How hospitals trick you.

Thought bubble alert. This a long one about a little thing, but there is a good point at the end about things that people with depression do. But you still have to read the stuff before, because if you don’t you won’t see the proof of the point.

I am reading a book atm and a character wasn’t happy that, when she was discharged, the hospital conveyed her to the exit door in a wheelchair. She had been in an accident, and could possibly be a bit wobbly on her feet, but she said (in the book) she didn’t want to sit in the wheel chair, but she did because this was the hospital rules.  She went along with it.

Why would she do this? She had legs, and she was entitled to use them if she so wished. (Wondering to myself there is anything about this in International Human Rights, but will leave this for the moment.)

She seemed like such a sensible character in the book up to this point. Couldn’t she see what was going on? A fraught policy rule, and all the fraught is directed at her, the patient who is just about to be discharged. I can barely bring myself to continue reading what was up to that point, quite a good book with interesting characters.

I was in a car accident once. I was in hospital for several days, not because of broken bones or bruises or concussion or anything, but because it took them several days to realise that the stuff in my mouth wasn’t all my teeth broken. It was actually the shattered bits of the windscreen of the car. On about day 3 they finally suspected this (maybe because I told them every day), and I got given some mouthwash, and everyone was relieved. I actually did have a lot of bruises and a broken nose, but that’s beside the point.

Back to the thought bubble. When I was being discharged, the nurse told me I had to be taken to the exit door in a wheel chair. I was immediately suspicious, because the more I insisted I could walk, the more she insisted that I had to be wheeled. The delicate veneer of friendliness was ripped to shreds, and we actually frowned at each other.

It ended up in a bit of an awkward stand off situation. (Even before I developed depression, I have to admit I was a bit of a pedant when I had the higher moral ground, and I’m a tiny bit stubborn.) The head nurse was called, then a doctor, then most alarming of all, a Senior Administrator. Yep, they just ganged up on me. Like, increasing the number of people frowning at me was going to make me sit in a wheelchair? Ha.

My point, that I kept on making, was that if they felt that I needed a wheelchair to get to the exit door, before tipping me out of the hospital and on to my legs and feet in the car park, I wanted to know why. Fair enough question, I thought. Then as I pondered, I realised… The Answer. It was sinister, and a bit scary.

The Answer was that from their point of view, if I fell over and hurt myself, it was better that this happened after I was out of the hospital. I can see this scheming, nefarious motivation, because it’s sort of, well, there, in plain sight. I may not have been able to crawl back into the hospital, which would result in the very desirable efficiencies and cost savings of not having a patient.

But I had a different point. My point was that if I couldn’t walk (even though I thought I could), and if when I tried to walk, I might fall over, then I preferred this to happen when I was inside the hospital, not in the car park. My reason was because the doctors and nurses were in the hospital, not the car park. If I fell over and hurt myself, I preferred to be near the medical people who could fix me up. The people medical people weren’t in the car park, only their cars were there. Did they think I was some kind of an idiot who wouldn’t notice something so obvious?

Anyway, this thought bubble is almost done with. (How good is this blogging thing?!)

The only bit left is the end of the story. The stand off lasted over an hour. I got a bit nervous because I actually did want to leave the hospital, and the reason was everyone was getting annoyed and quite shouty at me, and they were frowning at me. I looked for common ground, compromises, if you like. A win win situation, even though I still felt affronted.

We settled on a compromise of sorts. The hospital got together a posse of people. Not just a couple of people, but 2 nurses, 2 orderlies, a security person and The Administrator . All of these people (except The Administrator who was writing notes at the time and not helping at all) surrounded me as I then walked on my legs to the exit door of the hospital. I didn’t fall over, and even if I tried to attempt to fall over, just for fun, they were poised and ready to catch me, and I would have been thwarted in my attempt to have a bit of fun.

All this happened a long time ago, but I’m really annoyed that this thing that happened to me has now spoiled a perfectly good book. I think possibly that it’s not so much the fact that I was someone who didn’t fall for the ridiculous ploys of people in authority, (though this is arguably true). Perhaps this thought bubble that spoiled a book may have happened because I have Depression.

