November 22, 2010. Part two.

November 4th, 2011

Make sure you read Part One first.

I felt like I could not breathe.  My heart was racing.  I was cold and sweating at the same time.  It felt like there was a veil being lifted off of my head and as it pulled off all I felt was shear panic.   I thought every single thing you are NEVER supposed to think, and then I scared myself.  If I could think those things, could I DO those things?     I was unsafe.   IH was unsafe around me.  Those were the  only things I could make my spinning mind settle on.  UNSAFE!     DANGER!   FLEE!   I jumped out of bed and ran to the bathroom where KH was still in the shower.   I slammed the door behind me and locked the door.   Trying to lock myself away from my precious baby.    The week lay ahead of  me.  There was no school, no MOPS, no playgroup because it was the week of Thanksgiving.  Just me locked in my horrible, oppressive house with a four-year old to entertain and my spiraling mind.   I sobbed to KH that he had to call in sick,  that I needed help!  I explained that I could not be left alone for even a second.   I begged him, BEGGED him to stay home.    He was confused, and exhausted and had no idea how to help me.   He had one 10mg pill of Lexapro squirreled away in our closet, I took it and went to lay in a ball on my couch.

I was still shaking, still in physical pain which I could not describe, all I knew was I was NOT okay and if I was left alone something unfathomably bad was going to happen.  KH  called his co-worker to cover for him, no answer.  Called his boss, no answer.   He HAD to go to work at least to check the servers.   He could leave at 9 and be home by 10.  It was 5:30AM.   Three and a half hours alone!? Never gonna make it.   I next called my brother.   For some reason, I was not embarrassed for him to see me in my ball.  No answer.   Next stop was my mom.   She answered.   Was here in 10 minutes.   KH made it to work in time.   I tried to tell her what was wrong, but it was impossible to explain.   I just needed help!  That was all, HELP!   She had made a Doctor appointment by 8:10AM.   She cleaned my house.   I stayed in my ball.  My body needed sleep so bad, but that was never gonna happen.   She took IH and I out for breakfast, de-caf coffee for me.   I ate no more than two bites.   She made me go through the motions, but I was made of sand.  The least little breeze and I would crumble.  A hug from my child and I was flat.

KH came home to take me to the doctor.    Five minutes with her and she was sending me to be evaluated at the local crisis counseling center.   IH was playing with my dad, hopefully oblivious to what was going on.   I was “evaluated”  in a room that reeked of stale cigarettes and despair.   I have no idea what I said, but whatever it was, I hit enough trigger points that she wanted to send me to a mental hospital.  Let’s review that,  MENTAL HOSPITAL.    All I wanted was a nice cocktail of drugs to let me sleep, I was sure if I could just sleep, I would be so much better.  The intake lady said I could go be admitted to the hospital and I would be out in a day and a half with my drugs to make me all better.  I was in.  That sounded perfect, the other alternative of waiting a week and a half to see a psychiatrist was unbearable.  I would never make it a week and a half.

We went home to pack a bag.  No clean clothes.  Seriously.   That overwhelming pile never got touched.  I was literally afraid of it.  I threw some strange mismatched outfit in my bag and we left.  The hospital was not far, maybe 30 minutes.   I had my pillow, and my cell, a book, and lipgloss.  What on earth was I packed for?    Turns out this hospital?  Also a REHAB hospital.  There was a drug addict in the waiting room with me.  I was so scared.  I just wanted some help!   I filled out a huge list of questions.   I answered a few wrong.   Apparently intrusive thoughts and extreme anxiety are not the same thing as homicidal.  Oops.

Some guard took my bag to search, and confiscated most of my stuff.  A nurse asked me questions.  When I told her I just wanted to stay for a day to get my medications correct, and to get some sleep…..she LAUGHED at me!  Literally laughed in my face.   She said I would be there at least a week, more like two.   Um.  ACK!    Rewind!  I started talking,  I said I was mostly fine, just tired, I said my PCP would write me a script for a mild SSRI.  I changed my mind!  I was not going!  I want to go home!!  KH talked too, he promised I would not be left alone until my meds were in effect, he promised he would take care of me and that he would bring me back if I needed too.     The nurse left us alone in a teeny closet room.   I was miserable.  I had been up for going on 40 hours.  She finally got me signed out, took my blood pressure….and said I needed to go to the ER because my blood pressure was in the stroke danger level!  No wonder!  I thought I was about to be locked in the clock work orange hospital with druggies for weeks!   Finally they let me go home.  It was midnight.

