Going Up or Going Down?

Lots of BIG questions marks above small figure of me

I have been quiet these past few days because writing has been beyond my capacity. Another 'interesting' time was had by my hubby and me....

First of all, thanks once again to the personal efforts of the magnificent M and J, I managed to see my 'retired' consultant (?!?!?), without an appointment, on the day I usually see J at Corner House. I nearly fell off my chair when J told me my consultant wanted to see me straight away.

He read my blood test results and all was indeed OK a part from my liver because it has always had the habit of filtering more slowly than your average liver does. This is old news and, personally, I defend my liver's right to filter at whatever speed suits it. The great advantage of having such a slow coach of a liver is that the consultant changed his mind and decided to put me on a different drug cocktail from the one he'd originally told me about. So now, no Lithium. Yeah!!!! I detest Lithium - it's useless for me and it eventually upsets my whole system, including my normally very healthy Thyroid Gland. 

I was finally handed my consultant's note for my new treatment. I took it to my GP's surgery for a prescription (I am not quite sure why the consultant cannot issue a prescription himself) where the lovely P ensured that I got it signed by a doctor even though my own GP wasn't on the premises. I took my prescription to the local chemist and got home, the proud and happy owner of a brand new 'cocktail treatment'. I achieved all that in less than 90 minutes.  Brilliant!  All that because the personal help I received from M, J & P. Another wonderful demonstration of The Power of One.

I started taking my treatment that evening. I also stopped taking my 'holding' medication that same evening.

Now imagine this - I have two lifts inside of me:

  • One (the level of the holding strong tranquilising medication) is going down rapidly over the next few days.
  • The other (the level of the cocktail of anti-depressant medication) is going up very slowly over the same next few days.

In that sort of situation, things could only get worse before they got better - and they did get worse.

Four days after starting my treatment, I was so ill again, so distressed, so suicidal, so dangerously destructive that my poor husband reached his own limit and he broke down next to me. I could not bear his pain - he deserved to be protected, even if it was against me so, in spite of  his pleading protestations, I told him I was going to get myself admitted into hospital to give him a break. Even in my agitated distressed state,  I could see that he was now in real danger of having a breakdown himself. So I called Corner House (no reply), even asked my husband to drive me there in my dressing gown and slippers (nobody there). This is when I realised that I had reached crisis point on a Saturday again!  Obviously a bad habit of mine ....

I then knew I only had one option left: I called an ambulance to have myself admitted at Penn Psychiatric Hospital. The ambulance arrived within 4 minutes (brilliant) but the ambulance staff then told me that they could not drive me to Penn Hospital - only to A&E at the main hospital where I may be referred to Penn (their words and their emphasis, not mine). They kept asking my husband whether he was OK because he obviously was not, and they could see I wasn't OK either. I could not impose another God knows how many hours of 'triage' on my poor husband or indeed on myself, whether from A&E or the Phoenix Centre so I sent the ambulance away. I shall never forget the look in those two ambulance mens' eyes as they realised they were helpless: the ineptitude, the inhumanity of the system is very hard on those that work in it - not just on those that use it. To think that even an ambulance cannot cut through our ridiculous psychiatric support system is absolutely medically incredible, and morally repugnant.

I spent the rest of the day trembling in my bed, unable even to speak to The Samaritans. My husband was left to cope as best he could.

The next day was our little miracle: my downward lift had reached the cellar and could not go down any further, while my upward lift had reached the first floor and had started to make a difference. I felt so much better that I am tempted to say that I woke up as a new person.

My husband opened his eyes that morning as I opened mine facing him in bed and he simply said: "you're back!" and I was so happy to answer "yes, I am back". And I gave him the biggest most loving hug I could possibly give him.

A medal for Bravery and Dedication Beyond The Call Of Duty  is what he really deserves :0)

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