I can now tell you that another thing on the Position Description of people who are depressed is that we can go back an extraordinary amount of time, pull up memories of every slight, real or imagined, and every sideways glance ever made at us that caused us to feel aggrieved, rightly or wrongly, and we remember them. All over again. And we feel aggrieved all over again. Just one more reason that depression really sucks.

A brain gets seriously tired (and even may feel like it has been quite badly beaten up) when it is continually rummaged through, over and over and over, even when it’s trying to sleep, for bits of not very important, or current, or even relevant information.

Beating it up is no way to treat a perfectly good brain just because it has gotten a bit sad, or anxious, and may need some help and time (and drugs) not to be sad or anxious any more.

If I can just go on a bit more (noting that I have already gone on and on), there are times when the concept of “forgetting” is handy, as in the above situation. Sadly though, forgetting is often, very unfairly in my opinion, characterised as a fault. A “good memory” is something that gets good press, and seems to be quite the thing to have. A “bad memory” on the other hand, which includes forgetting stuff, is not looked on so kindly. This is just not right.

Sometimes “forgetting” is a good thing, and it even could be a thing that we have evolved to do because it can protect us from remembering shit that has happened, and can make us be optimistic and adventurous, even though we may have been slighted, looked sideways at, unfairly treated, and all that stuff, but it’s important as a species that we keep on trying, and that we don’t let shit that has happened in the past stop us. So forgetting stuff can be good.

I really want to obsess about how to get the message out there, and it’s tempting, but I won’t. I don’t need to. I’ve just said what I wanted to say in my blog. And I think there are more important things for me to obsess about.

And then there’s that thing that my new book has been spoiled.


Random stuff, like thought bubbles.

This is my first post in my first blog.

I have been forced to start a blog because my brain has gone all strange since I developed depression. I do things like I think about stuff, and I keep on thinking about the same stuff. On and on. One thought bubble can pop into my head. I grab it and hang on to it, for often rather extraordinary amounts of time. I know I do this. People I know tell me I do this. I’m embarrassed that I do this. But, wtf, I just defy everyone I know and even myself, and I just keep on doing it.

Most people get thought bubbles. But most people have the capacity to assess quite quickly if it’s a good bubble, or nonsense. If it’s nonsense, they lose the thought and move on with their rational lives.

I prefer a different approach. I give any thought bubble, good or nonsense, some kind of weird priority, like the bubble has inherent status as a thought, and to give it respect I have to think about it. Over and over. From every angle, before drilling down the the core of the bubble, and even when I suspect it may be nonsense, I persist in thinking about it, obviously hoping that there may be some tiny speck of merit in the thought. I keep thinking. The same thought.

I examine every thought bubble very closely. I am not one to just chuck out a thought bubble because in the first instance it seems to be nonsense. Not me. I have to be sure. Very sure. The worst thing that could happen to me is if I have a good or interesting thought bubble, and maybe because I have other things on my mind, I may accidentally chuck out the good or interesting thought bubble. Just chuck it out willy nilly. That would be a bad thing, because I may have lost the bubble forever. So this won’t happen.

I am not alone. There are lots of people with depression just like I have, and who obsess over strange odd thoughts, over and over. Psychologists describe it as rigid thinking, or tunnel thinking. We know they’re right but we still do it. We have Depression, so this type of thinking is in our Position Descriptions. It’s what we do, but will probably stop doing once our depression gets cured.

I’m getting treatment, so I may get cured, and relieved of the onerous responsibility to examine every tiny thought bubble I have, with intent focus, for hours or even days. Shit it takes a lot of my time. You have no idea.

But I’m looking forward in the foreseeable future to getting normal again. Then I may have time, to like, do normal stuff. In the meantime, this blog is because I had a thought bubble that writing things down is a good way to get things out of your head. The alternative is thinking about things until your head is spinning, and that hasn’t been working out that well for me, so now I will blog.