Into the system…

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October 7th: Into the hospital…

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When I saw Dr G, I had been told I would probably have to wait about a week for a bed to come available, so I was shocked on Tuesday 7th when I received a phone call from admissions at about 9.30am. They asked me if I could come in for 11am as a bed had become available. I told them that there was no way I could get ready for then, so we agreed on 2pm. I then realised I had a mad rush to get ready.

I had to go shopping. I had no clean clothes and I needed underwear, nightclothes and slippers. My partner came home from work and we made a mad dash to pack and get the things I needed. We got ready and drove to the hospital ready for my admission. I was shown into one of the consulting rooms and asked to wait for the doctor. When they came, my other half left me to it and I went through the admissions process. The doctor on duty was terrifying. I didn’t like him and so rushed through the questions as fast as I could, leaving out loads of information. I hadn’t realised that the questions would be forming the basis of my initial notes and that they didn’t have access to the history I’d already given Dr G or I’d have made more of an attempt to be open and honest. I really didn’t like him. After the questions I was shown to my room and then came a short physical examination, which proceeded to make me feel very uncomfortable. He poked and prodded me and then handed over to the nurse. I was left for a while and then the nurse came back and asked me a few more questions, got me to sign a few forms and explained that he would become my “named nurse”. I was then left to settle in. I didn’t know what to do with myself. Slowly I unpacked my things and found my way around the room.

I was on 1 in 30 observations, so a nurse popped their head around the door every thirty minutes. Most of them introduced themselves the first time, but there was no way I’d remember any names. I was far too anxious and uncomfortable. Later someone asked me if I wanted to go to dinner or to order something to my room. I decided I had to brave the restaurant sooner rather than later, so agreed to go and get something. I was on escort, so that meant a nurse had to walk me between the different buildings, including the short walk to the restaurant at meal times. This was a status that was to remain the whole time I was an inpatient. Usually people were only on escort for a couple of days whilst they settle in, but they were anxious that I would do something stupid and insisted on keeping a regular eye on me. It was weird though being followed by a shadow all of the time.

On my first night I was met by a very manic patient, A, who decided she would introduce me to everyone. This was terrifying, but I was glad of it. She dragged me into the lounge and announced me to the fellow patients. I stayed for a while and talked to people, but I was pretty nervous and really wanted to run and hide in my room.

The next day was awful. I spent most of it alone in my room feeling terrible, occasionally interrupted for blood tests, a therapy assessment and other admissions rituals. The nurses would pop their heads around the door regularly and every time I was asked if I was okay, I would say yes, no matter how bad I felt. I began to look for ways to self harm and this became a focus. I didn’t know what else to do.

Thursday brought my first ward round, but I can remember very little of what happened. I can’t even remember if it was multi-disciplinary or one-on-one. I think it was MD, but Thursday ward rounds were usually 1:1 so I can’t be sure. It did bring about a change in medication. The Citalopram was to be phased out and Venlafaxine was to be phased in.

I also got to start therapy, which was a relief. It gave me something to fill my days with and stopped me staring at the wall, thinking about ways to hurt myself. This coincided with a fairly dramatic lift in my mood. I went from being suicidally depressed to hypomanic in a matter of hours and by Thursday evening I was running around the ward with A, both of us as high as a kite. I was agitated and couldn’t keep still, my mind racing at a million miles an hour. I retired to my room when I realised I was probably driving everyone else mad and then proceeded to draw all over my legs and entertain myself by listening to The Ting Tings on repeat. I don’t know what time I got to sleep. It was late. Friday was a continuation of this mood, but things started to darken on Friday evening. The weekend was spent on the ward and my sister visited, bringing cakes and presents.

The rest of my admission is all a bit of a blur. It was a great big melting pot of therapy, medication, mood swings, anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, lots of self harm, which was getting increasingly out of hand, ward rounds, nurses, visitors, CBT, art, agitation, friendship, talking, TV and jigsaws.

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  1. […] October 7th: Into the hospital… […]


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