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Re-evaluating.

Lately I’ve found myself re-evaluating what I want out of life. I’m nearly 28 (Sept!) and am still living the life of a teenager, and up until recently, I was pretty happy with that.

I’m not sure what has changed so much that has made me think about all of this. I think I’m seeing my friends graduating from uni, buying houses, having kids and getting married has made me start to think about where I want my life to go.

I know I said in my last blog I’d dropped out of Biomedical Science at university. I think the course I’ve swapped to is going to be much better suited to me. I need to speak to the university and student finance about it all, but I’m feeling better about it and I’m excited to finally have a reason to get out of bed in the morning again. I think as well psychology with counselling is going to be better for me in the long run when it comes to trying to find work at the end of things. I already know what areas I want to specialise in and I find myself becoming more and more excited about starting.  It’s weird, I’ve got totally different emotions to what I felt when I was starting Biomed in 2015. I think I’m a bit more wary and accepting of things this time. I went into Biomed thinking I was going to fly through it and be able to keep up and would graduate in 2018. I think this time, although I know I pretty much have to do this in 3 years (SFE won’t cover more than 3 more years for me and that’s with extenuating circumstances), but for some reason I’m more optimistic and hopeful that I can manage this one.

Cookie “officially” moved out on the 7th May. I’ve had Sophie staying since then, so it’s not been a case that I went straight from having someone about constantly, to being totally on my own. I’m not sure I’d be able to cope with that in one go. But I’m glad it’s happened the way it has. Cookie and I have lived together for 8 years and there’s only so long people can put up with each other without being in a proper partnership, which contrary to popular belief, we weren’t. I’ve been making an effort to start and pack up the rest of my stuff for moving. I’ve not yet “gone live” on Manchester Move so I can’t bid on any flats or anything, but when the time comes that I do, I could be given 3 days notice that I need to move, so I need to make more of an effort to get things in order. Cookie took both the sofas, so yesterday I had a second hand sofa delivered. It’s a nice sofa and comes with a footstool that doubles up as storage. So bonus on that one.  She pretty much gutted the flat so I’ve been building up some of the stuff I need to live between now and moving. Things like kitchenware and what not. And Sophie bought me a four slice toaster which I’ve been after for an absolute age and Cookie wouldn’t let me have. So I’m pleased.  I think moving into my own new flat will be good for me though. They gave me the option of staying where I am and paying bedroom tax, but I want a fresh start in somewhere new. My current flat will always be “mine and Cookie’s flat” so getting somewhere new is going to be good for my mental health. It’ll be nice to just get some space and not constantly have to be thinking about other people or moaning at people to tidy up after themselves. I’ve spent the past 8 years trying to clean up after Cookie and it’s part of what has caused a rift between us and expedited her moving out.

My mental health still isn’t fab, and I’m in hospital again with my chest. But I’ll get there with that. Mind over matter. Going to try and work towards some kind of plan for working with uni and my chest consultant so that uni doesn’t get as impacted by my chest as it did with Biomed, and hopefully at some point in my life they’ll give me some kind of psychotherapy that I’ve been waiting on since 2016. I’m going to fu*king get there though, and this time next year you’ll hopefully see a different Vicky.

 

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Carry on, Sir.

I really am making an effort to blog more! It just happens the only time I really have the time to sit down and do it is when I’m either in hospital or it’s the middle of the night.  So this time I’m in hospital and have time on my hands.

Part of this admission was scheduled so I could have my port-a-cath inserted at the start of my treatment(5 nights of IV Aminophylline), and then I was more likely to be able to get a bed.

PORT_1

 

