Tag Archives: asperger syndrome

Runaway Catheters…

I really have had enough of this – and I really don’t know what I can do about it… Since I left hospital, almost every catheter I’ve been given has expelled itself, with full balloon, within 24-72 hours on average. I don’t know how, and I don’t know why. But what I do know is that once again I am at the mercy of another thing controlling my life. Again.

I can’t really go anywhere anymore – again – because I don’t know when it’s going to come out. I can’t sleep properly because it causes “pain” – strange sensations that are basically very painful to experience but aren’t like normal pain. They’ve given me Baclofen, but the dosage needs to be raised. But I know it’s not going to help that much with this (it’s great for Fibro spasms though)… From some of the sensations I get with them, it feels like they’re just not going to be tolerated… and my system will do whatever it can to simply be rid of it. And it does a pretty good job of it, too.

I should be seeing a urologist ASAP, but we’re talking about NHS waiting lists here… I’ll be lucky to see one before I take out my pension (which will be at age 85 at this rate…). I probably require a suprapubic catheter… though apparently sometimes injections of Botox into the bladder is occasionally used to stop this from happening too… Not the most pleasant idea, either way. But if it stops this? I’m all for it.

I’ve been through countless catheters in the last three or so months. The District Nurses don’t know what to do with me – except, just put another one in, of course. This one was by far the worst one though – it was trying to come back out from the moment it was put in. Sometimes I do wonder what kind of trauma has happened to the urethra, too… Flushing out rather large balloons constantly almost every other day for weeks cannot be very good for it. I know it hurts a lot to pass water when there’s retention buildup – which is quite constant now, for some reason. Then the force of the water expelling dislodges the balloon – and with every one, it wriggles more and more loose until it expels once again.

Regardless of how much longer can I take this – there really is the question of how long my urethra and bladder can take it… It’s going to end up harming them badly, shoving that balloon out several times a week. You’re supposed to average one catheter every three months, not three every damned week, after all. It must be causing great irritation. And I can’t manage without one. Oh, yes, that ship sailed a long time ago now.

If the District Nurses gave out Air Miles, I could go to the damned moon and back, I’m sure. I’d definitely be eligible for a free pen, at least. Or maybe a keyring.

I can’t even find any other reference to such a thing happening elsewhere. No reference to it online by other people, nor on medical sites or even where there is advice on catheters. It just isn’t mentioned. Not expulsions that happen nearly… Every. Single. Day.

It also doesn’t help when you have places to go, appointments to keep. Or a life to be lived. I have only just returned to some form of an existence after spending at least eight months firstly bedroom-bound, and then hospital-bound. I was expecting to be able to have at least some freedom to do a few things that I pleased. But no… at this rate, we’re back to being bedroom-bound again.

I am again not even certain I will be able to realistically make it to the appointment I have tomorrow, quite far away, for a new wheelchair consult. Well, my first wheelchair with them, because it took them bloody forever to get to me on the waiting list… But that’s a different type of gripe…!

I can’t realistically go out in the car for well over an hour each way, plus appointment time, without a catheter. If the next catheter only lasts 24 hours I’ll either not be going or I’ll be out there in the middle of it when it finally gives up the ghost.

I really can’t work out just how the hell it’s managing this… The thing just quite literally fell out this time. No spasm, no massive flow of water… It just fell out. Just like that. I’m going to go out on a limb and say it may be getting worse….

 

 

GrumpyBear

 

IMG_1109

… Urgh…

 

 

Advertisements

The Biggest Reality Check of All…

Someone I haven’t spoken to in a while over text sent me a quite innocent message yesterday, with Are you still alivewritten on it. A running joke when catching up after a while. It meant nothing, had no other significant meaning. They didn’t know it was not so this time.

This time, it wasn’t so funny. This time I really meant it when I wrote back, Yeh, just about

It was a literal answer… and one I was decidedly uncomfortable with. Especially when I didn’t tell them that, or why.

How do you answer someone else… Yourself… When the rest of the answer to that question is I could have died…?

I was desperately ill and point-blank refusing treatment and, well, in all honesty and reality, getting close to dying. Literally screaming myself hoarse in agony, until I was lost consciousness from the pain, for hours every day for a month, not realising my body was being attacked by a silent killer, tearing up my insides and leaving me barely conscious on a daily basis. But I still refused any help or medial treatment. The scars, the terror, the shame of the way I had been treated by medical “professionals” in the past meant I was too traumatised, especially in my current state, to go anywhere near them.

