Archive for a&e

guess what? I’m not a robot…

Posted in depression, mental health, mental illness, self harm with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 01/06/2015 by doyourememberthattime

it has been a bleak weekend

there are reasons

and

no reasons.

 

predictably, when I couldn’t decipher my mind

I turned to my scalpel for answers

you know the rest.

 

perhaps the break made me clumsy

or

thirsty

in any case I made a tad too much mess.

 

with no option, but A&E to stem the blood flow

i wrapped my arm in a towel

and

mustered as much calm sanity as I could 

 

my local hospital has undergone quite the transformation

a swanky new uber hospital has sprung up in place of its crumbling victorian predecessor

within its walls the attitudes were more in tune with its origins.

 

The dr I saw was pleasant, he didn’t say much, but everything he was accompanied by a smile

this disarmed me a little

i wasn’t prepared for him to be a dick

he worked at speed that belied any concern for me

his method could only be described as slap dash

he did administer local anaesthetic

just not enough to actually prevent pain

a small part in the centre of each cut was numbed

the rest, I felt.

 

he closed the largest (10cm) gash with four stitches

I had cut clear through the fatty tissues

causing the resulting wound to gape alarmingly

obviously, I am not a professional

but

i have had less serious injuries closed with both internal & external sutures.

this time the dr just yanked together the edges (with some difficulty)

unsurprisingly the stitches had burst 10hrs later.

 

i didn’t challenge him

i just sat there

apart from wincing when the initial stitch went in

i didn’t say anything at all

 

i sat there and let him stitch two deep cuts without proper anaesthetic or care.

 

at the time i just wanted to get home.

later it occurred to me that the way I was treated probably wasn’t ok

i wondered why I didn’t request more local

or 

enquire about his technique.

the only answer I could summon was that I didn’t think I had the right to ask for better

for all my campaigning, 

in that moment my usually vocal defence of my rights was silenced.

it felt that pain relief for me, was a luxury rather than a necessity

the shame is so ingrained.

 

the voice in my head that tells me I deserve the pain is strong

the part of me that shrieks that I’m worthless

 renders me compliant

content to take whatever semblance of treatment is given.

 

afterwards, when these thoughts started to emerge

i even questioned my right to question

 

every day, i fight the thought that I’m nothing

i battle to recreate a life

i push myself to do terrifying things

partly to make me feel like a person who is capable of succeeding

and

partly to stop this shit happening to other people.

but

the truth is

no matter how many people I present to

or

how much they pay me

 

regardless of how better everyone thinks i am

or 

how many days pass without cutting

it still only takes one bad day

and

one cruel person

for it all to come crumbling down.

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thankful so thankful…..

Posted in chronic illness, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 08/02/2014 by doyourememberthattime

My body has been up to no good again.
This time it has decided it does not want to eat.
It feels like there is something stuck in my throat & the centre of my chest.
It’s very painful.
Swallowing is excruciating
And If I try to eat anything, I just throw it up immediately.

This has been going on since Friday.
Its sooo much fun.
I’ve actually experienced these symptoms before
But
They only lasted for a few hours.
This sustained onslaught is severely testing me.

I saw my gp & she was fairly certain that my hiatus hernia was the culprit
She ordered an urgent endoscopy
Changed my anti emetic
Then basically told me I had to just get on with it.

So, I struggled on until various factors landed me in A&E.
As usual that was a carnival of waiting
I had an ECG; it then took almost 5hrs to see the medical dr,
Who was entirely unhelpful.
She took bloods, ordered a chest x-ray
Paid very little attention to what I was saying,
Offered me the same meds that had already failed to have any effect.
Unfortunately this is a familiar theme of my hospital visits.
As soon as I mention my chronic conditions doctors appear to switch off.
The wait & see attitude is pervasive.

What followed was another agonising wait for a surgical consult.
By the time the surgical dr arrived I was no longer coping.
The pain was unbearable
The nausea uncontrollable.
I hadn’t slept for more than a few hours in days
I was so close to breaking point.

Thankfully in walked the most wonderful man.
He actually listened to my whole story,
My long history of acute & chronic conditions were taken on board
And
He proactively treated me.

I was given a strong anti-emetic injection,
Serious pain relief,
A drip to replace fluids & salts
Plus, doubled the dosage on my stomach medications.
I was admitted to a ward & finally got some real rest.

I can’t even explain how grateful I am that someone helped me
My physical health has a huge impact of my mental illness
Obviously being ill gets me down,
But
The entire hospital process raises my anxiety to intolerable levels
The waiting
The staring
The explaining
I feel helpless.
I often begin to wonder if it’s all worth it
Especially, when I come up against medical professionals who really don’t seem to want to help me.

So, I’m grateful.
That someone listened
That someone treated me with respect
That someone made me feel better

Thank you
Thank you
Thank you.

thank you for you pity, you are too kind…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 08/07/2013 by doyourememberthattime

I had a bout of ill health last week & once again found myself lying on a gurney in A&E in considerable pain. This has become a feature of life, one that I have reluctantly come to terms with. With the exception of one thing, I cannot bring myself to accept the constant focus on my self harm. No matter what I present with or how much pain I am, there are always the questions. I am quizzed about my scars by nurses, Drs & auxiliaries alike. The same questions over and over,
Does it hurt?
Why?
How?
How long?
And with the questions come the judgements. I’m told I’m making it harder for anyone to love me, I’m ruining myself, I’m smarter than this, It’s dangerous. My body somehow becomes their property. The paw my scars. Yes, the touch me and are chagrined if I object. The scars blind them. They no longer see a patient. They see a crazy woman. Everything I say is now doubted. Despite my long and well documented medical history, Regardless of the fact I am mostly presenting due to a flare up of an already diagnosed condition, my mental health is called into question. I am asked humiliating question. Have I poisoned myself or hurt myself? How is my mood? Do I need them to call a carer?
I am no longer me. My symptoms are not simply diagnosed and treated. First they must discover if I am just crazy. All the while, I am suffering. The conversation is repeated with each new dry and nurse. Sometimes the cleaners and auxiliaries give their opinions too.
Mostly they branch into two camps. Firstly, the people who pity me. Who think I am some pathetic little girl. They pet me and treat me like a 5yr old. They offer platitudes & some frankly stupid advice. They are desperate to call someone to be responsible for me. They do a lot of touching & exclaiming. They can’t conceive that I am a strong, intelligent adult who is capable of looking after herself. So, they reduce everything I am into sad little bundle & except me to be grateful for their characterisation.
Now, we come to the haters. They think I am a waste of their time. I am stupid, self-indulgent, and stubborn. They grudge treating me, they especially dislike administering pain relief. Obviously if I have self-harmed, I must also a drug seeker. I’ve waited in A&E for hours with pancreatitis with nothing more than paracetamol because some dr objected to me having a history of mental illness. This group can’t separate the psychological from the physical. One must always be in some way linked to other. I have caused this. I am definitely to blame & they spare no time in telling me so. They believe nothing I tell them & never apologise when my records show that everything I have said is accurate. They have indiscrete & unflattering conversation about me. Meaning that other patients can now join in this judgy little game. They say ugly things & when they finally grudgingly have to offer some treatment, they make sure I know that I don’t deserve it.
Occasionally I come across someone who treats with compassion & respect. I am so utterly grateful. I shouldn’t have to be.