Christmas is never an easy time of year. On top of the regular MH issues, this year a lot of stuff relating to abuse and trauma has been surfacing in a very painful way. There have been lots of tears and intense discussions, actually talking about the childhood abuse for the first time ever and facing it head-on. It hasn't helped having so few appointments - I saw the dietician last week, but now won't see her for a month, and don't really have any other appointments planned. I might try to get in to see the GP this week though. I just really need to talk and get it out.
We kept Christmas quiet and simple this year. Still, I had a bit of a meltdown on Christmas Eve as I stuffed and trussed my chicken. Not my finest moment. I had another mini-OD, mostly on seroquel and lorazepam. Recently I've been either not taking my meds, or taking far too many. Mum now tells me the only reason she didn't call an ambulance was because it was Christmas Eve.
Long story short, by the time I'd calmed down, the chicken had been out of the fridge for too long for mum to be comfortable cooking it. We ended up having a stir-fry for dinner, and croissants were made earlier I'm in the day.
I didn't even drink. I bought myself a bottle of red the day before, and was given another on the day, but they're still sitting unopened on my bar.
I kept baking to an absolute minimum this year, which was unusual for me. I just wanted to keep food simple and minimal. I skipped the cakes, the sponges, the shortbread, nearly everything except for one batch of my grandma's caramel slice and my mum's chocolate truffle recipe. We started a couple of days before Christmas, and by yesterday all of the baking and leftovers was gone. I just couldn't deal with the stress of having so many different foods around for so long.
All in all, it was a lot more like 'normal' people eating rather than Christmas gluttony.
When my brother got home, we opened presents. I got a bottle of shiraz, a new journal, a new Parker pen with a heap of black gel ink cartridges, a pack of bath bombs, a little power pack for charging phones, and some coffee beans.
Unfortunately I have trouble gripping the pen without my hand cramping (I never figured out how to hold a pen 'properly') because it's so straight and thin, so I'm just using the ink cartridges in the pen my brother gifted me some years ago.
My brother bought me a heap of coffee beans, as I've stopped drinking instant and started brewing my own these past few months. They haven't gotten here yet, but I've got like 1kg of Italian espresso beans plus lots of different 250g bags to try, so hopefully they'll be here soon.
Thank you all for your comments and support on my last post. I know it's a hard time for a lot of us, but I hope you all had the best day possible.
I know it's been just over two weeks now since I last posted... In case you couldn't guess, things have been pretty full-on in my little world. There have been seizures, ambulance rides, sneaking out, breakdowns, confessions, appointments and infections.
I've been trying to write a post for weeks with no luck. The two most significant events were probably the big group appointment with the new Mental Health Nurse, my dietician and GP, and the fact I landed in A&E last weekend after suffering from a couple of seizures.
(The sneaking out story is also pretty epic, in a 'who are you and what've you done with Bella?' kind of way, complete with jumping fences, so I'll save that for a post of it's own.)
The first seizure happened early in the morning. I have no memory of it, and wouldn't have known it happened if I'd not woken up being asked if I was okay. I assumed it was a one off, and didn't think much of it.
Then, around midday, I had another seizure. Knowing my luck, I was sat on the toilet at the time. This one lasted much longer, around 10 minutes compared to 30 seconds earlier.
I'm covered in cuts and bruises, still. I smashed a ceramic toilet roll holder on the way down, though thankfully avoided going head-first through the asbestos wall.
Mum called an ambulance and I spent ~5 hours in A&E, panicking about being in the same building as the Horrible Psychiatrist, not being able to go to the private hospital because they 'don't do seizures'. Billy whimpered and howled so loudly when mum was on the phone, the operator could hear him on the other end of the line.
Apparently one of the ambos had attended me when I had seizures in a similar situation earlier in the year. Including the time I randomly passed out and hit my head while weighing myself, that's the third ambulance call-out I've had this year. (I got the bill this morning - $1,690. Pay your Ambulance Membership/cherish your pension, folks.)
I don't really want to go into it that much, but my GP thinks it was a combination of smoking and not having slept the night before. I wrote a little about it here, but mostly don't really talk about my smoking. In fact, I think this is only the second time I've mentioned synthetics on here - the first time being when I last had seizures.
The doctor in A&E gave me a lecture about the dangers of synthetics and the risk of permanent damage. After some years on-and-off synthetics, and the natural stuff, I probably know this better than anyone. It scares the shit out of me. But what scares me more, is that it isn't enough to stop it.
Then, on Wednesday, I had my big appointment with the new mental health nurse, with both my dietician and GP there. It was the first time I've seen her in months. My GP was in the waiting room when I got there, and the dietician came in a few minutes later.
The MHN started saying she'd thought about writing a letter for the past few months, but wasn't sure if it'd be overstepping boundaries since we'd only had the one appointment. She said she wasn't sure if something she'd said came across the wrong way, and that humans aren't infallible. I couldn't bring it up. It seemed so obvious to me - how can she not know?
My GP spoke for a bit about her role and the structure of the team, how my appointments work and a bit about what's been going on for me lately. She bought up the topic of a 'potential relationship' (and that's a whole 'nother post, jesus christ, it's been a crazy few weeks). The dietician looked excited and grabbed my knee. "Name?" "Not worth talking about."
The dietician spoke for a bit about her role, and explained how weigh-ins are working - every 6 weeks, with a need for open honesty with the numbers and no room for miscommunication. That said, I was supposed to be weighed last week, but didn't (...I think).
I was supposed to see the MHN again this week, but didn't get there. I knew I'd had another rough weekend, particularly with meds and self-harm. There's been a lot of trauma-related stuff bubbling to the surface, but again, that's another post. I was stoked to see the dietician on Thursday, because apart from the team appointment, I hadn't seen her in a month.
I went in, and we were chatting for a while, and then she commented that I was looking a lot better than Tuesday. Apparently I was a total wreck and completely beside myself. Mum had deemed it an emergency, and so I went to see the dietician, and made an appointment for the GP later that morning. I had no memory of seeing the dietician, or the GP, or the nurse, or the days surrounding.
For the past week I've been holed up in my bedroom. Anyone who's been reading for a while will know this room is a huge trigger for me, and usually I spend as little time in there as possible.
I don't really know why. I just don't want to deal with the world, with people. I don't want to go outside, not even to my back porch. And so I've been stuck in here, leaving for maybe an hour or two max each day.
A few days ago the dams broke and I just started crying, tears that have barely stopped since.
I'm losing days and losing track and I don't know which way's up.
Seeing the GP next Friday. Dietician next week. I cancelled on her again yesterday, because really, what's the point?
I'm making her an apron for Christmas. There's only two appointments left until she goes away.
In other news, I've been talking to someone on Facebook for the last few weeks and, well, got asked out.
I don't even know where to start explaining why this is such a complicated issue.
I kind of want to tell him he's wasting his time because I don't go out much and am not in the place to cope with a relationship or any of that.
For those playing along at home, I've had a total of maybe six social encounters since I started blogging.
It's all such a confusing mess and I really don't know if I'm in the right place to be able to deal with any of it. I'm going to try to get my thoughts straight and will check in with how it went later in the week, but I just wanted to quickly check in as I know a few of you were worried.
