Wednesday 30 January 2019

Stress Stress Stress

So much has happened recently and it's got my mind in overdrive.

Firstly, mum had a fall and couldn't stand up for hours. Doctor at A&E was useless, but luckily after a stop overnight, she gained enough strength back in her legs to stand and walk a few steps, with help. She is still very wobbly and one of us needs to be in the house with her most of the time, as she is at risk of falling again.

Secondly, I received an ESA limited capability for work questionnaire. I am to be reassessed. It came as a shock, because I thought those with long term conditions would be exempt from these. It seems not, and I'm hearing of quite a few friends in the same situation.

Thirdly, nan had an impacted bowel, and was suffering severe lower stomach pains and nausea. She was taken to hospital by ambulance and received some treatment before being released at 3am.

Fourthly, nan was taken to hospital the next night, following a fall which resulted in a large complex fracture of her right femur. She has since had to have an operation and is recovering.

On top of this, I'm due to have a smear test, I need to book a dental appointment (about 6 months after a reminder letter, oops!) I need to chase up my Cardiology referral, and I need to ring the bereavement charity and/or Women's aid about the abusive relationship I was in.

It feels as if there is so much to think about or deal with, that all I want to do is run away and hide! I have no choice though, I have to get these things done at some point, and I can't get away from the other things I need to consider.

Needless to say, I am EXHAUSTED. Mentally, physically, emotionally, you name it. My Fibromyalgia has been playing up too, as well as the intrusive thoughts and routines with my OCD. I feel on the edge of breaking down, if I'm totally honest.

I was walking down the corridor in the hospital with Dad earlier, after seeing Nan. I was trying to keep up with Dad (he wasn't being fast, it was me being slow) and I got very breathless, my heart was pounding, I was dizzy and felt as if I was going to faint. Going to the toilet only gave me a few minutes break before I had to carry on walking. I've somehow found energy to write this post, but only just.

It seems to be a difficult year for many people, especially those with chronic illnesses (physical and mental). I think all we can do is try to break down the things we need to consider, and prioritise which need doing first. It is so important to look after yourself and be kind to yourself, and I guess this is something I feel I need to do as soon as possible.

Tuesday 15 January 2019

A Blackout, A Fall, GP ENT Follow Up and a Gold Star for Amy!

I've had some eventful times recently, with my health!

Firstly, I had a sort of Blackout about a week ago. My dizziness and faintness have been quite bad and about a week ago I was standing by my bookcase, fussing Billie, and suddenly had a very temporary loss of consciousness. I caught myself in time before I fell, but I have been feeling very weird since.

I've been a lot clumsier since this "blackout"; knocking drinks over, bumping into things/people, and tripping up a lot. This came to a head when I had a bad fall 3 days ago. I was sitting on my armchair, and had to get up for something. I was wearing my pyjamas at the time. I rose from the chair and stepped forward, only to get my right foot caught in my left pyjama bottom leg. I fell forward, turning my left foot right over and spraining it, then fell into the bookcase and back against the wooden part of the armchair. My back is scratched and bruised, my foot/ankle are bruised, and my ankle is sprained. I don't do things in halves!

I decided to document these things, as I had a GP appointment yesterday; to discuss my first ENT appointment. This was with a GP I hadn't seen before, so I was quite nervous, though keen to let her know what had happened.

Unfortunately, the surgery was very busy when I arrived, and I think this was why the GP acted the way she did. She rushed me and, I felt, was dismissive of my symptoms. She quickly went through the ENT letter; where it mentioned the dizziness and faintness and the fact that they wanted me to change from Stemetil (Prochlorperazine) to Cyclizine (both anti-sickness medication), because they felt the Stemetil was making my dizziness worse.

I took my chance to tell her about the blackout. She felt it wasn't a proper one as I hadn't actually collapsed to the floor and she wanted to know if I had fainted recently. I said not recently, but I had fainted once, five years ago. I wasn't sure if it was related, but I thought I'd mention it just in case.

I also mentioned the fall, and showed her my foot. She didn't seem that bothered about it but she did examine it (slightly) and told me it was probably a sprain, but as it wasn't swollen, she wasn't concerned.

She next said to me (I'm paraphrasing here) "Well your blood tests and ECG were normal. Do you think the dizziness and faintness are stress related?"

This was quite an annoying thing for her to say. I know certain symptoms can be stress related, but I know that mine aren't. I have had stressors recently, but they haven't coincided with the dizziness and faintness. I experienced them months before anything particularly stressful happened.

She wasn't going to refer me to the Cardiologist either, but I stood my ground and said that the other GP was going to refer me so I would prefer this. Thankfully, she listened to me, and made the referral. She typed a lot, and I think mentioned the fainting five years ago, the almost-blackout, and the fall, in the referral request.

Lastly, she handed me my Cyclizine prescription, and said that the Cardiology appointment would get in touch with me.

Overall, the appointment wasn't a bad one, because I got what I needed (primarily, the referral). I do wish she'd rushed me less and not been dismissive though. Maybe it was a bad day for her, I won't take it personally.

I awarded myself an invisible Gold Star for holding my ground and asking for what I needed though. Past me would not have had the courage.