Better Heathcare Through Bribery

I know it’s been a while but I wanted to keep my head down for a while and it turned into an absence that I didn’t expect to last quite so long. There are numerous reason why I would want to take a break but there are two that stick in my mind and are most prevalent to why I am back writing now. Continue reading

Hi

I have been sat at my computer for what seems like  months (in fact it’s been five weeks or so.) I have sat here with my blog open and willing myself to write, hoping that something would come to me that would make sense outside of the crazy ramblings going on inside my head. It never came. As the days went on I started to feel obligated to write, to have some kind of thing out in the ether. I followed Facebook and Twitter looking for something I could knowledgeably latch on to and maybe have something to say on a news story of the day. Philip Davies – member of parliament for Shipley… well he is just a dick, I could think of anything more to say about him and…well that just didn’t seem like a substantial blog post to write.

Continue reading

The Weather

Don’t panic I am not going to go into the mind numbing minutiae of how good the British weather is.

But for the first time in as many years as I care to remember my mood has taken an up swing during this latest spell of good weather. Normally you would have me cowering in the coolest part of the house… even though my ass is to big for the freezer I would usually gladly stick my head in there for the duration of the Summer.

I think the layout of our garden has a lot to do with it though. We have a little courtyard type area just outside the back door where we have set up a few garden chairs and a Picnic table and we have been going outside to smoke and being able to sit down has made it just that little bit more relaxing and not so rushed. Leading off the courtyard area is a medium sized grassed area that I am actively putting off mowing. That gets the full sun up till about 3.30 – 4pm. But the courtyard after 10am it’s nice and cool in the shade.

This holiday weekend has been the busiest since Christmas. As I said in my last post it was Mum’s birthday on Friday so we B-B-Qed and Sunday we had the Family over again for a full roast Turkey dinner with all the trimmings. The Kids had an Easter Egg hunt in the garden and it was fun watching them scramble around the slightly overgrown grass looking for mini eggs and not so mini eggs. Mum cooked so the food was really nice. I hate it when I cook I never feel like the food I cook is nice. I always end up not enjoying it and moaning about it later. Mum did really well and my Nephew really enjoyed his Turkey (I think given a choice the boy would eat turkey every day given half a chance.)

I decided yesterday that I would risk a couple of glasses of wine if I spaced my pills out well enough and the Seroquel was out of my system by the time we sat down to eat. So in reality I spent 24 hours planning for two glasses of red plonk, not that I am Anal or anything. But I had my two glasses and it went down well and I didn’t have any real after effects of having it. I did feel a little tired once everyone had left, but I had a couple of strong cups of Coffee and I was back to my fighting strength.

Last night my medications were changed again down 1 Resperidone up 100mg of Seroquel, Which if my crude maths is correct means 2x2mg daily of Resperidone and 400mg nocte of Seroquel. When I made the move from 200 to 300mg I was dopey as a mother fucker for the whole past two weeks. Last night I take my pills at the normal time of 10ish and was in bed by just after 11pm. I thought I would be out for the night, only to wake up at 02.30 this morning wide awake… so I did what I normally do, come down for a smoke and then see if I want to head back to bed. Last night I did, god knows why I bothered I was awake again 2 hours later and I have been up for the duration.

One plus point from yesterday (well it’s a plus point after the fact.. it could have been disastrous) Linda forgot to put any Lorazapam in my morning pills. So I went through the whole of yesterday without Lorazapam and I didn’t melt down. This is a good thing. Friday I had to take extra to get me through the afternoon, but as I mentioned before, I was having a bad afternoon confidence wise.

I hope everyone has had a great holiday weekend and are looking forward to the next one ion ohhhh 3 and half days.

Until Next Time…

Tough Day

It’s been a bit tough around these parts today. It’s my Mums Birthday. We hadn’t made any real plans for it. I was going to cook whatever she wanted for dinner and we were probably going to watch a movie this evening. Somewhere along the way this week it evolved (I am starting to hate that word) into buying a Bar-B-Que and having a little family get together. I thought this was a great idea, Mum doesn’t get bored and the food will be “different”

The plan this morning was for my Sister In Law to come around at about 11.30 and for my Brother to follow once his church service had finished and then Mum and SIL would go out and buy the Bar-B-Que and requisite items to go with it. Then once the hardware was bought it would get ferried home by Taxi and they would head to get the food part of the day. All good so far. This all went off to plan. When the hardware arrived my Brother set to putting it together (he is better at things like that… fuck he’s better at most things than me… but that’s just my general fucked up view of things… it’s supposed to be the older brother who leads the way.. not in this family.) It took him about 30 minutes to put the Bar-B-Que together… I would still be fighting over the legs 12 hours later. Once Mum and SIL arrived home with a metric tonne of food to be cooked we had just about gotten to the stage of lighting the damn thing. According to those congregated it was my job to set the fires going and to cook the food. I fought for thirty minutes trying different ways of getting that dam thing burning properly. We, in the end, used about 2/3 of a bottle of lighter gel and after about another thirty minutes it was raging like a trooper.

