Home On A Pass!

Today has been a good day. I was excited about going on a pass so I didn’t get to sleep as early as I’d hoped but the sleep I did get was good. I often sleep on my side and I’m finding that my hips are a little uncomfortable when I wake up. I think it’s the hospital mattress but since I’m sleeping at home tonight, I’ll sleep on my side and see what happens.

There was no group this morning but group this afternoon was a guest speaker who spoke about the local Anxiety Disorders Association, types of anxiety, and the services they offer. It was a very good session – lots of information and good handouts.

My appointment with Dr W went quite well too. Since I’m doing pretty well we didn’t make any medication changes, but sometime soon he’d like to start reducing some of the sedating medications I’m on (quetiapine, haloperidol, zopiclone, and lorazepam), which I have no problem with. I’ve been very lucky with side effects so far but with recent experiences I think my brain doesn’t like it when I take medications away so we’ll have to chip away at it very slowly.

J stopped by the hospital at about 6PM and we went home. It was very good to walk in the door with her and start getting used to being home. I haven’t been away for very long (I think today is day 7) but J has accomplished a lot of things while I was away. The garden is planted, two new trees have been planted, the basement has been tidied up to the point of almost being unrecognizable, and she’s arranged for the air conditioner guys to come over tomorrow to replace our very weary ancient unit.

We talked for a while and then went outside to water the plants. After that, we sat on the deck for a while and enjoyed the evening air. It was very nice, just sitting outside and talking. Unfortunately, a bit of anxiety started to creep in on me but it was time to take my nighttime medications so hopefully they’ll help. It’s not too bad – just a little bit of nerves – but I want this pass to go really well. If it doesn’t, that’s okay – that’s why I’m doing the passes instead of being discharged. They’re a good test.

Stay safe!

Going On A Pass!

In just a little while, J will be here to pick me up and take me home for two days! I’m really looking forward to getting home and hanging out with J. I’ve enjoyed the visits and video chats but they’re just not the same as sitting at home on the comfy couch, talking about anything that comes into our heads. It will be really great to sleep in my own bed and eat my own food. I also have a Dr C appointment on Thursday that I’m really hoping to get to.

The other good news is that if the pass goes well, I have another two-day pass set up so all I need to do is come back to the hospital, check in, and pick up my medications for that pass. If that pass goes well, I have an overnight pass lined up too. That means I’m going to spend the next five nights at home!

There’s no pressure, either. If I don’t feel well I can always go back to the hospital at any time of the day – no harm, no foul. J was wondering if I was going to “bounce” from my good mood and I think putting myself at home with the various stressors present there will be a really good test to see if I’m OK to go home.

I’m really looking forward to this. I hope it goes well!

Stay safe!

Not Much Longer, I Think

Today was another good day. I went to bed last night at about 11 but was so excited about concentrating on reading that it was after midnight before I fell asleep. I woke up a little tired so I set a timer and took a short nap after breakfast and before morning group started.

Group this morning was about how our weekend went and what we wanted to do this week to help us along in our recovery. I felt a little silly but I said I was really happy about being able to read again. Nobody gave me a weird look or anything, which I really appreciated.

After group was done, I went back to the book and was really happy to see I hadn’t lost my newfound concentration overnight. I finished it early in the afternoon. About 340 pages in total. Not too shabby. And it was a good book, too.

I overheard one of the other residents talking about how they were getting out shortly and needed to get a place to live, a job, and a bunch of other things that I just take for granted. It made me sad to know that there are people out there who have absolutely nothing that they don’t make themselves. I’m so lucky to be where I am and to have the support system I have… I don’t know how to put this properly into words but when I’m better I would really like to learn if there are any ways I can help people in those situations.

Group this afternoon was very interesting and was about what to do in your life when things don’t go to plan and about the concept of post-traumatic growth. It gave me a lot to think about and I think I’m going to do some research into it and discuss it with Dr C once I’m out.

My meeting with Dr W this afternoon went very well. No medication adjustments this time, and he sounds confident that I’ll be out this week. I also now have a two-day pass starting tomorrow! When I got here less than a week ago I had a person watching me do everything – eat, sleep, move around, everything, I’m now at the point where I can go home to visit and may actually be discharged this week!

