Suicide and a family left behind. 

I try to sleep, every night and everything inside me rings why did he do it? I think about him every single day. My life growing up knowing my Dad had got to a point of feeling so low that he decided to end his own life and not one single person suspected that he was even depressed. It’s chilling. I hate the words ‘committed suicide’ because he didn’t commit anything. He died from an illness called depression. A silent invisible  illness. A death by suicide. 

On the 13/08/1998 my Dad died by suicide. He left behind a 4 year old son and 2 daughters aged 6 & 8. He left behind a huge loving family and a big close circle of friends. He also left behind my Mam, a 25 year old woman who was going to be raising 3 small children on her own.  

I wil never ever forget that day my Mam found out that he died. Her friend knocked on the door and she just knew. The screams and the cries. I was only 6 and I still remember that so clear and vivid. We were told he died because he was sick until we were old enough to know what happened. It became apparent that it was suicide and only in the past few years I do realise yes he was sick. He died from a silent illness called depression.

Growing up I used to remember every Christmas when we would write our Christmas lists for Santa, I wrote once on number one of the list that I wanted my dad back for Christmas. My Mam used to have to sit down and try to explain that it won’t happen. We all had lockets with his picture inside it, it was to show that he is still with us, just not visible but he’s always there. I’m so thankful my Mam had done that for us. When I was in school I used to be haunted with ‘she has no Da’. My Mam used to just say tell them you do have a dad he’s just in heaven.

Every single Sunday we used to go to the graveyard to see his grave, followed by a trip to my nannies house and then we used to go upto bray ammusents. We used to pick stones that were heart shaped and write DAD on them and put them on the grave.  It was more of a distraction to get us through the hardest thing we’ve ever had to face.  It was brilliant that my Mam done that for us. I will never forget those days.  There was just one person missing and that was our Dad. 
Something il never forget was One night , me and my Mam were asleep on the sofa and the door flew open and a big gush of wind blew in and knocked everything off the fireplace and the only thing that flew into the fire was my dads memory card. My Mam used to look at that every day and just cry. I think this was a sign for my Mam to get on with her life. I still think he done this. It was a sign. 

I don’t have a single photo with him, it kills me. My sister has one photo with him. Something to treasure. I have nothing but small memories. I will always remember going to kiliney beach with him, my brother and sister. We had fun and he used to beep the horn right around the bends. I have small memories of me falling asleep in my nannies house and he cycled me home or when I split my head open and having him beside me when I was getting stitches. Really small memories. 

Due to suicide my father has missed out on a life ahead of him, he’s missed out on seeing us graduate from school, my sister graduating from college, my brother who needed that father figure in his life, he’s like his double. I wish he had got to see his first grandchild be born. I will remind Charlie that his grandad is very special man is looking over him every day. Over the past few weeks we’ve had a big family wedding, his brothers suprise 50th, with every one there, all his friends and family. Everyone was still talking about him which is nice to see. Everyone was saying that he would be first up on the dance floor.  On the wall at the party there were loads of photos of him. It was nice to see him in the photos with a smile on his face. It’s still a reminder that a smile can hide a million thoughts. 

I used to never think why anyone would even get that low to do such a thing as going as far a ending a life. Depression is a horrible thing, it doesn’t care who it affects. It has affected me, I’m still trying to fight  the demons in my head.

When my Dad died by suicide it wasn’t like nowadays. The awareness is there and it has came out that 1 in 4 are affected by a mental illness. Because the awareness is there now it’s time to act on it. Our government cut the mental health budget by 20 million. That in itself is like death sentence for many people. Our government rely on charities such as pieta house and aware  to fix their problems. It’s is so bad. In Ireland the average death rate by phychiatric problems is between 450-500 people per year. Now just imagine that was deaths by road accidents, it would be an outroar for our government and it would be classified as a national emergency. But mental Heath in this country seems to be forgotten. In 2016, 151 people died in adult phychiatric units in this country. It’s sickening.