The last few weeks at home have not been the most pleasant. When I last posted, I'd just seen the dietician that morning, and in the afternoon, mum got back from her mini-vacation. After a horror weekend alone, I told her we really needed to change the carer's payment situation, and she told me to move out while I'm at it.
It hit me as a bit of a shock, for her to say that. It hurt. I didn't have the energy to sit there and pointlessly argue. I went out the garage, and smoked and broke down until the tears ran dry. Then I went back to the porch. I accepted it. It is her house, her life, and ultimately her decision.
I have to make this clear. I'm not angry or frustrated at mum for not being able to continue as my carer. I do get it. I'm angry that she won't accept it means losing the payment, and whenever I've tried to discuss it with her, she gets offended and argumentative, and I had to draw the line. (I should note: I do pay my own way covering everything I eat, my share of bills, the housework etc.)
She's a great mum. I think (or hope) most of you guys know that. She's just not fulfilling the role of 'carer'. It's a fact, not a judgement. I honestly think that if we redid the forms, which I'll be asking my GP to do, the outcome would be different now. It's not a sudden change - it's been building all year.
She's burnt out. I get it. Before I was ill, she cared for my brother for some years too. It isn't a 'blame' situation, not by a long shot. It's just the way life works. I just need to know what's going on so I can start looking at my other options.
To me, though, it just confirms everything The Horrible Psychiatrist said all those years ago.
"They will get tired, and they will leave."
Mum looked him straight in the eye, and told him he was wrong. His reaction was basically,
I always knew he was right on that one. Now, I'm taking his second piece of advice.
"You should free mum from her role as carer."
After that discussion and the aftermath on Tuesday, I made an appointment to see the dietician again on Thursday. That didn't happen.
For the last few months, mum has been pushing me to do more by myself, especially at appointments. It started with going to every appointment alone, and currently, she is pushing me to go to reception, talk to them by myself, go back afterwards and talk to them again to pay. For reference, the most I've been able to interact with the girls at the desk is saying 'hi' and 'thanks' in the last few months, and even that has been a huge challenge. Before that, it was just a smile, sometimes a wave.
And I couldn't do it. I know it sounds ridiculous, but it was too much. If I were in a better place I might consider the challenge, but at the moment it's just another roadblock in getting to appointments. I asked mum if she could please put a 'pause' on her agenda, because I'm already struggling enough with food and getting to appointments as it is. No.
But I'm not going to push it. In the end, mum is backing away for a reason, and I can't change that. So I cancelled Thursday, and cancelled tomorrow's regular appointment too. Like I said before, I'm just rolling over and accepting it. It is her house, her life, and ultimately her decision.
So I guess you could say, appointments are currently up in the air. I still have my weekly standing appointments with the dietician, and have an appointment with my GP next week, but it could go either way. I feel like my supports are crumbling one by one, and I don't have the self-caring factor to be pushed in to these scary situations, just to get to appointments, and for whose benefit...?
And I want to thank you all for you comments, support, input, feedback and opinions on my last post. I was actually kind of scared to check the comments for a few days. I think I prepare myself for others to judge me just as harshly as I do. I checked a few days later, expecting the worst, but instead they made me cry. I really don't know what I'd do without the support and friendship of all of those in the blogosphere.
At the moment, I'm just trying to find my feet, my routine, and keep up with the human race in general.
As for the whole thing with my friend, I don't have a friggin' clue what's going on there, but I think I'm good with that. Or, more to the point, I'm just over. I don't have the time or energy to waste on social dramas right now. Isolation is the best medication.
This past week has been really full-on, hence my lack of writing. I was to be left home alone for 5-6 days, and things did not go as planned.
Last week, I actually worked up the cojones to ask a friend to come over and keep me company for part of the weekend. He asked when my mum and brother were going away, and said he'd come over for most of Friday and Saturday, and only be 10 minutes away if I needed. I thought I had a safety net, and that at least a couple of days wouldn't be so hard.
I don't even know what happened. I really don't even know. I think that's the worst part. My social life is very much a case of "the less said, the better". He came over, we talked and drank and watched Inside Out. It was nice. He had a bag and a new bottle of scotch. I thought he was going to stay. The scotch never got opened.
One of the first things he said was that he'd been dating a girl for four months, and she wasn't too happy about him visiting. Obviously, this is where the shit hit the fan, with constant texts flying, but I don't know what or why.
He left sometime around 1am, I'm not entirely sure. I wasn't expecting it, and it was a shock to the system like having ice water poured all over me. Everything in me sunk and all I felt was fear. I can't even explain how or why it makes such a difference just having someone around. I just needed someone there and I had no one else to call on.
We haven't talked since, which isn't unusual for me, but I don't know when or why plans changed or if I've stepped on toes or what. If it had been a known, I would have tried to sort something else out so I wouldn't be left alone, even if it meant a respite carer.
As a bonus, toward the end of the night, my stomach decided to pull it's magic trick where it randomly ejects its contents. I don't think it was even alcohol-induced, as I didn't drink that much, and I kept being sick until about 4pm the next day.
Saturday was one of the hardest days I've had in a long time. The morning was hell. Between the stress and being physically sick, I wasn't coping. I called mum 10, 20, 30 times, only to hear she'd be turning off her phone in 15 minutes for the wedding. I didn't even know what to say. I then called my brother, who very calmly asked the routine questions and asked if I needed him to come home.
My brother flew back on Saturday. I feel terrible because he'd only left the night before, but I didn't know what else to do. I felt so alone and scared, and it's not like I exactly have lots of local friends to call.
I waited in curiousity to see if I'd hear from him on Saturday. Nothing. I think I've managed to unintentionally fuck up my last local friendship.
A strange phenomenon happens when mum leaves, and I lose all sense of time, all structure, and arguably the majority of my mind. When I started smoking weed, I referred to it as the Eternal Twilight. The same happens when I'm alone. Life is just one, big, long fucking day.
I've missed most of my meds and skipped most of my meals. Saturday, I didn't eat until 6pm when I made an egg with bacon on toast. Just under 200 cals for the day. The next day, I had an Ensure at the end of the day, but that was it. I've had another supplement this morning, and I'm going to try to go and cook a proper dinner after I finish this post.
I should mention, this whole week had been a result of bad timing, with both my mum and brother booking trips some time ago for the same weekend. Unfortunately, no one realised the clash until a few weeks ago, and by then it was too late to change anything.
I had a talk with the dietician this morning, which helped a lot. I might try to see her again on Thursday, just because the last couple of weeks have been so hard with intake and weight. I've lost 2.5kg since she weighed me two weeks ago, and there's four more weeks until I next have to be weighed. She asked if I wanted to do it this morning to get it out of the way, and I thought about it, but ended up chickening out.
Mum got home a couple of hours ago. I told her that
"After this weekend, I don't think I want you on carer's allowance any more."
This has been a highly debated topic in our household of late, as it's been building for a while. And she got really pissed off and said "Fine, cancel it, and move out while you're at it."
This week was my 6-weekly weigh in with the dietician.