In other happy news, J and my mother-in-law stopped by this evening! We talked in the cafeteria for almost two hours and I had a great time. It was so good to see family and have a chance to hear about how things in the outside world were going. I really miss J and being at home.

As J and my mother-in-law were leaving, I came across a former resident sitting in one of the chairs downstairs. Turns out they’ve got most of their medical and mental issues under control and they’re going to be released shortly. I wished them a genuine good luck and best wishes and then headed into the Sanctuary to do some meditating.

As I was in there, the former resident walked into the Sanctuary too and sat down, After a few minutes, they went to leave and, as they passed me, they put their hand on my shoulder and whispered that God would look after me.

Now, this is someone who the Universe has dealt a really crappy hand. And I do mean a really awful one. This person has nothing other than problems but still faces the world with their chin up and their beliefs intact. I can’t imagine dealing with half of the things they do.

As they left the Sanctuary, emotions welled up and I started to cry. I felt terrible for the person but also very happy that they seemed so content with how things were going. I really, really hope things go well.

So despite a couple of little emotional ups and downs, today has been a good day. And tomorrow I get to go home for two days!

Stay safe!

Still In The Hospital

I’m still in the hospital but today has been a very good day. I got to bed last night at about 11PM and then woke up this morning in time for breakfast. I took a short nap in the afternoon and have spent much of the day doing one thing – reading.

It may not seem like much but this is HUGE for me. I haven’t been able to concentrate enough to read a book since before I went on sick leave from work. Today, however, I was looking at the bookshelf here and saw The Ghost King, by R.A. Salvatore. I used to read and enjoy his novels back when I was in high school so I thought I’d give this one a try.

Two hours later, I pried my eyes from the books and realized that I was reading. Like, actually reading something. The knowledge almost made me giddy. I’m not reading at anywhere near the speed I used to, but I can concentrate enough to be able to fall into the book and lose track of time and the things around me.

I feel silly making such a big deal out of this but to me this it’s very big thing. I hope that being able to concentrate on reading means I can concentrate on learning new things too, and that would be a fantastic milestone in my recovery.

Otherwise, I remembered to call my dad today and wish him a Happy Father’s Day. He and my mom were both in good moods, and it was great to talk to them.

This evening, J and I had a short video chat. It was really good to talk to her and she’s hoping to make it out here for a visit tomorrow! I’m really looking forward to seeing her – I miss her terribly.

It’s almost bedtime but I think I’m going to see if I can fit in a few more pages before my eyes get too heavy.

Stay safe!

Had A Good Time This Evening

When I posted earlier today, things were going quite well. As the day turned into the evening, things got even better. I played a bunch of crib and had a good time, watched some TV, and watched The Magnificent Seven – the original, not the remake. What a great movie.

It felt good to be up and about. I spoke with my nurse and told her how I was doing. She was very happy to hear it and gave me some tips for keeping things on an even keel. Again, the staff here are fantastic.

I do miss J, though, and feel bad for not being home and leaving everything to her. We’re getting a new air conditioner (ours is ancient) and she needs to take the day off to be there. I’ve also been really interested in gardening this year but other than building the garden box and filling it up with dirt, J has done everything else. I’m so lucky to have a wife as supportive and wonderful as J. She’s my favourite person and best friend.

I’m not sure what’s going to happen tomorrow. Hopefully it will be as good a day as today was. No guarantees of course, but I’ve got my fingers crossed!

Stay safe!

Things Are Going Well

I had another good sleep last night. Had a lot of dreams including a repeat of one where I was trying to help the Dukes of Hazzard break into a boxing club. No, that’s not a typo.

This morning was the first in a long time where I didn’t go back to bed right after breakfast. I had breakfast and then did some laundry, wrote in my journal, and texted a bit with J.

After lunch I took a short nap. It was different today because instead of feeling like I had to take a nap, I slept because it felt good, and I woke up with even more energy, which was great.

