Archives for posts with tag: Angela Bayley’s blog
Angela Bayley in her paramedic jacket.

Me in my paramedic jacket. I enjoy my job and hope to get back to it soon.

It’s 9 July at 08.45.

Good morning, everyone.

Today’s the day when I find out if I will be given back my freedom and can try and get back to some normality.

I’m pleased to say I coped pretty well last night with my mixture of emotions, and took myself off to bed as soon as any feelings started to spiral out of control. Again I felt proud that I dealt with my feelings effectively, without being self-destructive, which has helped keep the spring in my step.

Rudeness!

My consultant asked me to return to the hospital ward this morning to see her at 09.30. On my arrival, the nursing staff asked if I could stay on the ward as my consultant now wanted to see me at 12.30. I feel so frustrated at the way healthcare professionals just change their appointments at the drop of a hat without consulting you. Andrew came with me to the hospital for the 09.30 appointment for support, and sadly has had to go to work and can’t return at 12.30 due to work commitments. He has taken so much time off work over the years to look after me and the girls so I can’t be disappointed at him for not being with me today. My disappointment and frustration is aimed at the people working for the NHS and how rude and inconsiderate they can be.

Sedation

My nerves about this afternoon’s tribunal feel overwhelming just now. Now I’m at the hospital I can feel myself heading towards avoidance to deal with these feelings by asking the nursing staff for sedative medication (service-users would know this as PRN).

More later…

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Hi, everyone.

I hope you are all feeling well.

My daughter is driving

My time at home on leave is going really well, despite the odd interruptions from services. Last night my husband, Andrew, and my daughter,  Laura, drove to Leeds to pick up Laura’s first new car (a Mini). She was so thrilled when she got home, and the pleasure I felt to see her face was amazing. Today Andrew and I were driven by Laura on a twenty-mile journey to her friend’s house, and she made only a couple of minor mistakes. I can’t believe she is doing so well with her lessons, and at some point in the imminent future she will be mobile and independent. That’s when the worries will start and I’ll be wishing she was the 5lb baby laid in her crib, safe and secure, seventeen years ago.

Laura also shocked me today by telling me she would like to go to Edinburgh Uni. I worry how I’ll cope when she flies the nest –  especially so far away. It is exciting, though, to see her develop and flourish. My other daughter, Jenifer, is also happy as she flies to Marbella on Sunday with her friends for a fortnight, which is another motherly concern. It’s lovely to see her so happy and excited.

Happy family

Andrew seems more settled, which makes a change. He’s gone about his manly duties, mowing the lawn, cleaning the car and putting the bins out. I’m trying to hold on to my advice to everyone earlier on in the week about remaining positive. Today I’ve made a conscious effort to only focus on the nice experiences I have felt  today as my day hasn’t all been good. The pleasure of seeing my family more settled and happy helped me to share their happiness and made me feel good.

Section to continue?

I had a lovely lie-in this morning, after a good night’s sleep, which makes a change. I woke up and checked my phone to see numerous missed calls and messages. The messages were from my solicitor who is representing me for my appeal against my section, and from my consultant. They were ringing to inform me that a tribunal had been arranged for tomorrow at 2 p.m. My consultant wanted to talk about my section so she could make a decision as to what to recommend – whether I stay on the section and go onto a section 3 or would she be happy to lift the section 2 and discharge me. She seemed to favour continuing the section and asked for my opinion. Naturally, I’ll favour no section, but surely the purpose of the tribunal is for that description to be made by an independent panel.

Positive circle

Talking about my future with my consultant and then later with my solicitor sent me on a “downer”, and the voices and thoughts became more apparent. I tugged at my elastic band several times to try and remind me that having a “positive mental attitude” would keep me well and allow me to function better. It was hard work to stop myself from entering a dissociative state or doing something destructive, but I feel proud to say that I managed it. Today’s feelings of apprehension about how I’m going to face the future felt grim. However, facing the negative thoughts I was feeling actually made me feel happy that I had managed to tackle my worries and anxieties head-on and overcome the horrible symptoms I was having. Therefore, what would normally be a negative vicious circle has turned into a “positive circle”. All I have to do now is tackle the nerves I am feeling about tomorrow and what future holds.

Will be back tomorrow to fill you in on the day’s events and the outcome of my hearing. Oh, and more importantly how I cope with the stresses I experience.

Good night everyone and sleep well.

Love and best wishes

Angela

An extract from the coverage my story received in the Mansfield Chad newspaper.

An extract from the coverage my story received in the Mansfield Chad newspaper.

Hi, everyone!

Following my entry yesterday… writing the blog made me feel good and more positive. My job as a paramedic involves helping others and I’m hoping that writing this blog will go some way to helping others. Hey, maybe it could develop into a kind of support network for fellow survivors, carers and healthcare professionals?

Over the past week I have had a real battle on the ward. The ward staff here are fabulous and really caring and supportive. However, when they are ruled by Notts County Council and Higher Management in the hospital they are unable to care for me properly.

Absconded

I’ll briefly explain. I came into hospital just over a week ago. Since then the emergency duty team (Notts County Council) gradually, over the week, ground me down to the extent where I could take no more and absconded from the ward (which is against the rules of the section).

