You do not want to overdose.
I said at the end of my last post that the reasons I gave for not killing myself were bollocks. Aside from the not having an accessible method that won’t end terribly part. That was true, I did something I had access to doing and it did, in fact, end terribly.
There is very frank talk of suicide in this post.
At the end of December I went to someone’s birthday drinks. There are some people who have been trying to make my life as difficult as possible recently. I know that stuff isn’t meant to bother you when you’re almost three decades old, but sorry, it does. People going out of their way to make another human being feel painful fucking sucks. We’ve literally been warned in advance when people were going to goad me. Because they were so determined that they would publicly announce their intentions. So much of it we didn’t actually see ourselves, but people came to tell us about it. We weren’t sure whether to call the police because this person claimed to have argued with me and said I owed them an apology, but I have never spoken to them, I feel like if they had actually received any messages they would have produced them, but their claims were enough to convince everyone else, even though they literally came to our house with warnings about this same person.
Anyway, someone was so frosty to me at the drinks I was at. Their obvious issue with me is starting to affect how nice they are to Will, and I started putting together that Will’s social life would dramatically improve if I were to disappear. We had to leave early because Will’s family couldn’t be with us on actual Christmas day, so we were having a delayed Christmas that day, everyone was waiting in our living room. When I tried saying goodbye to someone they literally acted like I was not even fucking there. That was the exact moment I knew I was going to kill myself by that time next week.
I wound up writing my previous blog post. I looked up the things I could possibly do. I knew I wouldn’t end up on a rooftop any time soon so that was out of the question. I have attempted suicide a few times before and it’s not a secret. I’ve done some damage to myself but never actually died (obviously). I’ve given up on most methods.
I do own a couple of guns that don’t currently need licensing. They’re designed for hunting pigeons or pest control of wild rats and things, but it would be naive to think they wouldn’t go through a human skull at the right distance. So why don’t I just shoot myself, right? I don’t want Will to have to deal with that mess, firstly. Secondly, whenever a gun owner uses one to commit suicide it’s always used as an argument against shooting sports being allowed in the UK, and I don’t want to shoot my own community in the foot like that, so to speak. Not to mention, the consequences of failing to shoot yourself properly are really not worth it.
I did some research for a while and eventually settled on paracetamol poisoning as the easiest solution. I do have a history with overdoses, although not with paracetamol in particular as it’s so disgusting to take that I knew I wouldn’t get to 120 of them before vomming and getting back to square one.
But after looking it up, it turned out I wouldn’t need 120 at all. It turns out that paracetamol is some horrendously dangerous shit. Going over 4g can kill a human. So I took 16g. I worked out the mg per kg of body weight and had more than enough.
I only needed 2 normal packs to do this, the amount you are limited to buying in one transaction. I ordered it in our weekly Asda delivery and squirrelled it away where Will wouldn’t have cause to look.
On New Year’s Day I wrote suicide notes for three people. I hid those too. I cried so much when writing them that I could barely see what I was fucking doing. I’d cried pretty much non-stop over the weekend anyway. I listened to my “Bad Mood” playlist on Spotify a lot and cried some more. I spent the next few days hanging out with Will and trying to make him happy. He got me Jurassic World Evolution on Steam for Christmas and we played a lot of that together. I got very emotional when a dinosaur died of old age and tried not to let on that it was actually because I was going to die in a couple of days. I was really going to get it right this time.
I just got so sad. I already thought I was unbearably sad, but apparently I was wrong. By Thursday I didn’t want to leave Will, but knew that I had to. I asked him to change Joop’s cucumber for me to make sure he knew how to do it. I tied up a few loose ends. I held onto Will really tightly in bed on our last night together. I knew I’d miss him so much when I was dead and couldn’t be with him anymore; in my letter to him I asked him to put my urn on his desk in the morning and on his bedside table at night.
Friday came and I knew I had to go. I thanked Will for being my husband before he left for work. At about midday I took both packs of paracetamol. I made sure to drink plenty so the residue in my mouth wouldn’t build into an overwhelming taste, a problem I’ve had with past overdoses.
I tidied up a few things in the house. I told Jupiter I loved him. I told Freya I loved her. I picked up a cushion she’d been flopping on and decided that would be the one I fell asleep on for the last time. I couldn’t resist texting Will and telling him I loved him. I put my note to Will on the coffee table, with our “Mr & Mrs” photo frame and a photo book of us that we got for Christmas. I put two letters for him to pass on to other people on the table, folded into their own envelope shapes. I told God I was sorry for all the bad things I ever did and that I was sorry for taking my own life but I thought it was best for my husband’s quality of life.
