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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Instepctor Gadget

When looking at your husband's criminal record on a computer screen it all becomes much more real.  With each charge comes a different look on the mugshots.  I can tell by looking at the pictures when he was dope sick looking for a fix and shot out.  This is a case of hind sight is 20/20.  I wish that I would have known a lot more about Bryan's criminal history.

I decided to start at the top of the page and start digging from there.  Each mugshot had the date of the offense and a case number.  From there I called the county clerk's office, who would transfer me to the jail, who would transfer me to the prosecutors office, who would transfer me to anybody,  and a never ending circle of chasing my tail.

The first case that I was looking into was a drunk and disorderly from somewhere in St. Pete's, Florida.  With my case number I was eventually transferred to someone who had records of all the priors who were dating out of the system.  Some of these cases were from 1999.  One thing that I was thinking is that if these charges were never taken care of, the police would never keep releasing him when he caught another charge.  Listen to me...Talking like I am fresh out of the joint with all  my jail house lingo.

Come to find out, I was right.  He had either paid a fine, sat jail time, or charges were dismissed on every single case!  How is it that a little house wife who suffers from crippling depression and anxiety attacks could spend all this time on the phone could figure this out, yet a county prosecutor's office had all of the facts wrong?  I see a big flaw in this system.  I think in total there were 24 cases that I ended up really having to investigate.  It was not a hard job, it was just really time consuming.  It is all that I did while the kids were in school for 15 days.

Those people who know me know that there is nothing that I like more than to prove to someone that they are wrong and I am right.  I do not do it out of a hateful place in my heart, just a place of I know I am right.  Make sense?  I had all the facts of the cases. Proof with dates, times, fines paid, and jail time sat.  Now I had to prove it to the court who was about to send my husband away for 5-15.  Out came my inner bitch now.  That is because I was right!

Chirping 101...

The ride home from the courthouse was really somber for me and Brooke.  There actually was not much said because we were both just so sad, and those of you who know us know that does not happen often when there is a lack of words.  Although, Brooke is used to having a sad Mom, so that part was not out of the ordinary for her. When circumstances like this happen in  my life it is hard for me to control how I am going to handle it.  Sometimes I am able to take it with a grain of salt, and other times it will spiral me into a dark hole that is impossible at times to crawl out of. 

We got home I sat down and tried to process everything that just happened. Part of me felt like I had all the life sucked out of me, and the other part of me had a fire lit under my ass that could not be stopped. I had 15 days to figure things out in Florida and I was not even sure where to start.  Bryan had lived in about three separate parts of the state, and God knows where all of these charges had come from.  The prosecutor's had not given any indication as to what or where they found this information.  I had to sit down that night and make a plan and start the next morning fresh.  I was hoping that Bryan had a phone card left to call me and at least give me a heads up on what he thinks is going on.

Of course he did not have a phone card so we were going to have to chirp.  For those of you who do not have people in jail on a regular basis I will explain.  All of the phones in the jail are owned by an outside company.  Bryan needs a phone card to talk and it is $5 for 10 minutes.  When you do not have a phone card he can still call me and say about three words where you would normally say your name when making a call. Each time the process takes about 5 minutes and he calls back non-stop, and I have to listen to all of the garbage from the phone company for him to get a few words out.  It takes forever but at least it was pointing me in the direction of where to start to look.

Pinnelas County Florida is where I was told to start looking.  To get this little bit of information took about an hour.  I hoped that he was able to feel my death ray stares that I was giving him through the phone.  If I was to find out that there was a bunch of shit down there and he had pending charges he said that were taken care of,  I was going to be in prison for killing him.  I was not about to waste my time if he is guilty.  He swore he was clean and to call the jail down there.

The next morning I was on a mission.  I had the numbers to the jail, county clerk's office, and the prosecutors office.  I was bound to get some information this way.  The way that my brain works now is a lot different than in the past.  Because of all of the ECT's for my depression treatment my memory is shot.  Especially short term memory things.  I have to makes lists and pre-write out questions that I want to ask because I will forget.  I had a notebook ready and a pen handy and the determination of nobody else.  This was my family after all.  It was time to get down to business.

A really nice lady at the county clerk office had told me to go on a website that would allow me to see all of the arrests, convictions, and pending charges that Bryan would have in Pinnelas County.  When I pulled up his name about 30 different mug shots came up along with each of the arresting minor details.  Not one of them had the outcome of the charge.  I was going to have to go through by each case number and figure this out.  How am I ever going to get this done in 15 days?  Especially with 4 days being closed because of the weekend.  Here we go... Trespassing... Possession...Loitering...Burglary...Drunk and disorderly...

Monday, March 4, 2013

What pending charges?

All rise...Who knew that those two little words could make my legs shake, and my hands to break out into an immediate sweat.  This is the man that has the fate of my family in his hands. I know that Bryan is the one who has put himself there, but part of you has hope that the Judge will have mercy because the defendant's wife is borderline hysterical in the seats behind the defense.

All of the usual courtroom babel was taking place and to me it sounded like the teacher in Charlie Brown.  They talked about the charges and exactly what happened that night and basically were covering all of the definite facts of the case.  This is not what I was worried about.  I wanted to stand up and scream to get to the point and tell me how long my husband is going to be gone for.  We knew that he was going to be going to prison for at least 18 months, but that was not a guarantee.  Chances of this deal being changed were pretty slim.  But we all know my luck.

When the prosecutor began to talk about the charges and the record of Bryan they painted a horrible picture.  That was evident though with the boxes under the prosecutor's side of the table that held his criminal record in Michigan.  When the prosecutor said that with recommendations done and scoring on prior felonies and misdemeanors they were recommending 5-15 years.  What the F*ck happened to the deal that was 18 months?

Once again a lot of what was being said was not being comprehended.  I was in total shock as was Bryan and his attorney.  Bryan was 10 feet away from me and I saw how scared he got in that instant.  Bryan's lawyer explained to the judge the plea agreement that was in place and wanted to know why such a drastic change in the sentencing?

This is when the prosecutor dropped a bomb that none of us were expecting.  The prosecutor while doing some digging said that Bryan had charges pending in Florida.  This was news to all of us and the prosecutor was holding that against him and wanted him to sit five years here and then be extradited to Florida.  I looked at Bryan's lawyer and said we want specifics!  What are these so called charges that are pending?  Are they felonies or misdemeanors?  They could not answer these questions at the time and had to look through a ton of paperwork.  His lawyer asked for a two week extension and it was granted.  There walked my husband out of the jail again with no answers.  Brooke was also really bummed because she missed her Easter party at school and couldn't start to make X's on the calendar.  Now it was time to get some answers.

I talked to Bryan's lawyer in the lobby and he seemed like he did not give a shit.  He said, "I don't have the time to be on the phone figuring this out.  It's on you kid."  I guess that is what a court appointed attorney has the time to do in Michigan.  So I was on a mission.  I had to get all of the details of open cases in Florida to save my husband.  Now I was able to help and feel like I was doing something to help him.  I felt so hopeless for so long and this gave me some confidence and drive to prove that there was nothing in Florida.  I snapped out of it for a moment and had a huge adrenalin rush.  Bryan told me on the way out of court, "I did not skip any charges in Florida and you have to prove it baby.  I love you."  Now came me spending a 168 hours on his case in the next two weeks.  I could not believe what I found...

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Grab a cup...

Seeing that it is Sunday I thought that I would share a funny story from the diary of Kylie's psych ward stays.  I think that it is appropriate and really funny...

Back in November I was in the hospital in Marquette and it was a zoo up there.  I say that because usually it is pretty calm and most people keep to themselves.  There are always a few people that are really sick, but it is amazing how easy it becomes to tune them out.

This particular Sunday I decided to do something that I had never done before.  There is an older couple that come to the unit around 2-3 to do communion every Sunday, for those who would like to participate.  Frankly I was bored and decided to meet up in the Lake-view lounge to see what it was all about.  Why not?  I have eight years catholic school under my belt and I figured if you can't pray in a psych ward, where do you pray?

I asked a few question and found out that it was a small non-denominational service, and they say a few prayers and read from a small bulletin and should only take about ten minutes.  I was the only one who showed up so we sat at a small round table that is made for four and got started.  We held hands said a few prayers and then were interrupted.

Sam. Sam. Sam. Sam.  I will never look at that name the same ever again.  Sam is the whole reason that they say God broke the mold when he made him.  Sam had this crazy gray hair about two inches past his shoulders, but was bald on the top.  It went in about 15 different directions and was a little Bozo-esque.  He had with him one tie dyed shirt with red, blue, and green, and you would never see him without it on.  Sam was a total child of the 60's and was all about peace, love, and pot.  That and the aliens that live in red clouds in the sky.

In the middle of our small service he busts in and says, "What up mother f*ckers?"  I wanted to die.  This couple was the sweetest old couple and had been married for like 57 years.  They kept asking him to sit and practice silence so that your heart can be fully open to the Lord.  Sam was more concerned about telling us the great conspiracy that the Government was in against him to get his story out about the aliens.  After about five minutes I had to flag down a nurse because he was so out of control.  He was swearing like crazy and being so disrespectful.