We stopped at a drive through for a bite, which I could not eat, watched a silly sitcom, and KH held my hand until I finally slept.    At 10AM I woke up alone.   IH was still with my parents.   I felt not good, but a million times better than the day before.   I threw on my clothes, and drove straight to my parents house.  I still felt uncomfortable being alone.   We went grocery shopping,  did laundry,  played with IH.   As long as I was not alone, or alone with IH, I was okay.    (or not shaking crazy anyway)   I got a shiny new Rx for 20mg of Lexapro, double what I had ever been on before.  I canceled just about every responsibility that I could.   I kept my job at the preschool.  IH came home and slept when KH got off work.  My mom was here before KH left for work each morning.   It went like that for about two weeks.

Finally I decided I was okay to stay alone for the time between KH leaving for work and school.   At work at the preschool I was fine, I felt no anxiety around other people’s kids, just my own!  Then a few days later I was okay to come home from school and be alone until KH got home from work.   A week later I was okay putting IH in bed alone.  Then a week later I was okay driving in desolate areas alone, and then another week and I noticed….a miracle.  I was ENJOYING my life!  I was with my kid playing and laughing and not at all nervous!     It took about two months before I felt like myself.    Not only like myself, but better than I had felt since March……..the month I fully weaned off of my Lexapro the first time.

So, what caused it?   Lots of doctors appointments, therapy appointments, time and prayer and I know the answer.   1.  My hormones were jacked the hell up.   Like seriously, whacked.   I already knew that my anxiety ebbed with my hormones….I had PPD after all!  2.  I have OCD.   Not really depression, but OCD — heavy on the O, low on the C.  When it gets really bad, it is scary!  I was scared of, yes, unreasonable things, but it did not matter.  3.  I was overwhelmed.  I was taking too many pictures and not sleeping.  I let everything seem like it mattered 100 times more than it really did.  4.  I was not preventing it.    It was a perfect storm, and one that could have been prevented.

How am I keeping it from happening again?  1.  I took 20mg of Lexapro for almost a year.   I am now at 10mg and plan on staying on it, or another SSRI forever.   This is a disease and I am treating it just like I would take insulin if a diabetic.  I chemically need help to keep my brain from obsessing.  2.  I go to therapy every two weeks.  It helps so much.   I can tell her anything, even the ugly stuff and she makes me not feel crazy, helps me work out what is a real concern and what is me obsessing over something stupid.  (like earthquakes.  Oy Vey.)   I  plan on going forever.  I may drop to once a month at some point…..but not anytime soon.  3.  I am trying really hard not to overbook myself.  I am making rest and sleep and fun a priority.

I will always have stress.  That is life.   And, I am glad that it is my life to live.  And, no, it is not perfect, but it is good…and knowing that.  Truly KNOWING that is huge.  It is what makes the Sarah of the fall of 2011 a world away from the Sarah of 2010.

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The smile is much more real this time.

I will address the looming baby question at some point this month.

I will address the faith part too, how OCD affects your faith deserves its own post.


4 Responses to “November 22, 2010. Part two.”

  1. Lanita on November 4, 2011 9:12 pm

    Delighted to see you back. I love your blog. I’m proud of you for getting the help you needed.

  2. Hey You on November 5, 2011 5:42 pm

    Thanks Lanita. So far my secret has not been discovered. I will probably out myself at the end of the month, but it is interesting to see how many hits this blog that was abandoned for a year still gets! Are you someone I know from Real Life? Or did you find me somehow?

  3. Lanita on November 5, 2011 7:52 pm

    I found you and your Pokey Little Puppy cake on the Cake Wreck blog. I enjoyed your stories of being a stay-at-home mom. I have three boys, 26, 23 & 16 now, and I was transported back to some of my happiest days. Once, I saw pictures of your son and thought it looked like he was at Toad Suck Daze. I thought you might be local to me. I want you to know I enjoy your writing. Your voice is heard. And your son is darling, so cute.

  4. grammy on November 7, 2011 9:20 pm

    I love you and am happy you are facing this. We are always here for you and your guys.

Comments are closed.