NAC infusion in the ED. Again.

The months following my three week hospital admission in May, I had actually been going okay. Only one small overdose of paracetamol in over four months. Until this week that is. Wednesday night I took several antihistamines and a few different sedatives that I shouldn’t have had in my possession. Slept for about 16 hours. And what do you do the night after you OD? Why you take another one of course…

So what happened? I may as well link to this post made in August 2010. I’m predictable and stupid enough that I do pretty much the exact same thing over a year later. But of course there are always a few differences. Like the nurse who commanded “Show me your scars,” and then proceeded to try and draw them on my notes. The same  nurse who asked me, “Do you think you can be an occupational therapist with your condition?’ She also remarked to the student doctor that it’s “sad” I’ve been on the waitlist for the DBT program for so long as they poured over my file. Yes, ten months is a bit “sad” isn’t it…

A few people ‘had a chat’ to me, as they like to call it. The ED doctor treating me, the aforementioned nurse, a couple of psych liaison nurses and the psych registrar. Got the standard lecture about liver damage from the ED doctor and was told to pick up the phone and call someone instead, next time I want to OD. That simple, huh? When interviewing me, the psych liaison nurse commented that I’m not much of a talker and that I must dislike him asking so many questions of me. I replied that I “guess I’m kinda used to it.” “That’s quite sad really, isn’t it?” he answered. Guess it is quite sad I’ve been through four ED admissions, two psych admissions, three psychologists, two psychiatrists, a school counsellor and two GPs who all ask very similar questions. He’s also another one who seems to think DBT will be the miracle cure all. Given my views on what I’ve seen on DBT so far, really I just wanted to bash my head against a wall at his suggestion. I pointedly informed him I am on the waitlist for DBT and have been since January. “Would you like me to help bump you up the waitlist?” he asked me. I shrugged.

I had entered the ED at about 9am on Friday morning, the NAC infusion finished at about 9am the next day and my bloods came back fine at about 10am too. Which could’ve meant I could go home then, but no. I had to wait for the psych registrar. And it wasn’t a quick wait either. About three hours I waited around just for her to have about a 15 minute chat to me. I was presented with three options; home, the private psych hospital I was at in May or the public psych ward of the hospital I was currently in. I shrugged. And cried. A lot. Neither of those options were particularly appealing to me. Hospital for the reason that it’s well…hospital. Home for the reason that I don’t know how I’m going to cope when I don’t have ANY help at all. Last week I had to cancel my appointment with Dr T scheduled for October 7 due to reasons relating to uni, the next available appointment slot was November 16 so I took it. Which is now a month away. I’ve stopped with R, the psychologist I was seeing, and no, I’m not going back.

In the end Dr Chicken, the psych registrar (and no that’s not a pseudonym, no joke), decided to send me home with the proviso that my parents are around to look out for me and I agree to call someone and seek help if I’m going to overdose. Which I did, amidst much crying, express my reluctance and extreme difficulty in doing so. I know it may not seem that hard to some, but I can’t and find it really, really hard to call or ask for any help when I’m struggling. And if it wasn’t such a show of their inefficiency, it’d be somewhat amusing that despite Dr Chicken’s plan for me to call them, or the private psych hospital I was at, or go to the public psych ward triage, or whatever it was, I’ve been given no numbers to call nor any clear instructions regarding what to do if I’m feeling unsafe. Which is just excellent. Next appointment with your psychiatrist is in a month, and in the meantime goodbye and good luck.

And since being home I’ve been crying and contemplating taking another overdose, trying to convince myself otherwise. My exams being in just over a week isn’t helping matters either… :/ I feel so stuck and as if there are no options for help.

8 thoughts on “NAC infusion in the ED. Again.

  1. Oh wow you are having such a tough time. Really wish things were better for you – and I’m sure lots of people round the world are sending you their love and wishing for things to get better for you soon. You are very brave to blog about it so soon after the event.

    Doesn’t really sound like they have services that match what you need in any way at all – basically hospital or nothing. I don’t suppose they have ever asked what people really need.

  2. was this OD anything to do with the exams? maybe you could talk to uni about delaying them if you cant cope with them right now. The thing with all mental health problems is that you so strongly have to want to get better-and them remember in the times right before you want to overdose you want to be better. Cos in reality, there is no other way to start recovery-you have to stop the behaviours. have you had a look to see if there are any helplines you could call/out of hours teams etc, cos i know lots of people find phone talking easier than face to face. maybe you could think about hospital-i agree short admissions do jack all, and are not that helpful when you are in real crisis, other than keeping you safe. You can only truly engage in recovery focussed programmes when you are not in crisis-which is why its so important to use any support you can find now, and then think about your long term options.

    and you can totally still do OT. at least you will know what the hell you are talking about! i hate it when people are all uppity about working in healthcare professions. Just maybe you need to spend the time now looking after you.

    take care x

  3. so very sorry to hear things have crashed- had been delighted we weren’t hearing much from you and when we did it was really positive stuff showing you were involved with things (such a very good combination)

  4. I’ve come to the conclusion that just about every medical system sucks. Too much bureaucracy and not enough compassion.

    We’re all here for you!!!! I hope things are getting better, even if it is a little at a time.

  5. Oh WFH,

    That last line was enlightening – your exams and your decision to be in occupational health must be putting you under pressure no matter how competent you are. These are triggers for you considering how uncomfortable you feel in your own skin about being mentally ill, and the pattern of sabotage you try to emerge from after each OD.

    I can’t deny that you should not have been kept waiting for so long to have therapy. On the other hand, is your sense of entitlement so low that you won’t cause a stink over something that affects you directly in a fundamentally unfair manner? You fight an OT patients corner on this – why not for yourself too?

    i’m really sorry that you felt driven to this extreme.again. What disintegrates so much to force your hand thus?

    Hope you feel clearer soon,

    X C

  6. The simple answer to that nurse is yes, you can be an OT with your “condition”, and you’ll be a great one because you’ll have compassion and empathy for your patients.

  7. Hi there! The whole experience you are describing sounds frustrating for sure. Hope you get some better help soon. And yes – people who have had struggles can relate so much better as an OT, doctor, PT, nurse or whatever as a result. You will be able to use allthis to help others someday. But you gotta hang in there! 🙂
    Jenna

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