My previous post Lost For A While reflects my state of mind just over two weeks ago. You can read between the lines, I don’t need to go into graphic detail. It was a surreal moment and my actions were very out of character.
I was completely emotionally overwhelmed for various reasons and as though I was being controlled like a remote control car, I stashed some items in my handbag, left the house and bought water and a chilled latte and walked. Why on earth did I take a BT TV contract? Turned out to be a good thing as my details were on it so my family was later contacted. I walked in the cold darkness beyond my limits and ended up in a church garden symbolising hope. Hope… How contradictory of the unfolding events. I was reported missing and was found by the Metropolitan Police who took me to A&E in their car. Then everything faded to black. And calm. It was around 6:30pm.
What was really strange was that I have these patchy memories: hearing a lot of commotion, feeling my lower half clothing being removed yet not my upper half, aware I was having a CT scan, feeling a heat cover as I was hypothermic, and then people kept saying my name. My GCS was 8 and my ECG QT interval was 609. A prolonged QTc interval (above 470 in women) causes a three-fold increased risk of sudden cardiac death. I later found out I was unconscious for four hours.
Suddenly I heard familiar voices gently talking to me and I eventually awoke to see my distraught husband and mum who had been brought to King’s College Hospital by police car because of the circumstances. It was now after 2am. Police had been at my house going over things with them and a doctor eventually called around 1am saying I was critical but stable. At that point though, I wasn’t registering how I felt inside, likely because of all what was in my system. I noticed three cannulas and a urinary catheter then a few pouches of IV meds dripping into my veins. Why hadn’t I felt them being inserted? I was soon transferred to the Critical Care Unit hooked up to vital sign monitors and I had a horrible arterial line inserted into my wrist, an uncomfortable procedure I do remember. My husband and mum were allowed to visit me one at a time then encouraged to go home and get some sleep.
About a day passed and I was stable enough to be moved to a general medicine ward. After hours of constant vomiting, I was unable to eat or drink and felt so weak, the nursing staff had to help me move position in the hi-tech ICU bed they’d kept me on. As a “psy case” I had a nurse at my bedside for three days to ensure my wellbeing. However the ward itself was the worst place ever to recover from such a mentally traumatic incident. Even though my husband and mum visited daily, I was in an state of high anxiety and very upset about what happened. The crazy varieties of noise, rude patients and lack of sleep really distressed me and plus lack of sleep and huge amounts of various medications all contributed to me having aural and visual hallucinations. It was awful and persisted right up until I was back at home. Back home at last. I was a weak, weepy mess and craved my own bed so I could sleep cuddled up with my husband.
After hospital discharge I was referred to the Home Treatment Team for psychological help and support. We discussed much and it was interesting to find out from a psychologist that my extensive cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is practically useless for people with BPD/EUPD. Cognitive analytical therapy (CAT) was far more helpful and subsequent dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) proved more constructive. Despite my terrible brain glitches as above. I told him about how I often seek comfort in music by Nirvana, Alice In Chains, Eminem and various other highly emotional tracks. He assured me that this was normal and it helped me validate and express how I felt via music. It made sense.
And so did me feeling “ambivalent” (having two opposing feelings at the same time, or being uncertain about how you feel) towards death and dying. I guess that’s the I love you/I hate you thing that I’m very aware of. It’s very strange not caring about whether you live or die but what I do care about is my family. And it is their love and support that keeps me breathing. Without them I’d be floundering in an ocean of confusion and contradiction.
I have made a promise to myself to learn to love myself and be strong. What a cliche. It’s fucking hard though having multiple chronic physical problems alongside the mental challenges. Each one fuels the other. But at least I now am safe from further harm and have various help resources. I might as well try a few apps too. External problems will be dealt with also, it really isn’t worth risking your precious life over issues with other people.
If you are wrestling with thoughts of hurting yourself or worse, please reach out and call emergency services, your doctor, family or online resources. It’s a tough struggle but with help, you will get there.
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