I feel compelled to write about something my wife mentioned this morning. She said that it was said on the news or somewhere yesterday, I don’t watch TV and don’t listen to the radio often, that Norfolk and Suffolk mental health teams/units have come under fire again as being some of the worst in the country. I don’t know how they rate mental health units around the country or how others using MH services in Norfolk or Suffolk find them, so can only speak from my own experience of MH services in Norfolk. However I can also mention that what I have experienced and told others that I know with MH issues around the country they seem envious of the treatment that I had. From my own experience using MH services near Norwich, we’re not supposed to sy where we went due to confidentially etc, for quite some time I was very impressed. I was seen as soon as I needed to be, initially this was about 2 weeks for my first ever appointment. I was listened to fully and they grasped pretty much fully what I was saying. Nobody ever made me feel uncomfortable. I never had to wait long in the waiting area. Everything was always explained well to me and when I asked about CAT or other types of therapies with a psychologist I had an initial asses net pretty quickly and then started therapies very shortly after. I can honestly say they have been a life saver for me. Had I not of had the care that I did, real human care, I would very probably be dead. What I do know about MH services is you get out of it what you put in. If you go there expecting them to fix you and do everything for you then it won’t work so well. Unless you’re willing to help yourself, like everything in life, you’ll get minimal in return and I don’t mean they won’t still try to help you. What I am saying is if you’re not willing to try changing the things you do that make you unwell then nobody else can fully help you.
Moving on to how I am now. This morning I woke up about 2:30 and lay awake briefly before going back to sleep in a small amount of pain but it’s tiny now. In fact since waking up about 7am I’ve not gone back to sleep yet today and I’m actually getting back my normal energy and normal clear thinking. Yesterday I still felt a bit mentally cloudy from the anaesthetic. I’m much much clearer today. Yesterday I felt down and like cabin fever was creeping in too. There are cases of post op depression so I feared that might be starting for me but today I feel much better. I’ve made a list of things I want to get done today. Things like not sleeping until after lunch if I even need to and to read for at least an hour as well as other little things to keep my mind occupied. I’m not sure of I’ll go for a walk or not today as we’ve got 45+ mph winds but Kara and I might go over to the allotment for a quick look. I’ll try getting outside for a little while even if it’s just wrapping up and sitting outside. Maybe I’ll go sit in the churchyard which is about 200m away from ours. Who knows. At least I’m back at a good level of coherence and I’m making ‘to do’ lists to keep my mind and body occupied a bit. I might consider going back to work at some point next week if I keep making gradual improvements. I can always do a few hours decorating on a job and then come home if I need to. I weighed myself on Tuesday and I’ve only dropped about 3 pounds in bodyweight which I’m pleased with and I’d actually say it’s a small amount of fat that’s dropped off. If I drop some muscle it’ll soon go back on when I’m able to start working out again. All will be well.
Edit: I’ve checked the subscriber list and have gone over the 12k mark which I’m amazed at. I find it crazy to think 12k people subscribe to this blog. Crazy. I hope it’s of help to some.
I had my operation last Friday. Luckily for me I was first on list for going in. Before I knew it it was almost 9am, I had to be there before 6:45am as I was told about being first the day before, and one of the theatre staff came for me and checked my details again. As we left the room to walk to the theatre she told Kara to go grab a cuppa as I wouldn’t be long and should be able to go home about lunchtime. It was strange getting asked my details at least 6 times as each person went through my notes, the final time as I lay on the bed in the room beside the operating theatre getting wired up and getting the canula fitted in my hand for the anaesthetic. As I lay there chatting to the anaesthetist about work etc he put the muscle relaxant in and the ceiling started to shake as my eyes started to go. The next thing I knew a nurse asked if I was OK and I was coming around in the recovery room. I asked if it was all over, I kind of knew it was as I had a dry mouth and throat and felt some pain. I remember looking at the clock which was opposite me and it was almost 10:10am. She said it was and asked how I was feeling. When I mentioned some pain she gave me a rather nice injection of fenylyn which made me a bit drowsy. I lay there slipping in and out of consciousness for a while before coming around a bit more. I then had to gently roll on each side as the nurse removed the sheet that they’d lofted me off the operating table with. They then moved me to the end of the recovery room where it was quieter. It was about 11 then. A different nurse said I’d soon be going to a ward but that they were waiting for a bed for me. They were told I’d have a space on the ward at