Finally, the economy affects me
I need to see a doctor. Or an ARNP. Or a psychiatric nurse. Stat.
I have been going off the deep end lately. Emotions are too strong for what they should be. I am starting to feel hopeless. Tim and I both agree that the Lexapro just isn't cutting it.
Last night, after screaming at him for wanting to go to bed at 10:30 -- I just couldn't stand that he was yet again more tired than me... I know that makes no logical sense... I knew it at the time... but I was just so tired and so angry and so over-ridden with emotion -- I wept. And I wept some more.
I had kicked him out of the bedroom to sleep on the couch. And the general disproportion of everything made me realize the last couple days weren't a fluke. I've been having a harder and harder time coping. Yet again.
I had hoped it was a brief interlude from stress. But it's the illness, the depression, asserting itself over and above the medication.
I felt hopeless. And lost. And exhausted from the fight. And ashamed of how much Tim has had to suffer it lately.
And that's when the thought came. Unbidden. Scary. He is a deep sleeper. I could go out to the kitchen and grab a knife and cut my wrists and he probably wouldn't even wake up.
Then I really started to cry.
I don't want to go away. I don't want to die. I certainly don't want to experience the pain of cutting myself. Or the mess of blood when inevitably the attempt failed. (Yes, sadly, cleaning up after my own suicide attempt was a logical argument against it. I guess I'm more of a neatnik than I thought.)
Mostly, though, I didn't want to die. And I didn't want to leave Tim. And I really didn't want to leave Tim all alone.
Yes, it was just a stray thought. It slipped in twice during one weeping session. But even once is a bad sign. Perhaps it was a random iteration of a brain flooded with ideas, like so many monkeys at typewriters aiming for Shakespeare. But I'm not willing to take that chance.
I think even one suicidal thought is one too many, depressive or not. It's not a good sign that it's ever a possibility. I don't care how you explain it away. It's not something that occurs to a person who can manage on his own.
So I called the North Seattle Health Clinic. I was prepared to make an argument for triage so that they could fit me in somewhere. With someone. My own doctor doesn't work on Fridays. (The plan was to start looking for a psychiatric nurse or psychiatrist next week.)
I got this message:
"Due to budget cutbacks, the North Seattle Public Health Clinic is closed Friday, April 10th. We will reopen Monday, April 13th."
So, at last, the economy affects me. Kind of strange that it took a stray, suicidal ideation to do it. But, strangely, it actually makes me feel slightly more connected to everyone. Is that weird? It's probably weird. But, frankly, dear Scarlett, I don't give a damn.
I'm off to try and find someone who will take me. I will probably end up at the doc-in-the-box up just outside the city limits. (Seattle's border is 145th St NE. The clinic is on 147th.) There's a long wait, often. And you'll rarely see the same doctor twice. But I have to get this taken care of. For Tim. For my mom. For me.
I don't want to go anywhere. Literally or figuratively. But I also don't want to struggle through the weekend with these peaks and troughs. It's unbearable. And I don't want to have anymore stray thoughts about hurting myself. Even for the completely isolated, forlorn, hopeless folks, they tend to be terrifying rather than a relief.
I honestly don't know what the doc-in-the-box can do. I'm already on three antidepressants. In the end, I'll probably have to be weaned off some of them. And both Lexapro and Effexor have severe mental repercussions.
But I have to do something. I'm actually proud that I know that. No, scratch that. I'm proud that I feel that. It's a sign that I haven't completely been lost yet to this illness. Because I'm not just staying alive for other people. Last time, it was for my mom. Probably the only time an overactive guilt complex worked in my favor.
This time, I'm doing it for me. Because I plan to have a long, if somewhat tumultuous, life with Tim. And while certainly he and my mom are a factor, I am not ready to abandon my future for present pain.
So I may come back on a fourth antidepressant. As a stop-gap until I can see someone more regularly. Who knows. But I will have done something.
And just so that this also personal-finance relevant: I have to do something before I have to go in-patient. Medicare covers only 190 lifetime days in a facility. and the first 60, I'd be responsible fora $952 deductible. The next 30 days, it's $238/day. Then $476 a day until day 150, at which point, all costs are covered. (This is the same for inpatient hospital care.) Anyone else find it hard to believe that this is the system for folks on disability and retirement -- aka "limited income"?
I'm sure Medicaid would help out with some. And that a well-written letter/filled-out application to the institution's financial aid center would help. But frankly I don't need the further workload. Or headache.
Medicare also wants me to pay a $135 deductible for outpatient mental health care. And then it will pay 50% of the fee (the one that Medicare deems fair, anyway). So that's not really ideal, either. But my GP simply isn't enough at this point. And it can take a month to get in to see him. So I will find a psychiatric nurse, who charges significantly less than a psychiatrist, and figure out the money part of it later. Or perhaps over the weekend. I'll need to keep busy then anyway.
Perhaps this all proves my point: It's more exhausting to be sick than to be a normal, full-time worker.
I'll go ahead and post Friday Freebies either later today or on Saturday.
Don't worry, folks, things will get better. And for a change, I'm not just saying that to convince myself or to shoo away the terror I know this talk creates in other people. I actually know (and feel) that this will be dealt with. And it will improve.
That, in itself, is huge.
I'm honestly not sure if it's a good or bad sign that money is a factor in my decisions about my mental health.