They tried to make me go to rehab, but I said…

The MRI and the MRA came back absolutely normal, to my extreme distress. I was really hoping they would show some big dramatic thing the neurologist could work off of, but no. She has admitted her failure and now wants to send me to a headache clinic. She says that until I get off the morphine, they won’t be able to see whether any other medication they try really works or not. But when I come off the morphine, regardless, I won’t be able to function for awhile because I’ll be both in headache pain and in withdrawal misery. In a headache clinic, they get you off all your drugs — like in rehab, even with counseling and stuff — and then try to determine the best and least invasive, least chemical-enhanced treatment to reduce the pain and keep you functioning.

Sounds good to me — if the insurance company will allow it. I don’t want to be on morphine forever either. Long-term use of opiates, so they say, will eventually make me stupid, unmotivated and inattentive as well as addicted. There’s a headache clinic in Cleveland with a three-week program. If I go to that one I’ll bring a copy of The Warsaw Ghetto: A Guide to the Perished City from the library. It looks fascinating and I’ve made a goal to read it this year, and it’s 936 pages of eight-point print. Perfect book to bring to rehab. Aside from morphine, the best way to deal with my headaches is to distract myself with some conversation or intellectually stimulating reading, and that book looks like a good exercise for my brain.

My anxiety and melancholy over the last several weeks has become obvious to everyone by now. We have to keep a journal for political science where we find political topics from the news and in books and stuff and write what we think about them. My professor was so disturbed by some of the content of my entries that he took them to the campus psychologist. He didn’t mention my name, but I’m already seeing her and she recognized my writings from some of the stuff I said to her, and some things I quoted in both the journal and in therapy sessions. In one journal entry I wrote about the sorry state of the world today and how some days I felt like shooting myself just to get it over with, and in another I said I saw no future for myself or for anyone else. I suppose I was foolish to write those things where someone else could read them.

Anyway, Dr. A asked the psychologist, if, in her professional opinion, was I crazy or suicidal or what. She replied in the negative, and didn’t say I was seeing her because that would violate the privacy laws or something. At least he cares, anyway, and didn’t immediately call 911 and have me kidnapped and thrown in the loony bin without due process, which has happened to me before for saying much less. Today he gave me the psychologist’s card, mumbling something about how maybe she could teach me relaxation techniques to deal with the headaches. He’s a good man. I don’t know whether telling him flat-out that everything that should be done (depression-wise) is being done, would make him feel better, or just make him worry more since that means everything that should be done is not working terribly well.

24 thoughts on “They tried to make me go to rehab, but I said…

  1. Laura Brown February 8, 2011 / 5:33 pm

    If you are comfortable telling him, then I think you should. He’s probably very worried about the possibility that you might harm yourself or others. People are a lot more familiar with depression these days than they used to be, and if he knows you are getting treatment, I think it will put his mind at ease.

  2. amy February 8, 2011 / 6:48 pm

    I would opt to tell him too if you feel comfortable. As a teacher, I feel I can sometimes understand my students better if I know what is up.

    I’m sending you all the positive karma I can, chica. I know this has been very rough on you. As for the Warsaw Ghetto book- if it’s a 3 week trial up there, you may want to take more than one book with you..since you eat them. Not that it’s a bad thing…but you might want a backup book in case you finish it!

  3. marycarney February 8, 2011 / 7:16 pm

    Can I make a suggestion as someone from the outside of your life? As a nurse, I have thought about your case long and hard, and here it is for what it’s worth- could you cut yourself off for a period of time from all the depressing stuff you deal with on a day-to-day basis? I mean the reading about the Holocaust, the missing persons and all the associated real-life horror that goes along with it.
    I know that when I have dealt with depression, time away from my true-crime and missing persons ‘hobbies’ has done me a world of good. I figure, you’ve tried everything else, it might be worth a shot…….

    • Meaghan February 9, 2011 / 1:01 am

      My Holocaust/MP etc stuff actually does not depress me. In fact I find those subjects intensely interesting and they are much more likely to get me out of a black mood than into one. It’s difficult for me to explain — just that, particularly with the Holocaust, I find such amazing stories that I can turn around and around in my head for days, carefully studying each facet, as if it was a diamond. If you want I could share some and maybe you’d see what I meant, or maybe not.

      Certain topics DO depress me, however, and one of them is all the hatred and ignorance and spite and asshatery that goes along with modern politics and political issues such as the health care bill, immigration, terrorism, gun control, etc. I have to write a research paper on that very topic for the poly-sci class and Samantha the psychologist wonders if this is going to be all that great for my mental health. She was asking me how I was going to avoid slipping into melancholy while buried in such dreck and writing about it.

  4. Wendy Boothby February 8, 2011 / 8:42 pm

    I agree with marycarney. Maybe if you backed off the sad stuff for awhile it might help. Have you been to a chiropractor yet? I know when my neck is out, I have horrible headaches. Just a thought.

    • Meaghan February 9, 2011 / 1:08 am

      Not been to a chiropratctor. I don’t think it’s my neck. I never get pain in that area, always in the top or upper sides of my head.

