Saturday, 23 January 2016

New Year, Same Old Story

I can't believe another year has already passed. It seems like only yesterday I was getting my notebooks ready for 2015, and here I am again, purple pen and ruler in hand.

I know I'm a little late to be posting about the New Year, but I've been having a lot of trouble wrapping my head around things lately. So, today I thought I'd go back and do a bit of a review of the past year.

First off, I had my weigh-in with the dietician this week. I came in at 43.9kg, nearly exactly 10kg down from last January. Looking at the records, she says it's been a fairly consistent drop. Since then, I've dropped another 2kg. Food is harder than it's been in a long time. I stopped exercising completely about two or three months ago, and the weight seems to be falling off.

I won't get to see her next week, which will be hard. Tuesday is Australia Day, and by the time mum called, she was booked out for Thursday. I'm on the cancellation list, and she always says that there are people who don't turn up to appointments. I live maybe 2 minutes away, so hopefully I'll get a phone call at some point on Thursday. At the moment, she's the only one I can talk to, and the only one who follows up with the recent trauma confession.

For the last couple of years, I've been trying to challenge my agoraphobia by going out once a month. It didn't happen last year. I manage appointments, and occasionally going to one place for smoke. Apart from that, I haven't really gone out since our trip to Warrnambool for my birthday.

I did manage an outing in November. We drove to Werribee so I could go fabric shopping. On the way home, we bought coffees, and numb-nuts here decided to hold it between my knees and take the lid off to add my sweetener, while travelling 100km/h. Needless to say, I spilt boiling black coffee all over my skirt and legs, and sat with burning thighs for the half an hour drive home.

There was also a sneaking out incident that I mentioned briefly, just before Christmas. I haven't even written in my journal about it. I think I was a tad manic, because I would not normally jump the fence to get in a car with someone I've only known online for a few days, let alone stay out until 7am. It was kind of surreal.

2015 was the first year since diagnosis that I wasn't admitted to hospital for my lung issues (COPD & Bronchiolitis Obliterans). I've had more than my fair share of antibiotics though. After joking about it for so long, last year I kept track. I was prescribed antibiotics for 172 days out of the year. 182 would've been half the year.

That said, I've had three lots of seizures and one black out, leading to many ambulance calls and trips to A&E. I'm still waiting for my neurology appointment (two months!), but I'm starting to think that maybe it's more linked to my head hitting/self-harm than just smoking and sleep deprivation.

My mental health nurse left in January. Since then, it's been slow progress getting to see someone else. The new MHN said something she really shouldn't have, and I don't particularly want to have to see her again.

Last month, a trauma confession bubbled to the surface, about my childhood abuse. Since then, I feel like I've been in crisis. I don't know what to do. I know it's something I need to work through, but everyone seems to be pushing me to just move out instead so they don't have to deal with it. Unfortunately, with my agoraphobia, living on a crime scene is preferable to the unknown.

I haven't done much sewing this year. I made a few aprons for last Christmas, plus two little dresses for Katie's little girl.

Apart from that, I've been doing some sketching and planning, but all I've really been sewing is the essentials - camisoles, trackie-dacks, alterations, a couple of basic skirts. Hopefully 2016 will be a more productive year. I started painting and re-doing my study/studio some weeks back, but haven't had the energy or motivation to finish, meaning my studio is currently spread between the lounge room, bedroom, and well, the whole house.

Last week, I got to five years in a row on MyFitnessPal. That's 1,825 days straight, for those of you playing along at home.

Happy New Year to all of my beautiful followers (and apologies for the pic spam!).


Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Under Pressure

It's been a month since I last saw the dietician. I haven't exactly had a lot of appointments left, except for the seizure drama. I feel like the pressure's on to get rid of as much excess as possible before next week. I'm down pretty much spot-on 10kg from the start of last year, with nearly 5kg having dropped since she last weighed me in November. I figure, whatever I weigh in at next week is what I have to maintain as a minimum, so I better make it as low as possible.

I saw my GP this week for follow-up on the seizures. I was nervous because it would mean coming up with a new plan for dealing with the recent trauma confession/crisis, since the Clinic fell through.

But there was no mention of counselling, or getting help in any way. She spent most of the apointment writing a letter to the neurologist and asking questions -- how much had I smoked pre-seizure, when did I last smoke, had I been smoking more than normal... She mentioned the seizures I had in ICU after the big OD when I was 12, and asked if I thought I'd had more seizure that haven't been picked up on (which is entirely possible, as coming out of it just feels like waking up.

She told me she'd spoken to my old ED psych, the one I ran into at the Clinic, and that she does really care about me and like me. Could've fooled me. I told her about the section threat and her blocking the door to stop me leaving, and my GP agreed that she really had no right to do so. I wasn't at immediate risk of hurting myself or oters, and they'd already discussed beween them that it would be a short admission for crisis/trauma/meds, not ED related.

There was no mention of going back to see the mental health nurse, or the counselling service specific to trauma. Last time I saw her, we talked about the MHN, and she knows what she did wrong and why I haven't gone back (telling me my mum must be tired - no, exhausted - of me), but she was waiting for me to bring it up. My GP offered to come to one more appointment to clear the air and hopefully get things back on track, but I don't know when that'll happen. I just don't want to sit 1-on-1 with someone who'll make the negativity even worse.

