Charity work by Saint Alexandra. We recently travelled to Budapest for a Charity Work. We went to look after a young lady with a mental illness. The family says this illness has been going on for the past five years. However, it felt better when taking psychotic medication. The sickness became worse once the young lady decides to stop taking the drugs and has gone worse in the last eighteen months.
We are intensive care Nurses and specialise in Intensive Care Nursing. We were able to care for this young lady. Similarly, faced with enormous challenges. Usually, these group of patients come to Intensive Care Units after being stabilised within the Accident and Emergency Department for further Intensive Care Therapy. We learnt a lot from charity work established. Patience and professionalism was the keyword, empathy and compassion were paramount.
The experience gathered was traumatising and wondered how families cope with such trauma day in day out. Furthermore, families are fantastic in dealing with such illness every day without a single complaint.
Firstly, the young lady in question, she is going through a tough time, delayed education, withdrawal from social life, sleepless nights, loss of appetite, involuntary movements, irritations — furthermore, disturbances from this illness every second of the day.
What we are not quite sure of, is that the young lady and part of her family believe the illness is Spiritual Attacks from demons rather mental illness. This situation and belief was a massive challenge for us. How do we break the circle of such a theory? However, the patient said the psychotic drugs were only relieving symptoms, but the illness was still present. The young lady told us the side effects were terrible.
The lady says the Psychotic drugs stop her monthly menstruation, causes drowsiness, drooling from the mouth, body heat, weight gain. Similarly, she says, she is unable to stay out in the sun for more than one hour. The heat generates excessive body sweat. Also, she told the involuntary movement is a huge problem, and it started with one arm, then both arms and now all over the body, including twitching of the eyes and tics. She weighs less than 50kg.
Moreover, she presents a sound from her chest. It is like a laugh but not laughing. She also has delusions and hallucinations episodes and strange behaviours — strange behaviour like hugging the trees, flowers, spoon, smiling unnecessarily. Similarly, drawing in the air, dancing involuntarily and not aggressive at all.
The symptoms appeared to resemble severe Schizophrenia. Also, it seems like Myoclonus Seizures symptom.
Nonetheless, we were able to cook for her three times a day, buy food and fruits. Take for a day out, buy food from restaurants. We wash her clothes, though she can wash her clothes. She maintains the most activity of daily living. However, we are worrying, as the illness progresses, she may not be able to help herself. We got her a private flat, and Saint Alexandra covered the payment. We stayed for three weeks with her. However, we paid for our accommodation where we stayed.
The family has been advised to take the young lady to the hospital to see a Psychiatric. However, the young lady refused bluntly. We also recommend that she stop tobacco intake and seek help. Nicotine is useful and to see a specialist.