Day two of my stay in the locked ward dawned bright and brilliant. I was awake by 4:30, still feeling manic despite the antipsychotic meds and lithium the doctor had been administering to me at night. “Now what do I do?” I thought. “Another 3 days here and I can’t even have a cup of caffeinated coffee!”
Little did I know I would be there significantly longer than just the required 5 days for a 302 hospitalization.
Soon I was informed by one of the nurses that a 303 hearing was going to be held the following day regarding my stay. This meant the county (who had initiated the original 302) and attending physician would be asking for additional days added to my required 5. I was furious.
“Why would they do this so soon when nothing was wrong with me?” I wrongly thought. In fact, I had been manic for several weeks if not a few months, and the hearing was to ensure I wasn’t released until everyone felt comfortable that I was significantly better.
I took this bitter pill and carried it around with my in a pissed-off mood. I was still refusing food as well as going to the therapy groups that were held throughout the day to help get patients prepared for leaving the hospital and living a healthier lifestyle. This was to be a hard-learned lesson that I should have remembered from previous hospitalizations. If you don’t eat and don’t attend groups, it almost always results in a longer stay. But I was stubborn and certain I could outwit and manipulate the hearing officer into allowing me to leave after 5 days.
I was wrong, of course, but at the time I was still high and mighty and looked down on all efforts to help me. In particular, I was quite upset and worried that my girlfriend (or ex-girlfriend, as the case may be) had emailed me back (I had sent a few manic emails to her right before I left regarding finding her “profile” on several dating sites as well as an active Facebook account). She had been adamant a few weeks prior to the emails that I deactivate my own Facebook account because of all the girls who were my friends.
Being in the hospital meant I couldn’t return her potential emails, and I felt worse knowing that what I had emailed her was a bit “off” and mostly accusatory when in fact she had been to visit me just a few days prior to my hospitalization because my mother had had a mini-stroke and was hospitalized in the ICU.
That was a strange night by all accounts. I had witnessed my mom swaying in the kitchen with slurred speech earlier in the day and ended up having to carry her to her bedroom to lay down before calling my father to say what happened and how worried I was. He immediately came home from work and took my mom to the ER where she was eventually admitted and had a gamut of tests run to see what was wrong. The doctors at first weren’t sure what had happened because the tests were mostly inconclusive, but eventually they settled on a mini-stroke and my mom would have to stay the night to ensure she was stabilized.
Although I was manic and slightly (or mostly) out of my mind, I was nevertheless greatly concerned about my mother because she was someone who would seemingly work herself to death if need be. She never stopped moving and her disregard for her own health was offset by how worried she was about everyone else around her.
I had called my girlfriend, K, in tears, asking her to come over and spend time with me. I didn’t know the severity of what had happened to my mother at the time, but the longer it took my dad to return home the more worried I became. K said she was packing her stuff and would be right over, genuinely concerned for my mother and how I was feeling. She knew as well as I did that I was somewhat guilty at my mom getting ill, because I had become increasingly more belligerent and outright mean to my mother as the days had progressed up to that point.
When K arrived I buried my face in her hair and cried as much as I had cried about nearly anything in my life up to that point. But being manic, I wasn’t content on just having her there. I was demanding that she spend the night even after my father got home to say my mom was stabilized.
But after comforting me, telling me she loved me, and kissing me, K was set on leaving and promised to return the next morning to spend the day with me. I was not happy and even refused to walk her to her car. This would be the beginning of the end of my undoing with K, as I would later find out.
[To be continued...]