Sunday, 30 March 2014

Hospital Ramblings

Thank you so much to everyone who's been reading and commenting and sending me lovely messages this past week. I know I say it a lot, but it can't be said enough - you guys are lifesavers and mean the world to me.

I'm still in hospital. I've officially been here for over a week, and to be honest, I wasn't expecting I'd be here so long. The Lung Doctor Man (thoracic physician) is planning on sending me home at some point this week. The infection is clearing and my oxygen levels aren't as bad as they were, though there's still a long way to go. I'm so exhausted. It takes so much energy to even pick up my phone, to brush my hair, to chew and swallow food. Even short walks, not even five minutes, leave me breathless. My oxygen still drops but it hasn't been getting below 88%, which is better than what it was prior to admission. I'm surprised it's still so low - last year when I was hospitalized, I was only on oxygen for not even 24 hours.

On Saturday, I was allowed out of the wheelchair for the first time and they started weaning me off oxygen. I hadn't walked more than a few feet at a time all week, only to the bathroom and back. For the first couple of days I wasn't allowed out of bed at all - I was even wheeled in to an x-ray on a hospital bed with a half dozen staff clamoring about, which was an experience, to say the least.

It's scary how quickly my strength declined - both in walking and breathing. It was just two months ago I was exercising for two, three, four hours a day! I never even got to see my physician during that period. Any benefit that exercise provided to my lung function will never be known, and now I'm back to square one. I'm dreading having to start exercising again, starting back at square one, unable to keep up for even 15 minutes. I worked so hard to get my endurance up, and now it's gone, just like that. I'm really looking forward to exercising again, doing my step aerobics and my cardio boxing. After being sick these past couple of months, I feel more motivated than ever to get this weight off.

Food has been stressful, obviously. My intake's been anywhere between 200-700 calories. I've been sticking to plain foods and weighing them up on my trusty pocket scales. I've been mainly eating poached eggs, steamed chicken and fish, plain bread, potatoes, yoghurt, fresh fruit and veggies, those sorta things. Some meals have been total disasters, where I take one look at the tray and end up curling up in a ball crying my eyes out for hours because I just can't do it. I only had wine with dinner once despite how much I was looking forward to it - it just isn't worth the calories.

My anxiety is crazy in here. There's too many people, too much noise, too much space. I'm struggling without any coping mechanisms. My physician is giving me lorazepam three times a day. He was actually the one who orginally recommended it to me a year ago, though it took a good six months for my GP to agree. I've been tearing my skin to shreds and pulling my hair out, but I haven't really been able to self-harm, and I obviously haven't been allowed to smoke (not even a cigarette!). The doctors in emergency noticed the burns on my arms and cuts on my legs on admission, but thankfully it hasn't really been mentioned again. I've nearly torn apart my shaving razor a few times but I really can't risk it. They don't deal with psych here, and I just can't risk being sent to public with the Horrible Psychiatrist.

I was crying my heart out the first day on the ward, and this wonderful lady from pastoral care wandered into my room. I'm not a Christian, not by a long shot, but she just talked to me, and I talked to her, and we clicked when I told her about my sewing. Amazingly enough, she used to be a seamstress, and in her younger days had aspirations of studying at NIDA too. She spent a couple of hours with me each day last week which was a great comfort. On Friday when she left, she gave me a hug and said she'd pray for me. She said she'd be back on Tuesday though, and I'm so looking forward to seeing her again.

I'm still struggling to take all of this seriously. When it comes to my health, I always tell myself its not that bad. Whether it's to do with anorexia or COPD or anything really, I never think it's that serious. Things could be worse, right? I'm still smoking a year after diagnosis, and I was doing okay, so it can't be that bad.

Being in here has given me even more time to think, to stew, to wallow in the vast nothingness that is my life. The depression is so strong right now. Part of me is a disappointed that I'm not really sick, like dying sick. I feel just as overwhelmed as I have for months, just as hopeless. I don't want to be a part of the world. And therein lies the reason why I haven't even tried to quit smoking, and why I know I'll start straight back up again the second I'm discharged. It's hard to care for your health when you just want it all to be over.

