Tag Archives: lovely gp

00:02 – More messed up thoughts

15 Nov

Over the last week I’ve started and stopped writing a load of posts. Some I’ve kept as drafts to come back to and finish them off some other time and some I’ve thrown to the trash bin.

My head seems to be all over the place. I seem to be constantly swinging from so depressed I don’t shower for days, to painting on that fake smile when I know I have to make family etc think I’m doing OK, to feeling like maybe I am OK and getting some course work done, then back to these really low moods with intense urges to self harm or worse to then thinking about death and realising how much it scares the shit out of me. Not of myself dying, but of some time in the future when those I love and care about do and me being left completely on my own. My head then becomes completely full of intrusive thoughts about what will happen when my precious doggies go to doggy heaven, to losing my parents and I end up in an absolute anxious mess. Why can’t I just think about today or this week? Why does my head keep catapulting into the future and thinking about these horrible things?

I’m also in a daily/hourly battle with myself about self harming. I’m not sure what triggered it off… whether it was the talk of the ECT and possible memory loss that can accompany it…

Maybe I started thinking about the memory loss and knowing the only real time I have had a complete black out that I’ve never ever been able to remember was when I was spiked with PCP and assaulted in August last year…

Maybe it was the channel 4 documentary that was on last week about ending female genital mutilation acts carried out on children of an African background which broke my heart for those poor little girls having to go through that kind of cruel torture (especially the fact it was woman carrying out the act on them)…

But then there was this part of me thinking “that’s what I fucking deserve”… so something (maybe a mix of all of that) has thrown me into this place where my head is full of thoughts and urges to self harm ‘down there’. I think of my genitalia as being disgusting and all I want to do is hurt myself there.

If I didn’t have female parts maybe my cousin would never have abused me, maybe the guy who spiked me wouldn’t have assaulted me, maybe I would never have lost my precious baby… and yes I do realise I would never have conceived him in the first place had I not had female reproductive parts but still… the thought of my ‘bits’ make me feel sick to my stomach and I want to damage them so badly and I seem to be quite stuck with those urges… they won’t pass and I wonder if I will be able to keep fighting or if I’ll just give in to them and do it. I have self harmed in my genital area before when my head has been messed up with flashbacks of myself as a child and my cousin abusing me, never severe enough to need medical attention, but the urges that I think/hear in my head really want me to do severe damage this time. I emailed lovely support worker earlier and sort of told her I was having thoughts along those lines and she said I need to try and direct my anger at my cousin and those who’ve hurt me not at my own body but the urges are so so strong. I know I probably sound fucked up and I’m sorry if I do but this is my place to be honest and spill out all my innermost thoughts and feelings even if it doesn’t make for very comfortable reading.

I was supposed to see CPN#2 this week on Tuesday but she is off sick which suited me fine anyway as I find the sessions with her next to useless as you all know. I did however go to see lovely GP yesterday and she had received a letter from new psychiatrist and he mentioned on it that he had suggested I try ECT as we are fast running out of medications and my mood just won’t lift for more than a few hours here and there. I told lovely GP that I am going to try a few months of therapy with the psychologist who should hopefully be sending me an appointment some time in the next few weeks and see if that helps me to deal with or lift my mood a little before I go getting my brain zapped. Lovely GP agreed that was a good idea so we’ll see where I’m at in a few months time.

Well I have to be up early tomorrow so I’m going to head to bed. Sorry for a pretty messed up ramble tonight but sometimes it helps a little to write  all the shit down and try to make sense of all the craziness in my head. I’ll probably regret posting something where I’ve talked about such intimate stuff, but no matter how messed up it might sound I can’t be the only person in the world whose had such thoughts… :/

Maybe a more positive post next time?

Goodnight folks x

 

Protected: 02:38 – A bit of an explanation

24 Oct

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17:58 – I don’t think I fit in anymore…

7 Sep

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This picture sums up exactly how I’ve been feeling lately. My self isolating world feels black and white. I’ve lost the colour from my world. I look at the lives of my friends and family members and they all seem to have colour and happiness in their life. I feel as though I don’t fit in hence why it’s easier to stay hidden away in my little flat, telling myself that it’s better this way… is it better? I don’t know…

A week ago (last Friday) was the day I wrote about when I was in an absolute mess with the physical symptoms of anxiety. The racing and severe pounding that my heart was doing scared me so much I ran to lovely GP anxious and distressed, not to mention completely convinced that there was something very wrong with my heart. After the ECG tracing showing my heart was OK just beating far too fast I have been trying to tell myself every day since that it’s “just anxiety… get your breathing under control and you’ll be fine”. I don’t know if it was the reassurance from lovely GP or the fact that we dropped my Mirtazapine dose back down to 30mg but I seem to be managing the anxiety symptoms a little better now. The severe chest pounding has finally calmed down a bit although I’m still having the palpitations, the churning feeling in my gut and the panicky thoughts in my mind. In other words, I think I’m now back to my “normal” levels of anxiety.

I saw lovely GP again yesterday (Friday) and she said I was looking very tired. I told her my sleep isn’t great at the moment because I now lie there with the anticipation that the heart pounding could start again at any time. She said I need to get some proper sleep and gave me a few days worth of Nitrazepam which I always find help me get a decent night’s rest. I’d not fallen asleep on Thursday night until almost 4am then was back up at 7am to have a shower and get the dogs walked before my appointment at 8.30am then was up all day as I met my Mum for lunch and a wander round the shops. By 8pm I was completely shattered but wide awake at the same time. By midnight I had been in bed for an hour and was still tossing and turning. By 2am I was so fed up I took 10mg of the Nitrazepam and an hour later I was dead to the world. I didn’t wake up again until noon today so I got a full 9 or 10 hours sleep and feel a bit better for it today. Well better in the sense of not being so exhausted… I still feel pretty shit mood wise.

I also told lovely GP about the self harm urges I keep having at the moment. She said she was really proud of me for not doing it (well, not doing it bad enough to require a visit to A&E) since April. She asked me if I had told anyone else and I said yes, I had told lovely support worker from rape crisis the day before. She asked if I had told anyone from the mental health team, i.e. CPN#2 and I said no. I was supposed to see CPN#2 last Friday when I was in the massive anxious mess but had left them an answer phone message first thing that morning to say I wasn’t well and couldn’t attend. I left my phone number and a message asking CPN#2 to give me a call to arrange another appointment but I still haven’t heard from her a week later. Lovely GP said I didn’t seem very enthusiastic about my appointments with CPN#2 and I told her quite honestly that I’m not. I told her I don’t find the appointments beneficial at all and the only reason I go to them is because I hope I will get back to seeing the psychologist again quicker this way. The only appointments I get any benefit from are those with my support worker.

It’s pretty ridiculous really but sadly not uncommon – the two people connected with the mental health team that I see (new psychiatrist and CPN#2) are useless and I don’t feel supported by either of them. Sometimes they are beyond useless. Yet the two other people that I see who aren’t really connected with the mental health team (lovely GP and my support worker) offer me practical help, a place to unload all of my feelings, medication help if needed and I leave those appointments feeling like my voice has been heard and that I’ve been listened too. And I told all of this to lovely GP and she just gave me a sympathetic smile that sort of said to me that I wasn’t the first person to have said that to her.

The other thing lovely GP was asking about was how the nausea/not being able to eat was now. I told her that I am eating but only my two safe foods – bowls of porridge and bowls of soup. It’s not an intentional thing and I’m not really sure of what it is that I think will happen if I eat other foods, all I know is they seem safe because if they do need to come back up again they will be easy foods to throw up. She reminded me that this was how my agoraphobia started – by avoiding the places that made me feel anxious and panicky until my world finally became so limited there were only a few places that were/still are safe places to go to. I promised her that I would try to start eating some other things but as yet I haven’t managed to do that. So I have another appointment to see her again in two weeks time.

