Archive for the ‘hospital’ Category

I might as well just cut and paste from 3 years ago.

January 29, 2013

Because I’m back there again. I don’t usually re-read old diary or blog entries. Why learn from the past when it’s so much more interesting to make lots of fresh new exciting mistakes? But today I came home from a&e and did a google search on CMHT’s and borderlines (more on that later) and up popped my old friends at Crazy Nurse, which in turn led me to this old blog.

So, A&E. In a bpd nutshell: decline, isolation, low moods,shaved head,worried mental friends,  intervention, a&e visit, sent home, overdose, long lovely day of sleep, mental health support line, emergency doctor on phone, narky GP receptionist, forced trip to a&e, bloods, ecg, Dougie Howser MD lookalike, psych consult, tears, home again, upcoming assessment with CMHT (shitting myself) Emmerdale on TV, new hazlenut chunky kitkat (yum), emotionally drained.

anyway that’s my week.

nice to be back. more to follow from tomorrow i promise. hope a few of my old friends are still about xx


seasons greetings

December 14, 2008

Dashing through the ward, thinking i’m a spy.
O’er the beds I jump, making nurses fly.
Students running scared, named nurse starts to cry
Oh what fun it is to be on a psych ward when you’re high.

Jingle Bells, my shrink smells
So I ran away.
Crisis Team said times are lean,
so we can’t come today.

Jingle Bells, my doc yells,
You’re so bpd
Punched him in the bollocks
and went back home for tea.

Just A Quick Update

October 18, 2008

Sorry for not being around of late. It’s been a very busy week for me, with trips back and forth from the hospital to visit my dad. He had his kidney removed on Tuesday and seems to be recovering well from the operation, although he’s still in a lot of discomfort. The nurses and doctors have been lovely, but he seems to be on a tour of the hospital at present. So far he’s spent time on 3 different wards, in addition to two days in high dependency. I suppose it’s a case of finding an available bed, but I worry about him being at more risk of catching a bug with all these moves. There are posters all over the place reminding us to wash our hands, and I’ve been very careful to do that. Unfortunately, some of the staff seem less able to remember. Four staff members came into the room whilst I was there. They all had direct physical contact with Dad, but only one used the gel wash. My step mum spends most of her visits cleaning the room with antiseptic wipes, because she’s paranoid about MRSA.

Unfortunately I woke up with a cold this morning, so won’t be able to visit Dad for a few days. Feeling poorly has got me thinking about mental health and physical symptoms. I’ve needed to put on my normal face all week. I can hardly moan to Dad about mood swings whilst he’s sat there with a morphine drip after all. What happens to all those negative thoughts and dark moods when they aren’t allowed to come out? I think they show themselves as stomach ache or eczema, or migraines etc. It’s like wearing a pair of big stomach shaping knickers. Sure, you get a nice flat tummy, but the fat has to escape somewhere else, usually the thighs lol.

And what about medication? Does it cure the anxiety or just block it? Is that why we get so many side effects? Quetiapine is causing me to feel like I’ve been wrapped in a nice fluffy blanket, but I’m getting spots and dry skin for the first time since my teens. I saw my pdoc this week, and she decided to keep me on it at the same dose for now. She was going to increase it but changed her mind after seeing how puffy my hands and ankles have become. She has also asked me to take part in some research into people who have bpd with psychosis. It will mean being taped in an interview. I said yes, because I’m rubbish at saying no, and also love a chance to moan about myself. However, on reflection, I decided that the research was actually into patients who try to fake symptoms, and that the tape would be watched by a crowd of laughing people. Yes, stupid I know. But I do feel like a fake. The voices have almost completely gone away since I started the Quetiapine, but, knowing me, I’d end up inventing a few rather than let the researchers down by not having anything interesting to say. Best say I’ve changed my mind rather than feel pressed to perform.

Btw, did any of you watch Blue Oranges on BBC4 this week? Just to set the record straight, being BPD doesn’t mean that we act like the patient in that show!

Well that’s what’s been happening with me. A boring update really. I’m going to snuggle down under the duvet now and have a sleep before watching X Factor. I’m not up to concentrating on anything right now, so Saturday night tv will be perfect.

Go away and come back when you’re dying.

September 26, 2008

What makes more sense? Prevention or cure?

When it comes to secondary mental health services neither seem to apply. They much prefer to wait until you deteriorate into crisis, and then use a sticking plaster to cover a gaping wound. Or so it seems here in the north of England.

I met a friend for coffee yesterday. When I say friend, she’s actually someone I met at the bus stop a few months ago. We mentalists seem able to recognise a kindred spirit and know who it’s safe to talk to. Or perhaps we just talk to anyone lol. Anyway, K and I soon moved past the occasional hello and finally got round to meeting up for a chat over a cheap cuppa. It had to be cheap because K is surviving on basic benefits and couldn’t even afford the bus back home. No one appears to have advised her how to claim more money and she’s not the type to ask herself, being ashamed of claiming at all.

K has spent the last couple of years recovering from a particularly nasty cancer, which has left her with a host of gynaecological problems, in addition to a worsening of her long term battle with depression. Her partner of ten years is an alcoholic depressive, recently diagnosed as suffering from psychosis. They live together in a small  housing association flat, quite far out of the city, in an area which has little more to offer than a small newsagents and a fish and chip shop. K is more of a full time carer than a girlfriend. They haven’t slept together in years.  Her partner frequently comes off his medication and drinks to escape the voices in his head. K desperately wants to improve her life. She volunteers several times per week in a local charity shop and has admitted that it provides an escape from her homelife, which is becoming unbearable. She has wanted to leave her partner for some time now, but has nowhere to go, and would be perceived as having made herself intentionally homeless by the authorities, if she should move out.

