lizziec: (Horrible Histories Pilot wide eyes)
I'm pondering setting up a Mental Health filter as I have a need to blather on about my latest meanderings in the field of my mental health (or lack thereof).

I am not doing this out of a need or cry for attention. I want to journal this stuff because I journal most stuff that I need to get out of my head, but I don't want to subject everyone to it if they don't want to be subjected to it...

There is no compulsion on you to read or comment on whatever I put in this filter.

Please comment (comments are screened) if you're interested in what I'll be putting there. I won't judge anyone if they don't want to be in the filter.

This entry was originally posted at http://lizziec.dreamwidth.org/426016.html. There are currently comment count unavailable comments on the original entry.
lizziec: (Grumpy hug)
I'm pondering setting up a Mental Health filter as I have a need to blather on about my latest meanderings in the field of my mental health (or lack thereof).

I am not doing this out of a need or cry for attention. I want to journal this stuff because I journal most stuff that I need to get out of my head, but I don't want to subject everyone to it if they don't want to be subjected to it...

There is no compulsion on you to read or comment on whatever I put in this filter.

Please comment (comments are screened) if you're interested in what I'll be putting there. I won't judge anyone if they don't want to be in the filter.
lizziec: (MASH - Hawkeye Trapper bromance)
Um. Hi. *waves*

So I've been gone a while and feel I owe you an explanation. Here it is.

Most of you know I've been struggling for the past year with a flare up /relapse of my depression and anxiety. In October, in an effort to help fix me, my gp had me change my meds. In order to start new ones I had to go off the old ones and that messed me up. My flare up got worse and, as usually happens when I'm fucked up mentally I found it difficult to connect with, well, anything - books, TV, writing and especially people.

Because I find connecting so spoons depleting, I tend to cut it down to a minimum, talking to only 2 or 3 people on a regular basis because that's all I can cope with.

Things are a bit better. I'm finding connecting a bit less hard. It's not exactly easy yet, but this post is me trying.

I'm sorry I haven't been around much. I'm sorry I've ignored communications from those who have tried to raise me. To use the old cliche, it's not you, it's me. I just couldn't (and still can rarely) put my self together enough to properly communicate with more than a very few. I'm going to try harder from now and I'm incredibly sorry if I've upset any of you. I never intended to.

Please don't feel you have to reply to this. It's not a cry for help or pity. It's just me attempting to explain why I've been such a flake in the last four months.

This entry was originally posted at http://lizziec.dreamwidth.org/433438.html. There are currently comment count unavailable comments on the original entry.
lizziec: (MASH - Hawkeye Trapper bromance)
Um. Hi. *waves*

So I've been gone a while and feel I owe you an explanation. Here it is.

Most of you know I've been struggling for the past year with a flare up /relapse of my depression and anxiety. In October, in an effort to help fix me, my gp had me change my meds. In order to start new ones I had to go off the old ones and that messed me up. My flare up got worse and, as usually happens when I'm fucked up mentally I found it difficult to connect with, well, anything - books, TV, writing and especially people.

Because I find connecting so spoons depleting, I tend to cut it down to a minimum, talking to only 2 or 3 people on a regular basis because that's all I can cope with.

Things are a bit better. I'm finding connecting a bit less hard. It's not exactly easy yet, but this post is me trying.

I'm sorry I haven't been around much. I'm sorry I've ignored communications from those who have tried to raise me. To use the old cliche, it's not you, it's me. I just couldn't (and still can rarely) put my self together enough to properly communicate with more than a very few. I'm going to try harder from now and I'm incredibly sorry if I've upset any of you. I never intended to.

Please don't feel you have to reply to this. It's not a cry for help or pity. It's just me attempting to explain why I've been such a flake in the last four months.
lizziec: (Default)
I think it's a reflex among pretty much everyone who talks to other people. When someone asks you how you are, unless you know someone very well or are particularly good at sharing, the default response is "ok" or "fine". Especially because when people ask "how are you?" it's more a social reflex than a genuine desire to know how you are, because more often than not the asker doesn't really want the full answer to the question because usually the answer is more complicated and messy than anyone really wants to get into in what is essentially a superficial social interaction.

