Posts Tagged ‘driving’
I am still struggling with the tummy troubles. I have been taking the higher dose (120mg TDS) of Alverine Citrate for a few weeks now and I do think it has helped a little, despite the fact I have also increased the Reboxetine to 8mg in that time. I was getting less cramps at least, although I was still having problems with diarrhoea or constipation all the time. My appetite had improved a little, which must suggest things have been a little better.
Unfortunately that slight improvement has been completely negated by the events of last night. A warning – this post definitely scores high on a rating of too much information!
I had been feeling fine and had enjoyed my dinner of roasted ham, mash, kale and carrots. As I was getting ready for bed and just settling down to watch Newsnight, I got a sudden shooting pain in my tummy and next thing I knew I’d had a somewhat messy accident. :S :( I was so shocked and upset, it took me a second to act and jump into the bathroom (which is within a metre of the bed), although by this point it was far too late anyway. The bloke was horrified and just shouted at me, called me disgusting and hid in the back bedroom, whilst I stripped the bed and took a shower. :( I was feeling pretty rough by this point and thought I might be sick as well, but managed to keep that end under control! The bloke eventually realised I wasn’t very well and that he was being unreasonable and he apologised and started to make the bed. I didn’t know what to do with myself. He wasn’t going to let me in the bed after that, so suggested I got the air-bed out! At least that is plastic and cleanable in case of further episodes. I didn’t expect to sleep much anyway, so decided to do this and settled down under the spare duvet on the lounge floor.
I was awake most of the night and felt pretty rough, but managed to survive without any further accidents. I’m still feeling pretty dodgy now, although by now I could just be hungry. I am too scared to eat anything though.
I don’t really know how to say this, but the poo didn’t look good at all. Very dark brown, sticky, runny and lumpy including some undigested carrots. Not nice at all. The fact it happened so suddenly suggests things aren’t very happy in there either. If I could have done anything about it, I would have. There was no warning at all, except for the shooting pain that came with the attack. It literally came out and exploded like the lid off a pop bottle that had been shaken up. bleugh. Sorry. You don’t need to know that.
The bloke wanted me to book an appointment with Dr N, so I am seeing him this afternoon. I am not sure what he can say or do. I have no idea how I am going to tell him without dying of shame. Part of the reason I am writing this, is to practice describing what happened! I am far too British and shy to talk about poo. Even with a doctor. It has been hard enough to tell him of my tummy troubles so far, but this is an extra level of embarrassment.
I wasn’t sure about writing about this here as it is so embarrassing, but it is the latest thing to happen in the whole tummy troubles saga and something so horrible seemed worthy of note. After all, this blog is an account of some of the more grim elements of mental health. Coping with the side effects of medication is a big part of dealing with mental illness, so I may as well be honest about it.
My bloke was very shocked and not very impressed. He wants me to stop taking the Reboxetine if that is what is causing this. He said he doesn’t like living with an 80 year old. I agree. I don’t enjoy feeling like one.
I had been struggling with the increase in dose aside from this. My sleep has deteriorated and I only find I can sleep properly when the dose wears off in the morning, when I should really be getting up and taking the next dose. It takes ages to get to sleep, I am waking up all the time and struggling to get back off to sleep and I am having nightmares and feeling restless. It is exhausting. I was getting palpitations at night too, immediately after the increase, although that seems to have settled down a little after a couple of weeks at the higher dose. I felt really low in the first week or so too, but that also seems to have improved over the last couple of days, so maybe it is starting to have a more positive effect now. That said, I feel crappy today after the night I’ve had!
I am too scared to stop the Reboxetine though. I don’t want to go back to how I was before. I don’t want to end up really depressed and suicidal again. The perpetual low mood and vague depression of late is draining enough, but that constant despairing depression is much, much worse. I don’t know what alternatives there are. Maybe I should just go med-free and sod all the drugs and their stupid side effects. I still wonder if my mood would have resolved itself a lot faster if I hadn’t have started taking bloody medication. Then again, it may have killed me first.
