Into the system…

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Posts Tagged ‘questions

ESA Medical…

with 9 comments

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.

Slipping Back…

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I realise now that a month ago, I was better than I thought I was. I thought there was no progress and I wasn’t getting any better, but now I realise it wasn’t as bad as I had thought. I was still low and the agitation was a problem, but I was coping then. The improvement on previous months was subtle, but it was there. I just didn’t really know how to see it. When you are depressed it is hard to see the positive amongst all the dark fog.

Now though, I can see. I am worse now. The juxtaposition between now and then makes it clearer. The upheaval of Christmas and New Year has done nothing for my mood. The endless charade of being okay and happy during the festivities is wearing and I’m tired. I find the blackness working its way through my mind and mood. The negative thoughts are relentless. There is a whole army of ants crawling around in there. I don’t have any ant powder. I have been existing for the sake of it for months now and I don’t know why I am still holding on. I keep trying to, but it is getting harder again. I do it for everyone else, not for myself. It is all just wearing. I am still wearing the mask.

I saw my consultant today. That was wearing in itself. I told her this. I told her that I was doing better than I realised, but now I am doing worse. I told her that I can feel myself slipping back and not having the energy to fight. She just said that this will leave me stuck in depression. She didn’t tell me how to stop myself or give me a hand to pull me back up. She just said that dips happen and I just have to keep fighting. I felt like she hadn’t listened and I found that hard. She has done nothing and said nothing today and I don’t know why I bothered to try and tell her how I feel. I am to stick on the same meds and she will review before I go away on holiday. I felt annoyed by her and maybe even let down. I don’t really know.

I am frustrated with myself that I have slipped back. I wonder if it is my fault. My fault for not realising things were improving. My fault for not making the most of that little improvement. My fault for not having faith. My fault for being this way. I doubt myself all the time and I’m punitive. I will wear myself down and beat myself up. I worry over everything. I question everything.

I think Dr G made a mistake today in the way she said that I may be trapping myself in my depression. I don’t know if she meant well or not, but it has upset me and annoyed me. It has not done anything to help me, only make me question myself more. I do not know why I have slipped back. I did not intend to slip back. It has just happened and I need a help out of it, not a knock down back into it. I hope things improve. At the moment it feels as if she is not supporting me or helping me. It almost feels as if she has lost the respect she used to hold for me. It feels unbalanced now. I am scared of her and uncomfortable about seeing her.

I don’t know what is next. I am always looking for answers. I don’t have any and don’t know where I can find them. I want to know when I will get better. I want to know when things will pick up. I want to know that they will pick up. I am looking for questions too. It is hard to find answers when you don’t have the questions. I don’t know what I should be asking of myself. I don’t know what I should be asking of my doctors. I don’t know anything any more. I find it frustrating.

Dr G wants to review before my holiday this month. Then she said we need to think about the future and planning beyond that. I am scared of the future. I am not sure I want a future. I am just trying not to think about it at the moment.

Written by intothesystem

Tuesday, 6th January 2009 at 6:08 pm

Medi-go-up and one-to-ones…

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My Quetiapine (Seroquel) dosage is going up to 400mg. It seems like a lot for someone who is being prescribed off-label and doesn’t have a diagnostic label to match, but nevermind. I saw my consultant again today. It was better than recent visits, perhaps because she has changed something rather than just asking me to wait and be patient, but it is still difficult. I go into my appointments shaking. I seem to lose my tongue and forget what I wanted or needed to say. I forgot to bring up the fact my eyesight has been bad lately and I am still not able to drive, despite knowing I had to. I will have to try and catch her at some point before the Christmas break, but I do not know if she will be in on Friday. She often takes it off.

Anyway, the other revelation of today is that I am being referred for one-to-one therapy at last. I am apprehensive, as I do not know what I am expected to use the therapy for. A few weeks ago, one-to-ones were discussed and it was decided that I wasn’t well enough yet and didn’t really have any key issues that were going to be possible to tackle in one-to-ones. Since then, nothing seems to have changed. I have no idea what I should talk about. I go into group sessions and have no idea what to tackle each week, but I can’t ask for the spotlight to skip to the next person in one-to-ones. I still do not have any answers or even the right questions. I just don’t know where to start. I am lost in this quagmire of shifting moods and negative thoughts. I am still struggling to see much further ahead than the next few hours and I’m still uncertain of what the future brings. I am still depressed more often than anything else and I am still frustrated and agitated. I feel like I am staring at brick walls in all directions and I don’t know which way to turn or how to break through them. I am glad that I am being referred to the therapist that I did my life maps with. I trust her and she seems to understand my frustration and confusion. She understands that I feel trapped in this limbo, not knowing where my diagnosis lies or how to fix the problem. The only problem with this is, I also know she doesn’t know how to fix the problem, so I am unsure of how much use an hour a week with her will be.

I am scared of therapy. It can bring up more things than it solves and it is hard work. I know I need to put the work in if I want to get better and I can’t just wait for medication to do it’s magic, but it is still daunting. Therapy seems to just drag up all these things and makes you question everything. It leaves you sitting in a mess of confusion and not knowing where to start or how to solve it. I don’t know where to begin untying all the mess.

I think most of all I am left feeling frustrated. I am worried that treatment will never work. I only feel that I am more and more confused and the fact that I am doing all the things I am told I need to do to get better and it is not making any bloody difference only adds to the desperation I feel. WHY AM I NOT BETTER!?! IS IT ALL MY FAULT?! WHEN WILL IT BLOODY WORK?!?!!!! WHAT ELSE CAN I DO?! ARRGHHHGHGHGHGHGH!!!

You get the idea.

I…am…fed…up.

October 4th: Tell the parents…

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I really didn’t want to tell my parents. I was too scared of their reaction and had been hiding everything from them for so long I had no idea where to start. My partner tried to convince me and told me that if I didn’t tell them, he would. I realised I had no choice, so agreed that I would try and tell them. In the end, I wrote them a short letter explaining that I had been off work due to depression and was going to be admitted. I avoided the gory details, but explained some of what had happened in the lead up to my admission.

It was a coincidence that my parents were going to be in the Midlands on the Saturday, so I arranged to meet them at my sister’s new uni house. When we arrived it was strange. We just did all the normal stuff. Got shown around the new house, handed over presents and sat in her room. I was nervous and wanted to get it over and done with, but knew I had to wait until there was a suitable time.

I told my sister first. I gave her a copy of the letter and told her to read it. I told her I had something I needed to tell her and that I wasn’t pregnant. I knew that would be the first conclusion everyone would jump to. She cried lots and I didn’t know what to do. She was sympathetic, but I hated that.

Afterwards my parents came in, so we got them in the lounge and repeated the ritual. Handed over the letter and asked them to read. They were shocked. They asked some questions but mostly just exclaimed over how shocked they were. My mum went pretty quiet. They told me they’d support me, but it was just very weird. I don’t know if it was a relief. I think it must have been, but I was just so nervous I don’t think it felt like it at the time.

We went for a meal later and things proceeded as normal really. There were a few awkward questions about what I expected would happen during my admission and what the long term aims were, but generally it was okay. I was glad to escape afterwards though.

Written by intothesystem

Monday, 17th November 2008 at 7:41 pm