Finally, I got to see the new doctor. He was a pleasant character and after a few leading questions I found myself pretty much telling him my life story, including how I had applied for medical school this year, and missed the UMAT cut off for my school of choice my just a couple of points.
He was supportive, saying that he had several patients who had gone on to careers in medicine, and some much older than me. He tried to decipher my doctor’s notes – apparently he has typical doctor’s handwriting – and it appears that he eventually intends to supervise me onto 100mg of Zeldox, which would indicate 2-3 more weeks of rehab. He told me that he would be putting it up to 60mg this week.
When mum picked me up for leave that afternoon I passed on that information and her reaction was one of despair. How could I be there for a month? Don’t my doctors understand the havoc I am wreaking on my family yet again? Thanks mum, real helpful… (Actually I’ve been there for five weeks before but I think this admission will top that.)
If last week was the week of agitation, this week is the week of anxiety. I’m still experiencing racing thoughts, racing through everything I could possibly be anxious about. Just leaving the hospital makes me feel so ill. BF and I were going to the beach last week but that’s out of the question now.
For some reason thinking about moving home is triggering me badly. It’s just the whole moving process being such a pain in the butt, I just want it over with. We’ve been going to my place to get bits and pieces and that’s so hard. For some reason being in my suburb is giving me anxiety over the fact that it’s a super rough area. Which it is, but I’ve lived there for two years and never been broken into or had any such trouble from the residents. The drama stayed out of our house and on the street but still I can’t help agonising. It sucks.
I’ve been catastrophizing something dreadful. My mind latches onto a dreadful idea, and I can’t relax until I’ve been able to confirm it. For example, while I was on leave one morning I became convinced that someone had gone into my room and stolen my contraceptive pill. Which is ridiculous, right? That’s a horrible thing to do and I haven’t even talked to the other patients enough to infuriate someone to the point where they would do that. But I couldn’t let it go. I ended up calling the nurses’ station and making one of the nurses check that it was in my drawer. Which it was.
I’ve had many ‘ideas’ like this. When I have them I make sure to tell the staff so that my irrational thinking is going on record because this needs to stop. Of course the fact that I’m aware that these thoughts are irrational bodes well for me but it’s still eating me alive.
And then to add a poisonous olive on the side of this paranoia laced anxiety cocktail, I woke up one morning and the double doors between ward one and two had been thrown open.
Holiday time is over.
“Oh yes, we’re back to normal functioning this week. Prepare for fifty thousand admissions.” My nurse confirmed cheerfully as she brought my morning tablets.
I later found out that this number is actually closer to seven. Admissions generally happen two days of the week, so they were able to stagger the patients coming in.
The advantage of course is that all the staff are running at full capacity, including the therapists. Group therapy is back. I gave groups another chance, and the first one I went to left me feeling positive – the therapist allowed us to check in, so the self pitying ramblers were not allowed to talk over anyone or hog the air time.
I’m certainly not above talking too much, and it’s something I’m very self conscious about; I’ve noticed in group therapy that those who talk the most tend to apply the skills the least and I can’t possibly be the only one. I always cringe and swear I’m going to pass ever time they start going around the circle to check in but let loose when it’s my turn. Those damn therapists sure know how to ask leading questions.
I was also eagerly awaiting the return of my therapist this week to finally start unpacking all this anxiety but my excitement was premature. I saw her once before she had to go on leave for a week for surgery. LAIM. Am I going to get any kind of decent interpersonal therapy before I get discharged?
We’ll find out next week I guess.