Monday, 16 March 2015

A&E Anxiety


Before going into the specialist hospital, I was a regular at my local A&Es. To the point where my records were permanently kept in the A&E of one hospital so that staff weren't having to request them so often! Don't get me wrong; I'm not a person who goes to A&E for a cold. It was that I self-harmed and overdosed so often. I can remember one admission when the nurse was doing a handover to the next shift and she said "have you met Aimee?" and the new nurse said "no; but I've heard of her."
It is this; admittedly not the best example, treatment that has caused my current anxieties at attending A&E. The majority of the poor treatment I received came in the form of loaded questions and remarks, this probably doesn't sound too awful but on a regular basis it led to me feeling deserving of such comments. I thought that if I couldn't explain my actions to staff then why should I expect them to treat me with compassion rather than judgement. I attended A&E, or was taken to A&E at a time when I needed to be treat with compassion, respect and care. I think it's also worth mentioning that I was often accompanied by Police officers who were also often judgemental and necgative and so, this impacted on my A&E experience too. As well as mental health professionals coming in to assess - and often section me.
So, I'd hope it would unsurprising to say that I'm now struggling to attend A&E, hospital appointments and GP appointments. Most recently, my urine problems have been an issue with me having blood in my urine and some pain and sickness. I attended the Out of Hours GP on the weekend of the 7th March and she said she'd like to refer me on to A&E but I refused and managed to negotiate that I'd take the medication she gave me and see how it went. And then, I put off attending A&E as I had the Service User Awards. And when I was poorly there, we had to have discussion as to whether I should attend a local A&E there but I was determined that I was attending the Awards! And then it was Mother's Day coming up but my Mum supported me in going to A&E on Friday (13th) night; she was upset that I'd taken so long and took such a risk with my physical health but I was determined that she and others understand that I wasn't doing it as a means of self-harm. I wasn't purposely not taking care of myself; I was just so worried at the thought of being treat badly by staff that I avoided putting myself into a situation where this would be a possibility. And then I realised something; I'm so much stronger than I was. And I think better of myself now than I used to so that I wouldn't just roll over and accept staff treating me poorly. I am a firm believer that if you treat others with respect then you're completely within your rights to expect they treat you similarly. 
And this is my message to any readers who are still in the place that I once was; that you think so low of yourself that you'll accept others treating you badly. Not only do you not deserve the way they are treating you, but also - from experience - your own self-hatred is doing enough damage that you don't need any from others.