Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Admission to hospital

20:52hrs 5th September 2008

I have just arrived at ward XXX. It is an adult acute assessment and treatment unit. I cannot believe I am here. They have made a massive mistake, but they believe I am psychotic, and floridly so. I don't need hospital. I need a priest. An exorcism.
A couple of weeks ago I was the nurse in charge - how can things have turned so quickly that they believe that I don't know my own mind. They think the lunatic was running the asylum, but they are wrong. How many people have I done this to. Denied what was happening to them. Didn't believe them. Or believed that it was their perception, but obviously their perception was incorrect and mine was not because they are mad and I am a registered mental nurse.
No-one believes me and i don't know what to do.

I have been greeted my a staff nurse who has gone into the office with the nurses from the Crisis Resolution Service who brought me here. She is probably a bit younger than me, and looks bright eyed and bushy tailed. She talks to me in a way that I am sure is intended to convey empathy, warmth and understanding. How many times have I used that same gentle, calming reassuring voice. It makes me want to smash her fucking head in. But I know that will be a one way ticket to shit loads of meds, a label of being aggressive, and being sectioned. Which must not happen. Under any circumstances. I want to go on holiday to Disney with the kids in 2010, and if you have been sectioned you can't get in the USA without a fight.

She is completely ignorant of what is happening here, and and want her to believe me, but I know she won't. She is treating me to the same gentle and supportive welcome to the ward I have given countless times. Have many people have I done this to? She is totally ignorant of the truth of the situation. And a couple of weeks ago I would have agreed with her.

I am shown into a room which is painted a kind of camouflage green. I am sure that there is some evidence base that it is a relaxing colour. It is the most dismal colour I have ever seen. I have been informed that they will get to me after the handover to the night shift. One of the CRS nurses goes into the office to hand me over to the night staff. The other nurse sits in the room with me. Another nurses keeps peering through the window every minute of so.

There is no more talking. There is nothing to say.

I am waiting for the admission process to begin. I have requested a joint admission assessment because I can't bear the thought of having to go through everything numerous times just so the documentation gets completed. The nurse agrees and I am shown to my room.

I can see where all the cash inn the trust is going- and it certainly isn't clinical psychologists. The unit is immaculate. I am shown to a single room which has an en suit on a mixed corridor. This worried me a bit, but they showed me that I can lock my door, and only staff can gain access. The nursing assistant, (i don't remember her name, but she sounded polish and was wearing nice quiksilver jeans) has worked here for 4 months. Only a few weeks ago, I would have been the senior member of staff, the accountable member of staff. And now I am a patient. How the fuck has this happened?

I do feel calmer now than I have in days. I feel sure that the girls and P will be safe now I am no longer under the same roof, or physically near them.

P cried tonight. I have only ever seen him cry once before, when I had our first daughter. It broke me to see him cry. He cried because he believes that his wife is ill. He doesn't believe me. He thinks I am mad too. No one believes me.

I know that he genuinely believes that he is doing thew right thing, as that is how he sees things from his own distorted perception. He , and everyone else are misperceiving the whole situation, and don't understand what is happening. They are unable to provide me with any evidence that my perceptions are incorrect, however they are expecting me to accept that they are right merely because they are the majority. A few weeks ago I would have been a part of that majority that hospitalises and penalises those who perhaps, see things as they really are. It is they who should be listening to us.

They all bleat the same old pacifying bullshit. "....Whilst I do believe and accept that what you are saying is your experience from your perspective, and it is real for you.........blah........blah.........blah...........but then go on to say essentially -you are fucking bonkers-take these meds, behave and play the fucking game, or we will totally shaft you by detaining you under the MHA. I am informal, which is good. I am here voluntarily, which is good. But the truth of the matter is, if I don't play the game, I will be on a section before you know it. So, I am involuntarily voluntary, or something......this is not an optional stay in hospital, even though it is disguised as one.

So what are my options and non options

1. Stay at home and leave things as they are. I would be there to try and protect my family from Daniel, however I know his determination for me to die by my own hand is becoming increasingly difficult to fight, whilst trying to protect everyone too.
2. Daniel is upping the stakes.
He has killed Amy's best friend Tara, a 32 year old mother of a 1 and 4 year old.
He has killed one of my closest friends, Sarah's father.
He has killed my next door neighbour, John, who was buried today.
He has orchestrated one of my closest friend and neighbours to lose his job.
He has killed my next door neighbour's son-in-law at the age of 33 leaving his wife,
Joanne having lost both her husband and father within months of each other at the tender age of 28.
3. He is playing games with me. Deathly games, in wh


Mo said...

For an RMN to be admitted to an acute unit is a complete mind fuck. It's like being a schoolteacher and then suddenly being forced into a child's uniform and told to sit down with the class and if you don't behave you'll be caned. It's a totally surreal experience which no medicaton will relieve. It's like being trapped in a bad dream. I hope you get out of there soon.

It's only when you're actually on the other side of the sheets that you become acutely aware of how even the most well intentioned nurses don't really view you as a equal.

I hope what I'm saying isn't making you feel worse, I just thought it might be interesting to hear of a similar experience.

When I was in I wasn't made to feel like a human being, I felt like an injured animal in Pet Rescue. Worse than that, a dangerous animal, they all seemed very wary of me. So much so that I only saw an RMN at medication times and an auxillary at mealtimes. I've since met one of the staff whose defence for ignoring me was "Well it's very dificult and awkward for the nurses when a colleague is admitted".

Hang on in there and just try and get through it. I hope everything is resolved soon.

Best Wishes

A Truly Registered Mental Nurse said...

Thanks Mo -it's good to fing someone who has been in a similar experience. I have just reread my last entry and shit I was mad. I think it was probably difficult for the nursing team, as I flung the same old jargon right back at them, and there were several times they didn't really know how to respond. When I have these mixed affect episodes, they are a nightmare., All the worry and negatvity, with the driven wakefull and determination of mania. All in all -a bit of a fucker! x

Mo said...

Aye, a fucker indeed!

And sorry... I realised after I'd posted that you were recounting stuff from your diary earlier in the year.


Seaneen said...

I hope things are better now than they were. Fascinating stuff.

Anonymous said...

I have been admitted in the involuntary/voluntary way. To know that I was under the threat of being sectioned if I didn't tow the line was terrifying and made me fight against those that were 'helping' me. I kept my worst thoughts to myself for the fear that I would make an impossible situation even worse. I can remember the feeling of helplessness and hopelessness.

I hope things are better for you now.

And as for the USA system of not readily admitting to those that have got a section in their past: I would love to go to the USA but am now of the opinion that if they don't 'want' me in their beloved country because of their' IMO' misguided policies then screw them!!

A Truly Registered Mental Nurse said...

Hi Anon -Yes things are better now, I'm planning on enetering the rest of my diary in the new year.

It's mad isn't it -the USA thing! Totally archaic.

Hope things are good for you? x

Susie said...

Hi there,
I only just found your blog and I have just read all your posts - you have made me curious how things have worked out. Any chance of an update?

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog. I hope you will update. I think you write well and your perspective is really important. Mostly, though, I just hope you and your girls are okay. Sounds like a brutal experience.

Anonymous said...

This is insanity! I am a RN in Psych and Mental health.. with Bipolar and ADD, married to a lunatic.. cry constantly... and still am a charge nurse!! What can we do to help!!! Sometimes, like today,,I just wanted to gog to a CRC and call it a day.. he wants to take my kids, claim me unfit.. but how can I be such an exlemplatory RN if I am "crazy" Haven't they ever heard that most bipolar, whether, B1, II, soft or cyclothymic...are the most intelligent and creative... girl.. we need you out.. safe.. and if you need meds.. we can play around till we find the right cocktail.... feel free to email me privately.. Maybe ANA can help...
hugs, prayers and love,


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Richard said...

It is wonderful to read the candid impressions of someone so very close to the action. I am waiting until retirement before even considering writing about the paradoxes and puzzlements of being a CPN.. Well done!

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cv said...

I hope everything is fine now! and all the best for the future!

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SK Harrison said...

I found this fascinating and so true to life. Having clocked up 9 sections I can relate to that weird sense the first time you walk on a ward. Hope you're doing okay.