It’s been a few days since my newly updated resolution to post more (hopefully quality) content. I spent a few days away in the psych ward. My hallucinations/psychotic symptoms had gotten out of hand, and I just couldn’t deal with them on my own any longer. It was time to re evaluate my medications and see what treatment options are available as my illness(es) progress and unfold.

I will say this much, I have so much to update, because I “blogged” on pencil and paper as allowed on the ward. And it’s a good thing that I did so then, because my 10 or 11 days in there are now quite a blur. I think I had some interesting stuff that I will post in the next few days (back-dated).

Things are so different with my new husband. I know I shouldn’t compare, but these things just come up. I would have to beg my ex to come visit me at all… I had to ask my hubby to take a day off from visiting (as he was obviously tired, not that I didn’t want to see him). My ex would expect me to pick up right where I left off. My hubby allowed for some readjustment time. My ex would barely recognize I was at all hospitalized. My hubby had flowers waiting for me at home.

Right now I am under the weather. Not sure if it is the medication change or what, but I have been feeling like with a low-grade flu-like symptoms that don’t quite pan out for the past couple of days, and a real bitch of a migraine that has lasted a few days. Seems to have abated now, but only time will tell, as I’m supposed to take the migraine meds only as needed, and it’s hard to judge if I still need them if they’re working well. It’s no news that regardless, I always have a headache that I have grown accustomed to living with.

I was able to host bunco night the other night, and only a few girls showed up. It was a bit of a relief, to be honest, because I don’t know if I would have been able to put up with a full set of bunco ladies, having been out of the hospital for just a couple of days.

Anyway, it is time to attempt some sleep. I’m tired, and I have no concise subject to talk about.

Especially at a VA psych ward, you’ll eventually come across “regulars” (much like me, although I was able to stay out for a little over a year).  One of these is a guy.  Let’s call him Andrew.  Andrew and I went through a partial hospitalization program called “Day Hospital”.  During this time, we became friendly, but as usual (with me, at least) these friendliness periods do not become real friendships.  I knew him as a calm, cool person.

Last night, however, he had a little bit of an outburst.  In the day room, we have a tiny little fridge we can use to put little things, like leftover milk, or a yogurt you didn’t want to eat for breakfast, but maybe wanted to eat later.  The rules of the fridge are unwritten and kind of fluid.  they go from “label your food so nobody can take it” to “if you didn’t put it in, it’s not for you to eat.”  It seems this time around, we are in the latter.  Well, Andrew took a blueberry yogurt that, let’s call him Mike, had saved for later.  When Andrew took it, Mike noticed it, and said, Hey man, that yogurt is mine.”  This made Andrew flip out into a screaming match that continued for what seemed to be hours, but it was probably 10 minutes or so.  In the end, Mike kept his yogurt.

But Andrew isn’t the only one with outbursts.  On Monday night, the football game was going on.  At the time of the football game, I had a migraine.  Everything seemed louder than it really was.  And as I was sitting to wait for my medication, I blurted out “Fucking awesome! You bring me where everybody is hooting and hollering while I have a migraine!”

All people present were like “WTF? Nobody is being loud”

So yeah, I guess my point with this post is that anyone can be disruptive.  The difference is that one was more of a confrontation, and the other one was just plain weird.

And from a wellness standpoint, these two outbursts could have been avoided.  Let’s dissect this.  Let’s start with Andrew’s tirade.

As soon as Andrew found out the yogurt he really wanted and was already probably savoring in his mind, he had 2 choices.  He could have just said “Sorry Mike, I didn’t see a label or a name on it, so I thought it was fair game.  I’ll put it back in the fridge.”  OR he could have gotten angry, screamed his lungs out and created a disruptive scene.  Which one do you think was the better option?

As for my own outburst, not excusing it, but I do get very sound-sensitive when I get migraines.  However, I still had 2 choices.  Scream like I did, OR remind myself that nobody really knew that sounds bothered me immensely, and just quietly wait for my meds.  Which one was the better reaction?

