Monday, December 12, 2011

Parallels Between the Head Pain Unit and the Pysch Ward

As I've been hospitalized for my migraine, I've realized there are many parallels between an inpatient head pain unit and an inpatient psychiatric unit. For a year and a half, I had the joy of working at a psychiatric hospital where I used music to address treatment goals such as coping skills, social skills, reality orientation, and leisure skills. It has been a humbling experience on the head pain unit to realize that the same skills I taught my patients are the same skills that I have not been and need to incorporate into my life (mostly talking about coping skills. I'd like to think I'm oriented to reality).

In a Head Pain and Psyc Unit...
Patients go to classes on coping skills
Patients do crafts for distraction
Patients take the same medications  (anti-depressants and anti-seizure among many others are used off-label for migraine)
Patients meet with a treatment team (and the patient often feels differently than what the team recommends)
Patients are drugged and in a fog
Patients' conversations and interactions are very entertaining to outsiders (either due to drugs and spacey-ness side effects or mental illness)
Staff heavily validate patients' feelings and past experiences
Patients do yoga for relaxation
Patients participate in mindfulness class
Staff take patients for walks outside
Patients are excited to get discharged and get back home, yet anxious about leaving the safety and comfort of the treatment program.

I'm getting discharged today!
The plan is to leave for Iowa today and stay with friends, and then continue home on Tuesday.
Please continue to pray for my recovery and health. This journey has just begun.

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