It’s been a while since I last wrote anything. In a way I feel as though I’ve lost the ability to express myself – my head feels all over the place at the moment as there is so much going on.
Everything was going good and I was feeling quite positive about enrolling on the college short course that I want to do. I had an appointment with the psychiatrist a week ago (last Wednesday). He was really happy to hear me talking positively about the future and for the first time in a very long time I was able to tell him that whilst I am still hearing voices they are not distressing me at the moment. I told him it’s like I’ve become so used to them that it’s easier now to just let them be there and not pay attention to them. They aren’t saying anything bad about me or to me, so that is good.
I’m now on 500mg a day of Quetiapine and feel like it’s a good dose for me at the moment. I can go up to 750mg but I’d rather stick at this dose so that I know I have room to increase should I need it. My psychiatrist is retiring at the beginning of September so I have my last appointment with him in August, but we have another CPA meeting on July 5th which he will be at. He told me they haven’t recruited a new consultant psychiatrist yet so right now no one knows if it will be male or female or anything like that.
It was a busy day last Wednesday. As well as seeing the psych I also had an appointment with my CPN who I’m starting to like. It’s a shame that she is only on a temporary contract but I’m getting used to people coming and going. It would be good to have proper consistency but where I live is a rural area and not many people (professionals) seem to stick around for the long term. The appointment with her was good, she was really happy to hear I have decided which course I’m going to study and that I had checked I can do the course and still receive my benefit money. It’s only a 15 week short course from August until December but in January I can study a couple of modules through home learning until the next course starts in the August again.
I also had my appointment to have my x-rays done on my right knee. I phoned the GP surgery a little while ago to see if the results were back and the receptionist said they were back and marked as ‘no action required’. Argh, frustrating! How can it be so sore, locking and clicking and giving way on me yet nothing showed up on the xray? My GP did say that she thinks I may have Psoriatic Arthritis which generally doesn’t show on xrays in the early stages but sent me for the xrays anyway to rule out other forms of arthritis.
“In the very early stages of the disease, X-rays usually do not reveal signs of arthritis and may not help in making a diagnosis. In the later stages, X-rays may show changes that are characteristic of psoriatic arthritis but not found with other types of arthritis, such as the “pencil in cup” phenomenon where the end of the bone gets whittled down to a sharp point. Changes in the peripheral joints and in the spine support the diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis. However, most of the changes occur in the later stages of the disease.”
She put me onto Tramadol and paracetamol for the pain. But they were making me feel more sick so I stopped taking them. Even if I take Omeprazole with them I still feel sick. Now unfortunately my GP is on holiday this week and next week so I will either have to wait a couple of weeks to discuss it further or go and see one of the other two doctors, neither of whom I like or find helpful.
Apart from my sore knee joint I need to go and see a GP anyway, I have been really unwell since Saturday and haven’t eaten for five days now. I have a complete loss of appetite and am just taking little sips of sugary drinks to keep me from feeling faint. But I am constantly nauseous and when I try to eat anything I just throw up so for the past few days I just haven’t bothered to try and eat.
I think the sickness and loss of appetite could all be anxiety related. I am experiencing a lot of panic attacks at the moment and am barely sleeping. I keep having really intense dreams/nightmares and waking up every couple of hours in a mess. My body is so used to taking Diazepam on a daily basis that it doesn’t even help the anxiety anymore (unless I take about 4 times my prescribed amount). Where has the anxiety come from? Well I got some really bad news on Friday. A close family member has just been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She is going into hospital tomorrow for a complete hysterectomy and lymph node removal. Everyone in my small family is rallying around to be there for her and all I can do is send texts and make phone calls because of the fucking agoraphobia. I feel so useless and I want to be there for her as the next few months are going to be so tough. After the operation tomorrow she will soon be starting on chemotherapy. She is a mess, her husband is a mess, my parents are a mess, my Gran is a mess, her children are a mess… no one can quite take it all in. They can all be there for her in person, they can visit her in hospital and at home. I can’t. I am pathetic that this phobia has taken over so much of my life in the past six or so years. I feel like I’ve turned myself into a bit of an outcast from the rest of my family, I only see them when they come here to visit me. I saw my CPN earlier today and she is so optimistic that I will overcome the agoraphobia but I’m so terrified of it that I can’t ever see me being free of it.
So that’s everything that’s been happening. Life is feeling pretty shit at the moment and I’m struggling massively to deal with the high levels of anxiety I’m experiencing. A week ago I was feeling so positive and now all I want to do is escape from it all. How selfish of me to say that when someone so close to me is so ill. Deep down I think I’m terrified that something bad could happen and all the family will need to pull together and I won’t be able to. If I feel this stressed and anxious, God only knows how she must be feeling as she is the one who has a big operation to go through tomorrow and months of chemo afterwards.
I just want everything to be OK again. I wish I could wave a magic wand and take away her horrible diagnosis. I wish I could magic away my anxiety. I wish I would stop being sick every day. I wish I could sleep properly. I wish the pain in my knees would stop.
Hopefully in the next couple of days we will know how far the cancer has spread and I’m praying they have caught it early. Everything is so stressful right now that I just want to run away and hide until someone can say to me that everything is going to be OK.