After my appointment I met up with my Mum for a couple of hours. Mum treated me to lunch (I had soup) and over lunch I opened up to her and told her how miserable I’ve been feeling lately. I also was honest and told her I’ve been having a lot of self harm urges but that I haven’t acted on them. Mum was pleased that I’d been honest with her and she tried to encourage me not to drop my part-time uni course as doing it offers me some sort of a distraction. She said she knows this is the time of year my mood usually begins to drop but reminded me that last year I wasn’t hospitalised at all (whereas I was hospitalised in the autumn and winter months of 2010 and 2011 as well as the very start of 2012). I told my Mum that I just didn’t know if I was going to manage doing two modules at once (each require approximately ten hours of study per week) as well as trying to learn this Compassionate Mind therapy with CPN#2 and psychologist and also the work I’m doing with my support worker at rape crisis. That’s like four pretty big things to be doing all at once and I really don’t know if I’ll manage to do it all.

My uni course starts back on Monday and I’ve enrolled on two modules but have also sent my personal tutor an email explaining that I may need to drop out of one of them if I find the workload too much but that I would try for the first few weeks to do both of them and see how I get on. She emailed me back and said that was OK so I guess I just wait and see how things go. Mum has also started a new job recently where she isn’t working such long hours any more and has three days a week off so I’m going to try and spend a few hours each week with her to get me out of the house. To be honest I think I just feel a bit lonely at the moment, even though I did see best friend a couple of times last week that was the first time I’d seen her and the kids in ages. Since she met the new boyfriend in May I’ve pretty much been forgotten about and she no longer texts or calls me. I used to wish she would stop calling and texting when I just wanted to be left alone and now I’ve got what I wanted… but it’s miserable and lonely and I only really have one friend at the moment who I see maybe once a week but he’s forever trying to hint at us being more than friends which is never going to happen. I do care for him as a friend and sometimes we have a giggle but there is no physical attraction towards him, plus, I really don’t want a relationship with anyone anyway.

So yeah… my mood isn’t great, my anxiety levels are still high and pretty much constant, my sleep is pretty disrupted, my weird anxiety surrounding foods is still present, I haven’t heard bugger all from CPN#2 and I’m constantly thinking about cutting myself again.

On the upside I’ve managed to be honest with my Mum and lovely GP and my support worker about how crap I’m feeling. I’ve half sorted my new uni modules (but still need to send the form off to apply for my part time tuition fees to be waived), I haven’t self harmed despite constantly thinking about doing so. Oh, one other nice thing was that Mum also treated me to a new purse when we went for a wander round the shops after having lunch. I didn’t desperately need it but I absolutely love Radley bags and purses but they are sooo expensive and we saw some much cheaper but almost as nice ones in a shop window so I have a nice new black leather purse with a pink doggy sewn onto it and some buttons sewn on, it looks just like a Radley one but at a third of the price!

I think that’s pretty much it from me at the moment. I was hoping the new pretty things for my little man’s headstone would have arrived today so I could have spent the afternoon making it all pretty again but they haven’t even been dispatched yet because one item was out of stock. It’s been pouring with rain all day anyway, so it’s a ‘hiding indoors’ in my pj’s day. And it is so cold all of a sudden! I can’t remember the last time I’ve had to have the heating on but it’s been on nearly constantly the past couple of days – typical Scotland!

Don’t have a clue what I’m going to do with myself tonight, I think my exciting Saturday night will be lying in front of the TV watching some of the new series of X Factor – it’s still the auditions which is really the only bit of it I like watching. I saw best friend had posted on facebook about going out with one of her other friends for a night out tonight but surprise surprise I didn’t get an invite. Not that I would have gone anyway but still… it’s nice to be asked. I barely ever go out drinking these days, it’s another environment that I just don’t fit into any more. I feel so different from everyone else… black, white and fifty shades of grey… I think I might need some colour back in my life… but… I just don’t know how to do it :/

16:35 – It’s all in my head

31 Aug

I’ve not posted in a while as I’ve not really felt like writing anything. Since trying out those Pregabalin (Lyrica) tablets a few weeks ago which sent my anxiety soaring through the roof I’ve been feeling pretty rotten. I had seen lovely GP two weeks ago and told her at the time I couldn’t handle the side effects from the Lyrica any longer and she agreed I should stop taking them. I took my last tablet on the Thursday, saw her on Friday and finally by the Monday/Tuesday of last week the last of the side effects seemed to be out of my system.

I then spent the remainder of last week with low moods and hiding away from the world but the horrible rushy stimulated sensations that the Lyrica caused went away. I managed to go to my appointment with CPN#2 towards the end of last week and we talked some more about this Compassionate Mind stuff that they want me to do with the psychologist. Basically CPN#2 wants to do the basics of it with me while I’m still on the waiting list to see the psychologist again so that when I do see her again I will be a little bit prepared and hopefully grasping the basic concepts of compassion focused therapy. It’s hard though, I don’t find CPN#2 helpful, I don’t find our appointments beneficial so that makes me not want to go to them (hence why I didn’t attend for 10/11/12 weeks there) but I know if I don’t go then I will probably be waiting even longer to see the psychologist.

Last weekend was fairly uneventful. I hid away from the world as usual and did very little. But then on Sunday night I took my meds and went off to bed and couldn’t get to sleep. I lay there tossing and turning but all I could feel was my heart pounding so hard and so fast it was really scaring me. So I ended up not getting a wink of sleep because all I could think was “my dad has had two heart attacks and he is healthy compared to me, he isn’t overweight like me, he doesn’t smoke like me, maybe something is really wrong with me physically, maybe I’ll need to go to hospital” etc, etc. I waited it out until the morning and then it seemed to pass. But then the next night as soon as I lay down in bed it started again. Thud, thud, thud, my heart going at a crazy speed and again I lay there knowing it was going to be a very long night. I tried coming through to the living room and lying on the sofa with the TV on to help distract me for a while but it didn’t help. Finally around 6am and being utterly shattered I raided my medications cupboard for my emergency stash, found half a strip of Nitrazepam and a couple of Lorazepam so I took the Nitrazepam to try and knock myself out for a while. It worked for a few hours but by 11am I was wide awake again.

So by now we are onto Tuesday morning and I just felt a total mess as I’d only had five hours sleep in 48 hours. I kept thinking that I should maybe phone and make an appointment to see lovely GP but I already had one booked for Friday (yesterday) so kept telling myself just to wait it out and that by the time we reached Friday I’d probably be feeling OK again. But as Tuesday went by I began to feel worse and worse. I had absolutely no appetite whatsoever and felt sick to the bottom of my stomach. So I didn’t eat a single thing all day on Tuesday. Tuesday night and I get into bed and yes you can guess what happened next – the heart pounding started again. By this point I was getting really worried and confused. I wondered if it was anxiety causing the pounding racing heart but I didn’t feel anxious at all. When I do feel anxious or when I have a panic attack I do get the heart palpitations but I don’t know that I’ve ever experienced the severe pounding going on in my chest. So Tuesday night I barely slept again.

Wednesday arrived and the complete loss of appetite continued. This was worrying me as well because I’m a girl who likes her food and the 750mg of Quetiapine (Seroquel) that I take each day gives me a ravenous appetite. The fact that I’m around 3 or 4 stone overweight also clearly shows I like to eat! I tried a little bit of toast on Wednesday morning but as soon as it touched my lips I was convinced I was going to be sick so it went in the bin and I spent the next few hours hugging the toilet and dry heaving because my stomach was pretty much empty. Then around 6pm on Wednesday best friend phoned and asked if I’d like to meet up with her and the kids as we have an annual Highland Games where I live and in the few days before the main event they have like a gala day thing with stalls and raffles and fare rides and highland dancing. I really didn’t feel like going but as I hadn’t seen best friend or my little ‘nephews’ for over a month she convinced me to go along for an hour. So I put some make up on and tried to put a happy face on for the kids sake. Again I spent the entire day feeling sick to my stomach so another 24 hours passed without eating a thing.