I've started being more open with her lately, as our relationship recover's from last year's scale screw-over.
At home, on the Wii, I weighed 46.1kg. At the dietician's office, clothed and full of coffee, I weighed 48.3kg. I figure I'm somewhere in between, so let's say 47.2-ish. The bathroom scales still seem so daunting, so I'm still weighing in on the Wii, but I know I'll have to get on the real scales soon. This time between weighs, I lost 2.0kg.
She asked how I felt about it, and I told her straight up that it was a relief to be further away from the 50kg mark. When she asked if I wanted to lose more, I told her the truth (in my head, I'm planning to start maintaining again in January). She said she'd really freak out if I lost any more with my current BMI. I at least agreed to have two Ensures/Forticremes this week.
However, I've been feeling pretty sick since then, and I've dropped another 1.5kg in two days, putting me around 45.7kg (BMI 13.2). I'm actually going to ask if we can redo this week's weight. It was just horrendous timing that I got sick and dropped further, and I don't want her to freak out.
I've been feeling pretty crappy since Tuesday night, when I woke up vomiting. Since then it's been coughs, puke, aches, chills, fevers, night sweats, and complete exhaustion. It's making a lot harder to eat, even when I want to, even the smell of food makes me want to puke.
My intake has been lower than it's been in a while. The last two days, I've finished the day under 300 cals, despite actually trying to eat more. I tried to have an Ensure last night, but the first sip made me retch. Today I'm going to try to get to 600. I've had an egg and bacon on toast (149), and I made it through a whole Ensure (226). The Ensure took half an hour, but it got down and stayed down. I think dinner's going to be toast/bread, so I should get there today, nausea permitting.
On Thursday I saw my GP. I told her I think I've go a chest infection or something brewing. She asked if I could please try to take the antibiotics that I've practically refused over the last few months. Amazingly enough, I actually had one this morning. Yay.
When she did my OBs, my heart rate was in the 140s just resting. It's rarely below 120 at home. She checked it three times before asking how long it's been since my thyroid was checked. Looking through my records, it's been five years, and she wrote up for my next blood test to include thyroid.
As for the old mental health nurse, who said she'd call but still hasn't? I'm pretty over it all. Again, she said she'd call, and again, I was naive enough to believe her. My GP is not impressed, and is now advancing from phone calls to writing her a letter.
"Honestly, I don't know if I even want to talk to her any more. The only thing I have to say to her is 'Why didn't you call?', both at the start of the year and again now."
She just nodded sadly. My singular good experience with the MH system has been marred by her saying she'd call, but never did (twice!). I mean, why even bother saying it if you don't mean it?
Plans are in the works for getting me back to the new MHN, but the fear is still so strong. I'm talking to the dietician about it on Tuesday, and hopefully it won't be too much longer before everyone's schedules line up so she and my GP can accompany me as they kindly offered.
I think that's about it for today. For now, I think I'm going to spend he weekend on the couch resting and recuperating,
The last few weeks of appointments have been pretty rough. For the last two appointments I've been late and in tears. I was supposed to have my 6-weekly weigh-in with the dietician this week, but I had so much trouble getting to the appointment, let alone on the scales, we postponed until next week.
Last week I was a wreck, and the dietician was worried about me, so ended up walking me over to the treatment room to see the GP and get some self-harm dressed. I sat in the treatment room waiting for my GP to squish me in between appointments. Sometimes I'm there early enough to catch her before. After 15, maybe 20 minutes, one of the girls from the desk came in to tell me my GP was going to be busy all morning, but she'd offered to see me at 12 on her lunch break. As well as the self-harm, I really needed to talk to her about the medication situation, so I took the opportunity.
I told her about how Ativan (lorazepam) was now in a bottle, not a blister pack, and that that was posing issues in itself. Unfortunately, there's no alternative brands that might have less-stupid packaging. I also wanted to know if there was anything similar to (but not) olanzapine that I could have for a PRN when I feel the need to sedate myself, but she seemed to think seroquel should be sufficient.
In the end, we decided that each weekend when my pill cases are refilled, mum will put 7 lorazepam and 7 seroquel in a pill case/bottle for PRNs, and hide the rest. She's also upped my regular seroquel dose, and stressed "no temazepam during the day". I admit, I've already back-pedalled on the 'hiding it' part though. I'm stubborn, and don't want to have my meds hidden from me after so long.
She explained that if we couldn't get this under control, I'll have to have a break from the lorazepam. She won't prescribe more if I run out early, or the chemist will hold it. It's not a pleasant prospect, but I do understand. I know it's only supposed to be a short-term thing, and I've been on it for over two years now.
This week was a struggle to get to the dietician again. I was asking myself that dangerous question -- what's the point? -- and it didn't seem fair to go see her in such a state. She's a dietician, she's not mental health trained. I just wanted to lie on the floor and do nothing and be nothing.
Once I convinced myself to go, I was already 20 minutes late. I kept stop-starting, getting from the backporch to the car and from car to clinic. I'd talk myself into going, the my head would throw up brick walls and I'd stop in my tracks and sit against the wall.
She asked what we were going to do with the scales, and I said I knew it was supposed to be this week, but could we please put it off one more week? I know it doesn't make much difference to the number, but I really didn't feel like my head could cope with the scales that day.
She understood, and asked if I had any ideas of what my weight was doing. I was honest, and said t was down between 1-2kg depending on the day. "1-2kg is a fair bit for you though."
I told her I was really struggling with being in the house, to the point it can hurt to look at each room, and all I want to do is close my eyes and scream.
This house is haunted. Not by ghosts, but memories.
She asked if I've ever talked to anyone about the abuse, but really, I haven't. I had an appointment with a counselling service that I chickened out of, and couldn't say the words to give a statement to the police. That's the closest I've ever gotten.
"When was the last time you went for a walk around the block?"
"Oh, god... maybe five, six years ago."
At the end of the appointment, she walked me over to the treatment room again to have a fresh batch of self-harm dressed. The nurse wanted a doctor to check them, but my GP was busy. She wanted me to see one of the male GPs I don't know, which isn't about to happen, or to come back to see my GP later in the day. She got his opinion on a temporary dressing, and I went back in the afternoon.
After she finished the dressing, the nurse asked if she could check my pulse quickly. I don't know if she saw the vein pulsating in my neck/hands/feet or what, but my pulse is never much of an issue. I told her it generally sits pretty high, around 100-120. She got a reading of 120. The pulse oximeter said 150.
My GP is still trying to organize a time for her and the dietician to escort me to an appointment with the new mental health nurse, but it is happening. The old MHN still hasn't called, but what did I expect?
Outside of appointments, I've been trying to take it easy, sleeping, watching movies, being generally unproductive. This weekend mum's going away to stay with friends, which is always challenging despite enjoying the time alone.
And thank you guys for your comments and support on my last couple of posts. I don't think I can say it enough - this community is really my rock.
This week I ended up having an unexpected trip out. My brother needed a lift to the airport on short notice, and mum, who loves to drive, offered to take him. I haven't been feeling overly safe home alone lately, so I decided to tag along.
