The Things We Gloss Over

I’m coming down from this high, once again I’m wading through treacle, as my GP so wonderfully puts it. Only this time it seems the treacle is sucking me down into its dark syrupy depths. I’m hoping that it’ll let me go and I can wash off the goo and get back to life-proper.

My GP changed wrote to the CMHT and asked for them to advise on medication. He didn’t ask for a referral, which is a shame as there are some things (mostly work-related) that I could have used some help on, but never mind. The psychiatrist (previously referred to, I think, as Dr Arseface) advised that olanzapine would be “appropriate”, so I have that now. This is a Good Thing – I was at my most stable (mood-wise, more on voices, etc. later) when I was on olanzapine, and only came off it as Dr Arseface sent the old GP a letter (I was copied in, gosh I’m so honoured to be included in correspondence about me!) simultaneously discharging me from CMHT care to primary care, and telling the GP that I should come off olanzapine over the course of a few months.

Of course I went batshit insane.

The beginning of this blog chronicles those adventures, that were pretty much repeated last summer but even worse, and seemed to be ramping up for this summer too, but hopefully olanzapine will keep things a bit more level.

Olanzapine has never completely got rid of the voices and it’s-not-paranoia-if-they’re-really-out-to-get-you (hereafter referred to as INPITROTGY). Other meds have been better – haloperidol was the best. No one wants me taking two antipsychotics so it’s a case of choosing what I can deal with least well and medicating that. Chances are that once the olanzapine gets going the voices and INPITROTGY will ease off to at least a manageable background level as before. I’m definitely not taking haloperidol ever again, since it made so horrendously, deeply sad.

And that is why I’m hoping the treacle lets me go – I cannot take antidepressants as they make me loopier than a roller coaster made of colourful American cereal. Mood stabilisers also don’t seem to be an option – my one and only OD was partly formed of depakote and so I can never ever take it again, just the thought makes me sick. Lithium scares me, seems to involve too much in the way of organisational powers (blood tests, don’t eat this, drink that…). Lamotrigine hasn’t been mentioned but I think I remember something about my local trust not prescribing it once upon a time, so that might be why.

I’m trying to pull myself out the treacle too, of course. I’m not passively accepting my treacle-doom (I may have taken this metaphor too far…). I’m keeping to my routines (as far as I can – so sleepy now), doing all the Things That Should Be Done. I’ve been over these before.

The hard thing is keeping that mask in place, glossing over all the “abnormal moods”, trying to keep my face mobile (apparently flat affect is an issue no matter the mood). The thing is that even when I am functionally well, my mood isn’t (alwaysusuallyoften?) affected by events that happen around me or too me. We had to have my cat put down; my gorgeous beautiful grey ball of fluff, and whilst I cried, a lot of those tears were crocodile. It wasn’t that I didn’t feel pain at his death, it wasn’t that I didn’t sympathise with my family’s sorrow. It’s hard to explain. I think half of the hardness is that I don’t want to admit it. I couldn’t not feel happy any more than a “normal person” could not feel sad. I felt all sorts of things in one go. I would love to have situationally appropriate moods, but my moods do what they want when triggered by … (see previous lists…). This is what we gloss over – I’m never “well”, I will never be “well”. “Well” to me means more to me than just functioning – going to work, looking after other people, cooking, cleaning. “Well” means feeling the right things at the right time: being able to grieve; celebrating getting engaged; being able to help friends out with problems, or being happy with them, without having to carefully arrange my face and words. I don’t mean that these moods are necessarily abnormally high or low, just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Of course sometimes moods and events do line up, but that feels more like chance than design.

 

Okay, enough complaining. Here is a grumpy owl to make up.

The Grumpiest Owl

Propanolol

I had a really positive GP appointment today, after all my fear and anxiety!  I’ve got a bunch of propanolol which so far is amazing – I’m chilled out enough now that I can work on my world-saving project without being paralysed by the fear that MI5 are going to be crashing through the door any second.  I mean, they might!  But I will deal with that when it comes to it. The Signs I’m seeing around at the moment indicate that I have some time at least, I’ve got some important designing and building to do but it’s all got to happen quietly and in secret because I think my family might interfere; they tell me I’m unwell and I can’t do these things – I’m hyped up, hypomanic maybe, but I’m not that ill!

My GP is also going to see if he can talk to the CMHT and get my quetiapine changed to the glorious olanzapine (which had better work after me singing its praises for the last couple of years!), or get me referred to them if he can, but god knows if that will happen – they don’t seem to accept referrals for reasons that aren’t entirely clear, I’m wondering if it’s a case of you’ve had therapy, you’ve got a decent dose of meds, you should be better and you’re never allowed to relapse ever. We’ll see, GP is going to fight my corner as best he can but there’s only so much he can do, especially as he has however many hundreds of other patients to deal with (including but not limited to “little old ladies who get angry when [he] can’t get rid of their arthritis”). He made me laugh when he (jokingly!) suggested using the mercury in his blood pressure machine to blow up the Tories.

In other news, I’ve been having a bash at drypoint etching. I drew out a cat (which took longer than I care to admit), I spent ages faffing around trying to get his feet right, and eventually realised that in each of the earlier iterations they were far too neat – a cat is at its most catlike when it has feet all over the place. The actual etching part of the process was incredibly easy, but getting the pressure right and getting it inked up was a little tougher.

image

So here’s the cat, or at least one of the first prints, and I’m hoping to get some mooooore done Tuesday! Okay, on to the Important Project!!

Dreaming

I’m not one for symbolic analysis of dreams; none of this bullshit, like a dream about a frog with red feet doesn’t mean I’m going to be lucky but if it has green feet it means the shower is going to break.

But last night I had three nightmares that were pretty indicative of what’s going on in my head right now. First, I was at school and the teachers kept making us do weird things like collecting chalk from all the buildings. Second, I was running around the local shopping centre like a nutjob. And third, I was trying to drive my car from the back seat and failing.

The theme was very clear in my nightmares – loss of control. I am losing control, I don’t want to lose control, I fear loss of control. I don’t know how to keep control.

But because there’s always a bright side – at least I slept long enough to have three whole dreams!