In any case, my default reaction is to say "ok" and move on. I did it tonight when someone on IRC asked me how I was. I've been feeling a bit guilty since then because the truth is I'm not okay. I'm not crumbled into a little bits. I'm functioning and working and that in itself is a good thing. But right now I'm quite a long way from okay. I'm very much hoping that when the first anniversary of mum's death passes in two weeks that I'll start to be ok again. Given I started to be not ok just before mum's birthday and Mothering Sunday (about three weeks ago) it surely has to be that. I'm hoping it will go away soon. But right now, honestly? I'm not okay.

ETA: 23/08/11 no longer filtered

This entry was originally posted at http://lizziec.dreamwidth.org/416686.html. There are currently comments on the original entry.
lizziec: (Default)
I think it's a reflex among pretty much everyone who talks to other people. When someone asks you how you are, unless you know someone very well or are particularly good at sharing, the default response is "ok" or "fine". Especially because when people ask "how are you?" it's more a social reflex than a genuine desire to know how you are, because more often than not the asker doesn't really want the full answer to the question because usually the answer is more complicated and messy than anyone really wants to get into in what is essentially a superficial social interaction.

In any case, my default reaction is to say "ok" and move on. I did it tonight when someone on IRC asked me how I was. I've been feeling a bit guilty since then because the truth is I'm not okay. I'm not crumbled into a little bits. I'm functioning and working and that in itself is a good thing. But right now I'm quite a long way from okay. I'm very much hoping that when the first anniversary of mum's death passes in two weeks that I'll start to be ok again. Given I started to be not ok just before mum's birthday and Mothering Sunday (about three weeks ago) it surely has to be that. I'm hoping it will go away soon. But right now, honestly? I'm not okay.

ETA: 23/08/11 no longer filtered

Grief

10 July 2010 03:07 pm
lizziec: (Stargate SG1 Jack O'Neill (two l's ;)))
Grief is a funny thing. I thought I knew what it had to offer, having been through it once when my dad died, but either I have forgotten or I experienced it in a different way, being, as I was, a child. I think it's probably a combination of the two. It's 19 years this Christmas since daddy died, so it's been a long time, and I'm (obviously) older now, though apparently not so old that being completely parentless doesn't feel extremely premature. I feel much too young for all this.

A lot of the time I feel like I'm doing ok. I'm even managing to enjoy stuff, and I'm not in a depressed puddle on the floor, a situation which I hope continues because it's only this year I've really felt on top of my depression and I don't need to go back to the beginning. Or even to the middle.

Then something will slap me around the face and I will cry and howl like my heart is breaking. It's not triggered by those still several times a day "oh I'll just call mum and say..." thoughts, which always complete before I remember that I can't and won't ever again. They're becoming like a routine part of my day, but still give me a little jolt everytime.

It isn't even triggered by sorting out her affairs (by the way, the Letters of Administration arrived yesterday, so I'm starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel on that one). It's usually triggered by something that completely blindsides me, like her teapot, or a song that makes me think of her.

It's annoying because I'll be bobbing along ok and then whatever that trigger happens to be will hit me and I'll be a wreck for the rest of the day.

On a not entirely unrelated note, I went to see my GP this week to get some more pills, and finished the appointment wondering if I was really doing as well as I thought I was. She said I looked weary and asked what had been happening since I last saw her in the middle of March. So I told her. Really, everything has happened since then - mum's diagnosis, her illness, her death, her funeral, her house sorting. I told her what had happened. Then she asked for more details so I told her. Then she asked about the end and I recounted the last week and then the last 24 hours of mum's life, and I cried. I was booked in for a 10 minute appointment, and she was running half an hour late when she got to me, but she still spent 20 mins with me, and then booked me in for a one off appointment with my old psychiatric nurse, Nikki.