Initially I was just going to stay in the car, but then I decided I'd try to get in to the shops. I've been really wanting to go out for a simple cup of coffee lately, but it just hasn't been possible. And while I wouldn't go out in Melbourne itself, the airport seemed like a safe enough place.
I finally got out of my trackies and threw on some fleece tights, a high waisted skirt, camisole, knitted cardigan and velvet scarf. I put on my favourite shoes and, after I did my make-up and put on a little jewellery, I wasn't feeling too bad about myself.
The airport's about an hour away, and we got there in fairly good time. We parked and left my brother to run for his flight, and went to find a café. I had to keep asking mum to slow down because she was walking ahead of me and I just couldn't keep up with her. I haven't been exercising much at all lately, and I'm lucky if I was 1,000 steps around the house each day. I would panic if we got separated by more than 5 feet, like a child.
I was kinda tempted to jump on the baggage scales, just for the lulz. They were tared to zero and everything.
We ordered our coffee, and mum got a toasted egg and bacon sandwich for lunch, so I ordered the same. I'm terrible at making decisions when it comes to food, so I tend to 'go along'. I had a little under half of the sandwich with a long black. There was cheese in it, but it had hardly even melted, so I picked it out bit by bit. I've been eating an egg with shortcut bacon on toast (150-ish cal total) every few days for lunch recently, so this wasn't too much of a stretch.
Before we left, I took the dive and bought a bag of choc chip cookies, because I thought they looked so frikkin' good and I haven't had homemade cookies in the longest time. When I had one in the car on the way home, I was disappointed to find it too sweet and too fatty with simply not enough flavour or choc chips. But at least their coffee was okay.
Thankfully it wasn't too crowded, but it was loud as hell at some parts. At the end, I was glad to get back to the car, and even gladder to get home.
I've been trying to write a post for the last couple of days, but with no luck. I saw my GP this week and was honest about misusing my meds, for better or for worse, and we're coming up with a plan. I have another busy week coming up with the GP on Wednesday for follow-up, plus my 6-weekly weigh-in with the dietician on Tuesday, so I'll update after that.
I experimented with my jewlery a bit. I felt like wearing something around my ankle to break up the plain black, but I've never been the type to wear anklets. So I found this little chain to fit perfectly around my ankle, complete with padlock. Take whatever symbolism you will, but I'll definitely be doing it again.
Today is just going to be a quick post to show you all one of my new sewing projects.
It's heating up here in Australia, and it seemed like the perfect time to make some more loose, cool, but still stylish, skirts. I've been joking with mum that it's "the first item of my SS15/16 collection".
Unfortunately I haven't been sewing much this year, aside from the baby clothes and a pile of camisoles I'm still working on. I'm hoping next year will be much more productive once I finally have my sewing room set up again.
We've had this fabric sitting in the linen press for as long as I can remember. Mum can't even remember why she bought it, but when I came across it a few weeks ago, I thought it'd be perfect for a hankerchief hem skirt - which is basically like a circle skirt, but instead of being circular, it's basically a big square with a hole in the center. There are a few photos at the end I've set up just to show that it is literally just a square with a hole.
I'm really happy with this skirt overall. It's just such a flattering, comfortable style, with a bit more attitude than it's circle skirt cousin. It's easy to make and such a versatile project once you've got the basic pattern.
Unfortunately I haven't had the chance to wear it outside except for the clinic. Mum asked the other day if I'd be interested in a trip out, but I don't think I even let her finish her sentence before I snapped an immediate 'no'.
The very thought makes my stomach turn. The only place I could go would be hours away, like Warrnambool with the cheese factory, where I have no chance of running into Him again. The further away the better. Anywhere within a few hour's drive of home is simply not safe. And even then, that poses more issues, just being so far away from home.
I did try to get some photos of my new skirt yesterday, in my very empty and half-painted sewing room, although they're not the best.
I really need to invest in a new dress form that goes down that one-or-two extra size so I don't have to keep relying on awkward selfies.
I don't really have much else to say this week, but I hope you enjoy these pics.
When my appointment with the dietician came around this week, I could barely convince myself to get there.
I was teary before, but pulling in to the car park, mum announced she'd be staying outside. I lost it, and had a bit of a mini breakdown. I've been going to the same clinic for my entire life, but I couldn't do it, I can't go in alone.
My head started screaming that we should just go home, that I didn't deserve to go to appointments unless I can get through the waiting room solo. I got out of the car, then dived back in. When I did start heading inside, I kept stopping and starting, just wanting to hide away. I made it halfway to the door before I slid down the wall and cried, banging my wrist against the ground.
Then, as timing would have it, I heard a kind voice ask if I was okay and felt a hand on my back. It was the dietician. She helped me up, put her arm around me and walked me in, straight through the waiting room to her office.
I started blubbering about how mum wanted to send me in by myself but I just couldn't do it. I know it's pathetic, but I can barely manage eye contact and a quiet 'hi', let alone actually talking to the girls at the desk. To make matters worse, I didn't get a blink of sleep that night, so I may have been a tad extra emotional.
After I saw her, she walked me over to the nurse's office to get the wound on my wrist dressed, which she wanted my GP to check out. I sat waiting alone for 10 minutes, feeling irrationally alone and scared. I wanted to sit on the floor in the gap between chair and cupboard and hide.
The nurse did the dressings, and my GP asked me to please start on antibiotics again. She gets that it's part of the self-destructive part of things. Some days, I don't care enough to take them. Other days, I actively want to worsen my health. I was also supposed to have bloods drawn so she'd have the result for when I saw her on Thursday, but I just couldn't do it.
By the time I got back to the car, it was 9:05. I'd been in there for a whole hour.
Then on Thursday I saw my GP. She mentioned wanting to put me back on one of the antidepressants I tried earlier in the year, Gabapentin. She thought it'd help with anxiety, but I explained I still don't think they helped, and things are getting harder for very tangible reasons. Plus, I want to let the new antidepressants 'settle' before adding anything else (back) to the cocktail.
We spoke a lot about the fact I need to get back to seeing the Mental Health Nurse, but I still can't get my head around it. Our last appointment was horrific, and I'm scared I'll go back and she'll try to clear up what she said, but end up just rubbing in how tired my mum must be of me.
She suggested an appointment with both her and the dietician there as well, so I'll have the whole team of support there. It doesn't stop the MHN saying something hurtful, but it's really the only option that's been raised.
Spring has definitely sprung here, and things are heating up so I've been spending most of my time on the couch, watching horror movies and Dr Phil and those bizarre habit/weight/addiction shows on YouTube. On the plus side, I have actually finished sewing a new skirt, well timed with the warmer weather, so hopefully I'll have photos to share with you all soon.
A few times recently, the dietician and I have ended up talking about my pre-ED life and how things have changed, both relating to food and not.
At one point we were talking about how periods of overexercising had little effect on my weight overall compared to lengthy bouts of being sedentary, and she asked about how I used to exercise.
Long story short, I didn't. Not even at school. Once, just before my ED started, I went to this boot camp thing with a friend. I struggled to even jog. When the trainer asked me if I usually got 30 minutes a day, I said something along the lines of "Does it count if I spend one minute walking from the computer to the fridge, and go back and forth 15 times a day?"