Finally Sam is gone and we can get on with communion.  Everything was fine when we did the whole body of Christ part, it was the next part that I screwed up.  They had got out these one ounce plastic cups that were pre-filled with grape juice and had a cover on them.  I never knew that they were used for anything outside of Jello shots, but you learn something everyday.

They had set the three cups down in the middle of the table on top of a white wash cloth.  The elderly man said a few words and I thought I was cued to grab a cup.  So that is what I did.  At the same time the elderly man went to hand me a cup.  This is when I clinked our to cup together like we were about to do a shot!  Talk about feel like and asshole.  Here I am for the blood of Christ and you would think I was at a rave with my friends.  I think it is safe to say it was an awkward moment.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

All rise...

April was here and it was time for sentencing and starting to move on from this nightmare.  I was ready and walked into the court house looking like I just came from a funeral.  I was dressed in black from head to toe and had a hand full of tissues because I knew I was going to lose it when I heard the final ruling on the sentencing.

I had no choice but to keep it together because Brooke decided to come with me.  This was a decision that I struggled with and thought of every pro and con in the universe of having her with me.  She was 8 years old and wanted to say goodbye to Bryan and to give him a hug maybe.  This was so important to her that she skipped her school Easter party in the classroom.  That was what sealed the deal for me.  If she was willing to give up one of the biggest days at school to see the fate of her step-dad in court, she deserved to go.  She goes to catholic school and you can imagine what a big day Easter is with Jesus rising from the dead.  That was about the same state that I was in.  Dead to the core and grasping for hope.

Brooke and I were all alone in the big courtroom and had it all to ourselves.  We had a somber conversation and she understood that there was a good chance that Bryan would be going to prison.  I did not want to sugar coat anything or get her hopes up.  I would bring the kids to visit Bryan once in a while and so she knew that he was going to be in his "oranges" and that there would be a guard with him, or as she called it, "a back-up cop."

A few minutes later I could here some noise coming from the hallway and in walked Bryan with two big beefy guards.  He was shackled at the ankles and had belly chains on and was handcuffed in the front of his body.  He looked horrible.  I guess that he was not using the money that I put on his account to buy a 50 cent razor to shave on Sunday's and Thursday's.  He looked like the uni-bomber, and I am not even kidding.

We had some small talk and I was told that I had to move seats by the guard.  They did not want me in the front row of the courtroom when the defense table was only about ten feet in front of me.  I should be flattered that they thought that I was athletic enough to hurdle the four foot high brown, wooden, and solid separation railing.   So I moved back a row and listened to Brooke and Bryan.   They talked about the fort in the woods and who used to let the biggest fart in the morning.  This is known as "The morning toot" in our house.  Admit it...we all have one.  Now I bet you are thinking about if you fart in the morning.

In walked Bryan's attorney and they had a little small talk about what was going to happen, and his lawyer had come over to me and filled me in also without Brooke hearing.  His attorney Mike and the prosecutor had come to a deal at the last minute, and the prosecutor would recommenced that he be sentenced to 18 months to 7.5 years in state prison.  Why such a large span?  I do not know.

The next thing that I heard was "all rise"...

Wait and wait and wait...

Eventually days turn into weeks, and weeks turn into months and time goes by.  When Bryan was in jail I just go through the motions of the day, and take care of the kids and pray to survive.  The only thing that I had to look forward to was our weekly visits and the sound of that little mail truck zooming towards my house.  Visits were the time that we would reconnect and have good conversations and cherish the little time we had together, and hope it was more than the 30 minutes allotted.  The hurt never subsides but the anger slowly fades.

I have come to call the time that Bryan sits in jail awaiting sentencing purgatory.  Just killing time and standing still until a court date is set, and not knowing when anything is going to happen.  Having no answers for an out date and whether it is going to be county jail or big time prison.  At least when he is sentenced we can count down the days until he would be home and have a little light at the end of the tunnel.  I could go home and cross the days off the calendar and see some progress.

In March 2010 we got word that Bryan was scheduled for sentencing in April and we had our fingers crossed.  Now you have to remember that he has already been in jail for over five months at this time.  We could finally get a little closure and start the calendar countdown.  It was getting old sitting in limbo waiting for the prosecutor to finalize the charges and have a plea ready to be signed, sealed, and delivered.  His fate and the fate of my family was in the hands of the circuit court judge and that is never a good thing. 

When Bryan got pulled over in the van in January 2009 for driving on a suspended license, a prior drug charge popped up and that had to be dealt with.  (Imagine that)  When it came time for sentencing there is a scale that they use to determine how long your ass is going to sit in jail.  Bryan had so many prior convictions that he was going to max out on the sentencing scale.  Well that is what happened.  The max that he could serve would be 10 months and that is what he got.  Now he would be going in front of the same Judge for this new case, and he let it be known that if he sees him again anytime soon Bryan would be going to prison.

Knowing that we were close to having this finalize and over made me feel better at times and terrified at others.  Not knowing what was about to happen would make my anxiety so much worse, which would lead me to being completely stressed out and start to isolate in my house.  When I start to isolate the depression comes fast and hard.  It is like a mack truck of emotions that I have no control over.  The laying in bed with my remote continuously and watching trashy reality shows, not showering for days on end or maybe a week, and having people pick up the kids after school because I cannot physically get out of bed.  I'm not kidding when I say that it is paralyzing.  I go into a semi-catatonic state.  The voices scream louder and louder about how worthless I am.  They are pushing me to take that bottle of Ambien next to the bed and go to sleep forever...

Friday, March 1, 2013

How do I tell the kids?

Well here I am back into the routine of being the wife of a jail bird.  I would write letters everyday, put money in his account on Wednesday's for toiletries and ramen noodles, and a $5 phone card to talk for 10 minutes on Fridays.  We tried to visit on Wednesday's at 1:30 because it did not seem to be too busy, and sometimes the guards would give us extra time to talk.  I think that they do it more for the loved ones than for the inmates.

The hardest part now is how do I tell my kids that Bryan is back in jail?  He was only out a few weeks and promised my kids that he would never go back.  Yet here we are with the questions of where is Bryan?  My heart broke knowing that they were going to be devastated.  Bryan is the fun step-dad.  He goes out and builds forts in the woods, and walks to the store to buy bags of penny candy, lets them stay up late, and is just a big kid.

Madalynn took the news like a champ.  She kinda shrugged her shoulders and said, "That's our Ry-Guy.  He loves jail."  Easy.  When I told Brooke she was actually angry.  Brooke said, "He lied to me and said that he would never go back to jail.  He promised me to finish our fort in the woods and that he would be home for Christmas."  This broke my already shattered heart.

I would say at this time my mental health was not in the best of shape.  I just got out of the hospital after a month long stay.  My depression was under control, but the suicidal thoughts were non-stop.  How am I going to make it through this?  Why does Bryan not love me enough to stay clean and not be a fuck-up?

The noise in my head was incredible.  I want you guys to understand that when I am in that state of mind, my mind/brain is noisy.  I would compare it to going into a bar and it is full, packed.  Throw a band in the corner and a few drunk college girls "woo-hooing" and that is a start.  Then take a voice that non-stop screams at you, "You're stupid!  You're worthless!  You're a waste of space and oxygen on the planet.  Do your kids a favor and kill yourself already!  You're disgusting!  Everyone hates you!"  Now take all the noise of a bar, band, people talking, and an inner voice that screams at you non-stop and roll it up and that is my brain when I am sick.  I hope that this makes some sense.

You're looking at 5-15

After looking back at my last post I see that the word cliff may be a bit of an exaggeration.  Bryan went off the road and down about 8-10 feet into a steep, deep, dark ditch.  This ditch is right next to a river and is lucky that he was not swimming in my 1999 Ford Windstar.  I know that it was a crappy old van, but it was paid for!  I loved not having any car payments.  Hell, it was such a piece of shit that I did not even have insurance on it because it was worth about $100.  Anyways....Back to our story.

The Monday after everything had calmed down, I went to the office of Bryan's court appointed attorney to find out the gist of everything that we were going to be facing.  I was thankful that Mike got me in so quick, but I think that his secretary could hear the horrible despair in my voice and really felt sorry for me.

Sitting down in his attorneys offices made everything 100 times more real.  We were talking about misdemeanors and felony's, bail and no bail, county jail and prison.  We were hoping to get Bryan's bail reduced to maybe come home until he has to go back to court.  No such luck on that.  His lawyer's exact words were, "There is not a snowballs chance in Hell, he is getting a bail reduction." When Mike asked the court for Bryan's record it came over in two of those paper boxes with little hole handles on the side.  His attorney said, "I have never seen anything like it in my twenty years.  This is only the records for Delta County."  Not exactly the words that a distraught wife wants to hear.  Once again...Cue gag reflex to puke.

