Sunday, June 4, 2006

Matters Proceed

Has it really been a month since I last made an entry? How time flies. I haven't felt much like writing; I haven't that much to say at the moment. I can say that after some false starts, Bonnie has now completed more than 30% of her treatment regimen, and she is every day becoming more like the dear woman that I know and love.

I should explain that since her last episode, back in 2000, changes on the psych ward, as in life, had occurred, and the doctor to whom Bonnie's care had previously been entrusted and who intimately understood her requirements had since received a well-deserved promotion and is presently the director of the entire ECT program at Strong Memorial Hospital. As such, he is no longer involved in individual treatment.

More youthful doctors today, it seems (this is only my own personal opinion) are more in favor of treatment through pharmaceuticals than through alternative treatments that may, in fact, be more efficacious. I have become inured to the fact that the opinions of family members are often lightly regarded, no matter how pertinent and informed those opinions may be. I had somehow forgotten that, as part of Bonnie's psychosis, she was wary of affixing her signature to anything, and as I was at first incapable of making trips to the hospital, I did not discover until two weeks had passed that Bonnie had not yet begun treatment because of her refusal to sign the consent forms. When I first managed to reach the hospital to talk to Bonnie's doctor, I found to my dismay that it was almost a foregone conclusion that Bonnie was to be committed to the Rochester Psychiatric Center for long-term care. Her doctor was, in effect (it seemed to me) washing her hands of Bonnie. I found this approach to be untenable for both of us, as it would keep us apart for a much greater length of time than was necessary.

Almost in a panic, I sent an email to her previous doctor, imploring him to remember how well Bonnie had responded to ECT treatments, and to please exert himself to the maximum to see to it that she remained on the ward and began her treatments. Also, I did everything in my power to convince Bonnie that she must sign the consent, because the alternative was unthinkable.

I owe a debt of thanks that I can never repay to Dr. Eric Brewer. Not only did he take time away from his busy schedule to respond to me, but his influence was evident the next time that I spoke to Bonnie's doctor. As the title of the entry indicates, things are now well in hand and under way, and I now expect that Bonnie will return home sometime in mid-July.

Bonnie is so far along now that she is once again taking an interest in things and demonstrating emotions. She has once again begun to read the newspapers that I bring to her, and she has begun requesting small items from home (she always requests scissors and a razor, but of course those items are forbidden to patients - it's a wonder they let me use my cane.) She has also begun requesting that i bring her specific food items - her first request was for a cheeseburger and strawberry milkshake from McDonalds. She has also requested Pepsi and BBQ chicken, so I'll have to see what I can do. Except for the occasional item such as rolls, fruit, and juices, Bonnie finds most of the hospital food to be nearly inedible, and after having experienced 3 days worth of it myself (along with nibbles from what she has received) I am forced to agree with her.

She has taken a dislike to particular aides and patients, and her displeasure is immediately apparent, unlike the almost zombie-like quality which she formerly displayed, and, although I am certain that it is unpleasant for the people involved, I can look upon it as a demonstration of the degree to which she has already recovered.

As for my own condition, I am as capable now as I was before my leg became inflamed - there is little discomfort now, although it is apparent that occasional flareups may continue to occur if I overexert myself. I can drive, I can negotiate the hospital corridors, and I can make necessary trips to stores, so I am at 100% operating efficiency. I have been informed by my doctor that I am now officially diabetic, but you will not be reading much, if anything, about that here. There are many excellent resources to which you can refer if you wish to learn more.

The third chapter of the 'Dark Rambler' saga has finally been completed and will shortly be posted.

Until then, as ever,



bedazzzled1 said...

Yay for the sunshine in your corner of the world! You already know how tickled I am for both of you, so I will not repeat it here.

::big hug::

queenb8261 said...

Great news.  Hope the sun continues to shine for you both

mutualaide said...

I know I know some of this, but it sure is good to read it right here!  The sun will come out and eventually stay out ... at least in Rochester perhaps!  

sunnyside46 said...

I have not heard from you in so long! I have been thinking of you and Bonnie.