Needless to say my brother had taken over after I had all but admitted defeat at the hands of the charcoal briquettes . I did however take over the cooking and managed to cook some pork steaks and not burn them. I moved on to the food on skewers and managed to singe a few sausages. I knew I was on to a losing battle as my anxiety levels were gradually creeping up. The kids were hungry and things just weren’t moving fast enough to keep everyone happy. I started getting that feeling you get when everyone is watching you judging every move you make.  I handed the cooking tongs over to my Brother and he was in his element cooking away with a beer in hand. (What I wouldn’t have given for a cold beer today, but with the Seroquel and extra Lorazapam I had taken it just wasn’t wise for me to drink as well.)

My brother handled the rest of the cook duties for the afternoon with a plomb. the only things that looked a bot weird were the sausages.. they went from Brown to Black…but perfectly edible. They weren’t burnt at all and I had two or three of them so they must have been allright.

I guess it’s my inadequacies that I foster and imagine that make my success in anything where my brother is concerned all the worse. I have written before about how he is better at virtually everything we have or have had in common. I honestly can’t think of a single thing that I do “better” than him. He is Musical he is a tech guru (He can build websites from a blank notepad page and make it look good.. he is also a great parent something that I am sure that if I was in the same position wouldn’t be the case. I may be the funky uncle but I am sure I would make a shit Dad.. probably wise that Linda and I couldn’t have kids then.)

OK this is just turning into one big fucking Pity Me party so I am gonna go and wallow in bed and try not to wake up until after Easter is all over.

Until Next Time…

Ever Evolving

I had another post that I started writing Saturday afternoon about this but I lost the impetus and it’s just lying languidly in my drafts folder… lets hope this one gets further along.

Last Friday I had my first appointment with the new CMHT’s Consultant Psych. To say I was nervous about it is an understatement. I had such a good rapport with my old Psych that I doubted anything could match that. I had the words “Over Medicated” firmly planted in my brain and I knew this would mean playing with my cocktail, something I am loathed to do as I have such an adverse reaction to change in medication.

As is usual with my Psych appointments they were ten minutes late in starting. Is it me or is it just the system that indicates that they have to run ten minutes behind every appointment. When we (Linda and I) were called into the meeting we introduced ourselves and they (the psych and access team member) did the same. We all sat down and the Psych lets call her for the sake of ease Dr S. once we got into the room and sat down… no one sat behind a desk, it was all very “informal in a semi formal way.” Dr S stated that we would be spending an hour in this meeting, this surprised me a little as I didn’t realise that there would be that much time (as it was we went over the hour (I must have been interesting or something.)

It was a pretty standard interview type scenario. Dr S asked questions and I did my best to answer them. I am damn sure that some of my answers were wrong, as much as you can be wrong about your own life. I answered the best as I could with my limited memory. It did feel at times like she was trying to catch me out on certain questions, I’m sure she wasn’t but it felt like it. Questions like what were my experiences with Mania like. I got confused in my explanation and it made me look foolish in my eyes. I hadn’t had a psychotic “event” when I went hypomanic which apparently is the difference. There wasn’t much talk of my depressive states, which I found unusual as that is my prevalent aspect of my illness.

It was around this time that she dropped a bombshell, and in all honesty it’s why it’s taken me almost 4 days to write this. She claimed that my diagnosis could be wrong (I am paraphrasing as I don’t recall how it was put.) It turns out that I may not be Bipolar after all. She put this down to the age I was when I was diagnosed and the baseline cause (that I gave) as to when my illness kicked off. For those unsure of what I put this down too, it was work related. I was in a high Impact call centre and I felt myself getting more and more out of my depth and finally cracked.

