Day 30

Was woken at 5AM by my next-door neighbour banging her head off the wall. I couldn’t hear it, because of my earplugs, but I could feel it.
That was pretty unsettling.

I had really horrible dreams too. I moved in to my flat, but didn’t realise that only half of it was mine. All of the rooms were separated halfway down the middle by curtains, and the other halves were occupied by students. I had moved in with my boyfriend, who was a completely different person to my ex that I was due to move in with, and he was really unhappy about the level of time we were spending together. He said that he wanted more time to spend alone, eating chicken korma(?), and playing Playstation, but I was consuming all his time. He kept trying to send texts off his Apple watch to my friends saying that he wanted to leave me. I kept begging him not to, saying I was happy to give him all of the space and time that he needed. I genuinely meant it, but he just wouldn’t listen to me. It was really frustrating, and I felt frantic with worry.
Make of that what you will.

Got up quite early, and went for a big brisk walk.

When I got my meds, I mentioned that I’d need my dressing changing once I got out of the shower. The nurse said that was no problem, and to just come back when I was ready.

When I went back, the woman with the huge tremor was in front of me, and she insists on taking her pills one by one. She painstakingly picks them out of the pot using her thumb and index finger (with her long false nails, and a really debilitating tremor), so she takes fucking forever.
My dressing was wet from the shower, bloody, and dripping down my ankle. I was feeling really exposed, really uncomfortable, and super anxious.
Once I got in to the clinic room the nurse sorted me out, and that made me feel a bit better, but everyone was still getting their meds through the hatch, so could see me being treated. It was a bit humiliating, but at the same time we’re all in here for pretty similar reasons, so what’s the point in hiding?
If anyone understands, it’s my fellow patients.

I texted everyone back who I’d blanked the night before, which felt good.

I spent most of my morning writing.

You can see the weekly report from my mood tracking app Daylio here…
https://lucysback.com/2020/03/16/weekly-mood-report-09-03-20-15-03-20/

And I wrote a post all about how great my mum is, because it’s her birthday.
That one is here…
https://lucysback.com/2020/03/16/happy-birthday-to-my-mum/

Lunch was pretty late. I was at a bit of a loose end so I went and waited for it. To distract myself, I looked through some e-mails about my flat purchase, and my bank statement – no particular reason, I just needed something to do.

Lunch was the tiniest bit of poached fish you’ve ever seen (literally, 4 small mouthfuls) and mash, so I put hot sauce with it, and insisted on having seconds, because it was just such a ridiculously tiny portion.
Singing lady was going mental because they didn’t bring her vegan meal. She ended up having vegetables with tomato ketchup, after she’d done a fair bit of yelling, demanding to make a complaint.

I felt really anxious after all that human interaction, and asked for some medication. It took pretty much an hour to arrive, because they were re-writing my drugs card. During that time, I watched Drag Race, and ate half a pack of chocolate Hobnobs.

My Dad arrived for Ward Round, and we had a bit of a chat beforehand.

You can read about how Ward Round went here…
https://lucysback.com/2020/03/16/ward-round-4/

Tl;dr – Upped my meds, continuing with psychological input, and considering a referral to a ‘halfway house’ for when I am eventually discharged (which I have mixed feelings about).

Afterwards, my Dad and I went for a drink at the small café, and sat on a bench outside. It was nice to have just a bit of a chat, even if most of it was about Coronavirus and how the whole world has gone completely mental.

Did a bit of writing when I got back to my room, and then played with MY NEW FAVOURITE TOY!…

ISN’T SHE BEAUTIFUL?!

It’s an essential oil diffuser. Atm I’ve got coconut in, but I’ve also got almond, and cocoa, with vanilla on the way.

FINALLY! A WAY TO MAKE MY ROOM SMELL NICE!

My friend who I play Risk with mentioned it to me. It releases a fine mist, has loads of different settings, and LOOK AT ALL THE COLOURS! He said he was thinking of sending me one, but then I took it upon myself to go the whole hog, and absolutely mental on Amazon.
It’s plastic, so totally safe for the ward, and they’ve even already PAT tested it.
Win!
What an absolutely stellar recommendation.
Thank you so much BFFL.

Dinner was a good one – chicken burgers & chips. I had it with my Reds hot BBQ sauce, and got seconds.
While I was queueing, I had a chat to one of the other patients. She asked how my Ward Round was, and said how much she hates hers. She says that every week it lasts for about 3 minutes and they just say ‘yeh, we’re not changing anything this week’, and that’s how things have been for the past 2 years, unless they decide to transfer her to another ward/hospital.
It’s so sad.
She’s on a 1:1 too, so has a staff member with her at all times.
I wonder if that’s how it’s been for the last 2 years?

After dinner, I decided to watch the film ‘Bridesmaids’.
Normally I find it really hilarious, and I thought the message would be fairly uplifting, but I actually found it really depressing.
She loses her business, her boyfriend, her home, and her best friend. I know that the ending is nice – she gets her friend back, embraces living with her mother, starts baking again, and gets her Irish policeman – but I didn’t find it inspiring or hopeful at all.
I would have definitely looked at it that way this time last year, when I was in quite a dark place, that hopeful that things could only get better.
But then things did get better for me.
I found my Irish policeman – a genuinely nice man, my soulmate, my person. I regularly saw my friends, and I enjoyed my job.
And then I lost it all.

So even if things do get better, what’s to say you won’t end up hitting rock bottom again?

While I was watching the film, something massively kicked off in the room next-door. I could hear shouting, crying, and feel loads of bangs through the wall – I think she was being restrained. I tolerated it for a bit, but it got to the point where I couldn’t hear the film, so I had to go for a quick walk around the carpark while things settled down.

When the film ended, I felt really sad, and really anxious. I could feel my heart beating in my throat, so asked the nurse for some medication. While this was going on, the girl who headbangs a lot was doing that in the communal area (within my line of sight). She also kept punching and kicking walls and doors. It shook the whole ward. It wasn’t just the noise that was difficult to deal with, but I could feel it through the floor.

During this, shouty lady fell out of her wheelchair.

You really couldn’t make all this up.

I asked for my dressing to be changed, because it was leaking. He said he’d be with me ‘in a minute’, but then the emergency alarm went off. It was the patient I play games with.
My dressing was obviously forgotten.

The member of staff who had held my hand the night before came to see me and ask how I was doing when she arrived on shift. She gave me a high five, and said to go and find her if I needed anything. That meant a lot.

When I queued up for night time meds/getting my dressing changed, the woman who I play games with came out in to the communal area, and started doing exactly what headbanging girl had done – headbanging, and punching and kicking the doors/walls. She is so impressionable, and just mimics what other patients do. I know she’s obviously not well, but it made me lose a butt load of respect for her. Like, don’t just copy what the other patients are doing. Be original with your madness! Just do you! I know that’s a really bizarre thing to be annoyed at, but I honestly find it really irritating when everyone just copies each other.
It is infectious though.
When one patient goes down, the rest shortly follow.

Singing lady was going mental too. She was restrained the day before, and is clearly really unhappy about it. Her arms are covered in bruises. When I had restraint bruises though I just felt guilty and ashamed. I knew that I deserved them for being such a dick, and that people had just been trying to keep me safe. She passed the nurse a piece of paper on it that said I CALLED 999 AT 9:40PM 16TH MARCH (5 minutes previous).
Just to doubly reiterate, she will have been restrained for a reason – for her own safety. The staff here are not abusive. It must be so difficult for them to know that they have physically hurt someone, and upset them, but purely for their own good. I used to have to sometimes restrain people in one of my previous jobs (when I was Deputy Manager of a children’s home). I am so small and weak though, my move of choice was pretty much just a massive bear hug from behind, so I never actually hurt anyone, just restricted their flailing arms. I always remember feeling horrible about it though.

I finally got my dressing changed. There was this massive hoo-ha about what size to use. We had to look through all the boxes. My wound was exposed while we were searching, and a queue gathered at the meds hatch, so again I felt a bit exposed. I used my hand to cover my leg because it just felt like everyone’s eyes were on me.

Once everything had settled down a bit, I watched some Drag Race with tea and chocolate.
I put my oil diffuser on a one-hour timer, and watched the colours cycle through as I fell asleep.

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