While I’m delighted people are coming forward and highlighting the state of our mental health services in this country. If someone is suicidal they are given anti-depressants because the wait in the public system is 12 weeks. I’m sorry but 12 weeks is not enough. We need action now. People don’t have 60 euro a week for private counselling because this country can’t provide a good standard of mental health treatment. In Britain if you feel suicidal they have 24/7 walk in suicide crisis centres provided by the NHS.  I just can’t understand why this isn’t standard here. I got to a point of feeling so low that I didn’t think I could go on in this life, I truely believed that everyone would be better off without me, I didn’t sleep at all. My boyfriend got me to go to private counselling and he paid for it for me. If I didn’t have this support and be able to provide it financially, I don’t even want to know where I’d be right now.  It has helped me to understand my feelings a lot more and helped me deal with the situations I face much better with a clearer understanding of life. I also think the media have a massive affect on people getting help because when you see the horror stories, sure why would you want help in this country if that’s how bad it is. 

Due to a suicide it has a massive affect on a family and friends. Every single person I spoke to are all the same. They had no understanding of why my dad died by suicide. His friend  told me that she saw him that day and he was buzzing to go to a party that night and that was the same night he was found. 

Tomorrow marks the 19th anniversary of my Dads Death. He was just 26 when it happened. Just a message to say I know I was very young when you died, I think about you everyday and I wish you were here to see us when we were growing up and to meet you’re first grandchild.  I truely hope you found happiness and peace wherever you are. Miss you every day. Ray Mulligan a name not to forget.

Kellie xxx

My say on everything the past 24 hours. 

I never set out for the post to be an attack against any doctors, I will always state that in Ireland we hold some of the best doctors in the world. My respiratory team over in Vincent’s are the best I’ve came across, they go above and beyond to try and help me. In which I am forever grateful to have them on my side through all of this. 

My intentions on the whole thing was to say that it is dangerous for people with chronic conditions to be going through A&E. Having a direct access to the teams or having more specialised wards would benefit more in the long run and keep accident and emergency departments for just accident and emergency only. I understand as a country we don’t have enough staff or funding to do this. Putting pressure on our government would maybe see some change. It took CF patients a long long time for adequate care in this country. Unfortunately it has all been taken up the wrong way and came across as an attack against a certain doctor because it took a long time to be listened to. I just shared my honest story. 

Over the past 24 hours I’ve been attacked by people who don’t know me or know my condition, I’ve had people judge me from a 600 word post on the I’m so angry and have am feeling extremely anxious about the whole thing. Anxiety has me feeling like the whole world is against me at the minute. I’m failing to see the good comments and focusing on the bad, I know I shouldn’t but I am.

People’s comments on it have been vile, never should it be ok to tell someone they should kill themselves. It’s not ok for that sort of behaviour to be acceptable. It’s also worrying when people are claiming to be doctors and thinking they can read a chest X-ray. That says a lot about them.

In the light of all of this I’ve had the post removed from the journal Facebook page because it’s not worth the anxiety. 

Thank you to the supporters 💙

Another day with no answers…

Yesterday I had a cardiothoracic appointment in a Dublin hospital for 12.05. I am only getting over having high temperatures now and have been on antibiotics and steroids for a few days now. I wasn’t called into that room until nearly 5 o’clock. The CF clinic started while I was there and they were all coming in and out. It’s so dangerous to be sitting in a room full of people with other respiratory diseases while being infected myself. I just don’t understand why I didn’t get an appointment for half 4 if I was going to be sitting there all day. 

I was finally called by the surgeon and he basically said there is nothing we can do for you until you are in a situation where you are coughing up so much blood that it’s an emergency. 3 weeks ago I went to A&E coughing up blood as advised, however when I was seen by the Junior doctor there she done the usual bloods,x-ray and said she would contact my Resp team. I was hooked upto a bag of fluids. She came back with a discharge letter stating that the bloods were fine and I was ok to go home, she also told me that she couldn’t get in contact with the Resp team and they wouldn’t pick up the bleep. I walked to the shop in the hospital and bumped into my respiratory team who said no one had tried to get in contact with them. It doesn’t make sense to be told to go to A&E and you’re respiratory team don’t get contacted.

While during my admission, I was given 3 options 1) do nothing and leave the disease the way it is. 2) embolise the sequestration but then that wasn’t an option. Or 3) take the last remaining lobe of the lung. I was told to think about it so  I said fine take the last remaining part and then he refused it. What is the point in options if they aren’t going to be options in the end. 

