Sunday, October 23, 2011

"A realm like no other"

Just as a "postscript" to the previous post, when DH went to his Dr. appointment at 2:40 the other day....he...."felt funny" and ended up talking about back pain with the Dr. and not telling the Dr. about his mental health symptoms at all.  We had also put in a couple of emergency calls to the pdoc's nurse, who never called us back (but it's possible she was out of the office on Friday).  We really felt alone and didn't know what to do.

DH continued to become more and more unstable during the night.

While I was at work at the group home, he called me and told me he couldn't sleep.  I asked him what was going on, and he said "If it wasn't for you and my mom, I'd be dead right now."  Now there's something that kind of tends to set off the alarm bells.....but wait, there's more :-(

I asked him at that point, if he thought that maybe he should check himself into the hospital and he said he thought he could make it through the night.  A few hours later, when I had gotten home from work and was in bed, he woke me up and said "I don't know what to do, about every 15 minutes I just start crying for no reason at all and I can't stop.  And I don't know why.  And then when the crying stops, I get giggly for a while, then I start crying again.  I just wish I was dead.  I think it's time for me to check into the hospital."

I thought so too.

I asked him if he had had mood swings like this before he was on Lithium.  He said, "Carol, this is a mental health realm like no other.  I've never been so scared of my mind."  "The mood swings have never been this fast and the urges have never been this scary."

So I called the hospital that his Pdoc was affiliated with, the one that the Pdoc had wanted him to go to last month when they started "tweaking" his meds.  I told them that DH was a patient of the pdoc and was having a crisis and the pdoc had wanted him to check into that specific hospital.  They were very kind, but unfortunately all of the beds were full there, so if he was going to go to the hospital, he'd have to just check himself in and he'd be transported to wherever they had an empty bed.  DH didn't like that idea, because he was afraid things would get even more "messed up" without the pdoc that knows him.  I understood and was unsure as to what to do--I knew DH was in a real bad spot.  But since he seemed to be still able to recognize that things were bad and he needed help etc., I didn't want to just call 911 and have them take him away.  We talked about it for a long time.  I didn't get any sleep.  I looked up Lithium and Abilify and there was no big red flag "DO NOT TAKE THESE TWO DRUGS TOGETHER" or anything like that, and, since DH was already taking Lithium with his Abilify, just that the dose had been lowered significantly (by half!), and since we couldn't find a pharmacist or a doctor who would tell us for sure if it would be ok or not, as a last resort, I said "go back and take the dose of Lithium that you were taking before it got cut" (he had been on that high dose for over a year).  I hoped it was ok to do that.

All day the moods played across his face.  "That Guy" came out often, for silly reasons, like a dog licking his hand or something.  And "That Guy" would get angry with the dog.  DH usually loves the fact that the dogs and cats love him and he usually tolerates their affections much better than I do, even.  Then he would get so down that he was just paralyzed.  He couldn't get up out of his chair to smoke.  Then for a minute, he sounded fine.  Then it would change again.  I was really afraid.  I knew I had to work all night and I was very worried about leaving him.

I had to leave for work at 8pm.  At about 6pm I noticed that I wasn't seeing his expressions change like they had been.  And his eyes weren't closed.  I asked him how he was feeling, he said "I think I feel better."  By the time I left, we had conversed enough where I was confident that he was, indeed, doing better.  I don't think I've ever been so relieved.  I asked him if he thought he would be ok when I went to work and he said he would be fine.  And I believed him.  So I went to work.

At about 3am, he called me at work and told me that he had felt so much better, he had cleaned our bedroom and bathroom.  He said he was going to take his "old" bedtime dose of Lithium (the higher dose), along with his other meds, and go to bed.

So it appears, that Lithium may be a miracle drug once again.  I'm not looking forward to explaining to the pdoc that I/we changed the dose of a med without authorization, but I honestly didn't know what to do. It seems like right at this moment, anyhow, that it was the right choice. 


Miss Kitty said...

Whoa! OMG, Carol! This is rough! Glad to see you & DH were able to figure a quick solution...I hope it stays. Weird, but perhaps the higher dose of meds is what he needs to be on for the duration.

Fingers, toes, and eyes crossed for all of you.


Anonymous said...

I hope someday you have someone in your life who is mentally and physically healthy and who takes good care of you.

Joanna said...

Hi Carol,

I was glad to see the donate button. I sent something and I hope I start a little trend for your readers. You deserve some help.

perphila said...

Your post brought back quite a few memories. Ones I had thought I had forgotten. You were in a very scary place so DH wasn't alone. The difference was your ability to cope. I think you guys should talk to your pdoc about what happened and come up with a back up plan about what to do if it looks like DH should go to the hospital and you have the same full bed situation. Is there another hospital he would recommend first? A emergency med change like what you ended up doing? You did what you had to and lucked out. Having back up plans can help reduce the stress if not the worry a little. After that you can only roll with the punches and boy, you can roll with the best of them.