- There's this story that everyone on our ward gets told... Chels was washing the hair of another girl, and they'd done it in the ward bathroom in the bath. So the girl had ended up naked (this happened a lot with her!) and when she peeked out of the bathroom to make sure there was no one around, she went to run across to her bedroom and slipped, sliding down the entire length of corridor towards another girl who was using the payphone! People still laugh about it!
- One time, I was out in the courtyard with Chels (bestie) and there's always been a big red button outside one of the doors into the courtyard and we all realised that no one knew what it did. Chels wanted to know... So, being a good best-friend, I pressed the big red button. We immediately heard an alarm and it was different too all of the other alarms; there are certain alarms for certain situations e.g. a less regular beep is for patient call, a bit more regular is an alarm but not urgent and then a constant beeping is urgent and staff run. This, was none of these; it was like a siren! So, I ran! I got to the smoking bench on the other side of the courtyard back where our ward was and then I realised Chelsea was still stood by the button so I was yelling for her to come over to me. Within minutes, there was staff running out from every single door into the courtyard and the staff supervising the girls smoking from our ward was on the phone telling people it was a 'false alarm.' The next day our Ward Manager came into Morning Meeting to lecture us.
- One time Chels and another girl had a race when they were improving the courtyard, and the Ward Manager stood to where they were allowed to run to, but Chels kind of ran too quickly and couldn't stop, tripped, flew, and was in a daze and all we could hear was the Ward Manager going "oh god! Chelsea, Chelsea" and she had ripped her knee and hip bone to shreds. Then they had to help her back in and half way there everyone looked at each other and just burst out laughing!
- I was sat having tea with two of the young, female NAs and one of them said how the clouds were fascinating so we all turned to look. Then I was saying 'if you watch them move, do you think that's how fast we're spinning?' Staff's response? "Isn't that the wind?" We all laughed for a bit and one of them left before returning within minutes saying 'I've got answers!' She'd Googled it! In case you're wondering slow moving clouds are our rotation but faster moving is the wind!
- So we have a clinic for meds, bloods and ECGs etc. The door to the clinic is cut in half to create a barrier between us (the patients) and the staff with all of the medication. They put a shelf on top of the bottom half of the door and once, the staff weren't looking so one of the girls and I very quietly and carefully took the shelf off the door and as usual my reflexes were quicker than hers so as soon as I noticed the staff coming our way to give out medication I let go and she was caught red-handed!
- To cheer us all up, two of us played a prank on the staff... We ran round the ward with signs we'd made for all of the doors... The ward door had one on reading 'warning: may contain nuts,' the quiet room said 'the padded cell,' the activity room said 'let the games begin,' the security cupboard became 'staff's chocolate cupboard,' the staff office was 'the zoo,' the meeting room (where ward round is held) became 'the torture chamber, warning: Doctors roam free,' our Ward Manager's office was 'God's office,' the kitchen; 'may contain sugar,' and the bathroom was 'shit shed warning: may smell,' the laundry room said 'may contain stained sheets.' They were up for about two hours before staff removed them! We all got a well-deserved laugh though!
I wanted this post to help those who have little to no experience of inpatient units to see it's not all the stereotypical tantrums, rocking in corners and things. We do have our bad moments; there are times when you feel bad for being so happy because everyone else is struggling. There's times when half of the ward is in the medical hospital through self-harm and times when we fight and argue. But these moments do not define us. The ward I'm on is the most intense place I have ever been yet I also feel I have a second family in the girls here. None of us would think twice about defending one another and the support offered to each other is limitless!