Stanford Psych Ward: This Is What It Feels Like … A Journey To Home | Circa September 9, 2013

[Email from me to a friend]

Getting help. Real help.

That or I’m ready for Halloween. These people are amazing. They have treated this before*and already have me set up for hypnotherapy, physical therapy and speech therapy.

It will take a long time but  going to learn how to manage this body and brain better. The light is not a train this time. And the food is amazing. Not sure when I go home, but they said I won’t go home until I get help.

*Functional Neurological Disorder (FND)

  • FND is due to a problem with the functioning of the nervous system and thought to be the result of the brain’s inability to send and receive signals properly, rather than disease.
  • FND is the second most common reason for a neurological outpatient visit after headache/migraine.
  • FND is more common than multiple sclerosis.
  • FND symptoms are real
  • FND can cause impairment in quality of life that is similar to other neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease or Epilepsy.

Sep 21, 2013, 8:39 PM | Email From Me To Friend While In Stanford Psych Care

Tiny lights of hope flutter, with busy wings in the nightroom, spark a yearn to flourish in the palm of my hand. 

That is a sentence. One. Another will follow if I can write one. I’ll edit that shit later. love ya.  

[From My Journal | September 20, 2013]

In the ward I’ve seen haggard, pale and lost faces wandering the halls as the days go, in our new routines, detoxing from the meds the other doctors who didn’t understand how to help, popped down our gullets and created dependent, addicted crazy people.

Well, as society would tell you, we were already crazy, but now addicted as well.

Then as we meander through our meetings, shaky hands and limbs, detoxing off our Xanax, Valium, Klonopin and Ativan, limited to a certain amount. In my case, one Ativan a day.

[Sep 21, 2013, 10:12 PM | Email From Me To Friend ]

Actually that last line I wrote wrong lol, it was palm of my soul. 

I’m going to write all these flashes. Today is amazing. I took my personal power back. 

Nurse Rachet showed up in the form a secretary and believe me I called that shit out. Fuck that, I can talk now.

Everyone here has been damn amazing but that one lady. Will share the story with you later. 

I’m in the best hospital in the world for this, you better fucking working for me and be respectful about it. I call it my moment 🙂 

Bitches get told. Peace out. ❤ ❤ ❤

 The hard work starts on Monday 🙂  

Sep 22, 2013, 4:58 PM | Email From Me To Friend

I feel freer, everyday. Not keeping myself so incredibly controlled to strict internal rules.

I’ve been asked by Dr. Hayward here to talk to his students tomorrow — 25 of them — about this conversion disorder/PNES. Absolutely. If they can learn to help others like me and not let them go years down a drain, it’s worth a song, shake and dance on the professor’s stage. 

He’s very versed with what I have. 

… “How do you get a left-hander to leave?”

 “You open the door to the art room.”  — G.

Seriously, art room all five us of left-handed. I think that’s a statistical impossibility. 

I’m going to ask if they are doing some sort of study … so many writers/artists/creatives in here. 

We’re the left-handers brigade. ❤

[Sep 23, 2013, 9:53 PM | Email From Me To Friend]

I forgave myself today for getting sick. Didn’t realize how much guilt I carried about it. Freer today. 

In pain tonight, but we’re working on desentizing me to sensory input. So took my sunglasses off at 5. Tomorrow the goal is four. My body is on fire, but I’m learning to accept pain and not fight it.

It leaves or settles faster that way. Last night was a bitch with flashbacks, but the nurse helped me through it in a way I didn’t know possible. Dr. Hayward asked if I would talk to his graduate students today. So I did.

25 people in a small space and I shared with them things I’ve never shared with anyone. They weren’t told my dx but were going to discuss my case after I left. 

There are now 25 new people in the world who will never forget my experience and will be able to help others like me. It’s empowering. I’m off most of the drugs the other docs had me on.

Just zoloft and one ativan a day now. 

The withdrawals were a bitch. I’m getting stronger and my brain has more clarity to focus. When it’s my time to go home, taking the long route — going out to 1 and going to stop in Half Moon Bay. 