Went to bed on Wednesday night and the heart pounding started again. I needed to sleep as my head was starting to feel a bit crazy from having no food in my body, no energy and feeling pretty sleep deprived so I used my last two emergency Lorazepam, self medicated a little with my Diazepam and took my normal bedtime meds all in an attempt to knock myself out for a few hours again. But it didn’t work. I felt drowsy from the meds but my heart was going at a crazy speed and was starting to genuinely terrify me. All I could think was “what if I have a heart attack and I’m here all by myself… I hide from the world that much that nobody would find me for days if not weeks because they all know my lack of phone calls and text messages is my way of saying leave me alone please… what if I die? maybe I should phone a taxi and go to A&E… I think there is something really wrong with me physically”.

Somehow I made it through the night and then it was Thursday. I was feeling absolutely awful, so tired and so hungry but completely unable to eat or sleep. A friend popped round to see how I was and said I looked like shit and needed to go and see the doctor but I said I’d force myself to get through the rest of the day and go to my appointment with lovely GP that was booked for Friday. And I don’t even need to say it but again the heart pounding started when I went to bed and another day of no food.

And then it was finally Friday. I went into my appointment with lovely GP telling her that something was really wrong with me and it was something physical this time not mental. My skin was sweaty and clammy, my arms and legs were trembling, I felt faint and dizzy from not eating a thing Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, I felt so sick but couldn’t be sick. I told her I was convinced something was wrong with my heart but it only seemed to be happening at night. I told her I hadn’t eaten for days and every time I tried to eat I had this horrible feeling that something bad would happen if I did. I was getting into a total ramble and she could see I was pretty distressed about it all so she checked my blood pressure and listened to my heart and then talked to me about what I thought would happen to me if I ate anything. With each question she asked I knew what she was getting at – it wasn’t something physically wrong with me – it was all in my head. She said she was 99% sure it was severe anxiety I was experiencing but I kept insisting it wasn’t because I’ve battled with severe anxiety with my agoraphobia for the best part of ten years and have had a whole range of physical symptoms from it but never have I been completely unable to eat for four days running and never have I felt my heart pounding so hard it made my chest ache. I think she could see I was genuinely convinced something was wrong with my heart so she said to reassure me she would get the practice nurse to run a heart trace (ECG).

I went back into the waiting room for half an hour and then the nurse called me through. I think lovely GP had managed to calm me down a bit as when I was lying on the bed and the nurse was sticking all the little things around my chest, wrists and ankles and hooking me up to the monitor I said to the nurse that I was sorry for wasting her time, that I knew the reading would be normal and this would all turn out to be all in my head. Indeed the reading was normal in terms of beating regularly but the nurse said a resting pulse should be between 60 and 80 and mine was ranging between 120 and 130 so beating almost twice as fast as it should be. But again anxiety was given as the cause of this even though I had calmed down quite a lot. I went back in to see lovely GP and she gave me a prescription for Buccastem to try and get rid of the nausea so I could eat, a couple of Lorazepam to replace my emergency two I’d had to use up and made another appointment for me for next Friday so I can be checked over again then. As always she was very nice about it and very gentle with me and told me that she completely understood that even though anxiety was something that started psychologically she didn’t doubt for one moment that the physical symptoms of it could be really terrifying. She assured me I was definitely not the first and certainly wouldn’t be the last person to think there was something seriously wrong with me and told me that a lot of people will actually phone 999 for an ambulance when they experience a panic attack for the first time because the symptoms can mirror a heart attack so much. So I felt a little bit stupid that I hadn’t realised this was anxiety myself but she told me not too.

Then, just as I was finally leaving the doctors surgery I said to her “I did wonder if maybe my Mirtazapine dose being increased to the max dose of 45mg could be causing me side effects but I’ve been on the higher dose for a few weeks now and was fine for the first couple of weeks so it couldn’t just suddenly change could it?” And that was when she said we might just have found the cause of all of this. She said she could think of at least three people who had tolerated Mirtazapine absolutely fine at 15mg and 30mg and even found it helped their anxiety at those doses but when they increased to 45mg they started having problems. And the problems they started having were??? ANXIETY. And pretty severe anxiety at that. She said the delayed reaction of a couple of weeks was the same for those people as well and she was now becoming convinced that it was the Mirtazapine making me feel so bloody awful. She also said stomach problems were more common with the higher Mirtazapine dose. So the plan of action now is drop back to 30mg and see if the heart pounding and complete loss of appetite and nausea go away. I left the surgery feeling a little bit more reassured that I wasn’t about to drop dead from a heart attack and it did help having the ECG done and seeing with my own eyes that my heart was beating regularly albeit way too fast.

So last night I only took 30mg along with my Quetiapine but the pounding heart continued when I went to bed. I ended up self medicating with Diazepam hoping that it would allow me to get some much needed sleep and if this was all happening because of anxiety then hopefully it would calm my heart down a bit. I did manage to get some sleep but I suspect that was more due to the fact I was so sleep deprived I was running on empty. I used the Buccastem to try and reduce the nausea and managed to have a cup of milky tea but still couldn’t eat anything. We are now just passed 6pm and I’ve still not eaten. That’s been absolutely no food at all (just liquids) Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and today. Fifth day of no food. I do feel hungry but as soon as I look at food I just feel sick again. I’ve been feeling really light headed and faint today so have tried to boost my sugar levels a bit with some Lucozade. But I do feel absolutely rotten. I have no energy at all and I honestly don’t think I’ve ever gone five days with zero food passing my lips. It’s horrendous and makes you feel miserable. I think I’m going to try making some soup with no bits in it, so it’s just like a drink and see if I can get that down my throat. I do keep telling myself “this is just anxiety” but my head screams back at me “no it’s not!” and it is really horrible and confusing when you know deep down this is your mind doing all of this but you just can’t believe your mind can make you feel so physically shit.

Well I guess now that I’ve been writing for an hour and almost at the 2500 word mark it is time to log off, clearly I had a lot of rambling to do after not posting for a couple of weeks. I really hope this all fucks off very soon because I truly do not know how much longer I can go on feeling this way before it starts sending me crazy.

Argh! Anxiety truly does suck with the tricks it plays on your body but it’s so fucking clever because it does it so convincingly well. Pleaseeee go away and let me eat and sleep tonight, I don’t think I can handle even one more day feeling this rough 😦

18:00 – The sexual assault: one year on

16 Aug

*Talk of sexual assault/abuse that might be triggering*

Today marks one year exactly since the sexual assault happened. It was probably around this same time of day that I’m writing this as well. A full year has gone by and still I’m left with all these gaps in memory as to what exactly happened that day/night. I thought over time memories would come back but they haven’t, I don’t really remember anything more now than what I did the day after it all happened, when I took myself off to A&E to have them test my urine for presence of drugs. So I learned one fact that day and that was that I had indeed been spiked and with PCP. The day after it happened I had a select few flashbacks of being with a stranger and flashes of seeing his body on top of mine, that feeling of power over me, the familiarity of that feeling of power, taking me back to the days of being sexually abused as a child.

