Paranoia and a little more…

We are so paranoid right now… This whole COVID-19 situation has got us going crazy. Can’t remember if we mentioned this in our last post, but the language around it seems so Big Brother and Dystopian Society to us. Social distancing, lockdowns, shelter-in-place for countries… Not to mention that our city passed legislation that if you are in public, you have to wear a mask. You can be fined or jailed if you don’t…

We are still able to go to IOP. We are in the Trauma IOP again; we only had to stay in PHP for two weeks this time, before our mood started to improve again. But now, in addition to taking our temperatures every day, we are required to wear masks to attend group. The therapists have been having to wear them for a while now. But now the clients have to wear them because of the city’s ordinance for masks in public. They did pass out masks for everyone the day it went into effect, though, so no one can say they don’t have one or couldn’t find one. They are also offering the option to attend groups through Zoom. We actually have one person in our group that is doing that. He joined last week, so we are still getting used to it. We have only been there two days that he was in group (through the tablet). It’s working pretty well, and anyone can choose to attend that way, even the current members. So, if one day, we aren’t feeling well and want to do that instead of coming to the clinic, it is an option.

We are actually trying to decide about next week… if we are going to do group through Zoom, instead of coming to the clinic. We normally have a cough, from years of smoking (we started at 15 and we are about to turn 37) and we have asthma and allergies. But, our cough has been worse for about a week. It’s gotten to extremely annoying and frustrating proportions. And it starts to hurt sometimes. Plus, we get short of breath a little easier right now. But we have not run a fever at all, the entire time. We have been obsessively checking our temperature, because of our chronic cough. Like 4 or 5 times a day kind of obsessively.

We talked to our primary care doctor yesterday, when we went in for our normal medication follow-up. He asked all the normal questions, that he asks every time we come in when our asthma is flaring up, and listens to our lungs. Seemed fine, felt fine with the deep breaths to us, until he asked us to take a deep breath and breathe it out as fast as we could. We’d be surprised if they couldn’t hear it in the other room. He decided to test us for COVID-19. That was yesterday. He said that they normally get the results in a day or two. We are hoping if the results come back tomorrow, that we don’t have to wait until Monday for them to call us. The clinic has after hours available on weekends, we just don’t know if they would be monitoring the lab results. Or if THOSE results come in differently than normal lab tests. They would have to notify us immediately, right? Especially if the test is positive??? They wouldn’t just leave a positive COVID test sitting there all weekend, hopefully, because no one is in that particular office over the weekends…

But that is adding to the paranoia… the what if… Where all have we been recently? Who have we been in contact with? Would they completely shut down the outpatient clinic if we are positive and make it all remote, where everyone has to do it through Zoom? Not everyone has internet… not everyone can do that… Have we gotten anyone sick? What if we have? How sick will we get? We have asthma, we are high risk… how bad is it going to get? All these questions keep running through our head and we don’t even know yet what the result to the lab test is.

We don’t have anywhere to go, except the pharmacy (which we can and will do the drive-thru) until Tuesday. So even if we don’t hear back until next week, we should hear something Monday, and they would probably call first thing in the morning, Monday. We do have to go to the pharmacy, though. We only have enough of one of our medications for tomorrow morning, so we need to pick up our meds tomorrow. Plus, our primary care doctor started us on a vitamin supplement that we are constantly testing low for, which we haven’t gotten yet.

We did have to go out today, though. We didn’t go to IOP. We had to go get our Abilify shot, which is once a month. It was a little late, and it usually starts wearing off a little early for us, so we have basically been psychotic for a little bit. We couldn’t not go get it. We had to go. Obviously, we had a mask on, and we did our best to not touch anything, which we have been getting pretty good at, actually. Touching as little as possible. Only our stuff. They had to change it up, though. Usually our doctor gives us the shot, in the clinic we normally go to. This time, we had to go to the psychiatric hospital they are affiliated with and have one of the doctors there administer the shot. Then we had 10 minutes before our appointment with our psychiatrist… so we basically left one parking lot and moved to another, because you aren’t allowed to smoke on hospital property. And we met with our psychiatrist over Google Meet, on our phone, sitting in our car. It wasn’t too weird because we’ve been doing video appointments with our individual therapist for a few weeks now. The weirdness we having the appointment be with our psychiatrist instead, and having it be in our car. We didn’t have time to get home after the shot. Ten minutes wouldn’t have been enough.

With the shot wearing off early each month, the demons come back. This month, though, they really came back. We could hardly focus on anything the past few days. We can form words when they aren’t as loud, but when they are right next to us, screaming, we can’t even really form a full sentence. We were talking to our mother earlier, and she got frustrated with us because we couldn’t get out what we were trying to say. We couldn’t focus enough to figure out the words. Add to that, we tend to look at them when they are moving a lot. We try to not look, but it is really, really hard. Try not looking when something moves all of a sudden in your peripheral vision. Your instincts tell you something is going to attack you, and you look. It’s the same thing. They move all of a sudden, and we can’t help it. Then there’s the breathing and the touching. When we get really psychotic, they breathe on our neck and grab our arms and wrists.

We can’t tell if getting the shot today is helping yet or not. We took one of our PRNs before going in to both appointments and it’s probably still having a bit of an effect. We couldn’t have two different psychiatrist (three, actually; our psychiatrist has to consult with the attending psychiatrist and then we see both briefly) see us completely psychotic. If we hadn’t been able to form sentences with the doctor giving us the shot or our doctor, we would not be able to write this right now. We would have been admitted. They would not have given us a choice. Especially with the kinds of things that the demons have been and are saying… They are calling us names again, and giving commands. Bad commands. Self harm and suicide kind of things. We’re okay for now. If we made it all the way to the shot without doing anything, we can make it until the shot kicks in. Just a few more days…

Hopefully, by the time we go back to IOP on Tuesday, the psychosis is a lot better. And hopefully we hear about the COVID test tomorrow. We don’t want to have to sit in the worry and paranoid thoughts all weekend. We just want to know what it says.

Well, that is all, for now. If you got this far, you are our hero! Thanks for reading, and see you next time.

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