In good news. I got my driving license back!
I now have a 1 year license, so I need to stay sane over the next year or I will lose it again. Apparently, I will get a form 3 months before it expires to request a renewal. They will go through the medical enquiries again and decide if to reissue. No doubt it will take 5 months again to do that, so I will not be able to drive again for a wee while, but I guess we will see how it goes next time. If I get worse or am told by my doctors to stop driving for whatever reason, I have to let them know and presumably I will have to wait months for them to decide again, so I hope that doesn’t happen.
It is great to have my car back. I am looking forward to going places and having my independence again. I think it will make a big difference in helping my recovery. Being able to go where I want and not having to rely on public transport or lifts from the other half is going to be a massive help. I have a lot more choice about what I do with myself and will be tempted to go out more.
I had a drive on Saturday afternoon after I’d insured and taxed it and it didn’t feel too strange to be back at the wheel. The bloke went with me and we made it in one piece. My left arm has remembered where all the gears are and it felt pretty natural, so I am glad I hadn’t forgotten it all.
On Saturday night we went out in my car and got pulled over by the police! I wasn’t driving, the bloke was. It had flashed up on the policeman’s dash that the car was uninsured – obviously the database hadn’t been updated since I had only insured it that morning. I am glad I wasn’t driving or I’d have panicked. I would say I’d have shat myself, (I think I did on Saturday night!), but I’m not sure that’s appropriate now! *blush* At least we can say the police are on the ball! We were off to a beer festival and although my bloke was only going to have a pint as designated driver, we decided not to take the risk of being pulled over again later, so we left the car and got a taxi back. We went back to get it on Sunday morning and I took my first solo drive, driving my car back. I was okay, although I had forgotten which lanes I needed to be in a couple of times, so I made life harder for myself.
Anyway, I need to get ready for my doctors appointment. I haven’t got dressed yet and am just lying on the sofa with a blanket. Walking around makes me feel worse, so the temptation is to lie here all day. I have a meeting to go to this evening though, so will have to get up eventually.
Edit (3pm): Appointment with Dr N was very embarrassing and not too much help. I had been taking senna daily, plus the occasional dose of lactulose to counteract the constipation I was struggling with, but he thinks that won’t help on the maintaining control front, so I should stop that for now. If I don’t take it, I usually end up in pain and bloated from the constipation within a day. He has given me a script for something else to take if that happens, so we shall see how we go.
We talked about coming off the Reboxetine, but he didn’t think that was worth the risk at all. We don’t know if my mood picked up spontaneously or if the Reboxetine helped, but either way, my mood is a lot better and it doesn’t seem wise to mess around with it. I may have to drop the dose to 6mg if the problems persist, but I was struggling enough on that dose, so don’t suppose it makes much difference.
We talked about sleep and he asked if I wanted to try more sedatives, but neither of us really saw the point as they don’t seem to help all that much. He made the suggestion that actually getting back to work and having more brain stimulus may help, which in theory is true, but I never slept that great when I was at work. Even when I have been busy lately, it hasn’t made any difference, so I’m really not convinced by this. If anything if my brain is busy during the day, I really struggle to slow it down at night, especially if I get anxious too.
Mentioning work, I told him about seeing Dr Occy Health again on Thursday. He thinks I should push to agree a planned return to work as having a structure and plan may help give me something to aim for. I think he is right, although I am wary of the risk of too much, too fast. I told him about going in a couple of times and he agreed that was promising, although I also said that my work are very hesitant to let me rush back. They are being very cautious about how much I can do and when I can do it. I actually got told off for doing work-related activities whilst I was there the other day. We will see though.
So today I finally got the letter. You may remember I had to notify the DVLA about my condition. My license has been revoked. I have to return my license in the next week and will not be able to reapply until I have been “stable” for at least three months. I may not have driven for a year now but it is different to know I don’t have a license. There is one benefit in that I can now get my free bus pass. I had to wait until I had proof of refusal before I could claim.
