Because my husband has Major Depressive Disorder which became much more severe over the past week, I took him to the VA ER per the triage nurse's directions.
His depression was so severe that he couldn't eat or drink fluids. He wouldn't get out of bed. Period, except to use the bathroom.
Here is the twist. I told his doctors this was coming 2 weeks ago. I figured it was another severe bout of depression.
Hubby History: 2015 Throat Cancer, TIA, Anaphylactic Shock to chemo
2017 MCA Stroke that required surgery. Slow recovery, emotionally flat, aphasia, memory and speech issues.
COPD and some other health issues. Brain Aneurysm.
As winter set in he seemed less and less able to function outside the home. He stopped doing chores with me, by June he even stopped mowing the yard [he loves to mow on his rider]. He stopped wanting people to visit [nah, I like visitors, so they came].
He was admitted to the Mental Health Ward for severe 'MDD' and after a team of doctors looked at him, they feel the depression is not related to his PTSD symptoms, but are now related to the brain damage from the TIA and the MCA stroke which disassociate his feelings. Meaning, he can laugh and seem to enjoy things,...when in reality, he doesn't because his brain doesn't let him.
He is emotionally flat. And because of that he can only think negative thoughts and live without any hope.
They are trying a treatment that I never heard of until yesterday. Ketamine Infusion. It won't bring back his broken brain, but they are hoping to stimulate some feelings of hope.
Because he is at the VA Mental Health Ward, he is in Lock Down. That means it is like a prison. He actually feels safe there and is getting a lot of attention from the doctors who find him quite a mystery.
He may come home in a week or so. Let me tell you, this is tough and it is sad. BUT when my son asked me 'how are you mom?' I replied, "Honey, I am on vacation right now!" That was what popped into my head. How awful, but my son totally got it.
On the 2 hr drive home yesterday from the hospital, I stopped at several places and even had a picnic lunch. I cleaned house with the music blaring, made beet pickles, danced with the dog, and sat on the porch with a beer.
I know I should feel awful, but I don't. Right now someone else is taking care of DH 24 hrs a day and I know he is in good hands.
I'll take it.
PS~I talked to DH last night on the phone. His voice actually sounded better and he quipped that the food on the ward 'sucks like mud'.
The sobering thought is that the Doctor told me. His brain is broken and this could be the 'best' he will be. I understand that. My job is to get him out of the house when he does get home and get him doing activities. I told the doctor I would have to burn the bed, he loves his bed.
If he doesn't move and do things, he will revert and his health and mind will rapidly decline.
I'm going to get his butt moving IF I can.
But for the next few days?
I'm going to enjoy some much needed 'me' time.