A Week In Hospital


A few weeks ago I become ill. I felt nauseous, had lots of wind and wasn’t able to eat properly. I became worse the 2nd week. I couldn’t eat anything. I kept throwing everything up. I stopped eating. I only drank water for 4 days. My blood sugars were sky high despite taking loads of insulin. I thought it was a bug so didn’t want to waste my GP’s time by making an appointment. I thought it would just pass naturally.

Then one Friday I thought I felt better. That supported my idea that it was just a bug and was passing. Hence I was right not to bother my GP. I ate some jello. That seemed to be okay so 2 hours later I had a bowl of strained chicken broth. The UK version is not what I call chicken broth. The stuff here is thick and has vegetables in it (hence I strained it). It wasn’t nice. I didn’t like it at all. 2 hours later and I was throwing up again.

In the wee hours of Saturday morning, I had a big hypo (hypoglycemic) attack. I woke and found my sheets soaked with sweat. I was shaking and dizzy. I felt so weak. I knew I had to get out of the bed since it was so damp and change my pyjamas. I was alone in the house so couldn’t ask for any help. I somehow managed it all the while feeling like I was about to pass out. I slid my way downstairs to the couch so I could rest there. I waited a bit until I could see properly (my vision was blurry by this time) then I tested my blood sugar levels. 3.7 – far too low.

Again not wanting to waste anyone’s time, instead of calling 999, I dialled 111 to ask for advice from the NHS helpline. After explaining everything I was going through, they called an ambulance to come out to me. I thought it wasn’t necessary but now didn’t have a choice really – they’d already called one to come. In the meantime I had to stumble to the kitchen and eat sugar from the jar – absolutely disgusting! – to try and get my levels up.

When they arrived, they took my blood sugar levels and blood pressure. I have a naturally low blood pressure (90/60 -ish) but they didn’t like it. Also I couldn’t gag enough sugar to get my sugars up to a safe level. So they decided I needed to go to hospital. I didn’t like the idea. I thought it would be a few hours and was worried about how I would get back home.

The ride itself was cold and noisy. The whole ambulance seemed to tremble with each little bump in the road. The “bed” was very uncomfortable and during the ride I became scared of what was going to happen. Yet still I didn’t believe it was that serious.

At the hospital, I began to feel worse. I was exhausted. They took blood tests. They took my temperature – using a weird gun shaped gizmo they shone a purple light on you. They moved me from 1 place to another. I was admitted! I was shocked by that. I still didn’t believe I was that ill. They eventually put me on an IV. They called it a sliding scale for insulin. I had 2 tubes going into the one cannula – 1 for insulin and 1 for glucose (sugar).

Pin cushion!

Left arm – They decided to moved the cannula near my elbow but didn’t take it out straight away!

They brought me food. I ate it (cottage pie) and although I didn’t particularly care for the taste, it was okay. Later they brought me more food (a jacket potato) and I ate that. It was okay too – just a bit on the warm rather than hot side. I was in a room with 3 other women. One was an elderly Scottish woman. She was extremely lonely. She tried to talk to everyone who passed by. She called for the nurse and the HCA (health care assistant) just to talk to someone. She didn’t understand they had other patients to care for. Her son turned up and I heard her saying how lonely she was. She also asked why should she go to a home when she has family? It was so sad and heartbreaking. But I was too ill to be as sympathetic as I could have been. I was waiting for my daughter to visit and overheard the lady talking about me. She said “She’s waiting for someone to come”. I was chilly and put on my dressing gown. She said “She’s going out for a fag”. I lost my patience and swung the curtain far enough closed that she couldn’t see me anymore. I then shamefully stomped out and said “Actually I was waiting for the toilet to be free” and went to the toilet dragging my IV pole with me.

Eventually, my daughter did arrive and brought me things from home I would need. She also bought me a book to read. Her boyfriend complained that she took ages picking it out. It was called The Secrets of Wishtide – A Laetitia Rodd Mystery by Kate Saunders and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it throughout my stay and at home.

Later on, about 8.30pm, the elderly lady began complaining about every little noise. Someone was pushing a noisy cart down the hall and she shouted “Who’s making all that noise?!” Then another sound and she shouted “I’m trying to sleep”. She called the nurse again and complained then asked why the lights weren’t off – she wanted them all off – even the ones above the nurse’s station outside our room. I had been dosing all day so wasn’t really sleepy. I turned my little light on and started reading the book. My vision was still a bit blurry so it was difficult but I managed a few pages before I felt tired again.