After some consideration I can see why she would think that work stress couldn’t have triggered a diagnosis of Bipolar, but on the other hand I have spent the last 7 years researching the illness and I fit quite nicely into that bracket. Whilst saying that I could also fall into the classic Clinical Depression diagnosis too. I don’t have that many Hypomanic episodes anymore. Most of my problems fall down to depression and to some extent Psychosis. So equalling everything out who knows what my diagnosis should be. I think Dr S saw that this had worried me some and after my plucking up the balls to ask what my diagnosis should be if it wasn’t one of Bipolar, she quite assuredly stated  “I don’t know, that’s what these future assessments will be about. Let’s just say that your diagnosis is EVOLVING.”
W.T.F Evolving means I don’t know. Could I had transformed into a Schizoaffective disordered patient. I say Schizoaffective as I have been hearing voices and have visual hallucinations for the past three years and probably way before that but it’s definitely been at least three years. It’s a new minefield that I am going to have to tread very carefully through. I don’t want to start diagnosing myself with other things when it’s probably the least complicated problem and I just wind myself up even more.

The rest of the meeting was a bit of a blur. I was so fixated on not having a proper diagnosis. All the questions that ran through my head started to distract me. The main one being related to an E.S.A application form. Those bastards are just looking for a weak spot and this could possibly be it. As if I don’t worry enough about my benefits now to add this is just a total mind fuck.

The only funny thing (I mean humorously funny) is the questions about my libido and how I felt about sex. I swear I went ten shades of red and purple, at least i felt like I did, I had no idea how to answer these questions with out sounding like a sex pest or a raving Horn monster. I flustered and gave a half hearted answer about being a normal 36 year old bloke and left it at that. I know that I should have mentioned more about the subject but I didn’t talk about that with my old Psych who I had a long standing relationship with how was I supposed to op[en up to someone I met 40 minutes previously. God forbid anyone think I am a prude (FAR FROM IT) I just got tongue tied and blurted out the weakest answer possible.

Dr S asked if I had any fears… I said the usual Spiders and flying bugs (that’s my standard answer) but from out of nowhere my real fear came up. Being alone. Having mum and Linda die and leave me on my own. I have to say the thought terrifies me and whilst Mum was ill in February and it was touch and go I have to admit I had nightmares for weeks after. We had skirted around the medications I am on and how that I am taking three times more pills that anyone on her books takes, she dropped the bombshell that I should worry less about mum and Linda dying as with the amount of drugs I am on it’s more likely for me to drop dead before hand…lovely thought there Doc!

On the subject of drugs, we moved on and we discussed reducing some of prescriptions. She was very open that she didn’t want me on so many as It was unhealthy for me. To be honest as I have said before, I just took what the Psych up north gave me and gave very little thought to being over-medicated. I am a very trusting person and believe that people who have spent years training to be a Doctor should be trusted, it’s only when they make stupid OBVIOUS mistakes that I take umbridge with them. Dr S seemed to know her shit so I went along with her line of thought, in hindsight she has just done exactly what my GP tried to do when I first saw him yet I don’t bat an eye when a Psych tries to change things… must have trust issues along the way too. Before she changed anything she tested me to see if I knew what I was taking. I, surprisingly, remembered all but one of the drugs I was on and what they were for. Go me!!! Dr S asked me which drug out of Risperidone and Seroquel I thought should be altered. I had been on Risperidone for so long and Seroquel seemed to be helping somewhat with sleep at least… I think it’s still a combination of the two that is dulling down the voices in my head. I chose the oldest drug to give up as in my way of thinking, I have been on that the longest and the effects of that are probably minimal at best after years on it. So Dr S agreed that that was probably a good enough reasoning and suggested that I reduce the Risperidone gradually and increase the Seroquel gradually too. So the rough schedule is that I reduce Risperidone by  1mg for two weeks and increase the Seroquel by 100 mg and then another 100mg’s in two weeks and then over the next 4 weeks after that totally come off Risperidone and then see her again in 6 weeks, for which she gave me a slip of paper and gave me instructions to see the receptionist to make an appointment there and then. That, there, was unheard of at my last CMHT they would send for you when THEY thought it was time, often at least a month after the Psych said he wanted to see me again.

The lady from the access team (who I think was Dutch) asked me a couple of questions and then they openly conferred and recommended that I be placed on the recovery team lists as it appears that I am going to need more support over the next few months and that the Recovery team would be best placed to offer this help. They deal with all aspects of recovery and take it step by step and help you with getting out if you’re anxious and help starting the process of getting back into some kind of work routine and offer extra curricular options.. (there was a mention of a film makers course… my ears pricked up at that.)

So that was the meeting. A little over 70 minutes and far more in depth that I have written here but as I said, it’s tough when they throw curve balls at you and expect you to keep up.

