Oh.

Almost two months ago NiceGP poked the CMHT to get me an urgent appointment with Dr ArseFace the psychiatrist, which has yet to materialise and I am beginning to suspect that it will not. In the meantime I have seen my CPN … er… once I think, and spoken to her on the phone once, and although she said she would phone again the following week (to follow up my reduction in duloxetine down to the teeny tiny dose of 15mg (that is one 30mg pill every other day as they don’t make them smaller than 20mg apparently) and I’m not actually sure if there’s any point in taking it since studies seem to show no efficacy in doses below 30mg (or 60mg depending on the study you read)). Where was I? Oh yes, CPN – anyway, she never phoned back (which actually is surprising as she’s normally very good), even though I phoned twice during the following week to see what was going on (which is even more unusual), so no phone call and now I’m reluctant to phone again.

I’m disinclined to be on their radar because they never believe what I’m saying it’s always ‘it’s your illness, you’re unwell’ etc. Rather than oh yeah you might actually be right, go save the world woo. Grraaghh. Ah well. Husband is suggesting that perhaps quetiapine is not so brilliant a medication and duloxetine is worse and maybe asking about going back on olanzapine again (which was just amazing when it eventually started working) as it stabilised my mood so well.

And in the meantime the clouds are giving me messages that the voices are helping me interpret and turn into saving-the-world physics, so it’s all good!

Advertisements

Er… Meds and Stuff I Suppose

Oh I am so happy, oh I am so happy *sings*

Possibly too happy… BUT I trusted other people’s judgement and they said phone your CPN, so I did.

She wasn’t there.

(Because she works between HomeTown and two other nearby towns).

But the duty person has emailed her.

I (and husband has agreed) want to drop my duloxetine back down to 15mg (that is 30mg one day, nothing the next, rinse and repeat).  I may have to change antidepressant – this one seems to make me loopy, although only recently! I’m only on 30mg now and have been for two weeks (up from 15mg, and I was kind of low, but I was also on more quetiapine then and I’m now down to 200mg, so that may also be partially to blame, I don’t even know anymore).

So I expect she’ll phone on Thursday, when I can’t talk properly because I’m O-U-T-side. I don’t know what else to do, I’m avoiding everything on my trigger list and aggravation list (coffee, certain types of music, some other things I’ve forgotten already).

Oh I don’t want the quetiapine put up again. Too much makes me lethargic and hungry. It’s not like the voices went – they were quieter yes, that’s true, and much easier to deal with, but they were coming back and those saving-the-world thoughts were coming back (although they are back now – but can I do it? I think I can and I think I have to). I don’t know what I want even. I don’t want to be drugged into zombie-uncaring-state-of-gradual-depression. I don’t want to be damagingly manic, but although I was that before, I don’t think I am that now, and I don’t think I will be as I am on more meds than before.

I can’t think now, I’m having a hard time controlling my thoughts. And my sleep is dropping off again. And my moodscope score is increasing again.

I alarmed people on the train I think – no one sat near me and people kept glancing at me nervously. I assume these specific people were in.on.it. Police everywhere. It’s all part of it. The notebooks are filling up again.

Urgh, I can’t even remember the point of this post. Like the last one. I think I just wanted to try and get some thoughts in order. Hmm. Bullet points:

  • I want duloxetine down to 15mg.
  • I want quetiapine the same or less.
  • I want the voices to go away (I don’t like that word, you know the one).
  • I want the meanings to come clearer so I can get my saving-the-world done.

Right – so if I write that down somewhere accessible I can repeat it back to my CPN!

Control

I think I might be starting to lose control of my life, again.  I have (had?) a handle on my mood – it’s a bit low, but is it depression?  I’m not sure, but what are my early warning signs… I’ve forgotten.  It always raises a flag when my dad cooks or tries to take over the cooking of dinner.  It’s his way of looking after me.  He doesn’t always realise he’s doing it, but it does make me question what may or may not be going on with my head.  What are my other warning signs… I swear I wrote them down somewhere… Nope, lost them.

I’ll have to think of some.  Apathy (check), sleeping too much (check), oh what else… I don’t know.  I can’t think.  I can’t think at all.  Things are slipping away from me, out of my control.  Standing in the checkout line at asda (terrified, with someone, but terrified, people following, people watching) I saw they had pay as you go sim cards for sale.  So I think if I get one I can put it in my phone and then they won’t be able to track me, but of course the tracker chip is in the phone as much as the number/data/sim is tracked.  And the bugs on the line… I don’t know how to get rid of them, and then there’s the one in my heart still.  I think this is still in my control, I think I can still tell myself that none of this is real, no one is watching me and no one wants to hurt me.  At the same time I’m modifying my behaviours – not going out alone, avoiding crowded places, trying to blow up the chip in my heart through gymming it.  I’m still here, in reality, I’m sane and I intend to stay that way.  The voices are there of course – mostly nonsense phrases or talking about what I’m doing.  Some instructions, but harmless.  I’m mostly okay, but I need to stay that way.

