Going

Going

I am all packed. The rental car is going to be picked up at 7:30.  The hotel is reserved for tonight.  Approximately 7 hours of driving and we will be in the same cit as The Facility.

After the whirlwind of phone calls, appointments and anxiety, I got an admission date for tomorrow.  And thus will begin my journey into recovery.

Yup, I am scared witless.  And relieved.  And anxious.  It will be a long 24 hours…I just want to get there and be done with the waiting.

At therapy yesterday, the AT reminded me that he is with me for the long haul.  It is what I needed to hear.  When I get back from The Facility, I will be able to slide right back into my therapy routine.  I take a lot of comfort in that.

So, this is my last blog for a while.  I will be totally unplugged during my time at The Facility.  Thanks for all your support and I will be back online as soon as I can.

 

Nights and Today

Nights

The past several nights have been rough.  I am not sleeping well.  I either wake up at about 2 and lay awake for an hour and a half or I just sleep fitfully, waking up over and over again, giving me totally disrupted sleep. Both ways, I wake up purely exhausted.  Of course, I know it is stress.

Last night, I did have an interesting dream.  I dreamed that ds was a baby.  Dh and ds and I were going to a Sunday service at the Unitarian Universalist meeting house.  We were late for the service, but were able to go in and find seats (on the floor, I don’t think there were any chairs.)  Eventually, ds started crying so I started nursing him.  Nursing him in my dream was nearly a tangible experience….It was so real feeling.  I woke up from that dream feeling content.  Breast feeding is something I loved and so dreaming about it brought back lots of warm fuzzy feelings.

Of course, the rest of my night was fitful sleep, followed by a too-early wake up at around 4.  The early morning wake up has been part of my not-sleeping-well pattern.  It is classic Heidi insomnia to wake up too early.

Today

Today I have Art Therapy first thing in the morning and then I am expecting phone calls.  The admissions coordinator from The Facility is supposed to call me, as is my insurance case manager. Hopefully, they will have some news for me about insurance and an admission date.  Right now, I am just in a biding-my-time waiting game.

Lists!!!

Lists!!!

Status of Loose Ends

  1. Call and re-defer student loan
  2. Check in with Case Manager (This is an ongoing process!)
  3. Get chicken food and shavings
  4. Clean out chicken coop
  5. Deal with house plants
  6. Harvest last Aerogarden <sigh>
  7. Deliver items to various people (bag to L, soakers to J, diaper cover to SS)
  8. Freeze up a handful of dinners for dh/ds
  9. Start refrigerator bread dough for dh/ds
  10. Get a few items of clothing (more underpants, a couple of t-shirts, pajamas)

I am plugging away at it.  I have cleared off my art desk as staging for all the stuff I need organize and pack.  Unfortunately, that kind of pushed me over the anxiety edge yesterday morning.  I had to abandon the task to self-regulate.  I guess I will have to do it in small doses.

Oh…there is a packing list…Here’s my progress with that.  I am only counting it as packed if it is on the table, some things I have, but just aren’t there yet. And the grey-ed out things don’t apply/I’m not taking.

Please Bring:

  • Insurance card(s)
  • Current Photo Identification
  • Plastic hangers
  • Phone card/Calling card
  • Alarm Clock
  • A clear, plastic water bottle – one that does not have any color to it
  • Quarters for the laundry machines ($1.00/wash, $1.00/dry)
  • Laundry detergent in original container(s)
  • Mesh/Cloth Laundry Bags
  • All prescribed medications in their original bottles (medical and psychotropic)
  • Non-alcoholic based mouthwash
  • Shaving Razors (no more than 6)
  • Painters tape to hang pictures
  • Wrist watch
  • Toiletries (And then the following is my breakdown)
    • Dove soap
    • Shampoo
    • Toothbrush
    • Toothpaste
    • Lotion
    • Maxi-pads
    • Tampons
    • Panty liners
    • Comb
    • Brush
    • Dental Floss
    • Razors
    • Shaving Cream
    • Hair ties
    • Deodorant
    • Chapstick
  • An extra blanket or comforter (Linens and towels are provided)
  • Casual clothes, including a sweater/jacket
  • Umbrella/rain gear
  • Money (No more than $20)
  • Books, puzzles, games with appropriate content (Kindle!)
  • Pens, pencils, notebook and/or journal
  • Yarn and Plastic needles for knitting or crocheting

Certain things will be confiscated as soon as I get there (they search your bags) like the razors, my pencil sharpener and my knitting scissors.  You aren’t allowed to keep sharps with you.  They are locked up and you have to ask to use them.

I also just sent off three pictures to CVS to have printed just in case I forget what dh, ds and the dogs look like.

Soooo…I am putting on a good face with all of this (except in the AT’s office), but I am just scared to death and the last thing I want to do is leave my home and family for a month.  Even just writing that sentence made tears come to my eyes.  I hate this.

Okay…enough of that! Crying won’t get me anywhere when I have tasky stuff to do.

Almost There? and Family and Friends and Team Heidi

Almost There?

