Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The trip to the doctors.

Well that was easier than expected....NOT!
Arriving in the area a little earlier than expected, I decided to go for an extended walk around the block. Having walked to the surgery, I was already nice and warm, but not ready to sit and wait, so wanted to make the waiting time as short as possible.

Rocking up at the surgery a few mins before the appointment (OK 5 mins), I went inside, registered my arrival and sat down. As soon as I did, the thoughts started all over again, along with fiddling hands and a bouncing knee, borderline uncontrollable. Wondering who this doctor was, and what they would be like. A few minutes later all was answered.

In the hallway appeared a lovely gentle looking lady, calling my name. As I got up and walked over, she introduced herself as the doctor. We sped down the hall to the consult room, and I sat down. Right, I thought, I have this all sorted out, so here goes. This is what I said.

I don't know how to explain myself, errm, depression, stress anxiety.... *I looked up to see if she was following. She was smiling and patiently waiting. *
I have been like this before, years ago, deeper, darker, I don't want to go back there. *My hands start gesturing and waving, my eyes searching around the room*
I can't ..... I don't ....... errrm. THIS! This is it.....

On looking back up, she was smiling back at me, a reassuring look on her face, she replied simply "ok".

Taking another deep breath and trying to calm my nerves, I start over again, this time a bit more composed, explaining that I had even written out what I wanted to say, but the stress of even having this conversation is just too much to think straight. Stopping for a moment, I just breathe, and can feel my heart pounding in my chest, light headed and slightly confused. I tell her this is how I am feeling right now, and how hard this consultation is for me.

We take a break for a moment while she looks through my notes, seeing how far back it is since such an episode occurred. I tell her its been 4-5 years, the notes confirm this.
Getting back to the present she enquires into what I feel might have triggered this, anything happened recently, or that I have been dwelling on for some time. We discuss possible triggers, and how I feel about aspects of day to day life. The obvious question of consideration of self harm comes up, and it is batted back with strong reassurances that I have never felt that way, and I confirm I would seek immediate help if it ever crossed my mind.

Now onto the sticky bit, how do I want to proceed. Knowing the options of meds, counselling or both, she decides that given how things are right now, starting on medication immediately would be wise, and as I like to speak openly, she also decided that a referral for counselling should also be made. Knowing of course that it could take some time. Another reason the meds should begin straight away. The decision is made to remain off work for the time being, and to allow things to normalise without provocation. No added stresses or changes, just me, daily life and the meds, and see how we all get along, and if the dose is right.

As this conversation went on, during breaks in speaking, I could feel my heart slowing, and started to feel more relaxed about things. Expressing this to the doctor, she was pleased by this, and said as hard as it had been it was most definitely the right thing to be doing now, and catching it before it gets any worse. Apparently recurrences of anxiety and depression can happen much faster, and strike much harder at times too. Good to know, and explains how fast I went down the pan in a week.

A referral form for the counselling form, a prescription for the medication, and a sick note for work are all printed and presented to me. She then says she would like to see me in two weeks time for a reassessment of the situation. Going through her diary it appears that the week she was aiming for is booked out with medical students in the surgery, and she is worried this might not be fair on me. I reply expressing my happiness for students to be present, and anything they can learn from this is fine by me. Looking back in slight shock and delight she says that if I am OK with it, it would be a great opportunity for them. Then it is agreed, that week is fine.

So here I sit now, after necking my first pill of many, after saying how strongly against the idea I was, given that they were the doctors decision, and me not asking for them, I am happier with them. The down sides of course are.. I'm officially on medication again now, so needs declaring when asked, and I didn't really want to be on them but hey. Then there are the hallucinations in the early days, at least that is what I had last time. Not so much full on hallucinations, but a blurred line between awake and asleep, conscious and subconscious. You know when you wake up in your dream, then wake up for real? Well try doing that about 4 times before you actually wake up. Quite strange. We shall see if that happens.

Then there is the one thing I hate the most. Mind numbness. At the moment I over think everything, even more than normal. Taking meds helps with that, but last time it swung me the complete opposite way. Lack of attention. You know when you think you need to do something, then you plan out how and when, then you drop the matter until the said time arrives? Well my thought process goes to "I must pay that bill.............Ah well!" And nothing in between.
Obviously a numb mind also could mean shorter blogs, I'm sorry! lol Lets see if the change is shorter, less, or just more rational and better structured entries.

One last thing before I go, and I know most won't have got this far, so am not expecting a huge group watching over me. But this is the first time I have ever been on these meds and been living alone, so actually have no one to tell me if I am acting differently, being stranger than normal, or anything like that. So going back to blog entries and social media etc, if you do see a change, please let me know. You don't have to come banging my door down, just mention it, so I am at least aware. Being off work, I am going to try and keep as much company as I can where possible, so again, if I see you, let me know how I'm doing.

Thanks for reading, thanks for the messages and support I have received in this short space of time. I know I say " I appreciate it" a lot, but it's not hollow, it's sincere, and the only way I know to express my gratitude.
One final thing. Sorry for being dull, depressing or just a little off with you if I have been. The fact I am even engaging with you shows my true intentions, but right now I tend to make a mess of them from time to time. So if you can, please look past this.

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