Tag Archives: Aspergers

The Auti & The Dentist: SO – No Emergency NHS Direct or Dentistry in North Wales…??

Right… So my face exploded – for the second time – with an abscess on a broken tooth. It’s in the middle-ish of my lower left jaw bone. Literally overnight (it wasn’t like this yesterday!), this time, it sprang up and doubled in size; this thing is a Monster that’s already made me look somewhat like the Elephant Man already – and I am not particularly interested in a Second Go.

I already had this issue back in February, and it took over almost my entire face and neck by the time I actually got “Treatment” – and that was via A&E and two different hospitals, AND and overnight stay for emergency IV antibiotics, before it burst. Yes, that’s how long it took. I couldn’t really swallow (barely able to take basic medication), and it was affecting my breathing. It was hell… And then finally, they did something about it.

In the end that one was drained by the second A&E department, after they made me switch hospitals (that time it was also a weekend, and the hospital I went to didn’t have a maxillofacial department out of hours. Naturally…). So, after overnight IV antibiotics, I was transferred the next afternoon over to the other hospital. Where they stuck me with an enormous needle, and drained the stupid thing out. Seconds later, my face felt and looked pretty normal…

And funnily enough, I really didn’t want to go through that again.

CALLING FOR HELP…

So… Like a sensible person, the first call was to Out of Hours. I’m in pain, and my poor Autie (aka Autistic) Brain is all over the place, so my Mam (bless her), is doing the phoning (she’s a nurse, so that’s useful at times like these)…

They said, because it’s Dentristy, it’s “Call NHS Direct for them to tell you where you can go” (thanks COVID-19 for messing something else to do with my health up). Fine. Fair Enough. Just call 111, Right…? …. RIGHT..??


Ohhhhh NoNope. Nope. Nope!

Not in North Wales…!

Possibly the ONLY place in the UK where CANNOT USE 111 phone number – their FREEPHONE phone number…

WE HAVE TO PAY!!

In North Wales, under Betsi Cadwaledr Health Board, the people of poverty-ridden North Wales (and that’s before COVID-19) MUST CALL AN 0845 number to reach NHS DIRECT!

0845 46 47

Calls to NHS 111 Wales are free from landlines and mobiles. Calls to 0845 46 47 cost 2p per minute, this will be in addition to the telephone providers access charge.


Nooo, I’m NOT Mad, or Angry… No. I am Stunned. Horrified. Fuming. Furious. Disgusted! And My Mother has to put £10 Credit (as opposed to using her normal GiffGaff “Goodybag”) onto her phone to try and call them. Unbelievable!

It takes about 20 Minutes to get hold of them… And then… then they wanted to talk to me Oh Dear. That is not very Auti-Friendly, but they wanted to talk to me about my symptomology.

I managed it… Just. They told me I needed to phone a specific number, and they would be open between 1pm and 4:30pm today. A free one at least, starting with 0300, and a Code to go with it, as a Reference.

0300 0856 230

She proceeded to give me other gems, like using ice packs or not having things too cold or too hot. Nothing sweet (if that’s the case they really need to re-think how they make Oramorph…!). Just in case I was a complete moron. And That Was That.

And You Know What? That phone call cost £7.76... Nearly £8 for that! It makes me want to throw up and cry all at the same time…

Am I actually being Victimised because I am… Welsh, and in the Northern End?!

The Upshot of this Phone Number thing is that they have amalgamated all kinds of things into that one number. Including Dentistry. And apparently they do not answer their phones, because all it did was ring and ring, then ring off… Over and over and over again.

Just over £2 was all that was left of my Mother’s phone Credit, from that initial £10. She put another £15 on to call NHS Direct back about this, to see if there was something we were missing, and obviously didn’t know how long she was going to end up having to wait.

It was indeed another long wait. Only then to be told, by the person who finally answered, that, actually and in fact, that Dentistry Amalgamation phone number wasn’t actually open in the afternoons on weekends, at all, after all… It’s only open on weekends from 9-12pm. And you have to just keep on ringing until some douchbag answers the phone. Maybe. And it’s not like this is even Common Knowledge – or on the Internet. I looked. A lot

Now, the Second Time We Called — NHS Direct cost £8.66...