This process of getting into The Facility has been amazingly consuming.  It sucks up lots and lots of time, lots of energy and lots of time from various members of Team Heidi.  I think we will all be glad when the process is done.

Yesterday, I spent half the afternoon juggling emails with the admissions coordinator, phone calls with the intake gal and also with my insurance case manager.  Oh…plus emails to my nutritionist as the facility needs medical documentation of my need for a gluten free diet.  Remember earlier this week, I made a list of loose ends to work on?  I have not had time to do any of it.  Seriously, every spare moment has been focused on getting my ducks in a row to get to the facility.

So…Here’s where it stands right now:

  • I still need the nutritionist to fax over her last note for GF documentation. She says she will do it first thing Monday morning.
  • I listed both dh and I as guarantors for the facility. I had my financial phone call yesterday and Monday they will call dh and apprise him as to the finances.
  • The medical team at The Facility had not finished reviewing my medical paperwork by end of day Friday. Hopefully, that will be completed on Monday.
  • The admission coordinator is working to get my visit pre-authorized so there are no surprises when I get there.
  • My case manager is working to get my visit pre-authorized so there are no surprises when I get there.
  • I don’t have an admission date yet, but once the medical review is done, I should get a date (this is probably going to happen on Monday)

The preauthorization of insurance is really important.  Just because the facility accepted me at a residential level doesn’t necessarily mean my insurance will concur with the level of care needed…They likely will, but there is no guarantee. I need to know ahead of time because no coverage will mean no residential treatment for me.  Residential treatment is…you might want to sit down for this….$2600 per day.  Yup….Crazy expensive.  So, there’s no way we could pay for it out of pocket…our pockets simply aren’t that deep!

I found out the daily cost during my financial phone call.  She wanted to know if my insurance ran out, would it be feasible to continue any treatment paying out of pocket?  Then she dropped the daily rate.  Ummmm….no…that is not at all feasible. As a matter of fact, dh and I have already discussed a contingency plan for what to do if insurance cuts me off with minimal notice (which can happen).  It involves a hotel and/or a train.  Either way, it will be cheaper than $2600!!!

Yesterday, I ran an errand to get a few things I will need to take with me.  I am planning on packing simply and light.  I did have one splurge (one item that I don’t need for the trip, but really want to have to make myself more comfortable when I am there).  I loved the fleece I made the little dog’s coats out of.  I really, really wanted to get some to put on top of my bed as a bed spread to be cheerful and remind me of home.  I gambled that JoAnn’s would still have some fleece left.  I was not disappointed.

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Now…I just have to say that the color is not quite right in this picture. For some reason, I can’t get a photo that accurately represents the color.  It is much more of what I would call a Hawaiian blue, more cheerful.  But at least you can get an idea.

I am going to cut off the selvages and ends with my pinking shears and that will be the extent of my edging for it.  Quick and easy!

I have started making a pile of things I am taking.  The process has started.

The Family

So, dh is taking all of this really well.  He is doing whatever he can to support me.  Yesterday, he told his boss and professor (he is taking an art history class this semester) that he has an upcoming trip and why.  They were both very understanding about it.

Ds appears to have adjusted already…He is a pretty resilient sort of critter.  Hmmm….wonder where he gets that from!  🙂

Friends

My friends have been super supportive for which I am appreciative.  A is actually coming over this afternoon to see me before I go.  L has gone off to another country for a class, but had been very supportive right up until she left…I am sure she is still being supportive…Just not in an IM kind of way.

SS…she has been awesome a well.  She has a lot on her hands at the moment.  I actually have been worried about her.  Poor little Miss Blossom contracted a nasty upper respiratory virus that tends to prey on preemie babies. They have been at the hospital all week.  Blossom got sicker and had to go into the pediatric ICU a couple of days ago. But…she has started to perk up and appears to be (slowly) on the mend.  And yet, even with all that going one, we have been in frequent communication via IM.

Team Heidi

The AT and my PNP have been kindly fielding my bouts of panic.  I have been needing more “after hours” support over the past week and they have both been more than willing to give it to me.  I worry that I am asking too much time from them…Hopefully, pretty soon I will be gone and not bugging them anymore.  Do you think they will miss me when I am gone?

The Facility Assessment

The Facility Assessment

So, I survived the interview.  She really asked me questions for 90 minutes straight. <phew> And some of them were hard.  There’s nothing I like more than spilling all my secrets to someone I don’t know.  Ugh.

But…I survived.

The verdict?  She recommended the residential level of care for me.

And I finally got the patient info packet.  This facility is less restrictive than others I had looked at. I am pleased as it will feel less like prison.  It looks like I can have laces in my shoes and drawstrings in my pants.  And I can bring an e-reader (as long as it doesn’t take photos…Hello, old Kindle, you’ll be coming with me!) which means cords must be allowed as I’ll have to plug it in.

And…best of all?? Can you guess?  I can bring plastic knitting needles.  The warrants an official “Squeeee!!!!” of delight.  And my knitting needles that I love are plastic.  Between the Kindle and the knitting needles, I may just survive this!

And I can bring colored pencils and a notebook/journal, so I can draw and write.