Next thing I know, I’m being moved to another ward. WooHoo! No more of the annoying woman. As soon as I arrived, I began throwing up the 2 meals I’d had earlier. Not a good way to make an impression but I couldn’t help it. I was in that ward for 2 days. Most of it is a blurr. I was told I had an infection but they didn’t know where. They started me on an antibiotic via the cannula. They were also coming to test my blood sugars every hour. So I dosed in between those as best I could.

One doctor decided I was dehydrated so she put another IV in my other arm for saline. I was now really hooked up.

Pin cushion!

Right arm – saline for dehydration

It was in the middle of the night so she used my bed lamp to see by. The rest of the room was dark. It was an odd experience.  I was still able to walk (just about) to the toilet and back but every time I did, the IV machine screeched at me until I got back to bed and plugged it back in. I nearly passed out one time trying to go and get back to bed. I literally flopped onto it.

Once a nurse came to help me wash. I fell in love with Hibiscrub – it was the smell that got me. The nurse washed my back and it felt so good. She was firm but not rough and I felt like a little girl being pampered. She left the rest for me to do which I was totally okay with.

Then one doctor seemed to finally listen to what I had been saying and diagnosed a gastric problem. I was started on more meds (for my stomach issues) and felt better (mentally) that things were finally on the right track. However, my haemoglobin level had dropped from 100 to 70 (should be at least 120). That worried them as I hadn’t been bleeding and they couldn’t understand what was causing it to drop so much.

I liked that ward. It was quiet. My bed faced the nurse’s station so I didn’t have anyone lying in a bed staring at me. But then it all changed. I had to have an endoscopy so was moved to an upstairs ward (D7). Again at some ridiculously late hour (all I know is it was dark). I tried my best to sleep and eventually drifted off. Then I was awoken by the lady in the bed to my right shouting for help and Roy. The nurse came eventually and calmed her down. I drifted back off to sleep. I awoke to her shouting again that she needed to go to the toilet. Someone came and said they’d be with her as soon as they could but another patient had fallen and they were busy trying to help them. I felt sorry for her. But she started shouting again when they didn’t get back to her as quickly as she wanted. There was 6 of us in the room and I think she woke all but 1 of us (the lady who snored and gargled in her sleep).

Morning came and I discovered that my bed faced 3 other women. I couldn’t handle it so shut my curtains. One woman was loud and never seemed to shut up.She talked on the phone, talked to the lady next to me who’d been shouting in the night, she talked to a lady 2 beds down from her, her visitors came and she talked with them, she talked to the nurses. She even talked to the shouty lady’s visitors! I put my headphones on and tried to block her out as best I could.

The good thing was I was taken off the IVs and allowed to take my insulin as normal. I began going for walks outside and having a smoke. It was really sunny one day and I enjoyed just sitting outside in it. But the idea of another night of shouting was one I couldn’t handle so I asked my daughter to smuggle in my sleeping pills. They worked a treat! At last I had a decent night’s sleep.

The endoscopy was a terrifying prospect. I was really scared and didn’t want to do it. They offered me sedation so I quickly said “Yes please!”. I was wheeled to the room in my bed. Now what I didn’t like was that they spray the back of your throat with an anesthetic before the sedation. It’s very hard to breathe when your throat is numb. Someone put a small round tube in my mouth – only about 1″ in length so it didn’t go far into my mouth but it was unexpected and made me begin to panic. I was trying to breathe but struggling. Then the sedation kicked in and I was blissfully unaware of anything. When I woke, my throat was a bit sore but nothing too bad. It was over and I was glad.

Unfortunately, the endoscopy showed nothing wrong. Well, fortunately I should say but I was frustrated that they weren’t finding an answer for my illness beyond the infection. My haemoglobin level was still too low so they wouldn’t discharge me. I was grateful for the sleeping pills that night as well.

Then the next day and another blood test. I was eating fine by this point though the menu was dreadful. Not even a hot breakfast! Just cereal and bread (not even toasted!).


Breakfast – um I’ll pass thanks

But I was told if the blood test was good I could go home that day. I was excited but running out of cigarettes so desperate to get the all clear. The result came back and my haemoglobin was up to 80 so headed in the right direction. They determined that I was okay to go home. I was referred to the community diabetic team (whom I have yet to hear from 2 weeks later) for re-training. I had 1 cigarette left so anxiously awaited for my medicines to be given and I could officially leave. It was early evening.

Carrying the bag of stuff my daughter had brought through the hospital was a bit hard. I was still weak and a bit lightheaded. But I managed. I sat outside and smoked my last cigarette then called a taxi to take me home. I had him stop at the shop on the way so in total it cost me £18 to get home. Luckily I had enough to pay for it.