Forbidden to see my daughters

Anyway, the week started well. I had loads of support from my named nurse, A, who was trusting. That, and continuing support from my husband Andrew, began to provide me with the safety I needed. By Thursday, however, things had deteriorated. I couldn’t have any section 17 leave, had to remain on ten-minute observations (they checked me every ten minutes, depriving me of privacy), I couldn’t leave the ward to go into the garden without a member of staff, and contact with my children was prohibited. I decided to abscond (or as fellow service-users would say, “leg it”) and insisted that I would not return to the ward until the ridiculous constraints were justified or resolved. I informed Andrew I was safe, a police search party was organised, the police searched my house and stayed at the address until 3.00 a.m. They rang my friends and family and continued the search until the next day. Meanwhile, I was with friends offloading my stress over a glass of wine. I can hear you all say that is shocking and irresponsible of me. However, Andrew constantly told the police I was safe, at a friend’s and would return to the hospital once I had calmed down and he had spoken to NCC social services department to find out why they were controlling my care and failing to provide a therapeutic environment.

Portrayed as a child-killer

Friday 3rd July 2010, 9.00 a.m. I rang Andrew straightaway to say I was still safe and well. By 11.00 Andrew had spoken to social services, the Notts Healthcare NHS Trust Manager, the Chief Executive of the safeguarding team at the hospital and the ward manager. It transpired that NCC emergency duty were interfering and portraying me as some kind of child-killer.

At 11.30 I returned to the ward, to be greeted by M, my other named nurse, who is also fab, and he and the ward manager informed me that contact with my children was back on and I could see them off the ward. I agreed that due to my consultant being on leave that I would have to remain on my section and my observations would remain the same until 6th July 2010. I would have agreed to anything so long as I could see my girls!

Painful memories

Over the past few weeks I have been conscious of the 4th of July being my Grandma’s birthday as well as American Independence Day. For those of you who haven’t read my book, I was very close to her and she died a few years ago. I understand fellow survivors find significant events and dates are a real negative trigger that affects our mood. Whilst most people feel a little sad and then move on, we spend a lot of time dwelling on painful memories and struggle with what to do with those memories and emotions which then leads to destructive/maladaptive behaviours. We internalise our feelings which then causes further pain. The actual trigger itself is no longer painful; it’s the emotions that come with that trigger. That’s my take on it anyway, and I hope it makes sense.

Being positive

Yesterday I decided to deal with the emotional trigger of 4 July in a different way. I read Dr Chris’s chapter (in Disruptive) and took his advice of trying to move on and focus on the positives instead of the negatives. I turned that round and decided to make a conscious decision to be happy on my Grandma’s birthday and keep reminding myself that she would be disappointed if I was distressed.

All day I have had to force myself to be positive and happy, and do you know what? It really has worked, and right now I’m feeling good and proud that I have got through a difficult day without harming myself emotionally or physically.

Elastic band therapy

The moral of my story tonight is no matter how hard things are, you have to keep fighting in a positive way. Anyone reading this who can relate to some of what I have written, can I ask a big favour? From now on, can you go to bed and tell yourself no matter what you are going to have a positive day and do positive things and enjoy what you are feeling or doing? If need be put an elastic band round your wrist and just twang each time you get a negative feeling, and make sure you tell yourself you have to “crack on” and “keep smiling”. See how long you can do it for, and I’ll do the same and report back soon.

Take care everyone and love and best wishes to you all!

Angela
P.S. Please feel free to post a comment. I’d love to have your responses!

This is me in my place of work - an ambulance. I love my job, have every reason to believe I am good at it, and want to return to it as soon as possible.

This is me in my place of work. I am a paramedic. I love my job, have every reason to believe I am good at it, and want to return to it as soon as possible.

My first book ended on quite a high note. However, it did say things have been a bit up and down “but I’m getting there”. I’m trying to come up with a happy ending for my second book but at the moment I’m finding that really tough due to the lack of services and help available to me. I thought I’d start this blog by discussing my present circumstances instead of talking about the past as of 2005 (the ending of my first book); I don’t want to spoil the story for the second book.

PTSD and borderline personality disorder

Since moving to the Notts area, all treatment at the Retreat was stopped by my local Primary Care Trust (PCT) and referred to local services. Apart from my diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and an eating disorder I’ve now been given a new label: “borderline personality disorder”. Initially I was horrified to hear such a label, but having spoken to Dr Chris with whom I regularly keep in touch, I now understand what the diagnosis means. According to National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines they have now recognised it as a mental illness. They say it carries the highest suicide rates. Amazing, then, that there is very little help available!

Suing Notts County Council…

Talking of suicide, I am currently in hospital and over the past two weeks have been on the brink of suicide again myself. As some of you know, I am suing Notts County Council for “failing to protect” whilst I was in their care. Coincidentally, Notts County Council work in conjunction with Nottinghamshire Health Care, who are my care providers.

…and now sectioned by them!

Two weeks ago I was feeling very low and quite hopeless, so I wrote to my psychologist expressing my feelings to him. In the letter I talked about suicide and how I wanted to die and stupidly said I wish I could take Andrew and the girls with me. Obviously, I wasn’t feeling rational and due to having no support from services it caused me to feel quite helpless. Anyway, I managed to keep going and do my shifts at work until 22 June 2010. I began my days off, and before I knew it I was suspended from work, arrested by police on suspicion of threatening to kill and then placed on a section 2 and detained in hospital. You probably wondering why. Well, I am doing the same thing myself. All I know is that Notts County Council rang my employer to say they were concerned about my mental health and then rang the Children and Young People’s Services department to say I was going to kill my children. To finish off, they also rang the police to say the same and then a social worker from the same authority sectioned me and I was admitted to hospital.

Now that I’ve set the scene of my predicament I will leave you to digest what I have written and will come back soon to talk to you about my treatment, the future and how services are treating me.

Anyone who is a fellow sufferer please hang in there and keep fighting. If we campaign hard enough we will get the treatment we need and deserve as set down by NICE.

Love and best wishes

Angela