      • Laura Brown February 9, 2011 / 3:47 am

        If there *were* a problem with your neck, you would be better off going to a real doctor, and not someone following a 19th-century quack who claimed the spirits of the dead taught him to use his “magnetic hands” to heal people.

        (*Sits back and waits for the Chiropractic Association to sue me*)

      • Meaghan February 9, 2011 / 7:54 am

        I think chiropractors can provide relief for back pain, but some people think they are the answer to any medical problem which they most certainly are not. My mom’s neighbor went to see one for a sinus problem, for crying out loud. (Incidentally, the neighbor at 56 is now dying of kidney failure. Hmm. Did she ask the chiropractor to cure her kidneys too?)

  5. dede February 8, 2011 / 9:45 pm

    MY goodness!
    i did’nt have a cclue you were going throigh all, this.
    I will lift you in PRAYER and hoping you get wwell soonb.

  6. dede February 8, 2011 / 9:46 pm


  7. Justin February 9, 2011 / 1:07 am

    Do what you have to do to get yourself better.

    I have a favorite book that I read when I need to escape into some fantasy that doesn’t leave me depressed. I’ve worn out two copies, missplaced some others and one I loaned out and never got back. It is “The Bridge of Birds: a Novel of an Ancient China That Never Was” by Barry Hughart. You can find it on at

    I don’t know if that is your cup of tea, but I’ve loved it for over 20 years.

  8. Princess Shantae February 9, 2011 / 8:27 am

    I agree with Mary about maybe cutting back from the holocaust and mp stuff. You can be fascinated with something and still have it depress you, and you wouldn’t realy know it was depressing you b/c you would still be interested in it. Wouldn’t hurt to give it a break and try something else and see how you felt that way.
    There was some trouble with a chiropractor in Maryland last year. He was touching patients inapprorpiately, men and women both, and giving pelvic and prostate exams. Which is bad and he had no business doing it, but his patients allowed him to do those things and kept coming back.
    One guy got a prostate exam from this chiropractor b/c he’d been diagnosed with cancer and his regular doctor said he should get a second opinion. So he goes to the chiro for that?
    My dad says you never take your clothes off for a chiro, he can work on your back through your clothes just fine. And these fools were getting totally naked for this chiro.
    Looks to me like there was plenty of stupidness to go around.

    • Meaghan February 9, 2011 / 10:32 am

      I’m very sure my Holocaust reading does not cause depression in me, because about two years ago, for two weeks I conducted a scientific experiment. I assigned a 1 to 10 rating to the books I read for sadness and interestingness, and as I read them I evaluated my mood 1 to 10 for sadness. I even had a “control” day where I read nothing. Based on those two weeks, I determined that the sadness or happiness of my books had no affect whatsoever on my mood. But if a book was boring or just badly written, it could put me into a funk.

      During the course of my experiment I read, among other books, The True Story of Hansel and Gretel which is unusually grim, even for me. It’s a novel set in a rural Polish village during the Holocaust and includes the rape of child, the mutilation of several other children, and graphic descriptions of: several shootings, a double hanging, and an old woman being gassed at Auschwitz and the cremation of her body. And that’s just what I can remember off the top of my head. And the day that I read that book I was remarkably cheerful, because it was an incredible story, beautifully written, and it became one of my favorite books of all time.

    • Meaghan February 14, 2011 / 12:55 pm

      Current Ohio State University library books headed my way from Columbus:

      Shakespeare’s London on Five Groats a Day (a history book that’s designed like a travel guide)
      Bread and Dew (a book of children’s stories about Moldova, for my around the world challenge)
      Legal Executions in the Western Territories, 1847-1911
      The People’s Lawyer (about an American lawyer who did voluntary service in the South Pacific island nation of Tuvalu and was knocked flat by the culture shock, for my around the world challenge)
      Tree of Forgetfulness (book about the slave trade and maroon communities in Suriname, for my around the world challenge, though I would like to find a better Suriname book)
      A Stranger’s Supper: An Oral History Of Centenarian Women in Montenegro (for my around the world challenge)
      Red Shadow: A Physician’s Memoir of the Soviet Occupation of Eastern Poland, 1944-1956 (already read the same guy’s WW2 diary and it was quite good)
      Ruth Maier’s Diary: A Young Girl’s Life Under Nazism (Holocaust diary, it appears that she died but I know nothing else about her)

      This is a fairly typical set of Meaghan reading this year. Last year I read more novels. This year one of my goals is to finish my around the world challenge so I’ve been getting a lot of those, trying to get it over with. I’ve got Slovenia and Ecuador in my bag right now, and Burkina Faso at my left hand. I have only about 55 countries left to cover.

  9. humbled_observer February 9, 2011 / 8:39 am

    is it possible you have something like ‘atypical trigeminal neuralgia’?
    there’s an extremely painful condition (some experts say THE most painful condidtion known to man) called trigeminal neuralgia which deals with facial pain which doesn’t sound like your problem, but the atypical version sounds a little bit like the pain you are experiencing. it’s kind of rare i think…just a thought….
    it SUCKS to suffer with no relief in sight. hang in there. i’m sure all your fans are praying for you. i know i am.

