, “No. Not really.”

“Anything wrong. Anything at all,” he looked so sad. I felt so bad to be in there. I just hate seeing faces like that.

“No. I’m good.”

“You sure.”

“Well, my best friend died and that may have something to do with it and…” I went on about how L had OI also and blah blah. I didn’t cry though. I guess I had one of my Five Faces on, The Detached Protector.

The doctor, a kind Indian man, said we were done. He asked my dad if I’d talked him. My dad didn’t understand some of what he’d asked, so I had to translate–more awkwardness.

What sucks is I’m afraid I will no longer get ANY pain medicine from any one of these doctors ever again. I mean, when I’m good, I don’t do this and I do have a serious bone condition and chronic pain. This Indian doc, although very lovely, is VERY stingy with pain killers. EVEN when I broke my arm he wouldn’t prescribe me any. He wanted me to take fuckin Tramadol. I had to get the Hydocodone from genetics and the ortho docs, and I suppose that’s good in a way because he’s being careful unlike some other doctors. But I’m NOT a pill pusher! And now I worry even the more lenient genetics and othropedic docs over at Ben Taub will refuse me any from now on.

So where am I now?

I’m:

1. Going to try and get a hold of this psychiatrist… bagggh and tell her about the medications. I will keep on top of her until she fuckin answers.

2. I’m going to avoid WP for a while though I’ll miss you guys. I may still stop by on the funny things on occasion and hit likes because I tend to do that. However, no more. I just realized I was getting a tad bit too addicted and some blogs were still triggering me. (again no offense please. Whatever I do to myself is ON ME. I’m RESPONSIBLE 100%. Even if someone says, “hey P, you know you’re a worthless asshole!” that doesn’t make them responsible if I run off and kill myself because of it. And that was just an example, please don’t think someone said that just now and that I’m running off to do something. 😉 )

3. I’m going to simplify things a bit. For example I’m ONLY going to take care of what’s most urgent like the immigration paperwork first. <— That’s another thing I forgot to mention. I was worried about going inpatient because I was worried that would affect my immigration application in the long run. Last year when my brother finally got approval for Citizenship, I helped him file the application and CLEARLY remember reading a part where it asked if “you’ve been hospitalized for an psychiatric reasons”. WHAT THE FUCK U.S. GOV, WHY YOU GOTTA BE LIKE THAT? BAGGH.

4. Sorry about that. I’m going to practice my mindfulness hardcore. I’m going to try to open up a little more with my family (that’s a hard one). I actually started this already. I was furtunate enough to be invited again to go swimming with my mom and her friend at her friend’s gym yesterday. On the way back my mom asked me if what I had done was a suicide attempt and I said, “No, had it been, I would’ve taken the entire bottle of pills and I didn’t” Now, that’s partly true. So I’m kind of opening up right? I say partly true because I really don’t know what the hell I was doing, but I do doubt it was a suicide attempt because I WOULD have taken the entire bottle and MORE even. I would have taken the other bottle of Ambien as well, AND the clonazepam and the rum and the hydrogen peroxide bottle and I did not do any of that.

Then my mom did something that amazed me. She said she’d tried to kill herself as a teenager. I knew that she sort of tried shortly after my brother was born, but that was from the post partum depression. She said she’d tried to take a bottle of poison because her mother would always make her brother hit her when she couldn’t. “Oh Roberto mijo, go hit your sister, I’m too busy to hit that puta right now!” (Sending a son to go hit one of his siblings, how dysfunctional huh? No wonder I don’t blame my mother for having been so vicious with me thought that’s not always the case.) Anyway, she also said that when Roberto dear had come in to hit her, she, my mother, threatened him with poison and he snatched it out of her arms. My mother also told me about previous cutting experiences she had and how her mother laughed at her when she found out about it. So I guess, we kind of opened up with each other there. Much of this was so new to me. I know, *tear* right?

Yeah, and no wonder I’m suicidal, I come from a string of suicides on my mom’s side of the family. My mom’s cousin, her uncle, her sister Denniver–that’s my aunt, the one they say I resemble–killed herself when she was only 27.

5. I’m going to refocus and give myself a week. If I still feel the same in a week, I’m going inpatient. On second thought, I’ll just give myself a day. I’ll just take it one day at a time.

paz

*********************************************************************************************************

“This I choose to do.
If there is a price, this I choose to pay.
If it is my death, then I choose to die.
Where this takes me, there I choose to go.
I choose.
This I choose to do.”

~ Terry Pratchett in “Wintersmith” ~

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3 Responses to “An update on the “Voluntary Hospitalization?” post, the overdose and why I didn’t end up in the ER”

  1. the howler and me said

    Take care of yourself. HUGS!

  2. […] the end of May, a few weeks after the incident, I saw the psychiatrist. She had the Fluoxetine/Prozac upped. I keep wondering, how did I get here? […]

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