Spitting from the inside
Thursday, September 08, 2005
  Hospital Hell
First Entry
"I am in hospital. I got here yesterday. I had a letter for an urgent appointment with the eating disorders unit in the post on Sunday of all days. The stupid postman had delivered it to the wrong flat though it was clearly addressed correctly. Luckily it got to me just in time. Jakey got drunk last night so I am feeling very lonely and let down. I guess he must have his life too, it was just bad timing.
I left the house at 6am to miss rush hour so arrived ridiculously early. The chair in the hospital reception was hurting me and I felt like I was falling asleep so once the psychiatry reception opened at 9am I went and sat there and shut my eyes.
The consultant psychiatrist kindly saw me a bit early. He took a lot of history though I'm not sure I explained things well as I was feeling very spaced out.
I had to stand from squatting which I could do and then sit from lying down which I couldn't and that made me a bit tearful. I had bloods and an ECG and then went back to the ED unit.
After some waiting I was seen again by the psychiatrist, another doctor and some students. They asked what help I hoped to receive from the service and I had to say I didn't know because this is all such a shock.
They found a problem with my heart on the ECG. They wanted a cardiologist to check the ECG so more waiting. Sitting in the ED unit I saw too really skinny girls and freaked out about being so ugly and fat.
They sent me down to A&E and I had more bloods done. There was no where quiet to wait which made my anxiety +++ but I was called quickly and the Dr was kind.
By this time it 4pm and I was panicking as I hadn't been out of the house for so long in one go in ages.They decided to wheel me to the X-ray department by mistake and leave me in the cold room before realising they'd got it wrong and wheeling me back. At 5pm they moved me to a ward as like most hospitals they have a policy of people not being in A&E longer than 4 hours. I had yet another ECG by a nurse with carrot hair and thick glasses and found 50p in the phone. Panicked and cried a bit about not being able to get hold of Jakey and worrying how I would get home. There was no diet coke in the machine and all my anxiety got channeled into getting diet coke. I was freaking so much they sent a nurse to the canteen to get some but he came back empty handed.
Finally the psychiatrist and doctor came back and said they wanted to admit me. I asked (begged) to be allowed to go home and eat but no cigar. They brought me up to a ward and let me go to the canteen on the way to get my DC. Jakey was waiting and he got me some more cans. Then they brought me a drink which tasted of pure fat and I couldn't drink it.Got into bed at 10pm and slept on and off. The old man in the bed next to mine repeats his address over and over and keeps getting up and setting his beepers off. He also says he played for Man U and won 3 boxing titles.
At 10:30 they brought another drink which I refused. At 4am the man next to me got up and ran back and forth until 6:30.

Second entry (said the actress to the Bishop)

OK so I'm here with fat going in me. It has been sucking a lot today. Let me try and explain. Late this morning the ED people came back with yet another drink. It was the psychiatrist and a dietitican. She seems full of crap 'We'll be here to support you' and then fucks off. It has put me well off the ED clinic. Anyway it was drink or be sectioned so I drank. They left and the MAU consultant came. He said it would be easier as I was having problems with the drinks to have an NG tube, he was really kind saying he understood what I was going through. He promised because of my anxiety I could have the tube out at night and that I could have diet cokes. He left and the dietician came back with yet another drink and said the psychiatrist had said 4x drinks a day or tube. While this confusion was going on between the ED and medical people someone brought me a menu for dinner.
The doctor came to put the tube in and said the consultant had gone leaving instructions for it to be left in at night and no diet coke so I freaked out. The tube hurts so much. I feel bad about myself. The dietician said 'Well I don't know how you'll feel when you drink the drink - TRY' and was gone. I was left with painful tube, all these fat drinks and a dinner menu and tears.
They gave me folic acid and vitamins and I made such a fuss about the tube they had to hold me down on the bed to stop me pulling it out. I agreed to keep it in over night until the consultant returns to fix a proper regime.

Third entry. Tube fever.
Two doctors just came and said the tube must stay in for 5 more days at least. It's hurting so much and driving me insane. Must get it out. I can't take it. The ED peeps totally abandoned me and there is a terrible pain in my back. No one is going to come and there is nothing I can do. I'm never coming to a hospital again ever.
This re-feed is making me insane. I keep being asleep then awake then asleep confused in the head. If I get the tube out at least I will have some control. Got to keep that in my head and remember it. I think I heard the consultant talking about me saying I had indulged myself with food but I hear lots of things and how can the NG tube be indulging myself? Once the tube is out it will be better again. It gives me panics and hurts. NO ONE FROM THE ED PLACE HAS COME. So much for support! I hear this stuff all the time and slip into odd life like dreams.
The two doctors came back and were like 'are you OK? Do you understand how ill you are. The anorexia. BUT I'M NOT ANOREXIC. I have to get of this horrible tube. Having the bag next to me and watching it drip drip drip disgusts me. MUST KEEP CALM. I wasted money on the phone because I felt so alone.

