Alright…where was I?
I think I left off talking about details Les filled me in on. (I’m on his computer and don’t feel like rereading what I wrote last night lol). Anyway, I vaguely remember waking up a bit (possibly Monday night, but who knows!!) I remember seeing my Mom there. Les called her on Sunday night and she made the late night drive to northern AZ. I remember the respiratory therapist and the nurse telling me to cough (still being intubated) and trying to listen for airflow. I tried to cough, it hurt so much. Still no sound or evidence that I’d be able to breathe on my own….. I remember the nurse really trying to relax me and told me to try my best to cough, if I couldn't cough or breathe on my own I might end up with a trach. That definitely got my attention and I tried my very best….no success. They decided to leave it in and try again the next day. The only other things from that night I remember were my Mom and the Sitter (used for every suicide attempt) combing out the massive tangled nest of hair I had from everything and using the bedpan—A LOT!!!!! God bless those amazing nurses and nursing assistance's <3 If I never see a bedpan again it will be too soon--- blah. Each time I got turned the tube really, really, really hurt and put me in a panic. My Mom was able to read my eye expressions and quickly learned I needed deep suction (into my lungs) each time I got turned and shared that with the nurse.
Next memory I have was on Tuesday afternoon. I remember they took out the tube and I was immediately able to cough and breathe on my own. I guess I was vomiting so much, even being intubated and I had chunks of vomit that were lodged in the tube which was the reason they couldn’t hear airflow the previous day. Mom told me the tube was actually too big for me as well which probably added to me discomfort.(I totally caught that spelling mistake on spell check but left it cuz me sounded like a pirate and had a good laugh-arg!). I am covered in bruises as well. Les and the BEST ICU nurse in the whole wide world KJ (the other nurse was absolutely amazing too, but I was too out of it and don’t remember her name) finally had to stop the people that draw blood (what are they called again??? I should know this one!!) Four different people came up from the lab to draw my blood at four different times within about an hour and a half…who knows why, but I’m sure happy I have no memory of that part. Hey—I’m ALIVE and it was an emergency situation, so I’m not complaining here, only purely grateful for everyone’s help. I’m being as descriptive as I can remember so that maybe one day, someone with suicidal thoughts might read about how horrible this was for me and seek help right away!!! Don’t let it get as far as I did!!!
I made the choice to go to the behavior health floor later that night. At first I wasn’t sure I wanted to go because I thought the whole thing scared me enough to never ever want to attempt that again—ever!!! I remembered the time I asked for help 7 months after Ryder passed away and checked myself into a hospital. While it was great and I made a life-long friend there, all of the positive thinking couldn’t change my depression. They put me on meds that made me feel extremely shaking and horrible. They put a Band-Aid on my grief, gave me some great ideas to help with my depression and sent me along. I am not saying it was useless and if you are feeling depressed and can’t climb out of it, please seek help! I’m glad I did then; I just wished they helped me get to the root of my depression and help me/ explain to me the grief process. Okay, back on topic! I wasn’t sure I wanted to go onto the behavior health floor again, but I did mainly to help ease Les’ stress. He didn’t want me to be alone for a minute by myself at home, which I totally get.
I spent 4 days on that floor, which is actually a pretty quick stay. I sure did have my mind set to do the work and change the course of my life and thought patterns and I was remorseful from the beginning which helped me make fast progress. The first night was rough. I had to sit up straight all night long due to acid reflex from the tube being in. My throat was a raw, sore, throbbing mess! I spent some time coughing up blood and tissue from having the tube as well. Folks….you DO NOT want to be intubated if you can help it! Learn from me!