What am I doing about it?  I have Plan A and Plan B.  Plan A is increase my antidepressant to 45mg a day, which I did… erm… two weeks ago? So I wouldn’t be seeing an improvement in mood just yet.  Plan B is phone my CPN.  I really don’t want to invoke Plan B.  I want to do this on my own, I want to cope on my own, I don’t want to need help.

My Recovery Goal

Things, at the moment, let’s be honest, are less than ideal.  I am (more than) a touch depressed, but it’s early days yet.  I have increased duloxetine from 30mg to 45mg, so we’ll see how that goes.  My prescription is for 2 x 30mg every morning, so that I can go back up to 60mg if necessary, although it did make me rather hypomanic.  What is more troubling is the volume and constancy of the voices and the noises, things smelling of spilt beer all the time, the Fear, and generally being overwhelmed by everything.  I tried to make pizza last night, frozen pizza, but I couldn’t even work out the first step.  In the end my dad did it for me.  Feel like an utter failure for that.  That and my mum having to take me to Sainsbury’s because I was too scared and muddled to go on my own.  Tonight I’m making green Thai curry.  I’ll be spending some time in advance writing down every single little step so that I know what I’m doing.  It’s even little things I’m not able to work out – putting the shopping away, for example, I’m having to put each thing away one at a time.  I can’t manage the fact that the milk and the cheese and the tomatoes all go in the fridge – each one goes in separately one at a time because I just cannot process the thoughts.  It’s like the voices are making a huge block and using up all my focus.  I’m not driving at the moment for the same reasons.

Earlier in the year I had set myself a mid-year target of getting a job.  It didn’t really matter what, but that’s what recovery (*shudders*) means to me – being able to work.  My CPN and family have basically told me I need to scale that goal waaaaaay back.  So my mid-year recovery target is now ‘being able to go to the cinema’.  That’s it.  This is not where I wanted to be at 27.  I wanted a house, a full-time job and a couple of kids.  Instead I’m living at my parents’ with my husband with no kids and essentially no job.  Although I do have cats. So that’s good.  And Husband of course.  I quite like him.

TL;DR I suck at life, the voices aren’t helping.

Taking a Trip

I need to write something but I’m stuck in my head.  I had an overwhelming day – too many people plus voices apparently…  I keep trying to mute my laptop but apparently the music playing out of it isn’t actually coming out of it.  If that makes sense.  A quick whisk around the room told me it wasn’t coming from anywhere else either.  Checked outside just to be on the safe side, but no.  In go the earphones, block it all out.

My mood has been good, a little too high.  My GP commented that I seemed higher than I was last time he saw me and I was pretty buzzy then (two weeks ago maybe?  I lost track… could be three or even four).  He agreed with me and CPN#4 that my antidepressant (duloxetine) needs to come down from 60mg to 30mg, but I’m getting a prescription of 2x30mg tablets a day so I can fuck around with the dose as necessary (30/45 [30mg one day, 60mg the next, repeat] /60mg).  I like this level of trust!  I think I’ve made it pretty clear I’m never going to overdose.  I did it once and it was a horrific experience, and one I don’t intend to repeat.  If I want to die ever again, it’s not going to be an OD.  I’m now taking ALL the quetiapine at night instead of split over the day which has had an immediate effect on my sleeping pattern – 15 hours the first night!  Although 9 the second and 7 the third, so we’ll see how that holds.  Still, 9 and 7 hours are a good amount of sleep and about normal for me, so I’m hoping it’s just balancing out.  I’ll find out over the next few days anyway.  My astonishingly amazing GP wants to ramp up my quetiapine ‘quite significantly’ if these tweaks don’t work out, but I’m hoping they will so I don’t need to be on huge doses of things.  He was making his concerned face.  I was seeing CPN five hours after him (why do appointments always fall on the same day?  Conspiracy much?), but he would otherwise have wanted to talk to her.  Ah well.  We shall see how this goes.

