This might be difficult to read. In the interests of mental health advocacy, I have chosen to share my story. Please remember that I DON’T ask you to fix me and I DO ask you not to judge.
This is a way of coping when I feel overwhelmed.
So I cut – again! This year has been a particularly uncontained one and I have never cut as much. I have never cut as violently either. Things have got progressively worse…
After a week from hell, which I understand to be people around me being knocked for six and exhausted as the year draws to an end; so many things need to be completed; demands are huge; expectancies are colossal; people put unreasonable demands on themselves and for those that celebrate Christmas – one can only say titanic expectations abound. Many people simply drop the ball. I found that the people that have never dropped the ball did so, in most cased unintentionally, sometimes consciously.
On Friday night I felt so overcome by the fourth incident for the week that I took to my blade. I have been designing a tattoo for a while and that would mean I couldn’t cut again or I would ruin it. I had got to a place where I thought I could do that. I too dropped the ball.
I cut my right wrist with a 12 blade. On Grey’s Anatomy one often hears a request for a 10 blade. A 12 blade is like a small sickle and can cut quite deeply with its curly point. When I turned to my left wrist I cut too deep. I have nicked an artery once which wasn’t too serious, albeit it gave me a fright. This time I hit an artery. Blood spewed out like a fountain – I first watched in in wonder for a few minutes and it didn’t stop. I then grabbed for a fleece blanket to apply pressure. The fleece ended up like a heavy wet towel, full of blood and tissues. I grabbed for towels, face clothes and the blood spewed everywhere. Basin. Bath. Carpet. Poof. I tried to contact a friend and then contacted another friend, further away, but she jumped in the car immediately. The blood wouldn’t stop. I put a brace that I had once bought for a sprained wrist on, thinking the tight pressure might help. It bled through. I added a thick bandage and wrapped it tightly so that my hand started turning blue even though I could still see the blood seeping through the edges. I tried to eat as I was so shaky, but I wanted to throw up. It sprayed for over an hour while I tried to clean up the spills being the OCD person that I am.
I know my medical aid offers medical advice so I called them. The person who answered the phone, Connie, was amazing. He asked what happed and by this time I had been bleeding for nearly an hour. I was white as a sheet, pasty and shaking like a leaf. Connie decided that I needed an ambulance. He organised one, and got back to me about how far away they were; he got back to me again to find out if they had arrived. Each time he was helpful and supportive. The last time he called I could hardly speak, I apologised and said I needed to lie down.
The south peninsula ambulance service have got to know me by now. The one paramedic said she stays a road away from me. I had to hold the other paramedic’s hand to get to the ambulance as I was so shaky. I was asked if I was going to faint and I said I didn’t know as I had never fainted. My disability-unfriendly driveway was no help in getting me to the ambulance.
Ironically, when I got to the hospital, the blood had finally clotted. I said they could throw away my wrist brace that was thick with blood and had a big clot in it. After all that trouble it was not too bad and just needed butterfly stitches. It seems that I did lose a lot of blood though.
When I got home and walked up the driveway I got dizzy and had to fall into the poof. Charmi made me some sweet tea. I went to bed as soon as I had cleaned up and put the blankies and stuff in the washing machine. Blood stinks! The next day, I couldn’t drink enough – I don’t know it was related.
This might seem like a calamitous incident, but they are becoming few and far between. There are more good times at the moment than bad times. Ironically a lot of the good time is spent writing, which seems to contain me.
I share this with some trepidation, but with a motivation to advocate for mental health and present some harsh realities.