Michael, October 26, 2017

Michael's blog

After being hospitalised for a number of days for the first time, fairly delirious, paranoid, and generally feeling unwell; my best friend came to visit. I had not seen him in many years, and this was a friend who I would see on almost a daily basis, someone who was always there, but having moved away it was no longer possible to see him as much. I had been unwell for a number of weeks and it was all new, unfamiliar, and distressing. Not only was I dealing with the illness itself, but now, finding myself in a hospital surrounded by new faces and settings it was all rather overwhelming. However, seeing a face that I used to know so well had a deep impact. It somewhat snapped me out of what had been, a distressful few weeks, to say the least. An illness which was untreatable at home, and required professional assistance and guidance.

Family came to visit at the time, my granddad visited numerous times, yet it did not have the same impact. It was always much appreciated and helped somewhat, and with hindsight was more effective than any medication that they were handing out. As being surrounded by something so alien was not helping at all. The comforting words and presence of friends and family certainly helped with recovering, those were the ones I could trust in a time when complete trust of most people had broken down. The trust issues were part of the illness, and nothing to do with the helpful and caring staff. It was all so surreal at the time, even on reflection.

The comforting words and presence of friends and family certainly helped with recovering

My best friend came to visit twice, and if I remember correctly he brought food on the second occasion. A burger and fries with a drink from a local food store. I hadn't eaten for what seemed like days or even weeks, too curious and suspicious of any food that was being handed out. A pale complexion and weakening body was evident of this. Nourishment was required. He said I devoured it, and it felt great to eat something, and was the first step of returning to good mental health. He encouraged the nurses to bring more food after I had devoured the burger which he had brought. The food cured a hunger that I wasn't even aware of at the time as I was so unwell. I felt looked after, from a genuine caring friend who had travelled a long way to see me, staying overnight in a hotel and away from his family. It is something that will never be forgotten.

The food cured a hunger that I wasn't even aware of at the time as I was so unwell.

From that moment I began to eat again, and eat a lot. I gained a lot of weight during my time in hospital, but mentally I was beginning to feel much stronger and much more capable of organizing thoughts and emotions. It was the beginning of a journey that eventually led to being able to return home and carry on with life. Where would I have ended up without a good friend's support and compassion, who can really say?

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