I was going to write last week but I am going through rather a lot right now so I did not know where to start. I just decided start is the operative word so here we are. On Monday the 26th of February, I took an overdose. No don’t run off it’s not like that I would warn you if it was. It was an accident. I was putting tiny pills in a pill bottle so I can get them easier due to my Caral Tunnel. I was at the same time taking my nightly meds which were in, you guessed it, a pill bottle. In fact the exact same type of bottle.
I turned away to get the water to take them turned back took bottle swallowed all the pills and then realised I had taken 41 Seroxat!! At that moment I both laughed and was horrified for the same reason. How do you get a Psychiatrist to believe you when you have taken an overdose before. So I knew when I rang 111 I was fairly sure I would be off to hospital with the possibility of being sectioned under the mental health act.
So it took 45 minutes t get me into the ambulance as I had to walk to my flat door to get on the trolly due to the location of the doors here. The two paramedics were lovely one Australian and one English. They were leased I was amused by it all and asked me did I really have poor mental health and I told them I was a “high functioning” nutter which meant I am OK 75% of the day but the other 25% was well dodgy. We went to Charing Cross A&E which is an excellent place full of committed professionals and they were good to me.
There was the usual booking in which they did and then triage which was not necessary in my case as they already knew what the problem was and the poisons unit had given them instructions. ut her in a cubicle do a workup of everything with attention to her blood pressure, headache or vomiting. otherwise, watch her for six hours give her fluids. A healthcare assistant came over and loudly said: “Is this the overdose”?
Now if you have ever taken an overdose you will get this immediately if not here is the ritual. At the point where someone says overdose the reaction from people around you depends entirely on where you are. If in a cafe chatting with a friend everyone will stop talking look at you and when you look at them they look away and carry on chatting.
When it is said in a busy Accident and Emergency department the reaction is the same as in the film An American Werewolf in London. There is first the swish of heads then the stares and then the craning of necks to get a better look at the person in extreme sorrow to see if they know them. And finally, there is the realisation that although you have been waiting for 5 hours to be triaged the “nutter” is getting seen before you. Then people start moaning.
I do not embarrass easily and I can be somewhat gobby (not a feminist term) but it’s quite often funny. So I say ” It was accidental you know” really loudly to the healthcare assistant who goes bright red and says” Oh shit I am so sorry it was so loud I did not know if they could hear me. Then everyone stopped moaning about the nutter and started smiling at me with a sympathetic smile of the ” poor love” type. It is at this point that the divil in me as my mum used to call it comes up. I wanted to say loudly “last time it was a real one” I didn’t I mumbled it and one of the paramedics with me howled laughing.
When they said goodbye I was settled into a bed and proceeded to find their free wifi (which was an unknown thing by the staff. I got online and told my friends and family what had happened and I was OK. I could not call them due to the stupidity of Vodafone who gave me an upgrade in October 2017 but neglected to tell me to pay my bill and suspended my line the next day. When the phone arrived it was lovely and I got online easier than I had ever done before but I found making a call or text impossible. It stopped even that on October 25th.
So there I was with my unphone bored to poop. So I did what I usually do when I am bored I get creative, So I took my phone and used the camera to make a film and I took some pictures of my hair at different angles to my head. I had a full battery of tests and a catheter attached to some fluids as I was seriously dehydrated. At 09.00am the psychiatrist and a CPN came to see me.
I explained what happened and he said “ok I think we can discharge you” whilst standing up to go. The CPN looked a bit worried and he when he saw her face he said “she is no danger to herself or others by the fact that the first thing she did was call an ambulance and get help” Got to love that logic really haven’t you. So it was the first day of the big snow in London and I was wheeled out to the transport bus by two very charming and chipper young men.
They got me home, my carer was here and Morrisons had delivered my shopping. All in all a successfully timed homecoming. That was until I tripped over my carpet landed on my backside and had to call an ambulance with their bariatric cushion to get me up from the floor and into bed. Bumps and bruises only but it was all quite hilarious to the paramedics who had been to help me up the last time I fell, one of who came from the small County Antrim town my cousins moved to.
So there you go I was told not to take any of the tablets I took for a while but I decided it was probably a good time to come off them as I had discussed their efficacy with my psychiatrist last time I saw her and they were not really working for me. So it’s nearly 4 weeks from the day and I have not taken them. I was really agitated last week but that was more about too much coffee than lack of Seroxat. I have been up and down emotionally but I am keeping it under control.
I have been crying over movies and TV shows I would normally not cry about. So if I start to blub because someone’s family is killed then I tell my self “shut up Caroline it’s an actor. a good actor but it’s not real” That usually gets a giggle and then I am fine. The weird thing is I have been quite clear in my thoughts and actions. I know the depression is still there and I need medication so I am still taking my Buspirone but I am looking forward to trying something new to help me keep on the level.