I should have died!, but was it Luck on my side??…

It was the beginning of summer  96,  excitement overwhelmed me, like I was a tiny little kid, I  couldn’t wait for our summer holiday in Greece.  Soon enough, it was  time for my parents and my boyfriend (of that time) to start packing and head off  to the airport. , It was a happier  time of my life, all of us being together made a big change too.  If only I knew what was about to happen 4 days into, what was supposed to be a great family holiday.  We arrived in Rhodes, Greece, early afternoon,boarded the transfer coach, and set off for our hotel, I can remember it felt like we were on that coach for a life time, it was hot, sticky and smelt of sweaty socks, just like the P.E changing rooms back at school. I couldn’t wait to get off.   As soon as  we had reached our destination,  we grabbed our case’s and headed for check-in, I can remember the long queue, everyone waiting to be checked in, the place was packed, all due to 3 coach loads of people arriving at the same time. Once that commotion was out the way, we  made our way to our rooms. We unpacked our swimwear and went straight down to the pool. We spent the next couple of days just relaxing in the sun, swimming in the pool,  we also had a cocktail or two or three.

Day 4 (The dreaded day) My Boyfriend and I had decided to go into town to do a little shopping and to see some of the sites, So we got dressed in our shorts and T-Shirts and set off on our way. We made a decision to  rent a Scooter, I didn’t want to at first, the thought of being on a motorbike/scooter in a foreign country was a bit nerving.  We had both previously ridden a bike , granted I had only ridden once before,  but my arm had been twisted,  despite my nerves. We got on the bike (No helmet, as it was not a legal requirement)  and rode into town with the wind in our hair, we saw some great sites and managed to pick up a few small items for people back home.  Just after lunch, we decided to head back  to our hotel,  we both got back on the bike and set off along the long windy road, I can recall saying, “something doesn’t feel right with the bike” and BOOM!!  that was the last thing I could remember.

I woke  in a field  of straw, oodles of people surrounding me, speaking a strange language I couldn’t understand, I  hear  my B/F  screaming out my name in the background,  I respond, but unsure he could hear me,  to my right was a man crouched by my side, I had no idea who he was, but he later turned out to be a godsend,  he introduced himself as Ian from England, which made communicating rather Convenient, he had witnessed our bike turn the corner and collide with the oncoming car.  I tried to sit up but couldn’t move from the waist down, I looked down at my right leg, all I could see was an abundance of blood and a gaping hole in my leg, ripped apart like something out of a horror film, covered in dirt and straw, just for special effect!,  I saw the bone in my leg entirely exposed, that’s when I  passed out.  I came round for a second time on a board, I was being  lifted onto the floor in the back of an ambulance, well more of a dirty mini bus really, with my B/F next to me on a stretcher, to be fair, it could of been anyone picking us up off the side of the road, I had no idea what was going on. In and out of consciousness the whole journey to the hospital, Ian met us there, he had followed the ambulance, and stayed with me the entire time, even in the resuscitation room. I became more conscious once the doctors started to prod and poke me,  It felt like they were tearing me apart, they were being extremely heavy handed with me, all they appeared  to be doing was making the pain more unbearable,  I can remember them cutting off all of my clothes, or trying to, by this point I had become extremely agitated, I was screaming in pain, “FUCKING GIVE ME SOME PAIN KILLER’s” , I shouted at them, at this point I realised the doctor could speak English, when he told me off for swearing, nevertheless they were useless, they couldn’t even get the I.V cannula in my hand, Ian had to help them with that, as far as I am aware he wasn’t medically trained at all.  I don’t remember much after they eventually got the cannula in, so I guess they put me to sleep.

My eyes opened, all I could see were blurred faces, is that Mum and Dad??, Is this real? or am I dreaming, I really wasn’t sure.  I believe I was in and out of consciousness for quite some time, every time I came round I  felt so groggy I would just  fall back asleep. The next day I was a bit more alert,  I remember feeling  like I had been hit by a freight train, I looked around the room, it was filthy, stains all over the walls and ceiling, roaches scuttling  along the floor, the beds were like something out of a 1940’s war film, in fact the whole room was.  When I became more alert Dad told me what had happened. Eye witnesses had told him that our bike had veered off onto the wrong side of the road towards an oncoming car,which we hit head on, I went flying through the air, landed, then slid down a hill into a metal post.  I had broken my pelvis,  as well as ripping  my groin and my leg to bits in quite a bad way, my parents had told the doctors not to operate on my pelvis, they would get an emergency flight back and have me patched up at home, but the Dr’s  had to do something about my groin and leg or I would have bleed to death.

The flight home had been booked for myself, my mum and one of the Greek doctors, my Dad was to stay behind and fly home on a separate flight with my boyfriend a few days later.  For me the flight  was horrendous, 3 rows of seats had to be folded forward with my stretcher placed on top, therefore I was looking down on the window, which made me feel intensely sick, in addition to this there was a green curtain surrounded me for privacy, which mad me feel claustrophobic.  I can remember  the doctor giving me a couple of  injections for pain-relief  and Mum poking her head in on me to make sure I was OK, other than that I  cannot remember much else, I think I slept for most of the flight.  The doctor was wonderful, he came all the way to the Royal Sussex county hospital in Brighton, UK, to hand me over.  In addition to everything I had already been through, I had another 2 years of recovery ahead of me.

 

 

“Messed up and lack of mental health services in the UK”.