A Grand Total of £16.42 basically WASTEDand £25 of Credit Purchased…

It’s not like we have any money to spare or waste, let alone THAT much…

But worse — could you imagine someone with even less means needing to contact them? I mean… They just wouldn’t…(!)

SORRY, NO WE CAN’T HELP…

A little while after all that, NHS Direct Triage calls back. She insists on talking to me… and I don’t like her voice; it’s difficult to concentrate on and I have to listen for intonations, enunciation, tone, etc – or “Vocal Language” (like Body Language), as I call it in my own head…

It didn’t take long for the Sheen (that’s the veil of “Normal, NT” communication that I force on) to fall down, so I handed her back to my Mother when it was clear she didn’t like the way I was talking now. I was scared, overwhelmed, and utterly drained and exhaustedand I did not have enough Spoons to play along with NT voice tone games right then, whatsoever

The final answer at the end of all this ludicrously ridiculous – and ridiculously expensive(!) – debacle, was — dear Gods help me — to do what we could have figured out for ourselves, if we’d only just realised there was No Other Help out there. To an NHS community hospital (sort of), right next to where my mam works along the prom, where they hold a dental clinic in the very early mornings, with a walk-in centre…

As InThe very place we spent all that time, effort and money, trying to Avoid…(!!)

Now, I have been left with No Choice… And I am forced to do something that is just going to make me all the more ill. Especially with my Fibro, and my Autism.

Tomorrow, I have to be at this community hospital by or before 8:00am, so I can join what will be an ever-expanding queue (Auti part very upset about this bit), for a clinic that doesn’t even start until 9am.

To manage this, I have to be awake All Night — This is because that between my pain, my meds, and the utter exhaustion, I cannot get up until at least 11am, and not entirely lucid until 12 or 1 pm and counting. If I do not sleep, I don’t have that problem, so… No Choice.

I’m Scared. I’m Overwhelmed. I’m Exhausted Beyond Anything and Everything.

And somehow, I now also need to do this. After wasting all that time and money, and effort.

Gods Help Me…


A Futile Fibro Flare-Up Day…

Temp| 8°C

Still can’t think beyond the pain. My brain is zoned out.

I’m in no shape of, or for, anything.

Done naught but a few words in Daylio and Jouney Journal, then blindly and mindlessly poking around the internet a little.

Somehow, it’s now 5:30pm. I have no idea how that could have happened. I wanted extra meds to help play Skyrim. Guess that didn’t work out.

It’s horrible outside. Cold, rainy, high Humidity. The isobars are decent-ish at 1016mb. I’m so cold… But I can’t move, and in too much pain to do anything about it… 😣🤕🤨🥺


There are a few emails on my system now that I haven’t read. Refused to read. There’s 2 about the Boots thing, 1 about the Ubisoft problem with Assassin’s CreedUnity (the downloads run at 3mb/s & then the game won’t load anyway), and 1 from Sophie the OT regarding people coming here to install my shower.

I’m too scared to read them. Or, more specifically, I’m way, way, way far too way into OTT & TMI to cope with facing them or processing them, let along answering them…😟😣😢

I don’t know where the “Me” who used to jump at all correspondence, had Zero outstanding emails in her inbox, is avoiding messages and has nearly 7,000 “unread” emails in her inbox 🤯😫😟… 💔

… I could really do with her right now… 



I’m in 9.95 Pain… I can’t think past it, or of anything else, and my mind is blanking to try and deal with it…

  • I’ve been rushing around checking into, and booking, Premier Inns…
  • Mentally preparing for the crapload of Appointments we have to deal with and somehow manage through in May, including 2 big hospital appointments far enough away to require overnight accommodation…
  • I’ve had to deal with the last minute Car Tax thing and go out to do it, causing this latest flare up of agony (because I don’t have a shower)…
  • My glasses got snapped in half, and I had to circumvent my immense panic and Dragon of Disappointment long enough to get new ones.
  • I’ve had a good couple of mini-ish Meltdowns caused by other people…
  • My Catheter came out after only 6 days, and at 10:22pm, of all times… Late at night is *never* good; at least the nurses are great 👍🏻 🙂🤕
  • I’m even more exhausted because my mattress was being mean to me, and causing several nights of extreme pain and nightmares.
  • I flipped the big Hypnos mattress with Dad, and had to empty and redo the bed with Sara.