So I came in on Wednesday night with the aim to having my port put in on Thursday morning. We spent all day Wednesday ringing every few hours to see if there was a bed, and by 5pm they had one for me. I was well chuffed because the bed situation has been dire lately, but they got me in, so I can’t complain. Came in, had to wait a while to see a doctor because I came in after all the ward doctors had gone home. But got my amino up and going around midnight and tried to get some sleep. Was first on the list for theatre the next morning because of my latex allergy, so they came to get me about half 9. They farted around in the theatre for ages and by the time they actually got around to doing the procedure, I was a total mess. Even after 4mg of IV medazolam, I was still shaking and terrified. I think next time I’ll tell them I don’t respond very well to medaz. Problem was, that wasn’t the only issue. Around 10mins into the procedure, my heart rate started climbing. And climbing. And climbing some more, finally settling on 190-200. That’s a bit fast given that a normal person’s average resting heart rate is about 70-90. With me my average is about 110. So it was still way too high. They ended up having to give me a medication called adenosine which is known to cause problems with asthmatics, so they had to speak to my consultant and I ended up needing a lot of medication to then control my chest because when the adenosine didn’t work, they had to give me a beta blocker, which also causes problems with the heart. So my chest ended up going to shit a bit. So instead of being away for about an hour and a half, I was in theatres and recovery for about 4 and a half hours. Whoops. We still don’t know what caused the very fast rhythm (SVT) because I’m already on medication for my heart. There’s a suspicion it might have been while they were messing around putting the line in and it may have just tickled a part of my heart and it got a bit over excited. But who knows?

One thing i’m struggling with at the minute is my right hip. I know I’ve talked about how I’ve had both replaced, but my right hip is playing up something shocking. I can’t put weight through it, I can’t turn or twist, can’t lie on my sides or it kills and it’s generally making my life a nightmare. I’m back on crutches, which is a total nightmare for dripstands. I can’t go anywhere without help cause I can’t push a drip stand and crutch it. I used to be able to, but that was when the pain was different. This is a new kind of pain which is what’s scaring me a bit. It doesn’t feel like bone pain, it feels like muscle or nerve pain, which are both treated fairly conservatively. I think the Avascular Necrosis has left me very paranoid. I had an x-ray yesterday and they’re going to get ortho to come and see me and see if they have any idea what’s going on with it. Fingers crossed it’s something easily fixable.

I’m really looking forward to getting home. I haven’t been home in about 2 and a bit years. I don’t expect much to have changed, but there’s something about Monaghan that makes me happy just being there. I’ll get to see my nanny who I’ve not seen in forever, and specially after her brain surgery, I just want to give her a massive hug. Sophie’s coming with me and I’m really happy about that. I know we won’t be able to do an awful lot, but i think a week of enforced rest will be good for both of us. No hospital appointments, no work, no uni, just chill time. Definitely needed. Let’s just hope our flight back doesn’t involve the anti-terrorism police and ambulances being called to the plane (I’ll never, ever let her live that down)!

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Tears and Fears

So it’s been a while since I blogged. Again, sorry, will try harder etc etc.

I think I only tend to go near my blog when there’s too much other stuff going on in my brain, and I need to get it out in some form or another, and blogging seems like a good plan, especially given that my blog is probably nearing 10 years old.

Start with uni I suppose. I’m on my easter break at the minute, but I’m semi debating not going back and just restarting 2nd year in September. It’s either that or I drop out completely to be honest. I’m struggling with my mental health and I just have absolutely no motivation to go into uni whatsoever. I’m falling asleep in lectures, not able to concentrate in labs and I’m of absolutely no use in the workshops because I didn’t know we needed to do pre-work and I haven’t it done. I do enjoy it when I’m there and managing to stay awake, the work we were doing in second year was really interesting when I could stay awake during the lectures. But we’ll talk about that one in a bit. When I’m there and have done the work, I don’t get half bad marks and do manage to keep up, but the problem is I’m spending more time at home than I am at uni and that’s just not really a good system. I end up a week behind because I’ve been in hospital and find it totally impossible to catch up with the work I’ve missed or if there’s any assignments I need to have done. I think given the bashing my mental health has taken this year, I’m probably justified in wanting to start again. I’m just hoping my tutor will agree with me. I’m in hospital at the minute, but once I’m out I’m gonna set a meeting with him and work out what the best step forward is for me.  But with the amount of coursework I’ve missed alone, I’m not sure how I can feasibly pass this year.

