Archive for physical illness

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.

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