Today, I went to the hospital about my back. This is an occurrence that has been familiar to me since I originally did the injury, and I am well-versed in waiting to see consultants, registrars or locums. I am familiar with the usual ‘touch your toes, how does that feel?’ routine, and I am mostly ok with it.
Today, I was discriminated against because my my mental health problems.
The Consultant decided, in his infinite wisdom, that because I have a lot of issues going on, I need to sort those out and then return to sort out my back. My objection that PTSD is a long-term illness was brushed aside. He was adamant that I needed to be discharged and then I should re-apply once I was ‘feeling better’.
Whose bright idea was this?! Is it hospital policy that you can only treat one thing at once?! I have a healed stress fracture and healed sprained facet joints, which STILL cause me problems! I can’t adequately describe how I felt as he bulldozed me into accepting a discharge from care, but I’m going to go with betrayed again.
It seems to me the NHS care nothing for people’s pain. I will not keep making the excuse for them that they are short-staffed (check out how many medical graduates there are each year) or that there are a lot of patients (pretty sure in other countries there are a lot of patients too, but it doesn’t seem to stop them getting seen a damn sight faster than I have been). I am sick of these excuses and quite frankly have lost patience. So what if there are a lot of patients? Re-organise so you see them faster and more easily, or hire another goddamn medic. I don’t see the issue.
I also don’t understand why an injury that I did BEFORE THE DEPRESSION now suddenly has an impact on my mental health problems WHICH ARE TOTALLY UNRELATED? What sort of BS is that? I told him that my back was the least of my problems right now, and instead of seeing it my way (which is I can fix this so easily it will be a piece of cake compared to what I live with every day), he saw it this way: you’re too self-absorbed to heal your back up, and I don’t know where to take your care. I give up. Fuck off you crazy bitch, I’m not treating you any longer.
He said to me at least three times that I had to get my ’emotional problems’ sorted out before the physical ones. It was so upsetting, so hurtful and so damaging to hear that again. I’ve already had enough of that from the stupid psychiatrist. (An aside- I rang up and asked not to see him again, so I don’t have to. Thank gods, I hate the fucking psychiatrist.) The consultant also had a student in with him, which made talking about my issues triggering. I didn’t even want to talk about my mental health issues, but the consultant seemed to think he had a right to talk to me about them. He also offered me a thing called a pain management course, which I wanted to go on, but he decided that he wouldn’t refer me because of ‘the state you’re in.’ What, so helping a girl with mental health issues get a worry off her mind is a bad thing?! Despite the fact that when I am doing something to help myself, I feel better?
When I left, I tried writing in my journal but it didn’t work. All I could think of was the fact that my mental health issues had cost me a valuable NHS service. I tried to stay there until I felt safe, but you guessed it- the dark passenger got in there first.
Their poison kept me occupied until I noticed that there were two people coming to sit nearby me, so I cleared off outside fast. Then, the voices started their tirade anew and it broke me.
“Stupid bitch, why do you always have to go and open your mouth?!”
“God, you’re a whiny bitch aren’t you? It’s one fucking pity party after the next with you.”
There was more, but I don’t want to write it cause they just got more horrible and more venomous. I walked away from the hospital and ended up at a motorway junction.
“Now’s your chance, bitch. Jump.”
They all started yelling at me to jump. All three of them. They wouldn’t give up, and finally, I hopped over the hard shoulder and walked to the railings.
I stood there, wondering how it would feel to finally fall to Earth for the last time ever. The thought of bliss, darkness, and forgetting filled my head until it was all I could think about. I shuffled closer, and the voices were clamouring for me to take off my backpack and jump.
Then memories of my new puppy, my parents and sister, J and my friends flooded my head. I remembered J holding me close the first night we got together, and I pushed hard against the railings and swore at the dark passenger.
I crossed the road to the service station I could see, and finally called my mum. The dark passenger is, and was, furious that I didn’t jump, but my fantastic mum calmed me down and talked to me all the way onto the tube home.
I am moving away from London in two days and not coming back. It’s too much. I was on a fucking motorway bridge, listening to the dark passenger’s three poisonous voices and putting myself back to square one. I was in danger today and I am realising that I cannot keep exposing myself to London and thinking I will be ok. This place triggers me. The NHS here does not want to help me, either mentally or physically. I was raped here, and I see my ex everywhere as a result. The PTSD symptoms have been lessened somewhat during work but I still flinch if a man gets too close to me. I try not to show it, but it hits me as I leave work and panic attacks set in.
Time to focus on healing, and time to focus on getting what is best for me. Right now, all I want to do is collapse into bed, but I can’t because my friend Z has a friend coming to stay tonight, and I don’t feel safe enough to stay in the same bed as her. What happens if I have a panic attack or flashback if I wake up and find a strange person next to me? I’m sleeping on the couch cushions on the floor tonight.
Tomorrow? I’m ringing the hospital back and letting them know they are NOT getting away with that. I will be treated with respect, and I will be seen and not discharged. Good luck trying to get me to back down.