I reclined on the sofa, on the cushion the dog had been on, under a couple of blankets. It took me a while to stop glancing over at Freya or craning my neck to see if I could spot Joop. Eventually I drifted off for the final time.
See, what I envisioned happening was that I would drift off peacefully and be unwakeable as my organs failed and I finally died. I wouldn’t have to see Will’s reaction or deal with the hospital, I’d just have no idea about anything because I wouldn’t exist anymore.
Unfortunately I was wrong.
I was shaken awake by Will at some time in the evening. He called an ambulance and wouldn’t let me lie down and sleep even though I was really drowsy. I was again shaken awake by a paramedic so I must have clonked out at some point. I was put on a trolley and taken out to the ambulance. There is no A&E in the town where I live, so I was taken all the way to Winchester again.
I could probably write a novel about my experiences in hospital. But I don’t really feel like doing that. I’ll just summarise.
- I almost lost three organs this weekend, my liver and both kidneys.
- I was put straight into a bay in A&E (they still seem to call it A&E in Winchester, and not the “Emergency Department” as they do in Southampton). I had a cannula put in, had blood taken, and when the results came back I was put on N-acetylcysteine drips that I was told I would have to be on for a minimum of 24 hours.
- I didn’t get on with the acetylcysteine and started constantly vomiting. I also ended up having various explosions from my lower orifices. This resulted in vomiting through my hands while in the A&E toilet having a bowel eruption. I’m both an emetophobe and a sympathetic vomiter so this moment was a living nightmare. Staff had to open the door and see me on the toilet.
- Because I was taken in the ambulance, I didn’t have my wheelchair with me and getting to toilets was a complete pain in the ass. I also didn’t have my hearing aids and communicating was a nightmare.
- I was admitted to the Acute Medical Unit in the McGill ward. I became patient E1.
- I was in such constant distress from the reaction to the drips and it was awful. My body was constantly forcing me to vomit even though there had been nothing in my stomach for hours. I was just bringing up yellow bile. At some point I ended up on the floor of the ward, constantly retching and swaying and struggling to get breaths in.
- I wasn’t allowed to go to the toilet, on the basis that the nurse couldn’t leave the other patients on the ward, and she didn’t want me to go alone with my walking stick because she didn’t think I was steady enough. She brought me a commode to use, and I had trouble articulating that the incredibly explosive mountain of shit that was about to come out of my ass was going to overflow out of that thing if someone didn’t take me to an actual fucking plumbed-in toilet. Eventually she relented and took me. Guess what? When we got back she fucked off for ages anyway, thus leaving the patients.
- While I was on the toilet, a male member of staff opened the door and asked me if I was finished. I was in the middle of violently simultaneously vomiting, shitting and pissing, and he actually waited for me to answer.
- That toilet had blood spatter in it (presumably from a patient IV gone wrong) and it was not cleaned up for the 3 days I was there.
- A doctor came to see me and I said I wanted to come off the drip because of the miserable condition I was in. It wasn’t even just all the stuff coming out of me, I was getting very POTSy about it and had a hot face and ears, felt like I was passing out but never quite would, heart was going mad etc. The doctor told me I didn’t really have any choice about it, as I was losing 3 organs and the only chance of saving them was a 24-hour course of the stuff in the drip.
- I was finally given an anti-sickness injection though. The first one did fuck-all, but the second one a while later actually worked, and I managed to get a bit of sleep. I wasn’t sick from the drip for the rest of the weekend, and I don’t know how that works.
- Each infusion bag took about 7 hours to entirely get in me. Having a tube in my arm all the time was squicky and inconvenient. I’ve had good experiences with IV saline in the past, but this was something else.
- Wards are a general nightmare to be in even when your body isn’t throwing a revolt. Even if they turn out enough lights, there is constant noise in the form of beeping monitors that are never silenced or otherwise looked at. It’s an actual cacophony.
- My infusion pump was never put on the charging setting, so every time it was unplugged so I could go to the toilet, it beeped a loud and abrasive low battery warning, which I of course brought down the corridor with me for all the patients in different bays.
- Hospital mattresses are not really mattresses and they suck. It’s obviously for hygiene and infection control reasons, but they are basically like those mats you’d tumble on in P.E. back in the day. A bedsheet is stretched over them. The pillows are not real pillows and are made of some sort of foam. Everything about this visit was uncomfortable.
- On Saturday I regretted everything and just wanted to get home to my husband, who I missed terribly. On Sunday my feelings soured a bit more due to being stuck in the hospital, but I accept that I’ve got to turn my life around and I can’t attempt suicide again because it’ll just go awfully.
