8/3 The Book of August

The day after “The Crash” as we came to call it, Robin wanted me to see a psychiatrist, knowing I was and had been for sometime, deeply depressed and needed appropriate medication.    I had resisted going for help for quite a while, even though I had entertained thoughts of suicide for a couple of years.  My resistance was not due to inhibitions of any kind.  I had gone for therapy several times in my life and it had always helped my depression.  The therapy and medication are very effective.   I had been hospitalized and treated for depression when Debbie was little, and after she died I had been in therapy.  I had taken meds for depression and anxiety when my younger daughter, Mary developed a heart condition, and I had been treated for depression again after mom died.

Rather after the “other crash”, the stock market crash of 2008, art sales had plummeted.  Not just for us, but for virtually every artist we know.  Sadly many artists have lost their studios and homes.  Many  more have had to declare bankruptcy.  Going into the fall of 2008, we had no debt of any kind–no credit card debt, no auto loans, no mortgage.  We owned 3 vehicles, 2 studios, 20 acres and our home.  We had savings and IRA’s.  In desperation  we hired an art manager to help us find a new way to market our art other than the art fairs which had been so good to us for so many years.  She took us for around $9000 in 6 months in 2011.  That’s when we lost our health insurance.  So we’re barely hanging on financially in this very, very tough economy and I’m feeling I’d rather check out than put us into debt trying to fix my broken heart and brain.  You start thinking those that love you would be better off without you.  You feel like you can’t take anymore pain, anymore stress, anymore disappointment.  It’s not worth it.  I’d rather die than have to face possibly losing this paradise we’ve carved out for ourselves the past 22 years.  Not that we were on the verge of losing it, but the savings were dwindling much faster than income was coming in and hospital bills could be the concrete boots for us.

Robin called a friend of ours, a psychiatrist and told him what happened.  He and our family doctor (that was brand new to us) both told Robin to take me to the emergency room.  Screw the bills that would follow.  So on Friday afternoon August 3rd, 2012 we arrived at the emergency room.  While there, I admitted that while I hadn’t attempted suicide, ever, I had entertained thoughts of it and had many times considered how I’d do it.  So this guy turns up outside my open door and sits reading.  The hours dragged on, tests were taken and repeated, social workers fluttered about.  I agreed to be transferred to a hospital with a psychiatric unit.  They were concerned about my hormone levels–The prescription of synthroid, a thyroid replacement,  I had been prescribed a year before and was still taking was obviously a big overdose.  Turns out when my doctor should have decreased my dosage he increased it.  So we waited and waited.  Finally at about 11PM I told Robin to go home.  That’s when the guy outside in the hall that I called the watcher, stuck his head inside and asked if he could get me anything.  He explained that he was a volunteer that helped out at the hospital by sitting with people.    That was a polite way of getting around saying he was on my suicide watch.

We talked for several hours–turns out he’d been in the same situation once upon a time.  We hugged and kissed when I left with 2 ambulance drivers about 5 AM.  The charge nurse hugged me and told me that I was their only psych patient that Friday night but I was the easiest of all the many patients they’d cared for.  She was sweet.

When we got to the other hospital we entered through double doors, down a short hallway to a dead-end.  Door on the left and door on the right.  On the right hand door it said Geriatric Unit and I thought this would be the icing on this whole wrotten cake if they buzzed that one.  Sure enough we went to the right!  I was 62 for god’s sake and not too happy about it, but I didn’t think of myself as a geriatric psych patient.  But how could I complain, I had to eat humble pie after crashing the great room.

3 Responses to “8/3 The Book of August”

  1. It’s actually a nice and helpful piece of info. I’m happy that you
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  3. I’m not the least bit surprised that you were the easiest patient that they had cared for. What I can’t believe is that you were 62 at the time! You don’t look 62 NOW and it’s years later!

    Peace, Love & Joy,


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