There's so much more to say, but my head just isn't processing things right now. Apologies for the unstructured nature of this post.

Boo hasn't left my side all week. Staff are quite enamored with her and know her by name. My notes read 'HIGHLY ANXIOUS'. I'm 21 years old, 6'1", have 18 piercings; and I can't make eye contact, I cry constantly, and refuse to let go of my Boo.

My GP came by again on Friday, but I missed her because I was getting an x-ray done. The big surprise was when the Mental Health Nurse came to visit, twice! She came by on Tuesday and again on Friday, and she bought me this book to read that she thinks will help. We actually had a really good talk and I opened up about a lot of things, so that was unexpected considering I'd only met her twice before. I miss my dietician like crazy though, and I won't be seeing her until next week. Even when I was hospitalized last year, I only missed one appointment.

There's a harpist who goes around the hospital, playing for patients. He came by and played for me on Tuesday and Wednesday, and oh my god, it's such a beautiful instrument. I don't think I've ever seen or heard a harp up close before. Watching him play was just enchanting. A recording of him playing Brahms' Lullaby plays over the loudspeaker every time a baby's born in the hospital, and if you're lucky, you'll hear a newborn crying shortly after. The lady from pastoral care told him about my sewing, and he thinks I could do amazing things for the special care nursery, making little quilts and things. (Picture from Google)

My brother's girlfriend went to Bali, and bought me back some coffee! I can't wait to try it when I get home. Sick of drinking instant all the time.

And just to clarify; my piercings only came out for the bronchoscopy. They're such a part of me, I'm not about to let them go that easily! It was just standard procedure, just like removing necklaces and earrings. I just have a helluvalot more jewelry than most. I haven't been piercing-free, even for a minute, for so many years, so I thought it was worth a photo. Unfortunately, I missed out on helping my piercers set up their new studio over the weekend, but oh well.



  1. ah. this is a post where i had to open a new tab just to be able to read and comment on as i go on. mmmhmm.
    you mean the world to me as well. you're an angel to me :3
    i'm glad you're getting better though. that's the important thing for me. i'm sad you had to stay at the hospital for a week. that makes me panic and worry about my beautiful, Bella. no more, m'dear!
    i hope you're well. take care of yourself. and you know this is coming: stop smoking so much.
    "It's scary how quickly my strength declined - both in walking and breathing." it's scary how it can decline and increase so quickly. yes. the body is a wonderful machine. but it can only take so much abuse hurling at it.
    "I'm dreading having to start exercising again, starting back at square one, unable to keep up for even 15 minutes." oh, that happens to me when i miss one exercise session. i'm so weak and unable to adapt. i can sort of adapt to what i'm doing but mostly, i just sit down on the ground like a fish out of water. i am one of the most physically unfit people i have ever met and no amount of exercise has changed that.
    endurance can be built. remember that. what is lost can be found, what is found can be lost. cycle of life and all that jazz. you just have to tell yourself if what you're looking for is worth it. and no 2-4 hour exercise session, crazy girl.
    "After being sick these past couple of months, I feel more motivated than ever to get this weight off." you'll hear this from me nagging at you: you don't have any weight to take off. nope. bad girl.
    "Some meals have been total disasters, where I take one look at the tray and end up curling up in a ball crying my eyes out for hours because I just can't do it." aw, my darling. this breaks my heart. you know that, don't you? i'm sad that you felt this way, my gorgeous. you don't eat enough and it's always been eating at me. i want nothing more for you than to be eat well, but i know that you can't right now. i'll just hope you'll get back to eating well at some point in time. i love you, you know that?
    it killed me to read that entire paragraph about self-harming and whatnot. don't. just don't. and i'm sorry you're feeling anxious. i do have to say - i'm very proud of you for not doing anything. i am very proud of you.