Then I got a kebab on the way home. "Were you happy?"
"Yeah, I was really happy."
It hit me hard as soon as I said it. That kick in the chest. I can't remember the last time I was happy. Don't get me wrong - life had long been ruled by mental illness, and I hadn't been able to function in society for years. But things are different now.
As far as weight goes, I'd never really had to worry about my weight or watch what I eat. I was confident in my body, nearly approaching self-love. My weight has always been on the lower end of the spectrum. I maintained 60-65kg (BMI 17.3-18.8) without a thought for years, though went up to around 75kg (BMI 21.7) in the year before I got sick.
This, as I informed the dietician, was a result of spending most of my life at a gaming cafe eating junk food. Egg and bacon baguettes, Caesar salads, carbonara, sugar-filled energy drinks and fat-laden snacks - not to mention the drinking every weekend.
"Do you think you think and process things different now?"
My head works differently, in a way I can't explain. My thought process has changed. I'm sure you all can relate. And it's not something that can change back. It's kinda of like The Matrix, seeing reality. I chose the wrong pill, and I can never have Wonderland back.
So today I've gone back through and picked out some old photos to share with you all. These are from between the ages of 16 through 17, when I developed AN. When I showed the dietician one of me with short hair, she said she wouldn't recognize me. I don't really know how to feel about that.
At some point I am thinking of posting body check pics from the whole way through, but for today I'll keep it to 'normal' photos.
Before the LGBT+ formal
1880s polonaise & walking skirt in black velveteen
One of my favourite dresses. One day I must dig it out and try on for comparison.
I'd be facepalm-ing if I had to be seen in public with me dressed that way, too.
Okay, so the short hair may be age 15
I think the ED may have started by the time this photo was taken, but my skirts and corsets obviously still fit, so it was very early on.
Too good to crop, so Derpface the Ex gets a sticker.
This week has been an utter mess.
I ended up seeing the dietician twice and my GP twice, even though I only had the one appointment to start with.
When I saw her on Tuesday, the dietician suggested 6-weekly weigh ins, which I'm not too sure about yet, but I guess I've got a month to think about it.
I told her about last weekend, when mum and I had gotten into an... intense disagreement (about food, no less), and my brother actually stepped in and spoke to us separately, first me crying on the kitchen floor, then her outside.
I didn't tell her about them freaking out when they came back inside and saw me sitting with three different boxes of meds, searching for a PRN that would help.
Note: I didn't take a huge amount - I just didn't want to stand at the medicine cupboard and sort through everything - although it did add up to a bit much throughout the day.
But they panicked and inspected packets and tried to figure out how many were there before. Mum 'offered' to take control of my meds again, but for whatever reason, I've been pissy about that since we've been clashing lately.
That said, the next morning I couldn't remember much at all from after the breakdown, but apparently I got restless legs from hell and was unable to move about by myself for a few hours.
Then on Thursday, I made an appointment to see the dietician again because I was having such a low day and really needed to talk to someone.
The same thing had happened with my meds, but I didn't think much of it.
She said I looked a lot worse than when she'd seen me two days prior. Concerned, she went to get my GP, who asked me to wait with the dietician while she finished with a patient.
The GP took my blood pressure a few times, sitting and standing, as well as drawing bloods herself right then because it was too busy for me to go to pathology. I was kinda irked because my bonus for getting on the scales last week was not having a blood test this month.
Blood pressure: 90/65, 51/33 standing
"Do I need to tell your mum to take control of your meds?"
It's only in the last year or two that mum has returned my meds to the medicine cabinet after being in hiding since a nasty overdose nearly ten years ago (oh god, I'm getting old).
I had to make an appointment to go back the next day to show my blood pressure was improving and my blood tests were clear, otherwise she was going to call an ambulance. She said I was very close to an admission, but even then, I didn't see what the big deal was. I'd just taken a couple of extra PRNs - wasn't it a good thing I was actually using them for once?
Clinical note on my pathology request read: "Anorexia, recent neglect."
(Self-neglect, I should add)
The dietician wanted to give me one of those pre-mixed Ensures, but said I'd have one when I got home. I ended up falling asleep by 4:30, after a 2:30 appointment, and sleeping for a solid 10 hours for the first time in an age. But I had one yesterday, so I guess that's close enough.
In the morning, I'd forgotten most of the day. It hit me like a tonne of bricks when I remembered her ultimatum of improvement-or-hospital, and saw I did indeed have an appointment in my calendar for 9:30am.
Thankfully, my bloods were okay, white cells aside, and my blood pressure was back to a reasonable level. When I pulled up my sleeve for the cuff, I still had the crumpled tape and cotton ball in the crook of my elbow, forgotten.
She was going to contact the dietician to let her know I was okay. I just feel like an asshole for worrying them. I just wanted someone to talk to. It was entirely incidental that my PRN intake even came out.
On Tuesday, after months of gentle but
increasing pressure to stand on the scales, I had my long-awaited
weigh-in with the dietician.
We did it first, to get it out of the
way. After drawing up Wii vs Her Scales comparisons with her the week before, I told her that I'd weighed 47.9kg on the Wii this morning, and
just before we left I weighed myself in the same clothes she weighs
me in, and I was 48.4kg
On her scales, I stood facing them,
fearless but terrified, as the little red numbers flashed up.
I groaned "Oh, I don't like
"I don't think you ever will."
I'd been feeling bloated, the scales
hadn't been moving that week, and I was pretty sure I was carrying
some extra food/water weight, which is likely considering I'm already down another kilo from Tuesday. I thought about putting it of for a
week, but what good would it serve?
We'd figured a 1.2-1.4kg difference,
between my morning weight and the clinic weight, and this was much
the same. I know I should really adjust the Wii
to line up closer to her scales, but at the moment I don't know if
that would be a good idea or not.
When did weighing become so complex? I
miss the days of waking up, peeing, stripping and weighing each day.
It seems so perfectly simple, looking back.
Then, due to the whole ridiculous
'misunderstanding' with the dietician, I saw in this New Year around
53-54kg (BMI 15.3).
This year, I've been dropping pretty
damn consistently, even if not quickly, and am currently around 47kg
(BMI 13.6), give or take.
Which is still too much. But at least I
have a better idea of where I am.
I'm still not ready to face the real
bathroom scales, first thing in the morning, naked and void. Like I
said before - when did weighing become so complex?
She congratulated me for looking at the scales. In the three years I've been seeing her, every weigh-in has been blind, simply because the weight wouldn't be my true weight (naked, void, AM, you know the deal) and would serve no good. Now that I think about it, it did serve no good. Seeing the number has only triggered a push to lose more. Now that I think about it, I'm not sure its something worth congratulating.
The dietician asked me to have a think about how often we should weigh in.
"Whenever GP pushes it?"
I was only half-joking.
She suggested monthly, adding that it'd mean I might be given some slack with blood tests. I was thinking more like 3-monthly, and to try to fill her in on any losses/gains I'm aware of, but I don't know if that's a reasonable situation at all.