 


There’s been too much stuff, way, way, way too fast. Too much pain. Too much chaos. Too much… everything-too-much-on-top-of-everything-else.


 

NB: I think the new Food Plan is going to have to go in the bin, for today. There’s no way I am eating between 6pm and 7pm when I am like this. I’ll need at least 6:30pm meds to have kicked in, as well as an extra mini-dose of Oramorph, to manage to eat anything.

Before 8pm, food has no  chance of happening. 😖🤕😣😔

 

Powered by Journey Diary.

April 2019 — Dailyo Mood Chart Stats

I use this great diary & mood-tracking app… It was quite a good idea, actually, to help me with my ASD 🤔

https://www.daylio.net

Well, I’d probably say the graph says it all, how my last month went. Seeing it like this, though, is a bit of an eye opener. It’s really no wonder I am a mess, of this kind of emotional chaos is what I am living with… I think this was what I wanted and expected out of using Dailyo — but it’s rather different when it ’s actually there, right in front of you.


The only shame is you can’t sync it through different devices… that part is annoying, but the rest of if it is pretty great, actually… 🤔🤨😎


It’s disturbing how all-over-the-place the peaks are. It’s there, in front of you, undeniable. It wasn’t OK. It was Chaos, Brutal, Upsetting, Difficult, Emotionally Unstable… Destructively Unstable… I realise now how strong, stubborn, I’ve had to be, in the wake of that chaos… The reason I am so, so very Exhausted. Run-Down. Severely Hyper-Vigilant & Easily Startled. Anxious As Hell 24/7.

The last thing someone who craves… Needs… emotional stability, is this… I am ASD, with (probable) Alexithalmya. What I need is is for that to be solid in Green.

Green means Neutral. Not Happy. Not Sad. Not Scared. Not Angry. Not Anxious. Neutral. What I’m seeing is, quite frankly, the exact bloody Opposite!


I am aware there is no ideal, per-se… However, it cannot be too much to ask that it remain at least somewhat in the Green/Neutral area a little more than twice in one month…?!




A Different Physio Pain: When NTs Harm Without Consideration…


I went to physio. I wish I hadn’t. Even though it was technically a “good session” — productive, challenging, effective… It was not a good experience.


Mainly, I’m upset because after all my (emotional/ psychological/ mental) hard work, I’ve been thrown back to feeling inadequate, clunky, awkward. It was horrible, making me feel like physically vomiting; the nausea siting in the bottom of my throat like a boulder. I felt shame, resentment, disgust (with myself, and also the physio). And the worst thing—My chair no longer felt like an extension my myself, like it usually did now.

No. Shame.

This was how I felt for years. When my legs were failing, and after they failed. When I had to learn to deal with spending my moving life with a wheelchair. Learning to realise, that — amazingly — I was not “confined” to a wheelchair at all, as people so often expressed. No—The exact opposite, in fact. I was freed by my chair!

The realisation was slow coming, but it was astounding. No longer was there suffering of pain through my hips and back, wobbling on my feet and afraid I would fall. Over time, I became stronger, and then when I also had Neuro-Physio with the previous physio specialist, who was amazing, I got even better. Even stronger. First with Musty (GTM Mustang) and then with Kushty (Küschall K-Series), I become better, more capable, more confident, more accepting. My lovely chairs helped be better, stronger. It becomes my new normal.

Then someone turns up and says… it’s not. Not normal. Not good enough. Not something to be confident about.

