Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The madhouse!!!

I am so sick of being stuck in this nut house!! The ward is just a nightmare at the moment and is a really stressful environment. We have several patients on level three observations, this is when a nurse is constantly with a patient, and we also have a patient on two to one, so two nurses to one patient. We also had a new patient who came in at the weekend who is vocal to say the least!

For the last few days we have had alarms going off constantly because of various patients kicking off, and for once it's not been me. In actual fact I have just wanted to desperately separate myself from it all and not get involved.

It feels at the moment like several patients are trying to compete with who can get the most attention and quite frankly it is doing my head in staff are stretched and we are having to rely on a lot of bank staff. The regular staff are doing their best but it does feel like certain patients are taking advantage of bank staff to get away with stuff which is making it really hard on the patients who are desperately trying to focus on recovery.

I know I have complained in the past about bank staff but I do have to admit on the whole for the last couple of weeks they have been quite good and a few have done several shifts and have made a real effort with the patients.

There does feel that there are some really unhealthy relationships forming in here between patients while I think it is good to support each other I think at times it's crossing a line in to an unhealthy interest and intrusion in others care. When I go in to the dining room I really just need to focus on getting through my meal and don't really want to chat. One particular patient is very chatty which is fine as I don't need to respond but it really stressed me out when I was upset and staff were with me that she was constantly trying to tell me it's all ok things will be fine your doing it for Ben etc etc... it just felt like she was trying to nurse me and talking about stuff she really didn't know about. Then at lunch today I got really stressed because my meal seemed far bigger than the last time I had it so I questioned the portion size with staff but then this patient started commenting on the size and it made it so hard because I felt like she was watching me and what I was eating instead of just concentrating on what she needed to do.

Her and another patient are also selecting snack choices together and it just feels like everything is a competition which feeds my anorexia as it makes me feel like I need to kick off just to prove that I'm struggling and am just as ill and I really don't want to feel that way as the rational part of me knows that I don't need to play up for people to see that things are hard and get their help but the irrational part feels like I should. It's like those of us not constantly screaming and shouting are being sidelined and not receiving the one to one time needed with the qualified staff and only having bank staff to speak to who although are ok to chat with are not qualified to address fears and issues.

At least today I got an hour and a half away from it when my mom came in and we made some Christmas cards it didn't stop me feeling hideous but at least it occupied my fingers for a while to stop me pulling at the flesh of my stomach just trying to get rid of the flab!! It was also good to have some time with her that didn't involve too much talk about food or being huge.

I am hoping that the complimentary therapist will see me this afternoon as apparently she came to see me this morning when I was with my mom but I am looking forward to a back massage to help with my pain at least even if it doesn't manage to relax me. Fingers crossed she will come back.

Anyway snacks won't be too long now so will get ready and see how crap that can make me feel!!


  1. oh gosh (((HUGS))) that sounds like a terribly tricky situation.

    really, being in an unit with lots of other people with eating issues and disorders isn't helpful in many ways is it? It's a bit like locking criminals all up in prison together and then being surprised when they all come out more skilled! 'Thieves Collage' as Fletcher in Porridge used to say :D

    the christmas card making sounds lovely xx

  2. Eurgh! I've never been in an ED ICU but somehow I know JUST what you mean. It's not exactly a healthy space.

    I'd consider talking to staff about how you're handling mealtimes and that this person commenting on your meals etc is making it much harder for you - because they won't want to be seeing anything that's messing with your recovery either!

    I wonder... in an ideal world maybe you'd have one meal sitting for people choosing to eat in silence, and another for the chatty types. Are there a few of you in there who strongly prefer to have things quiet while you eat, if so could you all sit together?

    DON'T give in to the need to ask for/demand more attention like that. It'll just get you more labels, really unhelpful and negative ones. If it helps, I can guarantee that no staff member thinks you are suddenly OK just because they've got 3 really loud people to look after, they'll be worrying about you even, on days when they're too busy to talk to you properly. Having someone so desperately ill that they need 2 to 1 just illustrates that it's *possible* to be even sicker than you are and were when admitted, it doesn't diminish what you experience.

    As always, keep going.

  3. Thanks both. We all have to eat at the same times and while I don't mind people chatting I just find it awkward not returning the chat when all I can do is focus on me and how I'm going to get through each meal. I have noted it in our community book and will bring it up at next weeks meeting.