Thursday, 26 April 2012

Oh God. He's Talking About Health Again.

I am wary of writing another health blog so soon after the last one, a mere eleven days ago. Jon Arnold says the trick is to illicit understanding without demanding too much sympathy, and I've never known where the line is on that, so I tend to avoid it. However, I did leave off at a cliffhanger before, and it feels unfair not to bring folk up to date on proceedings.

Last Monday, I had a Doctors meeting. We discussed the various side affects I had been suffering on Mitrazopine (including but not limited to: cramps, vomiting, I.B.S, chest tightening, involuntary muscle spasm, permanent headache, etc). After listing three of them, the Doctor decided it was best to stop taking the pills. As this was the 4th attempt at using an anti-depressant, Doctor was uneasy about trying a fifth, especially since all four had produced side affects.

So where to now? Well, CBT has been suggested again and applied for, but I don't think that will be accepted by those in charge, as I already had the top dose in the country. We just fell back a few steps due to problems with previous Doctors. (I still haven't had my liver scan results back, but even I assume if it was something serious, I'd have twigged by now: that was November!)

Its all down to me. Which is simultaneously the most comforting and terrifying thought in the world. Having all the tools at ones disposal, one has to work with them to get better. And that takes time. How long? This is me having worked on them for a year. I guess if you start from the bottom it takes time to reach the surface.

The problem always seems to be the unknowing. Not knowing things makes them worse. For example, since childhood I have had perspective problems. Its not a sight thing, my eyesight has always been top notch. But I can't tell the difference between something going past me and going to hit me.

Trying to explain it. Imagine standing in a street. Children playing two blocks down the road, traffic going down the road, a Church spiral in the distance, shops on the other side of the street. You are facing down the street so you can see all of this, even, say Charing Cross half a mile ahead if you've chosen to imagine Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow. Now, when this specific ailment gets really bad, I can see all of them, but I can't see where they are in relation to one another. So the church spiral, shops and traffic are all somewhere nearby, but a sort of sameness. My eyes have been checked, they're fine. Its something mental.

Mandy started to notice it was effecting me more, by my ability to walk into lampposts, signs, car windows,e tc. They seem like I have a distance away from them only for them to suddenly teach me an unfortunate lesson! I've been nearly run over five times since New Year, and all because the cars seemed like parked ones.

I find if I go out on my own, I tend to put my arm out in front of me like a blind man just to check everything is where it ought to be. I can do that to the local shops, but even then, it takes up a lot of mental energy. Went to the shops for some Irn Bru last time I went out alone, it took 5 minutes and I couldn't get out of bed for 2 days after.

So I tend to go outside with Mandy, who holds onto my arm. Then I have a grounding in reality, someone to help cross roads without being killed, etc.

No idea what causes it. I remember when I was younger, I used to walk into lampposts as a kid. I just didn't see them. Then at school, other kids used to take great pleasure in setting off my reflex reactions when they realised they set off regardless if something was going to hit me or not, because my body couldn't tell the difference. It got a lot worse from S5 onwards though, and in the last year or two has degenerated into what it is now.

I feel like the dreamer in Lovecraft's Celephais. The fear is I wind up like him!

I don't feel we need to worry about "extinct nobility" though in my case!

This inability to do things leads to stress. What also leads to stress is living in a dodgy street. Break ins, fights, smashing of glass, you name it, its a normal night here. Weekends are worse. Our bedroom is right next to street level so we hear it all in great detail. Plus with the break in in March and some loud new neighbours, it doesn't add up to much permanent feeling of security.

The trick is to move out. We got our results back from An Other Housing Association last week, which said I had been awarded Nul Points. So now I know how Jemini felt! The housing stock around here is stretched beyond capacity though, and there is no security in private rent. Anyhow, people reliant on Housing benefit often are not welcome in private rent.

A surveyor checked over our house for the Housing Association two months ago. He discovered that the house isn't insulated properly, most of the housing equipment was meant to be repaired in the 1970s, and it is not built to condensate (?) properly, hence mould growths. He concluded the house isn't safe for human occupation and that the flats here would be safer demolished. So that's comforting to know.

As it is, one is left in a house "unsafe for occupation", where the insulation problems have led to several doses of the flu in the last year (and currently a chest-cold0, where the neighbours seem content to live like on Eastenders. Joy.

I am trying, in not so many words, to convey a picture of why I am always ill and missing events. The former  explains why I need Mandy to accompanay me to anything (and is just one symptom. Theres no point I think in overdosing people with issues), and why I seem to suffer from a permanent cold. Plus with the chronic asthma I am already suseptible to every bug that walks along.

I think if we knew why things were happening like that. The co-ordination issues I mean, not the housing ones. I can explain away the physical bugs. But the mental ones are the tricky. Known unknowns can be a useful thing, I always say. If you know why something is up, you can deal with it.

To use a hyperbolic explanation for a problem. "Oh, I cant get my thumbs to right click on the laptop anymore, as they wont exercise the pressure needed to make the damn thing work."

"Oh dont worry, you actually have arthritis."

"Well, thats a bummer, but at least we know what causes it now. Stupid arthritis."

That was a deliberately hyperbolic example, but the demonstration works. Once you know why something doesnt work, you feel a lot more secure in getting around it.

Its the not knowing which kills you.

PS - For reasons of highlighting, I have elected to keep all the typos and errors above. Some of them are really stupid, I know, but the point is they didn't come across as such at the time, which, as a sort of hamfisted analogy to the issues I mentioned above, sort of works.