But really I have learned nothing more than that. I think what happened was that there was a guy I liked and had met a couple of times in the weeks before the assault happened. I ended up liking him more than he liked me and whilst a little part of me hoped some kind of relationship might have blossomed instead he told me he didn’t think we should take things any further. So yes, I felt rejected by him and I guess I wanted to feel that feeling of someone wanting me again after it had been so short lived. So I think I was stupid and I think I arranged to meet a guy I’d got talking to online. I’ll never know for sure as my browser is set to delete all browsing history when I close the page so there was nothing there to go on. There also weren’t any strange numbers on my phone that I’d text or called that day so I have to assume our full conversation took place online. I also can’t make sense of the fact that I don’t remember meeting him at all – presumably I spent some amount of time with him before he got me to consume the PCP?? So why can’t I remember that bit? Why in fact can’t I clearly remember anything about that day… it only really becomes clear late at night when I was coming back to reality and very sick and unwell. PCP if you don’t already know makes you strongly dissociate and is basically just a horrible horrible drug.

So all I can go by are the facts and the only actual facts I have are the medical ones: PCP was found in my urine and there was a fair bit of blood in my urine with a lot of irritation inside my lady parts. Those facts back up the few flashbacks I experience. Sometimes I wish that I had taken the police up on their offer to try and investigate by looking into my computer and seeing if there were deleted conversations that they could locate, but the evidence was so little that they were honest enough to say that it was likely I’d put myself through months and months of stress and still get no solid outcome. And just like when I was 13/14 years old sitting in the police station after reporting my cousin for all the years he abused me I was given the choice to take things further or just try to draw a line under them and try to forget about it. The same way that as a teenager I couldn’t face putting my family through what could be months and months of building a case against my cousin, I couldn’t face putting myself through it all as an adult either.

So for almost a year I have attended rape crisis support appointments. I still can’t fill in the blanks of the 16th of August 2012 and mostly I’m relieved by that as it’s easier not to know. But it still left me waking up this morning feeling disgusting, wondering who ‘he’ was, wondering why I was sitting crying into my pillows when he probably hasn’t ever given me a second thought. Feeling so disgusting so I went into the shower and repeatedly washed myself… and cried… and cried some more. Sometimes I wonder if there are any other girls crying over what he has done to them… then all I feel is guilt… huge amounts of guilt that if any other girls have been hurt by him I could have done something more to have prevented it… I could have gone back to the police and given a detailed statement… but then I also know that I did tell them everything and that was very little… and it was them who told me that with so little to go on it would most likely not result in a prosecution… and I really didn’t believe that I would have the strength to go through something as stressful as a court case… and I still don’t think I could go through it now.

One thing I didn’t expect to happen was to find that any time I think of the assault I am catapulted back in time to a flashback of my cousin abusing me and I really thought I had dealt with all of that stuff some 17/18 years ago when I was 14 and seeing a CAMHS therapist about it all. But I guess it was just too hard to talk about when I was 14 plus I was scared that the therapist would tell my parents everything I told her so I spent about a year going to see her but told her very little. It wasn’t until the assault happened that I realised I had a tonne of memories that I still hadn’t dealt with as a 31 year old woman, memories I’ve kept suppressed for years that all suddenly sprung out like a jack in a box. There are so many memories and experiences that confuse me and stir up all sorts of emotions in my head. So if anything good has come out of this whole situation it’s that I’m finally getting the help I need to deal with some of those memories at last… even if I do still believe 99.9% of the time that I am the one to blame for everything bad that’s ever happened in my life.

Besides talking about this shitty anniversary I also wanted to write a little bit about my experience with taking the Pregabalin (Lyrica) tablets that new psychiatrist had decided to start me on for anxiety for long term use as he tries to get me to start reducing my diazepam dose. As you know from the posts I wrote about it I wasn’t very keen on the idea of trying it. This was mainly because I had tried a similar drug to it (Gabapentin) a few years ago and had a horrible time with it. Also I read about a lot of people having a really hard time getting back off of it, some people finding it even worse than a benzodiazapine withdrawal. I also didn’t fancy risking the weight gain side effect when it is already one of the most common side effects for the Mirtazapine and Quetiapine both of which I’m now on the max dose of. So I got the prescription from lovely GP last Wednesday then sat and stared at them each time I took my other meds for a few days. It wasn’t until Sunday that I finally found the courage to try them.

A few hours after taking my first little capsule I got that same feeling the Gabapentin gave me – I can only describe it like your body being on some sort of amphetamine stimulant whilst your head can only think about wanting to either cut or kill yourself. Completely flat mood with very depressing suicidal type thoughts slowly seeping through your brain. Yet at the same time there is this rush going through your body which makes you feel all jumpy and then the heart palpitations started which of course make me start to think I’m about to have a panic attack. Which I did indeed end up having… a huge massive one which was just awful. But I persevered and took the three a day I’d been prescribed all of Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and yesterday mornings before deciding I could not handle them any more. And that was me only at 75mg a day when the starting dose is normally 75mg twice a day. There seems to be something in these types of drugs that I’m overly sensitive too because for those 5 days of taking them I was a complete mess, so uncomfortable in my own skin that I’ve scratched so much I’ve made my skin bleed… not been able to sleep more than a couple of hours at a time… constantly feeling on edge and ‘stimulated’ but in a very unpleasant way… like my body and my mind were feeling two completely different things at once… blah… I haven’t taken any for around 30 hours now and it’s only now that I’m starting to feel the last of it leaving my system.

I had another appointment this afternoon with lovely GP and felt like I was having a panic attack in the waiting room. I was still really anxious when she called me through and I rambled all of the above to her, how the Pregabalin made me feel, how I tried them for 5 days but just couldn’t cope with the side effects any longer… I rambled about not knowing which was worse the horrible rushy anxiety provoking body feelings or the sudden onset of suicidal/self harm type thoughts. She agreed that I’d made the right decision stopping them and asked how the thoughts of hurting myself were now. I told her I am still having some urges to self harm but when I saw her face starting to look a bit worried I added in that I would do my best not to act on them which made her look a little less worried. She gave me another appointment for two weeks time as she wants to review things again then and check that all of the side effects I had from the Pregabalin have completely gone by then. She said just as some people would have difficulty in tolerating even small doses of Quetiapine and Mirtazapine that I take at maximum dose, it seems I just can’t tolerate the side effects that come from the Pregabalin/Gabapentin family of drugs even at small doses.

So I’m now hoping that I can try and keep myself distracted from the thoughts of the assault that keep flashing into my head and have a peaceful Friday night and hopefully catch up on some sleep this weekend as well. But I feel pretty meh and the self harmy thoughts are still swirling round my brain. I haven’t cut since April? I think and I don’t want to do it to mark this shitty anniversary yet at the same time I feel more disgusting than ever and like I probably deserve a few more ugly scars.

Anyway on that cheery note I shall wish you all a good weekend… and as I have two sets of puppy-dog eyes staring at me I think that’s my hint that the doggies would like to go for a walk now. Hopefully that walk will be distraction enough to get through the next hour or two without self harming and I think it’s going to be one of those nights where all I can do is take things hour by hour and just wait and see how they turn out, whilst doing my best to try and gently steer things in the right direction.

19:28 – Lots of anxiety about these Pregabalin (Lyrica) tablets!

7 Aug

Yesterday turned out to be a good day. I finally took Mum for her belated birthday lunch and managed to travel around 25 miles and then get out once we were there and managed to go into a restaurant and eat lunch. We were in the restaurant for almost an hour before I started feeling a bit anxious and irritable so I paid the bill and we went for a little wander around the village shops. The rain had came on by then and neither of us had jackets so it was a good excuse to head back to the car and come home. As soon as we were back within a couple of miles of home the anxiety quickly began to calm down so I even managed to spend another half an hour in a coffee shop having a slice of carrot cake which was yummy. It was nice to spend a few hours with Mum and just have a proper chat about both the crappy stuff and some lighter stuff and we both agreed we should do it again soon. So I came home and had a reasonably relaxed evening in front of the TV but then a very restless night’s sleep where I just seemed to wake up constantly, it seemed as though every time I dozed off I woke straight back up. Really annoying and left me super grumpy and overtired today.