When Bryan met with his lawyer at the jail he said that he wanted to take a plea, right off the bat.  There is no sense in going to trial because he was guilty.  From what Mike and I read in the police report Bryan could not stand up.  He had taken 40, 1 milligram Xanex.  They knew this because the bottle of pills was in the van from that day.That is enough to knock out a horse, and even a drug addict. 

A few days later Mike went to the prosecutors office and told them that they were willing to take a deal, just to speed up the process.  The prosecutor's office said absolutely not!  We want this guy in prison because this his his 3rd DUI in Michigan, and he is a danger to society.  We are going for 5-15 years in prison....

This is a nighmare...

Life has certainly changed a lot in the last six months.  I went from the highest of highs, to the lowest of lows.  Those of you who have kept up with my blog know that I was married to Bryan and he went to prison.  Well here is the rest of the story...

November 2010 was the last time that I was hospitalized before this new incident this Thanksgiving/Christmas time.  During that time I was in the hospital in Alpena, Michigan.  When I was down there my husband was arrested for DUI and I had no clue what was happening, since it was the day before Thanksgiving and he had not been arraigned yet.  I was discharged immediately because I had to get home and take care of my family and see what was in our future with the court system.  Bryan was being held on a $50,000 cash bond, so there was no way that he would be getting out anytime soon.  I begged again that this was all a dream, but in all reality it was a nightmare.

Going to see my husband in jail again was gut wrenching.  He had just served 10 months and was only home for a few weeks, and here I was again.  Sitting in this dirty holding area for visitors with phones so dirty that I would bring Clorox wipes, graffiti carved in paint, smelled like piss, gross, disgusting place that is called county jail.

Bryan was escorted by a corrections guard to the phones, where there is a piece of dirty glass in between us and he was in his orange jumpsuit, orange crocks, and a white t-shirt peeking out a tad like usual.  Words were not said.  My tears sad it all.  Not from a place of anger at this point but from a place of udder disappointment and hurt.  I was crying like never before, like when you were really young and where you get the hick-up sounding sobs.  The kind of sobs that take your breath away.   The pain was coming all the way from my perfectly painted pink toenails.  The anger was gone after a few days because there was nothing that I could do about the situation.  Remember now I was just released from the psych ward the day before and was not in the best shape to be handling a family crisis, but here we go again.

What I found out from Bryan is that he had went to the doctor that day with his mom and got his prescriptions refilled.  Normally that does not sound like anything unusual, but Bryan is a drug addict.  I always kept all the prescriptions in a safe in my room, and handed them out like he is a little kid.  He has no concept of taking medication the proper way.  If he has anything that is a narcotic or benzo, I know he is going on a binge, hence my dispensing them.  I had previously called the clinic that he goes to and told them no narcotics or benzo's because he will abuse them, and they flagged his chart.  This gave me a little piece of mind in the midst of this.

While in the hospital Bryan had an appointment and it was with a new doctor.  One thing you have to know is that drug addicts are smooth.  They can sweet talk you into just about anything, and believe me Bryan is a professional.  He talked the new young doctor into some Xanex and she never checked his chart to see that it was flagged.  He walked out of there with 60 Xanex and I am sure a smile as wide as the Mississippi river.  Not to mention that his wife was in the hospital and 300 miles away.  Time for a chill night at home getting high all by himself.  That is until he decided to take a ride and drove my van off an 8 foot cliff by the West Gladstone bridge....

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

My heavy heart...

As I sit here today and think that all that has happened in the last few months it takes my breath away. There are times I break into a cold sweat and start to sob uncontrollably.  I feel like I am in a dream and someone needs to wake me from this nightmare.  I know that I am mentally ill and I have accepted that as my path in life, but that does not effect the way that I parent.  My kids are always safe, happy, healthy, and lately mouthy!

In December 2012 I was hospitalized again.  It had been two years since I spent time in the psych ward in Alpena.  You cannot imagine how incredible that is since I was being hospitalized two to three times a year, for years.  I was doing really good on my medicine concoction they had me on for now, and I was also doing a lot of journal writing to get my feelings out.  TWO WHOLE YEARS! 

Fast forward to February 14th, 2013 and that hospitalization was used against me in the court of law.  I was honest with my doctors and nurses at admission about the thoughts that I was feeling and, the way things went down hill so fast in my life.  Because of my honesty Child Protective Services was called.  I understand that they have to look into cases of neglect and problems in the home, but I did everything that I was taught to do and got my children to safe places, and then drove five hours to go back to Alpena for treatment.  They soon closed the case for lack of anything being wrong, but my ex-husband took that information and ran with it.

On Valentines Day I was standing in front of the Judge when my world changed.  My ex-husband used my mental illness against me in court (again) and said that the next step from severe depression is homicide!  David and his lawyer literally went to court and said that I would murder my children with my state of mind.  Are you kidding me?  David was trying to get my parenting time suspended and have it so that I would never be able to see my daughter Madalynn again in the near future.  That was thankfully shot down by the Judge, but now I have to have supervised parenting time until further notice.  Again, are you kidding me?  CPS closed the case on lack of evidence to say that there was anything wrong in my home.  Now this is happening?  For the time being I have to have either my Mom or Dad present at all times when I have Madalynn.  There is no problem with me having full custody of Brooke and caring for her everyday, yet this was ordered with Madalynn. 

You cannot imagine how degrading and embarrassing it is to have to have a babysitter for your own children.  My Mom has to pick her up and drop her off because I cannot be alone with my daughter.  It is disgusting and makes me want to throw up thinking about it.  Tonight is another visitation night.  We are having birthday cake and dinner since yesterday was my birthday.

I will fill in the gaps in this story in the next few days.  It has to do with nothing but lies by other people, me giving people the benefit of the doubt, stealing, drugs, and an overdose (not me)... 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

As I sit here in the hospital at Alpena Regional Medical Center, I realise how much I have missed doing this blog.  I have never stopped writing and have about 200 posts that I could add just as soon as I get out.  They may not be cronological like other inpatient stays, but there are for sure some funny ones.  Believe it or not, A LOT of funny stuff happens in the psych ward.

I have been here for 15 days today and am making it my mission to once again make this blog some place that people go to everyday while browsing online.  Thanks for all your support and Merry Christmas!

Kylie, Brooke and Maddy

Thursday, December 22, 2011

What a year...

As we draw closer to the end of yet another year, I sit back and think about how grateful I am to have such amazing and supporting people in my life.  I am in one of the best places I have been in in my life in years, and am proud of myself for how far I have come.  Coping skills are becoming easier as I am learning to sit back,  think about the situation, and what I can do to change the outcome instead of just hiding in my house.  I find that to be major progress as far as my treatment is concerned.

I had planned on getting back to my blog full-time in September, but I have not had internet access at home since then, which makes things impossible at times to post.  I have sense been writing and just saving them as word documents and have been able to transfer them to my blog.  I promise that I will be keeping up once the madness of Christmas and the New Year is all done.  I forgot how healing it is for me to write, and vent, and share my story with you all.

I want you all to know that I appreciate more than words can say, how grateful I am to each and everyone of you for your encouraging words in the last year since this project started.  I am finally coming out of my shell after 32 years, and figuring out who I really am.  It has been a long time coming and as far as I can see...The future is so bright for me and my girls, that we gotta wear shades!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ready or not...It's time to go!

My plans to postpone my discharge were as big a failure as me.  I was at the maximum amount of ECT's that are allowed at 12, and had been inpatient for a total of 51 days.  It was just a matter of my nurses and my doctor signing my discharge papers and kicking my disgusting, obese, worthless, stupid, newly single ass out, and back into the real world.  Nothing in the whole admitting process was fast, but they sure were quick at discharge.  Maybe, because I was already certified crazy at this point, and it was just a matter of signing on the dotted line to make it official...

My bags were packed and sitting behind the nurses station while I waited for my Mom to come and pick me up.  The amount of stuff that I had with me was absurd.  You can imagine a few shirts here and there when my family came to visit, and all of the books and word searches that were given as a token gift to avoid the awkward conversation that was to follow.  It was going to take several jumbo wheel chairs to get me and all of my stuff down to the parking garage.

The time came to say good-bye and it was beyond emotional for me.  I had spent almost two months with these nurses and doctors at the darkest moment of my life. I had opened up to them at a time when I was not even open with myself.  They were the only people on the planet that I trusted, and at times still are.  They have no agenda with me or reason to poke and prod for "juicy" information.  Not to mention there is no familial bias, and unconditional understanding.  One thing that stands out in my mind to this day is when one of my nurses April, said to me, "There is nothing that you can say to me that I have not heard ten times over or a ten times worse version of."  I hold this statement very close to my heart daily, and also when I go and see Dr. Wilcox monthly.  There is nothing that I can say to him that will make him change his perception of me as his patient, or even more importantly me as a person.

After many tearful good-byes with both patients and staff, I stood at the door with my Mom and waited for the familiar sound of the dead bolt unlatching.  I had spent 51 days listening to that door open and close in room 582, and I was finally on the other side of this nightmare.  I seemed like this was the end of my journey, but little did I know this was just the beginning.  Now came the hard part...going home...alone...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I'm coming back...full force

It is hard to believe that summer is coming to an end in the coming weeks, but with summer ending comes...FOOTBALL and fall!  I want to say thanks again for all of your kind and encouraging words to me about my blog.  I am emptying my heart and soul to you all, and appreciate it more than words can say.  As I have said many times, if I can save just one person then I will have done my job. 

