Friday, February 10, 2006

Falling to Pieces

It's not me that is falling apart- it's Jeff. For the last three weeks, we have watched him bounce back and forth between very good and unbearably bad. He had a good week that got him released from the hospital, then an overwhelming weekend that put him back there. And for the week since, except for one good day, I have watched him deteriorate, literally fall apart before my eyes. That one good day got him a floor pass- he is still using it, but feels that if he takes one step away from the front of the hospital, he will do something irreversible (my pretty way of saying he'll jump off the parking ramp that is conveniently located across the street).

His doctor is becoming part of the problem. Today he reported to her that he was having the urge to cut yesterday. She did NOT take away his floor pass; instead she asked if he was attending and participating in the group sessions (he is) and asked him to write down a list of "good things about himself". For those of you who have not experienced depression, this might seem like a reasonable request, and one that could potentially benefit him. Those of you who have, know that it is a self-defeating assignment. He cannot think of anything good about himself. The best he would be able to do is write a list of good things other people might say about him, and in his mind this will only reinforce the idea that everyone is decieved by his "good" exterior, and that the truth is that he is bad, awful, worthless. If people knew how "bad" he is, they would revile and reject him.

It seems like his doctor is still planning to release him to day treatment on Wednesday. This absolutely cannot happen. I cannot take care of four kids and keep a suicide watch. I have left a message for his doctor to call me, and once I know her feelings about his progress and plans for his course of treatment, I will be placing a call to HCMC's patient advocate. If necessary, I will go all the way up the chain of command. If necessary, I will request that he be assigned a different doctor. If necessary, I will demand a transfer to a different hospital.

He confessed to me today that while he wants to keep living for my sake and our childrens', it is no longer enough to protect him from the desire to die. I have never been so terrified.

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