Sidenote: I don’t want to go into too much detail about specific patients and nurses in the day-to-day diaries because I’ve recently become aware that some people are reading them! PS. Hi Bronnie 😉
05:45 I am woken and weighed. I know I won’t fall asleep again after this so I shower and wash my hair.
06:00 The shower has those automatic lights where you have to wave your arms around every 20 seconds. After a few minutes of this frantic wafting, I decide I’d rather just shower in complete darkness. It’s a weird feeling I won’t lie. It does mean I don’t have to worry about how massively humonguos my tummy feels right now though.
06:30 I get dressed and decide to go to optionals. Optionals is an (guess what) optional hot drink in the morning. I am the only patient that goes. This doesn’t surprise me really. On my previous admissions I would have NEVER DREAMED about having something optional. I literally would have laughed at the thought of it. I’m so relieved things are different this time. I have accepted that weight gain will be part of the process so I may as well enjoy the ride! If that means allowing myself to have a cup of milky coffee in the morning then so be it.
06:36 I sit and drink my coffee alone.
07:05 I read my book and look up recipes I want to try when I get home. The thought of being at home genuinely excites me so much. I will never take home for granted again. I miss my family.
07:20 I am having a meltdown. I can’t decide what to have for breakfast and my life depends on it. There are 3 possibilities. The decision simply can’t be made. I go through the options (shreddies, weetabix or branflakes) one by one in my head multiple times. Each one as weak yet strong as the next. Dilemma. Panic. This is stupid. How will I cope in a supermarket with hundreds of choices for breakfast? Panic. Panic. I try and calm myself down. I put it to instagram.
08:05 Oh god. It’s 10 minutes until breakfast and I still haven’t decided. I have been thinking about this for way too long now. My head feels like a mix between scrambled eggs and noodles. Just weird and confused. Oh how I’d love scrambled eggs right now. Or even noodles. Just not cereal and toast. Ugh.
08:10 I receive a message from an old inpatient friend telling me to have branflakes. I choose branflakes.
08:15 Breakfast time. Branflakes. Hot milk. No mush. I am NEVER having branflakes again. Oh well. Now I know I guess?
08:45 I have my peanut butter toast and second coffee of the day. I dwell over the thought of weetabix. Should’ve picked weetabix. I sulk to myself for the rest of the morning.
09:20 A nurse tells me I’ve got 10 minutes escorted ground leave starting from today. Yay! I still haven’t been outside for over a week, so the prospect of getting some fresh air is exciting.
10:10 I see the dietician. I tell her I’m hungry and she puts me on 2 lots of double snack. This means you have the snack that’s given plus something extra. For example, the snack might be 3 biscuits but then I’d either have to have 6 or the 3 biscuits and a nutrigrain or some juice and fruit. I am so excited to eat more. (Something I’d NEVER even imagine admitting to previously) Progress!
11:00 Snack is 2 jammie dodgers and 2 oranges. God I do love a jammie dodger.
11:20 Community meeting. This is when all the patients and nurses speak about issues on the ward and then we “problem solve”. One of the staff asks how we can disperse tensions when in the dining room. Nobody says anything. Nobody looks up from their slippers. So. Awkward. Like, it is painfully awkward. I feel bad for the nurse. She is trying to encourage us. It’s not working. I would say something, but as a newbie I feel it would be too soon to suck up to the staff. I stay quiet and wish someone would speak up. They don’t. The meeting ends.
11:50 Finally managed to work out how to join in on a zoom call with Immy, Mum and Dad. I feel sad seeing them all and annoyed at myself for all I’ve put them through. I love them so much.
12:30 Lunch today is really, really grim. I am given a chicken coronation sandwich on brown bread. The girl opposite me has a chicken coronation sandwich on white bread. She says to the nurse on our table that she wanted brown bread. She is about to cry. I am faced with a moral dilemma. I want the brown bread so badly. I way prefer brown bread. I sigh. I give her my sandwich. The coronation chicken is so sweet. Does this have apricots in it? Oh god it’s bad. It’s really bad. Now I’m thinking the brown bread might have helped. I keep telling myself it was the right thing to do but my head is taking none of it.
12:50 Dessert is a banoffee pie pot thing which I angrily stir up into a mush. It’s actually nice but I want to keep sulking. I pretend to everyone on my table that I’m fine (Oh no, I’m sure I didn’t mind giving you my sandwich, it really isn’t a big deal).
1:10 I am having a crisis over the sandwich. And then I think back to breakfast again. Those stupid branflakes. I begin to tell Immy about it but she gets annoyed and says don’t dwell on it. I shut up.
1:25 A nurse comes in and tells me we need to make a care plan if ever I were to go into self-isolation. I ask if he is joking. He isn’t. We make a care plan.
1:45 Sunbathing and reading.
2:00 Group session on perfectionism. The product of this session includes this mighty doodle. And yes, that is a cherry tree as seen in Animal Crossing. Maybe I play it too much. I am only able to do this because it turns out that the chair I am sitting in is fortunately positioned so that the psychologist who is on facetime to us can’t actually see me. This doodling/staring into space lasts an hour. I pass the time by fantasising over all the foods I want to have when I get out of here. It’s fun. I have a great time.
3:00 I sunbathe and facetime Phoebe.
3:30 Snack is a CRUNCHIE, an apple and a banana. I freak out about the crunchie both before and after eating it. I also thoroughly enjoy it. The last time I had chocolate was on Christmas Eve at Cotswold House (here) when they gave us 5 heroes as a snack. I will DEFINITELY be having more chocolate from now on. Life is too short not to.
4:00 I facetime Mum and tell her that I JUST ATE A FLIPPING CRUNCHIE! She is proud. That makes me proud. I want to make everyone proud.
4:30 I sit outside and chat to other patients. One patient tells me that by the time I am discharged I will be able to crochet a penguin as she is going to teach me. Another patient says they will teach me how to garden (as I mention I wouldn’t know where to start). We chat for a while.
6:00 Dinner time. I finish my meatballs and potatoes (ew ew ew) and sit and wait for the other patients on my table to also finish so we can move on with dessert. a girl on a table near me is hiding her food. She is trying to be subtle but it is obvious to me (who she keeps on glancing over at every 5 seconds), the nurse at her table, the nurse on my table and everyone else in eye view. She picks at her potatoes and rolls it into balls then puts it in her pockets or on the floor. She pretends to spill her food. I find this extremely distressing and upsetting. I start to cry. The nurse on my table takes me out of the room. I feel like I have caused unnecessary drama. I explain to the nurse that I hate the fact nobody is picking up on her behaviours and that I find it really hard. Why aren’t I doing that if she can get away with it? The nurse says everyone knows. They are giving up helping her. She doesn’t want to recover. I feel bad for her but that was me. I’m actually a bit glad I’m so distressed by her behaviours because it shows how much of a different headspace I’m in this time round. I go back in. I eat my dessert.
7:00 I cry again. I meet my friend outside and she helps me with my crochet. We gossip about nurses.
7:38 I facetime Mum and Immy. I play animal crossing,
8:03 A new patient has arrived and is put into self-isolation for 7 days. I feel her pain
8:11 I’m crying again. I can’t do this anymore. I want to go home.