Today I was running a Rethink Tea Party. I barely slept all night worrying if we were going to raise anything. The first hour or so was terrible. We barely sold anything, but things picked up when we went for a wander around the village to sell some of our cakes. In the end we managed to raise over £180, which was great. I’m so relieved!
As Chouette pointed out, it is no secret that I met up with her, Kate, Colouredmind and Eccedentesiat this weekend. It was good to attach real people to the blogs and stories that I read. I enjoyed the meet, however brief for me, but am conscious I was talking far too much. It is a trait that comes from nervousness and agitation, but one I struggle to keep under control. Thanks though. I hope we can do it again.
It was great to just chat about everything and anything. Although we all know how it feels to suffer at the hands of mental illness, it was good that we could be “normal” and talk about other things too. We all know what it is to be students and to live in the city that we met. We all have a life aside from this. I think it is good for all of us to remember that. My partner thinks that I have become too wrapped up in being ill and that I shouldn’t spend all my time with “depressed friends”, but I think doing just that has helped me to remember the other side of life.
That said, I also appreciated being with people that know how it feels. I agree with both Hannah and Chou that we have all lost much to this illness. I too, have a list of wishes and a collection of regrets. I too, wish I didn’t have to take medication to live and sleep, wish I could find enjoyment in things and wish I could erase many things from my memory. I wish I didn’t have to spend days in therapy. I wish I could drive without being a risk to myself or others. I wish I could spend time alone without someone worrying about me. I wish I could turn off the negative thoughts that infiltrate my mind. I wish I could return to the career that I loved and not head straight for a nervous breakdown. I wish I could get on with life and want to live.
I have all these big wishes, but it was weird. The thing that struck me most from Hannah’s post, was the line:
I want to wear my hair parting on the otherside and not have scars to hide underneath my hair
I too wish for this. Worse, I wish I could part my hair anywhere and not show the scars of a lifetime of destruction. This is something I am so ashamed of, yet I still continue to wreak havoc. I have scratched my scalp to the point of bleeding and picked at every scar, every single night, for as long as I can remember. My hair no longer grows in the worst places. Elsewhere, it grows in tufts, as it tries to recover from the abuse. I cannot get a haircut, for fear of what the hairdresser might say when they see the mess that is my head. I am deeply embarrassed by it. My scalp constantly hurts and itches and I can feel the blood in my hair. I hate it, yet I am unable to stop. It is a compulsive act of nervousness, a compulsive act of self-destruction, a compulsive act of distraction. It is worse than ever at the moment. I lie awake at night and give in to the urge to hurt myself., leaving blood on my pillow. I sit in therapy and find my hands wandering. I hope no one notices, but fear that they do. I stand at the mirror and look at the scars. Most of the time I don’t even realise I am doing it, but I am painfully aware of the consequences. I wish that I could stop. I wish that wish was enough and I’d have the willpower. I know that I don’t. It is another one of those wishes, but I think it’s another one that is hopeless.
Yesterday I saw my consultant. I didn’t know what to say to her. I said that I’ve been frustrated that I feel no better. I said that the insomnia has returned. Her only answer was sleeping pills, Phenergan (Promethazine) again. I tried it on the ward and don’t think it helped, but it’s all I can try. I refuse to take Zopiclone, Promazine had no effect on me and Trazodone gave me all the silliness and uncoordination of drinking five pints, then left me with the hangover to match. Diazepam is off limits outside of the ward, as she doesn’t want to leave me with a nice addiction at the end of it all. She looked through her bible of psychotropic drugs at the sleep disorder pages, but didn’t find any other suggestions. Only Mirtazapine, which she discounted with a shake of the head. She went through the sleep hygiene list with me, but she knew better than to push that one. Admittedly, the fact I only had an hour or two’s sleep at most last night, was probably exacerbated by the diet coke I’d been drinking, but nevermind. Anyway, I have a note to give Dr N on Thursday, so my green slip will have the new one on the end.