We may have mental illnesses that limit us, but we have a choice in how we respond to life.  Just because we have an illness, it does not excuse us from acting up all crazy (unless you’re very seriously mentally ill).

(This blog has been entered and back-dated)

One thing that this stay at the psych ward is that I have been able to design some jewelry. I really wish to get a working space for my creativity in my house. As I write more and more, you’ll realize that there’s quite a bit of artistic hobbies I indulge in, whenever I have the time. I find them very therapeutic, and my art therapist is a great guide. I haven’t had the time lately, with the move and trying to function, and all those details of life, but the stay here has given me some (forced) time.

It’s hard to blog from the psych ward.  There is no access to the internet or to computers, so this blog comes from my handwritten ideas.

My psychotic symptoms got worse.  Worse enough to keep me in the psych ward for over a week.  It’s like my hallucinations decided to rebel against me.  I saw a teenager jump in from of my care as I was driving home the other day.  I had to brake hard and screeched my tires.  the car behind me thankfully did the same and there was no accident.  But when I jumped out of the car to check on the teen, there was nobody.  Nothing.  I checked.  The guy in the car behind me checked.  No mowed down teenager, thank God.  But I can’t continue to do that.

The anxiety increased and so did the hallucinations.  Some of them were so beautiful and calm.  Almost hypnotizing.  They are hard to describe, but it wasn’t scary.  It was beautiful… But the fawns and bunnies and flowers were getting in my way, and the voices… oh! the voices went awry!  So it was time to check in.

My psychotic symptoms are atypical.  It’s late in my life to develop schizophrenia, and I don’t seem to fit the whole description for that diagnosis.  They’re changing my medication from Geodon (ziprasidone) to Abilify (aripiprazole).  I am hoping Abilify will take care of most of my symptoms.

Today I talked to my doctor and he asked me why I was looking for a diagnosis.  Totally valid question.  I’m looking for a diagnosis because that opens up opportunities for better treatment.  Maybe there is a support group for people with atypical psychosis, or a class on coping techniques that I can access, or a psychologist that specializes in psychosis.

Bottom line, once I have the diagnosis, doors may open.  Maybe if I cope with my symptoms better, my quality of life will be better.  If I could choke the voices, I would, but I can’t.  They exist in a realm of my mind that I can’t consciously access.

I had a nice, long talk with the psychologist in the ward.  I still didn’t get an answer or a diagnosis.   According to a bunch of tests I did, including the ink blot test, my case is complicated because I have a lot of symptoms that fit 3 or 4 diagnoses, none of which were revealed to me.  However, according to the psychologist, these diagnoses make no sense because I am “high functioning”.  And somehow, my condition, whatever it is, is one that fits with my artistic tendencies.

Unfortunately, getting a hold of the psychologist in the unit is next to impossible.  The weekend is here, so I can’t expect much.

My heel pain hasn’t let up, and I tried to get a cane, but that proved fruitless.  At least they got me a wheelchair, so I don’t gimp around.

For the third time in a row, I dreamed about a Bible verse. Now, just to let you know, I don’t really read the Bible. I can’t quote any verses to save my life, except for John 3:16, and I don’t know the exact words to that unless I look it up.

Just so you know, I am a cradle Catholic, and generally not a churchgoer, but I do pray and believe most things Catholic, but the Bible isn’t quite my thing. I have nothing against it, and I respect it, too, don’t get me wrong. It just simply isn’t my thing.

The verse is Ezekiel 3:5,9.

5 You are not being sent to a people of obscure speech and difficult language, but to the house of Israel– 9 I will make your forehead like the hardest stone, harder than flint. Do not be afraid of them or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious house.”

Was it a (higher power) God trying to tell me something? What are the odds of dreaming up a Bible verse unknown to me that I can interpret as reassuring and empowering at a time of confusion and need?