In everyone's life, a little rain must fall.

I've never been one to subscribe to a lot of the psychoanalysis I see around me in the world, or on TV. I've always had a limited view as the problems of the mind as I don't feel I could ever have them, I believe no one can. That doesn't mean I don't think they exist, I just think that since you can't see it, like a wound or a broken arm, it doesn't exist. I'm that way about most things. I'm not a spiritual guy either. I love science. I love math and physics and geology and history. Things that have happened or can be proved are much more interesting to me than things you can't see, touch, prove with 100% certainty or measure with any instrument. It's a fault of my own, a limited view of the world that resembles a child first discovering his hand more than an adult emotional and psychological understanding of his environment.

So when Mrs. Austin started talking about PPD (Post Partum Depression) I did the same thing I do with everything like this, I wait until something comes out of it. Now before you all call Social Services, I did not ignore her, or think she was faking it, or anything of the sort. I just had no frame of reference on how to help her. On one side she loves her new child, on the other side she's having thoughts about hurting herself.

I'm also a strong believer in the ideal that you treat everyone as you would want to be treated. If I came across a paraplegic or someone with horrible burns on their face, I do my best to treat them just like everyone else. I would take extra actions like opening doors or helping across streets, but I wouldn't either stare or over compensate by treating them specially. I feel, and again I can sense the dander of you readers starting to get up, that to overcompensate is to call undue attention to someone who may not want it, but to stare is to be mean. If I was somehow, alternately challenged, I would want only the special treatment that allowed me to get by, nothing more. I wouldn't want to be coddled or doted over like an infant. I'm a human being, they are human beings, so treat them like human beings, not pets. Yes they deserve a modicum of sympathy, but don't be gushing imbeciles.

This leads me to Mrs. Austin's current state. I want to be the person who is strong, stable and doesn't treat her like she's got a problem. At the same time, I have to watch over her 24/7 for signs that things are getting worse. I don't mean to make my problem with her problem a big thing, because it's not. Whatever inconvenience or resentment I have pales to what she's going through. For 2 months she's been telling people she's had a problem, now people are starting to listen and she's trying to put on a brave face and say that it's not that bad.

Last night, after a few calls from her doctor, we made a visit to the ER at St. David's. Her OB said she needed immediate help and that the ER people would be able to find someone that could see her. So we're thinking a psychiatrist or at the very least a therapist. After 3 hours of waiting in triage (that's important, because we saw a lot of kids with head wounds and old ladies with drug overdoses come in) we were finally seen and sent to a room. We waited in this new room, with Pilgrim, for another hour before someone finally came and saw us. The guy who came first was a tech to get Mrs. A's blood pressure. Then they asked her to put a gown on. At this point I didn't think they had read her chart properly. We were still unsure why we were there. The blood pressure guy, we'll call him Martin, proceeded to basically hit on my wife with stories of the myriad alcohol bottles he had at home, unopened, for times he had a date. Ok then. Another RN or RN Assistant asked some questions and said a social worker was in that night and would come and talk to us. Mr. Hippie Social Worker finally comes and talks to Mrs. A and I take Pilgrim for a walk. After some time he comes out and talks to me.

Before we go on, for those that don't know, Mrs. Austin is already taking something for depression along with a host of other medicines for headaches and a thyroid problem. All of these are limited to a breast-feeding person, she can basically take these or nothing. The last major incident was during one of her bad headaches, and she doesn't remember what happened. Let's just say it was bad, hence the concern.

So when the Hippie Social Worker talks to me, it's basically to say that a few incidents were traumatic and worrisome enough to warrant some immediate attention. It's at this point I thought, "Isn't that what we're doing?" Oh no. We waited four hours for someone to give us a list of places we can go. This is after the OB told us to go to the ER immediately.

We take the list, get home at 11 pm and decide to take the next day off. Pilgrim and LMA had problems all night and no one got sleep. It's enough to make someone, well, crazy. Our day off was spent calling places that could see Mrs. A today. The urgent need still pervasive, we found an emergency psychiatric clinic. They took walk-ins and our insurance. So our day off was spent looking at a waiting room full of the finest mentally challenged residents Austin has to offer.

We left after 2 hours.

Mrs. A finally used her company-sponsored programs to land an actual appointment with someone. Not an entrance exam, not a questionnaire, not a pass through or an evaluation, an appointment.

It's not enough for someone to say you have a problem. If they don't offer much of a solution, just saying you have a problem causes more problems. I'm proud of her for admitting she has a problem and coming forward. I'll do what I can to help. I hope the people around us understand us enough to let us do what we can to get through this. Waiting in an ER while the bleeding and overdosed are carted passed you, or waiting at PES while a guy with a towel in which we think he was carrying a squirrel heart, is not the way to get better. It's just a way to make you scared to be that way.

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