An awesome therapist recommended EMDR (google it). It is often used for veterans with post-traumatic stress. I was willing to do anything…..absolutely anything to start healing, to see a glimpse of a brighter future at least. I did 2 sessions of EMDR for 2 different issues (visual flashbacks of Ryder dying and my triggers/anticipation/obsessive thought of numbers and dates). PEOPLE it worked IMMEDIATELY!!! Truly unbelievable stuff! It often works in 1 session (for 1 issue). If you are suffering from post-traumatic stress seek a therapist certified to do EMDR. LIFE CHANGING!!! I am going to continue EMDR at least 2 more times….one for drinking and one for sadness of a lost friendship. I will also be seeing the same therapist for counseling. I am joining a grief group, specifically for people who have lost children. I attended my first AA meeting today. I am getting outside daily (I was going days without even going outdoors). I am getting exercise and I am eating at least 3 meals a day. Those who know me well know this has always been an issue. I’ve never had an eating disorder or anything, but I’m just not a food person (except sushi…. I will eat sushi anytime, anywhere, on a boat and with a goat!)
Before I tell you how you can help, I wanted to mention one more insanely terrific life- saving moment (positively divine intervention in my eyes, but take it as you will). I have spent hours and days for the last few weeks trying to get my newly prescribed Xanax. I had just seen the doctor, I rarely ever take Xanax (maybe 2-4 times a year) and she wrote a new prescription since what I had was expired, just to be taken as needed. Each time I went into the pharmacy I spent a long time trying to get my insurance worked out. They kept telling me my insurance was canceled since January, but I knew that wasn’t the case and I refused to pay full price. I’d been getting my other medicine like Crestor and a hormone replacement patch without any problem what so ever, even the week before! I went in 3 times to talk to the pharmacy who keep telling me they would take care of it and call my insurance. I got 3 calls saying it was ready and when I went to pick it up (3 separate times) I got the same reply- your insurance has been canceled since January. The last try to pick up more Xanax was with Les on the day before I OD’ed. I would have taken those 30 more Xanax if I had picked them up. I wouldn’t be here right now.
I obviously am a very transparent person. I like who I am and I like being honest. I hope my stories and my journey will help someone someday. Part of my openness is also my way of taking responsibility and account for my actions. If I didn’t share, it would be much easier to stay in that dark place in my mind, to continue drinking and deny I have a problem. I ask all my family and friends, co-workers and people who care to help me monitor myself. You can do this by noticing my posts. I will always continue to miss Ryder, share his pictures, videos, and write about him. I will still have sad days. I promise to keep being open, but if you notice my post continuing to be sad for days at a time, if I write something that concerns you or if I try isolating, backing out on plans and becoming inactive or indecisive—these are my red flags that I’m not in a good place. Please reach out to me in some way. I do tend to be sensitive in moods like that, so words like Denise, I’m worried about you how is your mood today, or I am concerned because ….(no tiptoeing just tell me). If you don’t feel comfortable with reaching out to me or have a gut feeling I’m just starting to slip down that road again, you have my permission to contact Les (I can message you his # or message him on FB). I’m open and honest with you so please feel free to be open and honest with me.
It’s so humbling all the messages and calls I’ve received from so many people, including people I don’t know since yesterday’s post. I have had 9 people tell me that I was heavy on their mind and in their prayers last week and they didn’t know why, but now they know—WOW! I believe in signs people! If you feel that strange tug at your heart or in your mind about me or ANYBODY, check in on them immediately. Try to gauge their mood, most people don’t reach out or even realize they are sinking into depression. It was mentioned by a few people that actually saw me spiraling down into depression quickly, that they wanted to say something, but they didn’t know if it was their place or not. YEP, it is!!!! ALWAYS!!! Just use gentle words like, I’m concerned and I care about you….etc. It’s better to step on someone’s toes, make them upset, or feel uncomfortable yourself not knowing what to say than not to do anything at all when that 1 small thing can save someone’s life.
Thanks for all of your love and support!!! I feel it!! Know that I love and care about you too. Please know that I will be spending some quality time taking care of me, getting therapy, grieving in a healthy way (therapist have said I might just be starting grieving process since I’ve numbed myself with alcohol for so long),loving on my family, and limiting my time on social media (that sure can be addicting too, right??!!). I will not be able to reach out to my dear friends, who I know are having a tough time right now too. Don’t take it personally, don’t think I’ve left you or stopped caring, but please understand I need to help me first and will be focusing all my energy on making a bright new path.