Being home felt odd. I was still weak and lightheaded. I had to rest and recover. For the first week that was all I did – rest. I didn’t even really go online that week which worried a few friends. The first day home I had to go online though – I needed food in the house. I ordered from Tesco as usual but had to pay for delivery on a Saturday (the next day). I felt very dizzy by the time I got the order together and paid for it. But it was worth it to me.

I have been slowly getting my strength back and focusing on managing my diabetes. I’m testing more than usual (which was never!) and trying my best to take the right amount of insulin. I’m also trying to avoid injecting in the same place too often. This is difficult when I can’t inject into my thighs. It feels seriously freaky when I try. I may just be hitting the wrong spot when I do it so may have to learn more about where exactly to inject. It’s definitely something I need to work on.

I have also been teaching myself how to count carbs for each meal and work out how much insulin to take based on that. Back when I was diagnosed, they didn’t do that so I was never taught. It is confusing and I haven’t quite worked it out yet. But I am trying. Having to go into hospital woke me up a bit about my diabetes management. For too long my depression won and I ignored it. I didn’t have the energy for all this complicated stuff and didn’t really care enough about myself to do it properly.

But now I am trying my best and also trying to eat a better diet. I’m back to cooking again instead of relying on ping meals. And not just when my daughter is home but for myself. This morning I made a 2 egg omelette with cheese and fresh spinach and had a small glass of orange juice to wash it down. Now if I could just get this carb counting thing right and quit smoking! It’s too expensive and not good for me but one thing at a time. One thing at a time.


Psaryce x


Stuff! Too Much Stuff! Help!


So my plan is to clear the clutter from the house in order to clear the mind. On paper (and in my mind) it’s a great plan with lots of possible benefits. In reality there are obstacles I will need to overcome.

The main problem is that having no transport means it will be difficult to get the stuff out of the house. There are things which I would like to donate to charities but I have no way of getting them there. Useful things like clothes and coats that should go to the local clothes bank so those in need can have them. I have a box of stuff that would be useful to the local scrapstore as well (and more could be added to it as well). I don’t want to just throw these things in the rubbish for it to go to a landfill site and add to those mounting hills of stuff.

Yes, some things will be posted to give away for free. But that involves extra work and I only have but so much energy everyday to do things. So only a small number of items will be dealt with this way. I’m not going to photo every item of clothing and post it up as it would take too much time and energy.

There are very few items that can be sold on. Well they could but again it is the hassle of taking photos and posting it for sale then dealing with the whole sale process.And it is a hassle for low priced items. I know some people making money by selling small priced items but the money I’d get just wouldn’t be worth it to me.

If only the weather were better. I could clear out the shed and use that space for holding stuff until I can get transport to take them for donations. But sadly, it’s too wet and cold for that just yet.

So what should I do?  I can’t quite work it out in my mind. I don’t want to pile things up in a spot in the house and have to look at it all the time until I can get another car. I’m at a loss. Can anyone give me some advice please??


Psaryce x

Laundry Love


Maybe it’s my age but I find that little things are usually better than the big stuff. The stuff that is ordinary in our day-to-day lives. Things that seem insignificant but when you stop to think they are what makes you smile.

Don’t get me wrong. I could go out for a day and have a lovely time doing this or that. It could be very memorable but that’s just it – it will only be a memory. It won’t happen every day. It won’t catch me unawares and make me smile quite the way that some things do.

Fresh laundry is one of those little things for me. I simply love the smell! Whether it’s folding the newly dried items, dressing in the morning, getting a clean towel out or changing the bed linens, I cannot help but smile when the scent hits me. No matter what the weather is doing outside, inside I am transported to a summer’s day full of sunshine and warmth. Perhaps that is why doing the laundry is my least hated household chore.

I can’t explain why. It isn’t just the scent or I’d like doing the dishes more than I do. I’ve tried many dish soaps and my favourite is an orange scented one. I could sit and smell it all day long. It’s fresh, lifting and I truly love it. But it doesn’t inspire me; it doesn’t make the job any easier for me. Not like the smell of laundry does.

It’s strange that – how one scent can do so much and be activating and another, just as loved, isn’t. I never really sat and ponder about this before. Now I am intrigued. I wonder if it is because laundry items are more tactile. I mean we don’t go around sniffing our dishes after all. But laundry items whether it is clothes, towels or linens are all things we can grab hold of, bring them to our face and inhale the aroma. Laundry, when you think about it, is all things that we wrap ourselves in. The clothes we wrap our bodies in, the sheets we snuggle into at night.  You can’t cuddle with the dishes but material items, they can be like little hugs.

