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Tweeps: two weeks ago today, I nearly lost my life due to a very serious bilateral pulmonary embolism.

I had no symptoms at all, except for tiredness & a little breathlessness, which I attributed to other causes. When you're living with chronic mental ill health & ...1/
...on a very low income due to #UniversalCredit, you get used to feeling rubbish a lot of the time. Vague symptoms like fatigue are inevitably dismissed by GPs.

Over the course of about 8 hours on that Tues, tho, I started feeling faint & very weird. 2/
I got up to use the loo & collapsed, losing consciousness. When I came round, I couldn't breathe.

Luckily, I managed to reach my phone & paramedics from @Ldn_Ambulance came within 30 minutes.

Unluckily, I couldn't get to the door & ... 3/
...precious minutes were lost trying to locate the manager of my #RBKC temporary accommodation building who was then reluctant to let them in. They insisted, stabilised me & got me to #StMarysHospital where the A&E teams went to work. 4/
One of the things I remember most clearly when arriving in A&E was thinking: "This is Hungry Week* so I hope I get to stay in hospital for a bit."

*Hungry Week is the last week of the #UniversalCredit monthly cycle when the money runs out & food is scarce. 5/
It feels terrible that my mindset is so poverty-driven now that my first thoughts were the prospects of hot meals & clean laundry during UC Hungry Week. 6/
Anyway, there was a very intense period of 24 hours in resus, 3 nights in ITU & a total of 10 nights in hospital. I was treated by over 50 doctors, nurses, physios, radiographers, pharmacists & psychologists. No expense was spared as I was tested for all sorts of things... 7/
...incl cancer & genetic conditions. I benefited from a remarkable treatment called catheter-led thrombolysis, which made me an object of fascination for multitudes of med students. 8/
All this time, I just soaked up the care, compassion & good humour of these amazing experts who put ME at the centre of everything & treated me with respect, dignity & love. I realised how starved I've been of human compassion by these lonely years struggling under the #DWP. 9/
The contrast between the patient-centred, humane approach taken by NHS tertiary services and the top-down, cold, cruel practices of both the #DWP and #RBKC housing officials could not be more stark. 10/
While receiving this excellent care, however, I was very worried about being sent home to an unsuitable flat where I've not been really coping for some time. Every day for 10 days, I told at least one person treating me that I wanted an integrated physical & mental care plan.11/
I asked, repeatedly, for a joined-up conversation between my community mental health team & the team at St Mary's. From my bed, I sent emails asking for social services to support me upon discharge. I was seen by 2 psychiatrists, a psychologist & home treatment psych worker. 12/
The day before my discharge, I was told there was nothing in place at all for me & that it was up to me to talk to the council. The prospect of leaving hospital 4 days before my next #UniversalCredit payment, with no food, no clean clothes (laundry had been piling up...13/
... & it costs £8 a load & I had no funds), and no support to help me get my seriously dirty & chaotic flat sorted out left me in such distress that ward nurses overturned the discharge order & kept me in for an extra 24 hours. 14/
I was eventually sent home last Friday, with a bag of clean hospital sheets and some sandwiches and fruit.

It's now Tuesday and I've had no contact from council social services, mental health home treatment team or anyone else. I've been offered a Tesco voucher if I can... 15/
...get myself to the Town Hall to pick it up.

In the meantime, my #UniversalCredit has been paid but I had to immediately hand over 45% of my monthly income to the private pet boarding service who looked after my dog while I was in hospital. 16/
I do not understand how it is that the #NHS can spend thousands of ££ to save my life & restore my health, only for mental health services to completely dismiss me, diminish my distress & provide no support during this vulnerable time? 17/
I also not understand how, in all conscience, it's okay to treat me and then leave me to fend for myself in exactly the same or worse social circumstances as before? It was neglect & isolation & poverty that landed me hospital in the first place. 18/
The differences in acceptable standards of care between physical and mental health services in the #NHS has been made very apparent to me. #ParityOfEsteem is a cruel joke. /19
And the austerity-driven cuts to local authorities & social services mean that the #NHS is routinely sending patients back out to suffer under the same conditions that make them ill. It's madness. /20
I've been lucky enough to receive support from @NPFoodbank, @TheRoseCommuni1, and other friends during this time. But they are all volunteers & they shouldn't have to step in because the state has failed me. 21/
Having said of this, I am grateful to @NHSEnglandLDN to be alive today. I'm on the mend, physically, and will live to fight another day.

#PulmonaryEmbolism is very serious. Learn more about it here:…

And finally, in light of today's #Marmot2020, please use my experience to raise awareness if you can.

@Debbie_abrahams @APPG_UC @APPGHunger @APPGPoverty @EmmaLewellBuck @MGreenwoodWW @MichaelMarmot @Alston_UNSR @CarolineLucas @NicolaSturgeon @KarenPBuckMP
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