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ESA Medical…

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I know I’m updating a lot all of a sudden, but I guess there are things I want to document this week. My talkative mood is probably helping too.

I made it to my medical this afternoon. I am so glad it is over.

I was all over the place during the interview. The doctor kept asking the same things over and over again and it was tiresome. My head was spinning, thoughts racing, agitation brewing. I kept forgetting what I had just said and found myself getting more and more worked up. I couldn’t keep still from the agitation. It didn’t help that she wasn’t following things, but I don’t know if that was me talking too fast or her being a bit slow. She kept mixing my doctors up (I know it’s complicated. I still have 2 psychiatrists!) which was getting really confusing.

She didn’t seem to ask me much about what I can and can’t do. She did ask if I got up, dressed etc (yes, with bullying from my bloke). She asked me if I went anywhere (yes, if someone takes me – I mentioned Creative Remedies). She asked me if I saw friends and socialised (sometimes). She asked about driving (no, not since October 2008).

We talked a little about my overdose in February and what happened afterwards. We talked about ECT. I told her when I’d been in hospital. We talked about my current care – The Priory and transfer to NHS, who does what. She asked me a million times if my doctors knew what I was telling her and who was most up to date with everything. I didn’t know why she was asking that so much. Maybe so she knows whether to trust any information she gets from them or so she could check up on what I was saying?

She kept asking me about suicidal thoughts. She wanted to know why I hadn’t tried again if I still experience the thoughts. She asked me literally 30 times if I had any active plans, maybe even more. She seemed quite concerned when I was honest about the extent of my thoughts, even though I have no real means or firm intention to act at the moment.

I was forced to talk about anger and violence. I couldn’t deny that it has been a problem of late, but I didn’t want to be seen as “dangerous”. I felt so uncomfortable talking about it.

We talked about mood. I found it hard to convey what it is really like. I told her about the current agitation and how this is a fairly new development. She suggested the agitation could have been caused by anxiety about the appointment. I didn’t think it was and denied it at the time, but since I’ve thought about it some more I think it may well have contributed. I really was all over the place whilst I was in there and anxiety must have been exacerbating the situation. I tried to describe the aching, dull, flat, numbing depression that has lingered on and off for ages. I tried to describe the mixed agitated depression that is often a problem. I don’t think I succeeded on any account.

I mentioned that my partner had given up his job to care for me and she asked me about this. Is he with me all the time? How often does he leave me on my own? Who does what in the house? Do I ever go out on my own? etc. etc.

When we went over my meds, she seemed surprised that I am taking melatonin and even asked if it’s a hospital-only prescription. Considering melatonin can be bought over the counter in the US, it does make you wonder why it is so reluctantly used over here. The CMHT seemed surprised too.

At one point towards the end, she left the office to go ask her colleague something and I couldn’t help but burst into tears. I’d been holding myself together up until then, but the stress of it all tipped me over the edge. I don’t know what it was as I barely ever cry these days. Girlie hormones probably aren’t helping at the moment, but even still it seemed ludicrous. Unfortunately she came back in whilst I was trying to pull myself together and then asked me a million questions about why I was crying. I was worried she would think I was putting it on for effect or something. I genuinely couldn’t help it, but was so embarrassed and paranoid about it.

Although she asked me a million questions I don’t know if she has got anywhere near enough information. Most of the stuff didn’t seem to be very relevant to whether or not I can work. Maybe she was just nosy? I guess that’s her job.

I cannot convey how erratic the whole appointment was. Questions were being fired in all directions and I was so mixed up I couldn’t answer her. My sentences were blurring into one. I was jabbering on and on and going off on tangents. I didn’t say half the things I should have. I was not clear at all. I’ve been going over things in my head since, trying to make sense of it all. Trying to work out her intentions and what she was thinking and asking. I know I should just forget about it and wait for the results, but my head is just looking for things to think about.

One thing I have noted is the clear effect of stress. I was anxious and stressed by the situation and I could not deal with it at all. I was turned into a whirlwind of agitated confusion. I’m just thinking about work and similar situations where I have to answer questions and think about what I’m saying. Conference calls for example. There is no way I can handle one at the moment. It’s okay doing that with a doctor that is trained to deal with it, but it is not okay to talk like a madwoman in front of your boss.

