Being in Hospital
Wow, so this is what it's like! During my first few nights in the hospital, I had a mixture of emotions; relief, happiness, sadness, loneliness, irritation, to name a few...
Initially, I reckon I was mostly positive about being there. I tried to absorb my surroundings in order to have the experience forever engrained in my mind. But I'm sure there were times that I've forgotten due to the pharmaceutical haze I was in for so long. I was sceptical about the treatment I was given every step of the way!
With me, I took a tablet, sketchbook, and a book to read but too exhausted for any of them. As each day passed, I was getting weaker and weaker. It’s a shame that contemporary medication doesn’t acknowledge natural remedies. I'd come a long way at home with the use of them. At times I did feel like I was put in a room and left there to see how long I'd last.
Thinking I'd get some rest in the hospital was very naive as it was quite the opposite; It was so difficult to sleep with corridor lights, the constant checking of vitals and oh the heat of this summer! I also felt as though I had to stay on top of the medication given to me along with dosage and timings. Also, there seemed to be a significant delay between the order from the doctor and the nurse carrying out the instruction.
The stubborn side of me didn't allow any visitors apart from my immediate family. At this point I had lost a lot of weight and was looking extremely unhealthy I didn’t want to be seen or remembered as that.
Most of the time I felt as though I was fighting a never-ending war all on my own. I had tubes all over me and had to kick up a fuss every day to get them removed as they just weren’t needed and were causing a lot of pain due to my small frame.
The thing that made a difference to me and kept me going was all the love and support I received from everyone. I was so touched to find out how blessed I am and that people care! My mission was to get better and do what I’ve always set out to do and help others understand mental health through my art. This is still the case, but now I can also add this recent experience to my understanding.
As time progressed and I was still in hospital I began to envy staff and visitors that were able to go home, shopping, out to eat or anywhere and not be tied down to a hospital bed. I felt as though I was given a prison sentence with no end. I wasn’t getting better. I would have welcomed death as I just couldn’t take the pain and continually being on the verge of collapse. It was getting worse, and I also found myself having to suppress the sensation of wanting to throw up during each excreting bowel motion.
There was without a doubt a humbling aspect to it all, being surrounded by suffering makes you see life from a different perspective. The nurses did a great job of uplifting the atmosphere and helping however they could which made a massive difference to the entire experience.
Experiencing a death on the ward was interesting to see from the outside, as I’m using to being part of the grieving family that come to visit. I felt numb, detached and although I knew nothing about the deceased, I knew this person had lived a long life and was dearly loved judging by all the visitors.
Looking back it's all very surreal; I'm incredibly thankful for all the medical services available to me. The nurses I came across were terrific and, are all physiotherapists always so lovely? (not to mention stunning?) I have a new found respect for the work these people do. Much of the staff seemed rushed off their feet, incredibly stressed and would cease the opportunity to come and have a chat when they wanted a breather. It was a whole new world to me, many of these people were holding down 12-hour shifts, studying and some managing their young families. Having the opportunity to have lengthy chats with many, I was able to get an insight into their lives. It seemed the there was a common trend with the constant struggle with lack of time and money.
With this experience, I take away with me the overwhelming amount of love I received and a brief education about the life or a nurse! Feeling lucky, blessed to have the support there.
I will always have a love-hate relationship with doctors and medical teams, but I was lucky enough to have come across some of the best nurses and a straight-talking, lovely surgeon.