Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:13

Thursday, November 12, 2009


I've posted quite a bit now about my hospital stay. I've probably made it sound worse than it was. It was not the worst thing that ever happened to me. But, to use a term that I have thrown around a lot lately, it was traumatic. It was traumatic because aside from managing my meds, nothing was done to help me specifically. Everything was designed to treat a group. And the problem with that is that just because you have a group of psych patients they are not the same. In my case I was even more different: different diagnosis, different established support set-up, different educational level and background, different reason for being there, more extensive history, etc.

I have posted many times about how important it is for me to be treated by those caring for me as if I am a professional. I realize I am a psych patient and when I act like a psych patient then I need to be treated as such. On the other hand, I am pretty aware of what is going on, and I need to know precisely why a change is being made with my meds (the doctors were good with this), I need to know what tests are being done and why (they were awful with this; the one and only time I knew why they were taking blood was when they woke me up at midnight to tell me I couldn't have food or drink, then I got concerned when I had water with my AM meds. Then I was told what the test was for. I also was then aware I could have had water, which is a very big deal for me.) Even when results came back nobody bothered to tell me, even if they adjusted my medication as a result. I think my thyroid is screwed up because my dose was changed after he looked at one number. Dr. Body looked more closely because this has happened before, the lithium damage to my thyroid means that it's less my TSH affected (as is normal) than my actual levels of thyroid hormones. And while I'm scheduled for a check soon, I am probably going to have to move it up some because I'm starting to be symptomatic. Had I been asked I might have been able to say "please look at the whole picture".

I'm so used to managing my own meds. If I take an anxiety pill and it doesn't help, I take more. I have limits I've been given, but I know what helps me. In the hospital and until I saw Dr. Body that was just not true. And I didn't even know in the hospital to be more pushy. On the dreadful day 3 I would have given anything for a shot of ativan or something to make the horror go away and let me settle. But that wasn't an option, it wasn't in my chart, and I didn't know to ask. If there is a next time I will be asking for that to be a standing order. I'm also used to beling listened to about how things are working. Yes, Emsam is slow. But all antidepressants are slow and I know perfectly well that I've never been forced to hang out at a low dose until the whole initial time was up if I was responding slightly. I suspect the hospital doctor wouldn't want me on the 12 mg patch I've been on for 2 days now because it is "too soon". But the choices are push the dose a bit or make me suffer.

Seeing Dr. Body really brought all the out. He listened, he gave me all sorts of freedom, and he told me he trusted me because of my history of doing what I should, and because he knows I'll call with problems. He did not have to do any of the adjustments that he did. There was nothing stopping him from saying that needed done by Dr. Brain. But he knows that she lets me make decisions and they're comfortable together, so it was ok.

I've written before, I was treated over and over as if I'd gone off my meds for no reason. Nobody bothered to read the part of my chart where this was done intentionally and under my doctor's supervision.

I also keep thinking about how so much was designed for these groups that affected us in such variable ways. And that would have been fine if only we'd been encouraged to share what our experiences were in different levels. Instead it was all about clumping us together and treating us as a whole rather than 6 people with 6 very different problems.

And there is the trauma. I went to that hospital feeling awful, but feeling like ME, and I left and still am trying to reclaim me.

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