just another ward 13 Wednesday

Do you ever get that variety of stress where you feel quite stoned? The state hospital I go to is around an hour’s drive away and this morning was the first time I did it alone. Feeling zoned out worked in my favour, because it’s a calm place to be. All that was required of me today was patience. I’d had to skip the morning dose of clozapine, for the simple reason that if I’d taken it, I’d have fallen asleep, but I had some espiride (sulpuride) prn with me. I’m pretty sure that it’s a global truth that government departments generate an impressive amount of waiting time.

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Ward 13 – psychiatric outpatients.

Wait. A small boy chanting quiet football chants and stimming by pointing upwards, seventies disco style. A thin woman who couldn’t sit still. A woman in a wheelchair, with the neatest and sweetest curly grey beard I’ve ever seen.

See shrink one and hand over the messed up meds paperwork from last week.

Wait. Someone walks past with a bloody hypodermic held over their head.

Get blood test results and a new prescription. My white blood cells are still doing well, and the clozapine is increasing from 300mg to 350mg. Olanzapine and fluoxetine are waiting in the wings in the event of me needing yet another meds option.

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Pharmacy

Wait on the front few benches in the pharmacy. It’s not very full, but I’m still going to be there for over an hour. Peer through the glass, the only computer monitor I can see is unplugged and abandoned on a high shelf.

Hand in the prescription.

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Wait on the back benches. The little boy from before is there, still chanting quietly. Usually there’s traffic control in the pharmacy department, in the form of a security guard who happens to be albino, but when he’s not there, it all conforms to requirements anyway. A friendly and corpulent auntie called me to sit on her bench, because “I’m scared you’ll miss your name if you sit there.” Once she’d got hers and was leaving, she stopped to inform me that, “God’s light is around you my love, all around!” Smile, nod…. If there’s a god in charge of state systems, I suspect it’s more likely to be Loki than the Christian one, but of course she was kind and meant well.

Get the filled prescription. Ctrl + alt + del baby.

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By the time I got home, it was late afternoon and I was very grateful to be able to guzzle some clozapine. I could feel my nerves get jagged and fray at the edges. Sighhgggggg…… This ain’t living izzit.

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19 responses to “just another ward 13 Wednesday

  1. All that waiting….

    Espiride! I miss that stuff. They don’t have it here – Dr’s here haven’t even heard of it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad you managed the long haul to and fro. Hurry up and wait is a motto posted in many medical facilities around the world I’m afraid, especially when serving marginalized communities. (Mental *health* anyone?) Your honest account and photos serve as an important record of the voiceless, invisible people no one wants to notice, although I know you would prefer not to be in their number. Hope you get your wellness wish soon. Thinking of you dear friend.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. So brave to drive so far alone, on dulling meds, and anxious. I know that stoned feeling. When I was with my alcoholic ex it was kinda like shellshock, the world recedes and you’re left in a quiet, calm place. Or is that Depersonalization disorder? Dunno. I applaud your patience. I can’t help but wonder in what universe it’s advisable to make mental patients WAIT…. ‘cuz angry ‘n stuff. I think you’re incredible to endure it. And Blah… your pics are truly beautiful xx

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Amazing post. You’re able to detach enough to paint a telling picture, yet your soul is within every word as you let us in to the truth of how you’re doing.

    As someone who suffers with depersonalization/derealization disorder, for me it’s not so much as the world receding but it’s a terrifying loss of self. It’s a particular nightmare when it happens while I’m driving. I forget who I am & have a panic attack simultaneously; it’s as if I was shot into outer space. Episodes of DP/DR has been worse than the bipolar depression, something i didn’t think was even possible! I digress.

    YOU, sweet blahness, continue to inspire me – you went there to the ward by yourself, you’ve been hit so hard by the side effects….
    you’ve dealt with all kinds of shit – I could go on and on, but I’ll spare you! :)

    It’s so good to know you’re out there.
    You add more to my world, and to others’ lives, than I think you know.

    XO to you and of course S.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A whole day down the drain. I’ve experienced that kind of system. It’s very hard to get well when that’s what you’ve got to deal with. <3

    Liked by 1 person

      • Ugh. Weekly. That means they steal all your weeks. If it was once a month, 1/30 of your time could hardly be called stealing. But once a week? 1/7 of your time? Damn. That’s stealing.

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  6. You did go and accomplished the mission. Small victory but every victory counts. Shame about the long wait but it seems to be a feature of all state health systems. Yeah, sometimes when I have to do something and expose myself to people I kinda go numb, zombie-like, stoned. Like a preemptive reaction to keep irritation and anxiety at bay. It works.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Are any of us living?
    I love your writing (I’m such a broken record, I tell you this all the time that I’m able to come and sink my teeth in your world.)
    And I love the photography.

    Liked by 2 people

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