Over the past couple days, the possibility that I will soon be admitted for another inpatient stay, has become a little more real. Although there are still a few details to work out, (records to fax, payment options to discuss, intake interviews, and treatment plans) the wheels are in motion. It is an entirely different experience from my other two admissions.
Even though I am still feeling anxiety, and fear, it's not at the level of panic I was at when I voluntarily committed myself a couple years ago. And my purpose is completely different. While maintaining my mental health remains a major goal, this time I will be admitted on the basis of carefully being weaned and monitored as I go off all medications, in hopes that we will see a change in the tremor. In order for the doctors and staff to make accurate observations about the intensity of the tremor, and any changes the lack of medications have on it, I will also have to skip my next round of Botox.
My fears, I know, are justifiable. My last experience in a psychiatric hospital, was terrifying, and left me shaking for the past two years. The hospitalization before that, left me with significant memory loss. My fear for this pending hospitalization, is that I will walk out exactly as I walk in. With a tremor, on meds, and with no clear explanation of how or why I developed dystonia. There is fear that I will slip into another deep depression, and require another series of brain zapping ECT. I'm afraid of the increase of pain and movement, as this last round of Botox wears off, and being in a less stable state to deal with it. I know I have a right to be scared, but I also know if I let the fear stop me, I may never know whether or not we can stop, or even slow the tremor.
This time, I am going to be admitted to the hospital in a "more sane" frame of mind, where I can clearly state my goals, and I have an entire team of doctors and therapists, friends and family to support me. I am aware that as my body begins to detox off medication that has kept me stable, I will likely feel the emotional and physical side effects. I know there is a possibility that even though my mood may suffer, there is also a chance that the tremor will subside, if it is at all related to medications I am currently on. I know that I have learned and implemented numerous coping techniques over the past two years, and those will not go away, I just have to remember to use them.
Sure, I am scared of all the unknowns, but I am also excited for them. The prospect of decreasing the tremor is thrilling, something I have prayed for, for nearly 2 years. The chance to be off some or all medication, and still be able to live my best life possible, leaves me with a sense of confidence. In the end, I know what is meant to happen, will happen. Regardless of the outcome, I will continue to live my life the best way I know how: Shaken, Not Stirred.