Well to say last night was a bad night would be an understatement. Psychosis was in full swing, and to make matters worse I was profoundly agitated.
I wasn’t quite climbing the walls, but I was pacing the ward counting, which is nearly as bad. I got into a minor dispute with Jenni (you can call me fat, but no body says my baby boy isn’t cute) which resulted in a room change for her.
I felt as if i was going to explode from the inside out.
Around midnight the on call psychiatrist came to assess me. He was a cheery Indian fellow who I liked immediately. I told him my life story and he made more sense of my hallucinations in 15 minutes than anyone ever had before.
Then he started talking meds. “I had a look at your ECG” he told me. “you have tachycardia”. This I was well aware of. He then gave me a brief anatomy and physiology lesson to which I nodded.
“so basically the seroquel is causing the tachycardia and heart palpitations, and therefore feeding my agitation.” I said.
“correct. You are a very intelligent girl to understand all that I told you.”
I laughed. “I have studied a lot. Too much.”
“what do you study?” he asked.
“I am doing a PhD in psychology…mental illness and stigma.” Oh the irony…
The doctor laughed. “me too! I’m just starting out, I’m hoping to devise a new stigma scale.” (at this point my mind boggled. Double barreled doctor. Would he introduce himself as Doctor Doctor M.D. P.H.D? Or would he go all sophisticated and go by Doctor Professor?)
And so we talked. The absurdity of discussing academics in a psychiatric ward as a patient to my treating physician. Bizarre!
Finally the nurse came back with my med chart and a new anti psychotic to try. Doctor/patient roles were quickly resumed and collegial roles abandoned.
But as he left he gave my shoulder a squeeze. “you will be ok Rachael”
And I will.