I recently read an article in the BMJ about reactions to self harm in the ER. I’ve decided to share my story. It contains *triggers*
In January I took an overdose. At the time I did want to be dead and out of this shitty mess. I took the tablets (my husband’s tramedol) in three doses one before picking up my daughter from school, one when I got home and done more half an hour later. I felt an overwhelming sense of calm. I would be out of this mess soon.
I felt really dizzy but reassured my family I was just really tired. I started to vomit about 9pm but managed to hide it from my family. We all went to bed as normal. I felt so shitty I could not sleep. At 1am I thought maybe suicide was not a good idea so I packed a bag, wrote a note to my hubby and drove myself to A&E. (Thank God I did not vomit when driving)
As I checked in, the lady on reception was lovely, so understanding. The triage nurse was horrid, so rude. If I was physically ill it would have been ok with her. No one chooses to feel so shit they can only see one way out! The nurse roughly put a line in, sent off some bloods for testing and I waited to see the Dr. At least he was not dismissive! He contacted the on call assessment team. The blood results came back as within normal limits. Paracetamol salicylates and Liver function. The nurse then cleared off. I took out my own cannula as it was driving me mad and as a nurse I have often removed cannulas. It did piss her off. I was glad of that. In my my mind leaving a canuala in situ would provide many other ways of self harm so it was safer out. I did not tell her that though. She would have only been rude.
I waited in the waiting room most of the night vomiting a lot.
I was eventually reviewed by the on call psych team in A&E. They seemed really helpful but the notes they wrote said I had excellent coping strategies, and was fit to drive myself home after taking a large amount of medication which made me drowsy and being awake all night! I could not fault their bedside manner but I did not agree with their assessment.