Tuesday, November 5, 2002

My decent into Hell

All during Mom's hospitalization, I was the strong one. I was the one holding dad's hand and translating, doctor speak. My brother's were very uncomfortable with all of this and after all I had been a nurse. My husband and I handled the bulk of the funeral arrangements and the wake was held at our house. I was the rock. Of course I was on xanax too. Sure I cried, but mostly I was mad, at mom for dying and at the doctors for their arrogance and myself for making all the wrong decisions.

in the coming months, I slowly stopped doing my normal activities of daily living. I was staying at home with my kids, so work wasn’t an influence and I was still communicating with my internet friends. In fact that’s about all I did. I was on my computer all the time. By March or April, I was about as down as you can get. I had my famous crying jag one day in April 2002, while my husband was out of town. From a thousand miles away, he tried to help me through the maze that was our mental health insurance. What a joke. If you aren’t suicidal when you start, you will be as you negotiate that process. Either the doctors they give you (and they only give you 5 at a time to call) are not taking new patients, are no longer on the plan, or in one case, was a pediatric shrink.

Finally I convinced the caseworker to give me the link with the list, so I could stop calling him back every three minutes for more names. I finally found a shrink who could see me in a couple weeks and a therapist (who answered her own phone) who could see me in the mean time. Crisis postponed.

I was diagnosed with major depression, given medication and started therapy. A month or 2 later I was offered a job at a local hospital. Just as my therapist was going to discharge me, I showed my manic side. I was so excited. Here was a job seemingly suited for me. I was “bouncing off the walls” Deciding that my diagnosis should be changed to Bipolar II and then later adding ADHD, my medication was changed several times trying to find the right combination. Meanwhile therapy continued.

My non stop mouth managed to alienate my boss once again, so I changed jobs, Within 6 months I was losing it Some of the many medication changes were bringing out psychotic symptoms. I felt I was really going crazy, Then when my boss decided that I should come in and do a different job, the change in routine sent me into a panic. (an Aspergers meltdown?) We decided I should resign as a per diem staff member and I filed for disability. I must have been really bad. I am told that "everybody” gets turned down the first time. Not me. I was approved almost immediately.

It was May 31, 2003

Sunday, January 20, 2002

How it all began

I think it all kind of kicked off the day my mom died. She had only been “ sick” since November when they discovered a tumor in her lungs and decided to operate. We didn’t know of a hidden heart problem, or just how weak her lungs were. What role the doctors and hospital played, is unknown. I am convinced to this day that their ineptitude killed her. Whether she should have forgone surgery for chemo, is an option we didn’t think about. All we knew was that there was an invader in her system and we wanted it out. She was strong and a fighter.

After tests that kept her in for about a week, she came home for one last weekend as her regular self. She was admitted for surgery December 3 2001 and we were assured she’d be home by Christmas.

The surgery was fine, but her heart didn’t behave, so she was in ICU longer than expected. while she was on the regular floor she did well but then looked kind of icky. That night she had a heart attack and was back in CCU. for the rest of the year.

We brought her home too early on New Years Eve, only to have to take her back a week later with Pneumonia. On Jan 12 2002 she died. She was 69.