Three years. That’s how long it’s been since I was in the inpatient psych ward of the hospital…until yesterday. Yesterday, my psychiatrist was kind enough to walk me over to the hospital ER from his office and help me start the admissions process. He gave the ER staff a brief summary of why I was there and bade me farewell. I only spent about an hour in the ER, which was much shorter than the amount of time I have spent in the ER in the past. It was here that they did an initial safety search and had me change into green paper scrubs. Once medically cleared, I was wheeled to a relatively new area of the hospital.
From the ER, I went to the PSU, or Psychiatric Stabilization Unit. This was a new experience for me. Before entering the actual PSU, a second safety search and then a psychiatric evaluation were performed by a nurse and a psychiatric physician’s assistant. When I was finally introduced to the PSU, it was a large, dimly-lit, fairly dark room with recliners that laid back into beds in the center, a few tables with chairs in the corners and along the walls, two “quiet rooms” with the same lie-back recliners in them, and two bathrooms with showers in them. It was there that I spent nine hours in the quiet darkness of the PSU with coffee, sandwiches, and my old med list. I spoke with the pharmacist to correct all of the prescription medication information that needed to be updated from October of 2015. One final evaluation was done before I reached the inpatient psychiatric unit at 2150 hrs. I had been able to call my husband and he dropped off my BiPAP and some extra changes of garments for me. I have a raging cold, though, so I was only able to sleep for about three hours last night. The rest of the night, I wrote.
I received my Scriptures (the Spanish version) early in the morning, and studied them over coffee in the dayroom as soon as they opened it up at 0500 hrs. My BiPAP was safely locked away in a drawer in my room, Room 128, Bed 2. As I read my Spanish Scriptures, I began to write down what I needed to ask and have each of the members of my treatment team do for me throughout the morning. I then turned to making a list of coping skills to hold me over until my wrist heals and I can climb again…because I WILL CLIMB AGAIN. I tucked these lists carefully away in the breast pocket of my flannel shirt. The staff had graciously washed my clothing for me and I had clean clothes to put on before I came to the dayroom, which made me feel much more human. I went for my morning meds. The day progressed, I participated in groups, and I had requested to see Chaplain Doug J. I was fortunate to get to speak with him before I was discharged today and find out that my friend Tom is off the ventilator in the Salt Lake City hospital, which offers me hope.
Once I had been discharged from the unit, I walked over to my truck, which was still parked at my psychiatrist’s office. I went inside and gave his office manager my safety plan to make a copy of. She asked some additional questions, which I answered forthrightly. I also updated her on Tom’s status and asked her to pass it on to the Doc. I made an extra appointment with the Doc for Thursday, and another Friday, which was already a standing appointment. And thus ended three years’ worth of progress…