What an utterly terrifying thought… and nauseating right now, with 30/20 hindsight. I did it to myself. Unwittingly. But I still did it. And I quite possibly came a bit to close to maybe not making it. I became unreasonable, delirious, the agony too indescribable apart from being able to say it felt like actual torture.

Eventually, it seemed something in my brain snapped and I somehow, for some reason, decided to finally allow my parents to seek emergency treatment for me. I must have finally realised somewhere inside my subconscious my money was up and it was now or never, the last chance saloon. I don’t know because I don’t remember anything of that day except coming to around 5:30pm in a strange place, in a strange bed, somewhere that I only recognised as “a hospital”. Which or where I hadn’t a clue. My mother had to fill me in on the rest.

I was told I was dragged, barely conscious, downstairs and to the car, then taken to the out-of-hours GP service located in the main general hospital on Saturday 27th January.  The time on my discharge note shows it as being logged in to see them just after 12pm. They rushed me in to the Surgical Assessment Unit and ran tests, put me in x-ray and gave me a CT scan. They pushed fluids for severe dehydration and vast amounts of strong painkillers to stop me screaming. I was apparently there for five hours before I became coherent enough to come around, the pain subsided much, but still quite agonising – although nowhere near what it had been – and I had to be told what happened to me and why there were lines in my arm and why I was in a hospital. And especially the question, Which hospital?

After negative scans and intensive blood tests, it turned out I had blood poisoning and a “horrendous” [their words] UTI (urine infection). Specifically, I had contracted Staphylococcus and Streptococcus. And I’d probably had it for weeks, if not months. The entire time I’d been feeling very ill all the way to the point where I’d spent an entire month screaming myself into unconsciousness from the mind-exploding incomprehensible agony I was enduring.

I ended up being hooked up to some kick-ass antibiotics for 3 weeks before I was getting better. But us took 6 weeks before I was given the all-clear to finally go home with clean and clear blood with zero infections left in it. Even when the ococcus infections had been dimming down, I still got 2 other infections on top of it, and one of them remains an actual mystery to this day, but it was so bad I got a temperature higher than I’d even had with the blood infection – hitting 40.7˚C at its worst. They couldn’t find the actual cause (and they looked a lot) so they dumped me right back on the antibiotics (I’d just got rid of that damn cannula the day before, too!) for another week and a half or so.

So, I spent 6 weeks in hospital trying to recover from my stupidity. For the first couple of weeks I felt it acutely that it was a fight, a real battle, to get on top of this thing (or things) and get rid of it. Once I started to get the upper hand, it was a slow but assured ascent to the top of the mountain of recovery. A couple of minor setbacks is expected, and otherwise it was a fairly smooth ride, if not long. Very, very long…!

I was very lucky the people there were really good and helped me with my little Aspie quirks, and were quite happy to help and make it as easy as possible for me. I also  got a lot out of it that wasn’t just my life, or recovery too. I got actually got my life back in a different sense. Whilst I was there, I got more than I ever expected, and although the way I got there was, frankly, terrifying, I clearly needed to go there to get everything I got from it.

Institutionalisation, at certain points of extreme chaos, apparently suits me. It allows me to reset, obtain new and better habits, in a safe environment of regiment and set patterns. Whilst at hospital, their set mealtimes reset my non-functional non-eating habits that for a long time had kept blowing between starvation and binge-eating. Even stopped me being completely terrified of food after realising there were bland and basic things that could be eaten without feeling overwhelmed and shaking. I learned that some medication didn’t outrightly hate me and worked well – and for the first time in 4 years I had adequate pain control that did not require a distillery. It was such a relief. Even anti-nausea medication given alleviated the horrible nausea from the pain and allowed me to eat easier. Even Oramorph for when the pain momentarily got out of control again. Not one single side effect – just what it was made for, for a change.

I actually got people to arrange referrals for me to help with the fibromyalgia, as well as a few followups regarding what I had been through. This was the first time I’d ever received adequate assistance, support and referrals for my condition… and that was probably because this was the first time that medical professionals had spent 24/7 over 6 weeks to see what I was going through. I even had a wonderful OT (Occupational Therapist) organise my being able to see my dog downstairs whilst I was stuck there, and I ended up managing it twice, which was wonderful.

By the time I left, I really was ready to go home. As in I was clear of any and all infections, everything had been put into place, and I was going home with support and medication that was going to make my life easier to live with. It may not have been the best way to end up getting help, but somehow having a serious illness had managed to bring the never-ending freefall of Hell I had been spinning in, and send me in a completely new direction.

