The Psych Ward

DOCTOR’S APPOINTMENT 

In the beginning of May 2017, my husband and I went to see a Neurosurgeon who had been referred to us by the ER. By this time, he had constant pain (headache, neck, back, stomach), anxiety, depression, hallucination, insomnia, heart palpitations, irritability and inability to function.

The Neurosurgeon reviewed his extensive medical history, including but not limited to his discharge paper works from the ER and pain doctor visits, psychiatric stays in 2015 and 2016, his blood work, CT scans, MRI results, the list of the medications he was on.

At that time,  he was now on more than just Percocet. Since the painkiller made him feel restless and extremely anxious; the pain doctor prescribed him muscle relaxant Klonopin. Klonopin in turn, made him super drowsy during the day; so he was prescribed the stimulant Adderal. He was on a cocktail of the most addicting, potent medication there were. He had also started drinking again. 

The neurosurgeon later explained that after reviewing my husband’s history, his health problems listed above were not caused by a biological structure but by the side effects/withdrawals of the medications he was on. He told us to see an addiction specialist as soon as possible and work with the psychiatrist and pain doctors to slowly wean off the medications. 

My husband was given a list of doctors and therapists. We left the doctor’s office feeling a little relieved and had lunch. He scheduled the appointment with the new doctor in the car. It was scheduled for May 17th.

Little did I know.

SIDE EFFECTS AND WITHDRAWALS

In the meantime, things started to get bad at home and at work. My husband started to have problems at work, was always late and missed deadlines. He was tired, irritable, spent a lot of time in his office in the basement. He fought with his own family, and took the pills on the clock.  He complained about the house being messy,  screamed at me in front of my mom and slammed doors when he didn’t get his way. He was like a different man. 

My husband never abused or took more than he was prescribed, but just being on these medications itself caused severe mental, emotional and physical side effects.  He was drowsy all the time, but couldn’t fall asleep at night or stay fully awake during the day. He walked around the house at night and would stop for a while to stare at me at the end of the bed. He told me he saw and heard men in red robes trying to kill him. He scared the crap out of me. 

He was enraged, irritable, moody, and oh the pain. The pain was so unbearable, the veins on his head were bulging and his teeth clenching. He couldn’t speak and was sweating profusely.  The kids and i avoided engaging with him as much as we could because the slightest thing would make him snap. 

When he was not writhing in pain, he thought he couldn’t breath and that he had rather die.  He was on medications that were supposed to help him feel better but they were making him feel worse. What was the point of taking painkillers if it caused even more excruciating pain? or the point of taking muscle relaxant and not being unable to sleep night after night that he started to hallucinate?  Or the point of taking stimulant to help him stay awake during the day yet he could barely open his eyes from the sleep deprivation? I wondered. 

CANCELLING THE APPOINTMENT

Remember he scheduled an appointment with the new doctor? Well 2 days before the appointment,  he told me he wasn’t ready to see the new doctor and cancelled. I got very mad and so did he. 

I immediately told him that if he didn’t see the new doctor, I wouldn’t help him anymore. He said i needed to stay out of his business.He called all his doctors and removed me from being the point of contact, and blocked me from getting information on himI told him,” It is my business as long as you’re living in the house with me, and our children; because we don’t feel safe with you.” He raised his voice even louder,went upstairs and slammed the door. I rushed out of the house, picked my kids up from school, and drove them to my sister. On my way there, i thought about what i needed to do. 

Meanwhile, he was fuming at the house and sent me all kinds of mean texts, such as, ” you do not give %*)^%& about me”, ” you’re the most selfish human in the world”, I did not engage with him, which made him even more angrier. He then pulled our blinders out of the windows, punched the dresser, threw food all over our kitchen floor and sent me the pictures of the damages. I still didn’t respond to his messages. An hour later, he sent me a screenshot of text messages between him and his boss, with basically him quitting his job and his boss accepting his resignation. All this, because I disagreed with him when he cancelled his new doctor appointment. He thought, he was my victim.

He said I was “ungrateful and unsupportive” of his hard work. I was a stay-at-home then, so he thought he would punish me. A few minutes later, he sent me pictures of bloody hand, he cut himself with a knife and told me he wanted to die. 

I finally got back to him and told him I told him I would call the cops. He said, to call the cops if I wanted to return home and see “dead cops” in our front yard. 

COURT PETITION

I immediately went to the magistrate at the court and showed them the pictures and the messages. The Magistrate placed an order for him to be brought in the hospital for psychiatric evaluation. He said he was going to send the Crisis Intervention Team to our house and that I should stay away (from the house) until further notice. I remember walking out of the court, feeling very sad I couldn’t remember where I parked my car. I walked around and when i finally saw it, I just sat down and stared ahead. I remained at the parking for a good 2 hours before they called me, “we have him”.

According to the affidavit, when the CIT arrived, they knocked on the door but he was either “asleep or simply not responding”. They had to break in and yelled for him. They found him downstairs and advised him that they have a warrant for him to get a psychiatric evaluation. He had to comply with the order, but could so by voluntarily agreeing to go to the hospital.  Of course, he chose not to agree, so they had to put him in handcuffs and placed in the back of the police car. 

When he arrived at the hospital, the doctors asked him if he knew why he was there, to which he replied, ” I’m here because my wife lied”. He denied everything  but with the messages and pictures, they admitted him to psych ward. 

It was heartbreaking to see him go through this; but i had no choice. 

The next morning, the Psychiatric nurse called and notified me he requested a family meeting so he could be discharged as soon as possible. At that point, I thought it was too soon to be discharged without no evaluation and treatment plan. I explained to the nurse my concern so she said to just come and talk to the judge. 

During our meeting, he was staring at the floor and did not make eye contact with anybody. He sat next to a court attorney, whom he hired. He was barefoot, and wearing those white uniforms they wear in scary movies. He was angry and looked determined to fight anything that was asked of him. 

The judge ordered him to stay for a couple of more days for further evaluation. He left the room without looking at me. 

I felt bad for him, but at the end of the day, I didn’t create the mess. It is one thing if he did not want to stop taking his medication; but when he started to behave erratically that I am worried for my safety, as well as his and the kids; then getting the court involved was the right decision. And I would do it again, if I have to. 

 

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