The Inpatient Diaries: Day 8

06:30 I am woken up for optionals. And no, this is not how optionals works. I was planning to sleep in today. I groan and get up anyway. May as well have a coffee now.

06:45 I sit with the nurse and drink my coffee. We talk about COVID and her family. It’s small talk which I normally hate but it’s nice to just have a drink and sit with someone without an eating disorder for once. Is that mean?

07:02 I play animal crossing and scroll through twitter. Both Phoebe and Rebecca are awake. There’s something reassuring about that. It really is so easy to forget that everyone else is still out there. I miss them and feel bad about the strain I’ve put on our friendship. They are amazing. We are texting each other and talking about how excited we are for me to recover. We have loads of plans for when I’m better. It gets me through the morning.

08:00 For some reason I’m painfully torn as to what to wear today. I know, I know, I’m in hospital and nobody cares. But I still can’t decide. I can’t decide anything these days. I get changed about 4 or 5 times until I settle for the first thing I tried on.

08:15 For breakfast I have weetabix (I am actually satisfied with this choice today). It’s Friday so that means it is toast rotation day. This means the toast is swapped for something else, like a bagel or muffin. Today though, it is crumpets. This makes me really happy because I often have crumpets at home. They also have peanut butter ☺️

09:00 I get changed again.

09:30 I facetime Phoebe and Rebecca and play animal crossing. There is a new character introduced who is called Leif. It’s a well-known fact that 95% of people when they first meet me think my name is Leif. Leif is a sloth that sells shrubs. The resemblance is uncanny.

11:00 Snack. I have a chocolate orange nakd bar and 2 oranges with a coffee. I don’t like anything chocolate orange but I don’t really have a choice here. I eat it and think of home. I’m in a sad mood today. I get told off for having my legs crossed as this is apparently a sign of my anorexia. I literally just had my legs crossed but whatever.

11:30 I am crying. I’m having a meltdown. I want to go home, A nurse comes and tries to calm me down. I text Mum and tell her I’m coming home. She tells me I’m not. I know I’m not. I panic. I feel so unbearably sad. I worry about the people I said I would facetime today when I was feeling more optimistic. They’ll think I’m flaky, I cry more and more. I’m doing that crying where your shoulders go up and down and your face is generally a bit snotty. I don’t care at this point. I want to phone Mum but I know there’s not much she can do and it might make her more upset hearing me begging to go home. I’m fed up of other people’s behaviours. I explain this to the nurse. He tells me I’m doing well and in handover everyone said they were pleased at how far I’ve come. This is reassuring but doesn’t help me wanting to go home. He tells me I’m the only patient that actually wants to go home as most people become so complacent with being in hospital that they give up trying to get out. Thank God I didn’t get there. I try and pull myself together.

11:50 I facetime Mum, Dad and Immy. I start crying again when the internet goes down and I lose connection. I think to myself, if you hadn’t got yourself here you wouldn’t have this problem. You’d be at home, with Mum and Immy. You’d be laughing, having fun, being a normal 18 year old. Look at me now. I cry again.

12:10 The connection comes back. We do a quiz that I made in isolation and Immy wins.

12:30 Lunch is seriously bad. It’s fish and mash with sweetcorn then crumble and custard. Except the mash has a CRUST, is bright yellow and has lumps of raw potato in it. The sweetcorn is crunchy but not in a good way. In a burnt an overcooked and dry way. Tragic really. I finish my crumble before the rest of my table even touch their fish. I try not to overthink it and leave the table immediately and go back to my room.

1:18 Guess what? I’m crying again. I’m fed up of everything and can’t do it anymore. I’m feeling so hopeless and just rubbish. I call Mum but I get stroppy with her and hang up the phone on her. I feel bad. I wish I hadn’t done that. I don’t want to phone her back though in case I do something stupid again. I go and sit outside.

1:30 I swap my jumper again.

1:57 A nurse comes with a delivery. It is a calligraphy book that I ordered off Amazon. I will try it out this afternoon.

