On my way to Paris!!

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St Pancras station looking all posh now. Going to Paris for a few days with one of my best friends. How exciting is this??

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Where Am I Going? Where Have I Come From?

I don’t know where this blog is going anymore. In fact I’m not sure where I am going anymore. The world is a big, large place and currently I’m scared of it. Am seeing my CPN tomorrow. Frightened that I will be admitted or at the very least have the crisis team involved again.
Ruth

Mentally Numbed: Being Sedated Whilst An Inpatient Kept Me Safe

So where was I?

Ah yes, after lots and lots of lorazepam on the Monday afternoon/evening/night the duty medical doctor decided to delete it from my drug chart as the drug of choice for calming me down when needed. Instead he added hydroxyzine which is a sedating antihistamine. The next time the nurse offered me some PRN meds, I think I was opening the window and trying to squeeze out through it, this was the drug I got. I was offered what dose I would like but was told that I could only have a maximum of 75mg in a day and the tablets were 25mg, so I opted for 25mg and settled down to think I would be vaguely relaxed and a little chilled out. Instead of which I slept most of the day. I remember my mum coming to visit me but apparently she left because I looked so dozy, I don’t recall her leaving, but the rest of the day is a blur.

My consultant came to visit me on Tuesday afternoon and in my dozy state I agreed to start taking olanzapine again at night to try and combat the night wandering and nightmares but also to switch off all the noise that was in my head. This inevitably meant that I slept beautifully on Tuesday night, and through much of Wednesday and only started to wake up on Wednesday when it was time for my night meds again.

I don’t think they deliberately tried to sedate me from Tuesday through to Thursday afternoon when I was discharged but I believe it did make their lives easier as I was hell bent on self destruction and by the simple fact that I was asleep most of the time, it reduced my risk of doing anything. As I was discharged on the Thursay I noticed I had finally been marked down to hourly observations and deemed a low risk, which pleased me as I had never been such a low risk before, and yet I was sad because I knew in my heart that it was only because of sedating meds.

Immediately after being discharged I saw my CPN who did her own risk assessments which deemed me to be at high risk of suicide and self harm and low risk of violence and neglect. Then on the Friday I had a joint appointment with my CPN and a guy from the Crisis Team to assess whether I could be taken onto the CRHT (Crisis Resolution Home Treatment Team) caseload or whether I was sane enough to cope on my own. Their joint opinion was for CRHT to have input and so far I have been working with the team for just over a week. I have a care plan review on Thursday, which I presume they will cease contact with me afterwards but for once they have actually been helpful and supportive. I’ll write more about them in another post.

Ruth

Suicide Slip-Ups: Remember To Plan, Check And Then Check Again

A week ago I was going to kill myself. I won’t go into exact details but to say that a key component in the plan was to drive off somewhere else. I had spent a fair few days organising this plan; lying to get what I needed, lying to give me the time and space to execute it and lying about whether I was feeling suicidal.

At last the day arrived and nothing could thwart my plan. Except it didn’t work. I am still here and for one stupid pathetic reason; my car wouldn’t start and by the time I had the bonnet up to jump start it my Dad had finished his conference call and came down to see what I was doing. Then later when it was charged and I could drive off my Mum arrived back from her meeting. Bad timing all ways round.

Sunday night was a miserable affair for me. Not only was the weather revolting but I rang the out of hours number (not the crisis team but some vaguely trained monkeys) who immediately threatened to ring the police if I couldn’t guarantee my own safety. Of course I lied again and said everything was perfectly OK, with bells and whistles on for extra effect just to make sure that the Met wouldn’t arrive at the door.

On Monday morning I had to go to the Jobcentre for one of their stupid ‘Back to Work’ sessions as I am on Jobseeker’s Allowance, although I’m looking at moving over to ESA. As soon as the session finished I went out and rang my CPN in a state. I told her about Friday’s aborted suicide attempt, the mental healthline on Sunday and how today I was still having dark intrusive thoughts.

She noted it all down and made an appointment for me to see my psych that afternoon. I saw him and within 10 minutes of walking through the door he was suggesting admission. At first I disagreed but then he spoke to my mum and thought it would be a good idea as then they could get the lithium restarted quickly.

I went home, packed a bag and set off for the psych unit, which wasn’t one I’d been in before. I was shown to my dorm in the female only area. 4 beds and only 2 of us there as the other were on leave. I was petrified. I just sat on my bed whilst the medic did my obs and the physical checks. Then the senior staff nurse took some of my history and said the rest would be faxed over by my psych in the morning. The medic came back and gave me 2mg of lorazepam to calm me and then the loveliest staff nurse (referred here on in as lovely nurse) showed me around the ward. It seemed quite nice really, a lot better than some NHS wards I’ve been on. She explained I was on a level 2A obs (every 10 mins) until the night staff arrived and then I would be specialled, or on one-to-one overnight. I thought this was fair given the circumstances.

I sat and watched TV in the ladies lounge for a while but it was soon time for bed. I got given all my night meds plus zopiclone and 1mg lorazepam and I was so exhausted by everything throughout the day that I was asleep almost immediately and totally unaware of the HCA at the foot of my bed. During the night I got up and walked the entire length of the ward to the entrance which was locked, and I have no recollection of this. When the HCA lightly put her hand on my shoulder my legs started wobbly and I nearly broke down in tears, literally. They gave me another 1mg of lorazepam which settled me somewhat.

Later on it all kicked off in the male section and there was screaming and shouting and things being thrown. I stayed in bed but pulled the covers round me and put my hands over my ears and started rocking forwards and back. Typical mental behaviour you might think but I didn’t have my iPod as the earphones were deemed a safety risk when I was admitted, so I had to calm myself someway.

The rest of the night was quite peaceful. I slept here and there and the HCA/nurse at the end of my bed changed at various intervals. I woke up, not very refreshed, on Tuesday morning whereupon a whole lot of stuff happened until I was discharged but I’ll write about all of that later.

Ruth

Left And Right: When One Doesn’t Know What The Other Is Doing

I saw my CPN on Thursday. It would have been quite a useful meeting if I haven’t spent nearly all of it in tears, completely unable to articulate my feelings or my needs. The only upshot is that she realised how bad I was feeling and has arranged to see me again next week, instead of the fortnight it should be.

She told me on Thursday that I was due a CPA review soon and that one had been organised for Monday but she wasn’t sure what time. She told me to ring my psychiatrist’s secretary to find the time. On Friday I rang the secretary to discover that the meeting had been pencilled in the ‘notes’ section but with no time attached so she said she would speak to my psych and find out the time. She rang back a few hours later to tell me that my psych had no recollection of planning a meeting and that one didn’t exist, despite him writing it in the diary.

This lack of communication could be amusing if my CPN and psychiatrist didn’t operate out of the same building.

Ruth

All Good Things Come To An End: How The High Has Given Way To A Low

I have stopped using the lorazepam to calm me down now and more to keep me safe. My hypomania has gone. The boundless energy has gone. The positive thoughts and hopeful aspirations have disappeared.

Instead I have thoughts of self destruction, suicide, self harm, running away, bad thoughts that I don’t want. So I am blocking them out with lorazepam. It calms me down, numbs my brain, stops the voices in my head telling me how shit and useless I am. It makes me chilled and slightly stoned.

Combined with zopiclone at night it makes me sleep and decreases the nightmares and terrors. I still have flashbacks and I still dissociate but it takes the edge of it.

Trouble is I can’t survive on lorazepam for the rest of my life.

Ruth

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