Have you ever noticed that there's nothing good on TV on Friday nights? And if you're broke there's not a whole lot to do. Which leaves me with some very boring Friday nights. That's why I developed my own Friday night entertainment.
Every week on Friday night I will take somebody to be admitted to the hospital. Last week it was my husband. He got out Tuesday, so I needed something to do today. And if you ask my mom she'll tell you that's why she's in the hospital right now.
The truth of the matter is that she's not doing well and we couldn't keep her safe at home anymore. Does it make me a bad daughter to be relieved to put her in the hospital? I hate the thought that I might get too busy and my mom wind up dead when she's at home.
This isn't how I always felt about this. I still remember the first time we had to put mom in a psych hospital.
I was 13 years old. Mom had been having a hard time for a while, but we were helping her through it. I was proud of my ability to get her back when she was lost in a flashback. I liked being able to help.
But mom just got worse. She started hallucinating. We came home one day to find all our dishes smashed on the kitchen floor and mom sitting on the counter. She thought that there were snakes trying to get her. It became routine that I'd have to check under her bed for snakes before she'd get up.
My dad finally decided that we just couldn't care for my mom at home anymore, and he found a psych hospital she could go to. It was about 2 hours away, but it dealt with her issues. So we packed up her stuff, hopped in the van and set out.
We got there and my parents had a lot of paperwork to do. My sister and I were to wait in the waiting room until they were done. I sometimes wonder if I looked as scared as I felt.
Somebody from the hospital staff came and took my sister and I on a tour of the grounds and hospital. They explained things to us to the best of their ability. It helped some.
Mom was finally checked in and we went to help her settle in to her room. That's when we discovered that a lot of the things we had packed to comfort her weren't allowed. And thus began the lessons in how to pack for a psych hospital. My sister and now are able to pack a bag that passes the strictest tests.
Eventually we had to say goodbye. Debbie and I didn't want to, because we still didn't see how somebody who didn't love our mom could provide better care than we could. But our protests didn't change things, and we finally said goodbye.
On the way home I cried and cried. I was heartbroken. I cried so long and hard that I made myself vomit. And then I cried some more.
My, how times have changed.