Sunday, July 22, 2007


I have shed a few tears tonight.

I have such a long way to go in explaining our experiences of when Mr Man was first admitted into hospital. After sharing just a few scant details on Mental Nurse of what Mr Man went through my memories came flooding back to me, and I have to ask myself if I will ever be ready to share our full story or if it will always be too painful for me to revisit.

As the tears rolled down my face I held on to Mr Man and whispered “I’m sorry”.

I’m sorry that I wasn’t strong enough to care for him at home. I’m sorry that I didn’t understand the system enough to know how to stop what was happening. I’m sorry that I didn’t take him away from there. I’m sorry that I didn’t demand that he be treated somewhere else. I’m sorry that I was too exhausted emotionally to take my complaint further after it had been swept under the carpet.

I am so sorry.

If I could give just one piece of advice it would be this: if you have any doubts at all about how your loved one is being treated, seek the support of an advocacy service and ask for a second opinion immediately.

I left it so damn late before seeking a second opinion.

The reason why I recommend contacting an advocacy service is because once I finally requested a second opinion, the consultant made no effort to arrange it for 4 weeks although another consultant only worked next door. This man continually played games with me; I felt so powerless against him and had no idea what to do. The next time I saw the consultant a lady from an advocacy service came with me and she asked about the second opinion. I don’t know what “special powers” these advocates hold, but she got results. An appointment was made for Mr Man to see the other consultant that same afternoon. He was prescribed anti-psychotic medication and it was the beginning of his recovery.


Kim said...

Reading this post makes me so sad, as many people have had the same experanced similer, and those who dont know how hard it can be to be a carer 27/7 looking after someone that is that unwell, not knowing the system and what there rights are, and the fact carers are so often ignored, I have been in that situation with my friends, but we know the system so makes it a little easyer.

A while ago, My parents had a chat to me, and said how sorry they were that they had no idea what was wrong with me, when i first got ill, and how they wished they had pushed harder for help, but they didnt know what help was there or what there rights were as no one told them, and finally they were sorry that I ended up in hospital for 11 months as my first admission. They were also blacked out the situation by no one telling them what was wrong with me, not told that the fact i was shuffleing and dribbleing was down to medication ect, they thought some how it was all there fault. It wasnt, but no one told them otherwise.

It is very painfull for my parents to talk about it, I can see it on their faces, but I know they done the best for me, thats all anyone could ask.

Seaneen said...

Thinking of you.

Rob says it was the hardest thing he ever had to do, putting me in hospital. xxx

Anonymous Mom said...

i also felt a tremendous need to apologize to my son for not recognizing sooner that there was something really wrong, for dismissing the niggling thoughts, for thinking he could control himself if he just wanted to. he was sick for at least two years before i figured it out, and it took him holding a knife to his throat to persuade me that he had a real problem.

intellectually, i know i did what i thought was right at the time - and how could i know? i knew nothing about bipolar disorder.

emotionally, it devastates me.

uphilldowndale said...

Don't be to tough on yourself, hindsight is a hard taskmaster. You did your best with the knowledge and resources you had at the time.

(I hope you haven't got this comment twice, I keep losing 'stuff' off the screen today)

Mr Mans Wife said...

Thank you to you all, for sharing your experiences and for your words of encouragement.

I suppose feelings of guilt go hand in hand with being a carer, as you feel responsible for everything that happens to the person you care for. It was just so painful to watch people hurt the man I love and not feel able to do anything about it, especially as I had placed him in their care.

Still, experience is a great teacher and all that. It won't happen again.

Edward said...

Hi there, thanks for your comments on my blog, they are appreciated and motivates me to keep going.
I can relate to how you feel both as a carer as my wife got shipped from doctor to consultant without much real care. I wish I'd taken more control but I felt like I couldn't. The idea of bringing someone from an advocacy service is new to me so thank you bringing it to my attention.
And when I had a acute period of pychosis five years ago there were some consultants who had a god complex, feeling like they new what was best for me based on five minutes consultation.
Its hard giving up control to doctors but its what we've been raised to do, and rightly or wrongly I never thought I could question it - especially with the fear of being ostracised from a doctors surgery or the whole NHS.

Mr Mans Wife said...

Hi Edward. Thanks for your comment.

You're right; in this country we're raised not to question the doctor. I think maybe this attitude is slowly changing though, and I'm glad to see that some doctors now explain thoroughly what they think is wrong and why they have chosen a particular treatment for it.

I don't know why no one in the hospital suggested that I ask for a second opinion sooner, as it was obvious I wasn't happy with Mr Mans treatment. After all, if the doctor and the nurses were so convinced that they were right, what did they have to fear?