I saw her at 3:30 on Thursday and was good for absolutely nothing the rest of the day. She spent an hour with me, during which I cried pretty much constantly. I had Edexcel work to do that evening and ended up abandoning it. I was as low as I've been in a while, which I think is just related to the hour I'd spent crying. She arranged to see me again in a couple of weeks to make sure I'm still "ok".

Honestly, until I saw my GP and psychiatric nurse, I didn't realise I still had so many emotions left to with this, or so many tears to cry, and I'm not sure where it all came from. I don't think they're all back in the bottle though. And I'm wondering if I'm really doing ok, or whether I'm just glossing over it all, which then leads to me crying for an hour at someone.

Stupid grief and its non-standard, non-linear path.

Grief

10 July 2010 03:07 pm
lizziec: (Stargate SG1 Jack O'Neill (two l's ;)))
Grief is a funny thing. I thought I knew what it had to offer, having been through it once when my dad died, but either I have forgotten or I experienced it in a different way, being, as I was, a child. I think it's probably a combination of the two. It's 19 years this Christmas since daddy died, so it's been a long time, and I'm (obviously) older now, though apparently not so old that being completely parentless doesn't feel extremely premature. I feel much too young for all this.

A lot of the time I feel like I'm doing ok. I'm even managing to enjoy stuff, and I'm not in a depressed puddle on the floor, a situation which I hope continues because it's only this year I've really felt on top of my depression and I don't need to go back to the beginning. Or even to the middle.

Then something will slap me around the face and I will cry and howl like my heart is breaking. It's not triggered by those still several times a day "oh I'll just call mum and say..." thoughts, which always complete before I remember that I can't and won't ever again. They're becoming like a routine part of my day, but still give me a little jolt everytime.

It isn't even triggered by sorting out her affairs (by the way, the Letters of Administration arrived yesterday, so I'm starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel on that one). It's usually triggered by something that completely blindsides me, like her teapot, or a song that makes me think of her.

It's annoying because I'll be bobbing along ok and then whatever that trigger happens to be will hit me and I'll be a wreck for the rest of the day.

On a not entirely unrelated note, I went to see my GP this week to get some more pills, and finished the appointment wondering if I was really doing as well as I thought I was. She said I looked weary and asked what had been happening since I last saw her in the middle of March. So I told her. Really, everything has happened since then - mum's diagnosis, her illness, her death, her funeral, her house sorting. I told her what had happened. Then she asked for more details so I told her. Then she asked about the end and I recounted the last week and then the last 24 hours of mum's life, and I cried. I was booked in for a 10 minute appointment, and she was running half an hour late when she got to me, but she still spent 20 mins with me, and then booked me in for a one off appointment with my old psychiatric nurse, Nikki.

I saw her at 3:30 on Thursday and was good for absolutely nothing the rest of the day. She spent an hour with me, during which I cried pretty much constantly. I had Edexcel work to do that evening and ended up abandoning it. I was as low as I've been in a while, which I think is just related to the hour I'd spent crying. She arranged to see me again in a couple of weeks to make sure I'm still "ok".

Honestly, until I saw my GP and psychiatric nurse, I didn't realise I still had so many emotions left to with this, or so many tears to cry, and I'm not sure where it all came from. I don't think they're all back in the bottle though. And I'm wondering if I'm really doing ok, or whether I'm just glossing over it all, which then leads to me crying for an hour at someone.

Stupid grief and its non-standard, non-linear path.
lizziec: (animals - badgers)
Had a lovely surprise the other night (Thursday) - foo and rah brought Ben up to me, which was amazing. They also brought benji to see me and we all ended up going for dinner after visiting hours, which helped recharge my spoons a little. Ben's heading back to Canterbury, and work today, but it's been amazing to have him around in the meantime. I don't know how I'll ever thank everyone for how amazing they're being.

