Up until this particular time I had been using King County Crisis hotline to help control my bouts of hysteria. Although I was not suicidal, as I said before, I would fall into these uncontrollable bouts so that whomever answered at the hotline would talk me down. The people who handle those lines are amazing. What they have to listen to must be difficult, as bad as what the 911 operators hear, I’ll bet. They were always kind and understanding.
Remembering back, again, I cannot believe how many people I was telling my story to. And none of them seemed to doubt it either. From the Puget Sound Crisis Center staff, to the crisis hotline, they all listened and must have been horrified, too, to hear that a doctor would do this to a patient.
But that one particular day hysterically crying and circling State Street and Kennebeck in my truck was even more over the top. Usually my hysteria was kept to myself, privately in my home or on the phone with the crisis hotline. That is why this time I called my sister instead. Her telling me to meet her at Valley Medical Hospital was smart. And meeting her and my mom there, after not having been given any post Ambien related medical treatment, finally I was getting it.
The antidote, of course = more prescription drugs.
At Valley Medical Hospital, though, while sobbing out the whole story as I saw it, officially I became addicted to prescriptions. It did not take long for the Ativan to settle me down, maybe about a half an hour. It worked! Emergency over, family relieved, we all went home to our respective houses. My sister’s a few blocks one way, my mother’s just a few more blocks the other way. And I’m hooked.
Once home I realized I needed to continue receiving the Ativan if I was going to manage. Now, more than ever, I’d need to find myself a new doctor. So I did.
My new doctor was great and kind, and I told him the whole story, too, of what Dr. Sargent had done to me and of what Multicare was doing. I told him about their calling me into court on false pretenses, and how much that was stressing me out. At his clinic they provided free coping and stress relief classes, he said, by a nice man named Jim. Right away I signed up to meet with Jim, and he was great, just like Dr. Heffner said he would be. Jim helped me to understand the dichotomy of an anxiety attack, how long to expect it to last, and assured me that if during the hearing I began having one I should feel assured nobody would notice and any onlooker would believe my hesitation was just that I was thinking. I think he said I should count to 15 (or something like that), and by the time I did I would find myself settling down. So that is how I managed the hearings.