Archive for July, 2016


Somehow clicked Publish by mistake.  To continue…

Discharged last Tuesday, well enough to continue meds at home, the doctors decided, and I agreed, would visit therapist in Bel Air and psychiatrist at Harford Memorial to monitor prescriptions, do more volunteer work.  Going to see Maeve at last.  Walked to Emergency Room parking lot where left car 16 days before, gave grumpy attendant at exit a letter from social worker stating I’d been an inpatient, forgive fee.

Woman in booth frowned, made phone call, asked me for license, gave me a form to sign, sternly said I’d be billed for $150! I pleaded to no avail, she called for security guard who took his time coming, but was kinder —  went into booth and lifted the gate .  I’d been delayed from Kieran’s, was there over an hour, sometimes standing outside car in hot sun. But social services is now on the case!

Then to Kieran’s, finally got to hold Maeve in my arms, saw Mommy, Daddy and Nolan — Jack napping — couldn’t wait for me. Later went to get Angel from vet — happy to be together again — and home at last.  Saw therapist today, said I wasn’t sleeping well on Trazodone, had tried unsuccessfully to reach Hopkins and Harford Memorial psychiatrists.She reminded me that meds “take time to work.”  I know that, am trying to be patient. Keep me in your prayers







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I’d told my son I wasn’t doing well the week after coming home from St. Joe’s, and he called on July 7th, persuaded me to come for dinner and stay overnight. That afternoon watched Nolan and Jack happily splashing in a backyard wading pool — with their daddy pretending to be a big fish for them to climb on. The next morning, Kieran talked me into walking a mile long trail with him — exercise creates endorphins and lifts mood, he said, and though I felt a bit unsteady on my feet — he didn’t  seem to notice — I kept up the pace, didn’t want to worry him.

I’d been taking  Paxil for three weeks, prescribed at St. Joe’s, no weaning from the Zoloft and Lithium prescribed at Meadow Wood which I’d been taking for about a month.  Now I was waking often at night,  walking  wobbly, head muddled — and had a urinary infection, a probable side effect of Paxil, I learned. On July 11th, after seeing Dr. Naguib re now cleared urinary infection, but feeling generally miserable, I panicked again and drove to Johns Hopkins Bayview Hospital in Baltimore for admission to their behavioral health unit.

Kieran very upset this time.  I’d broken my solemn promise to talk to him first, but knew a brisk walk wouldn’t be enough to help. Took Angel to board at the vet, crying s I left her, I called my son to tell him I was going to another hospital. He tried to persuade me to come to their home, but I was determined. After a sleepless overnight in the noisy Emergency Room, was admitted to the In Patient Psychiatric Unit the next evening, then taken off the St. Joseph’s medicines and prescribed Effexor — an antidepressant I’d been on for fifteen years until last January and was sure had stopped working.

Very long days at Hopkins — working crossword puzzles, reading, taking notes for “The Perils” in the Common Room, talking to other patients. Few group sessions, an occasional craft workshop and sessions led by a nurse or social worker — “How to Find Happiness” the theme of one, led by an almost annoyingly chirpy social worker.

Was surprised many patients were allowed to spend most of the day in bed, some only coming out for meals. Not sleeping well again, given Ambien several nights, then taken off and prescribed Trazodone and Remeron at bedtime. Antidepressants can cause insomnia.  Sleeping medicines can aggravate depression.

Happy news in the  middle of all this:  My beautiful granddaughter, Maeve Gallagher, was born on July 15th, a healthy 8 pounds, 9 ounces.  Sad that I’d have to wait to see and hold her when I was discharged — finally, on July 26th, after an endless two weeks and two days.

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Today is July 4th — haven’t posted since April 30th — been battling another round of depression. In early May, gradually feeling lower, waking often in bed, panicking after no sleep one night, I contacted the Bel Air Crisis Team, was advised to drive to Meadow Wood Behavioral Health Hospital in Delaware this time.

Kieran was understandably upset — only called him when I arrived there. For seventeen days I was prescribed a potent mix of five medications — Zoloft, Lithium, three others — assigned to the geriatric unit, mostly patients with dementia — sad and disturbing.  Moved to a quieter unit the second week despite my advanced age. Too much free time, just a couple of group meetings a day, telling our moods on a scale of one to ten, our daily goals. Mine was to get out of there!

Struggled at home for a month after discharge, feeling no better, the Lithium apparently causing diarrhea, shakiness and loss of appetite. And was attending out-patient therapy at Harford Memorial three times a week.  About ten patients sitting in a circle, in various stages of wellness, filling out work sheets, a social worker leading discussions and writing on a board. Each three hour session seemed endless.

Still sleeping poorly, and after another night of no sleep, called my son — had promised I’d never again  admit myself to a hospital with talking to him — and we went to Sheppard Pratt, nearer his home.  Sent to GBMC emergency room for tests, Kieran staying with me till admission at midnight.  No beds at Sheppard Pratt, transferred to St. Joseph’s Hospital.  Immediately taken off Zoloft and Lithium, and prescribed Paxil and other meds — discharged after two long weeks.

St. Joseph’s less traumatic than Meadow Wood  — not hard to do — but several trying group sessions a day, including one with crafts or coloring picture books. Tried  to work crosswords and read a novel, though difficult to concentrate. Kieran visited bringing puzzles and snacks — he’s been so caring and wonderful — it  breaks my heart to trouble him and Bethany now — their baby girl due in about a week. Two weeks in St. Joe’s then home.

They visited me with my grandsons yesterday on their way to a friend’s Fourth celebration in Bel Air, and hung room darkening curtains in my bedroom —  Kieran was concerned that the early light woke me up.  I love them all so much. Don’t know what I’d do without them.  So many I met in hospitals without family support.

Another comfort — Kieran and Bethany’s friends Aaron and Kathy, took Angel into their home while I was away this time — my pet recently diagnosed with Cushing’s Disease, on meds twice a day, tomorrow due for blood work to see how they’re working. I love her so much, too, and am worried about her as I was with Honey’s diabetes..

Kieran just called to invite me to a cookout today.  Am foggy and shaky, but know it’s better not to be alone.  Feel like a weakling.  Here I am at 84 in good physical health, while friends my age are having health problems –Marilyn’s heart surgery tomorrow, Charlotte has a recurrence of cancer, Monty in the hospital again, Therese still with a blood clot in her leg and now a broken arm after a fall.

Have been praying and holding on tight to hope. Please remember me in your prayers. Thank you all for hanging in there with me till now.




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