Into the system…

blogging, work, mental health, therapy, disability, benefits and more…

September: Caffeine Crisis…

with one comment

September 16th: Caffeine Overdose

A week on from the bridge I was a mess. I had spent the week trying to stop myself from hurting myself and I knew that I couldn’t withhold it much longer. The day before, I’d bought a packet of caffeine tablets. I don’t know why. Overnight I had gone over and over the urge to overdose and by morning I couldn’t stand it any longer. I took all of the caffeine tablets, 32 in all. I was surprised at how easy it was. I just swilled them down with a can of Diet Coke. I didn’t care what it did to me. I just wanted to shut up the noise in my head. I guess I knew that it wouldn’t kill me, but I wanted to make myself ill. I wanted to hurt myself. I wonder now if I took the caffeine to stop myself taking the paracetamol or fluoxetine or whatever else I could find. I wonder if I did it to stop myself from going to the bridge. I don’t know if there was some form of self-preservation happening.

The caffeine made me incredibly agitated. Shortly after swallowing the pills I was shaking and couldn’t keep still so I decided to go for a walk, hoping it would use some of my excess energy. I walked towards the village not knowing where I was going or what I was doing. My head was spinning. I felt drunk, dizzy and full of energy. When I arrived at the village I thought about seeing Dr N, but when I got the surgery I was too scared to go in and ask to see him. Instead, I kept walking. I sat down on a bench and texted a friend, then walked back to the surgery, but Dr N had left for his rounds. I gave up and walked home. By the time I got home I was feeling awful. I had terrible stomach cramps, was shaking and my head was pounding. In the end I just lay down in bed and stayed there. When my partner came home I just told him I was feeling poorly.

The night was long and painful. I was awake all night, the nausea unbearable. I kept heaving, but nothing was coming up. My head was spinning and pounding. My heart was pounding. I thought I was dying.

September 17th: A&E

In the morning I was still feeling terrible. My partner was concerned; of course, he did not know that I had brought the pain upon myself. I rang the surgery and made an appointment with Dr N. I was agitated beyond belief, feeling terribly sick and barely able to talk as I walked into his office. I was shaking terribly. I didn’t know how to tell him. I was so ashamed and embarrassed. In the end I managed to spit it out and explained what had happened. He was concerned and didn’t know how to react. He checked my blood pressure and kept asking me if I was going to be safe if he sent me home. I didn’t know how to answer. He decided to send me to A&E, gave them a call and wrote me a referral letter to take with me. He wanted me to call my partner and get him to take me, but I was too scared. I opted for a taxi.

I arrived at the hospital and handed the receptionist the letter. They took it from me and handed it to one of the nurses and then it was handed back. The letter was now open and I could read it. I was shocked to see what it said. Dr N’s differential included not just depression, but “? Personality Disorder”, which one would assume referred to the possibility that I had Borderline PD. I was quite angry. I hadn’t expected that, as it had not been mentioned before, but I also kinda knew that by self-harming in this way I had opened myself up to it. I sat in the corner and banged my head against the wall in frustration. Eventually I was called through, but a mix up meant I was left to sit in the cubicle on my own waiting for a nurse. One nurse saw my letter and said “oh you’re that one” and then ignored me. Eventually a nurse came and asked me some questions. She then found another nurse to take me through to majors.

I was shocked by what happened next. I was led to a cubicle and she instructed me to change into the gown and to get onto the bed when I was ready. I remember her asking me why I did it, but I didn’t know how to respond. She noticed my engagement ring and told me “see, that’s something to live for”. I thought she was an idiot. She obviously has no idea what it’s like. She attached me to the monitor and took my blood pressure and temperature, then left me. I proceeded to spend the next couple of hours feeling terrible, trying to work out what they were going to do with me. I was terrified. Everyone that came over and saw my notes seemed to flinch and wander away. I sneaked a peak at them myself and saw “DSH” in big letters at the top. I wondered if that was the reason why I was ignored. Eventually a doctor came and took some blood from me and asked me further questions. I was scared of him and didn’t know how to answer. He smelled too. Eventually he finished his interrogation and left me again. More waiting and being ignored followed. After what felt like forever, a nice nurse came and explained what was going to happen. I was to be moved to the CDU ward within A&E, to wait for the blood test results and a psychiatrist.

Shortly after I had been moved, my partner arrived. I was shocked to see him, as I hadn’t told him where I was. I found out that he’d been worried that he hadn’t heard from me and at lunchtime he had began a search. In the end the doctor’s surgery had told him I’d gone to A&E. When he arrived he was angry at me for not telling him the truth. He told me I was silly and kept asking me questions about what I had done and why. I just wanted to be left alone. I didn’t know how to respond. He kept asking me questions, in between hugging me and telling me things would be okay. I didn’t know what to say. I was starting to feel a little better by mid-afternoon. The nurse in CDU was lovely and the only one to really treat me like a human being. I was brought food, but it was inedible.

Eventually, I was deemed medically fit and the psych team were able to assess me. This was horrible. I was uncomfortable with the MHP. She asked me plenty of questions, but didn’t seem to want to listen to my answers. My answers didn’t seem to be what she wanted to hear. She didn’t seem to understand why I was there and I got the impression she just thought I was silly and pathetic. She was confused as I didn’t seem to fit her boxes. I think she just wanted to send me home, but realised I wasn’t happy about that. In the end she called the on-duty psychiatrist and he came. He didn’t ask me any questions about what had happened and just asked me what I wanted to happen next. He gave me the choice of going home and pretending nothing had happened, going home and having the crisis team visit or being admitted. I was scared of hospital, so I chose the crisis team. I was discharged after some frantic form filling.

September 18th: Crisis Team

The crisis team were hopeless. They turned up late and then proceeded to perform some bizarre good-cop-bad-cop routine, whilst they tried to find out what had happened prior to me tipping up in A&E. They asked me various questions but I didn’t know what to say to them. I made light of everything as I didn’t know how else to approach the situation. In the end I was deemed sane enough not to warrant their attention. They wanted me to wait for the mental health team assessment that I had been on the waiting list for forever. They seemed frustrated that they couldn’t just stick me in a suitable box and in the end they just discharged me back to my GP.

One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. […] September: Caffeine Crisis… […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: