Saturday, 28 February 2009

Of Guinea Pigs and Mentalists

Paddi is not very impressed. Guinness is hogging the snug, and won't share.

The guinea pigs moved out of the garden and into my room this afternoon, and they seem quite content. They were purring away when they first went in the cage, but now there is a problem. I only had enough fur fabric for one snug, and they both want it. Guinea pigs don't share food and they most certainly don't share snugs! They are also argueing over the new water bottle - apparently the old one just won't do. It's been fun, especially watching Paddi running in and out of the snug repeatedly, purring and wheeking.

Today was my last day of placement, and I actually feel a little bit weepy! Lots of hugs and farewells, and I honestly will miss that ward. All I can think of now is looking towards starting my second year, and I just hope that I have more placements which I enjoy as much as that one.

Having said that, if a certain patient had followed me around for much longer complaining of being unable to cope, and begging for help, I might have thrown the towel in. The constant answering of the same questions [What should I do? Should I sit here or in my room? What do I do? I can't cope...] to someone who would not listen to the advice was starting to grate on me, after 6 weeks of being her chosen target. Honestly though, I've loved the placement, and I think the main reason that particular patient made me feel that way was that I hated to see her that agitated and distressed. I accompanied her to ECT appointments, assisted her with mealtimes and personal care, helped her in every way that I could think of, and it was nowhere near enough. Somehow, I still feel good. I left her this afternoon on the road to recovery, clean, comfortable and with a full stomach. As a nursing professional, given the situation, I feel I have done that best possible for her today, and that makes me feel good. That makes me feel proud.

Working on an Over 65's ward has made me wonder about my future health. A person's health tends to deteriorate as they age, people collecting illnesses like my mum collects shoes, and mental health doesn't appear to be an exception. I don't want to be old and crazy. Old and crazy conjours up images of conversing with felines and smelling of piss. I don't mind young and mentally interesting, most of the time.

Monday, 16 February 2009

I'm f*cking low again.

I want to cry right now. I've been crying for the majority of the last 24 hours, but now I actually want to, I have a reason to. I want to scream too, and stamp my feet, and maybe curl up defeated and exhausted. I'm going downhill again, fast, and I can't afford to get ill now. I'm on the verge of being discharged from the mental health teams, and I'm nearing the end of my first year, and now I'm fantasising about suicide and unable to stop this constant weeping. I'm grasping at straws, making unsuitable decisions [it's only the knowledge of this, and the therefore obsessive caution I have adopted which stopped me from renting a flat today]. I should have realised that I was getting worse, instead of being overwhelmed with grief and guilt on Sunday night. I'd been somewhat dispondant, flat even, over the weekend, but I put that down to knowing I had to come back to London and Boyfriend had to stay at university, but now I'm totally deflated. I wandered round the shops, killing time until the bus came after seeing the flat, and I felt so unbearably numb. I'm concerned because this numbness tends to precede a slashy-slashy incident, and I have 112.5 hours of work placement to complete within the next two weeks. I can't afford to be ill. I need help, but I don't know if there is anything to help me if I'm like this. I want to change things, anything so I don't feel agitated and yet numb simultaneously, but I also barely have the energy to get out of bed let alone take an interest in doing anything. I'm finally feeling emotion related to my Nan's death but I didn't want it like this; delayed, agressive and set off by anything. I'm breaking out in those awful cold sweats, I can't sleep at night but I'm dead to the world during the day, and my legs feel like they've been dipped in cement. I don't know how to explain this to work, again, and accept the fact that maybe I can't ever have a proper career, because I will always be bouncing between ill and almost well.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Today I did very little.
It was my turn to clean, and I managed that.
I washed my hair.
I cleaned out the guinea pig hutch.
I attended my nurse check up.

Comparing this to how I was during my last placement, I am doing amazingly. I am coping, I am managing, I may not be 100% but I can look after myself at the moment, which is great. I still feel like I am giving myself this fake, patronising encouragement for doing next to nothing. I hate it, it's like "Yay well done! You're 19 and you can tie your own shoelaces!"*.

My check up was mainly for my contraceptive pill, but the nurse also weighed me. Ughh. I hate being weighed. I bit my tongue to stop myself informing her that my boots were heavy, and I had change in my pocket, and I was wearing a big jumper, and I'm NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT that big. The scales screamed back a 21 pound gain since November, and I am not ready to face that.
I just want to weigh myself properly, but I can only do it first thing in the morning, otherwise I start panicking about water weight, and chowing down on diurectics.
The ridiculous thing is that I'm supposed to be gaining weight, that was the plan, and yet every little gain makes me want to drop half a stone.

*When unwell, attempting to tie my laces has resulted in me in floods of tears, or retreating back under the duvet.