I had the meeting with the SOAD on Monday.  I had no advocate but one of the students came in with me.  I’m waiting to hear the decision from the meeting.  I have been told that the SOAD wants to see the psychologist’s report.

Today at lunchtime I noticed that the domestic was doing what they often do.  She was stood there behind the person serving me with her fists on her hips, dead upright, staring at my face as though she were part of the assessment team.  This makes me feel shame and embarrassment apart from anything else, and I think that is something they like to use.  At least they allow it.  There was no lunch for me, but in the end I ended up with some because one lady had two vegan burgers because someone else had given her theirs, but she didn’t like it and said she didn’t feel well, so she gave me one.  I let it be seen that I was taking in the attitude and body language of the domestic and that I didn’t like it.  I wasn’t acting angrily, but I didn’t hide my observation.  I spoke up for myself assertively, reasonably and pleasantly about not having any lunch when they said I could buy some, asking if I would be reimbursed because I had had to buy.  The nurse went to the office and came back saying I could get a meal from the Co-op but be sure to keep the receipt, but I’d already sorted it out with my fellow patient by then.  At the end I think I heard the domestic say I was proud.  Or someone said it to her and she said, ‘yes, she really, really is’.  But it might not have been about me.  It was about someone, though, and it sounded horrible.  I think it was about lunch.  On a different day it might not have turned out so satisfactory for me and I might have had to make do with potato croquettes and peas and salad.  I heard the same person say a week or so ago that she and all the other domestics were agreed that they were just going to ignore a certain woman who had just arrived.  I heard one of them the other day talking to a woman down my corridor saying ‘come on’ to her as if she was a dog.  When she got what she wanted she said ‘good girl’.

There is a female nurse who talks with an Antipodean twang on the ward.  Today one of the patients was sitting with her back against the door in and out and someone was waiting to get in.  Two young nurses were standing there wondering how to get around the situation.  I went into the small galley patients’ kitchen to make a drink and this nurse came up, looked in the kitchen and said the other patient’s name and said that she wanted to get out to go to the toilet.  She seemed to be speaking pleasantly enough but I looked out and saw her push her aside with her foot.  When she came away she said ‘I don’t care’.  I thought that was outrageous but I didn’t say anything at the time.  I decided to save myself the confrontation.

Some nurses get really defensive around me when I am presenting relaxed and normally.  They even dislike it.  My psychologist said I should build bridges with the staff.  That is not something I am naturally averse to with some people.  I tried last night, and it wasn’t hard or distasteful to me.  But this morning I tried to find out which nurse had changed my bed for me while I had been out, and it was one of the nurses involved in the patient and door situation.  I just asked them which nice person had changed my bed for me, and when she answered she looked hard and annoyed, and I felt and thought afterwards it is their defense against seeing us as anything other than sick because that is how they are going to have to treat us.  They are not open to normality, so when it comes to not missing the moment, many moments either are not there or are missed as the patient and her response is examined under a microscope.  As someone who has no visitors and for whom the hospital is her only home, I find that devastating.  If the person I was trying to affirm last night had been any relationship outside of hospital we might have hugged each other as soon as we saw each other, because we had had a good conversation and encounter about a week previously, and he was obviously upset last night, I suppose from the night before when I got angry after another nurse started pushing me around.  I went to my room and didn’t come out that night, and lay in bed feeling hurt, angry, confused and embarrassed.  Another patient had started shouting for help as she was forced to the floor and I went to see what was going on.  As soon as I saw this nurse I backed off because of who it was and the fact that we have begun to build a relationship.  but eventually in my room I felt hungry and wanted toast but I felt guilty because I thought it would show a lack of real concern for the patient who had been held down.  And I was hurt and upset because I was being left alone with my confusion and embarrassment.  When I saw him last night I could tell he was upset and I wanted to hug him.  I was also upset.  He was doing medication and I passed him saying hello and went to my room.  I wanted to come out immediately and go to him and my instinct was to hug but I thought that couldn’t be acceptable so I stayed in my room feeling guilty for not acting and that the moment of openness was passing.  It is hard not daring to be natural because of their defenses, either assumed or perceived.  This nurse and I parted on good terms last night, with a smile.  Even though when I got to my room I felt so much of my relational experience with everyone last night had been inappropriate.  As soon as I got to my room I exhaled and thought I had been completely inappropriate to say to him, ‘thank you, I enjoyed tonight, it was fun’, but I meant well and he smiled.  Usually I have gone to bed without saying anything to the nurses.  But recently I have been wanting to make him feel good about me.  I’ve felt I’ve needed to make amends to him personally for a particular conflict situation that arose between us involving other people.  I also know I’ve not quite succeeded when I’ve tried and that distresses me, because I want to.  If he reads this we might become very self-conscious and awkward, I suppose.  I don’t want that.  I’ve just recently realised he is my key nurse as well.  He said he told me at the beginning but I don’t remember, which surprises me.

I’m very tired, very confused and I feel guilty for writing, at least a bit.  I’m going to stop now because although there is more I want to say I’m tired and emotional and I’m in a library and it is coming up to closing time.  At the moment I’m very glad I have my blog.

I am very, very angry.  I’ve had a bad and tired day today and that’s not been all my fault.  I’m hurt and very upset.  I got upset with one of the young nurses today because she was doing the usual thing of playing vocal tag, so it seemed, and I said it was harassment.  Not to her, but to someone else in her hearing.  She or others have been yelling and shouting in the corridors like warrior princesses almost all afternoon.  It happens all the time.  I feel as if they are taking advantage of us.  It’s like a battle cry.  I find it intimidating and disorientating.  I called them predatory child-women yesterday.  It really is, to me, like listening to children opening their throats and crying momma.  But at the same time they are so aggressively in my face.  It is wild, it is like hearing wild animals.  I realised today that it is so disorientating that I am beginning to accept and ignore the cries of real distress from patients.  It is becoming background and commonplace to me, and that bothers me.  That’s not an acceptable state of affairs for me.  Usually no one else answers those cries.  Usually the staff leave people vocalising distress.

 

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