Robin’s in the hospital again.

March has a been a hell month for us.  We’ve had the usual monsters outside the house trying to get in, demons scratching on the windows, zombies inside the house with sharp teeth, blood-dripping mouths, and maggots for eyes.  The dogs have lost their skin, the closets were full of bats, worms crawling under the skin, flying needles piercing the skin like little arrows, and of course, worms and bugs… pretty much everywhere.  There’s also the spells of losing memory.

I’m exhausted.  The episodes have been frequent enough that I haven’t had much sleep, and the same goes for Robin, naturally, but she at least has the luxury of not remembering them after they’re over.

The cause?  It’s March.  The seasons are changing, and coming into spring or fall are very hard on the mentally ill.  There really isn’t a lot that can be done about it, except to be there for her, to hold her and tell her she’s only hallucinating.

What got her in the hospital, though, were the urges to hurt herself during episodes.  When she’s in her right mind, she wouldn’t dream of it, but when she’s not…

A few weeks ago, she broke a plastic plate and tried to cut her wrist with a jagged edge (didn’t work).  Then she started complaining, “I have to cut them out but there isn’t anything to use!”  I said, “Good thing because you wouldn’t find anything but more Robin.”

Later, she notified me that she’d found a drinking glass – made of glass – and she was fighting the voices to try with that.  So I hid any glass object I could find.  A few days ago, my mother was visiting and heating something on the stove.  She stood up and started to reach for the fire, but we stopped her.  This morning, she said the voices promised they’d go away if she burned herself.

I brought this up at her doctor appointment today and (as I’d assumed), they decided to keep her for a medication readjustment – to at least get her through this rough time.

While waiting for the room to be prepared, she told me that she didn’t think she’d ever really burn herself – didn’t even remember saying that.  “Robin,” I said, “you didn’t think you’d cut yourself when the voices were telling you to.  Then there was blood everywhere and I had to lock up every blade in the house.  You didn’t think you’d take all of your pills and then spent a weekend in ICU with seizures.  So now they’re locked up.  I’m not waiting for you to burn yourself up before doing something about it.”

Now all of the lighters in the house are locked away, and I pulled the knobs to the stove burners off and put them away, too.  If I need to cook, I’ll get a knob out of the box, then put it back when I’m done.  If she needs a cigarette, she’ll have to come to me for a light.  And if I catch her burning herself with a cigarette, I’ll just have to watch her while she’s smoking.  She can’t stop smoking.  The last time she tried… that whole knife thing.

I’ve spent the month doing what I can to keep her calm.  I’ve been watching comedies and shows like Fraggle Rock (can you believe she’s never seen it?)  Stuff with fun music helps.  And in case being cooped up in the house was causing anxiety, we went to see Watchmen (which was awesome!) and we had a great time visiting Mark McLaughlin last weekend.  We were in a bookstore, and she lasted a few hours before talking about worms on the floor.  Mark was great with her, a true friend through-and-through.

Unfortunately, all the Buffy stuff hasn’t been helping so much.  Normally it does and I’m sure it will again.  The other day, however, I said, “Boy, Joss Whedon must really like you to put you in a comic, huh?”  That usually brings a smile, but this time she just said, “Why would he do that?”  *sigh*

Anyway, they’ll have her for about a week while they work on stabilizing her.  It’s a chemical thing, after all, and it’s always changing so the balance shifts.  I’ll sort-of have a break now, to catch up on things that I’ve neglected due to steady distractions.  But I still won’t rest.  My nerves were getting shot before – blood sugar/pressure staying high from the stress, adding more stress to her from worrying about me – but I stress out more when she’s not here for me to know she’s okay.  Oh, she’s in good hands, but not where I can take care of her.

Jeez, it never gets easy leaving her there.  By the time all the paperwork is done, she’s looking confused and asking why she’s there.  It’s explained to her again and she understands.  Then as I walk toward the exit, she starts to run to me and I have to tell her to stay for her own health.  Again, she understands, but the anxiety of it all has her mind jumping back and forth, in and out of stability.  Once I’m gone, I can talk to her on the phone and she seems more grounded.  It was a matter of letting of me to absorb the situation better.  Still, my heart breaks to see the look on her face.

We’ll be that much happier when I bring her home, though, and Robin will be Robin again.  I already can’t wait.

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4 Responses to “Robin’s in the hospital again.”

  1. pointy07 Says:

    Oh, Lord, walking out that hospital door knowing she wants to come with you — I only had to do that for a couple of weeks, once when Alison committed herself, and a few years later after she took an entire bottle of medicine with an entire bottle of tequila. The guilt’s incredible (though it didn’t seem to lack credibility at the time) even when you remember that it’s the only way. To say you’re doing the right thing is understatement, Jerrod. You’re doing the best thing for her.

  2. Geez, and I thought I had it rough during seasonal shifts. I’m sorry to read about that, and I will send along a few kind thoughts and prayers your way.

  3. Thanks all. They have her on a new medication that I’ve been on in the past (when my skull was shoved into my brain). It’s for manic depression and calms you down really well with very little side effects (that I recall). Hopefully, it will relieve her anxiety enough to get her through the rough times.

  4. […] Update on Robin Hospital update. […]

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