Saturday, December 08, 2007

admission

my husband has been admitted to an acute psychiatric care unit about 2 hours drive away from where we live.

He came home from work this morning and seemed almost lucid if a little irritable. He took the medication the doctor had prescribed him last Tuesday and went off to bed. He slept for no more than about 3 hours.

In that time I was in hourly contact with Psychiatric Emergency Support Services about getting up to the hospital to be assessed for mental illness. He had been very aggressive and irritable this past few days so I was very worried he'd not go quietly.

Praise God, when he got up from his nap he was as compliant as a lamb and came willingly to the hospital.

We sat in a room by ourselves for about 90+ minutes before seeing anyone. In that time my husband chatted to me.

I hardly said a word.

Everything that came out of his mouth was disjointed, incoherent and unsettled. His thinking processes were not rational and yet he seemed so happy and content sitting there with me. He just babbled like a tiny child about as many topics as entered his manic mind in the moment.

I am relieved that I do not have to "manage" him for now. At the same time I am under immense pressure to get a lot ....a LOT... of things organised over the course of the next week or two. The shop has been shut until further notice which means we don't have an income for awhile.

We aim to get my husband on the road to recovery in time for our holiday to Darwin over the Christmas break. We shall see.

I will possibly find out on Tuesday what the situation is with him.

Friends and family have been supportive and responsive in our time of need. We are being loved and I am grateful. Nothing in all the world prepares anyone to go through what I have gone through this past few weeks. All the organisation, the knowledge, the sheer capacity to get out of bed and face each day has been and is sometimes overwhelming.

I am not invinceable but at the same time I am also resilient and pragmatic. We'll live.

Never let yourself feel so alone in the world that you lose focus. Work is not your life. Learn to let go of stuff that hurts you in whatever healthy and appropriate way you can.

Learning to deal with his stress triggers is my husbands biggest challenge this coming year. My challenge is to find joy and hope even when my life is changing on a daily basis.

No guilt, no blame, no having to justify anything. Mental illness is another life cloud that some people are given, just as some are given heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or cancer. You treat it, you deal with it, and you survive. Nothing else matters but love and good humour. Live with this thing and do what you can and never assume you are the only one.

You know... people tend to think that life must be happy and easy in order for it to be considered successful? I'm not so sure. Success isn't measured by how easy you make your life. The people who are successful are those who can balance the good times with the bad and see the positive outcomes in both.

Even if our lives turn to complete shit in the next week or two (I doubt it will)... we will be okay in the long run. It isn't about being completely in control, or doing things in a certain way, or having the right amount of money/time/energy/health, it's about the way we think about stuff, and the way we notice when it all gets too much and can adjust our course to take off the pressure.

There is a lot to do this next few days. I'm praying for clarity and wisdom to manage the details. God willing, whatever I "miss" will sort itself out.

My husband will get well, and he'll be stronger for this experience.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I wished I lived closer and could help help you in some way. My heart goes out to you.
Life is never easy in any way or fashion.
Thinking of you
Rita

Alexys Fairfield said...

Michelle,
My arms are around you and my prayers are with you my sister.

I was saddened to hear about your husband and the tremendous weight it has caused on your heart. It's one thing to be strong, but it's another thing when the cold hard reality of illness hits us square in the face and expects us to keep standing.

I know time has a way of rectifying the high tide in your Soul and I just want you to know that you are not alone. God is with you, holding you, carrying you to the shore.

Wishing your hushnad a speedy recovery and wishing you love, blessings and the dawn of a new day.

Peace my dear.

Michelle said...

thankyou so much Rita and Alexys for your kind words of support and encouragement.

Just knowing you both care is support enough. I am grateful.

God bless you both.

Michelle