I’m out!

Well I’m out of hospital now, still no answers as to why I have lost sight in my left eye, but I’m happy to be at home. What wasn’t good was that I caught a bug while I was in there which saw me bedridden for 4 days after I was let out. I haven’t felt that poorly for a long time and the days seemed to blend into one, so I’m finding myself confused about the days when I wake up. But I’m on the mend thankfully, just sadly still blind in one eye.

What I wanted to highlight with this post most of all was the failings of hospitals when it comes to mentally ill patients. I found the whole experience desperately traumatic, when it could have been much easier. Firstly, when you are admitted nothing is mentioned about mental health. My mom had to explain to the nurses that I had complex mental health issues and unfortunately they seemed less than concerned about that. They just accepted it and did nothing with that information. Nobody tried to reassure me or comfort me at all. Secondly, they take all of your meds away from you. They do this in case of overdose or other patients taking the drugs. I understand this but I’m very precious about my drugs and when I take them and how they are arranged in my wash bag. They take all of that power away from you with no exception. Even though I had a lockable drawer next to my bed the drugs were stored there but I wasn’t allowed to access them at all.

Every day I experienced severe separation anxiety when visiting hours were over and my family had to leave me there. I cried every day, to the point of being almost hysterical and nobody said a word.

I don’t want to slag off the NHS, because I truly love it. But there are things that can and should be done for patients that need a hospital stay. There should be access to a CPN at least for people with mental health problems. There should be more concern for the wellbeing of patients. Unfortunately it would appear that the nurses and doctors on the wards are just so busy with their routine jobs that they literally have no time to spend with vulnerable patients. While I was there I never saw a nurse stand still. This is no exaggeration. They work incredibly hard and work long hours but this means the time available for mentally ill patients is very little indeed.

All I ask is for consideration to be made for the most vulnerable patients and that an assessment of their needs be made as soon as they are admitted. I didn’t require any particularly specialist help as I suspect most of us wouldn’t either. However I did require someone who could talk to me and reassure me that everything was ok and that I was safe where I was.

Has anyone else experienced this in UK hospitals? What were your experiences?

Hope you’re all well xxx

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