I have been getting a lot of emails and questions about when I will be back on my blog full time.  I will be back the Tuesday after Labor Day when the kids all head back to school, which I believe is September 6th.  I have spent as much time with my kids this summer as possible, because August is usually when I am inpatient going through ECT, and always miss all of the fun stuff!

Rest assured for those of you who have asked a lot of questions, I have been writing all summer and have a lot of really great stuff!  I am also trying to get it into a book format and see what happens.  I have had so many encouraging words from my fans about putting this into a book, that I have been playing around with the idea a little.

Be ready for September 6th, because the story and the journey continues...I hope you all will love what I have done and come up with on my summer vacation!  Can't wait to see you all again soon!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Rapidly approaching release...

The next few weeks were a lot of the same.  Fasting for surgery, ECT, headache, and endless misery.  At this point I had been in the hospital for about six weeks, and it was my home at this point.  My home sure as hell was not with my husband and my children anymore.  I did not have a husband anymore, and being in the psych ward made it seem like it was all a bad dream.  Like I was going to wake up and this would all be over.

Something that is probably hard for you all to understand is that the psych ward is probably where I am the most comfortable in my everyday life, even to this day.  It is structured, calming, and more than anything... secure.  I say who I do and do not want to talk to.  I say who I do and do not want to see.  Plus more than anything there is not the stress that everyday life throws at us all.  I do not have to worry about grocery shopping, paying bills, cleaning the house, or taking care of the kids.  All I have to worry about is being anti-social and staying in my room for the day, or whether or not your pistachio dessert is worth my grilled cheese. 

When my doctor starting talking about my release and sending me home soon, I truly felt like I was being punched in the stomach.  This was my new normal and what I was comfortable with.  What was I going to do?  Go home to an empty house and be alone for the rest of my life?  I was 28 and going to be divorced twice, with two kids.  If I thought about it too much I would have panic attacks that felt like a 300 pound man was sitting on my chest.  Avoidance is easier to deal with than acceptance, hence the state of my mental health to this day.  I like to pretend that things never happened, because I can truly believe myself and trick myself...It is a bazaar state of mind, but it is what it is...

With the last of my ECT's rapidly approaching, I was beginning to feel like a caged animal who was being backed into a corner.  I did not have a choice of whether or not I was going to be leaving or staying.  I would say that most people are on the unit for maybe a week average.  I was going on seven weeks, and would have been totally okay with another seven weeks there.  Now I had to figure something out as to how I could stay in the hospital just a few more weeks...maybe a few extra days if I was lucky. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Cut off my mood stabilizer...been a rough week

I am sorry that I have not been able to post lately.  Things in my life are a little crazy right now and I am trying to get things worked out the proper way, and not the run and hide and fall into my depression ways.  It is taking some time to learn how to do this, but with help from my great friend Terri, I am learning how to open up and talk, and not shut the door and hide.  I am also having a lot of issues with blog spot and may move this blog to another forum.  My prison blog was somehow deleted and I do not want that to happen to this one as well.  I will keep you all posted.

Since the 4th of July holiday is all done for now, I should have the time to be able to get back in the swing of things and continue this journey.  Without you all and your support I am not sure what I would be doing with my passion to help others that has grown inside me, with regards to mental illness.  Every comment you leave and email you send, makes me realize that there are people out there who really do care for others, regardless of whether you are friends and acquaintances or total strangers.

I am also having some memory issues at the moment also.  One of the mood stabilizers that I have been on called Lamictal has been making me really sick lately and I am being weaned off of it at a slow pace and dose.  This has been hard on my mood because of the missing medication, and having nothing to replace it with until I am off of the Lamictal completely.  Thanks for understanding my illness and wanting to learn more.  I love you all and will keep writing in the hopes that one of us will aid in....saving a life!

Friday, July 1, 2011

I prefer red tulips on my headstone...

My Friday headache from hell had come and gone now, and it was now the weekend.  I was expecting to have visitors and I was excited.  On Saturday my Mom and my best friend Gina were coming up to visit me, and on Sunday my Dad was coming.

It is an odd feeling waiting for your family to come and see you in a psych ward.  It is exciting, and calming, and nerve wrecking, while also being shameful, and embarrassing, and confusing.  Who on earth is going to look forward to taking an hour long ride to a psych ward to see their daughter and best friend?  I am sure that it was just as scary for them, because they did not know what to expect.  My Mom did, but Gina didn't.  Most of us would picture people running around acting crazy and that it be a loud and uncontrollable chaos.  At times it can be.  But truthfully most of the people that are in the ward are just like me. Having a hard time with life at the moment, and are depressed and feel hopeless at the time.

They finally arrived and it was like a breathe of fresh air to see some familiar faces.  They had a bag full of goodies for me from snacks and pop, to more crossword puzzles and the latest People magazine.  We had a really good visit, but when they left and headed back to Escanaba,  the worthlessness came out to visit again with a raging presence.  How horrible is it that you have to go to a loony bin to see your family?  How ashamed of me they must have all been.  Especially to know that I was so far gone, that I had to have my brain shocked to have a chance at living...that is pathetic!  I was such a mess, that medicine would not even be enough to help.  Considering there is a drug commercial on every time we watch TV, that shows how beyond help I really was.

The following day my Dad was coming and I was super nervous about that.  I had to relive all of the guilt and shame from the day before with my Mom and Gina, and do it all over again.  I felt that I was a lost cause and a total waste of $15.00 worth of gas, and half of his day off.  Even though suicide is considered very selfish act and that you think of only yourself in the moment, personally I would also think about what a nuisance I was to my family, and what a burden.  Then the guilt comes back in full force.  At least if I was brave enough to kill myself they would be able to stay in the same town to come to my grave.  Instead of buying me Coke and Doritos for the psych ward, they could just put some of my favorite tulips on my headstone.  I prefer red tulips for future reference to anyone that is interested...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Raging, itchy, throbbing, hemorrhoids...

Waiting to go into surgery again was bazaar feeling.  It was all the same procedures in the fact that I had a transporter come and get me, and bring me to the holding area in the pre-op room, for what feels like an eternity.  I do not know if it is worse not knowing what to expect and the anticipation, or knowing what you are going to be going through after.  I still cannot describe the headaches.  I was not doing this for me though.  I was doing this for my daughters.  I know that if I did not do this, I would be dead within months.  That was the preferred choice in this matter, but I at least had to make it look like I tried to get help for my family.  Granted, it was just going to show what a huge failure I truly was, but at least my family would go to bed with the piece of mind, that we all did our best to get out of this shit-hole situation.

Surgery went well for the second time.  I feel like I came out of it a little sooner and easier.  I was still in excruciating pain from the headaches though.  At least when I got back to my room there were not 10 student nurses all standing around all looking for someone to talk to.  They were on the unit two days a week for I believe eight hour shifts.  It is bad enough with all of the staff in that place, much less ten more and a teacher.  The teacher Patty Henning did come into my room though and tell me that my chart is off-limits to the students.  That made me feel a little better about being a lunatic, who is getting her brain shocked three times a week.  I sit here I wonder, how many and how much of the students really know about ECT?  Yes they have studied it in books and on paper, but it may be different talking to someone who has gone through them...That may be another phone call that I need to make...More education on mental illness is what I want.

As I sit here now, I can still smell all of the odors from the lower area of the hospital in the operating rooms at MGH.  It has a smell of bleach, iodine, and plastic.  There are so many doctors and nurses in and out to get to their proper surgery they are scheduled for it is like Grand Central Station.  It is probably the cleanest place on the planet, and I would consider eating off of the floor there...It's that clean!  I guess they really have to stick to the O.R. schedule, so surgeries do not get behind.  I sure as hell would not want to be the guy who has a horrible, raging, itchy, throbbing, hemorrhoids, and is supposed to go in next, and has to wait an extra hour!  I would be furious.

Friday was going to be time to do it all over again.  Then at least I would have the weekend to relax a little and read some books.  By this time I was also hoping that my parents would be coming on Saturday or Sunday.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I'm still alive...I promise

I just wanted to let you all know that I will be back in full force this week with my blog.  I took the weekend off and had a blast!  It is a lot to digest at times when I am going back and reliving a lot of this.  Thanks for all of your kind words and I promise I will post in the morning.  I have been working on my Social Security lawsuit all weekend, other than when I was out playing!

See you all tomorrow to continue with my crazy story.  Stay tuned because I promise it will get even better.  Hope you all had a great weekend.


Friday, June 24, 2011

Knock, Knock...May we come in?

Let me get back in the story from something that I put in my last post.  We have to go back in history a few years and here is another part of my adventure...