Any input here? I know there's been a lot of discussion lately regarding how often we should weigh ourselves (both in recovery and not). What's a reasonable time frame for weigh-ins that I really don't want to do?
Mum ended up being away for an extra
day last weekend. Basically, she was picking up a new car from some
friends, and began her journey home, but after not even an hour on
the road, it just kinda... stopped. When she called to fill me in on
the details of when it'd be fixed and when she'd be back, I couldn't
help but laugh when she said the mechanic, being in the middle of
woop woop, wouldn't have the part until 4:30 the next day, meaning it
could be 6 or 7PM before she gets home.
A full extra day would be perfect,
thank you very much!
After I blogged (at which point I was
expecting her home that night), I spent most of my Sunday and Monday
beng a couch potato. Monday was a totally lost day. I took full
advantage of the extra time, and pushed everything productive down my
to-do list so I could spend one more day on the couch, smoking and
dozing in-and-out, with my Disney & Pixar favourites marathon
in the background. I know that's no existence, but it's all I feel up
to right now,
And now, it's back to the daily grind,
with tension hanging thick in the air and two Taurens like bulls at a
gate. That's what we are. Today we got into an argument, crying, full
on break down. I've taken to locking myself in the laundry when I
want to be alone. Took a few too many PRNs, and one that isn't
supposed to be PRN. Right now, I just want to sleep.
"Two lorazepam. One seroquel. One
so hopefully I may sleep. Four more lorazepam.
It's like candy.
'Swallow, and you will be happy'"
I only really realised after, that the only times I really ate over those four days were when my brother prompted me, whether to join in take-out, or just eating something for dinner in general, or to have a piece of the Vegemite toast he makes in the middle of the afternoon. The first day when he was at work and I was completely alone, my intake consisted of an egg & toast, plus a small tub of light choc mousse (200 total).
My dietician's parting words of wisdom
this week was to be kind to myself, to take care of myself, to just
get through each day one step at a time, but at the same time it
makes me feel so selfish.
She suggested trying to get in contact with "that one friend" who I might actually see a few times a year, and that it might provide a break from the hellfire currently raging at home. I would be nice, but I can't initiate contact with people. I haven to wait for them to come to me. Even with some of you guys, I can't start a conversation, because I'm so worried of being seen as annoying or weird or I don't even know what.
I think I'm gonna have to call it a night. This has taken so long, and my head is not in a good place. Imma hurry to finish this up, and hope that tomorrow isn't so hard. Sorry for any typos. I simply
For the last few days, I've been home alone. I say 'alone', although my brother has been here during the weekend.
When he got home on Friday he mentioned getting take-out last night, which had me on edge all day. I ended up choosing Noodle Box, and had noodles with beef, black beans, peas and carrots. I was shocked by the size (750 grams!) when he bought it home. He'd ordered a regular, when even a small would've been two meals. But tonight, I think I'm just going to cook an egg and a slice of toast (which seems to be my new go-to meal, again).
I think it's safe to say I've spent the bulk of the past three days either gaming, watching movies, smoking or sleeping. But it's been good to have some time alone. I haven't broken down or cried or self-harmed once.
This week I saw my GP for our monthly double appointment. She changed my antibiotics and gave me another two weeks, despite my being honest and telling her I've been shit with taking them. She said she wants to keep me on them for a while after my chest's cleared up to help with the redness from picking at my skin.
The dietician also asked me to try to get an Ensure in. She thinks my intake is contributing to this chest infection lingering. It hasn't happened yet this week, but maybe after I get weighed on Tuesday.
She asked if I had any more thoughts on getting back to see the new mental health nurse, but I really don't know. I just don't want to sit down and talk to her, even though I know I have to. She was going to talk to the dietician about it later that day, and mentioned that she was going to call the old MHN to organise a time to catch up.
It was only then the idea struck that maybe she would have some useful advice on the situation. So currently the plan is to talk to her about it, and hopefully she can help me get back to seeing the new MHN.
Last week the postman delivered a parcel from my Starsister with this amazing colouring book.
At first it was really daunting, and I was worried I'd use the 'wrong' colours or somehow else wreck the whole thing, but after I got started it really flowed (...even if it doesn't look like it). At last, the Derwent 72s I bought in high school are finally getting used.
I know it's been well over a week since I last posted. I've been trying to write for the last two days, but the words aren't coming. I'm just empty.
Everything just hurts. It feels like I have no skin.
Seeing the dietician on Tuesday was, as usual, the highlight of my week. Just having someone who I can actually talk to face-to-face has been invaluable, and lately she truly has been my rock, my comfort, my lifeline.
We actually spoke a little about weight, in preparation for the upcoming weigh-in. She pulled up my history and I whipped out my phone and we made some comparisons.
Comparing weights from my first weigh-in of 2015, and the last time she weighed me in February, I had weighed 1.2kg and 1.4kg (respectively) heavier on her scales than I did that morning on the Wii Fit.
Doing the math - clothing weights, coffee, allow a variable for BMs - the Wii can't be more than 1kg off, two at the most. I'd expect to weigh at least 1kg more once I'm fully dressed with a belly full of coffee (1kg of clothing max, plus 500g coffee).
I don't want to get specific and try to guess exactly, because I know it'll only end in pain, but for now it's sated my curiosity. I know I'm down a little more than 5kg (11 lbs) this year, although some of that was the weight gained during our 'misunderstanding' last year/early this year.
But I actually looked at her screen for the first time ever, with my weekly weights on full display. Same as weighing on the Wii, I know it's not 100% accurate so it means nothing but stress to me. It's only an indication, a hint. I need to get on the proper scales soon. I'm just scared and keep wanting 'one more kilo's safety net to make sure I'm at a weight so I won't do something regrettable.
I think next Tuesday (15th) I'm going to weigh in three times. First on the Wii, then clothed-and-coffee'd just before I see the dietician, and then on her scales. How much of that 1.2kg gap will be made up during that second weigh-in...?
After I got home from seeing the dietician, my lungs hit the dirt. After a breakdown (that could've been avoided if I kept my mouth shut. It seems whenever I open my mouth, I fuck up -- talking, eating, smoking...), I was completely breathless, unable to walk more than 10 meters without descending into coughing fits. My O2sats hit 86% and my heart rate was pushing 150 (even resting, I'm 120 now).
So I was back to see the GP on Friday. Another two weeks on antibiotics, more painkillers, although it doesn't solve the problem of me struggling to take them, as some fucked up form of self-harm. If I'm stressed at med times, I have a bad habit of pick-and-mixing, taking the psychoactive drugs, leaving the pills that could potentially improve my physical health.
Today is Father's Day.
It's been nearly twenty years since we lost my dad to a brain tumour. February 29th 1996, a month before my third birthday, and a date that stings more every leap-year.
He was in my dreams last night.
I don't want to get all sappy, but seeing my friends post Father's Day tributes on Facebook today hit a nerve, so here's my social media contribution.
Happy Father's Day, dad.
I wonder how things would be different if you were still here...
Shortly after I wrote my last post, I went to run myself a bath. It seemed like a sure-fire way to get through an hour or so stress-free and try to relax for a little bit.
