Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Here we go again...

I know I haven't posted in a couple of weeks. The Christmas and New Year season is always a stressful time. Last week, I broke, and ended up in hospital for four days.

Across Sunday night through Monday morning, I ended up taking an overdose of a mixture of oxazepam, seroquel, lorazepam, and an over-the-counter sedative.

After my morning coffee, I just gave up. My mum had gone to meet my Great Aunt for a coffee. Just after she left, I took the rest of my pills. She came home and found me snoring on the couch. A few hours later, she realised I hadn't moved a muscle in the time she'd been home. She looked closer and could tell it wasn't good. I wouldn't wake up. I only gave the slightest response when she yelled my name.

It would've been a perfect way to go. So peaceful, just falling asleep. No pain, no panic, no regret. I've overdoses on different combinations many times over the past 11 years. They've always kept me awake and have usually been painful, as if I could feel the poison burning through my body. I've always panicked and called for help. But this time, I just drifted away. I took the pills, lay down, and fell asleep nearly immediately. In a morbid sense, there was a certain beauty to it.

I'd meant to write a note detailing what I'd taken and put it on the couch or table somewhere, as I used to do for overdoses, but I didn't get around to it. It was worse than last time. I'm not going to post exactly what I took, but there was over 60 pills in a combination of oxazepam, lorazepam and seroquel, plus 10 over-the-counter sedatives. That's over two weeks' worth of meds that I've slowly stockpiled, plus the sedatives. It was my entire stash, so it was bound to be messy.

I don't remember the paramedics getting here. I don't remember getting into the ambulance. I had to be carried. The clothes I was wearing were cut irreparably as they needed access now.

Just like last time, the first 24 hours are a blur. I remember getting a blood test, but not the IV or urine catheters. I remember slurring my words when I woke up, speaking slowly and having trouble making the correct sounds, and the doctor reassuring my mum that it was just from the anaesthetic.

I don't know how a small breakdown escalated to this. Drinking on the Sunday night probably didn't help by the end of it, but when I first opened the bottle and danced around the kitchen, I felt free.

They kept saying “suicide attempt” in handover, but it wasn't. It was for a break, to ease the pain, to put a pause on the world in the same way drinking and drugs had. It was self-harm. It was getting out of my head.

From A&E, to ICU, then back down to a general ward. My legs were like jelly, and balancing seemed like an impossible task. Even with rails to hold, I wasn't allowed to make the 2-3 meter walk to the toilet by myself. When I tried to get up, the scale on the bed would set off an emergency bell because it was too dangerous for me to stand.

It was Tuesday morning they moved me to a general ward. In the middle of the night, I asked a nurse why I'd gotten none of my regular medication. When told I had nothing written up, they sent a medical doctor down to see me. He said I wouldn't be given any of my medication, which was very upsetting.

He asked “Have you been seeing or hearing things that aren't really there?”
I told him no. The thing is, you don't necessarily know when you're hallucinating. You don't know if something's not really there, until someone tells you.

After he left, I started running through things in my head. By the morning, I realised I had been hallucinating, which continued for a day or two. I remember thinking there was maggots in my dinner the first night, and stopped eating after two bites. They were so vivid, I was sure they were there. In retrospect, I should've called for a nurse, and then I would've realised they weren't actually there.

The adhesives on the dressings were making me itch (and one arm still has a rash, a week later). For the first time ever, I took out the IV cannula myself. I peeled away the dressing, and one it was loose, started gently pulling it out. I only had one hand, but still managed to get it out and put pressure on.

The next day, more doctors came to see me. The first thing they did was listen to my chest and mention follow-ups of an x-ray I'd had done, which I thought was odd given why I was there. I guess it's coming to that time of year when my lungs flare up, and I had been getting a hoarse cough and sore chest. They told me I'd had IV antibiotics while I was in ICU after the x-ray. They also said my blood pressure was higher than expected, but gave no number.

Medically, I was okay, just very slow and shaky on my feet, and nauseated. I just needed my head to stop being so fuzzy and making stuff up. Most of the time, I couldn't answer the “what's your name, where are you, what year is it, what day of the week it is” questions.

The new psychiatrist at the hospital is brilliant though – so much better than the Horrible Psychiatrist. He came to see me later in the day. I asked him about my meds, and he said I should've been given them. That there was no point in punishing my by taking them away. I told him about the hallucinations.

He asked what triggered it, and I said I didn't know. Then I thought. I was meant to be catching up with a friend the day before, and they bailed on me. Looking at my record, he noted that my last overdose in November was after being discharged from the Clinic, then trying to get back in, but the psychiatrist refusing. He thinks one of my big triggers in abandonment and feeling like people don't care. I hadn't put it together like that before, but it makes a lot of sense.

I told him I didn't feel safe going home, that I'd just overdose again once I had more meds. He said we could look at an inpatient admission somewhere. He was supposed to come around the next morning before I was discharged, but he never did.

I ended up waiting longer to be discharged as the staff tried to find a bed at the Clinic for me. I spent three hours with my mind constantly changing as to whether or not I wanted to go there. In the afternoon, after multiple phone calls, they called back to say that they had no private beds, and couldn't take me anyway as I posed a risk to myself. They said they'd see what the mental health system could offer me, but they never called back.

Today I tried to make an appointment to see my GP, but she's away for the week. I regretted putting off doing it last week. The earliest I could see her is next Tuesday, but since I already have a double appointment on Thursday, it didn't seem worth changing it. The only problem is that, when the pharmacy delivered my twice-weekly meds yesterday, they gave me no PRNs. I have some left from the last one, but it's going to be a week without. I'll figure it out, somehow.

Outside having a smoke

The rooms had mini fridges in them! Perfect for keeping extra yoghurts, jelly, etc
 leftover from meals as back-up for future meals
(And, of course, a Coke Zero stash)


  1. honestly, even though i know what happened, my heart aches reading this.

    "It would've been a perfect way to go. So peaceful, just falling asleep. No pain, no panic, no regret." i hate that you felt like life was so stressful that you /had/ to escape from it. it should never feel that way. ever. i love you so much and i hope for a miracle for you all the time. i really do. it is so hard living the way you are. it is probably the hardest thing in the world, but i'm so proud of you for every time that you try and i know that you really are trying. i hate that people expect so much of you. you don't ask for much, but they somehow expect that you'd miraculously get better. and then they ask you what you need and when you tell them, it's somehow not available. it's not okay.

    oh God, the fact that they took you off meds... i still can't believe they did that. i'm still trying to process it from the day that you told me.

    speaking of hallucinations, oh God, the maggots... *shudders* i remembered them even before i read the paragraph.

    "He thinks one of my big triggers in abandonment and feeling like people don't care. I hadn't put it together like that before, but it makes a lot of sense." it makes sense to me too. and honestly, it probably feels that way so often it's no wonder you're in and out of the hosp a lot (but that's not your fault, honestly. people should be here for you all the time and there is only so much you can take and that is beyond understandable. and it annoys me how unsupportive your home environment is, especially when you're trying so hard.)

    i wished he would've come. i hate every minute you're at home. it's such a toxic environment for you. i hate that your own house is not a real safe space.

    "we can't discharge you because you're at a risk for yourself but we can't take you anyway because you're a risk to yourself."
    kay, lads.

    i love you. i hope that things look up soon somehow. i really do. i'm keeping my fingers crossed for you. i'm hoping for the best.

    love you so so much. (i'll say it again cause it's the truest thing i've ever said.)

    -Sam Lupin

  2. It's so sad that the modern society has done such amazing progress on physical illness and is still so unable to understand and support these kind of problems; it's so frustrating one wants to scream even just reading about it.
    Hoping things will improve for you and sending you lots of love

  3. The new psychiatrist does sound like a genius. Abandonment is a big trigger for me too. Not totally sure what to do with it though.

    I hope you can find a place to stay anywhere but home. Your home life sounds so toxic!

  4. Thanks for your step aerobics suggestion! That's a really good idea, especially since I have a lot of good steps in and around my house to do it.

    I'm sorry to hear you landed in the hospital again! Although there does seem to be a more peaceful tone to your whole post so I am hoping that is a good thing.

  5. I am sorry they weren't able to offer more help. I don't know what to say other than I hope you find something. I understand abandonment and feeling like people don't care being a trigger. I have to stop and remind myself of evidence that people do because I know I tend to focus only on what proves they might not. I don't know people in your life but I can tell people on here care. I know that you and others that I know through my blog matter a lot to me, and I care very much about what happens to you.. even though I kind of suck at ever commenting or offering anything useful. I think a lot is differences in healthcare in other places, so I honestly don't know what to do and how things work. Here there's always a bed somewhere but it would just leave me with thousands in debt despite insurance.

  6. hello you, I'm back. I am so frustrated that promises or things said are never followed up - given he acknowledged you find it hard feeling like people don't care, to not follow through is sending that message to you regardless of whether its just them being mindless or not. YOU DESERVE SO MUCH BETTER and I love you so much xxx

  7. I am so sad to read this. Your words make me cry.
    How scary it must be to be without your PRN pills, I know you need them. I wish that they could have given you more help. The healthcare system there seems flawed. He tells you that you have issues with abandonment and then leaves without coming back - so frustrating.
    I wish you had somewhere safe to be, home isnt it and I dont think a unit is either. Just a place to call your own where you can feel safe.
    You are in my thoughts and do let me know if I can be of any support at all.
    Much love

  8. Love you Bella. I hope the week since has been ok.

  9. Bella, I love you.

    Is there any way you can see brilliant psych on a regular basis?