Back to PICU


After some time, on a Friday, just before lunch, I absconded from the acute ward. I had been waiting in front of the entrance for someone to come in or go out so when I got the chance I quickly managed to escape even though the alarm was pressed by the receptionist.

I immediately got a taxi to my sister’s house where I confronted my brother in law. He hit my head with a nutcracker.  I remember feeling warmth on the side of my face and looking at the mirror to see my face covered in blood. The police turned up. They saw me in a bloody state and put me in their van.

I would hear later that because my brother in law was uninjured the police realised he was the assailant and he was arrested and held in police cells for eight hours. The police returned me to the acute ward. I was wearing white clothes which had become red with blood.

Everyone on the ward, from nurses to patients were concerned for me and asked me what had happened.  I wasn’t keen on sharing information so I didn’t say anything.  I was taken by a member of staff to accident and emergency to have my head injury looked at. The injury was minor but I bled profusely.

The police interviewed me later on that day trying to get a picture of what actually happened. My sister and brother visited that day too. I was placed on one-to-one observation which is when a member of staff stays with a patient day and night.

It was restrictive and annoying. Later on that day I started to attempt to abscond from the ward. I was isolated in my room with a member of staff constantly in front of my room. I kept running as fast as I could to the entrance which had two doors to get through. I failed in my attempts to escape but over the weekend I kept trying. The alarm was activated every time I tried to escape..

I remember ordering chips and curry from the Chinese takeaway and being allowed to sit in the lounge to eat. I got to know some of the staff who were shadowing me as we would talk about different subjects.  The other patients would stand in front of my room and ask me how I was and if I needed anything.

So the weekend passed like this and I just couldn’t relax or settle, I would walk up and down constantly in my room, anxious and paranoid, thinking I was being instructed to attempt to escape.  My escape and getting injured and the constant attempts to abscond meant that I couldn’t be managed on the acute ward. On the following Monday I was transported to the PICU for my second admission there.

When you are admitted onto the PICU the first thing they do is a body search to make sure you aren’t bringing anything into the unit. At the time mobile phones weren’t allowed. I was already familiar with the process so I wasn’t too anxious about being at the PICU again.

My friend D was still there and I met R who was obsessed with a woman and would keep asking me to pray for the lady to love him too. I would order Donner meat and chips a couple of times a week and put on more weight.  The policy has changed at the PICU over the years and now takeaways are only allowed once a week. I agree with this policy wholeheartedly.

It was hard being on a one-to-one and being isolated in my room. My head did hurt for a few days after being assaulted but it could have been worse.

Have you been on a one-to-one? Have you been isolated on a ward?  If so, please share.

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  1. Whether or not an individual is suffering mental illness and has been sectioned under the Mental Health Act 1984 and Mental Capacity Act 2005, and determines that they wish to escape a unit against their best interests, I would like to clarify that smacking someone around the head with a nut cracker, i.e. a weapon, to draw blood is a criminal offence or several, whereas escaping a unit is against a legally binding order but it is not a criminal offence in and of itself per se. Of course there might be arguments about how that individual came to escape, to avoid it happening again, as many do this and end up committing suicide. I know this from appearance at Inquests. That is the issue with understaffing and insecure units.

    There may be arguments about what reasonable force is, or acting in self defence entails, of course.

    Either way, it is a traumatic event and I hope you are on the mend physically and mentally. Best wishes in your continued recovery.

  2. Very intense and difficult time but I’m glad you feel comfortable to share your story with others. I pray you’re doing well and those overwhelming feelings have subsided ❤️

  3. Salaam

    I cannot even begin to imagine the suffering you went through, I can only pray to Allah Ta’ala that He grants you Afiyah and safety in all worldly and Deen affairs.

    Allah Ta’ala in his infinite wisdom knows what is best for us, people who suffer in this temporary life will rejoice when they see the reward which is in store for them in the hereafter.

    May Allah Ta’ala make us from the patient and allow us to always turn to Him in difficulty and ease.


  4. Wow what a story! I’m sorry you got injured, but the obvious question seems to be: why were you so angry with your brother-in-law that you felt the need to escape and confront him? Maybe getting to the bottom of this will help you find some peace. Maybe a counselor can help you work through this?
    Good luck.



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