So, my mental health (MH)…. Things aren’t great. And they haven’t been great since just after christmas and new year. I went to my GP around about January saying I was struggling, and things have just gone down from there. I saw my psychiatrist around then and he increased my quetiapine. Things sort of got a little bit better, and then went downhill again and I got referred to the Intensive Home Treatment Team (IHTT). As it sounds, they look after people who need a bit of extra care in the community. They come out and see you every day or every few days to make sure you’re coping in the community and if not then they try and intervene before it gets to crisis point. They have their own psychiatrist on the team so even if you need to wait 4 months to see your own psychiatrist, they can have you seen by one as soon as possible. This is where my problems start to really go nutty. As it is, I’m on 3 main psychiatric medications. Quetiapine, Venlafaxine and Haloperidol. All of these meds can cause problems with the rhythm of the heart, and unfortunately in me, it’s affected my heart quite a lot to the point that they want me off all my current psych meds. But they didn’t tell me about this. Nope. I was discharged from hospital about 3 weeks ago now with a tray with all these changes in it and not a clue what was going on. They had put new meds in, taken out doses of things and muddled with doses of others. I was furious. While I accept my meds need changed, changing them all without even mentioning it to me was totally unprofessional and I was very annoyed about it. To the point I refused to take the new medications. I was meant to have an appointment with the psychiatrist on the IHTT but because I got admitted to hospital with my asthma, I was unable to attend it. I don’t know what they’re going to do about it now, I’m almost prepared for them to just say I’ve been seeing them for too long and they can’t see me anymore. Who knows. The only main issue I have with the whole plan is they want me to start Sertraline, which I’ve been on before and it didn’t help, so we swapped it to Mirtazipine, And I was on that for nearly 4 years and only changed it when I had my nervous breakdown.  As it stands, I’ve absolutely no idea what’s going on with my medication when I get discharged from hospital. I’m going to get them to make me a tray up, because even my poor pharmacist hasn’t a clue what’s going on with my medications anymore, and that’s never a good sign. I’m so scared of my head getting back to the state it was in Jan 16. That was a terrible time for me and the people around me to go through. I can’t go through that again.

Life is stressful at the minute. I’m getting more and more paranoid that people think I’m exaggerating my conditions or that I like the attention. I know that it has happened that people do it. I don’t even know if I do. I like to think I don’t, and try to tell things as they are, but admittedly my memory has gotten a lot worse being on psych meds so I sometimes get things wrong. Does that make me a drama llama? It’s really playing on my mind at the minute. My psych symptoms are going mad because they’ve reduced them all introduced a new one but it takes time for things to settle and I’m really struggling to deal with my head. That’s probably not helping/is helped by the insomnia. That kind of made sense in my head. I think I’m trying to say insomnia doesn’t help my MH, but my insomnia is caused by my MH. I think.

Although in saying that all, my nanny had the tumour in her brain removed last week. Nobody told me it was going on cause I’m a bit of a worry wart and would probably have spent the entire day panicking about it. But my 73 year old nanny, the OAP, managed 9 and half hour brain surgery and came out of it with absolutely no neurological deficits whatsoever. I am SO proud. Nanny is getting on in age, and although she doesn’t look it, she’s getting old. She’s done amazing and really has astounded us all. Ok, she had to go back to the hospital for a few days because her stitches came out and they wanted to check there was nothing untoward going on, but she’s totally OK and has no signs of infection or swelling on the brain. It’s one of the few times I’ve believed in god, because she needed someone looking out for her up there, that and a hell of a good surgeon! Mum has been fantastic with it all. She was up and down to the hospital in Dublin most nights, and is now staying out in Nanny’s so she can help nanny around the house as it’s Kieran’s (her brother) 50th birthday on the 1st April so there’s going to be a lot of people there and the last thing any of us want is nanny to go and overdo it and have a setback in her recovery. So mum is enforcing rest. Miffs me off a bit, when I was in hospital in Cavan she never came to visit. The only time she did was when James was in. It kind of hurts that she couldn’t come and see me when I was poorly but she can go to dublin for nanny every day. Different circumstances I assume. All of this brought it home to me that Nanny isn’t getting any younger. I’m the eldest grandchild and probably have the best relationship with nanny out of everyone, and the idea of losing nanny terrifies me. I’m hoping it doesn’t happen for a very long time, but I know it’s something that we have to start accepting is that Nanny and Pappy are both getting old and things do start going wrong as you get old.

Anyway, it’s like 1am, and I should probably go to bed. Being in hospital at night is crap when you can’t sleep. Poooooo.

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Long time no blog…

So it’s been a while since I’ve blogged. I don’t really have any excuses except that I’m lazy and a lot of the time I just can’t be arsed sitting down and doing it. So I’ll try and sum up the past 6 months as well as I can!