I grabbed my incense, lighter, and a pair of fresh pajamas and fluffy socks. I ran the water, poured in some bubbles, and sat at the bench to wash my face.
It was only when I knocked over the box of tissues and bent to retrieve them that I saw them staring at me. The little white box, crack on the right side of the cover, was peeking out from beneath the vanity.
They've been hidden away for years, unused by me since last January. But suddenly, they're baaaaack!
Panic washed over me, followed by the urge to stand on them-- no, smash them-- no, throw them out the window-- no...!
Not knowing what else to do, and with mum out for the day, I picked them up by the edge, not wanting to even trigger them on with my hands, did a U-turn, walked out and knocked on my brother's door.
Situations like this can obviously leave on feeling a little speechless, and for me, tends to result in word-vomit gibberish, but it was something along the lines of: "I just went to have a bath and the scales were there and I haven't used them since last January and I don't know why mum's put them back and she's not home and I don't know what to do."
Thankfully he just took the scales and hid hem in his room until mum got home that night.
I broke down and called mum several times before she got to the phone. Apparently, she didn't think it would trigger me (?!?!), nor did she think about talking to me about it before just putting them back.
I sat and sooked on the kitchen floor for half an hour. Billy came to sit with me. Then I pulled myself up and sat in the half-cold bath with its flattened bubbles, still sobbing for another half hour. After that, I refilled my water bottle, got Boo, and sat in my armchair, smoking and staring into space, feeling numbed by the whole thing until mum got home.
We didn't really talk about it any more except for her saying she didn't know it would upset me, she didn't know it would trigger me. I just can't understand how the scales didn't automatically equal a trigger in her mind. It doesn't make sense to me.
Then on Tuesday, I didn't go to see the dietician. I couldn't bring myself to even cancel. Around half an hour after our appointment should have started, I got a text.
She asked if everything was okay. Normally, missed appointments mean my lungs are playing up and/or I've landed myself in hospital. I tried to explain the situation with insurance reaching the limit and having to cut back appointments, but I couldn't find words to respond when she replied.
I ended up making an appointment to see her yesterday (payday). The first/only appointment she had free was at 6:20pm - the polar opposite of our 8:10am Tuesday starts.
She called me from the waiting room, and walking to her office, put her arm around me. "How are you doing?"
"Not too great." "I didn't think so, if you're here of a night time."
She asked what happened on Tuesday, and I explained the situation with insurance reaching the limit, and how mum usually covered part but won't this year. I told her I feel like, if mum doesn't care if I go to appointments any more, why should I care?
She said that I need to keep coming in. It meant a lot to hear her say that, that it's important. She talked about how far I've come and how I can't go backwards now. "Plus, I think it really helps you just to have someone you can talk to."
She said she was going to set it up with the desk so I can keep coming in each week, but every second appointment would be free.
"No, no, you don't have to do that, it's too much." "No, it's my gift to you."
This is where I lost it and started tearing up. "You're going to get me crying soon."
I better think up one hell of a Christmas present.
I told her about my run-in with the scales on the weekend. "Why would she do that?" "I don't know. She said she didn't know it would trigger or upset me." "She... what?" "I thought it would be obvious that scales = trigger."
It was good to get confirmation that I'm not crazy.
She asked what my thoughts on it were now, and I told her I'm planning on getting them back out soon for a 'proper' weigh-in (I've only been weighing myself on the Wii, so I don't have an accurate weight, but know I've lost Xkg since X date.), I just want to make sure I'll be below a number that'd trigger self-destruction (okay, I didn't tell her that last bit). Seeing them out has just brought the issue to the forefront of my mind again.
"Maybe that's something we can work on. I know we had our disagreements earlier this year, and I don't like weighing people much at all, but even if we can get more comfortable just talking about your weight..."
I'm starting to get a bit worried about the upcoming weigh-in, though. There's no winning - it'll either be too high for me to want to get on the scales, or too low. But as far as my team's concerned, I know I probably would've been better off sucking it up and getting on the scales when they first asked and I was a few pounds heavier.
On the way out, she asked if she could give me a hug. "You've got a friend in me, you know that, right?"
It's kinda funny (read: not funny at all) how the smallest circumstance can be the biggest trigger.
I've been really thrown for a loop since the dinner incident a couple of weeks back.
I feel afraid. I've realised that I've become one of those people who legitimately believe horrific things will happen if I leave the house. Just because I survived last time, does not mean I'll survive again. I feel like all I can do is hide away, and die before it can get me.
Last week, mum asked if I'd feel up to going for a walk in TheYouYangs, which has been one of my few 'safe' destinations in recent years. I've never shot down an outing so quickly. It wasn't even an option. What if I go and he's there? The only escape would be off the mountain face.
Even the car has me filled with dread. It's no longer a safe bubble separating me from the big, bad world. My eyes scan every car, every pedestrian... Going for drives has been such a big part of getting through each day, but now it's down to once a week.
I know the sudden fear probably seems ridiculous. Part of me actually thought that I'd never see him again, that he'd moved away. The last time I saw him would have been five years ago.
On Wednesday, I had a major day-long breakdown. I didn't just self-harm, I beat myself up, and feel like I've been hit by a car. My feet, legs, chest, arms and face/head are covered in bruises and open wounds, complete with black eye. Now I just want to wrap myself in cotton wool. Even my chest hurts because I kept frantically running around the house trying to escape myself.
It was the most I've spoken since it happened. But talking just hurts more. There's nothing I, or anyone else, can say to make things better. Everything hurts. It physically hurts. What are you supposed to do when all you can do is cry and scream?
I saw the dietician on Tuesday. No clue what we talked about, except for setting a weigh-in deadline (for a month, so the 15th September). I'm not even sure if I'm going to be seeing her this week, because I've reached the limit on insurance and now it's all out of pocket. Ugh. I don't even want to think about any of it right now.
I'm just focusing on getting through each day, one day at a time, one hour at a time, one moment at a time. I'm trying to focus on sewing or reading ED books or gaming to keep my head distracted. And it helps. Until I stop, and have to think again.
Sorry for such an all-over-the-shop post. Gold stars to anyone who reads this far. You guys have been seriously amazing. I know I've said it a million times, but I would be so very lost without this little community.
On a brighter note, the other day, I spent some time distracting myself looking through my 'Glory Box' (I think you guys might call them 'Hope Chests'). Essentially, I have pretty much everything I need to set up a household, which was purchased while planning to move out with my ex a few years back. Kinda depressing, kinda fun. Sometimes I look through and find little bits and pieces that make their way to the kitchen, or even spare appliances when ours' break.
Last week, I went hunting for the first apron I ever made. It's the same pattern I used for the Christmas Aprons, but I made this about 6 years ago. There's two little ravens appliquéd on the pocket. It's not the best quality and I need to make more, but I love this one as much as ever.
The camisole: my current sewing projects
Bonus: I also found a spare set of kitchen scales! They're the same brand and capacity as the ones I normally use, but these new ones are slimline, so they're going to be my travel/hospital scales. When I bought them, I was still measuring food by volume, so I had no idea they were there.
