Tired of pretending: Part Three

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…

17 thoughts on “Tired of pretending: Part Three

    • Thanks, Dave. Getting old is something else! I also hope she does well. It had been a while since I’d been to Tucson. As we drove out of the car rental garage, we just stopped and stared at the monstrous cactus in the parking lot. Wowza! Gotta love Arizona! The drive all the way out to Sierra Tucson in an electrical storm was quite exhilarating as well! 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  1. You are a good advocate and good person. Your body is sending you a message to be that good advocate and person for yourself. Hoping your sister improves and moves on in a healthy way and you too.

    Liked by 2 people

      • My body has been screaming at me for a while and I am just hunkering down and doing my best for myself. I hope you can settle and take care of yourself. It’s hard, Kat. I know. My situation is a bit different now in that my husband is carrying way more of the load around the house and such, so I can take care of myself. I know – very different situation w your sister and I hope the rehab will get her into a better place.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This is probably in the past, but I’m well versed in Sierra Tucson after Handsome’s 6 week stay last year. In particular, pricing and payment stuff (hint: don’t pay full tilt b/c few people do… ) Let me know if you need anything. 😌

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is, ba, in the past. I thought of emailing you, but I never got the chance. I did read back through a couple of your posts, but the situation with Handsome and my sister are vastly different. I’m sure their experiences will be different. For example, seeing Sheldon the therapy turtle was the highlight of her day yesterday! I am just thrilled she agreed to go. Things went quickly. It was a very very long day getting her there. In many respects, my sister’s personality is stunted at about 3-4 years old. Anyway, we negotiated the price down. I made BE and my dad get on the phone with the admissions guy because I was just really concerned with her treatment and care and didn’t want to have to think about money. They ALWAYS think about money! xo

      Liked by 2 people

      • I hope your sister finds ST rewarding. Handsome was not there for sex addiction treatment. He was admitted into the mood disorder program. (To be clear, based on how they dealt with his well documented SA diagnosis, I don’t recommend ST for anything SA related.) What they did really, really well though was get Handsome on a regimen of meds that worked and have continued to work for him to stabilize his mood. We weren’t fully aware of his BPD diagnosis at the time, but they successfully stabilized his mood to the point that nothing needed to change (in terms of meds) once we got the diagnosis. That was worth the 6 week stay alone. He loved his (80% female) process group and still credits the work he did there with much of his improvement. The aftercare is nothing remarkable, and Handsome’s doc and I really had to press them to do a transition plan for him, but he did return with both meds and learned tools to cope better with life. Every now and then I find myself wishing I had some of those skills myself. ☺️

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