To be honest, I can’t think of many big highlights. I went camping with Cookie and Sophie again in September the week the kids went back to school. It wasn’t as good as the first time, mainly cause Sophie had a kidney stone and spent a lot of time curled up in pain, which accumulated in a trip to Bangor A&E one of the nights. Well, it wouldn’t be a holiday with us 3 unless something like that went wrong. Didn’t help matters that Cookie managed to forget the bag that had her clothes in it. What a plonker. Meant she had to borrow clothes off Sophie and myself and then go and spend money on some more. Only she could forget to pack her clothes… *rolls eyes*.

After camping I was meant to get back to uni, but I was still really struggling with my chest so unfortunately it wasn’t able to happen. I managed to start getting back properly just before Christmas though.  My GP gave me a letter to defer my exams till August so I get a bit of a reprieve. I really need to get on top of that and make sure I get it sorted. It should’ve been in on the 18th but my head’s been really shitty and it’s been the last thing I could be arsed dealing with to be fully honest. I’m starting to seriously think about dropping out. I love my course and I love learning the stuff, but at the minute with my physical and mental health both struggling, I don’t know how long I can get away with winging it. It’s not helping that some of my medications are making me have a rubbish concentration span and I barely manage to stay awake through full lectures even if it’s something I really enjoy. I’m going to see if my psychiatrist has any ideas for switching my medications so that I’m not fighting a losing battle with uni work.

Christmas was a lot better than I was expecting. Mum and TJ were in London with Gerald and his mum, so I asked if I could go and join them and they were good with that, so I got to see my mum and TJ which I really needed. It’s kind of helped my home sickness, but I do still feel like I need to go home. It won’t be for a while though, I can’t really afford it at the minute. I spent New Year in Edinburgh with Dad. I got the train from London to Edinburgh, which apart from a 5 hour train journey in Poland, was the longest train journey I’ve ever made. I was bored out of my tree. Irene wasn’t very well and had a kidney infection so she spent most of my trip up there in bed. I got to spend some time with daddy though. We went to the cinema and to play pool which was good.

I’m back in hospital at the minute and someone in my bay has the flu. The entire ward has been shut because there is patients with the flu absolutely everywhere. It’s annoying because it means we are all on Tamiflu and anyone who comes into the bay has to wear a mask. Grrrr. I’m hopefully getting out on Monday and then back to uni on Tuesday. Will see how I’m feeling really.

I wanna go to sleep now, but I’ll try once again to blog a bit more often.

Much love x

 

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How do you make a head quiet?

This is one of those questions that nobody ever seems to have an answer for. They always tell me to just ignore the voices in my head. It’s really not that easy.

Today is a difficult day. I’ve had my PICC line put in, and while I’m happy I’ve got it, it’s annoying me that I need it. I know that I need reasonable access and that I spend a lot of time in hospital, but it’s a constant reminder that there’s something wrong and it’s a visible reminder. People ask me about it when I wear a t-shirt and forget to cover it. And I don’t like having to explain it to them, cause then you get the “Awww I’m sorry to hear that” stories. Having it is both a blessing and a curse.

My head’s being especially shitty today though. And there’s only so long I can try and have the argument of “you’re wrong, I’m not a shit person” before I start not have the energy for it. Which is a bad thing in itself. I’ve been struggling with my chest and I’m not sleeping fantastically, so I’m tired and feel rough. Never a good combination. I should be revising but the stuff I’m revising is ball achingly boring and I just can’t be bothered. Learning about 15 different fungi groups and how they all reproduce and grow just isn’t my idea of a party. So I ended up building lego with loud music on in an attempt to shut my stupid head up. Doesn’t seem to be working though, so I think I might just give up and go to bed. Seems the best plan, and the safest right now to be honest.

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Realising difficult truths.

It’s been about 6 months since my last blog post, and I can only apologise to the people who read my blog (and thank you for doing so, not sure what about my life is that interesting though!). I could give any number of excuses about bereavements, busy lives, being poorly, but ultimately I just didn’t have the time, motivation or mental energy to collect all my thoughts in one place. And with that opens my blog, that things have been difficult and I don’t like having to think about them.

