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

Another night in A&E


The ambulance crew came in, asked a load of questions, and did his obs, he was taccycardic and very drowsy. It was then I got to see the self harm to his arms, something I wished I had known about before taking him out. The ambulance crew were lovely and got him in the ambulance, I followed, they did an ECG and then we were off. The ambulance creaked and rattled as we went over speed bumps, the crew member in the back with us was struggling to keep on her seat while she wrote out the paperwork. We arrived at the hospital and were shown into the Accident and Emergency department where we waited for the nurse to triage him. He was shown into the room where they always stick psychiatric patients, it has the good old two doors and not a lot else in it apart from a couple of chairs. I told the nurse I needed to ring the psychiatric ward and let them know what was happening. As I left security guards were standing outside the room.

I walked through the waiting room and outside, it was cold, I found the number for the ward he was on and rang them, they didn’t know what would be happening as they were about to start handover. I said that for the time being I was happy to remain with Chris but that I would need to know what they would be doing because I would need to get home to bed. I was told to ring back at a later time, once handover was finished and they would know more. There was no point them trying to ring me because getting a signal in that department was near on impossible.

I went back inside and found Chris asleep upright in one of the chairs, he didn’t look comfortable, he looked quite unwell, he looked at me briefly as I walked in before closing his eyes again. I sat down in the chair next to him and felt a sense of relief to see him again but a deep sadness that he was in such a mess. The room was white, there was nothing to look at, I had counted the ceiling tiles numerous times, it was half past nine, but I knew he wouldn’t see anyone until at least eleven o’clock when they would take his bloods. Security were still gathered around near the door to the room so I hesitantly left so I could get a signal outside and make another phone call to the ward to see what their plans were.

Walking back through the more or less empty waiting room after I had spoken to the nurse on the ward I was thinking about what had happened, and now waiting for the member of staff to come over and sit with him because he was off their ward, he was now on 1:1 care. I walked back into the room where Chris was sitting, he was still asleep in the chair, coming round every now and again, he looked exhausted, unwell and sad all hunched up. I wished they had put him onto a trolley, somewhere he would be comfortable, but instead a blank room with a couple of chairs would have to do.

A nursing assistant came over from the psychiatric ward and sat with us, Chris still asleep most of the time so I chatted with him about all sorts to pass the time, he was one of the ones who had sat with us the last time    Chris had been taken to accident and emergency because of an overdose. A nurse popped in at half past eleven and took blood but the two hours the nursing assistant was with us passed by pretty quickly and it was then time for them to swap over, I said goodbye and thank you to him and he left leaving a nurse in his place. I didn’t know this nurse so well and had reservations about him if I am honest, mainly because he is quite difficult to read. With Chris still asleep we got chatting about all sorts and both got to know each other quite well, what he had done, where I am from, what I want to do, his family, mine etc.

Half past twelve was upon us and Chris had nipped outside for a smoke, when the nurse came out to us and said to come and find her when he had finished. When we got back inside the nurse asked to weigh him and said that he would need to be admitted for treatment. We all went back into the same little white box room, she followed in and said he would need to be moved to a cubical, and a shame they hadn’t given him one to start with really.  We were shown into the cubical and he was again given a chair, this time a hard wooden one, which he again fell asleep in, he hadn’t yet seen a Dr and we knew very little about what had been going on. A nurse came over to insert a cannular and then another one came over to do his obs, she noticed he was quite drowsy and after they had been done she made up the trolley and got him onto it.

Once Chris was on the bed the nurse called over and said he still needed an ECG, to which she said ‘does he?’ so they said ‘yes, he came in with taccycardia and he has overdosed, he needs another ECG’ so they said ok and set someone about doing it. Then I heard ‘well he has a bed on a general ward so can I grey him off now before he breaches even though he is still here?’ followed by ‘yes.’ It is so sad that a nurse has to worry about politics when she should be thinking about her patients. At least Chris was now more comfortable on the trolley, his drip had been connected and his ECG done, he was just waiting for a porter to take him up to the ward. It was now getting on for half past one in the morning!


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.

2 thoughts on “Another night in A&E

  1. Hi, Sarah. Once again I’m so very sorry to hear that you guys are going through this once again. I can’t help thinking that all of this could have been prevented if communication on the ward was much better. Poor, Chris, it’s all so very sad. Was it Paracetamol/Codeine that he took? Just wondering why it took so long before starting treatment. I understand that it would be about 4 hrs later, if it was Paracetamol that he took. Hope to hear that his obs have increased if he’s back on the psych ward.

    You’re all in my thoughts.
    Sending hugs.

  2. I am so sorry this took so long. I can relate to this though. I hope Chris is feeling better both physically and mentally.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s