Have always wanted to see it since you’ve talked about it. We’re going to stop in Santa Cruz too. I’m going to get to put my feet in the sand. It’s been far too long.

I’m in awe. I’ve wanted to go to the beach since I got out of the psych ward last year at this time. It’s such a simple thing, going to the coast, but been out of my reach for so long. 

I’m going to love this next journey in life. 

Everyday I feel more relief in ways I’ve never felt. How could I love others so deeply and not love myself? It’s healing in ways I don’t understand, recognizing that and applying it to me.

There’s so much more life to live. ❤  

[Sep 24, 2013, 7:28 PM | Email From Me To Friend]

Aye, logically I know it wasn’t my fault. 

Guilt is a different monkey. I don’t feel it now, but I did so terribly. Yes, I came very close to not a few times this last year before i got my apartment. 

Nurse Ratchet showed up in the guise of a secretary. 🙂 She got demoted in this hospital in this era. And no, she hasn’t been back on this floor since. My doctors did mention they did hear about me with a wink and a smile. 

I am writing in my journal like crazy. Just so many little things. There is a woman here who was working in this ward as a psychiatrist. She drove home work (here) and was hit head on by a drunk driver. She suffered massive brain damage and forgot about her life, husband, three girls. 

That was in the 60s. Now she is 74. She has hair as red as mine ever was, half her grill missing, but still so happy to be alive and determined to keep at it. 

She was kicked out of her apartment with a 30-day notice after it was bought and told no more section 8. Been there for years and years. Was moved to a different type of home where they mixed every known type there and it was awful. 

She fell into a bar in her shower and broke her spine — but didn’t know her spine was broke. Just knew she was in a lot of pain. Some how managed to get to her bed and it took three days for anyone to check on her. 

When they told her what happened and that she had to be checked into the hospital, she asked if she could come here. They said yes. She says, she knows it’s the best hospital in the world. 

Thankfully the social workers here have helped her obtain another apartment on section 8 and in two weeks she should be able to go home to it. It’s very nice, she says. Though they got rid of her persian cats and her other two cats. 

I’m doing well today. Just came up from the garden they have for us. It’s gorgeous. I don’t care I’m broke as fuck and save cans to take in for a few bucks for gas or food. 

This is a better life already. I know the bills are paid, I know where every penny goes and everything, even buying shampoo, is a gift. I’m a fighter. I will make it through this and I will be having my kids back sooner rather than later. 

Jared has been at the apartment since I left. He’s cooking dinner at my house. 

Yes, one day I am going to speak to many. So many in here can’t speak up for themselves. They are treated with absolute respect and kindness here. The compassion is real from the staff. 

I’m estimated to head home at the end of this week and be in a day-program/half-way program when I get back. 

I spoke to the kids last night. They sound silly as ever. Craig asked if he was coming over on Friday — then asked if we were still having his birthday at my house. (of course)

Then he asked, but what if you’re sick? Sigh. Told him I knew how to work through it now and we’d have a party for sure. 

Wrote them both letters and had them mailed today. That should cheer them up and give them something to look forward too when they get them.

(wrote about future events we were doing, a good thing for them to focus on. A future whatever with me wherever.)

 In a group today, a man who’s been lost in his head for many years talked about his wake up this past week in the hospital– he called it “the journey home.” 

That’s what it feels like, a journey to home. 

I always felt wrong, not worthy and a billion and one other horrible things. That hate tape isn’t playing anymore. I never knew how loud it was. this will take a lifetime of managing, but it’s doable to have a better life. 

Today’s day nurse is also a poet. She told me, “Tea. Red. Hot. Reminds me of you.” LOL. M. said it wouldn’t take me but two days to make friends with everyone.

You know what, people just like to be heard. And I like to listen to their stories. And journal. Today is a good day. 

Love you.


Published by Eve Reiland

Contact | Note: My cognitive abilities fluctuate and so does my ability to read and process written or verbal information. Currently, reading new information past a paragraph or two, short ones, is impossible without support. Please keep emails short as possible. Currently, I’m overwhelmed with a few health challenges and have been incapable of processing emails for a couple of months now. Please bear with me. I do the best I can with the abilities I have at the moment.

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