Those first few days I was obsessed with only two things. Diet coke and getting the tube out. Jakey bought me a huge supply of coke and I was paranoid about having it taken away so I hid the cans in my coat. Because I didn't know I was being admitted I had no PJ's, tooth brush or anything just the clothes I had been wearing when I went for what I thought would be a 2 hour assessment.

Entry 4 - The marmite chronicles.
Woke with pain in the tube at 3:30, 4 and 6am. I am in a new ward, transferred at midnight. They have given me a cannula and put some yellow stuff down it which smells of marmite. The food knackered me and my head is pulsating.
The lady who did my bloods this morning was the one who did them at my assessment. She recognized me and was telling me how she gets sent all over to do bloods and was having a hella day because the last one loads of doctors were watching her and she fucked it up. Mental note it's not just me who finds it hard to do things when being observed. This 'bay' I'm in is all woman. I'm freaking out that this bag of feed is for the whole day. Had a wander and a cry. I'm sure they're giving me too much. It's making my tummy sick. 5 more days?!? I'm not even thin - how fucked is that? I can't cope I'm going nuts in the head. They keep putting the stinking marmite stuff in, its horrible, I can see it making the vein swell up my arm and it makes odd noises.

Entry 5 Out Vile Tube
NG is OUT!!! I finally slept and had weird dreams. They put a K+ drip on all night but I could unplug it and wheel it if I needed the loo. As soon as they put it on I got pins and needles in my feet. Must try and walk about as much as possible to keep the weight off. Still hear weird things in my head. People talking about me saying I'm fat and greedy. Feel weird but better. I'm having the drinks now but the nurse only watched me start it and then drew the curtains and left. There was a sink next to my bed and I couldn't help but tip it away. Spent the next ages worrying I would get in shit but no one noticed. I have just got to get out of here and get the weight off but slowly. Then everything will be OK.
The ED people came at lunchtime. On this ward it's a big thing because it's a gastro ward. They start yelling 'lunch!' and banging stuff and no one is allowed in during the hour. The medical people are complained they have been dumped with a psych patient. I heard them talking about me just outside the bay saying I am feeling 'abandoned' and 'You could see her eyes welling up'. The compromise is I have to have a nurse supervising me. I have 4 drinks a day 2 liters of water and 5 cans of diet coke a day. The medical doctors said 'You do know this is a medical ward don't you?' The drinks hurt my tummy and I can feel the fat going on me. They are by Nestle and I thought about refusing them on 'ethical grounds' haha - not that it actually bothers me but just to see what would happen. I'll be so fat soon. I feel dizzy and high after the drinks. Hot. It's visiting time and I am alone. Waves of emotion come over me - sad, crazy, evil, high.

Entry 6 Saruman Arrives

I have two nurses supervising me. Registered mental health nurses or RMN's. Jakey calls them sarumans. B comes at night at night and K during the day. I'm writing it down because my brain has gone stupid. i get light headed and thick. I forget what is going on and who i am. today has been ok though I am XXKG!!! HELLO XXKG!!!

They are making me take a wheelchair everywhere at this massive fat heffer weight. it's so bad. By Tuesday when they review me how much will I be? This is the worst hell int he world. How did this happen? I have diarrhoea non stop and begged for immodium but they won't give it to me because of my heart. I CAN'T TAKE THIS WEIGHT GAIN. It's so bad. FAT. I hate my ugly face and seeing myself grow and get massive. i can't take being so BIG. Today went: Up early, Bloods, K arrives. She is nice. i get dressed and have a drink. take ages over it but still painful. The marmite drip didn't help. felt very spacey and hide multi vits and phosphates bubble drink. This is so wrong and bullshit. I'm nto anorexic. i just feel like life is over. I can't stand it. If I have to be so disgusting can't it be in private? I hate my fat selfish self. My stomache is fat. I hate the wheelchair - it's so unneccessary. Fat sow. they said when I came in I could have dropped dead but now I am bigger so they must let me out.

There seems to be a 'thing' about wheelchairs in this hospital. i'm not allowed to walk and must be wheeled. K kindly took me off the ward and up to alittle bench just to get some sun though i was shivering in my coat. I sat on the bench and someone tried to run off with my wheelchair! later downstairs I was sitting on a chair in the canteen and a woman came and begged for my wheeldhair as she'd asked a porter to get on and hour ago and he couldn't find one. They are like gold dust apparently. B the night nurse is funny. She goes on and on about this anorexic she dealt with who she calls 'the little girl' making me feel HUGE. She got down to XXKG. I flipped out 'Don't say numbers!' and put my hands over my ears. K and I talked about Green Wing and the coat swishing doctors. She says when the consultant comes we'll see if he 'swishes' which has planted a terrible seed. I'll just crack up as soon as I see him now.