Thankfully I didn’t have much to do today. I had an appointment with lovely GP this afternoon and she wanted to have a chat with me about the Pregabalin. She’d received a letter from new psychiatrist regarding my appointment with him last week and he said he wanted to start me on 75mg twice a day and also increase my Mirtazapine dose from 30mg a day to 45mg a day. I told lovely GP about the appointment with new psychiatrist being a complete joke due to the whole 15 minutes it lasted, the fact that when I told him I’d been voice hearing again he simply shrugged and offered no opinion on why they’d came back, that he was still going on about me coming off the Diazepam and that he said I could be prescribed Pregabalin to help with anxiety long term. Lovely GP asked how I felt about it and I told her that the only information I knew about it was what I had read on the internet and that new psychiatrist didn’t even tell me what kind of drug it was, instead simply telling me to “try it, if you don’t like it then you can stop, if it helps you can stay on it”.

So lovely GP took the time to explain what type of drug it was and told me all of the common side effects but there was something different about the way she was talking to me, something I couldn’t quite put my finger on but she seemed kind of hesitant or a little concerned maybe about me taking Pregabalin. She said it was similar in make up to Gabapentin which I once tried taking as a mood stabiliser back in 2009. I only managed to take it for a couple of weeks, maybe even just days before feeling so suicidal and so on edge and a complete mental mess and was told to come off of it immediately. When she told me it was similar to Gabapentin I instantly felt my anxiety start to rise and I told her I’d taken Gabapentin and what a horrible time I’d had. She looked back on her computer to 2009 and found the notes that went along with it and said to me again that it was my choice if I wanted to try it or not but she really did seem like she wanted me to say “no I don’t think I do want to try it” and that was exactly what I felt like saying to her, but there was something niggling at the back of my head saying “what if this drug could really help you… what if it’s the one thing missing and with the combination of it and starting the talking therapy stuff, this could be the right cocktail for me at last…”

I tried to explain that to my GP and she said it was completely up to me, she would go with whatever I wanted. So I asked again what dosage new psychiatrist wanted me to start on and she said 75mg twice a day. I asked what the lowest dosage available was and she said the lowest capsule is 25mg so I said if I was going to try it I wanted to try it from the smallest dose possible and work my way up if I find it beneficial. So we agreed I would start off on 25mg three times a day and then I have an appointment to see her again next Friday and if I find I am tolerating it ok then we can increase the dose. The thing is that once I got home I sat and read the patient information leaflet and there are a LOT of potential side effects. Now I know this is the same with ANY drug even simple paracetamol has a long list of possible side effects and you would think that being on the maximum dose of a drug like Quetiapine that I wouldn’t give a second thought to potential side effects, especially when I know I have the lowest dosed capsules they make. But for some reason (more than likely because I keep having flashbacks of the Gabapentin experience) I am utterly terrified of trying the Pregabalin now. I haven’t given a single thought to increasing my Mirtazapine tonight, I know what side effects I might feel from that and none of them scare me, I know I’ll just feel foggy headed and a bit zombie like for a few days and then my body will adjust to the new dose. But I have sat here with the box of Pregabalin in front of me for a couple of hours now telling myself just to take one but something is really stopping me. Anxiety stopping me. How stupid is that – a drug that has the potential to really help my anxiety is actually causing me a hell of a lot of it?!

So I thought I had made up my mind that I would start with the increased dose of Mirtazapine tonight and let my body get used to that for a few days and then re-assess the Pregabalin situation, maybe by then I’d have built up the courage to try at least one capsule. But then I thought maybe it would be best just to start it tonight and deal with all of the side effects all at once from both meds.

Argh, I don’t know what to do I really don’t. Something is screaming inside of me to remember how horrendous those days taking Gabapentin felt and how stupid I felt when I was whizzing my way through internet article after internet article and reading how it was generally so well tolerated… how could I be in such an anxious and suicidal feeling mess when all these people were saying their side effects had been minimal?? Of course, I have since learned that all medications effect everyone differently. There have been drugs that I haven’t been able to tolerate for more than a few days/weeks/months which other people have said they experienced no side effects from and then there are other people who say to me now that they don’t understand how I can be taking 750mg of Quetiapine mixed with Mirtazapine and Diazepam and not feel like a complete zombie.

I said to lovely GP that I know the reason the psychiatrist wants me off the Diazepam is because it’s an addictive medication but I also said that sometimes the attitude of “if it’s not broke then why fix it” would make life so much easier. At the moment I am slowly but surely starting to get better with the agoraphobia. I still can’t leave my safety zone or travel on a motorway or go near any big cities or shopping centres, but my distance is slowly increasing so long as I know I will be on quiet roads to get to my destination and so long as I’m in a situation where if the panic becomes unbearable I can turn around and head for home right there and then. In other words any form of public transport is still way too much for me to even consider because I’m not in any kind of control over turning the bus/boat/train/plane around… whereas when I’m in a car a car can be turned around immediately. Anyway what I was about to say before I went off on that tangent was, I was telling lovely GP that in my opinion (and obviously I’m no professional) but in my own opinion I think the dose of Diazepam that I am currently on (16mg a day) is a relatively low dosage. And I cannot see what long term damage would come from me staying on that dose and carry on with my life how it is at the moment, some areas still very much a struggle and some areas beginning to slight improvements. Lovely GP nodded her head as if in agreement with me and just gave me one of her sympathetic smiles. I have also found out from my reading about Pregabalin online that it is a pretty expensive drug to be prescribed whereas Diazepam at the dose I’m on is pennies in comparison. It seems so stupid to me that when some bits of my life are kind of ok someone who barely knows me can come along and decide they are going to remove my safety blanket but offer to put me on an expensive drug with the potential for tonnes of unwanted side effects, that may or may not help with my anxiety all the while I’ve already been taking something for almost three years which I know helps. I admit I do have to self medicate with it sometimes and take more than my prescribed dose on particularly bad days, but then there are some better days where I don’t need my full dose so it all balances out. But as I said to lovely GP I know I’m not going to win the argument with new psychiatrist so if this Pregabalin stuff is my only option for long term anxiety management and the only thing he is willing to offer me then would I be foolish not to even try it even if the potential for a repeat of the Gabapentin experience is pretty likely to happen?

I really don’t know what to do and I suppose I’m not going to find out by sitting staring at the box, but I think for the next few days anyway I’ll just do the Mirtazapine increase and get adjusted to that. Hopefully in the mean time I’ll find the courage to at least try the Pregabalin… Then again I don’t even know if I want to find the courage because I’ve read so much about it and so many mixed reviews about how helpful it actually is for anxiety and there seems to be one common theme and that is that most people start on around 150mg a day but almost everyone seemed to need to increase, most people who it worked for said they didn’t get real benefit from it until they were in the 300mg+ range and another whole lot of people said it has a tendency to feel like it’s working and then just poop out on them after a month or two meaning more and more increases in dosage. Also it appears to be a bit of a bastard to come off of. Even my box of the lowest dose capsules says on the pharmacy label “do not stop this medication without speaking to your doctor”. The withdrawal process from it has been horrendous for some people, people who haven’t found any benefit at any dose and so are withdrawing from it completely and ended up with a whole new battle on their hands. I know coming off the Diazepam isn’t going to be an easy one but at least I can say it was worth taking all of this time.

