The Rehab Diaries Week 6 – Get Me Outta Here!

I’d started getting restless.  It was obvious that I was getting overcooked.

I’ve heard staff and patients carry on about the evils of becoming institutionalised.  Getting used to being taken care of.  I don’t know that I’ve ever experienced that but I do know that after a certain amount of time in hospital I start feeling very anti-institution.

It’s not that it doesn’t happen – for the long term unemployed chronically unwell, particularly the youngsters, hospital seems be their primary social outlet.  I’m sure I don’t have to explain why that’s problematic.  But me, I’m independent by nature.  Even six weeks in I’m struggling to take set meal times in good humour.  Breakfast at 7.30-8.30.  If you sleep in like a normal person who hasn’t got anywhere to go, bad luck it gets cleared away and you miss out.  Lunch at midday.  Dinner at 5.

I miss being able to go for a walk without signing out and specifying a return time.  I miss driving.  I miss having the freedom to choose what I eat.  I miss baths.  I miss shaving.  I miss being able to watch more than an hour of youtube videos before I’ve used up my downloads for the day.

I’d established on fluoxetine and had seen definite improvements.  My irritation had toned down a lot and I was feeling general good will to those around me.  Even hearing guitar boy mindfully strumming away down the corridor didn’t make me uneasy at all.  I know my irritation towards him has been unfair; he keeps to himself and refuses to participate in the drama and politics of the other youngsters on the ward.  I can respect that.

To test my anxieties I went on leave one night with BF for a dinner and movie date.  A few weeks ago that would have been impossible but with the improvements I’d been seeing I was keen to try some regular world stuff again.

It went well.  I sat through it, even though it was a long movie and the cinema was very crowded.  I’m still hyperaware of the movements of all people around me so when there’s a lot of people in one space I get overwhelmed.  There were no meltdowns in the cinema that night however.

After last week I finally felt that I’d had some quality time with my therapist.  I was talking with her on the Tuesday of that week, saying that I was doing so much better in just one week and that I’m totally ready to go home.  I was prepared in my doctor’s appointment that week to ask for a discharge appointment on Friday.  She reminded me that, being a voluntary private clinic, I can actually leave whenever I damn well want.

Generally when a patient has reached the end of their treatment plan discharge planning begins a week or two in advance.  We talk about the support systems that we have in place, which outpatient therapists we’re going to see, whether or not a referral to day programs is appropriate.  The doctor has to record a final diagnosis (which in my case is practically a paragraph) and fax a bunch of discharge summaries to our various community care providers.  The number of appointments is usually planned around the patient being discharged on the day of the last appointment.  As we know however, patients can abruptly decide to check out without discharge planning.

I hadn’t had those conversations with my doctor yet.  I like to think that discharge planning for me isn’t hugely complicated; my care team is well known to my doctor and hasn’t changed much in the last few years.  I believe she was waiting to see how I established on fluoxetine before she started talking about it but in our appointment she accepted that I was doing better.  I told her I wanted to leave tomorrow.  I expected her to be taken aback but she said she was willing to support that, and set about writing discharge summaries.

Given that I’ve mentioned patients checking out without discharge appointments several times now, you’re probably wondering…how does this happen?  Well, all it takes is to inform the nursing staff and they’ll bring you the discharge papers.  My doctor ordered them and that evening a nurse sat with me and asked me a bunch of questions from a sheet of paper like, did I have accommodation? (yes.)  Who would be picking me up? (BF would.) What is your plan for the next few weeks? (moving house.)

I signed off on my details again, and when they provided me a feedback form, I wrote about the Christmas fiasco, saying I think everyone would have coped better with some more staff on.  That was that, and she left me to pack my things.

The morning of my victorious exodus discharge I was really only waiting for one thing before I could leave – scripts.  And the CMO took his sweet time with those.  BF arrived at 9.30, we got kicked out of my room at 10 so they could clean it for the next patient.  We finally got hold of him at 10.45

And by then I’d started feeling unusually drowsy.  While we were waiting for the scripts the nurse unit manager burst in and asked me if I noticed anything different about my medication that morning.

As soon as she asked I realised what must have happened.  I take 80mg of zeldox a day.  60 at night, 20 in the morning.  This morning I’d taken the 60.

My nurse came in at 8 as I was preoccupied with trying to force my running shoes into my carry bag (how do I end up leaving with double the clothes I came in with?)  This particular nurse hadn’t dealt with me and my meds before.  I took the cup, swallowed it without looking and got back to work.

I couldn’t remember if there were extra pills in the cup, but I did think it went down harder than it usually does in the morning.

The nurse was trying to say that my meds couldn’t have been wrong because I would normally question them if I saw something odd.  And it’s true, after the contraceptive pill debacle I always looked over my meds before taking them.  This mornings, of all mornings, I decided to make an exception.  ARGH.

So my return home wasn’t the joyous occasion it should have been because I rolled straight into bed and crashed, leaving my poor BF to work on his laptop instead of celebrate.  Then I couldn’t sleep that night because I could only take a 20mg tablet to balance the overdose out.  Nurses, take note.  Double check what you’re giving out, just because it’s not life threatening, doesn’t mean this shit doesn’t matter!

So that’s it.  My rehab journey this time around.  I may do a post talking about what I’ve been up to since I’ve been out –  I haven’t been overly interesting but there has been some changes.



51 Things that Mac really wants for Christmas

Because I’m pretty sure I’m getting a doona set.

This article is a response Elite Daily’s article 51 things a single 25 year old single girl really wants for Christmas.

Ms Martin, I regret to inform you that this ache in your soul that can only be soothed with a hefty dose of body positivity and addressing those dependency issues.  If you bring a man into the mix right now you’re just going to create a host of new problems, take it from someone who knows.

You want a ‘man to blow my mind and a suppressed appetite to fit into those jeans you should have bought me instead.’  Speak for yourself, missy.

These are the 51 things this 25 year old really wants for christmas.  However note that I don’t disagree with her on all counts:

  1. My 12 year old ability to feel refreshed on three hours sleep
  2. Dudes who message me wanting to hook up to be both upfront and polite
  3. To feel comfortable wearing ass hugging pants
  4. MOAR money, less effort
  5. For my mother to not act like my adventure time t shirts are the sole reason I’m failing at life
  6. Netflix.  In Australia.  Yeah its coming but will it be without limitations?  Doubtful!
  7. To not be made to feel more disposable with age
  8. Acohol that makes my ex boyfriends grovel to me more often
  9. More travel
  10. Appreciation for my sparkling porcelain complexion instead of being shamed as ‘pasty.’  Why glow when you can sparkle, amirite.
  11. Being able to feel bad about how that dick from high school died of rapid ALS
  12. To be able to unfollow my 14 year old cousin on instagram so I could stop being unnerved by the borderline soft core lesbian porn she seems to think it’s cute to re-enact with her friends.  So not worth the drama though.
  13. Guilt and consequence free sex with that dickhead ex-lover who was amazing in bed
  14. For shanking street harassers to be legal
  15. To have the pelvic strength to fire blood clots ping-pong balls at people who don’t unserstand why my periods make me miss work/school/parties/sport.  It’s called endometriosis, assholes.  Look it up.
  16. Pain free tattoos
  17. For people to stop trying to make ‘superfoods’ happen.
  18. For people to stop asking me to like fanpages for their dogs.
  19. To be able to eat a nutritous balanced diet by only eating cake
  20. For my married friends to not turn into the pillar of relationship knowledge as soon as they have a ring on their finger.
  21. No writer’s block
  22. Guilt free torrenting
  23. To be able to change my hair colour at will
  24. For my boyfriend to respond to my efforts to teach him massage skills
  25. To wear scene hair without worrying whether or not I’m too old for it
  26. To be able to work through my angst by belting out related songs glee-style
  27. For my grandmother’s dementia to go away
  28. Neck down alopecia, not because I buy into letting porn stars direct my hair styles but because the horrors of the sudden intense itch prompted by being stabbed in the labia by a rogue pube which only ever happens in a public place is a situstion I’d really rather not deal with ever again
  29. Not crying and fainting every time I have those regular blood tests I’ve been having for years
  30. A blog following like Amanda bynes on twitter to appreciate my crazy
  31. That rubix cube hand bag I saw at supernova 2011 and didn’t buy for some reason and haven’t been able to track down
  32. A jumping castle bed
  33. For my man to be able to grow a luscious ginger beard
  34. Unlimited travel sounds good actually…
  35. Being able to attend One Direction concerts a) without shame and b) with a 2 metre personal space bubble that repels crazy twelvies
  36. Bacon every day
  37. Relationships without WORK
  38. One week where carbs didn’t make it impossible to poop
  39. cheese that goes to my boobs
  40. All the guac in the world
  41. All the moscato in the world
  42. Culinary skills
  43. Green juice without the work
  44. Squats without pain
  45. Heels that don’t wreck your feet
  46. To undo the damage 10 years of caffeine addiction has done my bladder
  47. Hair that is both naturally voluminous and flippy
  48. Being able to apply winged eyeliner and false eyelashes without a freaking meltdown
  49. To be able to transform into either a sailor scout or a super saiyan
  50. A spacious home like mum and dad’s without the decades of hard work to afford it
  51. A swimming pool sized spa bath

Merry Christmas