Entry 7 Skin the pig

J is the nurse today. They change them round so much. Kind of young - nice. Did my daily ECG and said 'All my time in nursing I have never seen anyone with as many scars as you. Are you into Marylin Manson - I was when I was 17' she thought I was younger. had more fatty drinks. This is my torture. fatten up. They are doing it on purpose, taking the opportunity while they have me here to fatten me up like a piggy. Outside on the bench with K the psychiatrist I saw last night came past. She will be back later. She's just checking up on my while the regular lot are away. The days goes past quite fast with all the crap that has to be done. Drink fizz, drink calorie drink. Told the psychiatrist I am changing my name to battered mars bar.

Entry 8 No news

No news paper trolly today. I have become fanatical about newpapers. I get them all everyday. I can't stand the magazines they have downstairs full of thin people. I can't concentrate enough to read much so I shred the important articles out to keep for when my brain works. k takes the rejected bits to be recycled. She is well into her recycling. I decided not to say anything about that! It's a new thing for me to be able to like someone but also not like a thing about them. Usually I am all or nothing.

Entry 9 I freak out

B had to call the night shrink as I freaked out. She was very vampy looking in a red leather jacket! She gave me lorazempam and I got some sleep hiding under the covers. B sits by my bed all night with the lighton to read. It's so miserable here. I can't even go off shopping to cheer myself up! I have been talking to some of the other women in the bay. One who I was initally afraid of 'asbo' is really nice. she always moans that they won't give her a second cup of tea so when the breakfast trolly comes I ask for T and give it to her. I call her asbo because her whole family seem to have asbos against them. Jakeys parents came to see me. he said his Mum started crying after and his Dad didn't recognise me. I told him don't let them bring flowers because they die. Later K the nurse brought me in a plant from home because of what I'd said. How kind. I don't deserve it.

Entry 10 Whale day

I called today whale day because the ED consultant psychiatrist comes to weigh me. Apparently my BMI is almost up to 15. he said I have re-feeding syndrome and my K+ and phosphates are still too low. he will meet with my psychologist and keyworker tomorrow to discuss a community care plan so I'm not getting out in the next few days. Bleugh. I labelled the bandage on my cannula 'marmite in here please' with some tape. they wouldn't let me have scissors to cut the tape K had to do it. I can't have string either apparently or tweezers. Little do they know I bought a packet of razors from the hospital trolly before the RMN's turned up. Just incase. My plan is to try and limit the weight gain as much as possible until i can get out. To take mymind off my weight, though i am sure he calculated my BMI wrong i am much bigger than that, i'll explain a typical day. I usually wake up at 5am and go have a bath if I can face the cold and the pain because my damn tail bone digs into everything. have marmite drip which takes about 30 minutes. Have bloods done. 8am B leaves and K arrives. They call the big bathroom opposite their office because they go in there to do the hand over - with the door open they can still keep and eye on me. 9am we go to the 'quiet room' to have my first drink and meds. repeat at midday, 5pm and 9pm. I have to show the empty cup when I'm done which is naff. I have the marmite drip again at4ish with some fizzy stuff and again at midnight which ruins any hope of decent sleep. The ward i am in is the biggest in the hospital and divided into bays. i think there are 6 of us in mine now. During the day K wheels me outside to have the drinks sometimes. The flavours are rank. My blood pressure is low apparently.

Entry 11 - Not home yet.

The hardest day of my life yesterday. The ED consultant psychiatrist came to discuss options. He said I can't go home yet. My liver is wrong and I need to get medically stable. Then they will transfer me to a psych ward maybe at a different hospital. They are also making me have solids now as well as the damn drinks. It's so unfair and I hate it. I had to have my first solids which was a spoonful of veggie mush. i cried and made a huge fuss but K luckily was really good and tolerant. She previously worked in an ED unit so I am lucky. I got a card from my family which just devistated me. Like my heart had split down the middle. I have never felt so much grief. They don't know I am here but know something is up. K cried when she read it. I feel like I have lost my family. Being unable to tell them what is happening but wanting them so much. I feel like there is a huge chasm between us. It's all my fault. I had students doping my ECG this morning and now I'm waiting to see what will come of yesterdays meeting.

