Friday, 3 June 2011

Feral Outbursts

Had a horrendous evening with Chrissy. She was simmering all evening, nagging, repetitive & agitated, then she kicked off with a massive outburst like the ones she had at Xmas. No obvious trigger or change in her normal routine. The explosion came when we were sitting on the settee watching TV & she asked for one of her catalogues. Ian helped to her find the one she was after & she started leafing through & commenting on photos in it. Then she started picking at some dry skin on her hand & became increasingly agitated. I tried to hold her hand but she wasn't having any of it. She elbowed me in the face – not deliberately – as she got to her feet, roaring over & over ‘want catalogue!’ & ran from room to room, beside herself. She then ran out of the front door onto the drive (something she's never done before) with me in hot pursuit, & stripped off. I called Ian in a panic, & he heaved her up off the ground. No mean feat. (She’s about 12 ½ stone). He managed to half carry her back into the house before anyone could have seen anything. Chrissy fought against our attempts to cover her up & continued to tear frenziedly around the house. She then threw herself on the lounge floor still roaring ‘want catalogue!’ yanking at her hair, pulling one leg right up over her head so she was virtually doing the splits, biting her hands and feet, yanking at her skin, & slamming her heels down on the wooden boards. (She once broke a heel doing this). A strange musky smell came from her, as it sometimes does in very severe/prolonged outbursts. She behaves like some feral creature, no longer human, as her limbic system takes over. The whole episode lasted about half an hour. They have lasted for two hours or more.

Despair and helplessness are my overriding emotions right now. 18 months in hospital & still so unstable. We never know what to expect from one week ot the next. Her meds changes are on hold because her platelet count has dropped, probably due to an increase in one of her drugs in readiness for the reduction of another. (It’s a drug reaction she’s had before & it once became life-threatening).

I’ve been asked to write a 1,800-word piece for a national newspaper (weaving in my views on the Panorama programme) about the reasons why we put Chrissy into residential care. Where do I start & would it really be a good idea right now?

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