As good as physio might be, the new person is not. She’s not like the last one. She hurts my insides, my Feels. Today, she kept going on about using my legs, “waking them up” and maybe walking. “Ooooohhhhhh, you never knowwww…” etc, etc, hollow, disingenuous, delusional idiotic bullcrap, over and over and over again. Seriously, she must have said exactly that five or six times. At least.

It. Hurt.

It felt like the obvious underlying statement was, only that was good enough—having legs. That I should blindly hold out all and any fragments of hope, and everything short of that was insinuated to be —gods-damned presumed to be! — nothing but a pathetic and miserable existence.



This ridiculous notion is what they call “Hope” — but what it really is, is Magical Thinking. And it just makes my heart and soul dissolve and freeze into dark black ice, caught between utter hopelessness and fuming anger and insult, at such horrendous ignorance.

What I prefer is realistic expectations, not stupid “oh, you never know…” utter bullcrap. I could say the same thing about walking on the moon, for gods-and-spirits’ sake! “You never know…!” Gah! It’s moronic, babyish, and, frankly, pathetic.

Oh, and believe me when I say I couldn’t care less if it’s “coming from a good place“, or they mean something nice. If you mean something nice, say something… y’know…Nice..?! Intention means nothing if the result is nothing but harm.

I will never understand the NTs’ obsessive insistence of clinging to blind, delusional “optimism” (aka: Magical Thinking). What’s wrong with Truth? What’s wrong with Reality? What is wrong with being less than Fairy-Tale Perfect…?? 🤬😡😤

I understand “Never say Never” about Unknown Quantity or Unknown Outcomes, especially with people. I fully accept there could be some connective electrical activity re-triggered and re-awakened after the (stress-induced) traumas I have endured over and over again. Unlikely as it is. But there are many, many better ways of communicating this, including offering great support (this is what her predecessor did). Pity is never an answer.

No scientist or mathematician got anywhere by basing their answer (or presumption) on nothing but a premise or hypothesis — Yes, almost anything is technically possible. But then, there’s also Magical Thinking, which involves utter Unicorns-and-Rainbows levels of nothing but fantasy.

Scientists allow for anomalies and possibilities, and yet they also don’t expect the moon to fall down to just 33,000ft above sea-level so we can all have it easy and just fly there on a 747 widebody, or for a black hole to morph into a sandwich, because “it’d be cool”. 🤨🤨🤨

In other words, we can’t just manifest crap because we prefer it.

If that was the case, I’d be using my own 3 wishes to make my natural hair to that of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, for my legs to be her tail, and for the ability to read people’s minds. I would not be wasting one on whether I could walk again…! 😒🤨😤

I cannot even begin to explain how these sweeping statements put my teeth on edge. Disingenuous. Despicable. Fantastical. Delusional. Weak. All things I am not, and refuse to be..

Maybe it’s the ASD. Maybe it’s just (or/andAlexithymia. But all of that delusional stuff just… Sends me into a tailspin. I’m here, I’m *Me*, and *I. Can’t. Walk*. I have a pretty chair with cool wheels to make up for it, and the physical strength to help me function and manage it. There’s nothing wrong with that. Is there…?

What I *do not* have is Mental Strength, and I’m Traumatised and Fragile. I cannot bear being told that basically I should do nothing but “hope” I can walk “one day”, because nothing else is good enough, and anything else is entirely… Pitiable.



So… What, then? I genuinely do not understand… Why is it so not OK to be like this, like me, that I’m being pitied and told to invest in false hope by a physiotherapist? One who dismissed what small (or huge, to me…) progress I had made, in favour of sweeping statements of disingenuous pity and false hope?

Am I supposed to twiddle my thumbs in the Lobby of Life, waiting for the 0.000000000001% chance I *may* feel or move my legs again? I have a better chance of winning the lottery… and I never play it. Am I now just some-thing… That I’m not worthy to do anything else, I I have no use of my legs? Am I just to sit around and be Pitied? Is that supposed to be it, now? That “walking should be the bee-all-and-end-all of life and everything” is… life-limiting. Debilitating. Disabling.


