Day leave

Friday I attended Uni, as I had permission for day leave. Four hours worth of tutorials and a one hour lecture. It was difficult to remain focussed in parts of the day. I found myself anxious and overwhelmed in other parts; being in such a big space, all alone with so many people around in a place that holds sad memories for me. Almost in tears. It felt odd, almost surreal to be doing something so everyday, so ordinary in these circumstances. It was only a week ago I was waiting in the short stay unit of my local Emergency Department for a bed at the psych clinic.

I arrived back at H Clinic in the afternoon, and after dinner my nurse came to have a chat with me. I had told another nurse in the morning I was left feeling annoyed from the family meeting the previous night. I was questioned by my afternoon nurse about my feelings of anger. I told her of the situation with Dr T’s suggestion of my parents looking after my medication. She said that while she can see why I’m not happy with having my independence taken away, nurses and doctors have a ‘duty of care’, and they have to take into consideration how many times I’ve overdosed. According to her, overdosing on Pristiq can do more harm then something like paracetamol. Righto, why don’t I give her theory a good go then? She also enquired about how Uni went. The combination of how Uni had been, and more so the feeling that she, like everyone else, doesn’t understand where I’m coming from, left me in tears. She didn’t permit me to be left alone in my room to cry, and I was made to sit in the lounge, much to my resentment. I was asked “What’s the point in being in hospital?” if I’m going to cry alone in my room just like I would at home if upset. At that moment I would have liked nothing better than to shout and say, “Fine, I don’t want to be in freakin’ hospital then!”

I’ve noticed that in the private hospital, nurses expect more out of you. Generally because the patients here are not-as-sick as those you would find in a public ward. Over there, you could spend all day crying in your room, and none of the nurses would know, or care enough to try to get you out. I know, because that’s exactly what I did whilst there last December. It probably is a good thing the nurses here try to get you out of the room and doing something when you’re upset. But right now I’d prefer what the nurses at the public ward did- just go away and leave me alone!

The weekend was a bit of an improvement on the days prior. My roommate was discharged on Saturday morning so I’ve had the room to myself all weekend, much to my pleasure!

Bedroom- two beds in each

Our own TV in each room. The goodness of private hospitals.

On the weekend I had day leave and so I went out to dinner with my family on Saturday night and went home for a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon. When my parents came to pick me up on Saturday they brought over my mail, one of which was from the ambulance company. $778 per ambulance service. Thank goodness my private health insurance covers it. This one at least, as they only cover one ambulance trip per year. Can’t go overdosing and needing an ambulance again….or can’t go overdosing and letting someone know/find me again…ha…

My aunties and grandparents also visited me on the weekend, and unfortunately they don’t tend to say the most helpful of things. My aunts were telling me to compare myself with people in third world countries, how we have it good compared to them, and how I should be happy to have a healthy body, unlike amputees and those in wheelchairs. Gosh, imagine if they met Marsha Linehan, they’d become good friends for sure! I was also told that as a young person I don’t have finances to worry about and a family to feed, so at this age I should be happy. They really do say the most helpful things, my aunties. I let my aunt know, who’s a pharmacy technician, that I’ve been switched to Pristiq. Coincidentally the drug rep came to the pharmacy on the Friday just passed to talk about Pristiq and my aunt’s been convinced it’s a good drug, as it has less interactions with other drugs compared to meds such as Zoloft, Lexapro and Efexor. I also let slip that I’ve been taking temazepam as PRN to help get me to sleep at night. Cue the lectures on sleeping pills and dependance from my aunts, grandparents and mother. Yes, I do know one can become dependant on benzos. But having an unrestful sleep, waking up at 3am and not being able to get back to sleep until a couple of hours later is not ideal either. It’s frustrating that the nights I haven’t taken temazepam, that exact situation arose. What’s the better alternative then? I was given Seroquel as PRN for anxiety or if I couldn’t sleep when I was in the ED, but I know that drug causes weight gain. Bah.

6 thoughts on “Day leave

  1. ah, pristiq more dangerous than paracetamol, eh?

    Seriously, I’m worried. I’ve not wanted to barrage you with comments but was hoping that you’d be able to take some ‘time out’ whilst in hospital for yourself (I love the first 36 hours in hospital- the holiday from yourself is blessed). It was sounding useful that you were being engaged in so much OT & stuff.

    Is it possible it’s just been an overwhelming few days back in the ‘real world’ that’s undermining things? That’s what I’m hoping for; that maybe if you can recognise it’s going to be a case of baby steps back, then you can cut yourself a little more slack, and look after yourself rather than ‘life’.

    Thinking good things for you!

  2. Your aunts’ comments make me want to punch them in the face. My aunt Maisie gave me the whole God spiel in the wake of a suicide attempt when I was 16. I laughed in her face and asked her to cite the role of God within psychiatric literature. She didn’t bother again after that.

    Anyway, *hugs* for you, lady. Be kind to yourself 🙂

    Pan xxx

  3. I’m with Pandora– your aunts comments show a complete ignorance for mental illness. Yes, maybe we have all the food and water we need or want, but that doesn’t equal happiness or stability. I’m sorry they were so insensitive.

    I hope your time in the hospital is helpful.

    Wishing you well,

  4. I agree that your aunts comments were completely out of place. The obviously don’t understand mental illness at all. It’s just not fair that they even mentioned third world countries, not even closely related and doesn’t make you feel any better about yourself. Hang in there and I’m jealous, in my hospital, you had to hire TVs but they all had foxtel and whatnot on them. I never watched TV much anyway. I’m glad you’re in a safe place. If it’s any consololation, when you become ‘unsafe’ or too upset in my hospital, they put you in a chair in the front of the nurses desk and you have to stay there until you can guarentee you will be okay.

  5. It’s so incredibly invalidating when other people make comparisons for you that are supposed to make you feel better. If you decided to come to that conclusion yourself, it might not seems so trite, but I am sure that there it is not something people can foist on you. Gah.

    The nurses sound pretty tough. A lot of the time that kind of tough love benefited me in the long run, but it really sucked when it was happening. I hear you.

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