On the 18th August I was transferred to Psychiatric Intensive Care (PICU). They said I was too high risk to be on the normal ward. To be fair to them I think in the space of a week I had self harmed/attempted 3-4 times and on that day I had tried to be sneaky by taking the top of the drinks can. I had gone back on to the ward and I was immediately grabbed by one of the nurses saying they wanted to search me as the HCA had noticed it was missing. So I try and swallow it. But without water it was too big and caught in my throat and was making me gag and heave. So I threw up and there it was.
An hour later after a visit with my Mum I was pulled aside and was told I was being moved over to PICU.
I was in shock. But really I should have seen it coming. PICU was a 5 bed ward which for all the time I was there only had 4 beds full. Usually there were 4 members of staff also. Low stimulus with nothing to do. I was put in a room with none of my belongings and told I wouldn’t be allowed most of them anyway (such as lap top, phone). After 72 hours I was allowed my iPod but not in my room and for most the time I was on there I was not allowed in my room unless it was to go to bed at night or use the toilet.
On the second night I attempted again and was caught. When I am caught it makes me really angry. In myself and at others. So I go a bit mad. That night I was stripped of all my clothes bar PJ bottoms and a t-shirt and locked in my room. I was so angry and kicking at the door. They barged in my room again and grabbed me and IM’d me again with 5 and 2. Didn’t work. I worked out where the blind spot was and pulled the mattress to cover me. This pissed them off and in they came again and took the mattress away from me. I was left in a cold room with no covers, no mattress and in minimal clothing. I was locked in the room and would not be let out. I had been given a zopiclone and also IM’d yet was so cold and had nothing to sleep on. The flooring was hard and not carpeted. This was the longest night of my life. I’d hate to think how I would have been without being IM’d etc. I was probably calmer dealing with it for the drugs I had been given.
I did attempt a few times while I was on PICU. Only in the last week of me being there did they put steps in to stop me doing it. But more on that in a bit.
I really did find that with a possible diagnosis of PD that I was treated like crap from the staff. I didn’t like the staff on there anyway, but again more on that in a minute. One evening I attempted at about 6.10pm, knowing that most the time they wouldn’t disturb me until about 7pm to let me know it was fag time. And that is if they did as they didn’t always let you know it was on the hour if they didn’t feel like it. There was no clock so you had to rely on them telling you or asking them and annoying them every few minutes what the time was. So I knew if I was going to tie my-self up there should be enough time if I could get it right. 7pm they do come in and find me. A big fuss is caused and I don’t go easily. I was pretty weak and if they hadn’t have come in within 30minutes or so it would have worked. I just didn’t get it quite right. This time I was stripped of my own clothes, glasses and made to wear a hospital nighty (which luckily and thankfully the guy who was in charge of the shift had some kindness to let me retain some dignity by letting me wear my leggings with as my arse was out at the back) and made to go in to a room with only chairs in. They took away anything I could make myself comfortable on (the bean bags…which I spent most of my days laying on with my iPod) and left in there and told I couldn’t come out unless it was to go to the toilet. Anyway, that’s the background. I was talking to another member of staff that night about the incident and he had said he didn’t understand me. Why would I at 6.50pm tell a member of staff to tell me when it was cig time and then go and tie myself up? He said it was obvious it was an attention thing. I told him that this was a load of crap; I had never said such a thing. And you know what he said.
“Well GP, people with PD’s are known to lie and manipulate. It’s pretty obvious it’s what you are doing here and you know who I am going to believe in this situation”.
If not one thing if I continue with this Social Work Masters I have some pretty interesting material for the “case study” I am doing in my dissertation. This was not the only time that something like this happened. I just learnt that there was no point arguing the cause.
One thing I will say about PICU is that the consultant Psychiatrist in there was brilliant. A lovely jolly bloke who sat and listened and seemed to genuinely care. He seemed to listen to what I wanted and spent quite a lot of time with me. He has put me on sodium valporate. I can say 4 weeks after being put on it my mood has stabilised. Mood wise I have improved greatly since I was admitted. Yet, the thoughts and feelings about suicide are still there. So much so I am planning on trying again tonight. I have been asked why I try when I am here and I say because it might work. There may be that time where it does work, where I am not checked on and I succeed. Try try again. Never give up.
PICU staff said I was one of their longest staying patients. The average length of stay being about 7 days. While I was there it was awful being told that they were looking for an acute bed for me then see people transferred out before me. PICU staff said they felt I didn’t need to be on there, so why was I still there. I spent my days laying in a bean bad listening to my iPod. Having a cig and drink on the hour and peeing a hell of a lot. I wasn’t keen on the staff and found them un-supportive, un-caring and kind of lazy. I would be told by the docs I needed to engage more and try and talk about the feelings I was having. Yet when I did all I was basically told was I needed to learn for myself how to deal with them and how to take responsibility for those feelings. In the end I didn’t bother to seek anyone out to speak to. I found them patronising and really lacking in empathy. I also thought that they were unprofessional. I mean, sitting discussing past patients round the table in communal areas taking the piss out of them. I wonder if they’ll be doing that about me now I have left. Their days seemed to consist of one of them occasionally making a cup of tea for the rest of them and then sitting and watching TV. Getting them to do anything like getting a towel for you was a nightmare. There were a couple of nice ones. In particular one HCA who would sit and play Black Jack for hours at a time with me. And one nurse who I just felt a bit easier with.
I had nearly a month on PICU. I was told after the first week they wanted me back on the acute side and then other people were moved before me. I suppose when I was still self harming and ligating as much as I was I couldn’t really be on acute. But seeing people come in after me and then be discharged was horrible. I didn’t feel as though I could speak to anyone about this. As I knew I would just be told the same thing.
The consultant Psych on PICU had told me he had wanted to discharge me but the community team didn’t want me discharged. They had not been to see me and as far as I was aware had not been in contact. I had been there about 2 weeks when Beth the CPN/CCO got in contact and consultant psych arranged a meeting for Beth, Sam and the PICU team. I said I didn’t want to go. I was told that this would be a pre discharge meeting thinking I was going to be discharged soon. I still stood by that I did not want to work with the community team and my feelings about this and working with anyone remained the same. In the end DR T didn’t go to the meeting so it turned out it was a bit pointless. I was dragged in to the meeting in the end and it was horrible having to talk about what is going on with so many people.
I knew that the Section 2 was coming to an end. I was quite hopeful with the PICU consultant saying he wanted to discharge me that they were going to let me go. But. Community team had turned around and said not to discharge me. They were going to do another Mental Health Act Assessment with a view to a Section 3 and moving me back to my own city from town on outskirts of city town!!!!!