OK I think I’ve rambled on quite enough now I see the word counter has gone over the 2000 mark! Argh I’m just really confused and feeling really anxious and just do not know what to do for the best. Maybe things will somehow become clearer through the next few foggy mirtazapine brain days… who knows.

Tomorrow I have an appointment with lovely support worker and then on Friday I’m starting this compassionate mind/compassion focused therapy bollocks with CPN#2. Must remember to do some reading from the workbook tomorrow night. On that note my stomach is rumbling and I think it’s time to think about dinner and try to stop thinking about all the if’s, but’s and maybe’s about these stupid tablets every two seconds!

Arghhhh!

*lets out silent scream*

Deep breath…

Focus…

Count to ten…

And…

Breatheeee

 

 

 

23:02 – Another week already…

5 Aug

And so, another week has begun. It’s Monday night and I’ve had a relatively quiet day just spent indoors mostly besides a few walks with the dogs. I’ve been feeling extremely close to self harming a lot today although I’ve stayed on top of it and haven’t acted on it (yet). There’s several reasons for this but I’m not really in the mood to talk about them at the moment (a lot of them tie in with Berry whose still bursting into fits of giggles), so I’ll talk about my weekly line up instead…

Tomorrow I’m taking my Mum for a belated birthday lunch (it was her birthday last week but this is the first day she’s had off work) and I’m feeling a little bit anxious about it. I suggested going to a nice little village I’ve been to a couple of times recently with best friend. It takes about 45 minutes to get there and the scenery is absolutely beautiful but it’s a big challenge to all of the agoraphobic symptoms. Even though the rational part of my head says that I’ve done it before so I can do it again, this will be the furthest I’ve travelled with my Mum for a long time. But she has been so good to me and I’ve been saving up for a few weeks so I could take her to a really nice (but pretty expensive) restaurant that sits right next to the water. It gets excellent reviews so I’m sure the food will be lovely but again that is another big test to me – both being far away from home AND having to sit and wait until food arrives, fight the anxiety off enough so that I can get an appetite to eat, sit and make conversation for an hour or so, take a wander around the little row of shops, then finally come back home. I’m going to leave the dogs at home so that I can use them as an excuse to get back home for. I don’t like leaving them for any longer than 3 or 4 hours by themselves so that will give us enough time to get there, have our lunch, look at the shops and get home.

On Wednesday I’m going to try and get an appointment with lovely GP. That will be almost a week since seeing new psychiatrist so I’m assuming he will have got a letter to her by Wednesday stating what medication changes have to take place. Going on Wednesday means it will be exactly two weeks before I’d be due another monthly prescription so that should work out quite well – it will give me two weeks of adjusting to the higher dose of Mirtazapine as well as seeing how I tolerate the Pregabalin. Then I can go back and see her two weeks later when I’m due my monthly prescription and we can decide if I’m happy with the new med adjustments or if I want to change anything. I have to admit I’m feeling a bit very apprehensive about adding a new medication into the mix. I know I’ve chopped and changed and increased and reduced a shit load of meds over the years but I’m always a bit phobic of them to begin with, convinced they are going to give me tonnes of side effects and leave me in such a state of panic that no med in my emergency stash will be able to calm me down from. I don’t know whether to just add on the 15mg to my Mirtazapine and take the full 45mg at bedtime – I currently take the 30mg all at bedtime, and I figure that way I can hopefully sleep off any side effects. As for the Pregabalin I don’t know if I should add that into the bedtime cocktail or take it in the morning. I pretty much take all of my meds at night to try and sleep off some of the zombieness that accompanies them. I guess lovely GP can recommend the best way to take them seeing as new psychiatrist didn’t bother his arse *rolls eyes*… So anyways, that is Wednesday’s plan.

Thursday I have an appointment with lovely support worker at rape crisis and I think that now we can maybe start getting back on track and doing the ‘work’ that I’m supposed to be doing there. Due to me not getting in touch with CPN#2 for so long, some of my appointments with support worker have turned into mental health type stuff and that’s not really what I’m there to talk to her about.

But Friday I have an appointment to go back and see CPN#2 so I’m going to dig out that compassionate mind stuff she posted out to me and make sure I read at least the first chapter before our appointment so I can at least sound as though I’m trying (even if I do think it all sounds a load of bullshit deep down).

So that’s my week ahead… exciting times eh?!

I want to try and get to sleep early tonight so meds have been taken and as soon as I finish rambling on here I’m getting straight into my pyjamas. I never know which is worse – wake up early and have time to get organised, mentally prepare myself for the anxiety I know I’ll soon be feeling, take some Diazepam, take lots of deep breaths, kinda ‘psyche’ myself up to it if you like. Or is it easier when I sleep in late, have to jump up and have a shower, get dressed, dry my hair, walk the dogs, feed the dogs, run out the door chucking some Diazepam down my throat – all of which done within 30 minutes of opening my eyes. Is it easier to take the time to mentally prepare or is it easier to just throw yourself in, very much at the deep end? I don’t know which is the best method, both have been tried and failed, both have been tried and worked. Sometimes I think the best way is just not to plan anything, that way you can never be disappointed in yourself. I try and tell myself I’m just going out for a while, just going to spend time with my mum or best friend or whomever, that I’ll be back home soon, there’s no need to panic, but sometimes the panic just laughs straight in my face then sucks me in, sends me crazy, then spits me back out as a quivering anxious wreck…

OK, on that note I’ll say goodnight. Fingers crossed that tomorrow won’t be too anxiety provoking and maybe I’ll even manage to have a nice time and enjoy spending a few hours just Mum and me. I want her to have a nice day so I really need my panic to behave itself and stay well away hidden in the background if only for a few hours.

Goodnight folks! x

22:22 – Just a ramble really

25 Jun

This morning I was woken up with my mobile phone ringing. Unknown number. I didn’t think it would be some pain-in-the-arse sales call so early in the morning so for once actually answered it. It turned out to be CPN#2 getting back to me after me leaving a message for her on Friday. I asked her if she had got a copy of my letter and she said yes but swiftly said it had gone straight into my file and I kinda got the impression that was the end of that conversation. She told me she had briefly seen the psychologist (that I’m back on the waiting list to see) and they had printed some chapters from the Compassionate Mind program workbook thingy. She then waffled on for a few minutes about what parts of it she would do with me – basically she is going to use our appointments to do the basics of it then I think they are hoping I will be able to get into more depth with it with the psychologist once I start seeing her again.

The phone call with CPN#2 seemed a bit strange somehow. It felt like she was being a bit off with me from the moment I mentioned the letter. I didn’t say anything about it on the phone to her other than to ask if she had got it. So instinctively this is making me think she doesn’t agree with the points I raised in the letter or that some of it’s content has been taken in the wrong way. Argh. And she was making a real point of talking about how our sessions from now on were going to be very structured with specific tasks, goals and aims. I suppose this is a good thing but I’m still very sceptical about the whole compassionate mind stuff and really am not convinced that it’s right for me. Then again, maybe she read the bit in my letter which clearly stated that there were ‘no non-medicated coping mechanisms available to me right now’ and decided if she tries to get me onto this compassionate mind crap then she can at least say she is trying to offer me alternative coping mechanisms. So I see her next Wednesday – can’t say I’m looking forward to it but I’ll give it all a try, I guess I’ve got nothing to lose.