Yesterday with cardiothoracics the surgeon told me to go to A&E the next time I am coughing up blood. I asked for a letter from him and the Resp team stating that I should go through A&E and he refused. He told me any information I want I should put in a FOI (freedom of informtation) request. This isn’t a FOI request I need it’s simply a small letter from him. I have refused to go through A&E anymore as it’s a waste of my time and there doesn’t be anything done through the end. He kept going on about the several meetings that we had while I was in hospital for 4 weeks. I had to keep reminding him that I can’t remember much of what was said as I had collapsed in there and hit my head on the ground which left a really bad post fall concussion. My short-term memory is gone as a result of this fall and I still have a bump on my head. There was a silence. I also asked what would the point in continuing with respiratory be if I still have to go through A&E if I become acutely unwell.

I’m taking this further because I definitely believe that I am entitled to the best standard of care. I don’t care if this is a public system and it’s messed up. I have been in contact by the media and I refused to take it that far but now I’m seriously considering it because all I can see is an absolutely shockingly standard of care. It is absolutely dangerous to be sitting around other people with diseases. The chance of cross infection is too high. I have been through A&E a million times coughing up blood and each time there has been nothing done at all. I will be writing to the board of the hospital, the complaints and comments officer, I will be writing to Simon Harris and Leo vadkar and taking it to every local TD as a result to try and get a normalised standard of care. I am fighting this on my own because I don’t have a backbone such as the CF patients, they have CF specialist nurses and CF Ireland to back them up. The COPD patients have their COPD outreach teams.  I don’t have any of that. I have a disease that I’m the only person in Ireland with. I don’t have people supporting my back. Everytime I ring the respiratory nurses they can only say go through A&E. 

If everyone who has read this can you’s please share. It would mean the world to me to get everyone behind if you believe this should not be happening. 

Thanks for reading.

Kellie Tallant 

Waiting lists……

While in hospital I was seen by cardiothoracic surgeons, intravenous radiology, pain management and of course my respiratory team.

I was sent home with a 6 month prescription for solpadol which is a strong painkiller used to treat moderate pain and only because I’m allergic to morphine and tramadol. This pain killer is highly addictive, so being sent home with a 6 month prescription doesn’t make sense. I was also sent home with 25mg of Amitriptyline, while taking this for 4 weeks I gained 25lbs in weight. I was even offered to go on a methadone trial. I was also told I’d see pain management in outpatients within 2-3 weeks.

However I got a letter in the door saying I’m now on a waiting list to see anaesthesiology and that il get an appointment  within 12 months. But while I was an inpatient I was seen by pain management and they told me 2-3 weeks. What the hell? Why not just be honest with me in the first place? But don’t be surprised when I’m extremely frustrated.

I wake up every single day in aginosing pain. It’s known that Pulmonary Sequestrations can cause extreme pain, but yet this isn’t a priority. I’d absolutely hate to see what other patients are like if this is what my life is like because to be honest this feels like hell on earth. It comes with a lot of guilt because I have a small child to look after in all this. I’m stuck with unimaginable pain and now going to be left even longer like this. 

I also have a lung infection at the minute, I had to get to my GP straight away because if I leave it longer for the infection to get worse, it’s going to make the scar tissue worse which also means more pain.

I get so pissed off being a patient in the public healthcare system, if I could afford health insurance I would have it in a heartbeat but I can’t and it’s nearly impossible to get a company to insure me with this extent of lung disease.

Kellie Tallant xxx

Determination will get you through anything in life….

I joined a gym a few months ago and collapsed on the treadmill, I never went back because I died with embarrassment but I was determined that lung disease didn’t have me I was more determined than ever before.

Everyone was like are you mad! You might kill yourself!! Like working out isn’t going to kill me, it improved my lung function up 16%! People with lung diseases this is like winning some money on the lottery! It’s Golden!! It means I’m winning!

Since being in hospital and starting new medication I gained 1stone and 4lbs, my apitite not being great on some days other days I could eat the house out! I went to my GP cause I gained 8.5lbs in 1 week. She said there might be a fluid build up and done bloods but they were all good so I joined a gym! But a lot of the side effects of the medications I’m on is weight gain. (Boo Hoo)😂

On Monday I had a personal training session and he gave me a personal workout plan, sure I was only delighted with myself. I done a small bit of cardio and got an instant headache like I felt a rotten pressure in the top of my head which led onto a migraine for the night, I’d say that’s cause I had a post fall concussion only 5 weeks ago and my short term memory still hasn’t came back, I still have a bump on my head from the fall!!  

