6.30am. A late blood test this morning, though I’m not complaining because I get some extra sleep, after which I decide to stay awake for breakfast.
7.15am. I jump back under the covers to grab a touch more sleep before I’m called for my shower.
8.30am. Shower time! I’m always monitored by a male member of staff who stands outside the door checking on me periodically incase I have taken in any sharp implements with the intent of doing harm to myself. So stringent are the rules my tiny bottle of eye drops has been confiscated.
8.45am. Operation O.T. again this morning as five patients including me are escorted down to the third floor into the much warmer occupational therapy room, and I’m straight over to a P.C. to check out the latest football news. After I’d spent a whole hour updating myself with all the footie news I sit back down at one of the long desks with a small bucket of coloured pencils to continue working on my graffiti artwork that I’d started yesterday.
10.15 – 11.15am. Is spent working on the graffiti piece that is going to be a present for Ching.
11.15am. The Special Airborne Division has arrived in preparation to take us on the treacherous journey back up four floors to our Baltic ward.
11.30am. Lunchtime. I still find it hard to refer to it as “lunchtime” because growing up back home in Manchester it was: brekkie, dinner and tea. At school the term used was dinner lady not lunch lady, because that just sounds weird.
Anyway! Two scoops of watered down mashed potatoes, pork in sauce and cabbage.
Midday. My baby calls precisely at midday as she has done everyday I’ve been in here, giving me something to look forward to coupled with the steadiness of regularity. Today the line was particularly bad resulting in her having to call five times.
12.30pm. I play some solitaire with a pack of old cards I find in the lounge and I didn’t win a game.
2pm. “Let’s get ready to rumble!” It’s O.T. Time and the miscreants are herded down to the third floor. I surf the net for about thirty minutes then I ask for my graffiti artwork that I’m doing for Ching so I can work on it some more. (Some more) being one and a half hours.
4pm. I stay in line dressed in my pyjamas and light blue jacket (I’m wearing two of them because it’s cold) and we are marched into the lift up to our ward.
4.40pm. Greg the superstar arrives with a Big Mac Meal. What a wonderful friend to be looking after me while I’ve been in here.
Greg is the one who suggested in early January on seeing the mess I was in that I needed to go to the psychiatric ward where I could receive professional help and care. He told me that I needed to first except I was powerless against my bipolar (The Other Paul), I shouldn’t feel ashamed and I had an illness that needed treating. It took me a week to finally except how unwell I was and yet again, there was Greg to escort me to the psych ward at The Queen Mary Hospital.
I can’t imagine how Greg felt on that first afternoon having to leave a close friend in such distress on the psych ward, then turning his back and walking away, especially knowing I didn’t have a fuckin’ clue what was happening.
I’m incredibly lucky and eternally grateful to have Greg as my friend because without him, I wouldn’t be writing my journal sat on this ward on the road to recovery.
4.50pm. I scoff my Big Mac Meal. Yummy!
5pm. I go back into the dining room to eat my two scoops of mashed potatoes, cucumber and beef in sauce.
Another young patient has arrived on the ward.
5.15pm. I go back to the lounge to sit and chat with Greg and finish of the rest of my McDonalds fries making me realise how bland the hospital food is compared to the taste sensation I’ve just experienced from my McDonalds.
6pm. Greg goes on a mission to the Seven-Eleven and Pacific Coffee to get me some supplies – a hot chocolate and the South China Morning Post newspaper.
We sit talking until 7pm then Greg decides it’s time to leave so he can make the 7.30pm ferry back to Lamma Island in time to put his two boys to bed.
7.30pm. Medication, warm milk and biscuit time.
Wow! The new lad who was admitted to the ward today is looking extremely agitated.
I decide against milk tonight because I’m feeling stuffed after my McD’s, hot chocolate and munchies, though I did get two biscuits I gave to Ching.
8pm. I go to the toilet and as I go to walk out I bump into the new patient at the door who gives me the evils before walking off. I think with him being new to the ward together with the fact that I’m the only westerner he is standing his ground and puffin’ out his chest with a show of bravado.
I’m also fully aware that I’m on a psychiatric ward with fifteen other patients who are all unpredictable fuckin’ nutters, me included.
Did he really give me the evils? Or did I imagine it? Who am I?
Arghhhhhhhhhh my head hurts!!!
9pm. Medication time at the nuthouse and I’m definitely one of them. Hahaha!
Meds in hand – in mouth – drink of water – swallowed – Thomas Hitman Hearns jab.
Night night party people in the place to be.