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Update (with a trigger warning)

**TRIGGER WARNING – I TALK OF SUICIDAL THOUGHTS BELOW**

I know it’s been a while since my last post but I’ve had to concentrate on myself and getting things a bit straighter in my head before even thinking about getting it down in writing.

I’d literally just been admitted in my last post. Well, the next day, I met with my psychiatrist and although it was about 4pm on a Friday afternoon, she was willing to spend a bit of time talking to me. I told her I wanted to go home, that the ward had done its job and kept me safe and now it was time to be discharged. She obviously didn’t agree and said that no way could I have had a 180 degree shift in 24 hours. Ok, yeah, she was right but I really do hate being in hospital. We agreed that I could go out over the weekend as long as someone was with me (don’t even get me started on the whole, I’m informal, and therefore can leave whenever I want argument!!). And she also agreed to come and see me first thing Monday morning and if I still felt as I did, then I could go home. In the meantime my anti-depressant dose was doubled.

And so on Monday I was discharged. I told the psychiatrist what she needed to hear and was allowed home. Over the next few days though at home, I realised this was wrong on my part – I wasn’t feeling safe and how no idea how I was going to keep myself ok. For the first time ever, I admitted to myself that I’d asked for discharge when I really shouldn’t have done, maybe even just a couple of extra days would have been enough.

After a weekend struggling (my cc is currently off), I called duty first thing and asked to be referred to the home treatment team. I didn’t know what else to ask for because here’s the thing:

I have a rating from 0-10 on suicidal feelings. Anything below an 8 and I know it’s tough but they are just thoughts and I can deal with them myself. Above 8 and this is when I become a risk. My team know this and I’m totally honest with them if they ask. I guess in the past I’ve been a 9.5 and took action and then regretted it immediately and either hoped I hadn’t done any damage or a few times ended up in a&e.

However, my birthday attempt was a 10. I had made my peace with things and I was ready. The week before, I was happy and finally saw an end. When I woke up in hospital, I told them, “I just want to die, please just let me”. I had never felt that before. I’d always felt some kind of relief, but I was truly gutted.

I struggled for weeks with this feeling of devastation and went on to make another plan. This time however was when I ended up in the mental health unit at hospital and obviously the plan was scrapped for now.

So what next? Since last week I’ve had the home treatment team (htt) and I’ve tried to be as honest as I can with them and have been glad of the break in my days and I guess, ultimately an interruption to my ruminating thoughts when I see them. They can’t change how I feel though and to be honest, I’ve had a testing time trying to bring my number down to a manageable level.

I met again with my psychiatrist and we openly discussed things. I explained about me thinking I’d got it wrong in discharge but that it would be no use to go back in now, that my suicidal thoughts were still there but the intent was less and I could be trusted on my own. I know, and have mentioned before, that she runs a high risk management plan with me, but she does so knowing that if asked, I will be honest. (The reason I managed such a serious attempt on my bday was because I cancelled appointments so my cc couldn’t ask me.)

Anyway, in that appointment, we decided to try a new drug called abilify (new for me, not new on market). I’m kind of at the stage now where I’ll try anything and so I am taking it on a low dose this week and then having it doubled next week.

I think I will be discharged from htt next Monday as well as there isn’t anything else that can be done with them. And then it’s just a waiting game; waiting for my therapy re-assessment (that my psychiatrist said she is chasing up) and starting from there again.

Sorry, I’m aware this post is all over the place but that’s similar to my thoughts right now!

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Posted by on October 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Dissociation and PTSD

I have just come out of hospital after spending 3 days in there. The reason why is a bit more complicated so let me explain!

If you have been reading my blog, you will see that I have been under the home treatment team (old crisis team) after having a particularly bad month. I have been working with them and seeing them every other day and whilst I was having high suicidal thoughts, we were managing them quite effectively.

It started for me on easter week, when I felt like I had been losing time and when they asked me questions about what I had been doing, I honestly couldn’t remember. Have you ever felt like when you’ve gone in to a room for something and for the life of you, you can;t recall why? Well it’s that kind of feeling – no matter how hard I tried to remember, I couldn’t! They told me it was because I wasn’t doing anything in my days and so everything was just merging in to one. I didn’t really feel like it was for this but just left it as nothing anyone could do anyway.

In the past when I’ve had very bad times, I have dissociated and actually thought it was a time before my trauma and didn’t even recognise my care co-ordinator. However, she has always been ok with this as it meant I was ok – it was pre-trauma and so I was happy!

On Tuesday night, I went to bed at about midnight and the next thing I remember is it was 2 hours later and I was ‘waking’ up at the side of a local reservoir with an empty bottle of my medication. At first, I thought I was dreaming but after realising I wasn’t, I panicked! I wasn’t suicidal, I didn’t want to take too much – why had I done this without knowing it?

I called NHS Direct and tried to explain what had happened. I wasn’t aware of the effects of taking the amount I had done and didn’t want to drive home if there was a chance I could hurt someone. They told me they were sending an ambulance to where I was, but I didn’t want to waste resources and so said it’d be quicker for me to make my own way there.

I arrived at accident and emergency and was seen by triage. She took my ob’s (blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen levels) and picked up the phone and asked if they had a bay for me. I thought it was just in the normal bit but she told me I had to go straight to resus. My heart rate was tachycardic at 155 beats per minute (the normal is between 60-80). I was hooked up to a heart monitor and had an ECG and was really well looked after. After a few hours I was moved to the Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) where a doctor eventually came to see me – this was now Wednesday evening. He told me they still needed to keep me in and redo an ECG over night and hopefully discharge me on ward rounds the next morning.

