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Saturday, 10 October 2015

June-October

Today is World Mental Health Day so I figured "what better day to write another blog entry, right?"

First a little update on my physical health though. I mentioned before about falling and hurting my arm around the start of May. I've been mostly managing the pain myself with OTC painkillers but I was also eventually referred to physiotherapy for it. I've been doing some exercises to "stretch out the nerves" as my physio put it. I feel this has been helping quite a bit and it's still painful and easily worn out but it's doing better.

In the middle of July, I had another accident. This may sound so typical of me but I was about to go out and had put on a pair of high-heel sandals I got a few days before and... I'm sure you can see where this is going. Leaving my room I tripped up and fell in our hallway. The way I can remember it is that because of the shape of these sandals, the top half of my right foot went one way and the bottom half went the other. I couldn't stand up on my own and I spent the rest of the night trying to hold back the tears as my foot became very swollen. My parents and boyfriend helped me out by lifting me, giving me a stool to put my foot up on and wrapping it in an icy cold rag to try and keep the swelling down. The swelling persisted for quite a while and only now is it beginning to disappear. 

I got another doctor's appointment a few weeks later to follow up on my arm and also to mention my still swollen foot. The doctor got me an immediate x-ray for my foot and I had another x-ray planned for a few days later for my arm. According to the x-rays - which both culminated in a months late appointment with the fracture clinic - I had broken 5 bones in my foot (each metatarsal, from an actual break in my big toe down to what seemed like a hairline fracture in my little toe) and had also broken the radial bone in my arm at the elbow. I had been walking around for over 3 months with a broken arm and a month with a broken foot. More importantly, neither had healed up like they should. The arm was still painful to move into certain positions and to lift things with and the foot was still so swollen I couldn't wear anything other than slippers or sandals (neither of which were particularly good for my feet.) I think everyone was pretty amazed that I was able to keep going with both injured limbs like that. In fact, all I could do when I found out the extent of the injuries was to laugh. I have another appointment with the fracture clinic next week to see how they're healing up.

As for my mental health, I'm glad to say I've been discharged from the community mental health team here. This doesn't really mean much though, as all they really did was refer me to other groups and to help me see the psychiatrist when my medication was needing adjusted. Through the years, my key worker has changed every couple of months to the extent that I had trouble even telling them when something was wrong (I don't exactly open up much to someone I've seen about twice for a total of 20 minutes.) When I was informed I would be getting a new key worker, I wasn't particularly sad because I became used to it. This last one I had knew very little about me and even after 3 sessions, only mentioned reading through my notes and asking about things on the day she was discharging me. "So I was looking through your notes and..." That's nice. Maybe you could have looked through them a few weeks before deciding to discharge me from the service?

All-in-all, while I feel I should be happy about being discharged - like it means I'm better or something like that - I just can't shake this feeling I have that I've not been discharged because I'm "better" but because they're sick of having to see me. I've always felt somewhat parasitic with the health care system. I've always felt like I've been using these resources for too long and I feel like some of the things said at my final meeting with my last key worker reinforced this: "We feel you've been to so many groups and courses now that you probably know more about how to cope and deal with your mood than we do!" Another way of saying "I can't believe you haven't got your shit together yet, how much do you need to do?!" They spoke to the psychiatrist and rest of the team about me being referred to psychology when they were discussing my discharge. Apparently they feel like I don't need it right now. I think they were again implying I've been to so many things that I shouldn't need to see the psychologist. I feel they're also basing the decision on when I went to psychology before and wasn't ready for it. Those two things are contradictory but it wasn't my decision.

I'm not sure where this leaves me. Right now I feel like I'm stuck. Indeed, I haven't self harmed in a while and my drug use is healthy but there's always been a cycle for me that I get trapped in. I would be fine for a few months and then I would be struck down with terrible anxiety, paranoia and depression. All it takes is for this to happen and then I slip up and go back to my self harm as a crutch. I figure the reason for this is that when things get really bad, it's a definite way to make things feel better. There's no hesitation that this might not work, that it might not make me feel normal again, because I know it will and it has many hundreds of times before. This is why I feel so uneasy about being discharged - it's like being left on my own with that.

I suppose I should mention the medication. Despite being discharged from the service, none of my medications have changed. I still have to take pills to keep me relatively sedate. I still have to take my SSRIs and my sleeping pills, Ideally, a mentally healthy person doesn't have to shovel tablets into their mouth 3-4 times a day and the fact that I do shows I'm not there yet. I'm only doing so well right now because of all of the medications and because of the precautions I take to keep myself safe. If any of these get adjusted or taken away from me, I very much doubt I'll be able to fight the negativity inside my mind. One reason I wanted to go to psychology was to sort out all the things stuck in my head from when I was younger. So many things need worked through and unfortunately I can't do that as well as staying safe. Even thinking  about certain events makes my heart beat faster and my body uneasy. 

I figure that right now all I can do is keep doing what I'm doing. Perhaps some day I'll either forget about things or become so detached from them that they no longer matter. It's important at the minute that instead of trying to fix things in my head, I just keep it numb and functioning instead of letting the negative emotions take hold for good.