Mum's still hanging on, but definitely getting a little bit worse every day. The doctors have put a nasogastric tube in to feed mum that way as she can't swallow any more. Any food she tries to eat gets spat back out again, and liquids just dribble out when she next opens her mouth. It's pretty grim to be honest. The downside to the feeding tube is that mum's finding it difficult to breathe with it in. The tumour is blocking off her left nostril, so she can't breathe through it and she can't have the tube up there, so they had to put it up her right nostril, which blocks that off as far as breathing goes. She's now breathing through her mouth only, which is somewhat complicated by the fact that she's now not producing enough saliva making her mouth incredibly dry. She's been prescribed some artifical saliva which has solved the problem somewhat, but it's another indicator of how much worse she's getting.

On the upside, she's off the insulin sliding scale now, and back on metformin, though a liquid version that's put in via her NG tube as she can't swallow. She's still on an IV for fluids though, due to the fact any drink she has comes straight out.

What's most distressing is how confused she was last night. I was hoping it was just because she'd been pulled around a lot yesterday - the NG tube going in, down to XRay to check it was sited correctly, (incidentally, I went there with her and was allowed to stay while they did the XRay and, despite everything, it was pretty cool), back to her room and then getting shuffled around in bed, having the feed connecting and having some trouble breathing, or at least thinking she did.

According to the nurse though, mum was confused again this morning. Last night she kept trying to get up to go to the toilet for a wee even though we kept reassuring her that she had a catheter in. She also kept tugging on the ng tube and towards the end was getting even more confused. She was worrying about the electricity board (why?), saying "he has two assistants" (no idea who has two assistants), and telling me how scared she was.

Being me, and incredibly pessimistic I was expecting the call last night because of that and slept pretty badly.

Mum is still here though, but according to the nurse still trying to get out of bed to go to the toilet. I'm hoping today's visit isn't like yesterdays because I'm not sure I could stand it. It was really really bad. I could handle her dying far better if it didn't feel like she was losing her marbles too. And I don't think it's just the drugs (the nurses pretty much said that if it was the drugs the confusion would have come up before, as she's been on the same combo of drugs for over a week now). Honestly I don't think she's got much longer. I may be being really pessimistic. I'm sure I am. But things just feel really bleak right now.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (animals - badgers)
Had a lovely surprise the other night (Thursday) - foo and rah brought Ben up to me, which was amazing. They also brought benji to see me and we all ended up going for dinner after visiting hours, which helped recharge my spoons a little. Ben's heading back to Canterbury, and work today, but it's been amazing to have him around in the meantime. I don't know how I'll ever thank everyone for how amazing they're being.

Mum's still hanging on, but definitely getting a little bit worse every day. The doctors have put a nasogastric tube in to feed mum that way as she can't swallow any more. Any food she tries to eat gets spat back out again, and liquids just dribble out when she next opens her mouth. It's pretty grim to be honest. The downside to the feeding tube is that mum's finding it difficult to breathe with it in. The tumour is blocking off her left nostril, so she can't breathe through it and she can't have the tube up there, so they had to put it up her right nostril, which blocks that off as far as breathing goes. She's now breathing through her mouth only, which is somewhat complicated by the fact that she's now not producing enough saliva making her mouth incredibly dry. She's been prescribed some artifical saliva which has solved the problem somewhat, but it's another indicator of how much worse she's getting.

On the upside, she's off the insulin sliding scale now, and back on metformin, though a liquid version that's put in via her NG tube as she can't swallow. She's still on an IV for fluids though, due to the fact any drink she has comes straight out.

What's most distressing is how confused she was last night. I was hoping it was just because she'd been pulled around a lot yesterday - the NG tube going in, down to XRay to check it was sited correctly, (incidentally, I went there with her and was allowed to stay while they did the XRay and, despite everything, it was pretty cool), back to her room and then getting shuffled around in bed, having the feed connecting and having some trouble breathing, or at least thinking she did.