Pathetic.

To me, it’s a rediculous notion for anyone to have… And for it to be utterly despicable in a damned physiotherapist.

I’ve spent a long time trying to build up to having confidence in being in a chair. This made it all come crashing down. Swept away, destroyed, what little confidence I had started to develop in myself as an active wheelchair user. I cried — and I do not cry easily, if ever. I’d worked so hard to feel some self-worth in being a wheelchair user and physically incapable. Now, it was gone.

I do not wish to sit in Limbo, waiting for some fantasy “Maybe” (which isn’t real at all). I’m not putting things on hold anymore — I’ve been pushing myself to go ahead and be Me, which includes having Wheels and getting on with things. Even if its small things.

I don’t know if I have the… verbal sophistication?… to fully explain what I mean. Why it hurts, damages, so much. Nothing I’ve written here, or could write, could convey, that is accurate to how much this affects me and hurts me. Harms me.

I feel Depression inside, with its special brand of Extreme Anxiety & Sad. They’re playing their part well, and strongly. Inflicting their “Bad Feels” upon me, and more than occasionally drowning me in them. Making all these things worse, communication and processing longer. Meaning this “incident” with the physio made everything 10,000 times worse.

It’s all become a bigger mess now. This has been added to my brain as yet ONE MORE TRAUMA to deal with. It shouldn’t be like this.

There really is only so much that a person can take… and I passed my limit a long time ago.


A Victim. A Survivor. A Warrior.
Keep Fighting.


Anniversary of Hell…

Today is the anniversary of when I first was taken into hospital

On the 28th January 2018, I was booked into a Premier Inn, to go to my niece’s christening the next day.

Instead, I was carried into hospital, barely semi-conscious and screaming so loudly apparently they had to put me into a former office/storage closet, until they had a bed to feed me tramadol and morphine … I woke up in a hospital’s SAU (Surgical Assessment Unit) instead of a hotel… and my parents lost over £200 for the booking… 😢🥺😖

My brain is trying to process it, rather unsuccessfully, to be honest.

However… I like the fact the anniversary of my leaving coincides with one of my new physio appts. I think that’s telling. I could not even wheel myself through the hospital back then.

To celebrate it with something that would have been so alien to me back then, doing what I thought was impossible — like being able to sit up a little on my own, or hold myself up on parallel bars for nearly a whole minute so my body is “standing” upright (as in, I have managed to become strong enough now to hold all my bodyweight enough, so I could raise myself upright on them)— is almost confounding … 🤯


Dear Chronic Illness/ Pain/Conditions Sufferer…

A Message For Anyone Who Is Suffering With Chronic Illness/Pain/Conditions… Especially Those Facing This (whether literally or emotionally) Alone…

I’m so sorry you’re having to endure this — it’s difficult enough to deal with one condition, let alone several and at a severe and heightened state too 😦

The first thing I really do want to say here is: **You Are So Brave**. Truly. What you are facing is truly horrendous and scary (Chronic Illness/Pain/Conditions are utterly terrifying, and people do NOT EVER take it seriously enough! 😡*big scowl*🤬), and yet, still, you face it. You endure it. You keep fighting. You are still alive and you haven’t given up. That is ALWAYS admirable and commendable. Even though you feel utterly awful and exhausted and frightened, it’s still true. So, please try to remember that… 💜

I think I may have some understanding of the awful situation you’re having to deal with — I have had  Chronic Pain and Illness and Conditions, all at a very severe level for prolonged lengths of time, including many asthma attacks requiring emergency hospital treatment (I’m now strangely very comfortable and familiar with the back of an ambulance… 😒🤨), and I’ve suffered more than my share of PTSD with many things that have unfortunately happened to me, and have even attempted the worst at times… And I am well aware of what *I* felt and suffered in those times, and I truly never want to think about what I had to go through with the episodes of psychosis I have suffered on many a pill I’ve been told to take, it was so very horrendous. To be on them continuously, without being able to come off them, must be harrowing. To anyone who cannot come off them, *You* must be very, very much suffering with this… 🥺😟

As an Autistic person (Asperger’s), this also made all these experiences worse [for me] because the way I deal with every small thing in life is that it has to be controlled for me to understand it, and without understanding this (my illnesses/conditions/pain) it made it all the worse… So, I’d like to think I’m coming from a place where you might feel I do have a little understanding of being where you are.