Of course, I can’t have a cell phone and…I don’t know how to tell you this….But laptops aren’t allowed.  No laptop=No blog.

No blog?!

Of course, the phone call sent me into another whole round of anxiety about finances…But hey, what would life be without worrying about money, right?

Still no admission date, but I should be getting that soon.  I am still thinking it will be sometime next week.  I know the admissions gal from the facility is calling me again today, I just can’t remember if she said she would be giving me the admission date then.

Panic

Panic

So…I had this awful thought last night.  I have been fretting and anxious about The Facility and wondering what will happen if they don’t accept me.  Last night, it sort of hit me….What if they DO accept me?!

I don’t know if I am ready for this.

I really, really wish that I had never gotten myself into this mess.  Everyone is so convinced going to The Facility is the right thing.  And that the trauma treatment program at The Facility is the right thing…But what if it doesn’t work? What if the restrictions and confinement of The Facility make me worse?  What if going to The Facility ends up being traumatic?

I held it together pretty well on Tuesday and yesterday, but this morning is my phone “interview” and I am pretty much sick with worry.

Blood Again and Medical Family and It’s The Little Things That Scare Me and And Lastly…A Pregnancy Test, Really?!

Blood Again!

So…I mentioned that blood draw Monday where I nearly passed out.  Like, I had to lay down and was barely able to stay conscious even with some sternal rubbing and the nurse asking over and over if I was still with him….

Yeah…well…they messed up the labels on the vials, so I had to go back.  I was not a happy camper.  But….I am a smart camper.  I have been going to all my appointments by myself, not really needing any support.  Yesterday, I called dh and told him I needed him to go with me.  So, he came home and went with me.

Did I survive? Yup.  Did dh’s hand-holding help? Yup.  I know I don’t talk too much about dh, but he is my rock.  I don’t know where I would be without his support through all of this.  He listens, he coaches, he supports, and when it comes down to the nitty gritty, he will hold my hand to keep me from passing out! ❤

My Medical Family

As I said, dh doesn’t usually go with me to my appointments.  I have told him about how happy I have been with the “service” at my doctor’s office….Well, yesterday he got to see it in person.  The gals behind the check-in desk all know me by name. One of them seems to have taken a particular liking to me and is always super friendly.  When I had my ER visits, she was really worried about me.  When I am checking in, sometimes she slides her window open to be my check-in person.  The other gal is also really friendly and kind…At this point, they both know my co-pays without looking them up, don’t bother to verify my contact info/insurance (really…It’s not gonna change in a week!) and just are really kind in general.

The male nurse came out and chatted with me about the bloodwork and was kind.  L popped into the lobby to get a client and gave me a wave….It’s kind of a home away from home.  Now….I know it isn’t great that I am there so often that they know me that well…But then again, since I do have to go there a lot, I am glad to interact with friendly people. It makes me feel safe and I am not ever anxious about going. And of course, no one ever judges me there….It is all good.

Anyway, dh got to see it all yesterday.  At least he knows that when I am there, I am in good hands!

And as to me being in the frequent flier club?  By the end of the week, I will have gone to the doctor’s office three times! Two appointments Monday, the blood draw yesterday and to have my TB test read on Thursday.  Sometimes, I think I should just take a sleeping bag and sleep in the waiting room!

It’s The Little Things That Scare Me

So…I have a variety of symptoms that are caused by my lack of calories.  Many of them, I just ignore or adapt to.  For instance, a week ago, I had to stop walking the dogs…I just can’t do it, I don’t have the energy, I feel light-headed, my heart pounds (in a not healthy way).  So I adapted. I am freezing all the time, so I triple layer with the last layer being a fleece or warm sweater…I adapt.  But some things…I can’t compensate for.  In the past couple of days, the TV remote has become a baffling puzzle to me.  You know, the remote thingy that I have used a million billion times….My brain can’t quite do it.  That is the kind of thing that scares me.  The cognitive symptoms have been going on for a while, but they are getting worse and I can see it.  And being baffled by the remote…well…that just kind of scares me. It’s just a stupid remote! How hard can it be!!!

It is a good thing that I am getting intensive treatment soon…I don’t know how much longer my body can take this.

And Lastly…A Pregnancy Test, Really?!

<insert eye roll>

Okay…I know I am fussy and I have tolerated the full drug screen on my urine for The Facility.  Since I do not do drugs, never have, never will….I find the drug screen an insulting waste of time, energy and money.  And the assumption that I am lying about drug use is frustrating.  I know that some people lie, but I don’t.

But…When I was reviewing my blood work this morning…I noticed that they did a pregnancy test.  I find this ultra-annoying.  No, I am not pregnant. I don’t plan on becoming pregnant and…..then there is the whole vasectomy thing!  Yup, the likelihood of my getting pregnant is pretty much nil.  And really, if I am getting down to brass tacks, you probably have to have sex to get pregnant…And since that almost never happens…Let’s just say, I think I’ve got it covered in multiple ways. There will be no babies here!

I suppose I shouldn’t feel annoyed about these things, because I will be suffering through many more indignities at The Facility…Oh well.