2:22 I am still outside not doing much. The nurse from earlier comes over. He tells me if I keep up the hard work I’ll be out of here in no time. This is genuinely reassuring. Although, we have no idea about the actual timescale of this. I explain to him that I’m worried because on Monday in my CTM I am going to ask for self-serve. This is when you get to serve up (using the portion sizes they tell you) your own food, instead of the nurses doing it for you. I am fairly confident I will get this granted, but my worry comes in the stage after that. Once on self-serve you are qualified for eating upstairs. Eating upstairs means you don’t have to be around those who display strong ED behaviours (i.e. throwing food around etc), you portion your own food (don’t have to measure out cereal, milk, spreads, juice etc) and the environment is just a lot more relaxed. I want to be upstairs more than anything. The problem is though, CTM meetings only happen once a week on a Monday so if I start self-serve this week, it means I will have to wait a whole other week before being able to be considered for going upstairs. This thought swallows me whole. I can’t explain how slowly time goes in here. The nurse tells me to wait and see. Helpful.

2:45 I facetime Immy.

3:00 I go for my 10 minute escorted ground leave. I usually talk to the nurse but I don’t feel like it today so I pop my headphones on and listen to the new The 1975 song a few times. The sun on my face cheers me up a little bit.

3:10 I sit outside in the garden and try and learn some french. I love how french sounds when spoken and may also be biased when the french is spoken by Timothee Chalamet.

3:30 Snack is mixed nuts, a grab bag of beef hula hoops, a banana and a tea. My fingers now smell of hula hoops and will do for the rest of the day. Nice.

4:03 I do some more french. This is probably a phase. I have a habit of going through weird spurts of inspiration and now is one of those times. I imagine myself, living in Paris, probably a fashion designer, sipping some rosé on a balcony. I am starting to realise that I’m a bit of a weirdo. Secretly I’ve always known.

4:23 The dietician comes and assesses my grip strength. She did this on admission day and they use the data to show how much muscle you gain. I see how much higher the number is (my grip strength has nearly doubled) and I get triggered. Why do I get triggered by this? I know the fact I’m triggered is disordered. My ED brain is telling me this shows I’m fat. In only a week it’s nearly doubled. I work out that I have put on roughly a third of my body weight since I was admitted. Blimey.

4:30 I sit outside and facetime Immy. She has just been to B&Q. I listen with awe.

4:45 I discover it’s jacket potato for tea. Get in there my son. (Only a jacket potato would get me saying “get in there my son”.) I’m going mad. (I learnt the hard way that saying “I’m going mad” in a psychiatric unit probably isn’t appropriate).

5:15 I spend the early evening coming up with more blog posts and replying to lovely comments. I also spend a lot of time flicking ants off my back as I’m still outside.

6:00 Dinner. Jacket potato, hummus, sweet chilli sauce, salad. I finish this way before everyone else. I look at the clock and time 25 minutes before anyone else does. The amount of ED behaviours going on tonight is really getting to me. I am getting really upset but I try and keep it together. Dessert is grapes and a yoghurt. I finish last. I ask a nurse for a cup of tea. She says no because I’ve had too much water. I go back to my room and cry.

6:10 I’m having a panic attack.

6:20 I’m hyperventilating.

6:25 A nurse comes. She tries to calm me down. It doesn’t work.

6:37 I’m still having a panic attack.

7:10 I have calmed down a bit. A different nurse has now come and we formulate a plan on how to deal with my triggers. I tell her that I can manage at home. We write down everything and she says she will hand it over.

7:30 I’m still crying. I’m exhausted. Why is crying so tiring?

8:00 I facetime Mum and Immy and we watch TV for a bit.

8:30 I plant some mums in Animal Crossing.

9:15 For nightsnack I have 2 slices of toast. One with peanut butter and one with choccy spread. (The peanut butter ran out). Oh and A CUP OF TEA. There are only 2 members of staff on so they have got a few me from the Wintle ward to sit with us. The nurse on my table is talking to us about food. Rookie mistake. He says it’s weird how late we eat and that it’s odd we are having cereal and toast. A patient tells him to stop talking.

10:15 The bathroom is finally unlocked so I brush my teeth and go to bed. I hate hate hate the fact I have to stay up to wait to brush my teeth. I don’t think I have wanted to go home more than today. I feel lost, hopeless and most of all trapped.

2 Comments

  1. Rachel

    You’re so strong Leith (or should that be Leif…better than leaf I suppose!)

    Your writing is brilliant too, its smart and funny and you definitely have a way with words. Maybe you could be an author in Paris as well!

    Like

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