Whatever you are going through, it’s going to feel like such a lonely, awful, frightening place to live — so near yet *so* far from what you truly need. You have, quite possibly, been through such utterly terrifying and traumatic experiences whilst dealing with your journey. I lived in London with all kinds of available people in several hospitals around me — and yet I STILL could not get the treatment I needed for the (many, many!) things that have and are wrong with me, so to not have ANYONE around in the medical practices around you, that is the most scary, almost more than than anything. It doesn’t matter whether or not it’s available, when you’re not being given it, you’re having to watch your life disintegrate around your ears, and not being able to do a thing — not a goddamned thing — to help yourself, because no one told you how. I did ALL the wrong things with mine… If there was a checklist of all the thing that were bad for my condition, I did them all, because I thought I was helping myself. Turns out, they all were the worst things I could have done. Unfortunately, I found out too late. Far too late.

img_0893

I have Fibromyalgia and Hemiplegic Migraine, which have somehow amalgamated into some weird-ass crap that doens’t even have a name… something doctors can’t seem to understand or treat, that comes with horrific pain that can only be barely dulled with fairly high doses of Oramorph and Tramadol. My PTSD (now) comes from hospitalisation for a severe blood and bowel infection, and the utter shock and grief of having lost my hard-won “normal” life in London and my pretty amazing IT Career in one fell swoop from this “Fibromyalgia hybrid” (or “Fibroplegia” as I’ve come to call it) that I’ve ended up with (which has also made me almost completely numb and partially paralysed from the chest down), and the fact it took over 2 years to get an initial diagnoses and then a full 5 years to get any treatment at all for it — and by then it was too late, the damage was done and I was wheelchair dependent with no ability to use my legs.

The same thing happened as a child suffering from… something. They called it “Depression” and left it at that, filling me (as a child of 12 and then for many years later) with Prozac and whatever other medication they felt like. Precisely 20 years later, I finally get the diagnosis that really explained it all — “Autism/Asperger Syndrome”. Despite being under them mental health system in so many different ways for most of my life, they ALL somehow missed this, and my miserable life kept getting worse and worse, causing a lot of VERY bad things to happen to me, and I ended up with severe PTSD and suicidal and anorexic/bulimic because of it for over a decade. Unbelievably amazing….

Both times, *despite* bring in the middle of access to treatment, they still refused to give me any. Until now. In that sense, I absolutely do understand how it is to ask and ask for help and nobody listens or understands the severity of your health condition(s). I certainly may as well have had nobody there…

The harrowing [emotional] pain, the physical pain, the anguish, the despair, the panic, the desolation, the desperation, feeling like absolutely NOBODY understands, the loneliness, the isolation (whether or not there are people around you), and also, finally, that hollow and numb-feeling of depression that eats away your insides that causes even more anxiety and panic, making the PTSD flare and get even worse.

It spirals out of control and it’s all just like trying to outrun an avalanche … no matter how hard you try, you’re going to get buried and suffocated with it.

*

I’ve written a lot, and I’m sorry about that… However, like I said above, it’s hard when it seems like nobody understands, so I thought perhaps that I could prove that I probably really do…?

I hope that I have. Because all those feelings that were described is pretty much part and parcel of all chronic illness, and most feel them — but, of course, we’re not allowed to talk about them outwardly, so there’s nowhere to turn and nowhere to go to discuss it, those feelings, or how very VERY white-hot terrified and desperate you really feel inside.

Keep talking, keep reaching out — to doctors, to people here, online, to any people in your life who could/might/do support you. It’s not anywhere near easy to even begin to cope with the first part of dealing with lifelong Chronic Illness/Pain/Conditions.

