Archive for hospital

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.

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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.

can’t run around, ’cause i’m not free….

Posted in depression, mental health, self harm, therapy with tags , , , , , , on 02/03/2012 by doyourememberthattime

increasingly

 i find myself thinking about hospital

 i am terrified of being hospitalised

 i have always felt

that

 if i had to go inpatient

i would have lost 

 

lost the battle

 lost control

lost myself

 

 i do not think i could cope with the reality of a psychiatric ward

 

the practicalities of it

 horrify me

 shared toilets & showers

 sleeping on a ward

 hospital food

 dealing with others all day everyday

 

 but,

 i have coped with those privations

 i’ve had to spend lots of time on medical wards

 i hated it

 i also, survived it.

 

 the emotional impact of a psych admition 

would extract a higher toll

 the concept of not being in

 control

 of my own life

 is too much for me to bare.

 

 the idea that i am entirely incapable

 of functioning

 would destroy me.

 

 i couldn’t deal with being watched

 and evaluated

 submitting to be told

 what i can do

 & when

 would break me

 

 if i had to relinquish that authority

 i.m not sure that i could recover

 

and yet

 i can’t get away from

thoughts of

“the bin”

 

i realise that i take risks

that a stable person would not

 i know that i have impulses 

not conducive to a healthy life

 

does that amount to an

 inability

 to govern myself ?

 

at times i wonder how i have managed to avoid hospital

 i look around me & see people having the option to refuse withdrawn

 individuals that i don’t necessarily consider to be sicker than myself

 sometimes

 even

 those who appear to be much less of a danger to themselves.

 

what is the criteria ?

perhaps i am not that close to the edge

 

 no matter the fear stays with me

 &

 i feel its malevolent presence

can’t you hear me calling, i’m falling…..

Posted in mental health, self harm with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 12/06/2011 by doyourememberthattime

the descent into self harm is frightening

you start so small

&

fall to depths you hadn’t imagined existed.

i began scratching my wrists.

just pulling away the skin with my fingers nails.

tiny little patches of skin.

it was enough to offer some relief

for a little while

soon

i had to draw blood

the entire surface of my wrist became an open sore

i could never allow it to heal

never leave  it alone.

the wounds began to creep up my arm

until wrist to elbow was raw

still very superficial

just enough to bleed, to hurt.

of course the need grows

“enough” doesn’t actually exist.

the problem is

you don’t discover that until it’s too late.

and,

so,

i moved onto knives.

kitchen knives at first

until people started to notice they were missing

until the questions started

then i started to buy my own

cherishing a growing collection under my mattress.

the hoarding commenced

i needed to purchase any knife that appeared useful

i had to keep the blooded rags.

i procured a special wicker box to store morbid collection

by this time i was sawing at my forearm.

just over and over until the blood was sufficient

&

i felt calm.

still not deep

not dangerous

very soon it was not enough.

i can’t remember why the thought occurred,

but

i know where i was when it popped into my head

on a bus, returning from stirling.

RAZOR BLADES

it made my stomach fizz

part fear, part excitement.

and,

so,

when i stepped off that bus i headed straight to boots.

i used standard disposable ladies razors.

the type you’d shave your legs with

no one would wonder why i was buying them

or find their existence in my flat strange.

i’d stockpile.

buying packs in every shop that sold them

&

spend hours on the sofa pulling the razors from their plastic holders.

filling little boxes with shiny, sharp razors

making sure i always had one ready when i might need it.

razors provided a new level of control

i could be precise

they were sharper

i could cut deeper in  a single swipe

i lost a lot more blood

i felt said satisfied

i applied more and more pressure

creating deeper gashes

there was so much blood

it was a huge rush

i felt like everything was washing away in that crimson tide.

the frequency grew

the number of cuts rocketed

i began to run out of space on my arm

i moved to my right forearm,

upper arms,

thighs

i needed fresh skin

i needed an outlet

i needed more.

i cut daily during that period

it lasted a few years.

hiding it was hard

very few people knew

i was sore all the time

i’d make hundreds of cuts every night.

everything hurt

i’d wake stuck to my sheets with dried blood

bathing stung

clothes rubbed and stuck and nipped

but i couldn’t stop

and i couldn’t stand still.

the next logical step was a scalpel

they are designed to cut skin

i knew i could easily do damage with a scalpel

i found them in an art store in town

real swann & morton scalpels

i didn’t think it would be that easy

i had an amazing cover story

i’d discuss my art projects with the girls in the shop

i had become a really good liar.

i had also become pretty proficient at self harm

the scalpel both terrified & thrilled me

i did consider not using it,

but once the thought is born

there is no escaping it

it sliced through my skin like butter

i could chop myself up in minutes.

the blood was immense

hard to control some times

i had gone from bloodied rags to blood soaked towels

the more blood i lost

the more blood i needed

i had begun to crave bigger cuts

deeper cuts

wider cuts

at that time i had only hrequired stitches once or twice

times when i had lost control

usually in anger

it has scared me.

the a&e experience had been horrendous

i think, subconsciously, part of me was holding back

and,

so,

my cutting stayed stable for a long period

i cut most days

each cut just one strike

pushing as hard as i could

usually just flesh wounds

occasionally i’d slice through to fat.

i cut prolifically

many, many cuts in each session

i began to get ill

i was losing too much blood

i was beginning to pass out during bouts of self harm

i was sometimes sick

it didn’t bother me

i was too far in

i remember around that time filling old perfume bottles with my blood

i had dozens of them

i have no idea why i did it

i don’t know what i got from it

but

i kept them for a long time

until they stank

i really didn’t want to throw them away

i think about my rubbish from that time

if anyone had ever looked at it

everything was covered in blood

my flat was drenched in blood

 stains on carpets, bed clothes,furnisher

bloodied hand prints on door handles, light switches, taps

i no longer  noticed

it was a very bleak time

i was living for the blood.

i continued in that strain for years

sometimes doing a little better

feeling good

cutting less

living more,

but

always in fear of the storm returning

 living under a cloud

and,

then,

one night i cut as usual

i lived here in this flat by then

it must have been about 4yrs ago,

i was cleaning up

putting away my tools

i felt dizzy

and unsatisfied

i sat in my hall

and

began to think

part of me had always felt inadequate

for not going deeper

for not requiring more stitches

i felt i was weak

i couldn’t even do this properly

just like that my mind flicked a switch

i picked up my scalpel and cut into an already open wound

and i  kept cutting

for about an hour

until i was through the fat

until i could see blue veins clearly

until the blood started to spurt

until my arm was split open like soft fruit

i didn’t think i was capable of wreaking such destruction

i had believed i couldn’t & wouldn’t go that far

but i can

and

i do.

every cut i make is on that scale now

i can not go back

i am forever seeking more

i want each cut to “better” the last

they all need stitched

i rarely go

i keep them clean & let them heal

see a dr if they get infected.

two years ago i was admitted to hospital as they thought i was on the verge of a a heart attack

i was kept in for two days

on a heart monitor & oxygen

i was diagnosed with angina

my haemoglobin levels are so low that there is simply not enough oxygen getting to my heart.

i faint almost daily

i experience extreme chest pain

i am always out of breath

always cold

always ill.

i still cut

i still lose vast amounts of blood

i know what i doing to myself

and,

yet,

i can not stop

self harm has a grip on me

self harm controls my life

it is who i am

what i do

how i survive.

how i wish i hadn’t;

scratched that little patch of skin.

hidden those knives

bought those razors

found that scalpel

lost control.