 

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I’ve suffered with mental health issues for over 20 years, with no actual support whatsoever.  GP’s never gave me the time of day when it came to my metal health, all I ever received from doctor was  a diagnosis of “Depression”, handed Anti- Depressants and sent on my way, never did they believe me when I used to say they made me worse, in a way that I became a danger to myself, over excited all the time, spending way too much money on things I didn’t actually need, start tasks never to complete them, Anti- Depressants made me manic, I hated them. I saw several doctors about what was going on, it was apparent not one of them gave a DAMN! it was as if they didn’t really understand depression or how I was feeling, no matter what I said or did,                            I was sure they weren’t even aware that other mental illnesses existed.

Since that bad experience I have moved 240 miles away from my home town, I have changed Doctors 3 times in the 6 years, due to lack of care, the surgery I am at now was a recommendation by my parents, who were already patients at this particular surgery.  The way I had been acting, moods up and down, getting angry with people for no reason, was beginning to get too much for everyone around me, I was dragged to my new GP, who saw the state I was in,  She immediately referred me, as an urgent case to the local CMHT  (Community Mental Health Team).

The next day I was in with a psychiatrist being assessed, without delay she gave me a prescription for  mood stabilizers.  I have been seeing her  for  quite a few months now, I have since had 3 assessments and now have a diagnosis of Cyclothymia ( A form of Bipolar) And Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), I have now been properly medicated and continue to have contact with my psychiatrist, This service is a godsend, I would be so lost without it, but at times I find it extremely difficult to go to appointments, just because I am unable to face the outside world.  Because of this I went in search for some much needed online support.

However, I am unable to find any actually support from people that truly understand, in fact I couldn’t find much within the community either. I have been in search for online support in the UK without success from many months now, I have found myself turning to groups within Facebook, only to be  disgruntled by others, I did however find one website (who I shall not name) due to having a bad experience, It wasn’t the people that use the site that I have the problem with, it was the association that runs the site.(but that’s a different story)

I feel having Online support is very important to people with any mental health illness, a percentage of us find it difficult to leave the house, even getting out of bed some days can be a struggle, on days like these the internet is a lifeline for many, surely in this day and age there should be more out there??. I am lucky I see a psychiatrist, there is a surprising number of individuals that suffer without any help whatsoever.  I am downright disgusted with the way the mental health service operates in the UK, It all depends on where you live in the country as to what services are available to you, therefore this has clearly got to be discriminatory practice within the NHS.  “Should this be allowed”?  NO! it really shouldn’t.

I know the NHS is a free service, for which I am entirely grateful, but what ever happened to equality?  you don’t see charity shops running differently throughout the country, even other NHS services circulate exactly the same throughout the nation . It really isn’t that hard to function coherently. We shouldn’t have to be the ones that suffer, after all, we are the ones with a mental health illness, surely we shouldn’t be worsened by the system!…..

 It’s about time the system changed!… mental_illness_awareness_ribbon_by_ladybug95-d4rqsm4

“The Next Chapter” ( Some say I was A little manic!)

manic I managed to get a job working at Somerfields supermarket, whilst I was still at school, only working 10 hours a week, but I had money in my pocket for what I needed, my parent’s used to give me money for bottling-up for them at the pub ( I forgot to mention I spent my teen years travelling around, moving from pub to pub) I didn’t hold down the supermarket job for long, I hated every minute of being there, i couldn’t be bothered to turn up most day, it got to the stage where I started to go in less and less to the point of me just handing in my uniform and not ever going back.  I was basically living my own life at 16yrs, doing what I wanted, when I wanted, I didn’t see my parents that much, they were always working, if I wanted to see them I had to go into the smelly old pub. I practically spend every spare minute with my Boyfriend at the time,  he was a little older than me and he had a car :), which meant we could go anywhere when we wanted (ah! those were the days) I was quite happy during this period of my life,even if I did have some right crazy business ideas, which I had all written out in secret folders, I never shared them with anyone, well, I did discuss one with my best friend at the time, but she soon made me realise it was a little out of reach. In addition to my crazy business ideas I was in a delusion of being able to buy a flat in London and moving there as well as starting 3 college courses, which I didn’t see though to the end. some used to say I was a little hyper at times, (some didn’t even notice) but in my eyes life was great.  probably the most sociable I have ever been, going to parties or the pub every night, or being part of a big group that would drive around Brighton or just spontaneously driving to London of an evening, It didn’t even have to be a weekend. I was always on the go. This good mood continued until the summer before I turned 18 where my whole life got tip upside down, (My boyfriend and I had a nasty motorbike accident.)

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The Beginning (paranoia)

   paraI don’t really remember what started IT, I can remember at senior school I  began to get paranoid, but I didn’t know what it was, I  had never felt this before, I  think it was shortly after my nan died that these feeling began.  I gradually became  more scared of school and being around people other than family, I can  remember at the age of 15 pretending  I was OK,  putting on a front and a smile for  everyone, trying to pretend my feelings didn’t exist.  Once the paranoia took  control I found it extremely difficult to even walk into the school, staying there  was even harder.  I always rode my bike to school, but I would leave my bike at  my other nan’s and walk across the road to school, I started walking in the front  door of the school, go out the back door across the field and out of the hole in the fence and spend the day at the park or I would wait until I knew nobody would be at home and go back there, I would then leave around 2:45pm go to my nan’s to get my bike and then ride home. I did this for a couple of weeks before the school notified my parents. I don’t really remember what happened next, only bits, I can remember having meetings at the school with teachers and my parents, I also remember seeing a school psychologist and a, psychiatrist at the hospital, but I don’t remember the outcome. Shortly after all this happened, i was pulled out of school and put into a tutorial unit that helped kids that had been kicked out of school for one reason or another, i finished my last year of school with them, It was OK, nice teachers and nice pupils, but I was unable to take my G.C.S.E’s, which played a big part in the next chapter of my life.