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  • ericaanne

Hospitalization: Part 2

Updated: May 27, 2022

So we Baker Acted Nick. I got a call from him about an hour after the police drove off with him. He was screaming at me.

"I can't believe you thought this was a good idea for me! There are people in here screaming like someone is murdering them! I'm in a room, alone, with nothing but a bed and four walls! I have nothing to do! This is making everything so much worse! I'm basically in solitary confinement! I haven't seen a doctor yet and the mandatory 72 hour hospitalization doesn't start until I see one!"

I didn't know what to say. I didn't know that the 72 hour hospitalization would only start after he was assessed by a psychiatrist. I didn't know he would be in a room alone with nothing but four walls and his thoughts. I didn't know what the hell I was doing or what this process looked like. I was already questioning if this was the right choice, but now I was questioning it more. I felt guilty.

"Well babe, we'll have to just be patient about the psychiatrist I guess. I'm sure they're busy. But I'll call the hospital and see if I can drop anything off for you to at least study for board exams".

He gave me the phone number and I hung up to call the hospital. I eventually spoke to a nurse who told me that if I brought anything, it would have to be without staples or anything sharp so he couldn't harm himself. I found some radiology books and some of his hand-written notes, took the staples out, and got in my car.

I got to the hospital and walked up to the receptionist. They gave me the directions to find the correct wing of the hospital. Once I got there, I was hoping they'd at least let him out of the room so I could hand off the books and see him. Instead, a nurse came out, inspected what I brought, and said she'd bring them to him. I was immediately dismissed. I remember feeling like my husband was being treated like a fugitive. I remember feeling like it was my fault.

Later that night after I returned home, he called to say he got the books. He still hadn't seen the psychiatrist. He actually didn't end up seeing them until the next morning. His 72 hours would turn into almost 96 hours of hospitalization because of this.

I didn't sleep much that night.

Nick called again the next morning and yelled at me more.

"After I get out of here, the first thing I'm doing is finding a divorce attorney."

"I don't belong here! There are people in here talking to walls!"

"I can't believe that you ever thought that this was going to be good for me! This is the absolute worst thing you could have done for me!"

"They're forcing me to take medication! I don't want meds! They're basically threatening me to be compliant. They're saying that if I don't take them, I'll risk staying in here even longer!"

"I can't fucking believe you!"

It was horrible. I questioned everything. I felt guilty. I didn't want to divorce my husband, I just wanted the man I married back. In my gut, I knew was there. He was just lost. Little did I know, I would never get the man I married back. I would end up getting a better version of the man I married.

(me & my better version - nearly 2 years later)

At some point, I encouraged him to just be compliant with their treatment so he could get out of there. As much as he didn't want to take the medications, and as much as I typically don't like the idea of psychiatric medications myself, I hoped it would be enough to help him through the first hurdle of getting himself to a better mental place. There's a time and a place for every type of treatment, and this would definitely be the moment for psychiatric medications.

That afternoon I got a call from the psychiatrist. "Is your husband normally loud and animated?" I knew what they were getting at. They were trying to diagnose him as bipolar and in a manic state. "Yes he's literally always animated like that". Anyone who knows my husband knows this: Nick is a naturally lively and spirited person. He's been diagnosed with ADHD, and that's not a surprise to anyone. I hung up the phone after he told me about visitation hours.

The visitation hours were short. I believe they were between 5pm and 7pm. I showed up that evening and had to leave all of my belongings in a locker - part of their policy to ensure sharp objects wouldn't make it beyond the door. I walked in and a nurse went to get Nick.

He walked through the doors. I could tell he was mad at me, but there was something else beyond that. As I said, anyone who has ever known Nick know is was a lively and spirited person. Even when he was suicidal, he was often still able to pull himself to be lively when other people were around. The person who sat in front of me was a shell of a person. He held a blank stare. His voice was monotone. He barely looked me in the eyes.

I had been wondering where the hell my husband went for months, but this was next level. As it turned out, they (mis)diagnosed him with bipolar disorder and he had taken the medications they prescribed. They had dulled his emotions, and also dulled personality in the process.

He turned and looked at me with his blank stare and said, "I can't even describe how serious I am about divorcing you when I get out of here. I want nothing to do with you."

I don't remember how I responded or even how the rest of the conversation went, but I know it didn't go well. At some point he got up and walked out.

During this time in school, I was working under another chiropractor at their clinic to finish up my requirements for graduation. Nick was hospitalized on Saturday. Sunday was my first visitation day. Based on how it went, I couldn't bring myself to show up to work on Monday, so I called out of work.

When Monday morning came around, I got more phone calls. More divorce talks. More anger. But one phone call stood out in particular.

"You must be loving this. This probably feels like vacation from you."

"Is that what you honestly think? That I hospitalized you so I could go back to enjoying my life? I've barely moved from this couch other than to come see you."

He didn't believe me. He wouldn't believe me for some time. I still went back to the hospital. Our interactions were still not good. But I hoped that at some point, he would look back and realize that he was seeing through the filter of his emotions, not what was actually going on. I knew that he didn't mean any of the words he had thrown at me over the past 4 days. I also knew that he didn't know that yet.

He was able to leave the hospital on the Wednesday. I went to work that day, but left early to go pick him up. He wasn't angry towards me when we left, but he wasn't totally pleased with me either. I took it as progress. He was mostly just happy to be out of there.

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