That still didn’t stop me! When I got out of hospital I felt like my life was going downhill, applying for a disability payment was the final straw because this meant my illness got me and I’m officially too sick to work. I wanted something to combat the negative thoughts because I don’t want to live my life as the girl who is always sick. My determination has got me to a point where I refuse to let my illness get me, today I went to the gym and done a small bit of cardio and coughed up blood so I think cardio is out of the equation and just focus on weights! But when I walked out of that gym, I felt on top of the world. I have something else to focus on rather than this shitty lung disease that life has gave me.  

The hardest step was thinking right I’m gonna do it, I’m gonna take that step and go and work out! When I first stepped into that gym I felt so out of my depth, but I realised everyone is here for the same reason. Just like slimming world, everyone is there to achieve the same goal! Weather it’s just for more confidence and to feel good or just lose a few lbs! 

I’m in the middle of deciding to take my blog ‘theinsandoutsofkellie’ to Instagram or Facebook pages! I’d love to know everyone’s input on this, should I do this?

Again I appreciate every single person that takes time out of their day to read and share my blog posts! They are going places, people are reading them and sharing with their colleagues and it really makes me feel so good for writing them. It gives me a sense of worth when people are mailing me and commenting on my posts! I’d love to know your inputs on pages. 

Thank you 

Kellie xxx

What it’s like being a patient in the Irish healthcare system, an open account to minister Simon Harris….

I’m so frustrated, I hate being a patient in the Irish healthcare system. I feel like people with chronic conditions aren’t  being treated properly. 

Through the months of  April and May I spent a total of 4 weeks in hospital. I was brought in as an elective admission after I wrote my doctors a 6 page letter detailing how my illness has affected my life in total. My life is on hold until they find a solution to treat my lung diseases as I’m currently the only patient in The world with both of my illnesses. They are Swyer-James McLeod syndrome and an intralober pulmonary sequestration.

What are these diseases?  most people would ask including most Doctors I meet.

Swyer–James syndrome is a manifestation of postinfectious obliterative bronchiolitis. In SJS, the involved lung or portion of the lung does not grow normally and is slightly smaller than the opposite lung. The characteristic radiographic appearance is that of pulmonary hyperlucency, caused by overdistention of the alveoli in conjunction with diminished arterial flow.

pulmonary sequestration (bronchopulmonary sequestration or cystic lung lesion), is a medical condition wherein a piece of tissue that ultimately develops into lung tissue is not attached to the pulmonary arterial blood supply, as is the case in normally developing lung. As a result, this sequestered tissue is not connected to the normal bronchial airway architecture, and as a result, fails to function in, and contribute to, respiration of the organism. 

Normally sequestrations are quite small because they are almost always seen in small children, the difference about mine is that it’s now covering 50% of the remaining lung because I was only diagnosed at the age of 22.

With this complex dual pathology  of the left lung, I currently stand as the only person in the world with this at the minute. 

In February 2015 I had a left upper lobectomy because I had a severely diseased left upper lobe of my lung, it was functioning on a small percentage of just 1.9% perfusion. 

After surgery I was still experiencing symptoms of coughing up blood and infections every 4-6 weeks, breathing was difficult and I was under a doctor who was suggesting I was making this up. I have another blog post on that if you read back. 

I was told with my last inpatient admission that it’s best to leave the lung the way it is and that if I experience symptoms of coughing up blood I should present myself to A&E. My problem with A&E isn’t the best to be honest, I’ve expressed this a million times with many doctors, it is not a dumping ground for patients!

Here’s a senario for you that I’ve experienced in the past

I go to A&E coughing up blood after a week of infection. Oral antibiotics and steroids hadn’t worked with the week leading upto this. My GP had sent me with a letter for A&E if the Antibiotics didn’t work. I go to A&E and I’m put on a trolley for 26 hours, I wait 2 hours to see a medical doctor, I then wait to get X-rays, bloods etc: the ED doctor comes back and says ‘oh you’re bloods show infection, were going to admit you and you’ll see you’re medical doctors in the morning’ the medical doctors Come and say we’ll get the respiratory Doctors to see you, by this point it’s 16 hours on a trolley, with fluids and IV antibiotics. I’m open for cross infection because I have a chronic lung disease. 10 hours later I finally have a bed. I’m tired beyond belief, I’ve had no privacy, I’ve then had to go to a public toilet to change from my clothes into my pajamas. I’ve heard &seen everything by this point, I see security running after a mental health patient who has been sectioned trying to escape from the hospital, I’ve heard elderly confused patients screaming down the department confused and don’t know where they are, I’ve seen the Garda coming in with patients.  