On the upside, I have new sleepers! I've been on temazepam for some 5 years now, and I haven't been sleeping well lately at all. A couple of weeks ago, I ran out over the weekend, and had one of mum's oxazepam. I slept like a babe. So I talked to my GP about it, and the new plan is to alternate one month on oxazepam, one month on temazepam, and hopefully then I won't build up a tolerance.

I'm on a repeat of antibiotics for this chest infection, and even with mum making sure I take them properly, it hasn't budged. The other night I woke up coughing, unable to breathe with 82% oxygen sats (normal is 99-100%)

I'm just feeling a little lost, as there was no word of Plan B with the trauma stuff. I hate it. It was the hardest sentence that's ever escaped my lips, but it's easier for everyone else to focus on the seizures rather than the abuse.

It's more than a breakdwn. It's a lifetime of pain and hurt and secrets bubbling to the surface, and it's killing me.

I can't wait to see the dietician next week. It's going to be so nice just to be able to talk to her again. Hopefully I'll have her apron finished by then.

My coffee was finally delivered last week! Unfortunately, they only sent 250 grams of the Italian Espresso when my brother had ordered a kilo, so I'm still waiting on that. I went through the first 250g bag in less than a week! Now I'm working my way through the Australian Black Mountain coffee.

Today has gotten up to 43°c (110°f), so I decided to experiment with cold brewed iced coffee, using the Honduras FTO beans. It comes out to ~40 cal per cup!


Sunday, 3 January 2016

More Madness

Between Christmas and various other triggers I've yet to really write about, I haven't been coping very well lately, especially with trauma stuff.

This week I found myself in my GP's office, desperate for someone to listen. I put my hands over my ears and blurted, things I haven't said before. The words were difficult, but came with release. In the end, she was going to call both a counselling service and a local psych clinic to see if they had a bed for a short admission.

She also asked mum to monitor my meds, and bring them to me with a glass of water when they're due. Recently, I've either been not taking any of them, or going back and taking all the ones I've skipped.

I took the jump with the private psych clinic, the closest I've gotten to a psychiatrist in years. That probably says how desperate I feel.

I was really nervous about it. I'd had 3 admissions there n the past, all less than 24 hours. Plus, half the clinic is an ED clinic, and I really didn't want to end up in their program. My GP asked me to try for just 24 hours, and see what happened after that. As much as I don't like being in the house and have very valid reasons to, it's still a daunting prospect to go anywhere else.

She called the next day to tell me they had beds free, despite the holiday rush. She'd spoken to the psych on call, who I hadn't met before, and they agreed it would be a short admission for crisis intervention and assessing & stabilizing of my meds. They agreed the dietician handles the ED side of things. They'd just make sure I'm eating and drinking something and keep an eye on my OBs and whatnot.

Things were starting to look up. She did a quick physical, then it was just waiting for the phone call. The next morning, I packed my bags and off we went.

Despite the anxiety, things were going okay at the start. We did the paperwork, they took an ID photo for the med charts, and I sat and waited for a nurse to come collect me.

As the minutes turned into an hour, I started to have second thoughts. It crept up on me, slowly.
    "I don't know if I want to be here."
    "I don't feel safe here."

The next thing I remember was the rough of the carpet on my cheek, waking up on the floor with a nurse.
Yep, it was another seizure.

Apparently  fell forward, and started convulsing. I bit my tongue so hard it bled (again) and still hurts today. The ambos had already been called by the time I woke up.
    "Do you know where you are?"
    "The clinic..."
    "Do you know what day it is?"
    "... ... no.

They scooped me up into a wheelchair and took me to a room with my mum, a few nurses and staff, and one of my worst fears - my old ED psychiatrist.

And as it turned out, my fears were extremely valid. My old ED psych was there - not the one my GP had spoken to - and eventually said I had two options. I could go to A&E with the ambos, or be sectioned.

I lost it. I jumped out of the chair and went for the door, but the psych blocked my way.

Then I just kept crying    "I just want to go home."
    "You don't even know what day it is."
    "I just want to go home. I'll see my GP tomorrow."

By some stroke of luck or divine intervention, she let me go home.
    "...but I'm not admitting you here again."
Which kinda fucks up any future treatment prospects, as it's the only psych place I'll go voluntarily, but fuck, I'm not going anywhere near her or that clinic again. That's my second lucky escape with being sectioned, and I'm not taking the risk again. I thought the clinic might be safe, as all their patients are voluntary, but I was wrong.

At home, later in the day, more seizures, another call to 000 (twice in one day!). I'm not too sure how I got out of this one, except for saying I'd get to my GP as soon as possible.

Seizures are a lot more exhausting than you'd think. Apart from where I bit my tongue and banged my knee on the way down, my whole body just aches. It feels like I've run a marathon, and moving my arms and legs just hurts.

I'm seeing my GP this week to get a referral to a neurologist and try to figure out what the hell's going on. After my first seizures at the start of the year (this was my third lot), I had tests done and all was fine.

I'm starting to think it's not just the crap I smoke, though. The first time, I had a seizure within 30 seconds of smoking. This time, it's much more delayed and random. Maybe hitting my head as my main form of self-harm is starting to take a toll.

And Happy New Year to all of you out there in the blogosphere. I hope 2016 brings all your hearts' desires.