Even though the internist who prescribed my sister all those meds appears to be a negligent idiot, she did have one good piece of advice for me. She told me to call and speak with my sister’s social worker at the crisis center. Never having done this before, I didn’t know my sister had a social worker assigned to her. After finding out she had gone to voluntary status, I called the crisis center and asked to speak with her social worker. Not available. I asked to speak to her nurse. Not available. I asked to speak to ANYONE… the rather rude nurse with whom I was talking informed me that no one was available to speak with me, but that I could speak to my sister. I asked them to please have my sister’s social worker call me as soon as possible. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to speak with my sister, but I did.
Amazingly, she sounded good. Coherent, fairly upbeat, no anger, not slurring her words even. I talked with her about her voluntary status and she said she wanted to stay until she felt better. She said they had put her back on Seroquel, a drug she had taken years before, and she was feeling good about that and that she wasn’t having any side effects from coming off all the drugs, and she didn’t have any headaches. I told her they had done a taper-down on the opioids. She didn’t remember that happening. I told her I wanted her to go to rehab. She asked why she couldn’t stay where she was. I just about fell off my chair. She actually wanted to stay in this institutional crisis center? I was thinking things at home must have been pretty bad for her to want to stay there. I told her she couldn’t stay because she is on the state health plan and the state will only cover so many days, and they didn’t think she was suicidal, and she was at a crisis center. We would need to find a new facility. I asked her if she was willing to go to Tucson. I explained a little bit about Sierra Tucson. Back in 2014, Blue Eyes and I had looked into Sierra Tucson extensively. Him for their sex addiction program (there and The Meadows in Wickenburg), and me for their shorter wives of sex addict program. Neither of us ended up going to Sierra Tucson or The Meadows. We ended up in Los Angeles at Dr. Omar Minwalla’s Institute for Sexual Health, which worked out okay, and as mentioned many times before, my trauma therapist was simply AMAZING, but I really felt like Sierra Tucson had a good program.
After speaking with my sister that Wednesday (7/14), four days into her stay at the crisis center, I filled out the admissions form on the Sierra Tucson website. On Friday morning I spoke with the admissions staff. I was informed that for my sister, on disability with state health plan coverage, we would need to pay privately, two weeks up front. I was expecting this and wasn’t surprised. I had since spoken to my sister a few times and she was agreeing to go to rehab. This would be a first. I then received a call from her social worker. She explained that my sister was doing much better and they were actually seeing her out and about a bit, which was a good sign. She particularly liked the mindfulness class held out in the community garden. The only frustration was that she was not admitting to being a prescription drug addict. We discussed the plan for getting my sister to Sierra Tucson. I needed her to be able to stay at the crisis center until the following Wednesday so I had time to book flights, get her packed, and get the money together. The social worker and I agreed it would be best for her to go straight from one facility to another. Since my sister was agreeable to rehab, for the first time in her life, I didn’t want anything to mess that up. Namely, going back to her apartment, or having much contact with her partner until she was stronger. She, apparently, didn’t want to do those things either. That was a good sign. Her words were, “I love him, and I want to be with him and live with him, but we both need help right now.”
This is where the “tired of pretending” part comes in for me. My health hasn’t been great. A month prior to my sister being admitted to a psych hospital, I was experiencing horrible cramping and lower back pain, and then I started bleeding, three full years after having gone through menopause.
After numerous lab tests, doc visits, internal and ultrasound exams, I was tentatively diagnosed with endometrial atrophy. Meaning, I’m old my female parts are reminding me not so gently of this fact. Tentatively, because they couldn’t find anything else. Thankfully no tumors or polyps. I was also diagnosed with sciatica, shooting pains down my right side, all of which made sleeping really difficult. Pain and little sleep were weighing heavy on me, and then the family drama set in.
I can no longer pretend that I am impenetrable or that I have limitless energy to step in when others need me. Some things just have to give.
Next up, a trip to Tucson…