The Ups and Downs of Hospital Life

Those of you who know me on Facebook, and maybe my Tweeps, probably know that I was hospitalized – yet again! (sigh) – for a week. The Main Reason for being admitted was what I shared in the last post. The physical pain was so intense that I was having ideas, plans and desires to hurt myself to make the pain go away. Irrational, I know. But irrationality seemed more logical than logic. Hate it when that happens.

Off I went to the hospital where the beds aggravate my back, the hard floors plus lots of extra walking aggravate my back, and the uncomfortable chairs that – surprise! – aggravate my back. Pain management was desperately needed. My psychiatrist ordered the medical doctor who sees us to order narcotic pain relief immediately, besides starting other meds that might take a while. It took 3 1/2 DAYS to get pain meds! I got extra pillows under the bottom sheet right away since egg crates were on backorder, and I couldn’t have a hospital bed (on suicide watch). But pain meds to take that long – Good Freaking Grief! We were trying to get the psychiatric symptoms to go away before discharging me for the shots given today but wasted time with red tape. Then, when I finally got narcotic meds, it was a fentanyl patch, which has proceeded to make me narcoleptic, extremely sensitive to sound, and a bit dizzy. But the pain has gone down! And the ideation has decreased significantly.

Interesting side note: One of the meds that would take a while that the med doc prescribed was Cymbalta. Remember those commercials? Well, turns out it is related to another anti-depressant, an SNRI, Effexor. When we tried Effexor the first week of 2012, it flipped my mood quickly from suicidal to homicidal. NO JOKE! So, we tried Cymbalta for 2 days. And… when the irritability began to sky-rocket… we stopped that med. Now we know for sure that SNRI’s and anti-psychotics are Out for me. We’re running out of meds if/when the current cocktail stops working.

Another complaint about the hospital experience was the food service. I could not walk down to the cafeteria and so filled out menus to have a tray brought to the unit. For 13 MEALS in a row they brought No Tray. Not the wrong tray or with some items missing. But No Tray. Lots of calls to the staff and manager down there – no progress. Finally got sorted out when a big wig sent the right person an email. The day before I left. Oh, well. Hope they learn something for the next person with a physical disability.

Then there was today’s adventure. Two wonderful friends generously drove me to and from the appointment since the fentanyl patch’s narcoleptic & dizzy properties sorta preclude me from driving. Plus I found out post-injections that I shouldn’t drive for 12 hours. Info that would have been helpful BEfore I drove! Good think I didn’t. The shots themselves were not pleasant since they are going into painful spots. But I was able to control anxiety and tension with mindfulness, placing myself at a Santa Barbara beach, watching the waves roll in during sunset with Dave. Awesome! DBT Mindfulness at work!

Since I’m dealing with post-injection pain, I’m not entirely in the best state of mind. Some thoughts of hurting myself. I’m trying to let them pass through my mind without sticking. Hard to do when the pain is there that confuses the thought processes. The steroid should begin to work in 2-7 days. Until then the fentanyl patch should keep some pain at bay. Hope normal life will resume soon!

6 responses to “The Ups and Downs of Hospital Life

  1. Deb –
    praying that things get easier for you very soon.

  2. I think you’re doing a remarkable job of staying focused on stuff like blogging and updating your Facebook page. I think your description of working the Dbt techniques is great, too. You’re doing all sorts of things to orient yourself toward help and pain relief. Bravo! May you feel relief like waves and a gentle breeze.

  3. I agree with Jennifer…To be able to function at all under all the pressures your body and mind is enduring is super!…Best to you…~mkg

  4. I think this is among the most important information for me.
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