In 2006, I decided to go back to school and go into nursing.  My daughter Madalynn was born in January that year and was a preemie.  She was in the NICU for 27 days, and we almost lost her at birth.  So I went back to Bay and took all of my pre-req's and made the Dean's list.  I applied for the nursing program for the following fall of 2007 and I was accepted to the full time LPN program.

My first semester of nursing school was good.  I enjoyed all of my classes and met some friends for life including Vicki.  That December things were really going down hill in my marriage.  I had found out that David was talking to all of these girls online in World of Warcraft, (must be high quality) and I started to fall apart.  When the next semester in January started I just did not go or show up.  This is now a signature Kylie Breitenbach Brown Simmons Fassbender move!

As you all know, I ended up in the hospital that next summer.  My first admission had to be one of the most humiliating experiences of my life.  So here I am minding my own business in my room in the psych ward, and we were warned that some student nurses were going to be coming in and doing their clinics.  Well I was very familiar with this since I was just in school for nursing.  So as I sit on my bed doing my 26,000 word search, I hear some familiar voices. 

It was about half an hour later when I hear, "Knock, knock...May we come in?"  I looked up and here it was most of my classmates from the LPN program at Bay standing at my door.  They were now in the RN program, and I was in the psych ward.  I wanted to run and hide, but I was in a locked unit with no staples or zippers available, to break my way out.  The people that I practiced blood pressures on and fake catheters with, were now standing in front of me with that awkward pause and silence, in the Marquette psych ward.  It is bad enough to run into one person that you know up there, much less 10! 

For those of you who would like to start at the is the link.  Don't forget to click on some of my sponsors! Thanks a million!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Welcome back Sunshine...

"Welcome back Sunshine.  How are you feeling?"  I was not sure who was talking or where it was coming from, but I soon had a chipper little nurse at my bedside.  At least she was wearing the solid blue scrubs of an adult, and none of the scrubs out of the 2008 Dora the Explorer collection.  She was one of those people that are so nauseatingly happy all the time that you just want to punch them in the face, especially that early in the morning.  At least my depressed suicidal self thinks this way. 

After a few minutes when I came to it, I was wondering what the hell was going on, and where and the hell am I?  I was beyond confused and had a headache that you cannot even comprehend.    The confusion was beyond bazaar.  It really felt like an out of body experience.  I did not know who I was or what I was doing.  Then I tried to figure out the answers to those questions and my headache multiplied by 100. 

It was an odd feeling coming out of surgery.  Just about every other time that I had surgery, I left with a baby girl at the end of it.  It was kind of refreshing to know that I just had surgery, and was not going to have another human being hanging off of my boob for the next six months.  I can honestly say that I do not know which is worse,  labor pains or ECT headaches.  ECT headaches are like someone has your head in a vice grip and are trying to see if they can get your cornea's to detach without shooting across the room.

I was getting shots of morphine in my left butt cheek, and shots of Toradol in my right.  I then ended up with a Ziplock bag of ice across my eyes and temples, a short while later.  To think that I have done this 39 times, is hard to comprehend.  I would liken it to when you have a baby.  You say that you will never do this again, and once it is over you think to yourself, that was not so bad, right?  I know now how much better I will feel in the long run now, but this being my first one, I thought, "there is no possible way that I am doing this again in two days."...Wrong...  The next one would be 1,000 times worse.  Not in a physical pain kind of way, but in an emotional prideful kind of way.  I had already decided that the night before surgery next time, I was going to follow Moon around at night, and pray that she would drop a staple, and I could figure out a way to McGuiver like bomb out of a staple, tampon, and cheap hand lotion.

Count back from 10 Kylie...

I was brought into the pre-op holding area with all of the other the patients, who were eagerly waiting to be cut open.  I was having nothing cut open, so that was a little anti-climatic.  It is a little strange when you are laying on a table waiting to get your IV, and then the old guy next to you decides that he wants to have a little small talk.  I think that it was nerves more than anything that made him want to talk.  He told me all about his bum hip and bum knee, and how he had great hope that this would fix his pain problem, and he would be back on the golf course by next Spring.  I wished him luck as the wheeled him away to which ever O.R. had his name on it.

I had an amazing nurse who I think was named Pat.  She was very kind and reassuring, and I have never saw a nurse put an IV in someone that fast.  We had a little small talk and then she was asking, "What number of ECT, I am in for my current sequence."  I told her that, "This is the first one that I have ever had and I am a little scared.  Just the fear of the unknown."  I was not afraid to die, just afraid of what to expect, but I kept that little tid-bit to myself.  The ECT video that I watched was not real descriptive.  I am sure that if it was, people would back out and nobody would do it.

I had a lot of people stop in and out of my curtained area in the next half hour or so.  I had RN's and Nurse Anesthetists, Anestesiologist's, Respiratory Therapists, and lastly Dr. Holzgang.  I remember him rubbing my arm and saying, "We will take real good care of you, I promise.  Your just going to take a little nap and it will be over with before you know it.  You might have a little headache when you wake up, but that should be it.  I will see you back in the room."  I can honestly say that I look at Dr. Holzgang like a father figure.  He is so gentle and so kind, and you can tell that he really cares a lot for his patients.  He is always smiling too!  I really have a soft spot in my heart for him.

Everything was looking good and I was being wheeled back into the ECT room.  Pulling into the room was strange.  There was a large machine on the left side of the wall.  Then there was some sort of ventilator or breathing machine behind me.  Everyone was so calm to me that it made me more uptight.  There are some days though that Dr. Holzgang and Dr. Wilcox, will do up to 10 of these a day.  It is not like open heart surgery.  You are bringing some depressed and often suicidal people into a room to shocking their brain and induce a massive seizure.  I may make it sound simple, but it really is a complicated procedure.  When you are dealing with any kind of brain surgery, accuracy is of most importance.

There were about four medical people in that room, plus me.  With my jumbo sized bed also (I'm assuming this because of the jumbo sized wheel chair). With all of the machines in the room,  it is pretty tight quarters.  This room cannot be more than 12 x 12. 

Someone from behind me then said. "I am going to give you a little something in your IV to make you relax.  It might burn a little, but it will help calm you down."  Even though I was acting cool and calm and collected, the blood pressure monitor was saying a different thing.  I blood pressure was running around 140/90.  This is not all that bad, but I usually run about 90/60, so that is a big jump. 

About three minutes later I was told to "take a few deep breaths and relax."  I don't think I made it to 9 counting backwards from 10.  Then I was off to induced seizure land...

Take a few minutes and check this link out.  This is the scene that has made ECT famous in One Flew Over the Cuckoos nest.  Things have changed a lot since then, but it is still the same idea.  Jelly put on your temples, and then they shock your brain for the seizure.  Thank god that they do this while you are out cold now.  Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Down 105 pounds!

Me at 258 pounds

Me at 153...Down 105 pounds!
After almost three years and five admissions to the psych ward, here I am!  It has been a lot of hard work, but I did it.  After 32 years, I am starting to learn that I cannot give up on everything like I always do when things get tough.  If I can do it so can you!  Thank you divorce diet, psych ward diet, slim fast, and crystal light.  Not to mention my husband who tells me I am beautiful ten times a day...Love you Bry.

We got a fat-ass on our hands!

Sleep was not something that came easy the night before.  I had to fast after midnight, and was informed that someone from the O.R. would be there to get me first thing in the morning to bring me down to surgery.  This was the final step in the proof and validation, that I was crazy.

I was the first person that I ever knew that would be having ECT done.  Up until that point I had never saw the movie, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.  I wish I had because it is a constant reference in the psych ward.  The only information that I had was from the video that I watched with my mom and Dr. Holzgang.  Looking back now I sit here and laugh.  The movie reminds me a lot of the old show Rescue 911, from the late 1980's.  As a matter of fact, I think I remember seeing the lady who was playing the ECT "patient", have a fake baby on a toilet on Rescue 911?  One would think that when you are making a movie about shocking someones brain that they would be a little less concerned with budget, and a lot more concerned with content.  I can promise you, that was not the case... 

I was woke up the next morning at about 6:30 by a little Asian nurse named Moon.  I had seen her before, but she came in at 11 at night, when we were already made to stay in our room for the night.  "Time get up.  They here for you.  Put gown on, string in back.  You go surgery."  I hope that does not sound racial at all, but that is exactly the way that she talks.

The guy who came to get me was technically called a "patient transporter."  I like to call him, a man who runs about 10 miles a day around MGH, for minimum wage.  They carry a pager, and have to run and get patients all over the hospital and bring them either to surgery, or back from surgery. 

My nerves were okay up until this point, and I was not really all that scared.  I was too busy laughing internally at Moon.  Those of you who know my sense of humor understand this perfectly.  Then I came out of my bathroom and was about to get into my wheel chair, and I about flipped my lid!  My "patient transporter," told me "My chariot was waiting," and brought one of those wheelchairs for people that are about 500 pounds.  I wonder who makes that call and tells him, "Better bring a jumbo chair.  We got a fat-ass on our hands."

