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My Wake-Up Call To 911

As I lie my head on this very hard and flat pillow, I hear a reverberating sound; a sort of vibration humming in my ears over and over. I wonder if this is strictly in my head so I turn onto my back, ears exposed: nothing. I started this journey by calling 911 after a huge overdose. I was feeling very out of it, talking was even difficult and talking more to the 3 policemen and 4 EMT’s in my house was intimidating to say it one way. I have a very small living room and these were all big men. I had told the operator on 911 that I was not feeling violent just my body was disturbed by the overdose. I wasn’t going to even call but my boyfriend across the seas pushed me to do it but claimed if I did not he was going to call all the way from where he is. So much shame I felt as the depression’s hold over me had me scared to even tell anyone. I thought I wanted to die but I guess not enough. I did end up in the ER very quickly, I was seeing double with everything, questioned over and over “what did you take? How much?” until I passed out and they said they would figure out everything. All of everything the poking of needles, putting in IV and fluids were all a very big blur. I couldn’t answer anything anymore and gave up. After the ER I woke in ICU, the cardiac wing of ICU. I had a very hard time functioning for hours in there. I do remember the kindest staff and most comfortable bed. The nurse I had got me to laugh a bit and his name was Mark, like my brother who has always gotten me to laugh. There was another staff member that resembled my other brother and I told him. He laughed and said “I get that a lot, it’s the facial hair” I almost died in laughter.

I can’t tell you much about ICU other then when I was moved to another room I saw all the patients intubated and I almost cried thinking, that was exactly how my grandfather spent his last moments and in a cardiac ICU. It just broke my heart and gave me an intense wake-up. I could have spent weeks critical but it was more a day or two. I now have an abnormal heart rhythm. I am not sure if it’s from all the overdoses over the years or just me developing something from mom’s side of the family.

So what WAS that noise? I don’t know but the agitation ensuing- no coursing through me, being in another wing for the third time was making me feel crazier then I suppose I am in real life. I made several phone calls during this process hoping to laugh; which helped and I love those in my life who made me feel a lot better and cheering me up. Those that took care of my daughter I am indebted to forever. My daughter means everything to me. You say then how could you try to kill yourself? Well depression wins sometimes with me. I can’t focus on the truly important things and people in my life at those moments, no concentration happens and the depression crashes over me like a wave and I can’t get out to breathe air.

I had “sitters” in one of the wards I was transferred to. I could tell some of them were very bored and using their cell phones. I didn’t tell on them cause I was told by one sitter it was against the job rules but if they allowed me the use of mine before the inpatient mental ward, I was fine. I was told no usage of mine either lol. In the mental health ward where my ears were humming they took everything. If you have ever been in one of these wards (some are stricter than others), we weren’t allowed our non string clothing until we saw the doctor. We were then allowed the dignity of having at least our clothes (without strings) to wear instead of used scrubs. Hey don’t get me wrong, the scrubs are very comfy but it screams I’m a mental patient in there. So back to the sitters, I wanted to talk to some of them to break the awkwardness but some were very disinterested and so I slept. I hadn’t gotten out of bed for awhile; had a fall risk next to my other two ‘bracelets’ and was very tired. I could not sleep. Sometimes I just wanted a moment alone. Some let me shower and use the toilet without staring down at me and one was very diligent about his job and I just couldn’t use the toilet with him watching. So I went when he was on break during the night and a female was there who could care less what I did. If I had that job I would talk so much I’d make the patient GO crazy. I get too talkative often.

Sometimes I don’t trust myself yet sometimes I take full charge knowing I can trust myself, but wondering if I can still trust those around me. The only place I was out either passed out unconscious or sleeping was in ICU then I couldn’t sleep at all. It was really aggravating me and I was taken off every medicine for three days straight. Talk about withdrawal especially when you have taken more then you were supposed to. My potassium plummeted again and I had to be given potassium via IV over several hours. The mental health ward I was finally taken to was so cold, freezing in fact and I went by a vent in the TV room- guess what!? The AC was pumping full blast what the hell is up with that?? We haven’t hit above 65 yet.

I called my pastor but I think he misunderstood me. I wanted him to come to the ward and say a prayer with me and let me talk for a few minutes but I think he thought I wanted him to pick me up. So I saw the Chaplin and took communion since I was baptized Catholic as a baby. The Chaplain gave me a quick hug too which was nice. I really needed one. But an elder who is my very good friend came to take me home and the first thing I said was “Hi, can I have a hug? I really need one.” and she responded “Oh definitely I really need one too!”. Probably THE nicest woman I have no person I have met in my life. She is always willing to help and fits me in if I need a ride or something important too. With the pastor I should have asked for just a simple prayer when he next prayed. I know he means all well as I love his studies. Always willing to try to make it over to my house to do the studying with my daughter and I. It’s almost always our favorite time of the week! My daughter and I need to get back to the social world aka community especially church on the Sabbath and going to Sabbath school prior to services. We both miss it a lot. I miss my local friends, I miss the air, sunshine, a subtle nice breeze and I really miss life itself. A lot of us take our lives for granted; please don’t- always hang in there for the bad times never last forever. I don’t want to die; at times I may think I want to but I truly don’t. I am getting better coping skills when I start my intensive outpatient series.

I had a migraine each day I was in the hospital. There are many reasons why this could have occurred so I will just leave it at that. I need to let my daughter know, and show her that this won’t happen again by proving it with my actions and love for her. I am done mucking around; it’s almost time to see what I can do with my life. It was 4 AM and all I could think about was getting back to my daughter. She and Andrew were always on my mind. I was sick around the sick too long. I have a first goal- To be patient with myself especially when overwhelmed. To ask for help and TALK when I need to. Not everyone is ‘occupied’ there are those out there willing to listen. Patience is a virtue I am trying to learn. By the way, I learned that EMT’s, the police, nurses and doctors are so patient and kind. Non judgmental in any way. (At least here and across the state line) It was a blessing they were that way. When I lived down south I was treated horribly; like a severe criminal, handcuffed and thrown in the back of a police car which had almost no leg room and the windows they wouldn’t open on their side when it was so musty and HOT in there I almost cried over and over. How can you treat someone with depression after an attempt like that? It’s not like it will ‘teach me a lesson’ just like charcoal- never used it on me here but handled my body differently and down South it was nothing but charcoal police transport with handcuffs. Look I understand why they use them for their and other’s safety but I was never violent nor a violent patient. Just to show you different forms of treatment in other states. It is very sad how some get treated.

So that was my 911 wake-up call. I was so scared yet so out of it until I passed out. I am grateful to all those I have mentioned. When I woke in ICU is when I knew this was bad and I truly could have died yet realized I don’t really WANT to die. I will have a better life if I try my hardest. I know I have the strength to do it and to be a strong person again.

So stay strong and hold tight my fellow people, as my daughter’s fortune cookie said recently- “It’s easier to go down a hill than up it, but the view is much better at the top.”
KAJ ’14

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