I don’t know whether to make an appointment with lovely GP tomorrow or not. I need a new prescription as I’ve just got a couple left for breakfast time tomorrow. Lovely GP did give me a repeat prescription sheet last time I saw her 4 weeks ago so that I didn’t need to make an appointment every 4 weeks, but in light of the letter I sent and the proposed medication changes new psychiatrist has made, I’m now thinking it might be better and easier just to go and see her. Our GP surgery is so annoying though. Unless you want an appointment in a month’s time then you have to phone on the day you want to see a doctor first thing in the morning, usually the phonelines are engaged constantly and when you do get through to a receptionist you’re told “sorry but all the same day appointments are gone now”. Frustrating. But I have been waking up around 7am a lot recently (this is after not going to bed until between 3 and 4am am) so I haven’t been getting a great amount of sleep or any good quality sleep. Despite the lack of sleep it means I’ve got a reasonable chance of being up first thing and hopefully get a GP appointment without any problems.

I can’t tell if I’m feeling tired at the moment or just fed up. My mood feels a bit blah. Thoughts drifting towards self harming again a lot at the moment. Sometimes it feels like the days are going by too quickly, like I wake up and think ‘fuck, another day to get through’ but again, that might be due to the fact I’m only sleeping 3 or 4 hours a night. I wish I could go to bed right now – 10pm and sleep right through to 8am – that would be heaven. And it’s so frustrating when you just can’t seem to get your body to switch off and rest. My thoughts aren’t particularly fast though, they don’t seem speeded up in any way, if anything they seem slower than usual. Like every day is just one big drawn out frustrated grumpy thought that occasionally dips down into ‘horrible thought’ category then back to just being fed up and miserable again. It’s not like there aren’t things I could be doing – there’s plenty of things I could be doing to pass the time a little more productively. But I just sit here glued to the sofa or lying on my bed staring into space and thinking all the ‘what’s the point’ type thoughts but they are going in slow motion. Stuck like a broken record. The only breaks come when I think the dogs would probably like to go for a walk and even then it’s the same slowed down murky depressed thoughts in my head just with some fresh air around my face.

So I guess I’ll see what happens tomorrow and report back with what happens with lovely GP. Maybe I’ll just do the cowardly easier option and hand the repeat prescription request into reception and hope that she doesn’t cut the Diazepam dose down yet. But I would prefer to go and see her and talk in person, she’s one of the very few professionals that I can actually talk to quite easily yet for some reason every time I’m sitting in that waiting room waiting to be called through I start to panic like mad. Ah, you just can’t win sometimes.

OK I’m going to see if there’s any chance of getting an early nights sleep. Please let things go OK with lovely GP if I see her, I can’t be doing with both my psychiatrist and GP both disagreeing with my concerns over the whole Diazepam withdrawal, I need to feel like someone other than my support worker is on my side and right now it’s looking likely that CPN#2 is probably going to take the view of new psychiatrist. I kinda expected that anyway seeing as she actually has to see him and spend time with him when he comes here each week to do his clinics, obviously they’ll all want a nice little happy working relationship and if that means keeping your mouth closed for an easier life then that’s what they tend to do. That’s one thing I miss the most about the social worker I used to work with, she was actually one who would open her mouth and disagree regardless of what others were saying. She had balls. I miss having someone with balls in my care team. Then, on saying that, lovely GP is usually very fair so maybe she will actually agree with the concerns I have written down.

Right, 10.20pm, time for medication. Time to sit around and go back and forth from the bedroom until I finally pass out for a few hours… then just as I’m enjoying it my phone will start bleeping loudly in my ear and it all starts all over again.

17:29 – Letter sent to new psychiatrist and my week’s worth of rambles

22 Jun

So a few days have now passed since finding out I have the all clear, although it’s been weird, even after getting the results back on Tuesday the anxiety surrounding it all still took another day or two to settle down.

On Wednesday I spent a few hours with best friend and the kids and then got my hair cut and highlighted. It was getting really long again, a good six inches or so below my shoulders. Now it’s in a kinda choppy medium length bob, just sitting at my shoulders and the blond highlights all the way through are really nice. It’s strange though, best friend was like ‘look now you can tell CPN#2 when you next see her that you did something compassionate for yourself’… whereas in my head there was nothing compassionate about it… I wasn’t sitting there thinking ‘ohh I deserve this’ or ‘ohh my hair looks really nice’… all I could think was ‘my hair looks a mess, it’s far too long, I can’t be arsed to spend an hour or more straightening it, it’s time to get some chopped off’. The only reason I got the highlights was because there was a special offer on and whilst they look nice I still have that negative sort of view that the money could have been better spent on something else.

Anyways… moving along…

On Thursday I went to my appointment with my rape crisis support worker and we spent the session putting together a letter to send to new psychiatrist. I had my first appointment with the new psychiatrist on the 5th of June and as you may remember it was a disaster. I thought about writing a letter to him pretty much as soon as the appointment was over but decided to give it a week or so just in case I was overreacting and thought I would maybe calm down about it all. But whilst I have calmed down, I still strongly felt like there were things that needed to be said to him before I next see him on August 1st.

I’m not going to copy and paste the full letter here mainly because of the length of it but also because it contains a lot of personal/confidential information but I’ll cut and paste the main points I raised:

  • As soon as I entered the appointment the first thing you did was check you had the correct medication information for me. As soon as I confirmed it was correct you automatically said that you want me to begin reducing my Diazepam (which I have been taking daily since Nov 2010) with your reasoning being that it can be an addictive medication.
  • You did not ask me how I would feel about reducing my dosage, there was no conversation about it nor did you ask me which of my symptoms that I feel the Diazepam helps with. You didn’t ask how my mood states had been recently, or if I was still self-harming, etc. In fact it seemed to me that you had already made the decision that changes should be made to my medication before I even entered the room and before meeting me.
  • You said to me that because I am on a high dose of Quetiapine that I wouldn’t notice not taking Diazepam. I don’t understand this because it is my understanding that the two medications are used to treat two completely different conditions. The Quetiapine helps control intrusive voices, paranoid thoughts and beliefs and delusional thinking. It does not help with anxiety. I am also concerned that you mentioned lowering my Quetiapine dosage slightly as well, when I have only very recently began to feel a little more stable. This concerns me as I worry if the Quetiapine is reduced as well then I may start to have symptoms of psychosis again or destabilising my mood to the extent where I end up back in hospital.
  • My main concern of all is, at the moment, I do not have any other coping techniques for my anxiety and agoraphobia and self-harming. I am currently on the waiting list to see the psychologist, however have not had an appointment to see her as yet. I hope that in time I will learn tools to enable me to cope with my anxiety, agoraphobic symptoms and distressing self-harm episodes, all in a way that does not require medications like Diazepam. I want to be able to deal with these situations in a healthier way, but the fact remains that right now I do not have any non-medicated coping strategies in place to help me cope with the debilitating levels of anxiety that I experience. It just seems that it would make a lot more sense to: wait until I begin seeing the psychologist; start learning and putting into practice non-medicated coping skills; and then start to lower the diazepam medication.
  • I would also like to make clear that I do not object to the idea of lowering the dosage of the Diazepam slowly and safely and I would also like to make clear that I fully understand it is a medication that is intended for short term use. However I feel that reducing it before there are any alternative coping strategies in place would be a very risky thing to do.

The letter ended up being three pages long but those are some of the concerns I raised. My support worker printed me off a few copies and I wrote at the end of the letter that copies had gone to my support worker, my CPN and my GP. Well, every time they send me a letter about something or another they send it to everyone in my care team so I figured I would do the same. All the letters have been posted now and I do have a little bit of anxiety about what the reaction to it will be but I know that I have the support of my support worker and she agrees that I’ve done the right thing so at least I know someone is on my side. I did also say at the end of the letter that it was not a letter of complaint against the psychiatrist, it was purely me wanting to have the opportunity to explain my concerns after feeling unable to do so properly at the appointment with him. I ended the letter saying that I would attend my next appointment on August 1st with him, but hoped he would have read my letter beforehand so we could talk about my concerns in more detail.

