Through the eyes of a carer for someone with a mental illness

Chris has been getting worse…

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I think I am going through one of the hardest times I have ever been through with Chris at the moment. He has continued to get more and more physically unwell, getting to the point where he was getting bad dizzy spells after vomiting. On Saturday evening he collapsed and bashed his head, the lump was huge, and where the door had swung back on his elbow he had a big bruise too. I was very concerned and they said they were putting him on 1:1 obs, so someone would be sat with him all the time, these would be for 48 hours to see what was happening.

After 48 hours he was taken off them, nothing else seemed to be done, he hadn’t been seen by general medics since he hit his head, he nearly fainted a few more times while on 1:1 but yet they had put him back to hourly checks, my logic, I didn’t really understand and I expressed my concern that if he passed out then no one would find him for an hour, I was very bothered about his physical health.

I asked for a ward round and was told it would be in a week’s time, I spoke with his social worker and said that wasn’t good enough and I wanted him seen asap. So yesterday one was set up and to be honest it was the worst one I have ever sat through it was basically

‘You are drinking excessive amounts of fluid to make yourself sick, we don’t know why but probably for attention’

‘You said you “passed out” the other day but we think you did that to yourself’

I explained that I was worried about the amount of drink Chris consumed but he was saying he was thirsty so could we look into a physical cause of his thirst but this was met with ‘but this is too excessive’ I said I didn’t agree he was trying to make himself sick for attention and that fluids weren’t an issue at home, this had deteriorated only in the last week or so, but he wasn’t really willing to listen.

Chris was then put back on 1:1 obs, his fluids are being limited to one drink an hour despite his constant thirst and no investigations into why he is thirsty. Last night when I went to see him he was sick twice (on limited fluids) and blew their theory over forcing fluids in to make himself sick out the water!  (Excuse the pun)

Over the past couple of days various staff on the ward have seen me get upset roughly three times, some have made me feel like I shouldn’t be upset that I should be the strong one for Chris or that they are sorry for upsetting me but actually fail to see why I am upset… How would you feel seeing the person you love being sick day in day out, deteriorating rapidly both mentally and physically to the point you are losing even the tiny bits you recognise of the person, you don’t feel like they are doing anything to help him and if they are they haven’t told you about it, that you have been told they are just seeking attention and are talking to you like your loved one is a set of problems or just a diagnosis and they have lost the person… the person I LOVE AND SEE! I think I have every right to get upset, every right to feel the way I do about this situation. I have not for one minute said that it can’t be psychological, but you cannot say that until EVERYTHING physical has been ruled out and there is one thing I strongly disagree with, that Chris is drinking excessively just to make himself sick.

I don’t know if any of this makes sense, I don’t know if I managed to express myself well or not but this is my reality at the moment, a reality that is breaking my heart!


Author: acarerseyes

I am a mum to four gorgeous girls, and a carer to my former partner of eight years, Chris who has a mental illness, BPD. I blog my experiences.. life is tough! We live in Greater Manchester, UK.

One thought on “Chris has been getting worse…

  1. This seems really a cause for concern – and it isn’t nice for you feeling you have to battle to get attention like that. Have they tested him for diabetes, or possible kidney infections? I only ask because I know there is an increased risk of diabetes on some psychiatric drugs, and it’s a pretty straightforward test to do – best to rule it out. Kidney infections are also easy to rule out.

    Even if they were right and he was seeking attention, you have to wonder why he would be seeking it so badly! But it sounds like your gut instinct is that it is something more basic than that, and your gut instinct has a good chance of being right.

    You may have access to a service called PALS (Patient Advisory Liason Service) where you can raise these issues – I’ve used them in the past and found them very quick to respond. They’re not medical but they can be useful where communication with ward staff is difficult.

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