about 1pm. As it got close to 1pm the nurse said there was space now but they were still really busy and didn’t have an extra person available to help wheel me around to the lift and then down to the ward. I got on the ward just before 2pm. As I lay there I overheard someone talking about there wife and it dawned on me that I’d not seen Kara yet so when I saw a nurse again I asked wher my belongings were and she helped me get my phone. It was now about 2:20pm. I texted Kara and she said she was on her way up. I saw I had had some texts. One was from my younger stepdaughter, sent to me instead of her older sister by mistake, saying that Kara had no idea where I was and couldn’t find anything out and I should of been finished in theatre ages ago. I realised that was about 10:30-11 that she sent that! When Kara arrived I realised how long I’d actually been off radar for. Almost 4 hours in recovery and by the time I reached the ward it was about the time I should of been arriving home! That’s operations etc for you I guess and I have to say I felt I had amazing care. I wasn’t allowed to leave hospital until about 7:30pm as they wanted me to eat and drink, which I’d already done but more importantly to pee. Which I’d only managed about 5pm. Once I started peeing it was hard to stop as I’d had well over 2 litres of fluids by then. At least I was given the OK. Recovery and healing at home has been quite fast even though it feels slow to me. My wounds look like they’re almost healed fully apart from the biggest incision near my belly button which is still a little swollen and painful. I’m finding it hard to not do anything or lift anything. I have been out for a few gentle walks but it’ll be at least another week before I think about work again. The longer I take off now the less chance of any issues cropping up that would mean more time off work and the stronger I’ll be when I do go back. Christmas will be tight this year that’s for sure as I’ll not earn much money now for the rest of the year. I still have a couple of bills to make out and and am still owed some money by some people. It’ll sort. Thank fuck I’m ok and alive. I just hope not being active doesn’t let my mind wander too far!
On Friday I go in for a minor operation but slight paranoia has crept in and made me wonder what happens if I die. Allvety strange to be having these thoughts. Maybe natural? Who knows. It’s been a long while since being a bit paranoid or thinking about death. Maybe it’s the time of year. I’m not sure. My dreams have been darker lately too and I’ve woken from them. I had a slight high yesterday probably triggered by my birthday and thoughts of the op. Today is more settled. I’m sure I’ll be fine.
Yet again I have deactivated my Facebook account. I’ve found myself getting far too involved, obsessed even, with it yet again. I’ve found myself writing out long comments and long replies to others posts and then deleting them before posting them. I’ve found myself frustrated at some peoples judgements and ignorance. I’ve found myself starting to argue with others again too. So I’m off for now. I’m much more productive at work again and I’m mentally more settled. I’ve popped on for a very quick look only to delete myself almost straight away again. I’m better off not being on there for now.
Fynn and I are still working out hard and I’m weighing a few pounds over 15 stone. My arms are back up to 17″ again and I’m close to being at my biggest again, about 7 pounds in weight to go, but I’m leaner this time too. I want to be in tip top shape so I recover from my operation fast. It’s 2 weeks tomorrow I go in….unless they cancel again. Mentally I’m not stressed about it as I got that out of my system when I thought I was going in before. Oh well it’ll happen if and when it happens.
Life can flash by so fast. We can make plans and try our hardest. We can keep pushing. We can give up. We can break contact with friends for various reasons even if we want to keep in touch. We can gain new friends. We can get unwell both physically and mentally. We can have fantastic health. It can all stop or end in the briefest of moments. Life can stop. When things get tough we can choose to keep pushing ourselves along even if it’s a simple thing normally like making a cup of tea or getting out of bed. Sometimes I find it hard to even get out of bed but I always do. Even if I don’t do a full days work I always try to go in in the morning first thing. By 10-10:30 I find things can seem to get a bit better. Whatever is going on life it can get better. You just have to be kind to yourself.
I’m lucky. I’m well at the moment and things are pretty ok.
I’ve been working out for a few months again now. Fynn and I train together. I love that we do so much together. I wish my dad had of done stuff with me. Looking back I know he was tired but also maybe a bit selfish? It’s hard to know. I guess I wasn’t the easiest of teenage sons. I can’t ask any questions about it all as there’s nobody to answer them. Anyway Fynn and I are off fishing later. We’ve not fished mich lately. We’ve taken this week off working out too to give our bodies a rest and to grow. I’m back up to 15 stone now and getting bigger and stronger again. Which brings me to the benefits of working out. Keeping in shape helps me to keep my mind sharp and to hopefully stave off any issues that could crop up with my mind and my mental health.
