Well, here I am after being “missing” for a few weeks. By ‘here’ I mean at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Psychiatric In Patient Unit (FINALLY)! I will recap to catch any new readers up. . .
About a month ago I had an appointment with my mental health practitioner. I wrote about all of the tears and thinking that resulted from that appointment right after the event (See Part I of this series on Depression in this blog of mine, please). I also shared at that time that I was urged to allow myself to be immediately hospitalized for inpatient stabilization and medication adjustments as well as resuming intense therapy. I refused the immediate hospitalization believing I had things to take care of at home that were far more important than this bout of depression. I did, however, agree that I would allow my practitioner to place me on a wait list for an inpatient bed at the hospital’s stabilization unit. My practitioner said it could be many weeks before a bed was available for me.
A couple of weeks ago things quickly escalated out of control in my world. A fall out with my best friend over a failure to communicate clearly on my part related to repaying her and her husband some money, resulted in hurt feelings all around. Add to that my husband and I had a huge blow up resulting in my decision to secure an order of protection and file for divorce — neither of which I wanted (nor want as I still love Zachary very very much). By the end of the evening, actually, early the following morning, the police became involved and fabulous silver bracelets were used. End result, I am on the in patient unit at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. See: https://uihc.org/primary-and-specialty-care/psychiatry.
Prior to my less than glamours arrival to the University, I spent two days sans sleep. I’ve been painfully truthful up to this point in detailing what I’ve been going through. I suppose there is no reason to stop now. So a couple steps back. . .
Between Part I of this depression series and the night everything blew up with Zachary and I, I was sexually assaulted by an acquaintance. I was terrified. I was disgusted. I was hurt beyond words. I was isolated. I totally blamed myself for this. I felt totally alone and believed to the core of my being that there was absolutely no one to whom I could talk to about this. Not my husband, not my best friend, no one in my family. I was scared it was truly my fault. I cried for no reason. Telling everyone I was simply depressed.
Positive STI lab result with notice to Department of Public Health
Due to the rape, I began sleeping in another room in our apartment. I began picking fights with Zachary so he would not touch me. I believed that if he touched me he would know that another man had been with me and it would not matter that it was not consensual. Zachary would loathe me, even hate me. After all, I was his and had promised that no other person would have intercourse with me period. Top that off with the fact that when I was examined at the University a week later, I tested positive for an STI. I was mortified by the test results! Although it was an easily treatable STI, I felt disgustingly filthy and violated. The humiliation of reporting to the Scott County Department of Public Health to be treated was nearly unbearable for me.
The sexual assault that I was forced (by my own choice) to deal with in silence was more than I could bear. In my awesome and infinite wisdom, I decided that sitting in a jail cell would be far far better than sitting at home waiting for Zachary and my best friends to sort out that something other than getting hit and having a few things taken from me following my completing the laundry had taken place – which is the explanation I gave folks since I had bruises and was robbed at the same time after getting home from doing laundry.
A quick call to a friend to ensure that there was an active warrant in another county for a probation violation committed long long ago was ready and waiting for me. Then home to the most intense and epic argument with Zachary in ages, a quick call to 911, and BAM! off to jail I went.
What I did not realize was that the stress of the assault, fighting with my husband for a couple weeks to ensure he would not touch me and figure out that some other man had been with me, dodging my best friends to the point of some wondering if I had passed away due to some of my medical issues or if another (successful) suicide attempt had taken place – would culminate in me flipping out when I was housed in a jail cell. For the second or third time in several years, I heard voices; I suffered hallucinations of some truly crazy stuff! I was convinced that I would be better off dead in the jail as opposed to alive anywhere.
Anyone familiar with corrections and jail is acutely aware of what happens when an inmate even mentions self-harm or suicide. Straight to a single cell, nothing but a blanket – no clothes, no cup to drink from, no mattress to sleep on. Not qexactly the glamorous life, is it? So I attempted to hold it all in to myself. Prepared to head to the Judge and face the music.
