Jail Break: Vesion 2.0

“I’ve been trying hard not to get into trouble…but I’ve got a war in my mind.”
~Lana del Rey

I always think of this quote when I think of my time on steroids. Dark….self destructive…delusional. I found it hard to listen to my loved ones rather the voices in my head. I own a few more physical scars than I did when I was admitted. I angered easily with the staff, and when I did I screamed and swore. Half of me wanted to raise hell, the other half fought for sanity and safety and freedom from a locked ward.

But sometimes that side lost.

One morning I woke to be told that a surgical procedure arranged to ease the significant pain I was canned, after I had taken all the relevant preparations. I broke.

I had existed through the night practically counting the hours between oxycodene and the minutes until the procedure. I couldn’t live with the pain anymore. I ran for the exit. I was still on 1:1 supervision so my nurse ran after me and asked where I was going. I told her I was leaving. She told me she would call security.

“I don’t give a fuck!” I screamed back at her before running up the stairs. And that was that. Alarms went off, staff gathered. I half walked, half ran through the hospital, my nurse beside me still trying to reason with me. I looked behind me and was surprised to see six other staff following.

A part of me dissociated, and I saw myself from above. Haring through the hall, bare feet and pajamas, screaming, my speech peppered with profanity. This isn’t me!

Soon enough we met with security. Five of them for little old me with a limp and a catheter strapped to my leg. Instinctively I tried to dodge the guards, and instinctively they blocked me. They treated me like a wild, potentially dangerous animal. They raised their hands like traffic cops and asked me to sit down…they just wanted to talk.

It was about now I realized I had lost. I had 5 guards and 7 staff members who were going to take me back to hell. But even then I couldn’t let it go. In the middle of a circle of authority I yelled. I told them how crappy their hospital was. I ranted about my pain, I showed them my catheter, screaming that I couldn’t even pee by myself. “You have done this!” I shouted, gesturing to my self. Then, defeated I collapsed on the floor sobbing.

Two security guards lifted my limp body into a wheelchair, and wheeled me back to the ward.

It was only there that I realized what I had done.

Fuck.

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Sick of being sick

Today isn’t a great day. My steroid dose was cut two days ago…the one thing we were all looking to to improve my psychiatric symptoms….and some of my gastro symptoms are back. I am praying it is coincidence, something I ate, anxiety, or just about ANYTHING that means I have to go back to the higher dose.

I am sick of being sick. Quite honestly, I have never felt this unwell in my life. When its not pain it’s hallucinations, when it’s not gastro symptoms it’s depression. Then there are the side effects of the drugs themselves…dry mouth, tachycardia, insomnia, restlessness, everything tasting bad, immuno suppression, fainting….the list goes on. I just want to feel well again. Mentally and physically.

One of the annoying things is that I have very poor concentration. The books I have, the tv, crosswords and activities on the ward are things I can only concentrate on for 10 minutes or so. I am so weak and lightheaded from the combination of the oesionophilia and my meds, that merely walking to an activity is too much for me. I feel pathetic. But this, combined with insomnia makes for some very long days, and too much time to think.

I know it could be worse, but today I’m struggling, and today I don’t feel strong. But tomorrow is a new day and I hope the world seems brighter.

Four Weeks and Nothing to Show

Sometimes I feel as though I am on a crazy roller coaster, where I just can’t catch a break. I know it could be worse, but it could be better as well.

I am now entering my fourth week of hospitalization. The only difference is that for the most part my diarrhea has stopped, and for the most part my psychiatric symptoms are worse.

Yep. Worse.

I had suicidal ideation when I was admitted. I now have voices telling me to kill myself. I was depressed when I was admitted. I now feel very little at all. I had psychosis when I was admitted. I now have trouble telling reality.

Doubtlessly, my psych symptoms are worse because of the steroids I have to take for my gut. I have no option. There is no luxury of medication choice. It is the steroids or nothing. The effect they have on me psychiatrically extends my hospital stay. While I am in hospital I can’t access the nutritional changes I need for my gut to heal (steroids will tame the inflammation but not fix the problem)…THIS is an issue I will address in another post. So basically I am forced to ‘poison’ my gut with food that irritates it…the gastro team thus unlikely to reduce the steroid dose..my psychiatric symptoms remain extreme…and I cant go home.

I miss my little boy and my husband.

Fuck it all.

It’s a Knockout!

Weeks of vomiting and diarrhea left me, not only a few kilo’s lighter, but malnourished – and perhaps more importantly – not absorbing the psychiatric medication I had been prescribed.

I have officially found out what happens if I quit taking the pills – and it ain’t pretty.

My head is so full it hurts. Voices are angry at me. A male voice in particular. I’m worthless, disgusting, a bad mother, a LIAR, an attention seeker. I need to kill myself. Others would be better off without me here. I’m a waste of space.

I know it is only my mind, I trust the doctors who say I am hallucinating…but the voices always come back and try to convince me that they are right, and everyone else is wrong. I sat in the hospital chapel a week ago, and apologised to the Lord (though I am not religious) for my misgivings. It was then that I saw The People for the first time. Sitting watching me. Judging me. They followed me back to the ward and I was scared to go to bed that night.

My thoughts zoom a million miles an hour. I feel like screaming. Sometimes I have this overwhelming urge to harm myself. Sometimes I feel nothing at all.

Now I am absorbing my food and medication again. But the medication I need for my gastric condition…infact the ONLY medication that will work for this incredibly rare condition has the side effects of mania, psychosis, depression and insomnia. Pretty much the most annoying side effects I could have right now.

These side effects are remedied through sleeping pills and higher dose antipsychotics. But I can’t take the optimal dose as the drugs will negatively impact my GI system.

The steroids also can burn a hole through your stomach lining. More meds for that.

They cause me to be immuno suppresed, the drugs impair my immune system so my body can stop treating food with an allergic reaction. But it also means I am vulnerable to catching any cold or illness that comes along.

I feel generally run down. My stats are crappy. Tachycardia, low blood pressure, fainting, weakness and low grade fevers.

I’m in pain, but they can’t prescribe me opiates as they will wreak havoc with my stomach. Unfortunately I have established that no pill at a non narcortic level is worht taking for this pain.

Of course I am affected by the side effects, so I am put on sleeping pills (which have a 50% chance of working), and stronger antipsychotics. But they can only give me a certain level of medication or it will start to negatively impact my oesionophilia gastroenteritis.

Full circle.

Sometimes it all gets too much. So I have trained myself to operate on a day to day basis. Some are good days, some are bad. But I have an 100% record of getting through bad days, so I have faith in myself.

I swallow down the rainbow pills…I fall asleep after breakfast. It’s a knockout!