So far this year I’ve lost 2 very close friends that I knew from hospital, and 2 people I would call good friends. All but one wasn’t expected and was totally unfair and before time. And it’s difficult to think about as Andrea was only 44, younger than my own mum, and Laurel’s death could’ve been prevented if the care she received from an unnamed doctor hadn’t have been negligent. That made the death of Laurel all the more unfair and although she passed in January, I’m still struggling to accept it. I had just started to when we suddenly lost Andrea, and being unable to attend the funeral hasn’t helped. I feel when someone passes that I need to be able to properly say goodbye, and that hasn’t happened with the death of any of my friends, apart from Laurel.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how my mental health has been affecting my friends. I feel more than ever like I’m bringing them down along with me. My closest friends are all struggling with their mental health and I’ve been watching them slowly go downhill for months, with the penultimate occurring recently with 3 of them all giving me cause toconsider calling ambulances, and on several occasions having to call ambulances for 2 of those friends. I honestly do believe that part of the reason they have crashed so spectacularly is that they’ve spent so long trying to hold it together for me, that they’ve been ignoring their own head’s getting bad, and as what happened with me, they are crashing and burning. Which has lead me to make the decision to not talk to them about what’s going on anymore. I’m going to avoid trying to come across as cold, but I think it’s going to be a learning curve. I’m going to have to learn to manage things on my own, specially as I got a letter yesterday saying it’s going to be 19months before they can offer me any form of psychology. I’m going to attempt to make use of the uni counselling services in the mean time, but I can’t and won’t bring my friends down anymore so am going to be dealing with this one on my own for a bit and allow my friends to concentrate on themselves. I think also that some of the symptoms I get and at the times I do are making me appear attention seeking. And that’s the last thing I want. I’d be more than happy to just crawl under a blanket and hide from everyone and everything and deal with it on my own, which is what I’m going to be doing. So the realisation that I’ve contributed to my friends breakdowns and that i’m quite possibly making things worse for myself has made me come to the decision that I need to not be as vocal in real life about my mental health. I’ll probably continue to blog about it, as I do find it helps to get my thoughts in one place, plus I like reading back over them, especially as this blog is coming up for 8 years old now.

I think this will also help the fact I’ve got my exams coming up. Having my exams will give me something to focus on and work through rubbish head stuff for. I know I’m probably going to end up overworking myself, but I’d rather overwork and pass my exams and deal with the consequences after, than not work enough and flunk them because I’d been too busy having a pity party in my head. I’ve got 2 lab reports I need to write plus a lot of lab work to catch up. I’m in hospital this week having my monthly infusion of Aminophylline for 5 days, then I’m hoping to just throw myself into university again. I can’t fault my university for the support they offer me. They are phenomenal and have not once pushed me to do more than I’m able. My tutor has given me his mobile number and I just have to text him and he will come and help me catch up.with work at the library or lab. I’ve been racking my brains for ways to thank both him, and my lab module leader as they are both unbelievably supportive. I’ve been considering moving out of Manchester, and the only reason I’m not at the moment is purely that I love my university and tutors too much.

My dad’s getting married at the start of April, so I’m quite looking forward to that. I’ve not seen a lot of my family on dad’s side for well over 3 years so I’m definitely looking forward to that. Plus the fact that my dad is getting married is a big deal. His last marriage ended in disaster and she was just a manipulative, horrible person. So the fact dad’s found someone he loves enough to actually marry makes me happier than I can put into words. Both my parents are finally getting back on their feet and that’s fantastic. Mum’s got Gerald and Dad has Irene. Here’s hoping it works out for both of them. I’ve warned both Gerald and Irene that if they hurt my parents, i’ll hurt them in ways they can’t even imagine. Protective daughter and all that….

I’m probably going to try and get home for a few days after my exams finish and after the family go to Spain. My uncle is getting married in Spain in May and although I’m unable to go, I’m going to try and get home to see my family afterwards instead. Sophie wants to come with me so it’ll be good for that. As well as that I want to try and take my friends out to Tenerife for a week during the summer. I need to speak to my grandparents about getting a room in the complex for a week and see how much it’s going to cost, but I definitely need a holiday, and so do my friends. It would be actually amazing to be able to just have a girlie holiday and lie by the pool with kindles and be lazy slobs in the sunshine for a week. Here’s hoping my plans happen!

I promise to try and be a bit better at blogging. Not promising anything, but I can try. Might do some blogs about being a disabled student. Uni have asked me to do a “Day in the Life of a Disabled Student” so once that’s been done I might start doing some regular blogs about the different things that I’ve found useful and how I’ve managed, or not managed so far.

So until next time!