Friday, January 26, 2007

My Planned Nervous Breakdown


Now I'm done thinking about the whole issue of who should get care, how, where, and by whom. Tired of ranting.

Okay, so I got this e-mail from ClinkShrink. She says that if I need to be psychiatrically hospitalized, The Retreat is out for me, apparently Rock Climbing is part of the package. As part of my blurred blog/real life dimensional problems, I tried wall climbing a few months back after Shiny Happy Person (of Trick-Cycling for Beginners) posted about the wonder of it. I couldn't get to the first foot-hold. I stood there, unable to lift myself, wondering why I'd want to do this anyway. My twelve-year-old daughter, who was kind enough to accompany me, scrambled to the top. Repeatedly. Clink ended her email by offering to be my roommate if I needed inpatient care. How sweet to have such a devoted friend. And if that doesn't make me feel fuzzy enough, Roy sent me Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart performing Muffin Man. How good does life get?

So, I wasn't planning on The Retreat, at $1700/day, or any other inpatient psychiatric facility, for that matter. I realize, of course, that there are some aspects of life that one doesn't plan and that aren't under our control, but there are a limited number of things I can worry about, so I was going to leave this off the list. ClinkShrink got me thinking though: If I do ever need an intensive level of psychiatric care, what am I going to do.

I've decided to plan my own, luxury-laden, cost effective nervous breakdown:

I'd much sooner check into a nice hotel at $?400/day (+room service, with chocolate turndown service) and have daily outpatient sessions with a psychiatrist, thereby wasting resources by using a psychiatrist when a cheaper psychotherapist might do or, if I needed meds, efficiently combining my psychotherapy with med management which actually would be saving resources.

Financially, if we could keep me from shopping during this endeavor, it could be both more luxurious and much cheaper than The Retreat, figure roughly $550/day-- not bad for a feather bed, color tv, private bath, feather bed, turn down chocolates, and daily 50 minute sessions with a psychiatrist rather then a fresh-out-of-school social worker or any other mental health care professional assigned to me by a hospital unit in a setting where I wouldn't have any choice to have a shrink with a certain type of training (I want a blogging one who can identify...) or worry about things such as patient-doctor chemistry-- a doc I'd like and feel comfortable talking to.

Okay, okay, my $550/day rate doesn't count food, but:
I could probably be happy even with much cheaper Chinese delivery as opposed to expensive room service menu and many nice hotels are less than $40/day, the Ritz Carlton in Philly has (I think) a $200/night for the weekend special rate, (though the eggs benedict via room service is hefty) and for an extra fee, they'll come draw you a bubble bath with candles and champagne. We won't talk about how I know these things, but trust me, there are better places to hang out if you're looking for R & R and getting away from it all, then in a psychiatric hospital.

It might be hard to pair the hotel setting with the top-notch shrink physically, especially since I was thinking of having my breakdown at the Eastern Shore Marriott resort (good rates, beautiful rooms & setting, but no psychiatrists out there), or to find someone with 5 open hours a week waiting to be filled.

I once knew someone who called me because his wife was in the midst of a horrible, clearly in need of hospitalization, depressive episode, and I arranged for her to talk with and be admitted to Top Mood Doc's Unit in Great Hospital in Baltimore (Thanks to Fat Doctor for teaching me how to name people & places). They were even going to meet her at her car and walk her up. Ah, instead the couple hired a private duty round-the-clock nurse and took her to a private psychiatrist.

Wonder if I throw the private duty nurse into the hotel scenario, if that would still exceed the $1700/day cost?

Okay, tongue-in-cheek, of course. People in need of hospitalization for a mood disorder are not able to enjoy or benefit from eggs benedict, bubble baths, or feather beds, and my post here isn't meant to demean anyone's suffering. If, however, you're overwhelmed, stressed out, on the edge, but not actually in the midst of a major depressive episode, there are better and cheaper places to regain your composure then on a psychiatric unit, any psychiatric unit. But if I do go, I want Clink to be my roommate. Hoping that sharing a room with husband, children and Max doesn't bother her.