    -Sam Lupin (comment is too big i'll write another one)

  2. i'm hoping she'd see you soon. i know you don't believe it from what i've read from your posts but i feel the need to clarify: 1) you deserve to be treated well, 2) you are not a broken record. and it really makes me sad when i hear people say that. 3) i hope you don't feel guilty. there's nothing to be guilty about. x
    it is always that bad. that's what i learned. the body and life can take a lot before it breaks, simultaneously - it is so fragile that you die in your sleep. you're alive for a reason. that i believe entirely.
    "Part of me is a disappointed that I'm not really sick, like dying sick." don't even go there, my love. you're sick enough to send me into a panic. i can't think of how high your temperature was without getting physically sick. people care, honey. people do. we all really do want you to get better. it's hard to, honestly. i'm glad you're making steps towards helping yourself. mood changes. as permanent as it feels. it changes. don't do anything you'd regret if you weren't clear in the head. depression is exhausting. but you need to hold on. it's not going to stay here forever, because you weren't depressed forever. that's my logic.
    that rabbit is cute. x but not as cute as you.
    "I opened up about a lot of things, so that was unexpected considering I'd only met her twice before." i'm very proud of you. very proud.
    that harpist sounds niiiiiice.
    i like my coffee the same way i like my women - milky and sweet. and not bitter at all.
    take care of yourself, Bella. it sounds like it's been one hell of a week. hold on, angel. hold on. if not for yourself, for everyone else. there's more than one person wanting to see you get out of this. why? because you deserve to get out of this.

    -Sam Lupin

  3. Love you Bella, love you so much. Please please get better soon <3

  4. Bella! I'm so sorry you're in the hospital! Thank you for your encouraging words... can you send me an email with your address so I can send you real mail (by the time it arrives, you will be home, I think) my dear...

    Feel better and please do what they say to help heal you up quick!

  5. 'm happy to hear that you opened up a little to people, even if the depression is holding on strong. My mom is in pastoral care, and even if you're not religious, it can be nice to talk to someone. I hope you get better soon. Love you so much hon. <3

  6. you are allowed to punch me in the face for this one. i'm so so sorry. it's just that i thought of you *for obvious reasons*.

    -Sam Lupin

  7. Thinking of you lots dear Bells
    You are so special and so precious
    And you are loved

    Take good care of you and love the photos x

  8. aye. aye. i think we both made each other sad by being sad. bad. i love you. you take care of yourself, alright? x
    you don 't want to wrap me up in blankets shhhhhhh it's 36 degrees C atm. and it's 1 am can only imagine what horror waits for me in the morning. oh yes, crying is very cathartic. it does make me sad that i can't cry anymore.
    "I know you don't feel able to write right now, but even still, you have a beautiful way with words." thank you. this makes me smile. know that you made a person smile today angel. x
    also, smut is the best kind of thing to write. ;3
    "P.S, the picture you sent make me cackle, like an evil witch's cackle. I love it (and I love you)" make that a double smile xxxx

    you're amazing. i love you too (and your piercings, considering they are practically a part of you) xxx

    -Sam Lupin

  9. OMG Bella! *hugs!* I'm so sorry to hear this, I'm just glad you're being taken care of! I hope you get well soon! But I know it's not that simple, especially when you feel like things are so hopeless. But you can't give up, and I know you won't give up! You're a fighter! If you ever need to talk don't hesitate to contact me. Take care and once again get well soon!

  10. Dear Bella,

    I just found your Blog some minutes ago, but its very gripping. I love the way you write and I think I will read some of your older posts today.

    To be honest, I'm also shocked by your story.
    I also have an eating disorder, but I'm recovering and I'm much better now. At the moment, anorexia is not such a big problem for me anymore, but I self harm often.
    I've never been, this skinny, but I think that's not the point. The point is, I understand how hard it is to eat.
    I'm also someone, who always says "It's not that bad", but honestly it is bad. It's horrible, that we do this to ourselves, because we deserve better.
    I don't really know why I write to you, I just want you to know, that you have a wonderful style of writing and I wanted to tell you, that I wish you good luck so you'll feel better soon.

    Oh and it's so cute, there's someone who play's the harp for you in the hospital, I love the sound of harps.

    I hope my english isn't incredible bad,
    I'm from germany and I understand a lot in english, but when I'm writing something by myself, my teachers are just like: Are you kidding me?

    Please don't give up on you :)