Better Heathcare Through Bribery

I know it’s been a while but I wanted to keep my head down for a while and it turned into an absence that I didn’t expect to last quite so long. There are numerous reason why I would want to take a break but there are two that stick in my mind and are most prevalent to why I am back writing now.

The first and quite possibly the most damaging (to my mind anyway) was the fact that earlier this year I was told by my CPN that I shouldn’t be able to write this or any blog when in a state of mental distress, be that depressed, manic or any other kind of altered state. I did mention this on Twitter a while back but I just couldn’t beat that block that he put in my head. I have managed to write a couple of things in the past few months and I have taken one or 300 pictures with my iPhone but it’s pretty much been an artificial creative block. I have no rational reasoning behind why this happened. I know and have been backed up by people on Twitter that writing and other creative endeavours help us in getting through this shit-storm we call life. Well I am here right here trying to break that.

The second reason, is that I haven’t been that well of late. It’s kind of a 60/40 split between physical health and Mental Health. When one gets worse the balance changes. When the Physical Health gets worse then the Mental side increases too but generally they like to make sure I am equally messed up from day to day. The physical problems have not been helped by my mentalness. OK I was unsure of if I was going to mention this but I guess I am going to vaguely honest. I have a “lump” that has been there for quite a while and has never really gone away. Over the past few months where I have been unwell, my mind has been asking lots of questions and the main one is Why this damn lump hasn’t gone away? Now, in the back of my mind I have Cancer. I know it’s an irrational thing to think. This lump is just like all the other I used to get when I was younger, only this one is more persistent and has left something behind. It could just be scar tissue, but you know how a paranoid mind works.

None of this worry is helped by the fact that I have had a resurgence of “The Voices”. Everything I have mentioned above is playing over and over in my mind with a running commentary. A few days of this kind of Aural abuse I can handle and pass off as a blip. but 10 weeks almost daily streams is just about the limit that I can manage.

About 4 weeks ago I decided that this wasn’t going to clear p on it’s own and I really should have been in  touch with the CMHT before. My sleep was shot to shit. I was stuck in a pattern of being awake for three days with barely two hours sleep a day and then I would get a few hours exhausted relief and then it would start all over again. I wanted/needed a medical intervention.

I knew the way it had played out. The Voices were contributing to the lack of sleep, but the CPN couldn’t get that through his head. It had to be the other way around for him. No matter how many times and how many different ways I tried to explain it to him, he wouldn’t have it. Unsurprisingly the Consultant had the same view (after all the only person she had actually spoken to was the CPN. Not once in the time that I have been in contact with them have I spoken to her.)

I was given a weeks worth of Zopiclone (I turned down two weeks worth) and was told to see how that went. I hate Zop’s with a passion… or so I thought. I had never actually been told how to take Zopiclone. I was under the assumption that you take a sleeping pill and it puts you to sleep. According to the fact sheet the Chemist gave me this wasn’t the case. Zopiclone is for all intents and purposes a sleeping AID. It will aid you to get to sleep and stay asleep. Once I knew this and adjusted the way I took them and how I managed my bed time things seemed to go a little better and I got a couple of nights really good healthy(ish) sleep.  I decided to see if the pattern had reset itself and stopped taking them for a couple of nights and thing slowly went back to the Insomnia pattern and even when taking the pills again, things didn’t improve. I was stuck. I had three pills left and I called my CPN last Monday and after some back and forth I was left with .. three Zopiclone and a load of nothing to get through last week and see if anything improved. I cut down almost 75% of my online/in front of the PC time and started doing more taxing things to try and help the problem and nothing really helped.

Which brings us to today. I was to call the CPN today and discuss how the past week had gone. I went through everything that had happened (or not as the case may be) and he asked me what did I expect from today’s call. He would speak to teh Consultant and take back any suggestions I had. I explained to him that I thought an increase in Seroquel might help with the voices and then broached the subject about trying Risperidone . I have mentioned this in the past as this actually worked for me in the past. It was one of the first drugs I was put on and it was at the start as big a revelation to my mental health as Seroquel has become today. I knew the answer would be a big fat NO. I knew he would only go back to the Consultant and say I was deluded to think I would be given those drugs in conjunction with each other. He was as predictable as always. He said he would call back before 5pm today.

When he called back, it became like a Dance With The Devil.

The Consultant had agreed to increase the Seroquel by 50mg but there were conditions. I have to continue the coping strategies I have been using up to this point and implement more and sustain them. I have to get out of the house a lot more than I am doing at present. Finally, I have to attend an assessment at the CMHT on Thursday for a course that they run there. It’s a follow on course to the Recovery Group thing I did last year. It’s more in detail and more intense, hence the assessment on Thursday. I agreed for two reasons. I need to see if the increase in Seroquel will help and I actually happen to think that my Mental Health does improve when I am engaged more. It means that for god knows how many weeks my Monday mornings are going to have to Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed, but hopefully the outcome at the end will be worth it.

So here I am. Being bribed into better healthcare. When I mentioned that phrase to Mum after I got off the phone she said it worked when I was Three. I wonder if it will have the same effect 35 years later?

Until Next Time

One comment

  1. Reading this made me think of our old neighbour who moved into sheltered housing several months ago after his wife died. He and his wife both had a tough life as children, both had their demons. She was always very sweet whereas he was ‘harsh’ even though he could be nice at times. It was hard being an onlooker sometimes but they loved each other and had been married for about 30 years.

    Anyway, John heard voices all the time and was on his medications and they would chop and change them from time to time but I really felt for him. He was severely paranoid too and obviously suffered. But what got me is… he would drink to dull out the voices and that was the only time he was calm… he would be wobbly drunk, on the brink of falling over but he was calm. But he wasn’t supposed to drink with his medication. It was crazy as the medication didn’t calm him at all and when he did go through months of being sober it really didn’t help. I realise the drinking wasn’t right and caused it’s own problems but… anyway… what used to get me was… they would have ‘helpers’ pop in to sort their meds out daily and take them to a shop or somewhere for a change of scenery. They always rushed the visits and at one point we complained about it as they were supposed to spend a certain amount of time with them but would cut the visits short. But when one of the young ‘helpers’ came in he would get them out and about but take them to the local pub! LOL and in the next breath telling John that he shouldn’t be drinking…I better stop as I could go on all day!

    Great to see you back, Paul! I’m sure the lump isn’t anything serious as I’ve had one of the cyst things on the back of my neck which goes up and down like a yoyo. When I get run down it seems to grow and when I get a good rest it virtually disappears within a day or so. I use it as my ‘alarm’ to tell me to slow down.