Saturday 9 February 2019

Facing my Past

(TW: Meds, mention of Abortion, Overdose, Suicide, and Self Harm. Weight/Diet talk)

After being discharged from CMHT, I've been struggling a lot with my mental health, and not knowing where to turn. A meds review with my GP resulted in a small prescription of Diazepam (so far, I've only had to take 5mg) and, knowing I have this to keep me safe, has prevented me from taking overdoses in order to knock myself out.

On one of my "good" days, I made a decision to put myself first and do everything I can to look after my mental health. I simply cannot afford to abandon my mental health and end up in crisis without support. I'd been putting off contacting Women's Aid (re: abusive relationship) and Cruse Bereavement (re: traumatic abortion) and I needed to decide who I'd contact first and when.

As it had been on my mind recently, and I was getting more and more triggered by any mention or conversation about abortion, I decided to contact Cruse Bereavement first. I tried the national number, then the number for my local area, but couldn't get through. I found some email addresses though, so sent a long email to each of the ones that seemed most relevant to my enquiries.

After a couple of days, one of the email accounts messaged me back. They were sympathetic to my situation and felt an abortion clinic that offers counselling would be most appropriate. This was Marie Stopes. I contacted Marie Stopes and received an email back. Again, they were sympathetic to my situation, and wanted to help, but it would cost. I simply cannot afford to pay for counselling, so I had to decline. I decided to see if there were any other abortion charities in/near my area, but everything I found expected you to pay at least £30 for an hour's counselling. I can't afford to pay that much on a weekly basis. It felt like every time I tried to access help, a door was slammed in my face.

Eventually, I ran out of options apart from one; Primary Care. I didn't want to go through CBT again but I figured any therapy is better than none. I left a message on their voicemail to call me back and the next day, they'd called me back, taken my details, and arranged a telephone appointment for Thursday to see what they could offer me (if anything). I had my telephone appointment on the Thursday and was faced with many many questions (not just about the abortion). After going through the PHQ (questionnaire for Depression), the GAD (for Generalised Anxiety), specific phobias, and daily functioning questionnaires, they asked about my main problems now. They also asked about my lifestyle, traumas in the past, symptoms of PTSD, OCD etc.

Finally, the therapist asked what my reasons were for getting therapy from them, whether I was ready and committed, and why I wanted to tackle these main problems at this point in time specifically. I couldn't give a very detailed answer to this, it's just that I feel that I am so fed up of the way I'm feeling and how much it holds me back. I also feel that I am ready right now and I want to see how I go. I need to face my past and at least try to move on. For that, I need support.

The therapist said she would speak to her supervisor, then get back to me. Later on that day, I received a call from her, with good news. I was accepted and would be put on an 8-10 week waiting list. The wait is a little while, but at least I'm going to get help!

In other news:

I chased up my Cardiology appointment, and after sorting out a problem because my GP hadn't attached the referral letter to the right system, my referral was finally sent. A couple of days later, I received an appointment to see a Cardiologist in April!

So, at the moment I am under an ENT specialist for dizziness (vestibular tests/follow up in April), a Cardiologist for fainting/nearly fainting, and will be seeing a therapist for mental health. I'm really hoping I'll get some answers and maybe even treatment! If something can improve, I will be so pleased!


My nan is still in hospital, for her broken right femur. She has had an operation to plate and pin her femur into place and is recovering from this. It seems her impacted bowel is still causing her some problems, but she won't discuss this with hospital staff. She also won't tell them about the dizziness she gets when she bends over. Her borderline Dementia is getting much worse, and of course the effects of the anaesthetic are making her confusion worse. She's been having some strange ideas about the hospital, and her money. From what I can gather, she believed that the hospital was being used as a film set, and the other patients were actors. She also believed (and still believes) that her money will disappear, the longer she is in hospital.

When Dad and I last visited her (yesterday), a social care worker came to see her, and was under the impression (due to lack of communication from other staff) that Nan would be discharged either that day or tomorrow. Dad and I had to take the social care worker aside, and explain everything. Because of this, and the fact we'd mentioned the Dementia, she decided to rearrange the appointment. She had also not been told that Nan was eventually going to be transferred to a different hospital, for rehabilitation. It was a good job we were there to explain everything! Nan does just want to go home, and has apparently had her mental capacity assessed (she had passed because it was done on a "good" day) so if she decides she wants to be discharged, she probably will be.

It's a very difficult situation because all the family want what's best for Nan, and we want to keep her safe and comfortable. We want her to have a say in her care as well. Unfortunately, she just wants to go back to struggling along with minimal help, even though she is now at significant risk of further falls, and her Dementia is getting worse. What she really needs, and hospital staff have agreed, is 24 hour care. Nan had managed to convince the social care worker that this is exactly what she will get, but this is not the case at all. She gets a visit in the morning, for washing, putting creams on etc but she will struggle to make very simple meals for herself. The rest of the time, she will stay in her chair, on her own in her flat, and she will even sleep in her chair. She is at a stage where we are considering nursing care. We thought she had at least accepted this, but she doesn't want anything to change. She even said "I don't want anything different, I want it the same".

This is stressing me out a lot and I am letting everything get on top of me. My parents are being wonderful though, and encourage me to take the pressure off myself. For this reason, I have decided to have a break from Slimming World. I had developed an unhealthy mindset about eating and compensating for "bad" days. As well as seeking counselling for certain parts of my mental health problems, I also want to learn more about body positivity. If I can come to a point where I feel better about myself, I can then decide whether to continue with weight loss, or if I just want to maintain my weight. Either way, I will try to keep to a mostly healthy diet, with the odd treat.

So overall, I am working on putting myself first (most of the time) and looking after myself. I need to quieten the thoughts that tell me I'm useless and unimportant. I will blog about my ENT follow up/Vestibular tests, as well as my Cardiology appointment/s and Counselling appointments. For now, I think I'll leave this blog post as it is, and hope that you are all as well as possible!

1 comment:

  1. Please do try to put yourself where an when you can-know it's hard as my nan has alzheimers. I've got a counselling apt this Friday! Good luck with all of your medical appointments!
    Jenna from