Back to Dr G. She wants to put up my venlafaxine, but is scared of the consequences. The constant background agitation of the past few weeks makes that seem like a bad idea. She wants to put up my quetiapine, but is scared of the consequences of that too. My chronic apathy and considerable numbness are the issue here. Instead, she has done neither and left me in limbo-land with meds that don’t seem to help. I am fed up of the medi-go-round. I just want them to work. She is waiting and hoping that they kick in soon, but I’ve been on these for over 7 weeks now. Surely if they were going to work, they would be by now? Maybe I need to have more faith. How is the placebo effect going to work if I don’t believe in them? It’s still frustrating though.
She seems to think the way forward for me is therapy though. She isn’t holding out too much hope on the meds front. I wish I had as much faith as she does that splodging some paint around, talking about my life story, or getting annoyed at CBT will do anything to help me. It may be a short term distraction, help me to be more honest with myself and others about how I feel and give me a chance to think about stuff, but at the end of the day I still feel like crap and still battle day in day out with the intrusive thoughts. I don’t know how much “working through my issues” I can take and where it is going to leave me ending up.
I am chronically frustrated with this chronic depression. When will things change? I keep ending up in the same place. I keep waiting for things to improve. I am fed up. I feel like screaming it.
I’ve just got back from day care and all I want to do is curl up and sleep. I have a stupid cold coming on and am emotionally and physically drained. After my afternoon group, I was going to go down to the ward, but I realised I didn’t want to because if I did I wouldn’t want to leave again! I know I need to move on from that being a safe place and get used to being at home again, but it’s hard. I just wanted to hide away.
I’m physically exhausted as I have to walk back a couple miles to catch the bus home and I’m feeling rubbish with this cold. The alternative to a long walk is waiting a few hours for my other half to finish work and come pick me up. That or pay for a taxi I guess. Not ideal. I’m unable to drive at the moment due to my medication.
Anyway, I’m going to hide in my bed for an hour or two. We have visitors this weekend, arriving in a couple hours. I don’t know how I’m going to cope. Too tired.
So I returned home for the weekend. I’m always astonished at how little that place moves on. We went into town on Saturday and it’s still the same faces and same places. Since I left home four years ago, so little has changed. The only notable difference is that M&S Simply Food, Costa and Pizza Express have moved in, obviously trying to turn this little town into an identikit, affluent small town. No doubt more will follow. It’s the faces that get me though. The same people, living the same dull lives. I see people from my school and they seem so far left behind. They’ve not moved on. It’s weird.
I’m not sure the title of hometown glory is quite right. Perhaps, hometown misery would be more accurate. Of course the title really comes from the Adele song of that name. It’s a song I definitely associate with this episode, the episode that continues a pace. It doesn’t lift my mood, only stands to fuel it, but I’ve never been one to turn to happy bouncy music to cheer myself up. It doesn’t work and only makes me irritated. Before I was off work, I listened to it on repeat during my commute, turning the volume up and shutting out the world, driving too fast and not caring if I make it. I know how irresponsible that is and I’d hate for anyone to get hurt, but I just hoped it would be only me.
I have to drive those roads today and I know it will be a risk. It is always a risk. I don’t care enough about my life to be careful. My car needs servicing and the garage is next to my work, so I will drive those roads again. Since I was off work, new signs have gone up. They say 4 deaths in 3 years or 79 casualties in 3 years or 46 collisions in 3 years. I know they are designed to make you think and slow down, but every time I see them, they only serve to make me wish I could add myself to those statistics. An “accident” would be easier. It wouldn’t hurt my family as much. Of course they would be upset, but they wouldn’t have to live with the knowledge that I’d killed myself. The knowledge that I was so selfish and careless that I didn’t think of them.
I made it through the weekend.
I got drunk on Saturday night in an attempt to make it easier to pretend. It was a strange evening. I was giddy and hyper, playing the games and singing along to the music, yet given a moment to my real thoughts I was full of sadness. Alone in the bathroom, I hurt myself for the first time in a while. Just superficial scratches with a sharp pin I saw lying around, but I musn’t have been feeling things as I have lasting marks. The reason I used to scratch was to give short sharp pain, quickly but leaving only feint marks that would fade. I must have done it harder than before, as the marks still haven’t faded and I can still feel them. I see them now and want to do more, but I need to be able to hide. No one has noticed the scratches yet. I hope it stays that way.
