Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Wednesday 14th May 2014

Today has been a horrid day and I can’t wait for it to be over.

After a spotty night’s sleep I was awoken by a phone call telling me that the psychiatrist’s appointment that I have been waiting for these last four weeks (and that was supposed to have been an emergency appointment to try to get access to some of the services that have been withdrawn from me) had been cancelled.  The consultant had phoned in sick, which I don’t have a problem with, but I was offered a slightly earlier appointment with a junior doctor on his team only to have that offer taken away from me within two hours.  The reason given was that the junior doctors aren’t allowed to see patients without a consultant being there which begs the question – why wasn’t there someone of consultant status ready to take over in such an emergency?

I had what I can only describe as an attack which was a mixture of a panic attack and an anxiety attack with a lot of anger thrown in.  I wept uncontrollably as I tried desperately to get an alternative to going to A&E which, in my heightened emotional state, I would have been unable to endure.  My anxiety around people in confined spaces would have been too much to handle in such a crowded environment and the prospect of sitting there for hours followed by God knows how long sitting in the room that they put mental health patients in alone, usually for long periods (based on previous experience), would have done me no favours either as there would be no distraction from my own thoughts.  At times of crisis, being alone with one’s own thoughts can be as distressing as being constantly hounded to tell your story of how you came to be in the crisis in the first place by a constant stream of doctors who fail to read your medical notes.

After a lot of panicked phone calls, getting me even more angry and worked up, I was given an appointment for next Tuesday after I impressed the urgent need to see the psychiatrist following an offer of a date in June (which would have meant that I would have had to wait almost two months for the emergency appointment I asked for during the period leading up to my aborted suicide attempt).

Despite my strained relationship with my parents, I felt compelled to call my mother to ask for her to be with me because I felt unsafe and she and my father arrived about an hour and a half later.  I needed someone to be with me and even my parents would do.

Dad went to the shops to get a jar of coffee after it transpired that there wasn’t any in the flat and, while he was gone, Mum told me that Dad’s nose problem was more serious than they had been letting on.  My Dad’s nose has been bleeding non-stop for about five months and, after two failed attempts at cauterisation, he had an operation to take a biopsy of the growth in his nose.  She didn’t tell me when they got the results but Mum said it has been diagnosed as a cancerous polypus that extends from the top of his nose, down the back and into the soft palate.

I may not have the best relationship with my parents but that news shook me and wasn’t exactly what I wanted to hear given my emotional state at the time but listening to Mum relaying the full story, seemingly in real time, took my mind off my own thoughts which is what I needed even if the content of the distraction was upsetting.

Luckily, Dad is being rushed through for an operation in the next couple of weeks so we won’t have long to wait for any news for long.  The cancer hasn’t spread to the brain or the bone so it looks as though, if they can excise the affected growth and some of the surrounding area, he might make a full recovery.

Since they finally took a look at Dad’s nose with a camera, he has been rushed through tests and exploratory operations so quickly his head is still spinning and my parents have both said that the care Dad has received on the NHS has been first class.  I wonder what would have happened if, as the Tories seem to want, there was no healthcare free at the point of delivery in the UK?

I am calmer now but it has taken all day to become so and I’m scared about what will happen between now and next Tuesday as I wait for my postponed appointment.  With life looking so bleak at the moment, it will take a miracle for me to find the strength to carry on.

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