Most people would probably breakdown and cry, but I was emotionally dead inside.  I just prayed even harder for my physical death to soon follow.  Then I prayed that I would not die, because I felt bad for the guys who would have to lift me up and bring me to the medical examiners office.  I figured that one of them would rupture a disk trying to pick my 258 pound ass up.  It does not matter what happened to me anyways,  because I was just going to go home and kill myself later.  I just had to keep that little secret to myself, so they would eventually release me from this hospital hell.  As far as I was concerned they were only delaying the inevitable...DEATH!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Let's do it...

After sleeping on it for a night or two, I decided that I had nothing to lose by going for the ECT.  I know for a fact that I would have never made it another month after my release from the hospital, had I not chosen the decision to move forward with surgery.

I was put on the O.R. schedule for that Wednesday, and did not have a scared or frightened cell in my body.  Most people when they are heading into surgery pray that everything goes good, and they come out of anesthesia without a glitch.  I prayed that the doctor that was working on me that day got his medical license online from Cuba, and was as big an idiot as half the customer's walking around Menard's.  Nothing personal to you loyal Menard's shoppers, but my husband included, has his IQ drop about 50 points in the presence of power tools and plywood.  They are a bunch of idiots!

I wrote a short entry in my journal the night before heading to surgery, and still cannot comprehend where this thought came from in my inner self.  I guess it does not matter where or why it came out on paper, it only matters that I am here to share my story with you all.

Monday, June 20, 2011

No Turning Back: - Nelson Mandela

No Turning Back: - Nelson Mandela

Unconditional parental love

My Mom and I wanted to have a little time to discuss what was just presented, because it was a scary thought.  Even though Dr. Holzgang answered every question that we had, it is still a life changing decision to make.  I also wanted to get my Dad's input just so we would have an educated decision going into it as a family.  Even though my parents had been divorced for 20 years, I am still their baby girl.

A lot of tears were shed back in 582 with my Mom.  Yes it was beyond a scary thought to think that your daughter is going to get her brain shocked to be able to live a "semi normal" life, if it was even possible.  I think that at this point my parents just wanted me alive.  They did not care what had to be done so that I would still be here everyday, and every future holiday.  More than anything, they wanted me here to watch my babies grow up and become little ladies.  This could be a problem though if anyone knows how lady like I am!  Haha

I know for a fact that nobody looks at their precious new baby and thinks, "I sure hope that she is not depressed, suicidal, self absorbed, and hates every second of her life."  As parents all we want is for our children to be happy.  My Mom said time and time again, "I would take your place in a minute if I could.  I would go through all of this so that you would not have to, if I could."  That is unconditional love from a mother. 

Imagine to all the parents out there, looking at your new baby and all of the hopes and the dreams that we have for them from the minute we know they exist,  and going to bed every night hoping that they will not kill themselves.  Hoping that you are never going to get the call that "she finally did it."  Hoping that every time that I do not answer the phone, I am just in the shower, and not overdosed on the couch.   I cannot even imagine the pain that I have put my parents through.  I know for a fact though, that my parents love me more than anyone on Earth, other than my kids.

When you put your kids to bed tonight, give them a little extra snuggle and think of all the hopes and the dreams that you have for that baby.  Those hopes and dreams all started from the minute that we saw that + sign on the pregnancy test.  I cannot imagine what I have put my family through, but at least I was here to call my Dad yesterday on Father's Day, and tell him he is the best Daddy on the planet!

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Marquette Generals video library is about as exciting as your school library was in 1985.  I actually think that they may have most of the movies that Holy Name disgarded in the late 1990's. Along with all of the old issues of Time magazine, the adult psych unit is the place to catch up on your Back to the Future trilogy, and any National Geographic educational series.

Sitting down in the "patient lounge" and getting ready to watch a movie on shock therapy with my mom was a strange feeling.  I felt like all it was doing was confirming to my Mom what a lunatic I was.  How absolutely worthless I am that there is not even a drug on the planet that could help me.  There are drugs for everything these days, and I could not get one to work for me.  Dr. Holzgang was fantastic though about explaining things as they went along, and stayed for the whole video with my Mom and I. 

Imagine what it feels like to know that the only chance that you have at living and watching your children grow up, is having your brain basically electrocuted to induce major seizures, so that you can have your suicidal thoughts diminish a bit.  I was thinking about how I could just lie about saying that I was doing so much better, and then just go home and kill myself.  It would save so much stress and grief on my family and friends.  It was one hell of a plan right?  It was brilliant as far as I was concerned!

If I was not able to escape through lies like I had been trying to do for the last few months, maybe I could die by a flying VHS tape to the temple?  At least it would be a funny story to know that I was killed by a flying object in a psych ward.  Hopefully it would be by one of my favorite 1980's movies like 16 candles or Ferris Bueller's Day Off.  That would be one hell of an obituary in The Daily Press right?  I can already see the headline. "Local woman dies, by flying VHS tape, in Upper Peninsula Psychiatric hospital."  I question if I would be worthy enough to have such a funny death headline, because of the fact that I am such a pathetic, horrible, fat, disgusting, worthless, useless, despicable, ineffective, inferior, insignificant, meaningless, mediocre, miserable, no-good, bad mother, and worst daughter on the planet.  I am thinking of this now, and still do not think much more of myself today.  I don't think I would be worthy of an obituary that entertaining.  Nobody would miss me anyways because I am nothing but a burden on everyone, anyways.  Still am in a way, as far as I am concerned.

Mommy's crazy

After sitting in the hospital for about three weeks at this time, it was really beginning to get frustrating.  Yes, I was still alive and safe physically at the moment,  but I was more dead inside, than what anyone could ever be six feet under.  I was beginning to realize how much my life was changing.  My marriage was over, I had two little daughters, I was going to be on my second divorce at 28, I was a huge humiliation to my parents, friends, and family, and lastly to myself.

Life was pretty easy in the hospital.  Just sit around all day, go to a few groups, trade meals three times a day, and play cribbage until your fingers just about bleed, or you want to stick a peg in someones eyeball.  Then if I wanted sometime to myself, I would go to my room and do one of 26,000 puzzle books that my family got me.  I could not concentrate enough to do actual crosswords, but I was a demon at word search.  I would have the occasional phone call home to my family, but the beauty of the hospital is that if you do not want to talk to anyone, you just have to tell  the nurses at the nurses station.  They do not want to put any stress on you from a bad phone call if you are not in the mood, and it could easily set your progress back a bit.  I could ditch the phone for a week and nobody was none the wiser!

My mom came up to see me that third week and was at the nurses station for a while.  I did not understand why, but had given the hospital permission to keep her up to date with my care plan and treatment, so that I did not have to do it.  My mom came back to 582, with a scared look on her face.  Maybe not scared but shocked, and she looked like she was about to puke.  It just so happens that at the time she was at the desk, David had called up to the Unit so that Madalynn could talk to me.  From what I was told by my mom and the nurse, Madalynn was on the phone and they could hear her saying over and over, "Mommy's crazy, Mommy's crazy."  She was also only two years old at the time and she had no idea what was happening.  This with my husband and his "new" girlfriend in the background egging her on.  Needless to say, my mother and my nurse took care of the situation, and they never told me anything about it.  My Mom finally told me about it about six months later.  She said that it is something that she will never forget and can never un-hear.  Can you imagine doing that to the mother of your child?  Not just to the mother of your child, but to your child?  He is a sick bastard and always will be.

That day when my mom came to visit, we had a little meeting with my other doctor, Dr. Holzgang.  This was so that my mom could ask any questions that she was having about why I was there for so long, and what at the hell was holding up the show?  It was at this meeting that I first heard the phrase, "ECT."   Then I remember hearing, "medication resistant and low-flowing chemicals."  From this point on, it all just sounded like the teacher on Charlie Brown....Waa Waa Waa... Then he put the ECT movie in so that we could see and know what ECT was, and would have a little insight to my future treatment, if that was the path that we chose to go down.  "What do you mean they are going to shock my brain and induce major seizures?"  I think that this guy needs to check into the bed next to me, because at least "Im sad, not crazy."  He is just a plain old lunatic!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Love you to the moon...

Happy Saturday!  I just thought that I would check in really fast.  I had a doctor appointment yesterday in Marquette with Dr. Wilcox.  Things went decent, but nothing spectacular.  We figured that one of the reasons that my mood may have gone down so fast the last few weeks is because of my thyroid.  I have been taking thyroid medication since I was 11, and I tend to fluctuate really fast when it changes.  My levels were still within the normal range, just lower end of the normal range.  My Synthroid dose was changed from .125 mcg to .175 mcg.  I should see a difference in my mood in the next few weeks, or so I hope.

On a happier note, I got drunk with my mother in law and her friend today!  I should not say drunk, but had a few beers which is pretty good for me.  I have been on antibiotics for the last few weeks with my ear infection so it did not take much!  I have the best mother in law in the world, and wish my husband was here to laugh with us.  It would be amazing because I know that we would just be teaming up on him all day and night.  I miss him...