Throughout the weekend, there was a lot of talking about friends and people from school. X is in australia, Y is just finishing medicine at Cardiff, Z is in London on the west end. It’s a small town so everyone wants to know everyone. You get the idea. I think part of this came from seeing my music teacher and choir director on Last Choir Standing and from Nicole Cooke winning her gold medal. Nicole’s father was my A Level physics teacher. It was a weekend of thinking about people and how they have moved on, how they have been left behind or how they’ve left me behind.
The one that shocked me though, the one that has had the lasting effect, was something my mother said. Talking about an old school colleague of mine, my mum jumps in with “the one that has really fallen off the rails is her brother, J. He’s a manic depressive. Really bad. I bet his sister spends all of her time trying to stop him killing himself”. This shook me. I hadn’t known he was ill and I was horrified to hear the way my mother referred to him. It was like he’d become a criminal, not mentally ill. I hated her for it. I am worried about him. I’ve tried to look him up on facebook, tried to find out if what she said is true. There are signs of it on her sister’s wall in his comments (trying to reassure her he’s okay), but I can’t view his profile, so I don’t know. I hope he is okay.
Of course, the other effect of this outburst is one on me and my relationship with my parents. My family do not know I’ve been ill. They ask about work and I have to be economical with the truth. I talk about it passively, saying that there’s a lot on, but not mentioning the fact I’m not doing it. I hate that I can’t be honest with them, but I don’t know what else to do. I don’t know if I could ever tell them. Knowing my mother’s prejudice makes it impossible. I know she doesn’t understand and she’s just ignorant, but I’m not sure I want to try and convince her otherwise. I wish I could talk to my dad, but I don’t want to hurt him and I think if he knew how I felt, knew my longing for death, he’d be heartbroken. I love my dad. We’re close and I hate lying to him, but I can’t handle the thought of my mother knowing. I hate the fact I can’t promise him I’d never do anything stupid. I hate how I resent my love for him, because I know it makes it harder for me to give into my thoughts and just makes this a never ending battle, in which I feel I can never win. It’s a relationship I struggle with and this secrecy makes it harder, yet easier too. I don’t know if things will ever change. I worry that they only will only find out if I’m ever hospitalised or kill myself and I’m not sure I’d be able to explain, but then I think that might just be the easiest way. I have this fear of hospitalisation, because I know that I couldn’t hide things from them if that ever happened. It builds this fear of honesty, fear of medical professionals and fear of the unknown.
I am struggling with nausea and have to get ready now. The physical effects of this are getting me down too. I haven’t been sick yet, but came closest this morning. I worry I might actually vomit though if I get in the car. I have no choice though. I’ve booked this appointment and I hate to cancel. I will find the energy some how.
I’m feeling low this morning. I’ve woken up with a headache and can’t find any motivation to move. I managed to grab my laptop from under the bed and that’s as far as I’ve got.
Wednesday was a nothing day. I didn’t make it to the pool. Ben folds was more than disappointing (sound quality was so bad we left before he finished). Thursday was better in the morning, descending to rubbish in the evening. I made it to the pool first thing, as I had to give my bloke a lift to work. Swimming does help, albeit temporarily, but it can still be so difficult to motivate myself to go. In the evening, I was meeting a friend for dinner and a catch-up. It was difficult. I wasn’t feeling very sociable and conversation was fairly awkward. Had dinner, dropped him back at his and then left early. The rainbows were beautiful though. My drive back was probably not all that safe. I felt terrible and wasn’t concentrating properly. I couldn’t see any point in making it home and was tempted to just keep driving, driving up the motorway, past junction 7 and not stopping until I reached the sea. I didn’t and I made it home safely, although I think this was more autopilot than will. I do scare myself sometimes. I wonder if I should be allowed to drive when I’m at my worst. I’m not sure I would if people knew what I was thinking.
