244. The playlist.

Last night at the gym, I hit play on my “insane” playlist. These were the tunes that I had listened to daily whilst confined to a psych ward.

As I pumped hard on the cross trainer my mind travelled back to that place and honestly I longed to be there again. Just for a night or two, just to get a break from reality and life. Just to be surrounded with amazing support staff and nurses who care and listen, and nurture.

There are some I’d love to chat with again, some I need to tell me off, and others I just want back in my life.

I can see why people, go in and out. I can understand the desires to self harm sufficiently to be ‘re-incarcerated.” I can understand why in lieu of a proper suicide attempt, it could be tempting. It could be one more try at finding the help you need.

Just a few nights to escape, to force me to give up sleeping pills, to ban me from self harming and comfort me while I do.

Not going to happen though

Loopy x.

238. I’m a waste of time.

She didn’t say so, but I could see it in her face. This evening I had a chat with my CPN. I’m doing nothing to help myself, so how on earth can they help me.

I’m starting to feel like, they think I’m an attention seeker. I think they’re fed up with me. I think I should just cut all ties and go it alone.

I can’t answer the “what is it that’s making you sad questions, nor can I answer the what is happy loopy like questions.

The only thing I know, is that life does not feel worth living. Life is too hard.

I need to find the courage to end it now, and do it right this time.

Loopy x

237. I made the call.

I was on the brink. I was alone and I was vulnerable so I called my CPN. By the time she called me back, I had calmed a little. I’m glad I phoned her though. I’m warming to her quickly and I’m getting more comfortable talking to her

But when I make these calls, they often ask; “what would make you feel better, or make things easier?”

Honestly I don’t know! There is no one thing that can be fixed to miracoulously cure me. It is, I guess a culmination of lots of little thongs. My hatred for my albinism, my struggles with my fear of gaining weight, my family isolation, my inability to drive,my emotionally absent, or rather equally drained partner, my stressful job, my mum guilt and my worries for little man, my feelings of worthlessness and incompetence, my head fuzz, forgetfulness and confusion (probably drug induced) and my inability to sleep.

There are 3 things right now that are probably slowly killing me. My dependence on zopiclone, my persistent self burning, and my regular binge/purge cycles.

Not one of these has yet come up in therapy, since losing K. This new therapist, although kind, is not the right fit for me.

How do I tell her?

Loopy x.

230. An addiction.

The only thing good about today, was the weather. I trecked into town for my Occi Health appointment at 11.30. I arrived only to be told it was at 10.30!! I never ever ever miss appointments. If I had political power I would charge people for missing NHS appointments without good reason. I’m so angry at myself. The Dr has very kndly agreed to see me at 9.00 tomorrow before work.

I had a CPN visit this afternoon. It was our first 1 to 1 appointment. I like her, and I’m relieved that I do.

Today for the first time, I confessed to my addiction. I’ve mentioned problems with zopiclone to L and B (other nurses) , but I’ve never said out loud that I’m addicted. Today I was honest albeit details are foggy. I’m crippled with anxiety in the evenings and I suspected it may be due to my taste for sleeping pills. I never take less than 15 mg now, sometimes taking 22.5. This can’t go on. My liver can’t withstand this abuse on top off the prescribed cocktail I’m taking daily. I need help, and today I kind off asked for it. She asked me if I’m ready to give them up, In truth I’m not, but my brain is telling me I need to.

Why do I continue to self destruct?

Loopy x.

208. Wound management.

I really should know better. I’ve been doing this long enough!

Dressing brands make promises of longevity, absorbancies and water proofness. When you’re dealing with burns (often full thuckness) as I do, it requires the Rolls Royce of wound care management tools.

Burns result in exudate (the cells and fluid released during inflammation); copiuos amounts in fact, that can rapidly seep through sleeves and garments.

Burns are extremely prone to infection. The skin is our largest protective organ and our first line off deffence against invading pathogens. Furthermore as tissue dies it provides an all you can eat buffet for staphylococcus and his other microbial buddies.

