In the last 12 (almost 13) weeks, Tom has spent 2 at home.
We are now 4 weeks and 5 days into his most recent stay, which started in Fathers Day.
We’ve had the usual, stomach pain, sickness, nausea etc. We’ve also had the pulse rates reaching 190 and what can only be described as a psychotic episode.
This time last week, I came home from work, having barely spoken to Tom all week because I’d been unable to go up and see him and he was too ill to talk on the phone.
His disability had been approved and he didn’t know yet. He called me, he didn’t sound great, but we were talking. I explained all the elements of PIP and which ones he had been awarded, he was pleased.
Then he started complaining that he felt weird. He wouldn’t elaborate. I told him to call a nurse, to which he replied he couldn’t he was outside.
Toms room is at least a 5 minute walk from outside. He was in no condition to walk that far and now he’s moaning he feels weird. I grab the house phone and start dialling the number for the hospital switchboard, when a lady starts talking over his phone. Tom was in his room. He had never left his room. I could hear him in the background shouting to tell me he loved me. The lady, who I later found out was a healthcare assistant, told me to come to the hospital.
10 minutes later, the deputy ward sister calls to make sure I’m coming and to tell me a psychologist was on her way up to see him.
When I arrived at the ward Tom was in the corridor seating area. He was confused, he said he’d forgotten who I was when I was on the phone to me. But he remembered now.
He’s remembered since. It’s been a week and nothing similar has happened, but these things don’t happen for no reason.
Mental Health isn’t a common subject talked about in relation to chronic illness but it should be. Every person I’ve spoken to about Tom being depressed has agreed that he has every right to be. So why is this something that more people are talking about?
Why is this still a type of taboo subject in the chronic illness community?
Tom has been put on anti-depressants and, following advice from the doctor, is referring himself to see a psychiatrist. But it shouldn’t have ever got this far.