Wednesday, 2 April 2014

The One Where Henry Gets Bad

This morning, it was loud. The auditory hallucination that's the most paranoid had jumped on me out of nowhere; for a while now it's felt like my brain is separated into these little compartments with each of voices and me taking up space. And after a lot of hard work I've finally managed to occupy the most space in head and to build my walls to high so that an invasion from one of the voices is unlikely. But I guess, like all good armies; my defences were weak whilst I slept and I woke up to find that Henry had invaded my compartment.
I felt a bit stupid and naïve at first; I thought I was the expert in dealing with my hallucinations by now and I thought that I should've realised he was building up to take-over. For weeks now, he's bugged me with his delusional, paranoid thoughts about how a previous medical admission was a chance for the government to experiment on me and when I found a random doddle in my book he told me it was a message from the spies. Whenever he's said anything I've wrote it down so that I can see how irrational and unlikely it is and then the Doctor reads it.
This morning, his thoughts mainly centred around these calls I've been getting; an Unknown number rings and if I answer there's some deep breathing for a  while. Henry thinks he knows who it is and that means that there's someone here at the Hospital who's betraying me and going to this other person. So many things were happening that were ending up working out as ammunition for Henry and so it didn't take long this morning for me to have gotten completely lost in his thoughts. So I asked to speak with my Nurse and I told her everything he was saying and how he was making it difficult for me to take my meds because he was telling me they kept giving me them to cloud my judgment and mask what they were really up to. My Nurse talked things through with me and then she got me my morning meds and said she wanted me to take my PRN anti-psychotic.
For the beginning of the morning I felt like I was in a daze and it was a relief to go to Creative Writing Group and have something to properly concentrate on whilst I had company. After group I was back in my room, where Henry's voice seemed to completely surround me. I tried turning the volume up on the TV, I tried ignoring him, I tried negotiating with him and I tried to distract myself. Nothing worked. He was persistent and the urgency in his command was growing; I had to hurt someone. He said that if I threatened to hurt one of the staff then they'd have to confess who was betraying us. Yes, 'us,' he made it seem like he was on my team and that it was 'us' vs them. He was clever about it and when I started having visions of me holding something sharp to someone's throat, I got scared. I spoke to my Nurse again and told her what he was telling me to do and how I didn't want to. She went and asked the Doctor to come and see me. To be honest, I'm not even sure what I said, I just know it worried them because the next thing I knew my bathroom was being locked and I was on five minute observations. There's a difference between disassociating and getting caught up in auditory hallucinations. I was the second one.
My Nurse brought the Psychologist to my room but I felt like telling one more person about Henry would give him more power; as though he'd get a sense of self-importance the more I talk about him. So, I had a lie down. And as suddenly and quickly as he'd came along, he left me and I was back in control of the majority of my head and left with the aftermath of his invasion!
I explained to my Nurse and the Doctor how I needed my bathroom unlocking especially considering my recent health problems so that was done and then I found out I'd been put onto five minute observations (the worst you can be on, on our ward). The staff explained it was to support me more and agreed to review it before the end of their shift. So, after my nap, I chatted with the Doctor and explained how supporting me meant talking to me when I come to them and not looking through the window in my door every five minutes. I told her that it felt like a punishment and had made me reconsider being so honest and open with them if this was going to be the result. I've become somewhat of a perfectionist (unsure if that's the right word) and I hate being on obs any less than hourly, no matter how long for. But I had to see it from the staff's point of view and eventually we agreed I'd go onto thirty minute obs for the night and tomorrow morning they'll be put back to hourly.
I'm glad the day is over but in a way, I'm kind of glad that it happened. When things are going along swimmingly for a while it makes you a bit complacent so I guess it's sort of nice to have a reminder as to how grateful I should be for this settled period. And, also, it was a little reminder that the staff are still here for me if things go wrong. Sometimes, when you're doing well you feel as if the staff aren't too bothered with you. It's also been a bit of a step further up my ladder of recovery because not only have I been honest about what I was struggling with, took staff's support over meds and accepted their ideas to support me, but I've also took positives from the situation.