Well it is definitely not an accident but it is an emergency. The thing about BPD and self-harm is there is really no way to predict that today will be an A and E day. It can happen after a really sad, bad day or after a really positive upbeat and seemingly stable day.
Sitting painting my nails ready for the upcoming week at work. Must keep up those appearances! Sometimes it is just doing these little things that make you feel more together. When it gets particularly tough matching underwear improves the mood and gives a sense that if I can get myself together enough to have matching knickers and bra – I am the type of woman not to be messed with. I can do anything, they are like a super hero’s cape, only less obvious.
It had been a good day, I am watching Strictly Come Dancing, the results show, doing my nails, number one son is plugged into his head phones, she is having a shower. I am called, it is so strange how even a few syllables can denote emotion, you can hear the fear. This is a bad one, she has already made the trade-off of the potential embarrassment of being seen semi-naked against the knowledge that this needs help. Must have nicked a vein, it is messy, blood pooling in the shower tray, droplets on the floor, a bit of splashing on the wall….looks like a crime scene.
Stitches are going to be necessary, can tell this from a brief glance, Brownie Guide first aid training to the fore, it is all really basic, if you ignore that this is your child, your little girl and that she has done it to herself and, yet again, you didn’t see it coming. All the trawls of the bedroom and hidey holes have been ineffective.
You know the score, application of pressure, try to put the edges together or at least make it look a little tidier, elevate the limb, this is now a well-worn routine. Lean in turn the shower on, wash the congealing blood away. Remind yourself to get the bleach out from its safe place.
Unfortunately, not enough hands, am going to need some help, number one son needs to be deployed. He is not usually at the coal face, he really doesn’t need to see this. She is now quite woozy, clammy and shocked, her protestations about needing preserve her dignity are now being eclipsed by getting her to somewhere with enough safe so that if she falls she is not going to get a concussion on top of everything else. Also, we need to get to A and E and she needs to get dressed.
Number One son arrives on the scene, I get the arm and provide the support against falling over, he gets to hold the carefully draped towel.He hold the towel from behind, it is like a train. We process down the hall to the sitting room. I get a flash in my head of the world’s most bizarre bridal party, rocking up the aisle.
It is the dance of the one bath towel, like getting dressed on the beach; it is a long time since she has needed to be dressed. Wrestling her into her clothes, whilst staunching the bleeding, it ruins the nails.
We head off the A and E, we are regulars. We have our favourite staff, from the friendly receptionist, who recognises you and remembers her name, to the Nurse Practitioner who will do the stitches. Hell, we even know the cleaners. I would always go with a nurse rather than a doctor generally, they seem to be better with the stitches. Although, on this occasion they must have been short staffed so she got a surgeon, his stitch work was very good.
The lights are always so bright, the waiting room always so hot, sitting on the seats. The atmosphere is soporific, it is the combination of the heat, the bright lights, the hum of the vending machine and the leaking of the nervous energy, the adrenaline is leaving the scene.
Sitting there watching the end of the results show, with sub-titles, stroking her hair wondering when the next time we will be back and where this will end.