Yes.. Life Is Strange…

 

 

 


In The End… Goodbye, Good Riddance, to 2017…

It’s New Year’s Eve. The end of 2017… And I’m definitely glad to see it go. This last year has been the year from Hell itself.

It started with agony that could not be compared. With my starting to lose the ability to walk at all. With my losing the ability to crawl up the stairs. With my losing the last few threads of what was left of me.

2017 was the year I stopped being able to walk. To use my legs. It was the year I had to get a stair lift. The year I had to get a “real” and “proper” active wheelchair – something that caused a lot of pain, difficulty, complications, and tears. The year I found out I had been suffering an elusive condition for the last 19 years and it had impacted greatly upon my Fibromyalgia – something no one had ever heard of, called Hemiplegic Migraine… and I found that out on what should have been my late grandfather’s birthday.

This was the year my best friend left for South America, and was no longer here. This was the year I went completely numb and unable to feel anything touching my skin or pain from the outside. This was the year I could no longer stand for a shower or get into the bath. The year where gaming became more and more elusive because my hands and focus no longer worked properly. The year Fatigue came to over-run and ruin my life. The year PIP decided to decieve and scheme and refuse to even acknowledge the difficulties I have by outrightly lying about me in their reports. The year I was betrayed by my own therapist, just the third time we had met, and after waiting over a year on the waiting list to see her in the first place.

This was the year I learned you can lose your life without ever having to actually die.

I started 2017 with the ability to shuffle with walking aids and go for a shower… And I am ending it without the ability to walk or properly move my legs, wearing a catheter, permenently in a wheelchair, unable to go to the shower or get into the bath, barely able to leave my room, struggling to move and sometimes even breathe.

2017 was the year I think I truly died inside.

It started with hardship and loss. Went on to destroy what was left of me and my body. Ended with trauma and being near-bedridden.

On the bright side, I also ended up getting 2 graphic card upgrades and end the year with the GTX 1070 8GB OC. I was also introduced to several amazing games – in 4K High/Ultra, too – and got a Lenovo YogaBook – which is terribly fun to have.

And I got to see The Last Jedi… So at last one good thing happened.

 

 

~ Happy New Year ~

 

 

~ 2018 ~

 

 

 


A Little Bit Safe

I’m finally back upstairs now… It’s been about 3 months since I was up here.

After a horrific time at the Premier Inn at the Black Cat, I came home determined to overhaul my room to make it more safe, more “mine”. We changed the room around yesterday, so the TV is under the back window, with the bed almost right in front of it, so it’s like a safe hidey-hole. It was a massive effort, and somehow, I managed to build the TV stand (with Dad) myself – which amazed me.

I immediately felt safe – something I hadn’t felt here since I arrived. It’s pretty amazing really.

Today I saw a new doc at the new surgery… and shares my birth-name, which is a pretty rare one, even in Wales. Like me, she’s also sensible, efficient, and knows what she’s doing, and does it the right and proficient way. She even shut me up and cut me off when I was going on, without apology.

She had a few home truths to offer regarding my tummy problems and my eating disorder(s) – namely that erratic eating patterns, starvation, binging, eating at random, all contributes to IBS problems. Which is obviously very, very true… and she gave me some basic antispasmodic meds to try to see if it helps with any bowel spasms that might be causing a lot of the issues,  given that the spasm causes backlog in the bowel, pushing gasses and yukky stuff back up, and causes bloating and pain in and of itself.

Also, because I have such a bad reaction to gluten foods, she’s giving  me a test for Coeliac’s Disease,  to rule it in or out. Oh, well… it’ll hurt to eat a bunch of gluten for it, but it’ll definitely taste nice!

The main reason to really go, though, was for the CFS specialist team referral. Which she did for me. It’s amazing how easy it is to go to this surgery… I’m so sad I didn’t go there first…​

20141027_000017000_iOS

 

Weather’s getting worse now – another reason I hastened changing my room, because the tent now blocks cold and draughts coming up from the hallway downstairs. I’m getting constant alerts for Weather Warnings on my phone, mainly for ice, as temperatures continue to plummet. No snow yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we had some.

It’s of course wrecking havoc in my Fibro, and (very unfortunately) my temperament. But that has been somewhat tapered with more calm from changing the room up into a safe little den, or Hobbit-hole. I’ve managed t be inspired to do this just in time before being frozen. Now I’m safe, comfortable and toasty-warm  in my room, and I’m actually happy to stay here for the first time.

