This is the last post I’ll write about this experience, I promise! First of all, my stay there was very therapeutic, in terms of maintaining personal hygiene, socialization, and most importantly, structure.
Nearly every hour of our days was scheduled for one thing or another, like the various group therapies and meals I described in yesterday’s post. Even when I awoke, long before mealtime, I took a shower immediately and got dressed. I had to take a few shortcuts because I didn’t have conditioner, my entire skincare regiment, or a hair dryer, but that worked for me.
My inpatient psychiatrist met with me both Monday and Tuesday. He said that I could be discharged Wednesday, which I found surprising (but wasn’t complaining) because it seemed to me that the average stay is at least a week — I was admitted on a Friday evening and didn’t think I’d get out until the following Friday or Monday.
When my husband picked me up, and we got outside, I found that the world wasn’t as captivating as I expected it to be. I thought I’d see it in a better light, but it looked the same as it did when I went into the ER. My mood began to dip.
I tried to duplicate my inpatient schedule as much as I could at home, but that lasted 2 days. By Saturday, I was back to staying in my pajamas and had to push myself to throw on sweats and accompany my husband to the vet for our dog’s annual check-up, drop him off at the groomer, then eat lunch at a pub a few doors down while we waited for him.
On Sunday, I stayed in my pajamas and barely got off the couch. I spent most of my time just lying there, or falling asleep. The social worker who discussed my discharge plans suggested that I go to an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), maybe after I return from our mini-vacation. I texted my therapist last night about how I was feeling, and she also suggested going back to PHP because of the social aspect and structure it provides, particularly at the last one I attended.
My therapist told me to think of 3 things I could do today, and concentrate on those: 1) take a shower, which I did but took shortcuts; 2) do my physical therapy exercises, which I started but didn’t complete; 3) write a blog post.
As you can see from the selfie I took this morning, I’m feeling pretty meh. I am, however, looking forward to seeing my psychiatrist tomorrow and finally transitioning my mood stabilizer from Tegretol to lithium.
Have inpatient hospitalizations helped you? Did you feel better once you were discharged?