According to the nurse though, mum was confused again this morning. Last night she kept trying to get up to go to the toilet for a wee even though we kept reassuring her that she had a catheter in. She also kept tugging on the ng tube and towards the end was getting even more confused. She was worrying about the electricity board (why?), saying "he has two assistants" (no idea who has two assistants), and telling me how scared she was.

Being me, and incredibly pessimistic I was expecting the call last night because of that and slept pretty badly.

Mum is still here though, but according to the nurse still trying to get out of bed to go to the toilet. I'm hoping today's visit isn't like yesterdays because I'm not sure I could stand it. It was really really bad. I could handle her dying far better if it didn't feel like she was losing her marbles too. And I don't think it's just the drugs (the nurses pretty much said that if it was the drugs the confusion would have come up before, as she's been on the same combo of drugs for over a week now). Honestly I don't think she's got much longer. I may be being really pessimistic. I'm sure I am. But things just feel really bleak right now.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (MASH - Hawkeye Trapper bromance)
Well the good news, that I truly did not expect to be writing over the weekend, is that mum is still with us, and in some ways far stronger that we would or could have dared to imagine. For example, she managed a shower yesterday. She is, however, still on what Fiona, the brilliant Macmillan nurse calls a knife edge. She's still not really stable.

We know a little more about what is going on now. Mum has an infection which is making it hard to control her blood sugar, and has been on IV antibiotics for it since she was admitted on Thursday. The antibiotics haven't knocked it out so they started her on a second antibiotic today. They don't know where the infection is though, so obviously that makes it hard to treat. There is a possibility, though I don't know how actually likely it is, that the infection is being caused by the tumour itself (that part of the tissue of the tumour has died and become necrotic - that is, it's rotting away in her head). As of now it is just a theory though.

I think I mentioned the arrhythmia before. It's Arterial Fibrilation, and it is at least under control at the moment.

In her current condition they would not be able to start radiotherapy, and until she is more stable they're certainly not talking about transferring her from St Georges to anywhere, even the Royal Marsden, and are even further away from discussing her discharge.

Mum is a little more awake at the moment than she was over the weekend, which, given how sick she was on Friday will probably not surprise anyone. She also gets tired very easily - just sitting up for 10 mins means she has to sleep for the next hour. The fact that she is more with it and even able to sit up is the silver lining. Here is the cloud.

The tumour symptoms have and are continuing to get much worse. There's a constant nasal discharge, and the numbness and weakness in her face is getting worse. She can barely bite or chew (which is the reason why the doctors are probably going to put in a feeding [NG] tube tomorrow), and when she drinks, most of the liquid comes out again, though because of the numbness she isn't aware of it. The deafness in her left ear is worse, and her right eye is bulging out more. We've been told that the biggest danger of mum dying imminently comes from the fact that the tumour is wrapped her carotid artery. Apparently this could weaken the wall of the artery and lead to a massive bleed, the only upside to which is that it kills pretty painlessly and immediately.

Because mum is so unstable still, Fiona, the brilliant Macmillan nurse, is sorting out a low cost solicitor that they apparently use all the time at the hospital, to come out and help mum sort a will and a power of attorney, so no matter what happens and when, we're covered.

Mum is having good days and bad days, mood wise. Today has been pretty bad. She's been moved to a side room on the same ward and is convinced that she's dying and noone has told her. Which isn't true, as i) she isn't dying in the sense she means it - she's still critical but she was much more obviously about to die on Friday, or Saturday or Sunday, and ii) we have told her everything we know, and whether or not she remembers it, the doctors have too. The reason they've moved her is to make it easier for her to sleep and easier for us to be with her. She's also talking about having the cats put down because "let's face it, I'm not going home again." When I said that whether or not that was true we liked and would care for the cats she looked at me like I was lying, pulled a face and ignored me for a bit.

Like I said, she was having a bad day.