To top it off today, I also got a new tablet/hybrid: The Lenovo Yoga Book (2-in-1 2017 edition) today. I’m sick to death of Apple (don’t get me started on them now!) and saw this and thought it was pretty cool and more like what I needed, but also more…  modern, techie, innovative and imaginative.

It also runs full Windows 10, has a hybrid pen that has a stylus pen for on-screen drawing and real ink nibs available to write on supplied special paper, which gets transferred into the system via the pressure plate that sits where the physical keyboard usually is. This plate also doubles as a holo-keyboard, known as the Halo Keyboard. It appears as a hepatic holographic or Augmented Reality virtual keyboard on the aforementioned pressure plate, and takes a bit of getting used to, especially as a touch-typist.

My Dad is getting my iPad, and with it being excellent condition, he’s getting a good deal! Instead of buying a new iPad for himself, he’s got me this, which was nearly half price in the Amazon Cyber Monday sale, at £299 (supposed RRP £549). Hopefully this now means everybody wins…

lenovo-yoga-book-windows

 


The Tribunal Dilema

My PIP “mandatory reconsideration” was a few weeks back now. Ever since I’ve struggled with extreme pain, illness and stress. There have been two huge storms. My niece was born prematurely. I’ve been under such enormous stress from all angles, I’ve just broken down. I’m being tested for CFS/ME. My Hemiplegic (and normal) Migraine is acting up. Don’t even get me started on the Paraesthesia. I’m a wreck, and only getting worse.

Thoughts of a subsequent Tribunal took a backseat. This is not a system that helps those desperately ill, exhausted, crippled, mentally drained and disturbed, or have chronic illness of any kind. This is a system only designed for those who are robust enough to endure it. The hypocritical irony would be laughable if it didn’t destroy so many lives.

Thusly… Now I think it’s just not worth it.

I’ve been asked about it and I’ve thought about it, especially having written my part on the Parliament forum about it. However, how can I justify – and better still, how can they justify – putting myself through applying for a Tribunal, going through the immense stress, strain, pain, anguish, and super-hyper anxiety that would go with it? As one person on the forum put it, the entire thing is barbaric.

However, both the PIP woman and the Mandatory Reconsideration knob lied through their teeth when it came to summarising the case they put forward. How do I let them get away with that? How can I stand by and allow them to desecrate what I endure every moment of every god-damned day? How can I let them be so crass, derogatory, hurtful, harmful, and not put their words and myself in front of a Tribunal?

I printed out the “booklet” for writing up the form for applying to the Tribunal. It’s 35 pages long and just huge. How are people like me, and especially worse, supposed to be able to manage to read that and write up their form? It’s not like the DWP or PIP have people available to assist in writing them out for you… Instead you have to go and hope the CAB has an opening for someone to assist you. Or if you’re like me, write the whole thing out for you too, because [hand] writing is so hard. Way too hard. Typing is hard enough.

I return to Spoon Theory. I like Spoon Theory because it makes sense, it’s logical and it’s about number and not feelings. I am in “Spoon Bankruptcy” right now – if it were a currency, I’d be homeless and living in a box.

I don’t even have the Spoons to even go to the bathroom, I need help with even that now… So what Spoons do I possibly have to concentrate, study, and then write up the Tribunal form… even before the anguish and stress of not only waiting for the reply, but then having meltdown after meltdown worrying about it before I go, more meltdowns after I’ve been, and then more after that as I wait for the result. And no matter the result, I’ll have a meltdown because of it – because at the end of the day, it’s emotionally all too much.

This system wasn’t built for people like me… i.e. the chronically ill. You know, the people it’s there for… We struggle with enough, that’s why we need it. It’s even worse for those with emotional and psychological difficulties and understanding. There is no excuse in making matters worse, making us more ill, by having such a flawed system it punishes those who need it the most. Those who are healthy are the ones who can get whatever they want from it, because they have the physical and emotional capacity to do whatever the hell the system asks them to. We don’t. It’s messed up completely.

Should I take this to Tribunal? Oh, with jingle bells on every toes I should. However, in doing so, I am jeopardising my health, my psychology, my conditions, my family life, my parents’ health (and they’re over 60 now). Do they take that into account when they do this to you? Hell, no. I am torn between protecting what little I – we – have, and doing the right thing.

It’s my very own Kobayashi Maru… and I don’t think there’s any way of cheating in this one…