Hi, here’s part 5.
The “Fife Circle” continued, day after day. Sometimes I had to queue up for ages, in my socks as I was getting too lazy to wear shoes, leaning against the corridor wall waiting to get meds. Eventually each of us were allowed into the pharmacy room, one at at time. A large formica table was unlocked, table-top lifted, a printout checked, then pills into a disposable cup. Pills into gob, cup filled with water and down the hatch. I think by this point I was only on fluoxentine (prozac), antabuse (makes you have an allergic reaction to alcohol), acamprosate (stops addiction, allegedly) and thiamine (helps brain repair after all that nasty alcohol abuse) with lorazepam (sedative) and zopiclone (sleeping pills) dispensed as needed. Yeah. Not much to swallow four times a day.
The lorazepam and zopiclone, I could see how one could get really into those, they just chilled everything out, made everything nice and easy. I’d like to say that I didn’t take the piss with asking for them, I tried not to, but they were nice.
I’ve realised in previous blogs that I may have got mixed up between a couple of characters, namely Carl and Clark. For the record here’s how they go:
Carl: Captain Bipolar, prone to violence, also prone to being hilarious.
Clark: Talks incessantly, can’t listen, lives in a track suit.
Glad we’ve got that cleared up. Carl was now the scariest person in the ward, sice Boab had been moved on. Never did find out what happened to Boab, there one day, gone the next. Carl was generally in one of two states, a shuffling zombie, or a hilarious madman. He would sleep for 24 hours sometimes. I think the zombie state may have been medically assisted, as sometimes he was involved in loud discourse with the nurses late into the night. Usually in a funny way. He’s be standing at their workstations in the middle of the ward ranting.
“You! You’re only authorised to make level 2 decisions. I make level 3 decisions in my sleep!”
One night I couldn’t sleep and was out in the yard smoking about 2am. The snow was falling. Carl, of course, was out in a t-shirt.
“I’m King Cahoot!” he kept shouting at me, “I command the moon!” I tried to point out the errors with that statement but I suspect cleverer and better people than me had tried and failed in the past. The best thing was just to go with it when he was like that.
There were Ents and Huorns in the ward. The Huorns were as silent and motionless as you’d expect. I hung around with the Ents.
Talking of Lord of the Rings, there were a couple of days when a student doctor came to visit me. She was a nice person, a young Muslim lady. Can’t remember her name. She was on a grand tour of the nether regions of the NHS with other student doctors. We hit it off. She was a big Harry Potter fan and had a hankering for the hard stuff. The Tolkien. On the first day we must have talked for about 2 hours, she told me how she felt bullied by the others in her class. I could understand and somehow we got onto fantasy novels. She wanted to start on the Tolkien and had question after question. In my formative years I learned that shit through and through so was proud to display proper nerdy knowledge. She came back the day after but I was not good, I had taken to lying on the floor, don’t know why I just wanted out of everything. I was thoroughly pissed off and she left sharpish.
A worker in the ward, Tracy was starting to visit with regularity. She was like the suicide detector. Had her own difficulties which I heard at length. She escorted me to the café and we talked. She was largely talking about herself and her life but I knew that she was assessing me. She wasn’t a nurse, I don’t really know what her position was. Thing was, she was really nice and I warmed to her immediately. I hope her life is going well for her, but once you leave you never find out that kind of shit.
Leigh, my wife, was coming in every night. We watched films, talked, hugged. She was really strong in this time. It surprised me how much backbone she had. I always knew she was tough but still. One night we went to go to the café and I was told that I wasn’t allowed. It was hard. I was still on suicide watch and the nurses weren’t that keen on me going out. Eventually they relented. When we got back, my “support worker” turned up. This was a nurse who I had never talked to but her name was written on the board in my room. So she must have been supporting me in some way. I am being sarcastic. This was Nurse “Saysitlikeitis”. A formidable grey haired woman. She told my wife about a hitherto undisclosed suicide attempt. I mean she didn’t realise but I didn’t need that. Blustered her way out of it with “I call a spade a spade” chat. She never spoke to me again.
Leigh left me tv shows, food, coffee and love. I cannot understate how great she was during this period. I’m so goddammed lucky to be married to her.
On a wintery-sun-day in the yard Clark scratched his and a long past lover’s initials onto a slab. He talked about it like it was last week. There was no fucking way it was last week, last year or maybe ever.
Next time on the blog you can barely look through your fingers at, Carl’s plans for the future. Clark.