On top of all of this, I'm becoming increasingly aware that I am running out of mental health spoons. Thanks to Ben being so supportive I went into mum's illness with quite a stockpile built up, but I'm becoming aware that I'm nearly out. I'm getting tired out more easily, and getting irritable and bad tempered for no reason, and overreacting to small irritating situations.

This is not good, but I don't really know how to remedy it. Going home to Canterbury would probably help, but if time is very short, I don't want to spend anywhere else - I'm spending visiting hours (all of them) at the hospital, and should she die, I don't want to be in Kent. Being in Coulsdon is already quite far enough from the hospital.

When at mum's (as opposed to the Hospital), other stuff has to be done - Phil and I divide this between ourselves, and ignored this stuff for several days when the danger was most - but it takes time and spoons to do. However, if we were to ignore this stuff we'd end up with no clean clothes, cutlery/crockery or floor/workspace. On top of everything, I'm not sleeping very deeply because part of me is expecting the phone call.

I'm starting to feel the depression again, and the anxiety (though not badly yet, just I'm aware of them). And that's stressing me out even more. I don't want to backslide, but I don't know how to not.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (MASH - Hawkeye Trapper bromance)
Well the good news, that I truly did not expect to be writing over the weekend, is that mum is still with us, and in some ways far stronger that we would or could have dared to imagine. For example, she managed a shower yesterday. She is, however, still on what Fiona, the brilliant Macmillan nurse calls a knife edge. She's still not really stable.

We know a little more about what is going on now. Mum has an infection which is making it hard to control her blood sugar, and has been on IV antibiotics for it since she was admitted on Thursday. The antibiotics haven't knocked it out so they started her on a second antibiotic today. They don't know where the infection is though, so obviously that makes it hard to treat. There is a possibility, though I don't know how actually likely it is, that the infection is being caused by the tumour itself (that part of the tissue of the tumour has died and become necrotic - that is, it's rotting away in her head). As of now it is just a theory though.

I think I mentioned the arrhythmia before. It's Arterial Fibrilation, and it is at least under control at the moment.

In her current condition they would not be able to start radiotherapy, and until she is more stable they're certainly not talking about transferring her from St Georges to anywhere, even the Royal Marsden, and are even further away from discussing her discharge.

Mum is a little more awake at the moment than she was over the weekend, which, given how sick she was on Friday will probably not surprise anyone. She also gets tired very easily - just sitting up for 10 mins means she has to sleep for the next hour. The fact that she is more with it and even able to sit up is the silver lining. Here is the cloud.

The tumour symptoms have and are continuing to get much worse. There's a constant nasal discharge, and the numbness and weakness in her face is getting worse. She can barely bite or chew (which is the reason why the doctors are probably going to put in a feeding [NG] tube tomorrow), and when she drinks, most of the liquid comes out again, though because of the numbness she isn't aware of it. The deafness in her left ear is worse, and her right eye is bulging out more. We've been told that the biggest danger of mum dying imminently comes from the fact that the tumour is wrapped her carotid artery. Apparently this could weaken the wall of the artery and lead to a massive bleed, the only upside to which is that it kills pretty painlessly and immediately.

Because mum is so unstable still, Fiona, the brilliant Macmillan nurse, is sorting out a low cost solicitor that they apparently use all the time at the hospital, to come out and help mum sort a will and a power of attorney, so no matter what happens and when, we're covered.

Mum is having good days and bad days, mood wise. Today has been pretty bad. She's been moved to a side room on the same ward and is convinced that she's dying and noone has told her. Which isn't true, as i) she isn't dying in the sense she means it - she's still critical but she was much more obviously about to die on Friday, or Saturday or Sunday, and ii) we have told her everything we know, and whether or not she remembers it, the doctors have too. The reason they've moved her is to make it easier for her to sleep and easier for us to be with her. She's also talking about having the cats put down because "let's face it, I'm not going home again." When I said that whether or not that was true we liked and would care for the cats she looked at me like I was lying, pulled a face and ignored me for a bit.

Like I said, she was having a bad day.

