Tag Archives: aspie

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…

 

 

 

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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…​

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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…

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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…

 


Oh. Dead. Lord… I’m Surrounded By Idiots…!! 😣😱😤

I just don’t know what to think. Or how to properly identify or deal with these feelings… Incensed? Angry? Horrified? Hurt? Sad? Violated? Victimised? Traumatised? Grief-Stricken?

Who knows…? I certainly don’t.

The PIP Fiasco Continues still… I read the full case notes the unebelivably horrible woman I saw at PIP wrote… and it’s vile. And lies. And I literally cannot believe it. As in it’s unable to be fathomed.

After all her (turn out, disingenuous) pandering and “Oh dear!”s throughout, serious nodding, and looking very sympathetic, it turns out she was writing mainly made up crap and copying and pasting the same sentance over and over again. Typos were everywhere, the omitted “not”s in can not as well as the “un” in unable. She made it look like I was a step away from being perfectly fine and perfectly able to practically hack myself into the Pentagon… It was just such a load of crap it was rediculous.

She was in a rush when she wanted to write it up (quickly, of course…) and just made up crap about me. Withheld vital information, omitted context, and even didn’t acknowledge my mother was right there with me, helping me work out what she was saying, communicating my difficulties, backing me up. And she even spelt my mother’s name wrong, even as my mother spelled it for her. Astounding.

Incensed (I think), I spent four days creating a 25 page rebuke with long lectures about victimisation and outright lying and omitting relevant data. It was detailed, concise and at least true. Let them put it before a judge were they can see and make a decision themselves, with firsthand interaction with me. I’m much better off. I was last time, they kicked the PIP and DWP’s assess and gave me a monumental backpay.

It took them over 6 months to get me an appointment (4 months later than the maximum target they themselves have, very clearly stated on their own answer service). But because DWP will only pay backpay to when the appointment was, that’s all you get. So I got one month backpay, even though they sent me that damned form to fill out back in January. I hate them all… They’re just *insert many expletives*…

It hurts to be victimised like that. It was horrible what she wrote and how she wrote it. Saw she added things in about how I could do this or that when she could see I couldn’t. Outright lied about other things, and (hopefully) misspelled things without “not” and “un” (as abovementioned).

So I hope they suck on those documents I sent back and choke on them… They hurt me badly, and the stress has already greatly impacted the severity of all my conditions, and I literally cannot cope. The entire thing makes no logical sense, or even is within bounds of basic imagination… And frankly, if you’re going to screw me I’d like at least one drink first and a bacon sandwich after.  But not this.

The one postisive side was she was forced to give me “Higher Mobility” because I have to have round wheels now instead of using my legs. With that I get a little more money, but there are other benefits like being eligible for Motorbility, or getting 100% off car tax on a normal car that’s used for you. So we’ve used the car tax discount for now whilst I research what benefits Motorbility offers instead that’s any better (if there is anything better they offer) than what my parents do now with their cars, and whether it’s worth losing that money to them in lieu of a (hopefully) suitable car. Since I can’t drive, this may not be of benefit right now.

On top of that, I’m still also trying to get some sense out of Ableworld Specialists regarding my chair (Friefly). The Sales Rep (who told her it was simple to email her with other requests) refuses to talk to me nor answer her emails. She’s made a mistake with the Centre of Gravity (COG) on my chair, as well as the length of the seat, and now she refuses to acknowledge me.

The one and only time I got her on the phone she spoke with brusque, rude, and semi-indignance (I think – I know it was rude) and barely even discussed it with me. Ironically, she had a rebuke about changing the COG and tipping too far back, when the reality is because it’s too far back I tip forward because it isn’t balanced. Since it’s not her sitting in it all day every day, she should really listen to the person actually in it.

So I sent a complaint directly to customer services. And because she never answered my last email, I’m naming names, because I’m tired of chasing her unprofessional ass through Kingdom Come and back. It was a fairly extensive and detailed email, and I’ve told them to reply within a certain time, with the BHTA to come if they didn’t fix it. So I really hope they do it, because I don’t want to contact even more people.

This is already far and away too much

 

 

 


My ASD: Mistakes. Are. Bad… Very. Bad.

I’m not even sure why they even exist… but these physiotherapists are just such a waste of time. She screwed up again – and I pretty much had a meltdown about it, also causing a big set of severe Fibro spasm attacks. Hoorah

After going to so much trouble to get the right date this week so my mother was here with me, the damn physio wrote in the wrong date anyway into the diary when she got back, and after waiting and waiting and waiting, I only find this out after I call when she’s an hour late. So that’s two ruined days because of her, which has just sent an already troubling and difficult week into a horrible tailspin.

