Friday, February 25, 2011

Part 1--THE ER

I can’t believe exactly a week ago I was sitting in this same spot passing the time until I had to go to therapy.  Exactly a week ago I almost ended my life when I was interrupted by my dog.  Exactly a week ago I decided I needed help more than I feared it.

Therapy last Friday was a blur.  I have no idea what happened except we talked about how I’m scared of the hospital.  I promised my therapist I would turn myself in and she seemed relieved.   We walked to the elevator together and I asked her what she does with all the money from copays.  “I put it in my wallet.”  She laughed.  “That’s a lot of cash.” I replied.  “It is, sometimes.”  While in the elevator she offered me a number to someone I could call to ask what would happen in the hospital.  I put the number in my phone but I knew I wouldn’t use it.  

Immediately after therapy I drove to the house of my friend who I gave my eggs to.  It was a normal Friday play date with dogs and baby except it was raining and I was suicidal.  We sat in silence for a long time.  Well, I sat in silence and she filled it anyway she could.  Eventually I was brave enough to say “I promised to turn myself in today.”

“Okay baby, want me to take you?  I will take you to the ER.”  She said.  I told her she didn’t have to and she said that she did.  A little while later I drove to my house to pack some clothes.  I packed extremely light because I expected to be there no more than two days.  She came to my house and we left for the ER.  I sat silently watching the rain coat the windshield.  I was terrified.

I’m glad she came with me because the doctor that approached us as we walked in the ER said “Do you need a doctor.”  I froze and kept my eyes on the floor.  My friend answered for me.  “She’s struggling with depression.”  The doctor asked “thoughts of harming yourself?”  I shook my head affirming that I did.  “Do you have a plan?”  I nodded, yes, again.  “You can look at me you know.”  He said.  I thought my anxiety couldn’t get any higher but I was wrong.  I darted my eyes in his direction and then back to the floor.  “Do you want to be here?”  I was confused by the question.  Of course I didn’t want to be there.  Of course I didn’t want to be feeling the way I was feeling.  What kind of question is that?  My friend came to my rescue and said, “She wants help.”  He asked us to check in and get a hospital bracelet.  

From there I was led to a gurney in the hallway or the ER, told to pee in a cup with this bizarre method.  The cup even had a green hook handle which I thought was strange awkward.  I was told to change into hospital gowns and take everything off.  I refused.  I left my underwear, bra, and pajama pants on.  Nobody said anything.  Then we waited.  And waited.  And waited.  I began to worry that maybe they didn’t believe I was suicidal because K, who kept introducing herself as my “unofficial mom” kept making me laugh by making fun of everyone we saw.  We ate hospital peaches, laughed, cried, and waited some more.  A few doctors would come by now and again and I’d have to explain to them my feelings, my thoughts, and my plan to kill myself.  I wish doctors would just read the chart.  It’s horrible to have to repeat that information so many times.

All the psychiatric hospitals were full so I couldn’t get into the hospitals in LA.  Instead, I was going to go to a hospital in Pasadena which is about thirty minutes outside of Los Angeles.  After 7 hours in the ER, I was loaded into an ambulance and transported to the place of my nightmares.