To whomever is reading:
Where to begin?
My wife had an abundantly easy pregnancy and birth experience. Everything seemed too simple. I felt (and probably was) more concerned about the birth than she was (her tolerance of the pain, how would she do, etc.). We had a healthy baby boy, May 8. My wife was doing great at home. Baby had some struggles latching, I would stay up and encourage her, she would pump to make sure he could eat and I would feed him the bottle from the last pumping, and the lack of sleep definitely began to get to her, but any signs I picked up on were probably too late. She had said she felt numb one night while we were out eating, but I foolishly got her to stop thinking about it. I didn't know what was going on. I would search online for help and wasn't finding a lot. We both called her OBGYN who prescribed an antidepressant over the phone and made an appointment for Monday, June 3. I never had a chance to pick it up (this was Tuesday, May 28).
We had a "perfect storm" of events leading up to her episode with PPP at home. Her parents were coming for a week and my wife is a perfectionist wanting the house to look nice, I was going away for work for an overnight (May 31-June 1), we would be missing her brothers wedding across the country (June 1), my mom was going to surgery to test for a re-occurrence of cancer, and one of my sisters was leaving to take a job in the central US. All of this led to the early hours of Friday, May 31. From about 2-4:30 am she had no recollection of who I was, thinking I was God or that He was speaking through me. Keep in mind, we ARE very religious people. I am on the Leadership staff at my church, we read the Bible and pray daily. I was able to calm her down and eventually sleep. She was doing better in the AM. I had at this point my mother over taking care of the baby and Friday night she was speaking very deliberately, wanted me to read the Bible to her, but it had to be simple passages. She called her sister who is an RN (mind you her entire family is at a rehearsal dinner for her younger brother), she told me to take her to the ER. I did. We were there overnight, but not admitted. They gave her ativan through IV, but she was very confused while we were there. After the ativan, she slept and was fine on Saturday. She was happy to be on the way home, and I thought she was better. They gave a prescription for Lunestra (sp?) but she'd have to stop breastfeeding and she didn't want to, however, we did decide then that we would start supplementing in the evenings so she can stay asleep. Saturday evening she had a benadryl to help her sleep, and she did for 10 hours and was good in the AM. Then Sunday afternoon came. She was doing better, but I was scheduled to preach in the service and she wished she could come, but she was still so tired she stayed home with my sister and mom to watch the service. When I got home, she told me God spoke to her through my message (being a Christian, this isn't a rare thing to say, but I knew she was speaking unusually about it). She slept hardly at all that night, confused about who I was, and what was going on. Her parents arrived at our house at 12:30 Monday morning. Monday I tried to feed her, she ate some. I tried to get her ready, and she wouldn't have any of it. After getting her in the shower and getting her dressed, she was in more of a dazed status. She stayed that way to the OBGYN who suggested we head to a hospital further away for their Psych unit. We did, she was unresponsive there. Would walk while holding my hand, but slumped while seating. She kept then saying she was confused. They cleared her medically, went to give a catheter, and she did NOT want that done. 7 people came in the room to help hold her down, and I was holding her hand and her head. I've never experienced my sweet, quiet wife, in this state. We walked to the Psych unit and she was able to communicate some, but still confused as to what was going on. She asked for water, and deliberately crushed the Styrofoam cup and water went everywhere. She was admitted that evening at 11 PM although she was able to answer the questions the nurse was asking. She was afraid of some of the patients, but that isn't unlike her. We have a healthy marriage and are always together when we can be. She's not the adventurous type. We left and she was OK with that.
We received permission to see her twice, not just once during normal visiting hours, since her family was from out of town. Mistake! We were with her, she was confused still as to why she wasn't with us all day. She kept saying time is either fast or slow. She had a hard time with us leaving at noon, Tuesday. That evening, we came and when the nurse went in to let her know we were there, she had a big episode, hospital called a code green and she had to be restrained through the evening. We were there, hearing her cry out for help, and yet helpless and powerless to do anything. Hardest experience of my life. We came home to my baby boy and my parents. I held him as her stirred, then he cried because he was hungry and I lost it too. What has happened to my wife? I just wanted her back. I would have given anything.
She slept through the night and was good most of Wednesday AM, she even called me! Had another anxiety attack, but not near as bad that morning and the Dr. recommended we not come visit. We didn't. Hard thing to do. Thursday she was doing better, but doctor still recommended we not see her. However, she called, and how could I not visit my wife when she was asking for me? I did and we had a great visit. She told me where to find clothes I forgot to grab for her. what drawer, where in the drawer. I felt she was turning the corner. I even got to tuck her in! Friday, I was told she was quoting Bible verses to patients (to me this is good, that she is remembering them) and they redirected her to what she was working on. We are religious, but we do trust God gave doctors wisdom to create medicines to help. We aren't "those types of people." I came to visit and she kept saying she just wants to go home and be with me and our son. A recurring theme when she and I talk is that "I'm confused. Everything seems opposite here." I always reassure her she is where she needs to be and they all just want to help her. Then she begins to talk about my day, how our son is doing, how some of our family is doing. She went to bed after visiting hours. She called me an hour after I left telling me she loved me and she just wanted to come home with me.
Then, weekend staff arrived, and I'm sure they are unsure of her story. They told me she was "out of it." I attributed it to tiredness, which was probably the case since she called me pretty shortly thereafter to talk. They told me this afternoon when I called that she was still confused.
I consistently reassure her she is where she can get help. My struggle is, I just want timetables and I know it is different with everyone, but I can't find stories too similar to my wife that give me light at the end of this dark tunnel. It has been 4.5 days and I just want my snuggle bug back.
Update 6/15: Well, it is now a week later after I typed this. What a week of ups an downs. They were looking at discharging my wife yesterday, but decided not to after she had an "incident" on Wednesday the 12th. She went outside for only the 2nd time since she's been there. Every outside break is really a smoke break for the patients. She "climbed" a half wall (more like pulled herself up) to sit on it to get away from the smoke. When asked why she had done that, she forgot, but then remembered it was to get away from the smoke. They took this as a concern and wanted her to stay the weekend. Great. Now I missed my birthday and here comes Father's Day too.
And now it's Saturday. I love the weekend doctor. She has reassured me that even though my wife is having a rough day, Monday is still the goal for discharge. There are ups and downs in this fight, and really in any instance, but boy are they magnified for me. I can't wait for visiting hours tonight to see how she is doing. I am praying that she improves as the day goes on and I can get her home Monday. It seems at this point that the familiarity of home and me will help her sleep and eat better. I know she is where she needs to be, but I am definitely ready for her to be home. If they do not discharge Monday, I will have her write her 72 hour notice letter. This is so much to bear. I just need my wife back.