It is clear that no matter what acts or policies that are in place, nobody cares about how they treat you when you have ASD. It’s OK for them – they’re not the ones who have to deal with the meltdown (or at least severe anxiety attack) that is the result of this god-awful thoughtlessness. After trying to deal with it all afternoon, I had an anxiety attack and mini-meltdown later on in the evening, after that panic built and built and built. It in turn ended up in a series of severe spasm attacks that were horrific and painful. But she didn’t have to care about that, did she? No. She could be ignorant of it, never know about it, never need to care about it. It doesn’t affect her. So why should she care, right?

Apparently, that’s how they all think. It’s certainly how they all behave… And it’s just horrible. To the point of being traumatising.

20160920_173759000_iOSWhen appointments are made, stick to them. Don’t be late. Call if you’re going to be late. Isn’t that “NT” politeness anyway? Well, it’s vital in my world. I’ve already had PIP mess me around. I’ve already been thrown into hell with the isobars down at 1000mb level, unable to even breathe sometimes it’s so painful. I’ve already had a hell of a morning, starting with 3-4 hours of going through the motions of trying to get up – yes, that’s how hard it is. And I’ve had to get up super-early so there’s enough time to do all this and regain an equilibrium before the appointment…

And then after all of my efforts I find the physio didn’t even try to get this right. After we brought out the calander and showed her all the dates my mother was available. She still couldn’t get it right. The emotional turmoil of this, of all my efforts for nothing, that the fact she could make such a mistake that cost me so much… It’s just too much to bare.

There’s also the other point that I cannot even begin to cope with changes… as well as the horrifying realisation that she probably didn’t get the message I left with their reception to cancel the appointment she wrote up, and that she might come tomorrow anyway. When she wasn’t supposed to. When I told her not to… And then I have to cope with that thought, with that change, with that intrusion, because she wasn’t supposed to come tomorrow… It’s horrifying to think that she thinks it’s OK to put me though such a thing, just because she can’t concentrate long enough to put the correct date down. It seems so unfair. It’s not like they don’t know I have ASD… They just don’t care, or have a clue about it. Or care to have a clue about it.

Proving legislation and policy  is a complete and utter waste of time.

Tomorrow, either I’m going to be home alone when she comes, or my father remains here with me instead of attending his weekly visit to see his elderly mother. I don’t understand emotion generally, but I know that uncomfortable feeling of guilt. And that last option makes me feel a lot of that. The former terrifies the bejeezus out of me – I have no intention of being there alone with her. I’ll either say nothing, or say precisely what’s on my mind… which I’ve learnt that NTs do not want to hear. Apparently they’re allergic to the truth. The polite fluff they engage in is still beyond me, even though I generally attempt to emulate it. Probably quite badly, but hey… at least I try. Which is more that can be said for the other way – not many NTs [professionals] try to understand ASD-Land at all.

Like the physiotherapist. And PIP.

GrumpyBearI am “ranting”, but it’s so very horrible. “NT” people never seem to understand this – although some at least accept it. I’m terrified of tomorrow (and that’s actually an understatement), and the fact the isobars are still on the floor are not helping. It’s going to be a long morning, at the end of which, I have to call the receptionist back tomorrow to verify the appointment has been cancelled and the physio is not coming. She was supposed to call about it (the physio, that is) and reschedule, and she never did. With that evidence I can only conclude she thinks she’s still coming here. It seems that if she has a mobile phone, neither her receptionist nor myself have the details of it to contact her directly when she’s out.

I knew they were a waste of time, but since the initial attempt at contact was a farce. It’s not ending, either. It still is. I can’t see any reason to continue with this – it’s one extra burden I can do without, given there’s no payoff from it. I’m already ahead of her game, and so far she can offer nothing better. So I’m wondering why I’m spending the effort of enduring hours of pain and torment to get up in time for her to come, when she’s not actually even coming in the end, because she couldn’t do one simple thing right – write an appointment in her diary on the correct day. And repeating it all again in case she turns up tomorrow. It’s harrowing.

I really am honestly scared of facing tomorrow. I hope I get some sleep… It’s “only” 1:49am as I write this now. And there’s a long night ahead…

 

A Question of Sanity