Yesterday was a mixture of a good day and a bad day. I spent most of the day, from 9.30am until 4.30pm, in hospitals/medical settings and I feel as if I have wasted everyone’s time, but I suppose the outcome has been good, which is all that matters.
The appointment with the CMHT was a breath of fresh air. There were 2 CPNs in the room with me, one asked me questions and did the talking and the other one sat and reflected. After about 45 minutes they explained that at this point they have a 5 minute discussion between them about me and what they have assessed the situation to be, which I would be present in, and then the final 10 minutes of the session was an open conversation about the points they had made. The CPN who did the talking, Allison, is to be my CPN and she is very pleasant, very approachable and understanding. We spent the time talking about what has been happening this year, how my sleep/mood/appetite is and finally moved on to the self-harm and suicidal thoughts.
In the discussion between the two of them, the CPN who had been doing the listening came up with the following thoughts
- I am far too hard on myself and need to start realising that I cannot take the blame for everything that goes wrong, nor should I punish myself to such an extent when things do go wrong
- I have been through an awful lot this year and it is no wonder I am feeling the way I am
- I am very good at masking the way I am feeling and shrugging events off. Alongside this I also ted to talk about the facts of an event and not how it made me feel (I concentrate on the what and where, not the emotions)
- I have an extremely low self-esteem but try to pretend I am confidence and can bear the worries of the world on my own.
I had to agree with the majority of the things said but regretfully didn’t have time to mention everything that I would liked to have mentioned, in particular the eating issues, but I suppose there is always next time. I am seeing Allison again next week just to check in with her and to make sure I am coping and then in 3 weeks time I am seeing the 2 CPNs together again for a session that will be similar to yesterday’s, but possibly a little less formally structured.
Towards the end of the session I felt a little more at ease so decided to cross my legs. I must note at this point, that at 5am yesterday morning I made 4 cuts to the tops of my legs, so as soon as I placed pressure on them I whinced. Allison noticed this and asked if I needed to go to Minor Injuries. I said I didn’t and that the cuts would be fine, she then said that as well as being concerned with my mental health, they also had to take an interest in my physical health as this would impact on my state of mind. I agreed that it probably did need looking at in Minor Inuries but that I didn’t want to go, whereupon she suggested that she could come with me (the unit is just around the corner from where my appointment was).
She spoke to the receptionist for me so I didn’t have to explain anything and then sat with me for about half an hour, until she had to leave because she had another appointment. I was eventually seen by a Nurse Practitioner who decided that the wounds were too severe for her to deal with and I would have to be referred to A&E. By this point I just wanted to go home and when asked if I would go to A&E I merely shrugged my shoulders and said “I don’t know”. The Nurse Practitioner put some steri-strips on the cuts to stop the bleeding and re-dressed them and let me go, reiterating the point that I needed to get them sutured that day.
In the end I did go to A&E and I got seen pretty quickly. Luckily Minor Injuries had faxed my notes across to the A&E department so I didn’t have to go through everything again. The SHO who stitched me up was a lovely girl who was training to be a GP. She had done her initial training at St. Thomas’, which is where I was born, so we talked about that for a while and all manner of stupid topics. She then asked how long I had been self-harming and I fet so stupid and embarassed to admit that it was 8 years. She gave me a pitying look and I just felt pathetic for being 23 years old and still resorting to the same coping method that I used when I was 15, as if I had never grown up. She wanted to refer me to the self-harm team but I refused as I didn’t need more people asking me awkward questions and I had just seen the CMHT that morning. She then discharged me home.
Whilst in A&E though I noticed the lovely F2 who sutured my legs on Bank Holiday Monday in August. He noticed me sitting the waiting room and looked over, caught my eye, waved and mouthed “hello”, to which I mouthed “hi” back. I hadn’t noticed when he was treating me how good looking he was and his behaviour was incredibly odd at the time, until I thought about it. He kept walking into the waiting area/reception, looking at me and then looking through the notes. When the triage nurse had seen me, he then took my notes from the nurse into the main area of A&E, until the female SHO came out to treat me. It was almost as if he wanted to treat me, and when I left he was in reception and smiled at me as I walked out. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, and it’s not as if I would have wanting him treating me. I always feel very uncomfortable being treated by the same doctor twice in A&E for self-harming, especially on consecutive occasions.
I came out to a voicemail message from Allison, my CPN, asking me to ring her. When I rang she said she wanted to check I had been to A&E as she had rung the Minor Injuries Unit to check I was OK and had been treated and was told I’d been referred to A&E as it was too serious for Minor Injuries to deal with. She praised me for going to get medical help as I was in tears in the appointment and walking to Minor Injuries with her as for some reason I was terrified of getting help, and told me to treat myself to something nice as a treat for doing so well. She told me to stay safe, look after myself and if I needed to speak to someone before I see her next week to ring the uni and ask for her. She also asked if I had told anyone about the episode, which of cause me being me, I haven’t, but she didn’t berate me for it, she just told me she understood.
Today I feel stupid but also have a desperate urge to do it again. For a bizarre reason my teeth also hurt, as if I have sat clenching them, the muscle pain you get associated with it, but I haven’t been clenching them, or at least not to my knowledge, unless I did it in my sleep. I’ve taken painkillers, but it hasn’t touched it, mind you it hasn’t helped the headache I’ve got either. I also feel very sick and keep retching; the delights of being a chemo patient.