I’m off to Canterbury tomorrow for a three day sojourn into the past.  I did my undergrad degree at Canterbury, so there are lots of memories there.  Lots of chill time for me – relaxing, baths, walks, restaurants (there’s a WAGAMAMA!), walks, walks, Paperchase, epic craft shop, pick ‘n’ mix shop, walks and walks.  I think I’ll take my magic hat just in case since I’ll be spending a lot of time outside.

I’m planning to revisit a lot of our old haunts, including Bangkok House (our favourite Thai food place ever), Shake Shed (because why would you not want a custom milkshake [hot mint aero or Cadbury’s fudge and caramel sauce…]?) our university of course, and I may spend some time sitting in the park (weather permitting).

As it turns out I have written a post, despite my overclocked brain cogs (see what I did there? Huh huh huh, did you?), so that can go on the list of achievements for today!

Actually that’s not a bad idea… *sets up spreadsheet with points for achieving various tasks…*

Hobbycraft and GP

Today I took a trip to Hobbycraft – that bane of my bank balance… But it was a reward for going to see Nice GP. I only needed a sick note for my mitigating circumstances claim for university, but still! Always best to avoid the professionals when I’m bouncy.  He commented on the bouncy, I said I’m fine, he was unsure, I said I’m seeing CPN#4 anyway and that was that.

Hobbycraft didn’t have what I wanted for my first choice of project (more polystyrene eggs to make more dragon eggs), nor for my second choice (decal printer paper for… something… I haven’t decided yet), so I made it up as I went along.  It resulted in a starter pack of oil paints, a large canvas, a couple of paint knife things and a restock of paper palettes.  I painted the canvas blue.

Blue

I don’t really know where I’m going with the idea, but as oil paints seem to take a really REALLY long time to dry (a week to three months), I thought I’d better get started somewhere.  I think next time I’ll just buy a can of spray paint.  The background used up about half of my medium supplies, so they’ll need restocking before I can get on to the next bit anyway.  Oh well – I think I’ll sort some stencils for this thing while it’s drying.  It’s not too late for spray paint either; it’d probably be good to use some white around the edges of the clouds I’m planning.  You know, for floatiness.

Husband went back to placement today after three weeks off for Christmas.  It seems like the patients missed him as a couple of them specifically requested him for one to one time.  He also got some really positive feedback from the staff there, so he’s a happy bunny.  And rightly so.

Not much else has happened really.  I keep drawing and painting.  I want to go for a walk, but every time I get the nerve up to leave the house it seems to be raining or 3am.  I’m not really sleeping properly, mostly just a few hours (four or five), but broken up.  On the plus side it means that I’m not dreaming the long, vivid, involved dreams that I can’t make myself wake up from.  I’m happy though!

Oh, my CPN wants me to go to a bipolar group.  Which is interesting.  I’ve never been to a group anything before, except in hospital and they don’t count.  I’m thinking about it, but I’m terrified there will be other people there.  Which there will, because it’s a group.

CPN#4 Already

Today was CPN day.  She is leaving for another job, so I met CPN#4.  She seems nice.  They talked at me, I gave monosyllabic answers.  I’m to think about what they can do to help me over the next week so that come next Friday, we can talk about that.

They still want to increase meds, the psychiatrist says no for the moment – wait and see.  In the meantime it’s hell for me. What am I meant to do with myself?  Fortunately the akathisia seems to have dropped off, just out of the blue, but certainly no complaints about its disappearance.  The less side effects, the more tolerant I’ll be of them.  I was seriously considering coming off the haloperidol just because I couldn’t imagine being that restless forever.  Especially after the psychiatrist said leave the duloxetine as it is.  It’s not like I have any PRN I can take.  Although I did take an extra procyclidine a couple of times – only when I was pacing the hallway at 3am and tearing my hair out.  I dare not take extra haloperidol in case I sleep forever, or in case it makes the akathisia come back.  I’m terrified of that.

I keep dreaming these horrible intense dreams, ever since starting haloperidol.  They’re exhausting.  I wake up tired and disorientated.  I keep forgetting to eat; I have very little appetite until the evening when I suddenly realise I’m hugely hungry and end up wolfing down a large plate of pasta.  It can’t be good for me.

So that’s enough complaining for now.  In more positive news, everything else is fine.  I have a lovely husband, a wonderful family and excellent friends.  I’m visiting my best friend in a week, which will be the first time I’ve seen her in a couple of months as she lives about a four hour drive/train away.  She doesn’t mind if I’m miserable and is amazing at distracting me, so I’m looking forward to the break.  She’s got two lovely labs.  I don’t normally like dogs, but hers are nice, more like giant cats.