On Monday I was nearly done. I had struggled with thoughts of suicide during my entire time off and I only had one more day to go until I flew back to work.
I didn’t have suicidal thoughts anymore, but I didn’t see the point of doing anything seeing as how I was flying out the next day. So on Monday I did my washing early and started to clean up the house. Then I decided that to pass the time I would get drunk and fall asleep, hoping to wake up sometime in the evening.
It was about eight thirty in the morning when I started drinking.
I woke up in intensive care at around 11pm that night. I had been there for about ten hours.
As soon I my eyes opened the nurse started to remove the tubes I had stuck in me. I managed to see my parents sitting on a couple of chairs beside my bed before my vision was obstructed by the nurse’s hands. They left once I was able to speak.
The nurse explained that I had overdosed on something. I didn’t believe her. That’s not the kind of thing I would do. That’s not how I wanted to kill myself.
The next thing she pulled out was my catheter, which allowed me to discover that I was completely naked. She started running me through the list of medications which I had taken. Not good.
After a few more tubes were taken out of me they wheeled my bed down to an observation ward and left me there.
My drip was equipped with a very loud pump and I lay in that bed for about six hours unable to sleep. I couldn’t believe that I had tried to kill myself by taking an overdose. That wasn’t the way I wanted to kill myself at all.
As I was close to the nursing station I managed to hear a lot about my case as the test results came through. I was going to be ok, and the nurses were quite relieved. I thought I recognised one of the nurse’s voices, and she was talking about letting my family know. However I haven’t yet been able to talk to this person to ask if they were there.
At around five in the morning the nurses asked me to pass urine. For the record, catheter’s suck.
After struggling through an extremely painful urination they scanned my bladder and told me that it was only 50% empty. That wasn’t good either. A few hours later I tried again, and gradually I was able to empty my bladder completely.
At around 8am the doctors began to make their rounds. Before they approached my bed they stopped and discussed my notes. The doctor in charge said ‘a trivial case’, and the others started glancing through some of the other patients notes. Finally the one in charge approached my bed and shook my hand (presumably to test my reactions). He asked me how I felt and what medications I had taken. I said I didn’t know. He had a smug look on his face as he tried to pressure me into telling him what I took. I couldn’t care less if I had wasted his time, I couldn’t remember a thing, and I didn’t require his arrogance. I just shrugged my shoulders and he mimicked my reaction. Jerk. Anyway that was enough to clear me medically, now I just had to wait for the psychiatrists to see me.
My parents came to see me at around 11am. I didn’t really want to see them. Eventually they left me alone and sat in the waiting room watching television. I wasn’t given any clothes until about midday, and then I was finally able to wander around the ward. Most of my exploration involved going to the toilet. I hadn’t showered or eaten in three days, and the hospital food was ok (though my throat was extremely sore from all the tubes that were thrown down it).
It wasn’t until 4pm that I was finally seen by a psychiatrist. I had seen this one before, from three months ago when I had tried to hang myself. We ran through almost exactly the same questions as before. I honestly wasn’t trying to kill myself this time, but once I was drunk I had become psychotic and suicidal. That really scared me. I screwed up, I admit that straight away. However I this time I was actually afraid of myself.
I required further evaluation before I could be released. Obviously it was their job to convince me to stay in hospital, and my job to get out of there as quick as I could. No matter how badly I screwed up I wasn’t going to stay in hospital. I had improved so much. I was fighting the suicidal thoughts. I hadn’t gone out and bought more rope. I was working again. This mistake had cost me all of that.
Finally I saw the registered clin psyche at 5pm. We talked for about 45 minutes as I explained to her where my depression had stemmed from, what had caused me to fly off the handle, and why I shouldn’t be held in the hospital. I have become adjusted to speaking to these people now. I don’t have to think everything twice before I say it. I can see the traps they lay and I’m careful to give objective answers to questions of risk. It’s important to explain how you’ve reached your conclusion so that they can see you are thinking logically.
The one point I did gain from the conversation was this,
“Matt, you seem to me to be functioning very highly, and often intellectual people are very good at explaining things on a large scale, but when you are confronted with intense emotions you don’t know what to do. That’s when you have these episodes”
Fair call, I thought. I’ll keep that in mind. No conversation with a psychiatrist is completely useless, I know that, I just wish they would stop trying to put me into institutions.
Unable to fault my sanity I was eventually released at around 6pm. My sister (who had flown back from the east coast to see me) dropped me home again, and I had a quick chat with Housemate A.
I’ve really screwed things up again. I’m not going to be able to work anymore, and I need to start all over again at home. I was supposed to fly back to work on Tuesday, but now it doesn’t look like I’ll be returning to that job ever again. It’s important to recognise what situations have set you off, and working fly-in fly-out and drinking scotch are definitely hazards for me (I love a beer once in a while though).
When I turned on my computer on Wednesday morning I had a new friend request on Facebook. It was a guy from work and his message read,
“Matty, you are a getting out of work master. Can I be your apprentice?”
No I don’t think I should be teaching anybody how to get out of work. However I do need a friend.