As is usual this time of year I’m feeling the start of winter blues. If that’s all it is then I can fight it off but if depression kicks in I’ll have to formulate a new plan. I’ve not worked loads the last 2 weeks as I was due to go in for an operation on the 12th but it got canceled at 3pm the day before. It’s played with my mind and my work a bit as I’d taken 2 weeks off for recovery and have had to try to slot things in pretty quickly at short notice. Not earning has thrown me a fair bit. Next week I’m back to full days and weeks again until my op which is now booked in for the 23rd of November, a few days after my birthday. It’s made money tight, which also causes issues. I have no option but to just go with it. So much seems to just happen these days. Sometimes I feel like escaping from it all but I have to just stick with it. It’ll come right in the end. It is what it is
I’m tired and I’m low on energy. Some of it is down to bipolar, some of it is down to having to work my tits off yet again just trying to stay afloat and some of it is down to my gallstone. Today I’ve had slight rumblings in my right side caused by the gallstone. All of the above play on each other. I’ve popped in to do some work after finishing work, yes it doesn’t make that much sense really but it does too. I’m broke in all ways. I will recover again yet I’m sure. I’m fighting hard to just stay afloat but also to get slightly ahead as I’ve got a date for the operation to remove my gallbladder. I’m in to be operated on on 12th October. Part of my brain is telling me I’ll die in the op. The other part, the rational part, is telling me it’s just a normal procedure and everything will be fine. My paranoia is playing up with me over it. It’s something I’ll just have to live with. If it’s straight forwards keyhole surgery I’ll be off work for 2 weeks. If they have to switch to open surgery, highly unlikely, I’ll be off work for up to 10 weeks. 2 weeks off I can almost survive financially. Almost. Up to 10 weeks and we’re fucked. Stress rises inside. I’m still working out with Fynn and regaining muscle and strength and it should help with recovery. Regardless my mood isn’t the best it could be.
Every year is like an extended Groundhog Day. Things come along and hit around the same time every year. I fight hard. I fight to keep afloat but it always happens. I’m in debt again. My plans to have money in my personal and business accounts by now have failed. I’ve worked as hard as ever but to no avail. I fight and fight but always hit a stumbling block. I push and push and make myself unwell just to keep my head above water but it’s failing. Maybe there is a God and maybe I’m being punished. I’ve been punished my whole life so why should things change now. I’m not a nice person no matter how hard I try to be decent and kind. I’m tired of this bipolarity and see that it will only get worse as I get older. I see it every year. I try to keep going and keep balanced yet I get pushed and pulled from all sides. There is no respite. I can see when things started to go wrong but there’s no way of going back in time. It is what it is. I have no choice now other than to keep going and work stupid hours. I know I’ll get tired. I know that it will affect my mental health again and I know I’ll probably break. Maybe I should just embrace the craziness of it all and let it flow. I have to work lots just to get the money in fast because I have an operation on 12th October so will be off work for at least 2 weeks. I’m not sure I’ll be ahead by then though. It’s all a huge mess.
I think I have to face the fact that no matter how hard I work I will always be in debt. I had plans laid out at the end of last year to be well ahead by now yet it’s the opposite. I’m not ahead. I’m £6 off the limit of my £10k business overdraft. It’s not the first time it’s been like this and I know I’ll claw my way back again and get money in but it’s endless. It’s constant. No matter how hard or long I work something always comes along that costs me money just as things look better. It’s not my attitude to things as I always keep going and pushing. I always try to keep smiling and try to outwardly just be what others think they see. Inside it’s often a different story. The whole idea of wurking hard gets you ahead is bollocks. It’s a rigged system. It’s rigged to keep poor people poor, to keep those who are just about comfortably off in debt enough to keep pushing but mostly it’s about making the rich even richer. It’s rigged that way. With as hard as you want but you’ll still get had somewhere. Regardless I’ll keep going and keep pushing. I have no other choice. I’ll die young from some illness brought on by stress and debt. People will say I worked hard or too hard. They’ll say this and that. They’ll project their owns fears outwards. The truth is most of us are over our heads but we fool ourselves into thinking, or saying, that we’re better off than this or that person. We do it to keep ourselves sane/insane and to keep going instead of folding and realising the truth. It all sucks donkeys. Fuck it all is what I say.