TUESDAY 29th JANUARY 2018
5.30am. Awoken to have my blood pressure taken and upon finish fell straight back to sleep. This episode reminds me of being a kid when my Mum would wake me in the morning for school and I’d fall back to sleep grabbing those extra precious five or ten minutes.
6.50pm. BOOM ! My eyelids explode into a reddish colour with a nurse shouting in Cantonese “breakfast at 7am get up”. I roll out of bed sitting precariously on the edge of it with tiny slits for eyes then open up the top drawer of my cabinet (patient number 9) slowly taking out my toothbrush and toothpaste in preparation to brush my teeth in the bathroom.
7am. Breakfast time on this chilly morning in Hong Kong consists of one bowl of congee, one bread roll. Take it or leave it.
7.20am. Back to my new bed to carry on filling up my sleep tank.
8.45am. I’m one of the first for a shower this morning.
9am. O.T Time (occupational therapy) I’ve signed up to attend every morning and afternoon classes this week.
We (the patients) line up in the corridor behind the “NO ENTRY / DE-MILITARISED ZONE” unmissable black and yellow sticker tape on the floor. I feel like a miscreant in jail with two of the male nurses ushering us to the lift in synchronised military fashion.
When in the lift it is the first time I’m aware that the psychiatric ward is situated on the seventh floor, not the third as I had originally thought. One of the nurses pushes the button for the third floor and a short while later the door opens. Again we are ushered out of the lift in single file to a large room that reminds me of a primary school classroom with teachers. It’s the O.T. room and we are here after a completely successful precision military operation. I’m unsure what four zombie space cadet patients from the male psych ward are going to do, because we are that doped up we’d get about three metres before forgetting we were trying to escape dressed in ridiculous pyjama’s.
In the O.T. room we do morning exercises for ten minutes once a few of the female patients from the women’s psych ward have arrived. After which I read the paper and spend 45 minutes on the Internet catching up on the footie particularly my team Manchester United and the Premier League.
11.15am. Military precision time again getting us back to our psych ward, it’s a dangerous world out there.
11.30am. Lunch Time : two scoops of mashed potatoes, chicken in sauce and cabbage.
Midday. Cassie calls to send me all her love and support. I wish I was lay next to her in bed making love, all the way over there in Denver. In my drugged up state I keep getting mixed up with Kansas, Dorothy and the yellow brick road. I love you babe.
1.45pm. There is a clandestine operation in progress to get four nuts job patients to attend O.T. We get there in one piece where I spent the rest of my time surfin’ the net looking for jobs in Hong Kong and P.R. companies for my record label. Perfect, because these sort of activities give me a purpose and hope away from the confines of the psych ward. Suddenly my surfin’ is up as the J7 swat team arrive escorting us back in single file through the corridor to the lift then, the psych ward.
5pm. Dinner Time! Two scoops of mashed potatoes, fish and cabbage.
6pm. Greg turns up with goodies – South China Morning Post newspaper, hot chocolate and a tuna melt from the Pacific Coffee downstairs in the outside world. He also brings me chocolate digests and an orange juice. What a great man and friend. Thanks for everything you’ve done for me I truly appreciate it but…You’re still a Southern dick head. Hehe!
We had the longest conversation since I came in here although I did struggle at times forgetting what we were talking about. Even so it was wonderful to sit, talk and spend time with a good friend.
7.25pm. Greg bids me farewell.
7.30pm. Medication time for the chosen few patients and once that is over the shutter slowly comes screeching up with patients poised cup in hand ready to be the first to get their warm milk and biscuits. The reason being is that if you are near the end of the queue all the warm milk has gone.
9pm. Medication Time. It’s cold today, which isn’t helped by the aircon pumping out cold air too. I take my medication and prepare myself for bed.
9.30pm. I’m in bed tucked up on this chilly night in one of the dormitories on the J7 psychiatric ward at The Queen Mary Hospital in Hong Kong. My mind is slowly regaining some balance together with more clarity and the thought of where I am is overwhelmingly surreal. I need to work to get out of here and slowly rebuild my life.