In some ways my inability to deal with the situation may stand in my favour. I suspect now I probably came across quite mad. After all, I need her to think I am too ill to work. The problem is, I think I may have come across *too* mad. I was incapable of answering her questions and I’m worried I may have messed up in some way. I’m worried I didn’t answer things clearly enough or that I missed things out. I am paranoid that she was trying to catch me out. I’m really worried she will think I was putting it on or making things up. I wasn’t, but I wasn’t “myself” either and that could be problematic.

Afterwards I was tired and didn’t really want to do anything. The session took it out of me and I needed processing time. Kinda like therapy actually. I guess it was similar in that I had to talk a lot about how I was feeling and what has happened.

Unfortunately I wasn’t really given that processing time as my bloke wanted me to do stuff. He forced me to clean my car, which took ages at it was filthy. As I’m not driving at the moment my lovely little car spends most of its time sat on the drive. It has been sat still so long that green slime was growing on all the window seals. Not good. It’s looking better now, but there are still bits that aren’t quite there.

My thoughts are still racing. I walked the dog this evening and I thought that would help calm me down but it hasn’t. I was distracted thinking about the medical, work, suicide, random pointless stuff, everything. I have music spinning around in my head on top of everything else. The “We buy any car” advert is driving me mad… we buy any car, we buy any car, any, any, any, any, we buy any car… Make it stop, please!!

I suspect I won’t be updating quite so much in the next few days. Nothing is happening. We are taking the dog to a breed show on Sunday, but that is all I can think of. I will see Dr N sometime at the end of next week. I have Creative Remedies too, but nothing unusual or exciting coming up.

9 Responses

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  1. I’m just glad it’s over, for your sake. Hopefully it works in your favour x

    Kate

    Thursday, 24th September 2009 at 11:29 pm

    • I hope so too. I have been paranoid about it. I know the criteria needed to score points and I don’t think I have ticked enough boxes because I couldn’t convey things. We will see.

      intothesystem

      Saturday, 26th September 2009 at 12:42 pm

  2. I am glad today is over for you, it sounds like the questions being fired at you were awful and it must have been a real difficult situation to find yourself in.

    I can relate to needing some time to process things after events like this… I’ve felt a bit like this today after just an hour of therapy yesterday.

    Take care of yourself.

    Alison

    Friday, 25th September 2009 at 8:15 pm

    • Alison – I’m glad it’s over too. It isn’t a pleasant situation but people go through it every day and I guess I just have to put up with it. I think my experience was probably a little better than Em’s.

      intothesystem

      Saturday, 26th September 2009 at 12:44 pm

  3. I know what you mean about feeling worn out after intense appointments. I always head to bed after psych ones, I even did it in college, I’d just get someone to take me home so I could sleep it off.

    Take care of yourself lovely x

    eccedentesiast

    Saturday, 26th September 2009 at 10:30 pm

  4. That whole appointment sounds completely draining. I hope you’ve been taking it easy since. xx

    Ruby Tuesday

    Sunday, 27th September 2009 at 10:42 am

  5. I’m glad it’s over for you and sorry you found it such an ordeal.

    Thanlks for finding the strength to blog about it, it’s a very well written peace xxx

    Zoe

    Wednesday, 28th July 2010 at 1:27 pm

  6. Am waiting for appointment at the moment and just thinking about it makes me crawl back into bed in tears. Made worse that the interview office is in the building where I used to work. Really feel for you good luck with it all x o x o

    Jack

    Tuesday, 19th October 2010 at 3:52 pm

    • Good luck with the appointment Jack. I hope it goes well for you. The medical is pretty daunting, but it can turn out okay. I count myself very lucky that I got the result I needed and that the doctor I saw was reasonably understanding and caring. She may have been scary and working in an awful system, but it seems that she understood how ill I was and she was genuinely concerned about my safety. I think my experience was better than I have heard from others. Maybe your assessor will be okay too? Have faith that it can turn out alright.

      That must be extra hard having to go back into your old workplace, but you have nothing to be ashamed of. Go in there with your head held high. You can always give another reason why you are there if you bump into someone and are uncomfortable with that.

      Take care. x

      intothesystem

      Wednesday, 20th October 2010 at 4:44 pm


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