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.
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.