Even though I am dying of acute kidney failure due to infection I still have time to talk about my experience of being in a mental health hospital.
I have been in Goodmayes hospital twice this year once in May and again in August, September and early October.
My experience is not one I would wish on even the most horrible of human beings. For starters being in Goodmayes is like being in prison.
They confiscate your mobile phone if your phone has a camera and Wifi capability, which is pretty much every phone these days.
This means you have to use their office phone to call your family and you can only do this between certain times. In the case of Goodmayes it’s between 10 and 11am, 3 and 4pm and 6 to 7pm.
It’s like being a convicted criminal and getting your phone call.
Your family have to call the office if they want to speak to you and whether they get to is dependant on whether a staff member is around in the office to answer the phone.
Then there’s mealtimes which are breakfast between 8 and 9am, lunch between 12 and 12.30pm and dinner which is around 5.30pm ish.
At lunch and dinner the patients are treated like school children and have to sit down whilst a list of names is made up and they are called out one by one.
This list does not apply to “afters” where patients hussle to get desert.
At night time around 9.30ish after the night time handover the patients are offered toast, slices of cheese and hot chocolate.
The first time I was in I looked forward to toast and chocolate like it was Christmas but the second time around as I had no appetite and no thirst I didn’t.
Medication times are morning, afternoon, evening and night and what times each patient is given medication is dependant on their own medication charts.
The first time I was in I only had meds in the morning but the second it was morning and night.
Patients have to que at the clean utility door and medication with water is given.
This often leads to some arguments over who’s first and next and I saw some near fights break out.
As for the staff I have to say most of them tried to be nice but some were rude and didn’t want to be helpful.
There was one guy who I found to be particularly unhelpful and disagreeable and when I was being put on home leave and I asked him to check where my taxi was he bluntly said “NO”. To which another patient said “What a bastard”. My thoughts exactly. Or rather what a total cunt.
Overall the staff never look or act like they want to help you. The first time I was in they lost an important document I needed for a hospital appointment to get my plaster casts off at Queens. They seemed in no hurry to find it and I had to badger them to look for it.
Also on the first time I was in when I was being sent home the staff seemed in no hurry to help me get my stuff out of the property room.
But what made my first time at Goodmayes even worse was the constant hassling by this French guy who was a Muslim and wanted me to become one.
He also kept hassling me to use my mobile phone to call his sister as I was allowed to keep it for a while as the nurse in charge reasoned that I didnt know about the no camera phone rule before I was admitted.
But after constant hassling to use it by that French prick I turned it off and surrendered it to the staff until I was released.
Both occasions Goodmayes was hell, the second time was worse because of the not urinating or passing stool.
I don’t ever want to go back but I am going to die anyway so it does not matter where I am.