At about 11.30pm they moved me up to an escalation ward. This is essentially a place they open when it is busy and use it to keep people who are close to discharge. For this reason, it is trollies and not beds that are there (it’s a day surgery unit). There is a 23 hour rile that you aren’t allowed to be on them for longer than this timeframe.

The next morning, the ward round happened and I hadn’t had another ECG so the doctor ordered it again. It was still high – 110 and so they said to have it repeated in the afternoon and go from there. It had gone up to 111.

I spoke to the doctor and asked if I could self discharge as I felt ok. I explained that I had PTSD and that being in the hospital where I was extremely anxious meant that they were never going to get a heart rate below 80. She agreed that as long as it was below 100 I could go. She said it was extremely risky that I leave and we agreed I’d stay another night and be checked the next morning. I was to be moved to a ward and given a proper bed. I was given a bed twice and each time when the nurse called to do a handover they were told it had been given to someone else and so I was told I’d be staying where I was. I asked what about the 23 hour rule and she said there was nothing that could be done. This is what I was on:

hospital trolley

I understand they have to make difficult bed decisions, but no one came to speak to me to explain this and just swept it under the carpet. There were 2 empty beds opposite me on the same ward and were eventually taken by one woman who had severe constipation and one who was withdrawing from alcohol. If mine wasn’t based on a mental health problem, would I still have been just left? I honestly don’t know the answer but it did cross my mind! I wasn’t even supposed to know about the 23 hour rule, it was only because I was speaking to the nurse on the night shift and she told me don’t worry they can’t keep you on there for longer than that.

The next morning, the doctor (who I had seen the previous day) came in and I heard her say, “what on earth is x still doing here?” She was excellent and saw me straight away and had my heart rate taken – it was 95, yay – I could go home!! Well that was after I had been referred for a psych review. 5 hours later I was seen and it was obvious it wasn’t intentional on my part and so they discharged me to see the home treatment team (htt) the next day (I was still under them anyway). All in all I was on the trolley for 39 hours!!

I am seeing my care coordinator tomorrow and will be discussing what happened but the htt said they had discussed it and think I had fallen asleep, had a nightmare and woken up in a dissociated state where suicide was the only answer. This has scared me – it’s hard enough to control those thoughts when I am aware of them, nevermind when I’m not!!

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Non suicidal overdose scared me!

If I’m being honest, my latest episode of taking medication to ‘knock myself out’, really scared me. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I used over the counter sleeping tablets to help me get that effect (I usually took a weeks packet at once). However, in the early hours of Monday I was really struggling and the only tablets I had in was my prescription medication.

I knew that they were one of the least toxic medications on the market and so didn’t think twice about taking a weeks worth in one go. I use them mainly for their sedative effect and so I assumed a weeks worth would help me sleep for a good few hours.

My care coordinator (cc), came round about midday and found me unable to walk properly or speak very well. She asked what I’d taken and phoned an ambulance. I really didn’t want one, it was a waste of time and resources as I knew they weren’t toxic. And then I was sick and lost consciousness. I don’t actually remember much but it’s what my cc has told me since.

I was discharged, after a psych consult, around 11pm the same night. The tablets had made my blood pressure drop which is why I was out of it for a bit.

My cc came to see me on Thursday to see how I was and filled in the missing pieces. She told me she was really worried about me and that independently taking small overdoses of the tablets I use wouldn’t kill me. However, what would, is the culmination of them all in such a short space of time. This is what scared me!

Those that have known my blog and twitter (@femaleptsd) for a while know I’ve had my suicidal moments and that’s one thing. But for me to die because all I want is to numb the pain, then that is quite another. And so I have taken the decision to remove that coping strategy all together. The problem is, I haven’t been able to replace it with anything and so the end of this week has been one of the worst for me.

I’ve literally kept myself in bed so that I’m not tempted, and in the process have lost all motivation – you know it’s bad when even suicide is too much of a hassle!!

So, what’s next for me? My cc wants to arrange a review session with everyone involved in my care (my psychiatrist & therapist) to discuss if we are currently on the right path. She thinks that maybe its not the right time for me to be having therapy as I don’t have the coping skills for everything it’s bringing up. I’m not really sure of my opinion on this.

I am also waiting for an assessment to see if I can get a bed in mind’s crisis accommodation. This is essentially a place to go for up to 7 days with a more therapeutic environment and 24/7 access to support (via a phone). I’ve always battled against going to anywhere like this but I honestly think I need it right now. The waiting list is 2 weeks but the assessment should be next week sometime.

I also just want to say thank you so much to those on twitter who yet agin have been there for me. Words don’t feel enough to express my gratitude, but you know who you are!!

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Rollercoaster of a Week

After my EMDR session last week that opened a vat of emotions that I wasn’t expecting, there were a lot of little things that happened in one day that just made me want to go to sleep and not wake up. And so that’s exactly what I did; I took an overdose of prescription and over the counter medication and if I wasn’t found, it’s likely that either I wouldn’t be here or in a very bad way. I don’t want to dwell on the actual overdose and I know this might sound hypocritical but if you find yourself in a similar situation please seek help (see my links page).

During the time of taking the tablets and being taken to hospital, I somehow hurt my hand. I have no memory of it at all but I am told I would hit something. The damage is what’s known as a boxer’s fracture (wonder why they think I hit something!!) and I have also chipped my knuckle. So the upshot is that I am currently in plaster which is why I haven’t written since coming out of hospital and also why this is likely to be a really short post!

So where am I up to now? I am trying to put some positive spin on what I feel, sometimes this is easy and sometimes not so but at least I am trying!

Right now I am feeling extremely anxious as tomorrow is my next EMDR session and after the way it made me feel last week, I am worried. However, on a positive note, at least I know what to expect!!

 
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Posted by on March 6, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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