Friday, August 28, 2009

Rachel's Story - Relief vs. Fear

I felt mixed about my admission. Part of me was relieved that someone was stepping in. That my collection of prescription drugs and razors and anything else that could cause me any harm was being taken away from me. That from now on the focus would be on rest and rehabilitation. Another part of me, though, was scared. Even though I had been hospitalized before, it was in Toronto, never here. I didn’t know what to expect. What would the staff be like? What would the other patients be like? Would the food be good? I was also keenly aware of the stigma associated with yet another stay at a “psych ward”. What did that say about me? Am I crazy?

As it turned out, I had a room to myself and I bonded with my primary nurse almost immediately. I really felt that she was on my side and willing to do whatever she could to help me. During the first few weeks of my hospitalization I kept pretty much to myself, staying in my room, sleeping. I was heavily medicated (this made me really tired and also makes it quite difficult for me to recall this period too specifically). I remember being somewhat impressed by the quality of the food, though! I was encouraged by my nurse to spend some time out of my room so I would watch some TV in the common area, but mainly I was too tired to focus. I slowly began to make friends with other patients and we would compare symptoms, meds and side effects. It was comforting to speak with other people who were going through similar struggles.

To be continued...