What an epic fail on my part. First I started talking very loudly in my sleep which terrified my cellmate who has Asperger’s. Understandably, he demanded to move out under the guise he was frightened of me (for valid reasons I suppose). Then, alone in my cell, I started seeing people, events, and activities that simply could not have taken place within the confines of any detention type facility, including the Washington County Jail which is simply not used to dealing with a mental health crisis such as I was experiencing.
The decision was made to send me to see a physician because one of the medical staff believed that I may be suffering from SSRI side effects. The first trip to the ER resulted in my return to the jail as being “stable enough” to remain there. I remain baffled by that decision frankly!
My mental status continued to deteriorate over the next six days. By Wednesday night every loud noise (slamming doors, yelling inmates, boisterous staff, everything over a whisper) set me off into a sever panic attack. Thursday marked 26 hours with no sleep and the intensity of the panic attacks was off every chart imaginable! The crying, pounding heart, and rapid breathing reached levels that I had never experienced in my years of dealing with my own mental illnesses of depression, anxiety, and sever PTSD. This realization made it worse for me. I tried talking myself off the ledge. Called my lawyer, who I am certain now believes that I’ve lost it for a few reasons. Thursday rolls into Friday and the terrors continue. I’ve been so tense and clenched up every muscle in my body hurts. Nothing is helping me calm down at all. At some point I hurt my back and split my head open. I do not recall doing either actually; I know I hit my head due to the gash in it and my back is killing me.
At 11:30 AM on Friday, March 1, 2019 I was sent by ambulance to the Emergency Room. There was speculation that I had gotten some illicit drugs into the jail. Every lab imaginable was run to determine if I was intoxicated on some substance or another. I was not. At the risk of sharing too much medical information, I am including the labs at the end of this post for all to see that my mental status was NOT exacerbated by illegal or legal drugs at any level! I am including a past lab tox screen as well to show that I am consistantly test negative for all illegal drugs contrary to popular belief. LOL.
Upon arriving at the ER, it was quickly determined that I was suicidal and homicidal even if I would not admit it to the physicians I saw due to being accompanied by a deputy sheriff. There was a lot of shaking, crying, rapid breathing, and horrendous sweating throughout Friday. I begged, literally begged to just go to sleep. Exhausted, I still could not get to sleep until sometime after 5 AM on Saturday. Then was back awake at 10 AM. SMH! My entire body was wracked with pain. Everything hurt. I still could not stop rocking and shaking.
I am going to wrap this post up. Much more to come in relation to this admission in a few days. I need to get ready to crash as I have my first ECT treatment tomorrow. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a procedure, done under general anesthesia, in which small electric currents are passed through the brain, intentionally triggering a brief seizure. ECT seems to cause changes in brain chemistry that can quickly reverse symptoms of certain mental health conditions. I am super anxious about it and point blank frightened too!
I will also be penning an article about the FDA’sapproval of ketamine as an antidepressant.
Please pray for me if you believe. In the alternative, please send positive energy and good vibes! All are welcome!
If you are able to help me with the cost of my meds (my co-pay is nearly $300/month) and other expenses since I am not able to work at this time and do not qualify for disability at this time, please consider contributing to my GoFundMe campaign! You may do so via the following link:
Thanks in advance!
To read Parts I and II of this series on Depression, please see:
If you are interested in joining a GREAT discussion on Depression, please RSVP via the link that follows. We will be discussing diagnosis and treatment, non-pharmaceutical treatments, and much much more. This discussion is being conducted to increase #MentalHealthAwareness as part of #ListenFirst month in April!
If you have candy, please share with me – seriously – no joking!!
UIHC – 1 JPW – Room 13
200 Hawkins Drive
Iowa City, IA 52242
Gummy bears, chewy candy of any type, jaw breakers, chocolate bars. . .Honestly, any type of candy!!!!! Pretty please!!!!