It’s so unfair that this is my only option, I am only home from hospital 2 weeks and I’m now experiencing agonising pain and starting to cough up blood again!!  I dread the fact that il be on a trolley for hours apon hours waiting to see a doctor. I just don’t know why all patients with chronic conditions don’t have other options rather than A&E if you’re experiencing symptoms between you’re outpatients appointments. Why don’t we have access to skip A&E? 

Also what’s even more unfair is that I saw pain management as a inpatient, after 4 weeks in hospital I saw them on the very last day, they started a mountain of pain killers and I was told they would see me as an outpatient, I was in respiratory clinic on Monday the 22nd of May and I was told I would see pain management within 2-3 weeks. However I’m home from hospital 2 weeks and I’ve rang respiratory nurses and they know nothing about it. I rang the pain management secretary and she said I need to get my GP to send a referral in and I should see them within about 5-6 months. Like c’mon how is that fair? 

Since been diagnosed with Lung Disease, my only backbone has been my GP! Yet another service definitely underfunded. I visited my GP again today and she was again lovely. Reviewed my medication and dropped a dose of one of my pain killers as it’s made me gain fluid retention and causing every muscle in my body to hurt. She also done bloods, normally my GP won’t do bloods because it’s not funded on the medical card but it became a matter of urgency. She also gave me yet another letter for A&E if I’m still coughing up blood during the night. 

Today in the post I got the patient survey, I can’t wait to fill it out already. 

Let’s see if Simon Harris replies to this 🙈

When you feel like giving up, clearing my mind…..

Yesterday I was discharged from hospital after a whole month in there. I leave feeling the exact same as I did the week I was admitted, if not worse. 

The pain in my chest has got worse, my breathing feels worse, I feel like giving up and walking away from the respiratory services altogether because it’s leaving me with still no answers. Although they think it’s important to keep up the services on a 4 week basis. I think not the way things are going. 

On Tuesday, on my own I met with the surgeons, radiologists and my respiratory consultant. They went through the scan with me and the intervenous radiologist pointed out that the sequestration isn’t contributing to me coughing up blood and the only way to see if I am coughing up blood is to do a bronchoscopy while I have an active bleed. At this point I was furious, for the last 3 years I have been coughing up blood on a regular basis, even while I was in hospital I was coughed up blood for 6 days straight. They all said they wanted me to go through A&E when I have an active bleed again. I refuse to go through A&E to spend hours and hours on a trolley and by the time I even get to see my team the bleed would have probably stopped again. They missed their chance to do something about this while I was there, I’m not in a postition to have a 5th bronchoscopy because of their mistake.

I’m so frustrated because I’m basically left to get worse because there is nothing they can do about this. They left me for 4 weeks in hospital  telling me they’re just waiting for the intravenous radiologist to embolise the sequestration (blocking a blood supply). For the past 3 years  multiple radiologists and Doctors that reviewed my CT scans and it took for one person to look at them and point out that a sequestration isn’t the reason I’m coughing up blood. I spoke with the nurses about all this and they agreed that it’s absolutely ridcioulous to wait around when you can see the differences on CT. 😡

I left that room in floods of tears. Why? Because I’m so sick of being sick, I’m now in a position where I can’t work because of this. I have to go on a disability payment from the social welfare now because of this and my life is now on hold until something is done about this.
On Monday on the ward a man coughed up so much blood that he actually died from it. It instantly left me worried that it might be me one day that it might happen me. 

I was then put under the care of pain management also, they offered all sorts of pain management which was a nerve block but they can’t do that cause of the extensive lung disease I have, the risk of a lung collapse is too high. Then all sorts of medications which is on the morphine base and then a methadone trial. Like hardly I’m going to go on a methadone trial. I don’t even have to explain why I wouldn’t go on a methadone trial. It’s a sad state of affairs that they can offer methadone but can’t offer cannabis oil.

I was sent home yesterday with a perscription of 15 different medications, I left the pharmacy with 2 bags full of medications. 

Today, one day after discharge and I’m feeling the full affects of being home. My breathing feels horrible, I’m coughing a lot because I’m not on my forced air machine to help clear the lungs, I woke up this morning choaking a lung up trying to clear all the stuff that’s on it. 

I fucking hate being a patient in the Irish healthcare system. It’s so broken and literally cannot be fixed at the minute. My life is on hold because of this. 

I give permission for this post to be shared. 😊

Thanks again for reading.

Kellie Tallant xxx