So, first of all I wanted to say my psychiatric nurse is absolutely lovely person and a brilliant communicator. I can appreciate that especially because, as an autistic person, I have a history of failed attempts at receiving support from various people and organisations. I will not be going into details here but it all used to end in not very pleasant conversation as I felt constantly misunderstood and forced to do things that didn’t work for me.
And the sad thing is, receiving autism diagnosis didn’t really change a thing, possibly even made it worse.
And yet, my stay in psychiatric hospital after my second psychotic episode was absolutely refreshing and full of hope for the better, with all staff providing the kind of support that put me at ease.
Then, after I was discharged, I had a bit of misunderstanding with a previous nurse that I was allocated but then things suddenly changed and This Nurse came to the rescue. Oh well, don’t get me wrong, she can also make a mistake, be late, not respond to a text message and loose paper work but then she’s just a human like everyone else and must probably be very busy with other patients.
I’m trying to work out what it is actually that makes me think she’s different but I can’t put my finger on it. However, there was a situation today that made me realise what a good patient relationship I have with her.
So, she texted me at lunch time asking if I can meet her at 3. I thought, that’s a bit sudden, especially that she didn’t reply to my text last week, but then I was not asking about any emergency support and I’m not working at the moment so she is probably just trying to fit me in when she realised she’s got time, which is fine.
When I turned up receptionist was on the phone so instead of checking in I texted my nurse to let her know I arrived. She texted me back that she’s out and she didn’t expect me as I didn’t reply to her. It turned out my text confirming the appointment didn’t get delivered!
I then asked her if she wanted to rearrange but she didn’t reply. I didn’t know where she was, possibly she didn’t reply because she was driving to get to see me, but I wasn’t sure. And I was just sat there, waiting for her, thinking that, as appointments are always for an hour, I’ll wait till 4pm before I leave. I didn’t even go to the reception to ask about anything.
If it was somebody else, people who used to support me in the past, I’d probably tell them it’s not my fault that the text didn’t get delivered and I can’t wait any longer, but the truth is, I had this hour allocated for her anyway so I could easily wait and that’s what I did.
Even though I may not know what it is about my nurse that makes me think she’s different, I know how I want to behave towards her.
Even though I don’t necessarily know how I feel about something or somebody, I can still act my feelings out: by waiting for my nurse, even though I didn’t know if she’s going to turn up, I acted out my feeling of being at ease with her. Acting out doesn’t have to be just about negative feelings like most people think.