K feels unsafe at home and has had to up her medication to treat her worsening mood. Her partner has only recently been allocated help from the crisis team, and only because he took an overdose. He refused to go to hospital and they can’t see past his alcoholism, saying that he can’t be helped until he stops drinking. He won’t stop because that is his life now. He never leaves the flat and suffers from paranoia. K knows the paranoia began long before the drinking, but can’t get the crisis team to take this on board. They will discharge him shortly and the only help then will come from a gp, who he won’t visit because he won’t leave the house. K has no idea what is happening because confidentiality rules prevent the crisis team from discussing her partners case with her.

K has recently started an affair with another volunteer from the charity shop. He’s considerably younger than her and has learning difficulties. I tentatively suggested that she has swapped one dependant for another, and she agrees, but explained that she just needed to do something that would make her feel alive for once. As far as she is concerned, her relationship is over and the new affair is just a bit of fun, but she had tears in her eyes as she spoke to me. Indeed, during our time together yesterday, K came across as a woman on the edge, desperate for comfort and full of guilt for not being able to cope. She admitted to having frequent thoughts of suicide, due to the knowledge that she is completely stuck in her present situation.  It’s hard to take responsibility for your life and move on, when you only have a couple of pounds to your name and no family support.

So, on to mental health services. K sees the same consultant as me. It appears that we also share the same personality disorder label. K has repeatedly tried to get help from a social worker or community mental health nurse. As with me, the answer has always been a resounding  no. K feels very angry that her attempts to help herself are simply used against her as proof that she doesn’t need any help. She is utterly exhausted and close to breakdown, but knows that when she comes out the other end, nothing will have changed. All she wants right now is a break from being her partners carer. Just a few days to get her head together. The affair is her first, and not at all her usual behaviour. She has reached the stage where it makes sense to her to take an overdose now. Not to die, but to get some time on the ward away from real life. In reality it is her partner who needs to be in hospital, but he knows enough about how it works to be able to escape a section. So what else can she do?

The reason I wrote about K today is that there are so many other K’s living in this country. Not quite ill enough to be allocated a keyworker or cpn, but too ill to manage their own lives. Let down by the NHS because it is so underfunded and understaffed that it can only help the worst cases. In a few months K will probably fall into that category. At least then she will receive help. But the road back to health will be so much longer than it needed to be. It’s a shame.

trying to fight the urges

September 7, 2008

I want to OD. i want to cut my wrists. i don’t want to die. i want attention. there i’ve said it. i want attention. i want a couple of days in the hospital being looked after. but once i do it i can’t control the outcome and that is what is stopping me. i don’t want to be sent to the psych ward. i don’t want anyone in my house because it is dirty enough that kim and aggie would be scared to come in! i’d be so ashamed to let people know i live in this filth. yet if they knew i would probably get the help from the cmht that i need, so i’m not doing myself any favours by not telling them really. that inbuilt fear from childhood of not letting the neighbours know, is so ingrained in me.

there’s also the risk that the od would kill me by accident too. much as i would quite like to die, i can’t do it at the moment. my dad has cancer and is due to have his kidney out in a few weeks time. the last thing he needs right now is to organise a funeral. he’s on holiday this week and that’s why the urge is strong now. the thought that i could do this and be back home by the time he returns to the country. so he never needs to know about it. i resent him for being ill. i’m the one who’s meant to be ill! that’s what the child in me thinks anyway. my neighbours are away for the weekend. i’m feeling very alone. typical borderline. i slept all day to avoid the thoughts. got up and had to run to the shop before it closed to buy chocolate to binge on. thought it would help my mood. it hasn’t. hate being held to ransom by this bloody eating disorder.

i know i’m not suicidal and i know i’m not all that low. this is just a dip and i’ll get over it. i just hate it right now. i’m having a pity party and i hate partying on my own. aah well, just as well that i’m too lazy to walk to a and e tonight so i’ll probably just sleep this off on the sofa.

Smoking in Psychiatric hospitals

September 4, 2008

I see in the news today that two patients at Rampton high security hospital have been given the right to appeal the smoking ban, given that the hospital is now their home. Whilst I appreciate the concerns of staff who don’t wish to inhale second hand smoke, I sincerely hope this is a step towards revoking the ban in all psych wards nationwide.

I spent a month in a secure ward last year. There just aren’t the staff available to take a patient outside whenever they need to smoke, particularly at night. I could not have managed without the smoke room and neither could many of my fellow patients. I spent much of the day in there. It was a place to socialise with each other, rather than sitting in my room alone. It calmed me down when I became anxious. It helped me to deal with angry feelings and impulses. Without cigarettes I am certain there would have been more incidents of violence on the wards. I’d be interested to hear from those who have stayed or worked there since the ban came into place in July.  My local hospital now issues nicotine patches and encourages patients to take the opportunity to give up their habit whilst on the ward. Well perhaps that may work if you’re a long term patient, but the majority of us are only there for a short stay, at a time when we are in crisis. Hardly the right time to add the stress of giving up a serious habit too surely?

I certainly hope they win their case and soon.  Here’s the link: