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Archive for December, 2013

Patient Opinion

27 Dec

After my recent experience at a&e, I decided to let the hospital know as I wanted my thanks passed to the member of staff. I received a reply on there so thought I’d share it. I wrote:

“‘Treated like a human being’
I would like to thank the a&e triage nurse who was on duty this week when I arrived feeling suicidal as it was a trauma anniversary and I suffer from ptsd. The triage nurse was amazing, knew ptsd from past work experiences and treated me like a human being.

My experience could have been totally different if it wasn’t for this kind man. I really hope my thanks are passed on to him.”

The reply I received:

“This is an especially welcome comment and thank you very much for taking the time and troubles to post it.

We know that staff in emergency care are very good at dealing with big injuries and life threatening illnesses, but when someone comes to us with a genuine psychological need such as this it is a great boost to staff to hear that that we have not lost the skill and art of caring for another human being who is not obviously physically ill or injured.

The title ‘Treated like a human being’ is one of the best compliments we have had in a long while, because that is what we aim to do every day. We try hard to treat everyone with respect and compassion no matter how ‘small’ or ‘minor’ or ‘non-medical’ their need may be. To learn that we have met your expectations is both humbling and pleasing. Thank you”

I think it’s important to give recognition where it is due to members of staff who probably get very little thanks.

 
 

Please be careful when reading this…

20 Dec

I don’t actually know how to write about this one, but after a recent, new flashback, it has come to the front of my mind and I can’t stop feeling guilty and ashamed for it. I know I can’t be alone in this, but it seems it’s the taboo of rape and I guess by writing this (although extremely tough for me), it makes someone else feel not alone then it’s worth it.

My rapes took place many times over the period of about a year and it happened a lot within this time. As documented elsewhere on my blog, I was subjected to a torrent of abuse and many times I lay crying as I was made to do things (usually with some sort of weapon held against me).

But what’s taboo about this is my body reacted the way it was supposed to during sex. I wasn’t turned on, far from it and yet my body let me down – it thought I should have been and there was nothing I could do to prevent this. I feel so ashamed and guilty over this, if my body ‘enjoyed’ it in some way and I ended up having an orgasm, does that mean I was secretly consenting and this wasn’t rape?

But no, regardless of what my body was doing, my brain was saying no. I was saying no – I didn’t want these men anywhere near me. I guess the point of this post is to say, if your body had feelings that conflict with you saying no, that’s ok and apparently quite normal so don’t feel guilty over it.

I know that’s easier said than done, because I still feel guilt and shame, especially after writing this!!

 
 

How Staff Can Make All the Difference

17 Dec

**Trigger warning, talk of suicide**

Yesterday saw my main trauma anniversary and for the last couple of months has been a date in my head that I was intending to end things. I am so tired of the battle, I’m not really in agreement with the therapy treatment options that have been made available to me and just generally have a very dim view of the future.

I have been speaking to a friend about the way I’ve been feeling and I promised them that before I did anything I would seek professional help. If that didn’t work, then I’d be free to do as I wanted. Which brings me to last night.

I’d struggled all day, knowing that my plan needed the darkness, I waited, fretting over the details but feeling that actually, this was the right thing for me to do.

It got to about 9pm and I felt the time had come, but true to my promise, I called the out of hours duty social worker first. He was nice enough but told me he wanted me to go straight to a&e, that he would call ahead and let the access and liaison team know I was coming. He gave me an hour and said if I hadn’t arrived by then, he would be calling the police. He also offered to come and get me but I didn’t feel comfortable in a strangers car and so I told him I’d get there myself.

When I arrived, there were 7 ambulances queuing up and the place was packed. Those that know me, know how I struggle to go out around people and I’ll be honest, I nearly turned back right then but a timely text from a great friend gave me the courage to walk in.

The reception was right next to the waiting area so everyone can hear what you say when booking in. I took my phone out and wrote a note and handed to the receptionist, she understood and was very nice about it. She checked me in and told me to take a seat. By this time, I was sweating, my heart rate was up and I couldn’t stop shaking. I could see the looks I was getting and this was making me worse.

After about half an hour, the triage nurse called me through and straight away I just broke down in tears. He was absolutely brilliant. He told me he was an ex combat medic and had worked with people with PTSD and totally understood how I was feeling. He said I had to go back out in to the waiting room whilst the mental health nurse arrived to do a psych evaluation. I think he saw the look of horror in my eyes at that point and instead told me to wait and he’d go and sort out a side room for me.

True to his word, he took me to a quieter place and got me a drink. He told me he was incredibly proud of me for taking the step to come in and that I was safe and no one would hurt me there. In those few words, he completely got me and I can’t express my gratefulness enough towards him.

I was only left waiting another 30 mins or so and then 2 mental health nurses came in and again were so nice. He said I looked really anxious and was there anything they could do to settle me, I said no thanks, I just need to be kept safe.

We went through a psych assessment with the questions about what brought me there, how I was feeling etc and what could be done to help me. We decided they would prescribe some diazepam and I’d go home with the a&e number knowing I could call them at any point in the night, or for the rest of this week.

I don’t know the answer, but the fact I had to go through a&e to access this help, is definitely not something that should need to be done. As I said, I nearly turned around and then what? The police would have been called and that would be a total wasted resource, all because I couldn’t walk in to a room full of people. If it wasn’t for the total understanding of the triage nurse, my experience could have been totally different with me being sent back in to the busy waiting room. I honestly think if that had happened, I would have left! Again, a&e is not the place for mental health emergencies!