To reduce scarring and achieve improved pain management the healing environment should be moist, and sealed from the elements.

I use Meplilex border Ag when I can. A foam dressing, with a gentle silicone adhesive boeder that can deal with the exudate, combat bacteria with its silver impregnated layers, and provide optimism healing conditions; or so they claim. It’s also thick enough to reduce the odour that accompanies burn healing. Think of your food waste bin, full of meat, during hot summer months in the run up to collection day.

I’d asked my GP for a prescription of said dressings, but my stock is now low. The reality is that these things bend and flex with the contours off your skin. Inflammation induced itchiness forces you to claw and scratch at them. Burning over,or near to old wounds where kelloid scars have formed creates airpockets and channels in the adhesive. All off these factors render them useless within a day or two or immediately following a shower. When my stock is low I try use them sparingly; if at all. They’re incredibly expensive to buy with regularity.

Today’s decision to ration their use created quite the conundrum for me this afternoon. I was going to the gym and knew I’d be showering after. The previous dressing had fallen apart for all the reasons mentioned above and it stunk, so had to be removed. A new one before the gym would waste it, so I left my arms unprotected, covered only by my rash guard. The wounds continued to weep, and a couple of hours later the fabric of my sleeve had congealed with the wound site. IT WAS STUCK!!!

Many of my burns heal with hypergranulation; essentially a process whereby tissue and tiny blood vessels grow back exuberantly above and beyond the original site, creating little delicate flesh mounds. It was one of these that was stuck!!

I soaked my sleeve with water, to no avail. I was forced to “tug!!!” All I can say is Ouch!!! Newly formed nerve endings were severed, blood vessels burst and flesh ripped.

In the context of lecturing I’m used to creating sessions and activities that have “learning outcomes” This was a perfect experience to teach someone not to burn again, but that’s not what I’ve taken away from it.

Despite the trauma, the pain, the odours, the recovery proccesses and the sheer difficulties associated with exudent wound management, and hiding it all from everyone else; I crave it. I need it! It’s my valium, my reality checker, my grounding strategy and my fucked up comforter. It’s my one controllable constant.

I will hoever, be more careful with my wounds.

Loopy x

204. Swimming upstream.

I’ve just completely broken down on OH. There are many reasons that I’m finding today tough;

I’m going in tomorrow to discuss my return to work and I’m not ready. I lied a little to get the nod from Occi Health and right now I’m regretting those lies.

I’ve had a psychiatrist review today and that’s resulted in yet another dosage increase. They have no answers either for my F##ked up head.

Today was my last contact with my CPN as she leaves to take on a new role. Words can’t describe how much this loss has floored me. She’s been my lighthouse in the fog, my buoyancy aid through rough seas and my corner man through every punch that life has thrown at me off late. I’m struggling to process this.

And to top it all off there’s just the weight of greyness, cripplung doubts and self loathing that I cannot shake.

As I’ve said, I’ve broken down on OH. He sat quietly for a moment, drank his mug of tea and has now taken himself off to bed to “lie down for a bit”

All I really needed was a hug. Can someone please swoop me into their arms?

Loopy x

200. A smile that lifted me.

I took a lot from the time I spent on a psychiatric ward. I learned that there are amazing people in this world. I was cacooned in a place of safety and warmth (ignoring the odd erratic patient outbursts). I met people who in the face of staff shortages, shit pay, and regular abuse; gave themselves wholly to the caring of others.

They are truly inspirational, but the one who inspires me the most, was my room neighbour, football companion, confidante and the newest member off my treasured friends list.

I went to visit her today; and her smile and progress since my last visit have lifted my spirits this evening. She was moved to a different unit, and it hit her hard, but today I met a girl transformed. A girl with hope and drive to beat her demons. A girl whose battles are greater than mine, but her strength and resolve are remarkable. I’ve told her many times that 2019 will be our year!!! Chatting and laughing with her today has given me some hope, for both off us.

Come on S, we can do this!

Loopy x