Saturday, September 29, 2007

The roller coaster ride begins

My husband has always been very charismatic and good with people. He could practically walk down the street and have people offering him jobs. Normally, anyhow. He did find a job as a handyman, making about half of what he was making before, but it was different now, because every cent of his income had to go to pay his exorbitant amount of debt. So if you look back at our income from before he started spending to when he got his new job, we actually had less than half as much as before to pay our bills.

It was a lucky thing that I had been practicing all of those frugal habits, because now it wasn't a "because I need to learn them" any more, we really needed to pinch the pennies. I got a second job, too. We did have some savings, so that helped for the first few months of this situation, it's pretty much gone now.

It was about this time when the "back problems" started. He started to have such severe back pain that he was in the E.R. every single weekend for a shot of morphine or dilaudid or whatever, until we both started to know the E.R. doctors on a first-name basis, and I could tell they thought he was full of it. I don't remember how I found it, but I found some information on a Dr. Sarno, who believed that back pain wasn't a symptom of a physical problem, but was a symptom of "emotional problems". This got me to thinking that all of what was going on probably had to do with "emotional problems".

Anyhow, we spent a big (to us anyhow) amount of money to hire an attorney to appeal the unemployment decision, because a lot of the reasons he had quit were actually borderline illegal for his employers to do, and a number of those things were documented. In the meantime, my husband would just sleep and work and eat. If he was at home, he was sleeping. I didn't really understand how he was still managing to go out to eat, but I was still in the mode of "it's his business, so I'll stay out of it". He was getting more and more depressed and one day we had a big fight about why I should (according to him) be ok with him wanting to die. That was when I started looking things up on the internet and learning about bipolar. I convinced him to start seeing a therapist who determined that the overspending and depression were simply symptoms of severe depression, and started working on that angle. He was on Prozac. The thing is, that half the time my husband cancelled the appointments, so he really wasn't getting anything out of them. I tried to find a way for him to get evaluated for different meds, everyone kept saying "get him to the hospital". I thought he'd fight it, but he didn't at all. He went in voluntarily, and they immediately put a 72 hour hold on him, and he was ultimately hospitalized for three weeks. We both feel that he was not ready to leave the hospital when he did, and the psychiatrist at the hospital thought the same, but the insurance company refused to pay any more, so home we went. We did find out that his boss has some "emotional problems" too, and was very understanding of the whole situation.

I also did find out that when a person has a 72 hour hold put on them, that the county is notified automatically. We have been on a first-name basis with the county due to our daughter's special needs (she does receive some services). So when her caseworker called me before my husband was out of the hospital and asked me how he was doing, I lied, saying he was in the hospital for back pain again, because he didn't want anyone to know what he was really in the hospital for. And she said "Um...they notify us automatically, I guess you didn't know that?" And I felt really stupid, but she was very sympathetic. I really still tried to play it down, though, because I thought "well, he's in the hospital, but as soon as they find the right pill, he'll be fine". So I didn't want to have people thinking less of him for any reason, since I KNEW he was going to be fine! I had no idea what we were really in for, and I don't know if I do yet. This all took place in March of 2006.

Just an FYI, since that hospitalization, we have noticed that he has not needed the E.R. once for the "back pain".