Sunday, 30 October 2011

Happy Holiday

And it really was.  I just spent 3 weeks in the UK, on the Isles of Scilly and in Hastings and Bristol seeing all my lovely friends and my nephews and neice.
That aside, I had some good chats with friends about the proposed treatment plans and all were really supportive surprisingly.  All were of the opinion that any chance given to me to help recovery is a chance worth taking. Hmm. I spoke to my brother about it and I think he was a bit shocked if a little bemused as to what ECT actually entails.  But hopefully he understands that things have not been easy at all.  My mum came to visit me in Hastings and I had an in depth chat with her.  She is relieved that I am going to return to the UK and live back on the south coast where I have godparents nearby, my best mate (who I will be living with) and my best mate's parents who are like second family for me.  I think she was shocked but she took it well.  I felt releived to have spoken to her and she was really supportive and a bit emotional.  It's strange, I wouldn't say I am overly close with mum but she steps up to the plate in a crisis and easy to talk to.
First thing I did when I returned to Switzerland was book an appointment with my "GP", Dr A.  I thought I had a cold sore before I went to the UK but it was actually impetigo and after a course of penicillin based antibiotics which I am allergic to (old GP said try them and stop if I get a reaction - I had a slight reaction but thought it was best to discontinue in case it got worse.  I am definately allergic) and an unsuccessful dabble with cortisone cream I finally went to a walk in centre, queued up with the methadone addicts and got some antibiotic cream, which has really worked.
I digress. Dr A agreed to continue the cream and prescribed (non penicillin) antibiotics. Then, as he has been in Zimbabwe doing aid work since August/September we had a good natter (that's what I love about him, he totally overruns appointments with me although the Swissie in the waiting room probably hadn't got much else to do anyway.  He asked me how the appointment with my psychiatrist went and I said about the change in medication and the ECT discussion.  He asked if I was "shocked" (fnaah fnaah) about the suggestion and I said of course I was and that I was undecided and that it was difficult to consider it when I feel so much better at the moment.  Do I then wait until I am in the depths again?  He said Dr I and he considered that a lot of people in my situation have big highs and big lows and somewhere in the middle.  But that in my case I had deep lows and "kind of OK" which was my somewhere in the middle most of the time.  He mentioned mood disorder again but as I am still in denial as to what that might be, I didn't push that point further. Anyway, I explained that the break in the UK had helped rather than be admitted as an inpatient and that the Cipralex seemed to be working really well in combination with the other medications.
I see Dr A again tomorrow (so maybe he will have some pirated DVD's from Zimbabwe for me) and to check the impetigo which is clearing up nicely (although am pissed off I have got it as I haven't been near little germ filled fuckers since winter and apparently they are the culprits of the infection). I see Dr I (my lovely psychiatrist) on the 7th November.
Tonight I am feeling rather lonely.  Since all the socialising in the UK, which exhausted me, I was a bit naughty last night and had too much alcohol.  So I am attributing this to my low mood today and the fact that I was crying uncontrollably at the end of a film on Channel 5 earlier.  I even missed fire practice this week as I couldn't face being in a crowd of people and the effort of speaking Swiss, which I am still struggling to adjust to after my holiday (usually it comes fluently to me - time to put back on German TV).  I am contemplating the thought of a winter alone (although I am settled in NOT being in a relationship) but winter I must work to give me time to claim back my social insurance and pay off any remaining bills before the plan of returning to the UK in April 12.  And I am TERRIFIED of going back even though it is the right thing to do, and living in a large town.  I will certainly be saving up money to get me a place in Cornwall asap, much smaller environment.
If it hadn't been for my cat since returning, I think my mood would be through the floor right now.  Samkitten hasn't left my side since I returned and rarely goes out (although being a cat the ground is probably a little bit chilly on his paws). I love my cat. I need to find him a rural home in the UK with one of my friends or I will miss him so much.  He's got his winter coat now which is really useful for mopping up my snotty nose and streaming tears at the moment.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Treatment options following Psych appointment

So last Tuesday I had a Psychiatrist appointment, the last one being in July due to my health insurer no longer paying for my medical treatment.
Let me explain, I have been feeling REALLY bad - one of my GPs has been seeing me every two days to check I am still alive and to support me towards my psych appointment.
The kind of things that have been happening have included feeling suicidal, crying a lot, not sleeping (well that's been ongoing since April), heavy body feeling, no energy, feeling empty and imagining conversations have happened when they haven't, imagining experiencing things when I haven't, poor memory - I could go on but don't want to bore you.
Anyway, Dr I said that what I was experiencing was typical of deep depression and considering I have this, plus a mood disorder (daren't ask him which one), plus the stress of no job and the stress of a relationship split have all contributed to my current state of mind.
We went on to further discussion about treatment options, including another medication change (number 5 I think) and he told me not to worry, there are another 81 medications I can try (he has a sense of humour like mine).  So he has reduced the Venlafaxine to 150mg/day and added Cipralex 10mg/day.  Plus the Seroquel at night (100mg) and Lamictal 100mg twice daily.
Then, and this was the shock (!), he asked me if I would consider ECT.  My first thought was, "bloody hell, I really am that bad" and promptly told him NO, NEVER.  he talked through how it works and encouraged me to do some research and that he had seen good results when he was doing ssome training in America and that it might prompt the medication to work in the future.  With treatment resistant depression and with me, the meds work for a certain period and then I become "tolerant" to them.
I sighed, cried and then said if this round of meds doesn't work then I might consider it.
He then suggested I went as an inpatient for three months.  Problem is my health insurer.  And I think it's a good idea to go back to the bin for a while. Am considering going back to the UK and trying to get admitted there if I can't here.
All a bit of a heavy appointment and too much to think about.  However, I am feeling a bit lighter today and haven't reacted to the new medication yet, but it would probably help if I stopped getting roaring drunk every night (starting on the Tuesday by meeting up with a good friend of mine).
My BBF will be phoning me later to persuade me to come and live with her in the UK.  A friend I met up with yesterday also told me to go back as I "have no life here and it isn't doing me any good".  Yeah, she always makes me feel better....not.
So I will be on holiday in the UK to see friends/family from Wednesday to the last week of October - thinking time and decisions to be made.