Welcome to Part III. Today I talk with the doc and get sent to the ER. Not the best day in my life but one of the most helpful by far. Click here to read Part II.
And we’re back at the morning when I wanted to let go.
They say the hardest thing to do is to let go.
Lemme tell you something – that morning, letting go was easy. I was weak, tired, frustrated, confused, and overwhelmed. I had nothing left to do but to let go. So I did.
As I drove myself to the doctor’s office, my mind was blank. I don’t really remember the drive. When I arrived, I went back pretty quickly and shuttled into a little room with a nurse. She asked why I was there. Didn’t I tell you on the phone? Why do I have to repeat myself? It wouldn’t be the last time. I sighed and let the monsters out of the bag. I was too far gone to care about consequences.
I sat in the doctor’s office confessing all of my dark secrets. But it wasn’t me.
No, I floated above myself as this other woman confessed to a multitude of sins that I had not committed. To thoughts I had certainly not had. To horrible things like not bonding with my child and wanting to smother her with a pillow. My mouth moved, sound escaped, but surely it wasn’t my voice uttering these things. I am a good mom. Good mothers do not want to do things like smother their children or abandon them at the hospital. Good mothers can do anything. Good mothers are perfect and kind and… well, like June Cleaver.
My house was a wreck, I slid closer and closer to carrying out these horrific pirhanic like thoughts swimming through my brain, I barely slept, barely kept up with anything anymore. There was no way in hell good mother applied to me.
She spoke slowly and deliberately, asking how long it would take me to get to the local hospital, what route I would take, if I felt I could drive myself.
I asked if I could go home to get some of my things. I needed a breast pump. My breasts were starting to sting they were so full. (It was almost 4:00 p.m. now. I had not pumped since 11:00a.m. and normally pumped every three hours.)
No. You have to go straight to the hospital. Can you do that?
But I need to get my things….
No. Hospital. Now.
Okay. If you say so.
She and I walked quietly to the front of the office where she helped me check out. (Sidenote: I carry that receipt/slip with me in my wallet to this day. It reminds me of how far I have come since then.)
I left and walked to my car. I called my husband to tell him the doctor sent me to the ER. I’d call with an update when I could.
When I arrived at the ER, they were waiting for me. The doctor said she would call ahead. I was triaged and sent back almost immediately.
The ER doc on call came in, sat down and asked me what was going on with me.
I told him. Quietly and calmly.
“I’m here because I do not want to be Andrea Yates. I don’t want to be Andrea Yates. Please, keep me from being Andrea Yates.” I pleaded with him as he sat across from me, legs crossed, arms crossed, yet seemingly warm and open. Relaxed. He stood in a very relaxed position. This made me comfortable.
I remember this ER doc. He kept telling me how much courage it took to seek help. He commended me for my bravery. Shortly after the ER doc left, a nurse came in and a security guard showed up. My belongings were taken away from me to keep them safe. (Translation – to keep ME safe.) I talked openly with a social worker about my situation, my thoughts, everything. I don’t remember what he asked or what I said to him. I do remember asking if I could have a breast pump. It was now nearly 6:00 p.m. I believe. My breasts were moments away from bursting.
The social worker talked with me about hospitalization. I nodded in agreement. I needed help. I needed to rest. He disappeared to make some calls. I wish I had known about Emory at this time. I would have requested to go there. But I didn’t so off to elsewhere I went.
My husband arrived with some of my things including my breast pump which I received permission to take with me. He looked exhausted and scared. I’m sure I looked the same – or worse.
Shortly after he arrived, the transport driver showed up. I asked to go to the rest room and had to be quick about it. I hugged my husband good bye and followed the driver to the van.
I don’t know what time we left the ER. The inky sky swallowed me whole as tiny rays of light beamed down. I missed the sun. I felt even more trapped and alone as the van glided over streets I had driven time and time again prior to this night. Yet tonight the buildings judged me, the stars judged me, and the headlights of the oncoming traffic judged me. They all knew – they all knew why I rode in the back of the medical transport van.
As the driver turned onto the main road away from my town, I took a deep breath. I had no idea what the rest of the night held but I already felt a tremendous sense of relief.