The first step is a little like AA — you have to accept they are part of your life but you will love yourself anyway. Remember that you’re a person WITH a conditions/illness, and NOT an illness with a body/host.

Remember that you’re worthy, you matter, you’re a person, and YOU ARE YOU — and having an illness/condition doesn’t stop that from being true.

The next is to put into your mind to not being a “Victim” of any kind to your condition/illness — not having access to treatment or a clinician/GP is going to make you possibly also feel like a victim of circumstance, of the Post Code Lottery; but it still doesn’t mean you have to FEEL like one… It sounds so trite, I really do know. But you *should / hopefully might, eventually* feel entitled and rightful indignation that no one is helping you, that no one is taking you as a person that matters and deserves to have their space and be heard, and helped.

I don’t believe anyone should go through these things alone. It’s not right, and everyone has a right to be heard and helped, in whatever way possible. I hope you feel I have heard you?

Keep being strong, keep having courage, and keep up the [terrifying, seemingly impossible] good fight xx xx xx.

💖💖💖💜💜💜


Anxiety & Chaos — The Antithesis of the Aspie Mind…

Anxiety and Chaos rules my mind. It feels like it’s been long buried under mountains of agonising pain, sorrow, grief. Fibro-Fog, medication, and more and more Chaos and Anxiety. I can feel my mind still there, calling, struggling to be freed, to be heard… yet, there seems to be so little I can do about digging it back out.

As long and all this overwhelming Anxiety and Chaos rules me, rules my life, is forced upon me – truly, it seems that no matter what I do to prepare against it, it floods and breaks through my defences and laying siege until I can do nothing more against it. – it will Rule me. It overwhelms me. Then, it eventually takes over me. My life. And now, it just simply continues to do so… because I have only so many spoons at all, and that number is barely above Zero, and none of those spoons are even remotely strong enough to fight against the sheer mountain of things that continue to suffocate me every minute of Every. Single. Day.

With no Short Term Memory to speak of, and pretty much no Long Term Memory to fall back on (although, thankfully, the odd one can be brought out with certain triggers, unfortunately few and far between), it’s like I am nothing and no one.

As an Aspie, who once remembered everything and anything just about, this fact is near killing me inside. I still don’t know what to do with it – the grief and frustration of going through this, being forced to live without something embedded into me, that was an intricate part of me… Quite often, it is all too overwhelming. Even the inability to control my environment was entirely reliant on this… and without it, Anxiety and Chaos reign entirely. It is painful and frightening, and there seems to be nothing I can do about it – and I feel this because I have gone through everything I can think of over these past Five Years this has been happening to me…

I physically cannot move – my condition leaves me with only the shoulders and arms and what is above it; pretty much nothing else is movable by my own conscious will. I must remain on the floor whilst upstairs because my chair (or any chair) cannot fit up here; the house is too old and the landing is far too narrow to accommodate one. This means that I remain next to useless up here – unable to move or control my own environment in my bedroom. Despite assistance, there is no way to keep it sane without someone perfectly able-bodied to take things out and put them away as required. Whilst I may be able to retrieve something, putting it back may cost too much spoons, or be too difficult – or worse, I might forget.

I have been numbed by the sheer and exhaustive amount of confusing and destructive emotions that keep washing over and drowning me. I do not like emotions – actually, I loathe them, and wish they did not exist. And, quite frankly, there are definitely far to many of them. It’s a cornucopia of horror that I flail at, until I fall victim to my terror and end up falling and drowning beneath them all. “NT” people have called this dead numbness “depression” – but I’ve studied psychology for years, and what I have has never quite been fully described by that theory, and it does not fully cover what it is that I experience.

I am TMI (Too Much [Sensory] Information) when it comes to all these emotions – and all are fuelled by my two arch enemies: Anxiety and Chaos. I literally cannot live like this – I barely even exist like this. To live, to participate in… well, something, anything… to do what I love again… That would be Everything.

So, by that measure, it seems that right now I would have nothing…?


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…

 

 

 


%d bloggers like this: