Hospital following an OD: Day 2

The majority of my time spent in hospital was on the Observation Ward of the Emergency Department. From what I heard, quite a few of the patients there were psych patients too. However, most were adults or elderly patients, I was the only young person on the ward at the time. There was a man next to me who was on ‘specials,’ I could hear him arguing about taking his olanzapine and having haloperidol injections, and he had to have someone watching him at all times. The woman next to him had bipolar disorder, I heard the psychiatrist talking to her too, after having a chat to me. Another elderly man was in the process of possibly being moved to a psychiatric hospital for elderly patients for his depression. A couple of people were there for alcohol related accidents.

I’d never been in hospital before following self harm or an overdose, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I was afraid that I’d be patronised and disrespected, because I had put myself in hospital, I had done this to myself. I though it’d be no less than what I deserved. But in fact, the majority of doctors and nurses treated me with respect and kindness, for which I was thankful for. I have heard horror stories of people’s experiences in hospital following self harm, of how they were given no anaesthetic, of how they were made to feel as though they didn’t deserve to receive treatment, and I am very grateful this was not the case with me.

There were a few disturbances during the night, and as a result, I didn’t manage to get much sleep. And when I did get to sleep at about 3am, I was woken up again at 4am by a nurse to get my bloods taken. “Is it always like this?” I asked her, about whether or not there are usually this many disturbances during the night. “Some nights you do get some good ones where it’s quiet, but yeah, a lot of nights are like this,” she replied. “I was a patient here myself once and it wasn’t very nice.” I gave a weak laugh in response.

The first day I spent in hospital, my emotions hadn’t really caught up with me yet. I had only cried a couple of times, while the rest of the time I couldn’t quite believe all this was happening to me. By the second day however, it all just got too much. Too much going on, too much emotion, and I spent almost the whole of the second day crying my eyes out. There’s not much to do on the ward, everyone’s busy, everyone has their own problems, so I was just left to cry and cry on my own, on the hospital bed, drowning in my own misery. Not fun.

Sometime in the morning, the doctors came to do their ward round. I was still crying. I can tell you now, there’s nothing, absolutely nothing dignified in sitting cross legged on a hospital bed, dressed in a flimsy white hospital gown, uncontrollably crying into your lap while a doctor is standing over you, talking down at you, and a group of about three other doctors and a nurse are all standing around your bed watching, with the curtains around your bed drawn. The doctor standing over me, a toxicologist to be precise, started firing questions at me. ” Are you upset?” “Yes.” “Why are you upset?” “Don’t know, just am,” I shrugged, while still crying. “You saw the psychiatrist yesterday, is that right?” “Yes.” “Has anything changed since then, did something happen here to upset you, do you want to speak to the psychiatrist again?” “No.” He said some more that I can’t remember. He then also told me about having to have the drip in because of my paracetamol levels, how I would be there a while longer, how they had to test my liver function. All I could do was cry. I was intimidated by him, by everyone standing around my bed, the whole experience really. Finally he finished off, the curtains were once again pulled back, and they left to attend to the other patients.

Finally, 11:30am rolled around and the 16 hour IV bag had finished dripping into me. Huzzah! However, they needed to take my blood and get it tested before I was cleared to go, to make sure everything was fine. Felt a bit like a pin cushion by the end of it all.

The IV bag on a pole I was connected to

At one point the nurse looking after me came to speak to me while I was still crying. “Are you okay?” she asked. “Yep,” I nodded miserably. “Just feeling really depressed?” she asked. I nodded and said, “Yes” in agreement. “Are you always like this?” she asked. Always like this? Not quite so miserable all the time, no. “Umm, sometimes…it’s been a bit better since starting the Lexapro,” I said, hoping she would take the hint. I had asked for my medication earlier, I usually have it at about 8am, at this point it was midday and I still hadn’t had it. She took the hint. I got my Lexapro.

About one and a half hours after my blood had been taken for testing, the results came back, and I was free to go. The cannula was taken out at about 12:30pm, which made me very relieved indeed. I decided to go take a shower to freshen up after all of it. The relief was short lived however, when blood started dripping out of where they took it out, on my sleeve, over my hand, on the floor…eek. Gave me quite a fright. I was led back to my hospital bed, where the fixed me up, and the blood stopped flowing.

Because I had my psychiatrist appointment at 3pm, and I was discharged at about 1pm, I decided to wait around at the hospital until it was time for my psychiatrist appointment. Conveniently, my psychiatrist’s office is about a 10/15 minute walk from the hospital.

I started crying almost as soon as I was called into Dr T’s consulting room. Nice. Never cried in front of her before. Spent the majority of the one hour session crying in front of her in fact, which made it a really productive session, obviously. No, actually, it was helpful to just be able to cry in front of somebody who knew me and who knew what was going on and to hear some of the things she said. She said that she’s going to have a chat with my psychologist, and will touch base with me on Tuesday, when I have an appointment with my psychologist then. She also said that we’d talk more about the Lexapro next time I see her.

One of the questions my psychiatrist asked me was, “Do you feel safe enough to be out of hospital?” I shrugged. “Well the psychiatrist I spoke to there thought I was.” “I’m asking you,” she replied. I honestly don’t know. I still feel really hopeless, and part of me wishes what I took really did do enough to kill me. Everything just feels too hard, like just feels too hard. But at the same time, I’m not 100% sure I really, really want to end it, and I’m not in any hurry to have a repeat experience of this ordeal for a while. In any case, I told my psychiatrist I wouldn’t do anything impulsive before Tuesday. So I’m still at home now, still trying to hang on. One positive that has happened though is that I went out to dinner on the Friday night after my discharge from hospital and my appointment with Dr T. It was nice to catch up with them.

13 thoughts on “Hospital following an OD: Day 2

  1. I’m glad you’re home and okay-ish. I have had that many experiences like this it’s not funny. The two things that stop me now are Andy and the thought of having charcol. Charcol after an OD sucks. It tastes so horrible that it has actually stopped many ODs. I have had more fights with trying to stop ODing that I have actually taking and OD but I have too many ODs in my history that I do worry about what I’ve done to myself and my liver in the long term. I do know that ODing never makes me feel better, only worse. The thought of ODing scares the shit out of me now because I never want to die, I just want the shit to stop. The crap that makes me feel like shit. Anyway, I am babbling. I hope you are okay and I’m glad you are home. If you feel too bad though, please go to emergency. I like you too much to not want to you to be around anymore.

  2. I wish I’d been there to give you a reassuring hug…or several. This reminds me of my experience on a general ward. I’d been sent because of complications from the ED and I remember crying so much…alone…then in front of cold faced groups of unfeeling doctors who were quick to point the finger of blame and threaten sectioning etc.

    I’m glad you felt things with Dr T were productive, and often it helps just to let the tears flow and release the tension. Hang in there missus, because although things may really suck right now, there are always better times, new things and happy moments ahead, waiting for you. I know it may not seem like this now, but from experience, when I’ve felt really low, wanting it all to end, there have always been times afterwards that were definitely worth sticking around for.


    Sarah x

  3. wow. what you’re going through reminds me so much of the time i myself ended up in observation at the psych ward in the hospital. they were mostly kind to me too. but the hardest part was having to listen to the other patients cry out, have confusing dialogue with themselves or whoever would listen. it made me wonder if i was really as messed up as them, and if not, was i going to end up that way?

    ultimately, my 2 days in the psych ward 5 years ago were a turning point, because they got me onto medication and into urgent care counseling, where i learned how to reframe my perceptions. and it made me realize that i didn’t want to die, i just didn’t want to be sad anymore.

    i hope the same happens for you. much love and hugs to you.

  4. I’m sorry you had/have to go through this. It sucks, I know. But I’m glad you made a promise to your psychiatrist that you wouldn’t do anything impulsive until Tuesday. I’m really worried about you. I really like you (and I hope this doesn’t sound creepy– I just really connect to your posts and your comments on my blog are always thoughtful). I just want you to take care of yourself like you deserve to be taken care of (which is well, by the way). Please stay safe. And you can always shoot me a comment or email if you want to “talk.”

    Wishing you well,

  5. Hi there, it sounds like exactly what i go through when im in hospital! All the staff in the A&E know me and some of them are nice and some are really nasty, you get to know what each one is like.

  6. Hello, just came across this and gave it a read and Monday just gone 2/11/15 I ended up in hospital for an overdose it was the first time something like this had happened and I was so scared I also had a canula put in and blood taken, when the tests came back they said my levels where fine so I didn’t need anything and I could go home after seeing someone, when they took the canula out I had the same thing happen to me blood was just pouring out of my arm it almost made me pass out. I know you may not even have this page anymore but I just wanted to leave a comment about my time

  7. This happened to me and they referred me to seven counties which is a physcologist or something place. I’m underage so they told my mom to get me an appointment within 2 days as a follow-up. However I really don’t wanna go. Will there be any consequences if I don’t?

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