Saturday, December 25, 2010

My Story Chapter Nine

               Dale stayed with us that winter in the upstairs room before it became “Eric’s private sanctuary” and helped with my care in the evening. Since having so much trouble with my lungs while in the hospital and going so long without smoking already I didn’t pick up the dirty habit again for 8 months after leaving Presby. But I got the urge soon enough and Dale would sneak them to me out in the kitchen when Eric was playing guitar. He would also bring a couple to me in bed after Eric tucked me in for in the night.  So unbeknownst to Eric, I was smoking much sooner than he thought.
I also needed rolled on my side in the middle of the night to help prevent bed sores since I am unable to move myself around. Ii was during these late night visits from Eric that he would sometimes crawl in bed with me and “spoon” just like the old days. But unlike the days gone by I could no longer move. I couldn’t wiggle closer to his warm body or move the crushing weight of his arm when I needed to get a sip of water. Ever since becoming paralyzed my anxiety had increased threefold and I became claustrophobic easily and quickly. Even when alone I still felt trapped like the very first day of the crash as if I was buried in cement or captured in quicksand up to my chest; the sensation was positively maddening.
Even though I had Don once a week to take out me shopping, go for haircut, or perhaps get my nails done, I was still in such a profound depression, my anxiety was out of control and I’m convinced I was developing some form of obsessive compulsive disorder. I had been through intensive therapy before my injury for a physically, psychologically, and sexually abusive childhood as well as for alcoholism and addiction. I was on every type of antidepressant used, old and new. These medications either didn’t relieve my symptoms, left me feeling like a zombie, or had side effects that should that have been grounds to take them off the market. One antidepressant I was on called Zoloft caused electric type shocks. First, they would shoot through my body while I was walking around but the strange sensation slowly and steadily progressed until every time I turned my head it felt and sounded as if a fluorescent light was buzzing inside my brain. This side effect lasted for a year AFTER I quit taking it. That is why to this very day I will NOT take an antidepressant. I did have a psychiatrist at the time and I was being treated for my anxiety but it wasn’t enough. So I did the next logical thing…self medicate.
Eric would set my tray table up at night beside my bed before he went to his room and after tucking me in. On it he would put my cup of water, my bed remote, and pill cup with 3 pain pills in it, just in case I needed them during the night. What he didn’t know was that I normally slept through the night and didn’t take any pills until very early in the morning when I usually took all three in time span of an hour and a half. After which I’d catch nice little buzz, try to wake Dale upstairs for a smoke, (his room was right above mine) without waking Eric in the next room, and go right back to sleep for two hours or so. Well, my daily ritual eventually caught up with me especially considering I was on so many other pain meds I had to see a gastroenterologist to get my bowel program back on track and my neurologist would not prescribe me anymore medication and sent me instead to a pain clinic.
I tried the new laxative the stomach doctor gave me and Eric was going to help me with my b.m. program in the morning. Spring had sprung and it was getting close to planting season. That was one thing Eric still had … his gardening. This is what I lay daydreaming about when I took morning pills. However, on this particular day I woke about 4:00am and I must have taken them too soon after my middle of the night dose of meds because I didn’t fully regain consciousness again until my third hospital transfer. By the time it was all said and done I’d spent my second summer in a row (2008) in a hospital bed.    

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