The High Dependency Unit was awful. Still bed bound I was parked next to a wall and I stayed there for two days.
The nurses didn’t care. Well; they didn’t care about the teenager in the corner who had deliberately taken a drug overdose. If I rang the bell for assistance they would take their time. Their bedside manner was something else. I was just the druggie that should have known better.
I had been taken off the feeding tube now. Which meant I was allowed actual food. But first the nurse had to pull the tube out of my stomach, by yanking so hard on the piece that was escaping out of my nose. It felt weird and wrong and I wanted to heave. The first meal I had was a cottage pie. It tasted worse than the step mother’s but I ate every single mouthful. I was so hungry.
To this day I still can’t stomach a cottage pie.
I was also allowed as much water as I wanted. My mouth and my throat were still so dry in the aftermath of the ventilator. The next day they took away the water. Worried I would flood my kidneys.
I was prescribed little cartons of juice called Fortisips. They were full of vitamins and calories and they tasted disgusting! I had lost so much weight from everywhere, except my legs.
I was so happy to be taken off the HDU and sent back to a normal ward. I was put on the renal ward and I was the youngest there by about 50 years. I was still bed bound. I couldn’t do anything for myself. I’d had a catheter since I was first admitted and that remained in place for a total of six weeks. If I had to actually go to the toilet I would have to call for assistance, shit in a disposable bed pan and the nurses had to clean me after. At 19 years old this was humiliating.
I had a mattress that would inflate and deflate all in different places to help prevent bed sores. I was on a shit load of tablets. Painkillers, stronger painkillers, antibiotics. I wasn’t allowed back on any psychotropic medication until the Drs could be sure my kidneys had recovered. Dr M had been right when he said my physical health was what was important. My mental health couldn’t have been any worse but nobody cared.
I stayed on the renal ward for another three months. I was still too ill to be able to go home.