Entry 12 Crap nurse

Today has been OK. i cried so much last night I have nothing left to feel. I feel oddly resigned to my fate. The ED psychiatrist came early to say the plan is to get medically stable then moved to a psych ward at another hospital or an 'alternative to admission' unit. K has her days off but will be back if I am still here after the weekend. The RMN replacing B is so bad. She turned up 45 minutes late an didn't appologise to K. She said to me 'When I heard it was an anorexic I didn't want to come'. She doesn't watchme have the drinks and just chats on her mobile. Plus she sleeps which they are not allowed to do because I could sneak off and - well you know. having her around makes me so depressed and homesick. also she didn't bother to read my notes about having to have the chair and took me for a walk round the hospital - mainly because she wanted to phone her husband to getteh tennis scores. Anyway so I went walking all round and about getting dizzy as fuck. Stupid woman. Also she snores at night AND her damn phone rings at stupid times all through the night. She is obsessed with following me to the toilet in case I vomit but when she gives me the drink she goes off to chat with the other nurses. later she walks me downstairs again because she wants to check her bank balance. I hate having everything I put in my mouth recorded. Every sip of water. I hate being followed to the bathroom and having it recorded if i did a piss or a shit or both. Asbo gave me a presnt today because I had been so upset. It was so kind and I felt bad. the lady in the bed opposite me is fucking me off so much begging for drinks. 'Give me one nutrician' and she is up all night eating stuff from boxes and rustling. There is a new lady in the bed next to me now. She keeps offering me malteases. She said 'I heard the doctors saying you halved your body weight in under 5 months please tell me how?' There was a piece in the paper about the amount of food wasted in hospitals with 17 million meals getting chucked each year untouched. I get menus to fill in for the next days meals usually ticking the salad boxes until K alters them. The other day they didn't have what I had agreed to eat and the poor nurse came and said 'Would a sandwich be ok instead' I screamed NO!! - It just sort of came out - I appologised later.

Entry 13 Unlucky for some

Things move more slowley over the weekends as no doctors come round and there isn't much tio break up the day. I am still meant to behaving the wheelchair though I am almost medically clear. My liver is still a bit wrong but something which can be dealt with as an outpatient. Now I am waiting for them to find me a bed on a psych ward. Again a different nurse who hasn't read the notes so no chair for me yesterday. She just sits next to the bed so I read and ignore her. K and B make so much effort to talk to me and explain what is happening and help me out. These ones just sit there watching me and follow me to the toilet. It makes me realise how lucky I am to have K and B mostof the time. have gone really klepto here, hoarding med cups and straws and bits of the hospital experience. I seem to always need to have things maybe instad of having food I try and fill up on other stuff? Though I am not sectioned if I don't comply they will section me so i may as well be sectioned. It's so horrible. And why why why hot milk on the cereal? It makes me want to puke. I don't think that nurse will be coming back. She opened the door while I was on the toilet during visitting time so the bay was full. Didn't even knock first. i screamed 'Don't fucking open the fucking door while I having a fucking piss' right in her face and lay face down on my bed till it was time for her to go. i'd just had it. Had it with being weighed measured and recorded. K back today and took me off hospital grounds in the chair so i got to go to the shops. The ED consultant is stalling for more time with me on the medical ward by saying he wants another liver blood done though the medical consultant says its not neccessary. the medical lot don't want me in a bed they need for medical cases but the ED lot don't want me going home. and want me to go to a psych ward BUT my keyworker and CMHT don't want me on a psych ward. While they try and work it out I'm stuck here. K taught me how to use predictive text today and when B arrived she gave me a big hug. I feel bad people are so kind to me. I don't deserve it. K is trying to get me to be more objective about my situation. I feel like she is really putting effort into helping me. keyworker was meant to come yesterday but didn't.

Entry 14 nearly there.

It's so confusing. There is the consultant psychitrist from the CMHT - shrinkwithbighands, the ED consultant psychiatrist, and the medical consultant. They can't agree what to do with me. My keyworker and shrinkwithbighands think i won't cope on the psych ward and say if the ED doctors wants me inpatient he'll have to find me a bed on an ED unit. The ED consultant doesn't want me going home. The medical lot don't want me on their ward. The CMHT are trying to arrange for me to go home and have the crisis team visit each day. Still no one has actually given me any info on how to eat, what to eat or any nutricional education. Not even a bloody leaflet. B said I was one of the clients she had talked to the most which is funny considering I'm so anti social. I've been doing my best to avoid gaining too much weight. It's funny how easy it is to hide food even when being watched. I won't get away with it with K but on days when there are other nurses food goes into socks and pockets and all sorts. Plus I do squats and run on the spot in the bathroom, not for too long or they'd get suspicious but hopefully it will help. I just want to go home.

Entry 15 Nearly HOME

Wow The ED consultant has cleared me to go! I am so happy. They have about 5 minutes to get my drug sheet tot he pharmacy or I will have to wait till tomorrow. Arrrrrg please let them hurry.

Entry 16 HOME

The nice sister swung it so I got my meds even thoughthe pharmacy had closed. Me and jakey got in a cab with all my crap and several carrier bags of damn milk shakes. I have to call the crisis team to arrange for them to visit but I am FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.


This is a transcription of the paper journal I kept while in hospital during May/June 2005
Evil Drink

September 2005

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