Friday, March 27, 2009

The admission

It started on Thursday, maybe even the day before. I was spiralling uncontrollably and barely managed to get to my appointment with V. So much of my memory of that is now tinged with a veil of darkness. I wasn't myself. My brain was raging against me. I sought refuge in seeing V, but even that was compromised - the fear kept me from staying, I kept trying to run away.

I entered the high needs unit crying hysterically - definately not one of my proudest moments. They forced meds on me to calm me down.

My progress through the system was slow because of the misfortune of entering it on a Thursday. Friday was too soon to discharge me, so I had to resign myself to being in there all weekend. On Friday night I did push to be allowed to go over to the open ward on the other side of the doors after 8pm when they locked the main doors. Something they call "integration" when someone on the locked unit was allowed time on the open side gradually to assimilate them.

Saturday morning was torture. It was a slow burning process. I didn't know what to do with the noise in my head. But I did ask the registrar if I could be allowed a room on the open side. The registrar was a petite east indian lady who turned out to be very nice. She said yes. So after lunch, I was assigned a room on the open side. That was a relief. All of a sudden I had options - I could go to the women's TV lounge, or stay in the common room/kitchen area, or hide in my room where I had all the privacy in the world.

My manager came to see me on Sunday. I had been pushing for a leave pass, but was told I had to be escorted on leave. So the timing was great when my manager said she would escort me home to pick up a few things. I didn't really need anything - I just wanted to get out, no matter how brief and I certainly didn't care whether I had to be escorted or not.

In the afternoon, I again managed to get out when my nurse escorted me around the block for a walk.

I was hoping to be discharged on Monday, but was disappointed to find out that the doctor was too busy seeing outpatients to see me. So I "negotiated" for an 8 hour leave pass to go into work. I really needed to do that though, as my manager was fully expecting them to release me and there were a few urgent matters I had to resolve to move things along and everyone was waiting for my sign off.

At work, I spent over an hour trying to do 3 simple tasks which normally would have taken me 15 mins to complete. My brain was still fuzzy from all the drugs they had given me.

On Tuesday I was finally assessed again - it was Day 5, and the MH Act would have expired. They had the option of either discharging me or certifying me for another 2 weeks. Fortunately they discharged me. And I saw V immediately after leaving the ward.

The doctor signed a medical certificate for me to have the rest of the week off, so since Tuesday, I've been home, puttering around, trying to find my footing back in a world which recently tilted off its axis. I checked in at work on Tuesday as I felt bad being away when things were so hectic. But mostly I've just been trying to organise myself back into my routines.

During this previous stay in the locked unit, I'd been very anxious and restless. I found it hard to sit for any period of time. I paced a lot. I found myself trying to catch my breath. I was battling my demon thoughts. Nothing seemed to soothe me. It was also difficult to comprehend how low I'd come and how this was my second admission to the locked unit in 3 weeks.

But I'm better now. It's been good having a few days off work. I return to work on Monday and I'm not fearful of that. I believe I can manage. I see my keyworker and V later today.

8 comments:

Lola Snow said...

Sounds really horrible PB. I am glad that you are feeling better now, try to take it easy on yourself if you can. You need to be kind to yourself, you deserve to take some time to recover.

Lola x

Anonymous Drifter said...

((((PB))))

Wandering Coyote said...

Thanks for the update. I'm glad you're doing better. It sounds to me like you got the help you needed exactly when you needed it, right? Sometimes we need that few days in hospital just to break the cycle. At least, that's what I have found.

On another note...Um...This is really embarrassing, but...Until I read the post about your hospitalization just previous to this one, the one where you said you were the only female on the ward, I was actually under the impression that you are male! I have no idea how I got this impression at all, but it's taken me a year and specific cues from you to clue me in to the truth!

I just had to share that with you. I hope you don't mind.

Harriet said...

Ugh, what an ordeal. I can't even imagine. It's good that you're feeling better now, take it slow.

Aqua said...

Hi Polar Bear,
Sorry to hear you are having such a difficult time. I am here for you if you need someone to "chat" to. You can e-mail me too.
[[[[[hugs]]]]]
...aqua

Disillusioned said...

Sorry things have been so tough for you. Hope you can take some space for you in this time off. Be gentle with yourself.

Polar Bear said...

@Lola
Yeah, it was rough, but I'm better now thanks.

@AD
Thanks, and {{{{HUGS}}}} back

@WC
No problem - even in real life I tend to be more "masculine" than "feminine". Has a lot to do with my upbringing, as well as having to stay strong because of my solitary fight throughout my life.

@Harriet
Thanks, I'll try to take it slow.

@Aqua
Thanks Aqua.

@Disillusioned
I will...

Thanks to everyone who commented.

Sid said...

I'm always amazed by the snippets of info I get of the mental health system on your side of the world. It's NOTHING like it is over here. Here you're locked in until the doctor says you can leave...period. There are no passes, no going outside, you're locked up 24 hours a day. Even the criminals usually get at least an hour of time outdoors, we get nothing.