So that’s another thing done and dusted, well for the moment anyway. Hopefully they will see that I am trying to be sensible and rational and take my concerns into consideration. I need a repeat prescription on Wednesday and was just going to hand the repeat form into the receptionist but I’m now thinking it might be better to make an appointment and go to see lovely GP instead. I’m curious to know if she will support what I have said in my letter. She is usually very fair and I have a feeling she will say that maybe it is time for us to start lowering the dose of the Diazepam but I also think she will agree with me that there needs to be something in it’s place so that I can cope with situations that I can currently only cope with through medication. I guess the only way to know what she thinks about it all is to go and see her.

Anyways… I think I’ve rambled on enough now about all of that!

Yesterday I spent most of the day with a friend and I also got an email from my university tutor telling me I have to get up to date proof of being in receipt of benefits to apply for my course fees to be waived again when we start back after the Summer holidays so I’ll need to get that sorted out next week. I also finally phoned the mental health team to ask for an appointment with CPN#2 after a good 4 or 5 weeks of not seeing her (not her fault, mine for not attending and ignoring her phonecall and letter) but she isn’t back in the office until Monday so I guess she’ll get in touch then.

Today (Saturday) I’m having a quiet day as the weather is crap and my flat looks like a bomb site. My washing pile was getting ridiculously high as I pretty much spent all of last week in such an anxious mess that I got nothing done. I’m having a day where I just want to laze around in my pyjamas, do some little bits of housework here and there, work my way through my washing pile, watch shit on TV… a lazy day in other words.

Mood wise I feel OK-ish at the moment. Every so often I have some little thoughts that creep into my head out of the blue and start me thinking that I feel like I need to self harm, but I’m managing to ignore them for now. Although I have checked my hiding places a couple of times just to make sure that there are fresh packets of blades there… just in case… Then I catch myself looking at my legs and the horrendous scarring and feeling kinda sick that those scars are going to be there forever. And a part of me wants them gone, wishes I’d never done them, etc… Yet another part of me is like, ‘well you can’t erase any of those scars so you might as well add some more’. So not sure what’s going to come of these thoughts/urges yet, I guess time will tell.

Right I have rambled on for wayyy too long. And the washing machine has just finished another cycle so time to get off my fat ass and go hang it up to dry. I’m also starting to get hungry so time to cook up some pasta I think.

Hope you all have a nice weekend folks xx

 

01:10 – She is trusting me but can I trust myself

31 May

This week I have continued to hide from the world, I still haven’t phoned for another appointment with CPN#2 however I did go and see lovely GP on Wednesday. She was running late and I was in the waiting room for about 40 minutes until I was called through. For some reason the waiting room was making me really anxious and I wanted to get up and pace so badly but it was really busy so I had no choice but to sit where I was and try to distract myself playing games on my phone. Every time I thought I was feeling calmer again the anxiety would start back up leaving me squirming around uncomfortable and with hot flushes that kept coming and going. As soon as I heard my name I stood up and took a deep breath, reminded myself it was lovely GP and there was nothing to be anxious about.

I feel a bit bad because I feel as though I haven’t been completely honest with lovely GP. I had decided before I even made the appointment that I would go in and paint a smile on my face, tell her that I was feeling good and that everything was all going well, and ask if I could have a monthly prescription again. I have been on weekly dispense for a few years now but two months ago I asked if she would trust me with a month worth of all my tablets. She agreed to give me that chance and whilst I did self harm a few times in that month, I didn’t use any of my tablets to harm myself. I did however fuck about with my medication quite a lot, I also lost track constantly of what I had taken and what I still had to take meaning I regularly missed doses and my mood ended up all over the place. It wasn’t intentional and maybe it was because I was missing so many doses that I ended up back in the mindset of constant thoughts and urges to cut. Or maybe I’d have had those thoughts regardless, who knows.

Anyway.. I had to go back to see lovely GP when my monthly prescription ran out but she was on holiday that week and the other GP’s refused to prescribe me another monthly so I have been back on weekly dispense for the past month. I knew I would need to go back and see her if I had any chance of being put onto monthlies again and also appear like I was feeling well to be trusted again. So I painted on that fake smile and told her things were going good, she asked how the part-time university course that I study from home was going and was happy for me when I told her I’ve passed another module. She asked if I had thoughts of wanting to self harm and again I kept the smile on and told her I didn’t have any thoughts like that at the moment. So after a ten minute chat she said she was happy to give me another monthly prescription and officially changed my notes in case I need a prescription some time when she isn’t there to say “NO LONGER ON WEEKLY DISPENSE”.

So I should be happy right? I am, in a way. I don’t have any immediate plans or intentions of doing any harm to myself and I doubt very much I would use my medications if I did. I’d be far more likely to cut. But I just feel a bit bad for being dishonest, I made out like everything is good when that is far from the truth and I lied about bad thoughts not being present. Yet at the same time I know the anxieties I feel are probably also related to having so much medication back in my cupboard and this is all pretty unfamiliar to me so maybe it’s bound to carry some amount of anxiety. Maybe the bad thoughts that randomly pop into my head with no word of warning will all calm down a bit as I get used to this new situation. I don’t really want to talk about the bad thoughts tonight, they are all mixed up and will only spill out in a nonsensical ramble.

There were also two medical-type-things that I should have talked to lovely GP about but I was concentrating so hard on appearing happy(ish) that I couldn’t start talking about anything else. I told myself inside my head that I could go back another time if the medical thingy’s carried on annoying me. One of the things is that a self harm scar from a couple of months ago (which is still quite purple in colour but mostly healed) is incredibly painful. None of my other scars hurt at all, not in the slightest, in fact some of them are actually quite numb where I’ve probably done small amounts of nerve damage. But this particular scar is extremely sensitive to all sensations, it is like a burning feeling any time anything touches it. I don’t think that’s normal and I do want some advice from my GP but while I was in the appointment with her I kept thinking if I showed it to her and she saw the state my legs are in (absolutely covered in dark scars) then somehow she might start to think maybe I shouldn’t be trusted. So I just kept quiet about it for now. If it’s still bothering me in a few weeks time I’ll go back.

The other medical-thingy is that for the past couple of weeks I’ve been having pain in the back of my mouth, more in my right jaw right next to my ear. I had a temporary filling in my back tooth which fell out a couple of months ago and since then I haven’t been able to bite down properly. Like if I bite down with my back teeth my front teeth don’t meet properly. The pain isn’t intense, it’s more of a throbbing sensation that comes and goes, it gets worse when I’m eating, talking, yawning but it’s not too bad when my mouth is closed. I decided it might be an idea to go and get a dentist appointment to have them check if the pain is being caused by my teeth not being properly aligned. If they can’t find any mouth-type problems then I guess I have to go see lovely GP about that as well.

The dental surgery gave me a next-day appointment because I also keep having little dizzy moments that just last for a few seconds and they coincide with the pain so hopefully they will be able to do something to calm the pain down a bit, even if they put another temporary filling in it might just help my bite to be a bit better. I did do a doctor google search earlier and it suggested that dizzy spells accompanying pain in the area I’m feeling it could be a jaw problem as opposed to a tooth one and the dizziness comes from being so close to the ear which obviously plays a part in controlling balance. I hope it’s just a simple case of slight misalignment with my teeth so it can be sorted locally, I know if it’s something I have to be referred to one of the big scary hospitals for that I’ll never go and get it dealt with. I’m still dealing with a stomach problem that I’ve had on and off for about 8 years because I just couldn’t face the agoraphobic panic of going for a CT scan and sinogram.

Anyways it’s passed 1am now so I guess I better take my meds and go to bed. If I don’t write again beforehand then I hope you all have a lovely weekend (and hopefully a sunny one too!). Goodnight folks x