- There was a woman there who shouted a lot, especially at night. The nurses said she has dementia, but she also seemed very aware that she was causing a disruption. The night I got there, a nurse went over to ask why she was making so much noise, and her answer a couple of times was literally “Felt like it.”
On Saturday night she said there was a child on the ceiling with blue teeth, and a scrotum on a table that was looking at her.
- I didn’t shower the whole time I was there, because although there was a shower, I overheard nurses asking other patients who wanted to shower if they had brought shower gel and towels with them, which I had not. Of all the wards to do that on, AMU seems the weirdest because you don’t know that you’re gonna end up in A&E, so why would you have shower gel in your bag?
- I sweat more than I ever have in my entire life while reacting to the drip, and my sweat had an ungodly odour. I was stuck in drenched and odious clothes for days.
- I was ironically wearing my Kidney Research UK t-shirt on the day I tried to die and so this is what I was wearing in hospital. A nurse asked me about it so I mentioned I bought it to sponsor Ben a few years ago; I couldn’t remember exactly what he did but I think it involved climbing a mountain.
- A nurse saw my tattoo and asked me about Freya; I explained that her breed is Northern Inuit but the nurse thought I said “Northern Idiot.”
- A nurse came in and told me my son was on the phone. Can we get phone calls from beyond the fucking grave now? Nope, this woman just thought I had a 28 year-old son.
- I was also once referred to as “Mrs. Norris.”
- When I was being admitted a nurse thought I had Down Syndrome. I said “I think you mean Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.”
- Nurses gather to discuss patients at night, they try to be quiet about it but I, someone who is quite deaf, still overhead myself being referred to as “E1, the one who killed herself” in the PAST TENSE.
- I had a bit of a breakdown in which I believed I had either already died and was trapped in a version of the hospital forever, or that everyone knew I was going to die and just wasn’t being honest with me. I was surrounded by other patients in their 90s, who seemed like they were being cared for while they waited to die. Nobody could give me a straight answer about anything and when I asked a doctor if I was at least going to live after going through the ordeal with the drip, his tone of voice went very strange. And then I cried because I just couldn’t understand why I wasn’t allowed to go and die at home with my husband.
- I was put on a last drip on Saturday night after I had bloods taken. The drip was later halted when I was told that my bloods were now fine. This seems odd to me because they’d have to throw the rest of the infusion bag out, they may as well have given it to me as it would only have done good things for my organs.
- Was later told that actually, my bloods were not fine and I still had too much paracetamol in me. Was not, however, put back on the infusions, which spurred my “they are waiting for me to die” paranoia.
- Was told that I was only waiting for a mental health review and then I could go home.
- Was then told again that my bloods weren’t fine and they wanted me to stay ’til Monday or Tuesday.
- At this point I put my foot down and self-discharged. They weren’t putting me back on the drips, so no difference was being made by me being in the hospital. Surely I was blocking a bed for someone who needed it more. Different members of staff could not agree about my blood results. But they all thought my next blood test couldn’t be until Monday morning and wouldn’t take one right then to clear things up.
- The mental health reviewer turned up before Will did, so he talked to me about some stuff. I told him very frankly about why I attempted suicide. He wanted to take things all the way back to my parents though. I told him that was way too much to unpack.
- Eventually I got out of that hellhole and a friend drove us home. Another had been watching Freya.
- Apparently I might still lose my liver.
The paramedics took my letter to Will from our coffee table and unfortunately I didn’t get it back. I still have 2 for my sister and friend and I think it would give me some emotional closure to still give them to people but I don’t know. They contain the things I felt when I thought I genuinely wouldn’t exist and get to speak to those people again.
I feel like I should clarify that a lot of the nurses in hospital were very wonderful and caring. Others were just bizarre.
I didn’t want to have any of those hospital experiences. I wanted to die before they could happen. But apparently that’s not how it works. If you are thinking of taking an overdose, especially with paracetamol, I encourage you to look again at the bullet points above and think long and hard as to whether you want to endure those experiences. Even if someone doesn’t wake you up, chances are you will wake up anyway, as it actually takes a few days to die from the organ damage and not one night. You will be in for a lot of misery in the meantime and, honestly, just, don’t do it.
I’m not going to pretend that life is sunshine and rainbows now because it’s not. I’m still pretty fucked up. I’m glad to be home with my husband and pets again but that’s about it. I just, somehow, have to go on without attempting suicide again, as this experience really did a number on me. I had a lot of bad nights after attempts, but this was really something else.
I have a few follow-up things I have to deal with now that I’m out of hospital but I’m honestly done with talking about it.
Don’t kill yourself because it’s not worth the inevitable hospital experiences.
I know it’s proper cheesy to put this here but sue me.