Think about what little things make you smile. Stop and take the time to enjoy them. Consider why they make you smile and how they make you feel. Try to find one little thing each day that takes you away for a moment and transports you to another place.


Psaryce xx

Routines Are Good


Despite being called a “free spirit”, I like routines. They help keep me grounded. They help my brain to think a bit more orderly. I gain a sense of purpose or meaning to my existence. I have a vague morning routine and one at night.

In the morning, I stumbled down the stairs and go straight to the kettle. Once that’s going, I venture to my desk to collect yesterday’s cup and switch the computer on. Back to the kitchen to make the cup of life then I go sit down at my desk in the conservatory. I browse through the posts on Facebook as I light up a cigarette and take my first sips of the sweet, creamy coffee in my cup.

I peruse the “On This Day” posts and share the ones that make me laugh, smile or which I still feel strongly about. I set a sage incense stick burning and start playing a Chakra healing CD. Then onto Outlook to weed through the emails that accumulated overnight.

On days I blog, this is the point where I start. Other days, I write a list of things to do during the day. Twice a month (now I don’t have wheels to get out), I order my groceries online. Every Friday, I have to get going more quickly as I have to get to my therapist appointment. I don’t usually blog on those mornings as I am too filled with anxiety.

After that, well that is where I get all confused and don’t know what to do. Even though I have a “To Do” list, I struggle. I know I have hours ahead of me to get things done and have no sense of priority to do them. Most days I only get 1 or 2 things done – if that. I try to list 6 tasks every day. But without being held accountable, I rarely do much of anything.

In fact, I honestly couldn’t tell you what I have actually done most days. I often have rough nights where I don’t get much sleep so I feel drained the next day. It’s hard to get motivated when you feel like you were up all night. Sometimes the disturbed sleep is from my diabetes. Sometimes it’s from pain. Other times, I can see no reason at all why I wake every hour. So I often have a nap during the day on the couch. I choose the couch so I don’t sleep too long – it isn’t that comfy.

There is so much I want to do but can’t seem to find the energy or else I’m distracted by pain. It is frustrating. Sometimes it is fun stuff, like crafting, but I don’t feel I deserve to play before I get the work done. So often the fun stuff never happens.

At night, I normally take a drink upstairs and get ready for bed. I take my medicines and then I call my Mommy. We talk for about an hour each night catching up on our days or just generally chatting. After that, I usually read a chapter of whatever book I’m reading at the time. Then it’s lights out with the hopes that this will be a good night. That I won’t wake until morning has come.

So I have my mornings and nights sorted. It’s all the hours in between that I need to structure better so I don’t feel like I am lost and just wandering. Do you have routines? What are they? Do you have any advice for me on how to get my days organized?


Psaryce xx

Rode The Bus and Now Half Dead


So this Friday gone, I did it! I succeeded where I had previously failed. I took the 2 buses to get to my therapy appointment. But of course all did not go smoothly – do they ever?

Fortunately it was a dry, sunny day. I set out a bit early so I could stop at the shop before the first bus arrived. I get there and discover that my bank card wasn’t where it should be! I didn’t have it on me. The night before I’d sent my daughter to the shop with it and turns out she still had it in her coat pocket. This I only discovered after frantically trying to top up my phone so I could send messages. Frantic because first I didn’t like being out with no cash on me an second because Vodafone’s menu system is a nightmare. Plus I was cold and really wanted to get my gloves back on.

The bus came and I used my bus pass for the very first time. I was worried it wouldn’t take it (another reason I wanted some cash on me). But the little light went green and I was on my way. I have done this exact route into town many times a few years back but still was on the edge of my seat the whole way. I did my best to just look out of the window and breathe. I listened to some relaxing music on my headphones but just couldn’t relax. It helped though.

In town, I left that bus with a “Thank You” to the driver and set about walking round the corner to where I was to get the second bus. I was early so stepped away from the people and had a cigarette. There was a bus sat in the bus lane with “Not In Service” on his sign and a delivery van a bit further down blocking the lane. It made me nervous that I wouldn’t see my bus coming. It caused a bit of chaos and a back-up on the road as buses tried to squeeze into the little space left.

I nearly missed my bus because I was so worried about it coming that I almost didn’t notice the “Not In Service” bus had started up and was the one I needed. My anxiety was heightened on this journey as I had never ridden it before. I knew where I needed to get off but struggled to remember the landmarks of the road (I have driven up and down the road many times before). A young man got on in a rush to get to hospital as his partner was being induced that morning. He was a nice guy and talking helped me a bit to cope with my anxiety.

