Monday Exhaustion

Wow. I am worn out. We have and are still having a run of birthdays, my mother in law is 101 and yesterday my Mother turned 90. Being housebound is hard sometimes but I see it as a blessing, more on that later. Our house has been busy busy busy, Today we have another birthday my eldest granddaughter turns 10, Meanwhile we are caring for our currently youngest granddaughter who is all of nine months.

All these celebrations (there were many more) make keeping my blood glucose levels under control more difficult than it ought to be. I have been upping my insulin dose every fourth day with minimal success. Treating diabetes is glacial, it seems to me, they (health professionals) seem in hurry. Crippled by neuropathy I would rather speed things up, For over three years I have been telling them my BG’s were too high. Still the upside is it doesn’t half cause weight loss. I am the third generation of diabetics, my Nana, Mother and myself I was finally diagnosed about twenty years ago although I have had it for much longer but that’s another story.

I am struggling with amitryptiline. My heart rate is all over the place and frequently high enough to be uncomfortable as it thumps in my chest, But unlike the last 19 years it has killed the black place where the kill yourself suicide demon lives. It’s an unfashionable drug these days mainly used for pain relief for damaged nerves, for me it is working better as an antidepressant than as pain relief.

Anyway enough of the moans. Why is being housebound a blessing, For me it takes away the distractions and allows me to lead a semi monastic life of simplicity. Keeps me closer to the Lord. One of these days I will write a post about making this a catholic home. Only if you are blind will you fail to notice this is a quietly catholic home, albeit I am the only catholic living here, my wife remains wedded to Protestantism.

Challenging Your Doctor

Amitriptyline. This is an old style antidepressant now used mainly for dealing with pain, particularly  that caused by neuropathy. I had been given the other two drugs that have been found to be effective for neuropathy but the side effects outweighed the benefit.

This post is about your treatment for depression, I wanted to share some thoughts. Make sure you read everything you can about what you are taking and what it can do to you, This is important and remember this is your body, your mind and you have a say in what happens to you at all times.

I wanted to share one particular example. While I was under the care of a Psychiatrist I was put on a certain drug (I can’t tell you what I don’t remember) now at that time I was in a bad way and in addition was trying to function under 60mg of Diazepam a day. Now this drug made me much worse and I knew it wasn’t cutting it in fact it was destroying me. At my next visit to the Psychiatrist she looked at me and talked with me about how I was and then suggested I needed to be hospitalised. I refused. I made it plain I thought it was all down to the drug. She fetched my wife from the waiting room in order to get her onside with hospitalisation. My wife, bless her a thousand fold, did not concur knowing how I felt. Reluctantly she agreed to change the medication rather than admit me there and then. A month later she acknowledged that I had been right. Believe in your own experience! 

On another occasion my GP wanted me to go for a laryngoscopy because I felt a lump in my throat and was having difficulty swallowing. He was insistent. I agreed but asked for a week of antibiotics. He agreed. They did nothing. I reviewed the medication I was on and decided to eliminate a new one, this removed the problem within a week. I phoned him and the laryngoscopy was cancelled. So again the moral is know your own body and mind. Don’t always do what they suggest. Stand up for yourself but based on knowledge not stubbornness.

These drugs they fire at you so easily can have devastating effects in so many unforeseen ways. Back in 2001 I was put on calcium antagonists. After four months I became seriously ill. Very ill. I needed diamorhphine (the medical use of heroin), the Dr was visiting almost every day. Turned out it was an allergic reaction to these blood pressure pills. Simple pills doled out to thousands.

Be aware.

Yet despite all this I am so grateful to the NHS and GPs in particular who have kept me alive. And to return to the Amitriptyline I started with, it’s not yet doing much for my neuropathic pain but coupled with my sertraline a strange untried combination of pills I feel mentally better than I have for years. Long may it continue.

Shattered Dreams lead to a better place

My hidden world.

The time of reflection has arrived, at least for me anyway. I am reaching the end and I have an opportunity to look back over the decades and reflect on my life. 

The first thing I am aware of is the fact that absolutely nothing I dreamed of up to the age of 21 has remotely come to pass. At that age I knew with certainty where and what I wanted to do with my life, where I wanted to live and how it was all going to work. It seemed so clear, I had finished University (I thought) knew my career path, knew a job was waiting and I was about to get married (that worked out and still does).

Three years later my world had turned upside down and I was on a  completely different trajectory. For a start I was back at a University. 

The second thing I realise as I look back how many terrible things happened to me and yet out of them came great good. Before I had even finished Primary School I had been propelled into secondary education which was to me the worst thing to happen in my young life and then my parents decided to move and I had to leave behind my home and move to a new build. Oh I cried. I withdrew. It was awful. I never did like where we lived. My world was in utter tatters. It was a nightmare. Three years of hell. However without those two incidents I would never have met my wife. The first time I saw her in the school in the year below me I looked at her and thought I’ll marry her. Not that I was going to do anything about it, ever. But circumstances that came out of those two horrible events finally brought us together.

Out of the bad came the good. How foolish we are to think we have a clue what is happening in our lives. We don’t. We may think we do but we don’t.

The Break

I was in too much pain to continue the above and now I have lost both the flow and the thread. But what I am trying to say to all those younger than me is relax, looking back the biggest disasters brought the greater rewards something not obvious for many years sometimes and until now when I can look back and see the rich tapestry of my life. I should have of course trusted a lot more. I should have trusted rather than worried. This is particularly true of my multiple chronic conditions and disabilities out of that path which seemed like such a disaster has come the greatest good in my life.

Planning Ahead

The plan is to continue this blog until I die or become too incapacitated to continue, so that I can chronicle the end of life, the end of the journey, as I wait to start my real life. That was the plan but since I tap this out with a single digit of my left hand and if I recognise the signs my left arm is suffering the first signs of neuropathy. It is most unpleasant even the gentlest touch on the screen is painful. However I trust and will continue.

I used to Blog daily but when deciding to have another go at I decided weekly. That was wise.

Again I had to stop as it was painful. I am sure I had something else to say. But there you go it has all gone. However I have no idea how I would have coped with all that life has thrown at me without an absolutely unshakeable faith. Not in things unseen but real spiritual experiences of the divine. Ask and you will receive said Jesus. Tried and tested.

Augustine x

A black and white photo outside a caravan in the early 1950s. A man and his son (me)
An old Photo