Eastbouorne Pier

Eastbouorne Pier

Thursday, 2 May 2013

a shock in A&E

I haven't written much in the last couple of weeks, as I have been both mentally and physically unwell. both of these means that I have been in my local A&E department twice in the last couple of weeks, and had a complete shock in the way I was treated, in a good way!!!

trigger - talks of ODs and physical exams.

a couple of weekends ago, everything was getting too much and the images, flashback and body memories were completely taking over, especially after my dad being allowed to get away with it again. I got to the point where the only thing I felt I could do was take an overdose...this was of cause all subconscious thinking, and I was dissociating when I actually started to take tablets. this wasn't ever a suicide attempt, my mind and body were trying to stop the huge amount of pain that I was in. what I took, how much etc isn't really of any value, its the fact I realised what I had done, and made my own way to A&E. This is the first OD I have taken in 17 months, and I very rarely go to A&E when I need stitches etc, in the last year I worked out that I had been in the department 4 times, the last one because I had been the night before and they didn't treat the injury properly and I had to go back to get it sorted. I suppose I should put this in context. until around 2 years ago I was in the hospital regularly either needing stitches or having taken tablets. in the 6 months that I was at the local psychiatric unit under section I ended up in A&E a hell of a lot more than the last year. however the staff in A&E remember me, however much I tried to blend into the background before. I was absolutely terrified on my way up, all the usual things going through my mind, how am I going to be treated? are they going to think I am "attention seeking?" etc. I was already extremely agitated because of my state of mind, and these fears were making things a hell of a lot worse.
When I arrived in A&E it was weird, I felt like I was in a parallel universe, no one was short with me, no one treated me like I was wasting everyone's time, I was treated as if I was human! all of this was so hard to get my head around, but a very nice surprise. I think that the staff realised I was/am really trying to get better, and I was really struggling and this is why I was in the situation that I was. they took time to talk to me, and I explained that in the previous two weeks that I had heard that HE had avoided being arrested again because of lack of evidence. people got it, and that I had tried everything before giving into the OD urges that had (and still are) plaguing me.

fast forward 8 days. I haven't been able to go for a wee for well over 24 hours, my tummy is so distended it really hurts and is making me feel very sick, I ring NHS Direct, who straight away tell me to go to A&E. all my usual fears are back, especially as I had been in the weekend before. I have been there before with physical illness/injuries, and it had always took a hell of a lot of persuading that I hadn't done anything to make me fall down the stairs be so sick that cant keep a thing down. I've booked in and am sitting in the waiting room, absolutely terrified.  the triage nurse comes out an calls someone else's name, then she looks at me, and asks me if I am OK?. I explain the situation and she said she would see me next (rather than being left to last), within 20 mins I had a cubicle.
Everyone, from the nurses to doctors, tried to find out what was going on. it did involve some very personal investigations, which they explained why, and did try and get a female to do both (just for the internal there wasn't a female doctor available for a few hours, and at that point I was hopefully going home, and they did bring a nurse in to try and help me not freak out completely and utterly). in the end I was kept in overnight (as had over 2 litres in me when they first catheterised me). Even on the ward they were absolutely lovely, explained everything to me, and helped as much as they could.

the pity is that for me this was unusual event. that I was waiting to be treated badly because I have a mental health diagnosis, and was defintily a few years ago a "frequent flier" in A&E. I just wish that A&E departments across the country (and proabably the world) cant treat people who have history of hurting themselves like this all the time. I know that many will be frustrated that they cant help, and a few will just see us as time wasters, but we're human too, we have feelings, words still hurt. I guess everyone needs to remember that there is often a lot of pain behind these acts, and we're just trying to cope!

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