I often sit here at night and wonder where I would be, and how my mood would be, if my husband was at home with us everyday.  It is hard enough to live a sad, depressed, suicidal  life being single, but it is even harder living a sad, depressed , suicidal life when you are married, and your husband just went to prison.  Then I snap out of it, and realize that if I did not live this depressed life, I would have never met the love of my life.  I miss you Bryan, and I love you to the moon, as our beautiful daughters say!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Hurry up and wait...

As fast as time was going  on my first admission, it was also dragging.  The most common sentence in the psych ward, or any hospital for that fact is, "Let's just wait and see what happens.  We need to give the medication time to get into your system."  Sure this sounds fine in theory, but when sitting on the brink of death and waiting for a nurse to drop a staple or paperclip, so you can slit your wrist, time tends to stand still.

I had already been in the hospital almost two weeks at this time I think, and was started on quite the buffet of drugs.  Since I had only been on a mild anti-depressant since the birth of my first daughter Brooke, it was hard to tell what my body was going to respond to.  You cannot imagine the amount of drugs there are to choose from when it comes to mental disorders.  Although when I think about it, there are drug commercials on usually during every TV show that I watch.  "Ask your doctor if 'such and such' drug is right for you."  Now it was the waiting game to see if things were going to start improving.

Looking back in my journal it looks like one of the first drugs that I was started on was one of the oldest and most effective psychiatric drug called Lithium.  It has proven results, it is cheap, and very effective for the treatment of depression, and may reduce the risk of suicide in many patients.  One of the biggest things that needs to be monitored with Lithium is making sure that levels do not get to a toxic level.  This is not due to being over medicated by your doctor, just the way that every ones body will break it down in different ways.  My levels were checked every two months, for the duration of my Lithium treatment.

My medication list at this time was Cymbalta, Neurontin, Xanex, Synthroid, Trazadone, Colace, Prozac, Buspar, Effexor, and Vicodin as needed for pain.  I was in pain all of the time because I was carrying around 258 pounds.  These are just the medications that I can remember.  I am sure that they had to start out with some large doses to try to get the suicidal thoughts to slow down, if that is possible.  Some of these medications that they tried me on did not work well with me.  I would become very tachicardic and my resting heart rate would be between 150-180.  Because of this, it was really a lot of trial and error with me.

I guess that between the medications, family phone calls to my parents, and stretch therapy, (haha) I had to be on my way to recovery.  How can a person not become semi-cured, when asked every morning at 10 am to "reach for the ceiling and touch those toes"...This all being instructed and led by one of the most perky women on the planet.  Imagine Susan Summers in her thigh-master commercial saying, "Can you feel that burn.  Keep going you can do it." The only thing that I wanted to stretch was arm, to slap her...


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Alzheimers meds at 32...really?

Tomorrow I am heading to Marquette for a follow up appointment with Dr. Wilcox.  I am very concerned though about my progress since ECT.  This is the worst that my memory has ever been after treatment, and I only had three.  I usually have about 12, so it is very concerning.  This is also the worst that the headaches have ever been.  Imagine the headaches that you get after doctors induce major seizures to get chemicals flowing in the brain?  You thought the headache was bad after a six pack the next morning.  Thank God that I have the best doctor in the world.  I cannot say enough good things about Dr. Wilcox.  He is truly a doctor that cares about his patients, and a class act.   

I am also having a hard time accepting the fact that I am 32 years old, and was just started on a medication for people with Alzheimer's.  It is called Aricept, and is supposed to help with memory recollection and prevent further memory loss from what I have found.  I have not been on it long enough yet to see if there will be a difference in everyday memory recollection, but it sure as hell is worth the shot.

I sometimes wonder if the memory loss is due to ECT, or the amount of medication that I take everyday.  Even though my medication has been cut in half since November of 2010 when I was admitted to the psych ward in Alpena, it is still enough to tranquilize the normal human.  That will be a story that you love!  It involves an involuntary psych admission, the Sheriff Department, and shackles for a six hour car ride to Alpena!  Stay tuned...You will be entertained! Aricept information

Level two...let's hit the gym!

After being in the psych unit for over a week, I was able to get some special privileges.  Because I had good behavior and was compliant with the care plan that the staff put together for me,  I was now allowed to go off the unit, and was upgraded to a level two.  About five days a week the Recreational Therapists Jeremy or Sherry, would bring us up to the 6th floor cardiovascular rehab gym.  We would play basketball, or use the treadmill.  If it was nice outside we would go on the rooftop patio to catch a few rays.  Every once in a while Jeremy would get the Wii out and we would bowl a few games.  You all need to remember that I was winded walking from the elevator to the gym.  I weighted 258 pounds, and was not exactly light on my feet.  Thank God that they had taken my shoes because they had laces.  No shoes, meant no expectation for physical activity.   It is hard to train for the Olypmics in fuzzy blue slippers.  That and the fact that I am the laziest human being on the planet.

The gym would kill an hour in the day that was much needed, and I was grateful for this.  Things would tend to drag at times between lunch and dinner in the middle of the hot August day.  One of the only fun things to do was to sit back in the little area where the phones are and just people watch.  You could easily look busy holding a 1986 National Geographic, while listening to people have a conversation.

Conversations can be beyond amusing in the psych ward.  I have always had a good sense of humor, and love to just sit back and observe people. 

It's not that I'm afraid to die, I just don't want to be there when it happens. 

Woody Allen 1976 

I need forceps stat!

At this point things were getting to be really comfortable for me in the hospital.  I kind of got into a routine that was nice.  I would go to groups, take naps, go to the gym, read, eat, and do some word searches.  I am sure that it sounds incredibly dull, but life is anything but dull in a psych ward.  The most entertaining thing to do is just sit back and people watch.  The best seat in the house is in the area by the phone, where you can see the Lakeview lounge, nurses station and the hallways.

One of the funniest moments I can recall was with a girl that was about 18.  I am not saying anything here in a bad way, just telling a story.  We are both mentally ill, just in different ways.  This girl "Melanie," was hysterical.  She was one of those people that was never trying to be funny, but was a natural born comedian.  Melanie was a Manic Schizophrenic with Attention Deficit Disorder.  Yes, that is a mouthful!  Melanie had a thing for banana's.  She used to run around the ward shouting "banana!"  That does not sound funny at all, but she said it with such enthusiasm.  Then she took it to a new level.  She started to collect and trade everyone for their bananas at meal times.  She would stand around the corner like one of Charlies Angels and hold it up like a gun with both hands.  She would have a banana stuffed in both side pockets, both back pockets, and one in her hands like a gun.  We were instructed to "put 'em up, and we won't get hurt."  Just picture someone hiding around corners with clothes stuffed with bananas and thinking they are one of Charlies Angels. She was such a smart and amazing girl.  I wish I would have got her information so that we could have been able to keep in touch.  I miss her...

After a while in the psych ward, you get used to the crazy.  Another memorable story was of this older gentleman who was about 60.  He came running out of his room at full speed, or as fast as a 60ish man could run.  He was screaming at the top of his lungs he says, "I need forceps stat!  I have belly button lint!"

I know that I have said time and time again how bad my memory is, and it is totally true. I was recently started on a medication for people with Alzheimer's, called Aricept.  I cannot remember just about anything from before I was ten.  This is a side effect of the ECT.   The reason that I am able to remember most of these stories is because they are in my trusty journal.  These are only two of the two thousand stories I have.  If you want to hear more stories let me know...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Debbie Downer...That's my name

We all have bad days once in a while.  Some of us just happen to have them more often than others.  Some believe life is luck, while others believe it is attitude.  I happen to think that it is a bit of both.  A person can only take so much, before they begin to break.  Most people hold up a lot better in trying, tough situations than me, but if we all had the same reactions to everything that happens in the world, it sure would be a boring place.  What would you all be doing with the extra ten minutes of your day instead of sitting at your computer reading this blog?  Would you be out trying to save the world, or hoping the world will save you?

I happen to be praying for a little bit of both.  I want to save the world by educating others about mental illness and depression.  I also hope that the world of medicine will save me.  It is not just a matter of will power to avoid self harm and suicide.  I have been told before, "everybody gets the blues Kylie."  That is absolutely true.  But how many of you go home after a bad day of work, and try to figure out how to kill yourself?   How to do it in the most painless way as possible, because you are such a coward.  Yell at yourself internally while laying in bed at night, for not driving into that semi on the way home when you had your chance. " This is about 30 seconds of a two hour self torture session, that happens on an almost nightly basis.  "God you are stupid.  You had the perfect chance around that corner by Breezy Point Bar to kill yourself, and you f*cked that up like everything else you touch.  There were no cars behind you to witness this horrible, tragic accident, and that you intentionally swerved into this 18 wheeler.  You screw up everything you do.  You can't even kill yourself the right way.  Your family would be so much better off without you here. You could quit screwing their lives up like you have for the last 32 years.  Your kids would not have a Mom that is not in and out of the psych ward. This just proves, that you fail at everything you touch.  God your worthless.  Don't forget that you are fat, disgusting, vile, boring, stupid, dull...etc"  This is the difference in the wiring and networking of my brain and yours. 

This is the self talk that I have every single night while I am laying in bed.  It may not always be about suicide and my preoccupation with my own death, but it is definitely focused on everything that I did wrong in the day.  Never do I look at something and think, "I am pretty good at that.  Or I did a good job at that today."  My brain just does not work that way.  I always tell people that "Nobody would choose to live this way."  People think I make a conscious decision to be "Debbie Downer," and wake up like this everyday.  I am lucky that I even wake up everyday.   I am not even sure that I am doing any good with this blog.  Who knows how many people are reading it.  I only have 9 people who are following it everyday, so I guess it maybe a little to morbid for the average person.  I ask for feedback and comments and get nothing.  I don't know if I am even going in the right direction.  I guess only time will tell...

What do you like to do when you are having a bad day?  Do you like to go out with friends?  Stay home with a book?  What makes you feel better?  I need to find some ways to create a diversion in my brain so that I keep myself busy.  This blog is definitely keeping me busy.  I spend along time on every single post when I write.  I hope that you are all able to tell that.  I am putting my heart and soul into everyone of these posts so that maybe ,we can save the life of someone who is suffering in silence.  You never know who you could be helping by just forwarding this link. I have had a lot of people tell me that, "Your blog is such easy reading."  The thing that I always say back is, "Easy reading is damn hard writing!"

Copy and paste this link please and let's get the word out!  Those of you that have know me for years would probably never look at me and think that this is the dialogue in my mind everyday.  It sure makes you think about the quiet girl in the cubicle next to you at work right?  If it doesn't, it should.

Insurance 101

Today has been a horrible day.  Everything that I touched turned to shit, and I am feeling pretty hopeless.  It is unbelievable to me, that someone who has such a severe mental illness like myself, cannot get help.  I am literally on my own.  Let me explain...

I was approved for Social Security Disability in 2009, because of the ECT's and my severe memory loss.  Not to mention my diagnosis of severe recurrent major depression.  I am sure that there are a ton of people in the United States that are able to lead normal, full functioning lives.  I am not one of those people.  It is hard to get and keep a job, when I never know when I am going to go down that sad, dreadful, lifeless, slippery slope.  I am not consistently dependable for one because of my isolation tendencies.  Sure I may be fine to work for a few weeks or a few months, but what happens when I am all of a sudden a "no call, no show?"  My depression always comes fast and furious, with little warning.  I cannot live with the guilt of knowing that I am causing others stress, because I am not responsible enough to cover for my sad, useless, unreliable, fat, stupid self.  Because of this, I am broke to say the least.  Disability is not exactly a lucrative lifestyle.

The next problem is that before I was approved for my Disability, I was able to get full treatment and coverage at Pathways, which is our community mental health agency.  I had the most amazing councilor named Mike Dupont.  I miss him like you cannot imagine.  I also had a case manager named Tracy Kolich.  She was also great and would help me with simple day to day tasks that a four year old could remember.  It was things such as doctor appointments, bills, and anything that she could be of assistance for.  At this time I had state medical coverage called Medicaid.  Everything was 100% covered and I had no worries about my services.  When I was approved for my disability I lost my Medicaid, and went to Medicare for insurance coverage.  When this happened, I lost all of my services.  I was cut off cold turkey from my whole medical support staff, "due to budget cuts."  I understand this logically, I really do. They cannot help everyone.  The problem I had with the situation is that I was still suicidal and depressed, and everything was cut off in one day.  I was given no warning and was just sent a letter saying that, "I would be put on a waiting list for future services, due to my insurance coverage."  The part that pisses me off more than anything is that... I HAVE INSURANCE!  It is not like they are doing it all for free.  It is just not the insurance that they "want" for maximum payments, so I got screwed.

Next I am not able to get help through any private doctors or councilors.  Most of them will not accept my insurance either, and I don't have $100 an hour to talk to them out of my own pocket.  I am on a waiting list for every counseling service in Delta County, but because I "make too much money", according to them, I am not high priority.  It is horrible that services are all based on money, and not the severity of the case.  Services to me are potentially the difference between life and death.  But money talks, just like it does every where in the world.

This is why I tend to isolate a lot.  I cannot get help anyways, so I mine as well stay home and save my self the disappointment of rejection.  My DVR and Leinenkugels Berry Weiss never let me down, and are my best friends when I am sad.  It is a good thing that the beer that like is only around a few months a year!  Maybe if I had friends to talk to on a regular basis it would be easier, but I wrecked everyone of those relationships.  To top it all off now, my husband and my best friend is in Prison...Things are not looking real promising in my social circuit lets say.

The next problem is that I am not able to get any secondary medical insurance coverage.  My hospitalization history is so extensive, that nobody will insure me.  Even if they did, it would probably be about a $1,000 a month, and that is being realistic.  When your disability check is only $1109, you can see how the numbers just don't add up.  I am stuck in the gap of making too much money for help, but not enough to live a comfortable life.  Could you support a family of four on $1109 a month?

I have recently been trying to get a job with no success.  I am a college graduate and am stuck.  I even tried at a local agency for people with disabilities, and it is not looking good for me there either.  I once again make too much money, to qualify for job placement it is looking like.  Maybe not too much money, but I have to have a referral from Pathways to get a job.  We already went through me making to much money for that, so there goes my chance at a referral.  The girl that I have been working with to get a job is amazing, and she has never saw a case like mine she said.  I have fallen through the cracks, like so many others, in similar situations.  How can you make too much money to get a job?  Then I am afraid to get a job at a local regular business, because I do not know how reliable I will be.  At least at the other business, they are understanding of people with disabilities, and will not fire me if I get sick again.  I should clarify that a bit.  I am always sick, it is just the severity of it when it creeps up.  How many employers would hold a job for someone, when they go to the hospital for an average of 4-6 weeks at a time.  Then, have them come back with a memory that is crap, because of all the induced seizures during ECT.  Not many, I can promise you that.

I guess that the moral of this post is, I need a job.  I am not looking to get rich, just make a few extra bucks for my gas tank and bills.  Take some of the pressure off my back so I can breathe a little.  Financial stress is not helpful to a suicidal person, or anyone for that fact.  When someone like me already has no self worth and appreciation for myself or life, this just goes to show that nobody else does either.  I have basically been given permission to overdose when things get bad, all because of money and insurance.  I am not at that point right now, but it is only a matter of time before that happens again.  I have had one overdose attempt before, and spent  four days in intensive care so my body could rid it self of all the Trazadone, and another month in the psych ward getting ECT's.   The worst part about that story is that my daughter Brooke found me after school, when she was in 1st grade.  Her mother covered in puke and unconscious.  Thank God she was smart enough to call 911.  She literally saved my life that day.  Imagine being 7 and walking in on that?  The guilt of that day will never go away.  That does not mean though that it won't happen again in the future.  Only time will tell...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I'm still your little girl Dad

As far as I'm concerned there is only one phrase that your parents can say to you that cuts like a knife.  Why can't they just come out and say something like Red Foreman would say, on That 70's Show.  Something along the lines of, "You're a dumb ass.  I'm going to put my foot in your ass."  That is not what he said though...It was 100% worse.  What my dad said to me was, "I'm not mad at you, I'm disappointed in you."  Do you not all agree, that is the worse statement on the planet from a parent?  Even though I was 28, I felt like I was eight.

I stood there in my dad's arms and I sobbed.  I went into the ugly cry...All hail Oprah.  My dad just snuggled me into his chest and I remember he just had a few tears, fall on my shirt.  All he kept saying to me is, "Why didn't you call me?"  This was a statement that was easy to answer.  I was isolating so much, that for a few months, I just did not answer my phone or my door.  Avoidance is a lot easier than having to explain how you would do anything to kill yourself, especially to one of your parents.  I just kept thinking also, what an embarrassment I was to him and my family, because of how fat I was. I had gained about 118 pounds since I graduated high school.   I know that he would never see that I was vial, but I did.  We all tend to focus on our flaws at times, instead of all the good qualities.  God knows I did not have one good quality at this time that I could name.

We both finally calmed down and just sat in my room and talked.  It eventually turned into any normal conversation that we would have had.  "How he had did bowling on that Friday, how his shoulder is feeling at work, and of course how are the kids."  He still had no idea that David had left me, and my dad was not sad about that, when I filled him in on this new development.  Both my parents never really liked him from the beginning. 

We visited for about an hour, and then it was just about lunch time.  My dad decided to get going, and said that he "would be back next Sunday if I was not already home."  We never thought that I would still be there.  Who stays in the hospital that long anymore?  You are lucky if you get 24 hours after surgery before they give you the boot, much less staying for weeks.

I gave my dad the biggest hug of our lives when he was leaving.  Regardless of what my own personal demons were saying and doing, he never said an ill word to me.  I guess criticism is not something that is encouraged or constructive, with a suicidal child.  Whatever I was feeling myself, he just told me that "I am the most amazing, smart, beautiful, funny daughter that he could have ever asked for."  I believed him too because of the small tear in the corner of his eye.  That's what happens when you are "Daddy's Little Girl!  Right dads?