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Saturday, December 08, 2012

The Loony Bin

October 13, 2012

Well, here I am--at the loony bin/rehab for my depression & alcohol abuse. Oh yeah, my anorexia is part of the treatment. Other than that lady counselor, I've never had any psychological/emotional treatment.

I did confess my alcoholism to my GP (who's known me since I was 22 years old), and he was shocked. Told me about the place where I am now, local, makes it easier on family to visit.

Anyway, about the drinking: sometimes I'd go weeks & weeks without a drink (trying to quit). Then I'd convince myself I could drink moderately...and ultimately be right back where I started.

The worst episode was yesterday. The day before I didn't eat anything, dieting. Went to bed early, started drinking. Dozed off to sleep...

I woke up around 2 AM, felt weak/shaky but got up & made a drink. As I sipped on it, I began to sweat, my face was instantly wet, beads of sweat just rolling off. My hair was quickly drenched.

I realized I was too weak to get up...and as time passed I got weaker and weaker, sweating profusely.

I lay there till I could see daylight beneath the wood shutters, debating if I should reach for the phone. I kept thinking that I was dying, and wasn't going to intervene.

But the one thing that reeled me in was family; if I died, it would leave such a stigma for them (I know all the stats about family of suicides being more likely to commit suicide). Was the waiting/thinking a suicide attempt?

When I had been in the ER the first time, I'd begged for help with drinking. No help at all. After I'd been dismissed, as I was starting to get in a wheelchair, I said, "I...think I'm trying to kill myself."

The nurse stopped what she was doing, looked at me and stated, "That's different. If you hadn't already been dismissed, we'd send you to the psych ward." She even told my sisters to leave, drive around a block, and re-admit me as suicidal, a difficult decision for them at that time.

Back to the 911 situation, I was so weak I could barely speak, the operator kept me on the line...and I know I said I thought I was hypoglycemic (I'd had symptoms before, never this bad). She said they were on the way.

All my doors were locked, and I just wasn't able to get out of bed to unlock them. I told the operator that, and she said, "Don't worry, they'll get in..."

I forgot to warn about my dogs, and when the Firetruck with EMTs showed up, two of the men found an unlocked window, crawled through it and met with my dogs. To say the dogs were wildly upset would be an understatement. The guys had to battle their way to my bedroom, and then Rambo positioned himself between them and my bed. Finally a woman EMT came in, and Rambo let her get to the bed.

I was about to pass out, and she kept yelling, "Ma'am are you diabetic..." I shook my head, and mumbled about drinking. She started putting something sticky sweet in my mouth, and said, "Ma'am, you are about to go into a this..."

She tried other things, and then said I needed to go to the ER. I was so out of it, I barely remember being put in the truck but I do recall mumbling about my dogs, if they left the dog door open and the woman saying, "I don't know where your dogs are and I don't care!"

At the ER, they put in an IV and I started feeling better. Brought in breakfast, forced me to eat some and then my nearest brother-in-law showed up; I had not called him. He said my entire neighborhood was in an uproar, because they saw the Firetruck and thought my house was on fire! My niece who lives a block & half away was even alarmed, and called my sister, hence the visit.

The whole thing was awful, and this time I just kept saying over and over that I had  to have help. I wanted to be sent to the facility then, but they told me it would be best to process through my GP.

Family took me by home to get my bags packed, and then brought me here. I had a minute of doubt when the doors closed behind me...but I was so sick, coming off that bad drunk, I don't half remember all the rules/regulations etc read to me. And I didn't care...just wanted some rest!

I was given medication to ease the detox last night, went into a deep sleep, but feel groggy today, slow and tired.

Not sure what plans are for me today, it's morning now. Mostly seniors in here as patients, older than me. But I feel more comfortable than being around young kids.

We are all on one long hallway, rooms on either side, probably only 15/20. There's a dining room, TV room and small library.

So far the routine consists of meals in the dining room. No TV or electronics in our rooms (couldn't bring in electronics of any kind). Nothing in our rooms we could harm others/self with, not even belts or shoe strings. No makeup/tooth brush (locked up, can call for it). The mirror is some kind of metallic thing, which makes you look weird (I'm weird anyway by now!). We have to get up at 5:30 AM!!!

At some point I hope for individual counseling. I've been told medications will be prescribed by a psychiatrist, when I see one.

....have to go, an aid stuck her head in the door and said it's time for group therapy.

I'll end here for today. More tomorrow from the journal.

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