  10. Jaime February 9, 2011 / 9:02 am

    I hope you find relief. Have you read the Rape of Europa it is a good non fiction boolk dealing with the Nazis. If u do go to the rehab clinic this book is long and enlightening. Have u also tried to go to the Cleveland Clinic to see their world renowned specialists. Try taking a vacation to a warmer climate maybe it will lift your mood. Maybe do something different from your routine take a walk, volunteer somewhere, or try learning a new skill that u r interested in. If your headaches are being caused by your depression and all the other negative things that have happend over the years maybe varying your routine and trying to do something different may help. Also I would give your teacher some relief he is obviously worried about you. If u r okay with that.

    • Meaghan February 9, 2011 / 9:13 am

      I would love to take a vacation — I would like to back to Washington DC and take the vacation I was going to have, but for Rollo — but I have not the money for it.

      I may end up going to the Cleveland Clinic. It’s on my insurance plan.

      • Jaime February 9, 2011 / 12:14 pm

        Good luck I hope things improve in the near future.

  11. Candice February 10, 2011 / 6:59 am

    I really hope things get better for you.

  12. Kelly February 12, 2011 / 11:03 pm

    Hey Meaghan!

    Have not posted here for a while, (being sick keeps me from doing much of anything, darnit) am on the mend (again) and am trying to get caught up on what is going on with you.

    First off, I agree, I do not think your website is causing you any of your symptoms, if anything, I think it probably provides you with an outlet for your ability to research and use your noggin and skill as a writer. You know how I feel about your site and your blog; you amaze me! 🙂

    Second, have you considered you may be suffering from PTSD? You certainly meet the criteria hon. I know you have suffered from depression for quite some time, and I know you have been addressing that as well with therapy and meds, but you really seemed to almost take what happened to you in stride, which worried me then. Please talk to your therapist about this, hey, it can’t hurt!

    Lastly, as to humbled observers observation regarding trigeminal neuralgia; a very close friend of mine suffered from it for about a year, it was horrifying pain for him, he had surgery last year and is doing wonderfully now. His pain was all in his jaw and brought him to tears many times. He is a rough & tough former cop who works for the Defense Dept now and I was stunned when I saw the pain he was in. I think humbled observer also makes a great point and you should check and see if perhaps this is your prob.

    I’m all for admitting you to the hospital for observation & additional testing, both medical and psychological. See if your PCP can look into this to determine what can be done. You are too darn young to be suffering as you are.

    I am so sorry for what you are going through-you have always been a strong young lady and I have faith you will persevere.

    Email me if you need anything.

    • Meaghan February 14, 2011 / 12:59 pm

      I will email you with some things. I have not the time to do it now. Maybe later today.

  13. Kent February 13, 2011 / 9:08 pm

    Dear Miss Megan,
    I don’t know how important readings and college assignments are to one’s mental health and outlook on life.
    I will say with absolute certainty that this missing people stuff involves serious levels of human darkness. Sometimes I read one of these accounts and it takes me awhile to feel right again- and I’m no fallen-off-the-turnip-truck, spring chicken.
    Cognitively, one can comprehend the value of such an endeavor and of these efforts- useful and fascinating. But, humans do not usually find peace and happiness based upon only intellectual pursuits. Humans are complex beings who can be adversely affected by dealing with ugly and disturbing realities, even when they are trying (and able) to improve the ugly and disturbing realities.
    Cops for example, who perform an important public service, also have one of the highest rates of alcoholism when compared to other professions/occupations. The awfulness somehow rubs off on them.
    I guess what I am trying to say is that there is still tremendous beauty and magic in the world that it would do you good to experience. For me, sometimes it’s a butterfly flitting around my yard or the indescribable glow of sunlight on the trees and grass just before sunset-always eases my mind. The point is, I have to look for the beauty. The more I look, the more I can see. The effort is always helpful and worthwhile.
    I’m going to have to side with marycarney and some of the others who say the missing person stuff is maybe not so good for your health.
    I will wish for you to find peace and happiness and beauty.

  14. Kent February 13, 2011 / 9:09 pm

    Very sorry about my laspe in spelling- Meaghan.

  15. karol ferris February 14, 2011 / 9:53 pm

    hi megan. i’ve commented before on your blog, and i’m glad to know that nothing showed up on your tests. i understand that this destresses you, because it’s the not knowing that is the worst. if they are taking you off morphene, what about metnadone; and then slowly withdrawing it from you. i was addicted to pain killers for 10 years. decided i didn’t want to be , and a pain doctor put me on meth; one tablet a day, and i finally went cold turkey 15 days later. it was a stupid thing to do, i was told i could have had a stroke, but i was lucky. the next 3 months were living hell. i won’t ever go thru that again. just wondering if you’ve been to different doctors to find out if there could be something else causing these headaches. we have the best doctors here in san diego at scrips la jolla. hope you get some answers soon. don’t give up.

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