I got to my stop and got off. My plan had been to go for a coffee in a cafe since I was 40 mins early. But no bank card foiled that plan. So I set off for my therapists office. I hadn’t realised while driving this was uphill. My hip was already in a lot of pain from walking first thing and the jolting of the buses. And the wind was blowing strongly. Uphill and into the wind for 10 minutes. I arrived for my appointment 30 minutes early. Frozen to the bone. The receptionist took pity and made me a cup of coffee. I was very grateful.

Afterwards, I found the right stop and made it back to town. I decided that instead of rushing to catch the bus home, I would meander a bit. The next one would come in just over an hour. So, I went to the bank and withdrew some cash over the counter. I treated myself to Taco Bell for lunch. I posted some letters. And I bought myself a new dress and socks. A bit more relaxed I went to the stop and caught my bus home.

The walk home was hard. I was in a lot of pain by this point and felt completely drained energy-wise. I got in my house, dropped everything and collapsed on the couch. I slept for two hours. When I awoke, I was still tired but able to manage a bit better.

Since then, I have been useless. Between exhaustion and pain I have done nothing but rest and recover. It’s two days later and I’m now just able to write. All of this has meant that I haven’t yet been able to enjoy my success. I haven’t been able to pat myself on the back and say “Well done you”. My brain doesn’t really work like that. It is more apt to say “People do this all day everyday – you’re nothing special. This is no great feat”. Now my mind is already filled with “But can we manage next Friday?”. I do wish it would just stop for a moment sometimes and feel the good stuff before worrying again.


Psaryce xx

The Need For Others


So I have been doing a lot of introspective thinking and analysing lately. I’ve been trying to get out of another rut of depression to be honest. Problem was I didn’t even realise I was in quite as deep as I actually was. I thought it was just my usual winter-hibernation mode that I go through annually. But in talking to some people, I realised it was more than just being introverted.

Thanks go first to my soul sister Lesley for telling me what’s what. Despite being in severe pain, she talked with me through some things and brought to light some simple home truths. Basically she kind of gave my a kick up the bum and told me off. Sometimes I really need that and am so grateful that she does this for me. She pointed out that the depression had its grip on me again and that I needed to do battle against it. I love our relationship. I love that she can see what I need and tell me. Not dithering or dancing about the subject – just straight forward advice that is much appreciated.

Thanks also go to my sister Donna. We share a lot of similar issues in our lives and so can really relate to one another. Again we have an openness that allows us to speak freely. But where Lesley is straightforward speaking, Donna is more of an analyst. She asks probing questions and gets me thinking about things from a fresh perspective. In speaking with Donna, my mind is challenged to think about things in a different way. This opens up further opportunities for me. It expands my thinking and therefore allows me to grow.

To goes to show, me at least, the value of having the right people in your life. Ones who balance you out. Ones who can be tough with you when needed, ones ho can open your mind. Neither of these conversations were simplistic but were both deep and meaningful. I cannot say in words just how grateful I am to have these two beautiful women in my life. I value our relationships to no end. Thank you both.


Psaryce x




I tried. I really tried. I had it all planned out and it was actually quite simple. Walk to the bus stop. Catch the #3 into town. Get off bus and wait 5 minutes. Catch the Uni6 into Portswood. Get off bus and walk round the corner.

The anxiety started the evening before. I even had a proper panic attack that evening. My heart raced, my mind raced, I shook all over, I was sweaty and clammy. The worse scenarios ran through my mind. I would miss the bus, my hip would give out and I would collapse in a heap of pain. The bus would be late, I’d miss the change to the second bus. People would look at me – or worse try to speak to me. I’d get lost or confused. I wouldn’t be able to cope with the pain in my hip and knees. I’d be over anxious about being so far away from home and have no control over getting back. I’d be too much of a mess for my therapy appointment. I’d throw up from the anxiety. I’d have a panic attack while out in public. I’d cry in public.

On the morning all this was exacerbated to extreme levels. I had several panic attacks. One from just going upstairs to get dressed – I thought it’d be an easy thing to do – non committal and simple. But no, that sent me off the edge. I felt stupid and pathetic. I couldn’t even face getting dressed. I stayed in my pyjamas.

I talked through it with a dear friend. I felt guilty and ashamed and embarrassed. I felt I had let my therapist down. I couldn’t even face calling to apologise. The worst was the hour I was meant to be there. I felt utterly let down by myself. Screw everyone else – I had let myself down by not being able to do something I’ve done many many times (okay not in years but still). I was completely disappointed in myself.

I hate this. I hate feeling this way. I want myself back. The me that can do things. The me that doesn’t always cower away at home in her pyjamas. I want the me who loved going out and doing things. The me that loved to push her limits and challenge herself to do more. Yes, I’d like to be that me again.


Psaryce x