I still want to run away. I think about driving off somewhere, just driving and seeing where I end up, seeing what happened. The thing is, in this state of mind I suspect the result wouldn’t be pretty. I wouldn’t want to bring anyone else down with me and I wouldn’t want to bring out the wombles (reference to Top Gear), so I tell myself not to. I think about just taking a train instead, but wonder if it really is possible to just disappear and start again. I suspect it wouldn’t be any easier. At least if I was dead, I wouldn’t have to live with the consequences. It would be the easier option, but still not easy. I know that. I’m not sure I can do it, but I wish I had the courage. As I’ve said before, a failed attempt would be worse than just carrying on, so it makes things harder, but then what if I could ensure it wouldn’t fail? Would I be able to then? It’s all fantasy, but it’s one that I find myself obsessing over. I have a plan and means, but no time frame at the moment. I have no stress, nothing to trigger that “I must do it now” moment, but I wonder if I’m losing the need for that trigger. Work used to be my trigger – something went wrong and I wanted to do it there and then, but at that point I rarely had the means.
I find myself thinking about the future and being scared that I don’t see one. My friend last night was talking about how things will probably change dramatically in the next five years and he could see himself finding someone, getting married and having kids. I don’t see any of that. I’m engaged, but I can’t imagine making it to a wedding, certainly not my own. My sister keeps asking me to start planning – sending me links to possible venues and dresses and I have no interest, none at all. I wish she’d shut up and leave me alone, as she doesn’t know she is only making me more desperate for the nonsense to stop. A friend of mine just had a scare – an ectopic pregnancy, resulting in emergency surgery. She is okay and I’m glad. She didn’t want a child and didn’t even know she was pregnant, but I think it has shaken her up. It shook me up too. I can’t imagine having children. I don’t feel capable of making babies, but that was a reminder that I am. I don’t want that reminder. I couldn’t be a mother, not like this, although I know my partner wants them and not even far off in the future, but in the next few years. I can’t do that. I think about my return to work, my career and I can’t even imagine that at the moment. I love my job, but I can’t face it. I see the emails about work and it makes me want to cry. Worse, the thought of going back and dealing with them makes me want to die.
I really do see no future. I see no point in carrying on with this endless battle. I don’t want to fight.
Part of me of course does want to fight. I wouldn’t write here if I didn’t. I wouldn’t have seen my GP 4 weeks ago or whenever it was. The thing is, that part isn’t strong enough. I know I should go back to my GP now and tell her all of this, but I can’t. I know I should give in and accept medication, but I can’t. I know I should get out of bed right now and go to the pool and feel better, but I can’t. I will. I will do it, but I don’t know where the fight will come from.
My partner forces me to fight. I complain when he tells me to do chores and stop wasting my life, but ultimately my fear of making him angry and disappointed does tug on a little bit of me and make me do things. I don’t want to and sometimes the stress of my failure makes me worse, but when I’m less bad it helps. I’m not sure how long though I can put up with this and I’m not sure how long this will help. It’s getting harder to find the courage and motivation to do things. I’m finding it harder to listen to him, because all I want to do is be alone and escape, but I still find myself putting on the washing or tidying up. It’s like there’s this bit of me that carries on regardless of how the rest of my brain is screaming to stop. I have this autopilot that operates and keeps me alive and I wonder if I can stop it. On the outside, I maintain composure and no one knows that all of this is going on. No one knows how hard I am fighting to stop and how hard I am fighting to carry on. I suspect I will find myself at the swimming pool in the next couple of hours, ploughing up and down, doing my fifty lengths, but I don’t want to. I want to give in. I want to stop.
I’m going mad. I’m on the verge of tears. I don’t cry anymore. I don’t know what I want to do, but all I know is I can’t carry on like this.
I look up at what I’ve written and I wonder where the articulacy comes from. I don’t feel articulate, I don’t feel capable of writing, I don’t feel capable of living, yet I continue. I wonder what will happen if I lose that capability. I wonder what happens next.