299. Can I take her with me?

Today I had my last appointment with my current CPN. C has been absolutely fantastic this past few months and I’m very sad to be losing her.

She has organised my transfer of care and given me copies of all the necessary paperwork. I actually have an appointment with my new CMHT next Monday. God I hope they’re as good as my current one.

I really wish I could take C with me.

Loopy x

293. An unusual dilemma.

It’s day 3 of potty training and we’re now at around 50% success rates. Not bad going really, and I’m feeling proud of our little man.

He loves using his potty. Well actually to be more precise, he loves emptying his potty down the “big toilet” Here in lies the dilemma. Our little man’s control is so good that he stops his pee pee mid flow, so that he can go clean the potty. He empties it, goes again with a few more dribbles and so the routine follows until he’s eventually empty.

It’s great that he’s doing so well, but mmmmmm we can’t go back and forth repeatidly all day. These little people certainly do keep us on our toes.

PS potty training is very similar to training a puppy…Consistency is key!.. 😉

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

105. Brutally honest.

This is it, my final blog post from within the confines of a psychiatric hosptial (all being well the next two nights whilst on overnight leave). Today as I sat at my kitchen table with OH, the words of a fantastic staff member rung in my ears; “if you don’t tell him, then you’ll be back here in a couple of months as a revolving door patient, you have to tell him!”.

Today I was brutally honest and poured my heart out to OH. It feels cruel to me now but I told him the true effects, on me, of his lack of engagment in our relationship.  I wept as I explained that a future with no changes will kill me.

He did his usual silenct act, but he did listen.  He told me he would make an effort, he assured me he would work on things. Tomorrow by the time I get home, OH should have made a GP appointment for himself.  I’m hopeful that he’ll have done so.

I’m clinging onto hope right now, it’s all I have to help me brave the real world again.  I’m still terrifed of leaving the safety of these walls and all the fantastic staff that perservered with me and opened me up.

I’ll miss them all terribly.  The one who let me punch her (gloves and pads), made my days more bearable and eased my suffering.  The one who stalked me (and opened me up alittle) made me feel safe and cared for. The one who instinctively knew when to lock my room, made me feel secure and less ashamed of my behaviours.  The one who made our beds, and told me to shower made me feel more human, and nurtured.  The 3 youngest ones made me laugh, and smile and appreciate the genuine goodness in people. The organiser of all activites gave purpose to our days and showed true human kindness when I first arrived. The “fabulous darling” made me feel less inadequate as a mother and more empowered as a person going forward.

The ones I’ll probably miss most off all are the two (Cunts, you need to know the Matalan context) who perservered with me, showed me genuine empathy, gradually chipped away my outer shell, made me laugh when my days were grey, made me smile when my soul was sad, and made me realise that it’s o.k to put yourself first from time to time.  No one in my life has ever talked to me, been as patient with me, showed me as much emapthy and imparted life experience to me in the ways that these two women did.  They’ll never know the true impact they have had on me.

I’ll also genuinely miss the fantastic nurses, who are constantly pestered, pulled in several directions, abused, shouted at and undervalued.  Their jobs are incredibly difficult yet they all do it with kindness, empathy and caring ears. I’ve had several really good chats with them, and each and every one showed me genuine kindness and support.  I certainly couldn’t do their jobs.

Every single person on that ward is amazing, and I will remember those people who saw me at my lowest and showered me with non judgemental care for the rest of my life.

So I guess this is it, tomorrow is the beginning of a new life for me.  One where I will put my needs first, where I will reach out for help when I am struggling and I will do everything I can to get back on track and become dare I say it; happy again.  I will shower my son and OH with love and begin to show myself the same compassion that I show to others.  Tomorrow is Day 1 of my journey to wellness.

Wish me luck everyone.

Loopy x.