So here’s where I’m at, compared to when I arrived:

  • voices: still gone
  • bad thoughts: gone
  • sleep: improved
  • energy: improved (a lot)
  • mood: improved (a lot)

So yeah, things are looking up. Right now, I feel like I could go home and be fine. I need to wait until Monday to talk to Dr W, though.

Other than that, it’s been pretty quiet around the ward today. Nice and calm for things like meditating and doing mindfulness exercises.

Stay safe!

Amazing What A Day Can Do

I slept really well last night. Almost slept through breakfast and then went back to bed and almost slept through lunch. I’ve been trying to keep active this afternoon and evening and went to group in the afternoon. After group, I played some crib with another resident and then walked around the ward.

I had a very good chat with my nurse early this afternoon and my appointment with Dr W went very well. I feel so much better today than I did yesterday, and around four million times better than how I felt Wednesday. In some ways, I almost feel guilty being here right now but Dr W said I needed to be here and we’re doing medication adjustments too.

Just after supper, J and I had a video chat, which was really great. It’s not as good as being in the same room but it does do a lot to make me feel like I’m not as far away from home.

This evening I think I’m going to head to bed early again and hopefully have another good sleep. If I’m lucky, tomorrow will be an even better day!

Stay safe!

100th Post…

… and I’m back in the hospital. I’ve been crashing for a little while now and yesterday at my Dr W appointment we made the decision that I would be safer in the hospital while we adjust my medications.

Yesterday was very rough. Today was a lot better – J and my parents stopped by to visit in the afternoon and it sure was nice to see them.

I’ve had to bail on FA again, which I feel pretty bad about but she says she has picked up a cold so she’d be spending a lot of time coughing anyway.

I have no idea how long I’m going to be here for. Hopefully not long – summer is just around the corner and I really don’t want to spend it all in here.

Stay safe!

Tales From The Ward, Part III: Hospital Food

When I’ve been in the hospital, it’s been because there’s something wrong with me, not because I’m itching to try hospital cuisine. I’m a meat and potato guy. Over the years I have expanded my vegetable repertoire to include beans, peas, carrots, spinach, peppers, corn… the really common stuff. I’m not a fan of anything fancy like kohlrabi or bok choy.

I also can’t stand seafood. I’m not allergic to it or anything, I just really can’t stand the texture and taste. My mother always tells me that I can’t complain about something if I haven’t tried it, so I’ve tried a LOT of different kinds of seafood and really can’t stand it. Canned flaked tuna is about as far as I can go.

That being said, when I was in the hospital for mental illness the first time, I decided I would just stick with the regular hospital menu and tough out the meals I didn’t like. Who knows – maybe I’d find something different that I enjoyed. For the most part, meals were good, pretty tasty, and left me content. Then, there were the occasional fish meals that I was able to choke down (particularly the haddock) but a lot of them I just couldn’t eat. Normally that was okay because the side and dessert were enough to keep me going.

Then, one fateful day, I got this:

Fish Cakes and Brussels Sprouts

I stared at the menu, then my plate, then the menu again… then went to the nursing station to ask to be put on a “no fish” menu.

Stay safe!

Out Of The Hospital!

Today has been a good day. J took me back to the hospital and I signed back into the ward and met with Dr W. Our meeting went very well and as a result, I’ve been discharged. It feels good to be able to type that. Now I just have to stand on my own two legs and keep getting better. I have a Dr C appointment on Monday and I am looking forward to getting things back to whatever passes for normal around here.

When I was leaving the ward, I thanked as many of the staff as I could, but I always feel kind of silly just saying “Thank you very much”. I wish I could think of a better way of conveying just how grateful I am for everything that everyone did for me. After my first session in the psych ward, I sent a card thanking the staff for everything but I was stuck using the same words. I don’t even have the right words for J, even though we’ve been married for quite a few years. She shifted her hours around or took time off to get me to all of my appointments and to make sure I was doing alright. How do you thank someone for that? Anything I can think of just seems so… glib.

So, to everyone who treated me, supported me, or just wanted me to get well – THANK YOU. I’m sorry I don’t have better words, but I’m alive and in one piece because of all of you. Thank you so very, very much!

Stay safe!