...unfortunately, it's my little 0.01g scales that currently need replacing.
Thank you all for your comments and support on my last few posts. The past week has been really difficult for a multitude of reasons, and words are hard to find so you'll have to bear with me.
On Thursday I saw my GP. When I sat down, she kind of looked at me funnily, then said, "Have you always had your lip pierced?"
It actually made me laugh. I've been seeing her for three years, and I didn't think it was that subtle.
I didn't talk to her about seeing the one who hurt me. I couldn't even bring myself to tell her I'd gone out to dinner. I haven't even really talked to mum about it, and I only briefly spoke to the dietician. I'm having enough trouble even writing about it in my journal.
We talked for a while about my concerns with SNRIs and my history with SSRIs and all of that fun stuff. I've been on the Duloxetine/Cymbalta for a little over a week now. Still a low dose, but no side effects (or any effects) to speak of. But there wasn't really much that Google and you guys hadn't covered. I told her about my lovely friend in Bahrain who's studying medicine and really helped clear things up. I think my initial fear was that they'd be a bigger, badder version of an SSRI, but that doesn't seem to true at all.
Like I wrote last week, I'm feeling kind of okay with this one from all the information I've read, which is a rarity for me. I even put off reading about it for weeks because looking up new antidepreants usually results in breakdowns and millions of worries and apprehension. She said if I haven't read anything concerning (and was surprised I hadn't), she doubts there's much more she needs to tell me. When I see her next month, I'll start on the full dose.
She mentioned that my old Mental Health Nurse, the one who I lost at the start of the year, had found a new job. At first I said nothing but then I realised that after so long, it's probably now or never. "Do you think I could maybe still see her again to say goodbye, with you or even just the dietician there? I just can't do it alone."
She's going away for a couple of weeks, but when she gets back she's going to call her and sort it out. Hopefully, it'll be a positive. Even though she said a few shitty things, for the most part she was good. The only reason I'm so bitter was because our last appointment ended terribly, and she was going to call to arrange a time to say goodbye properly after her holidays, but never did.
"And I still don't know what to do about the new MHN..." "Well, I was going to give you a break from that until next time, but I thought I made it pretty clear you need to get back to see her." "I know. I just don't know how to. I really don't want to talk about what she said, because it's already ingrained in my head ("MUM'S TIRED OF YOU!"), I can't hear it any more. I just don't know how to face her. I'm scared to go by myself, and mum's always been there, but now she just says I'm on my own."
She was going to talk to the dietician and try to come up with a plan of action. So I'm going to talk to her about it on Tuesday, and we'll reassess in a month.
She asked if I'd spoken to the dietician about weighing, and I explained she was cutting me some slack until the chest infection cleared up. Which given I'm now on steroids, which always have a chance of fucking with your weight, may not be such a bad thing. My GP, loving deadlines as she does, tapped into my notes that I have one month to get on the scales.
I'm on a third course of antibiotics for my chest, and have started on two weeks of prednisolone. Oh, and because of all the antibiotics, I have oral thrush and tonsil stone, which explains the sore mouth after throwing up last weekend. I ended up being sick for a couple of days after. I'm not sure if it was my stomach not coping with the strange food or the anxiety or both, but it seems to've passed now.
To top things off, last week a downpour of rain swept on to the back porch overnight. When I woke up, the bottom 6" of my electric blanket was soaked. I panicked, dried it off with paper towels, and it worked okay for a while, then slowly but surely died over the next few days.
Since then, I've been using a hot water bottle while waiting on a new electric blanket. It's been clasped to me pretty much 24/7, layered between camisole and cardigan, the belt and wrap on my dressing gown helping to hold it up.
As weird as it might sound, it's actually been fucking with my body image (which I normally consider to be relatively sound). Carrying it around all the time, having to reach over it, makes me feel bulky, two extra kilograms sloshing around, like the extra mass around my middle is actually a part of me.
On Saturday I ended up going out *gasp* to have dinner with my mum, brother, and his girlfriend. There was a big (by my definition, anyway) multi-family get-together on this weekend, which was far more than I can cope with right now, so we ended up doing a small dinner to catch up. Since both getting out of the house and having people in the house is so hard for me at the moment, this was the first time I'd seen her since we all went to Warrnambool for my birthday.
I spent most of the afternoon getting ready, I was so nervous. It was the first time I've worn make-up and proper clothes in months.
I wanted to leave early so we'd have time to go around the block looking for the closest car park. Unfortunately, it was still 100-200m away from the restaurant. It's further into town than I've been for years, and getting from car to restaurant was the hardest hundred meters I've ever walked.
We went out for Japanese. The funny thing is, none of us eat sushi and barely any seafood, but we all enjoy sharing the appetizers and meats and whatnot.
We got there fairly early, around 6, in hopes of beating the crowds, but it was still really busy for the first hour.
It took them forever to take our order, and it was 40 minutes before I even got my wine, which didn't particularly help. They didn't have the bottle I ordered, but didn't bother to say anything until the food started arriving. I nearly cheered once she found a Shiraz.
We ordered pork gyoza (dumplings), vegetable and seafood harumaki (spring rolls), yakitori (chicken skewers), tatsua age (fried chicken), tori no teriyaki (chicken) and gyu no teriyaki (eye fillet). We ate everything - plus four bowls of rice - except for four of the spring rolls. I ended up having one dumpling, one vegetable spring roll, a small piece of tatsua age, and some teriyaki beef with rice.
Not long after we got home, I ended up getting really sick. I'm honestly not sure why. I haven't had a drink in a couple of months, so I got pretty tipsy on just the half bottle, but I didn't think it'd make me puke. No one else got sick, so I don't think it was the food, and even though it was more than normal I didn't eat that much.
In either case, I woke up the next morning 0.7kg lighter. I nearly threw up again the next morning, and spent most of the day on the couch. The roof of my mouth is still hurting today. On top of my chest infection, I just feel sick and sweaty and yuck.
I don't know how to talk about it, but I ended up seeing my biggest trigger while we were out. The main reason I don't leave the house. I've just been feeling frozen since. I tried talking to the dietician about it this morning, but it was near impossible to get the words out. She knows who I saw. She said she was worried by how quiet and flat I was, but I just felt guilty for wasting her time. She even asked if there was anything at all I wanted to talk about, just to get it out, and I just said "I don't know".
Even when I do get out, it doesn't feel like I'm making any progress. I don't get more comfortable with it, and if anything, each outing makes me want to go out less. It's one step forward, two steps back. Maybe this is where professional support comes in. But still, my confidence is shot after this weekend.
And thank you all for your input on Duloxetine/SNRIs in general. It's really good to get input and opinions from people I know, people who've taken it, and not just from Google and my GP. Despite the initial worry, I think I'm actually more comfortable with this than some of the other antidepressants I've been trialled on in the past few years. Surely that's a good sign? I'm seeing my GP this Thursday, so I'm going to talk to her about my worried with SSRIs vs SNRIs (although Dr Sammy's comment was amazingly helpful).
On the bright side - pictures! Apologies for the spam, but this is only like the second time all year my ugly mug's looked presentable.