After being on the higher dose of Seroquel since Sunday I have slept almost twice as much as I had in any two previous days. I am hoping my body gets it’s shit sorted soon (preferably before the next increase) as I hate sleeping the day away.

Oh dear over 1700 words I guess I remembered mo0re than I thought I did. By the way… this post (as long as it is) puts me well over 60,000 words in actual posts on this blog… a small number compared to some other bloggers but it’s a mini milestone to me. I have read books with less words…lol.

Until Next Time…

A New Start

I had my first meeting with the new CMHT on the Monday just gone. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, I am just glad that I had Mum and Linda there to back me up. I was feeling the effects from the previous nights Seroquel and being up early and not being able to go back to bed to sleep it off led to an iffy first impression with the access team. I tried to answer all of their questions the best I could but my brain just wasn’t connecting that morning. I suppose it’s best that they see me at my worst and for once my body co-operated. They asked all the usual questions you would ask someone in a getting to know you type meeting. What my symptoms were? What do I do throughout the day? What did I think my current state of mind is at the moment?

The Nurse who was leading the meeting was quite nice, I have forgotten his name already, hell I had forgotten it within Ten minutes of him telling me it. He commented that I seemed over medicated. Not tired or withdrawn, but over medicated. I guess for the first time I actually see my general malaise as being over medication and not depression for the most part. To a certain point I do agree with that. It does take me a fucking long time to get my arse in gear if I am awake before noon. My mornings at the moment are completely shot, I just simply cannot function. I have to start getting used to the feeling of being tired and working through it. I can’t simply keep going back to bed until the middle of the afternoon, it’s just lazy. I mentioned to them that my GP had changed my Seroquel to the modified release version and that I thought that was what I thought could be contributing to my general tiredness during the day. I asked on the off chance if they knew of a way that they could change it back to the regular one hit wonder version I was on before I saw my GP. They said that they shouldn’t think it would be a problem to get the Psychiatrist to do a prescription for the regular kind (and they did.)

I was with them for about 30 minutes and I was almost relieved to know I was now back into some kind of Mental Health system, They don’t work the same way that my old CMHT did where you are under a psych permanently. You see them for as long is as needed to get sorted and then you are discharged back to your GP for medication reviews. I am not sure I like this way of working as my GP is very gung ho when it comes to medication. It’s almost as if he is anti medication at times. He wants you on as little as possible, but I would be very wary of him changing to much  mostly because of his wanting to change my medication within 5 minutes of meeting me at our first meeting. But I think I have a long way to go with the psych before anything like that happens. I think they want to reduce my prescription before they get rid of me. I think they were more concerned than I was at the amount of drugs I am on, that viewpoint has changed over this past week but whatever it takes to get me through. My medications are a finely balanced tight rope act. Any changes that are made are usually met with mood swings and depression. I don’t why I am so sensitive to them but any change and you can almost bet a pound to a penny that you will notice the change in me within a few days.

They asked me what sort of services I had up at my old place so I mentioned the drop in place I used to go to for relaxation groups and discussion groups. They said they had something similar here where they do various courses in stuff like photography and practical things. I had mentioned that the Bungalow had been one of the places that allowed me to get out and meet people and not be just confined to the house. They are going to get some info together and let me know on what groups are run around here… the photography one sounds promising. I might have to invest in a better camera for it though.. I don’t think my little one would do much justice to a proper course in photography.

At the end of the meeting they went and had a conflab with the Psych and came back to the waiting room and called me back to the room where we had had the meeting and asked a couple of questions, they went of again and came back 5 minutes later with a prescription for regular Seroquel and an appointment to see the Psych at the start of next month. So we are off and running.

In other news, I got my birthday present two months early this week. I am now an E-Book reader. It’s a nice little reader that does exactly what I want it to do. It is an LCD display so it lights up and is readable in the dark (bedtime.) So far I have read The Hobbit and am half way through Dan Brown’s Deception Point. It has reinvigorated the reader in m e. It’s so easy to use and because it’s just about an inch thick (with the leather cover on it) it doesn’t feel like I am sat there ploughing through a doorstop of a book. It’s deceptive and lulls you into reading more and more. It’s just a little click down one page and you can manage just one more click before you close it up and lay down to sleep. It got me like that on Monday night (the night I got it) and ended up reading another 40 pages of the book.

Well that’s it from me for another night. If you prey meditate or give thoughts out… say a little something for the people of Japan this weekend. They have a long road ahead of them and it’s only getting worse for them at the moment.

Until Next Time…