On top of all of this, I'm becoming increasingly aware that I am running out of mental health spoons. Thanks to Ben being so supportive I went into mum's illness with quite a stockpile built up, but I'm becoming aware that I'm nearly out. I'm getting tired out more easily, and getting irritable and bad tempered for no reason, and overreacting to small irritating situations.

This is not good, but I don't really know how to remedy it. Going home to Canterbury would probably help, but if time is very short, I don't want to spend anywhere else - I'm spending visiting hours (all of them) at the hospital, and should she die, I don't want to be in Kent. Being in Coulsdon is already quite far enough from the hospital.

When at mum's (as opposed to the Hospital), other stuff has to be done - Phil and I divide this between ourselves, and ignored this stuff for several days when the danger was most - but it takes time and spoons to do. However, if we were to ignore this stuff we'd end up with no clean clothes, cutlery/crockery or floor/workspace. On top of everything, I'm not sleeping very deeply because part of me is expecting the phone call.

I'm starting to feel the depression again, and the anxiety (though not badly yet, just I'm aware of them). And that's stressing me out even more. I don't want to backslide, but I don't know how to not.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (turtle hugs)
I'm having something of a rest day today, as my Sundays in Canterbury have all been to some extent since this has all kicked off. We try to get everything errandy or houseworky done on Saturday so I can chill on Sunday, which is much needed.

Having said that, I woke up this morning crying after a dream in which my brother died of Cancer (why it was Phil and not mum I don't know), which wasn't the best start to a morning ever - waking up crying really sucks :/. Thankfully the rest of the day has improved on that and I'm feeling rather more rested than I did. Roast dinner tonight. MMmmm :)

After talking briefly to mum, and in a little more detail to Phil, (and going from advice from lots of people) I've decided to stay in Canterbury for a few days. Well, sort of, anyway.

The hospital will be calling tomorrow, hopefully with some idea of what the tumour is. If it's one that needs urgent treatment then I'll head up straight away (I'm "only" an hour away, and I'm packing first thing, just in case) and take her to the hospital. She'll probably need an hour to sort herself out properly anyway. If they say that it's not Urgent (for certain values of urgent anyway) I'll stay until Wednesday, heading up for the consult on Thursday at St Georges when we'll find out for sure.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered

With the worst case scenareo meaning driving up tomorrow morning, I'll at least get an extra night in my own bed with my own things, and that can't be bad. That's what I keep telling myself anyway, to help deal with the irrational guilt I feel at not heading back now, or first thing tomorrow for certain.
lizziec: (turtle hugs)
I'm having something of a rest day today, as my Sundays in Canterbury have all been to some extent since this has all kicked off. We try to get everything errandy or houseworky done on Saturday so I can chill on Sunday, which is much needed.

Having said that, I woke up this morning crying after a dream in which my brother died of Cancer (why it was Phil and not mum I don't know), which wasn't the best start to a morning ever - waking up crying really sucks :/. Thankfully the rest of the day has improved on that and I'm feeling rather more rested than I did. Roast dinner tonight. MMmmm :)

After talking briefly to mum, and in a little more detail to Phil, (and going from advice from lots of people) I've decided to stay in Canterbury for a few days. Well, sort of, anyway.

The hospital will be calling tomorrow, hopefully with some idea of what the tumour is. If it's one that needs urgent treatment then I'll head up straight away (I'm "only" an hour away, and I'm packing first thing, just in case) and take her to the hospital. She'll probably need an hour to sort herself out properly anyway. If they say that it's not Urgent (for certain values of urgent anyway) I'll stay until Wednesday, heading up for the consult on Thursday at St Georges when we'll find out for sure.

With the worst case scenareo meaning driving up tomorrow morning, I'll at least get an extra night in my own bed with my own things, and that can't be bad. That's what I keep telling myself anyway, to help deal with the irrational guilt I feel at not heading back now, or first thing tomorrow for certain.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (animals - gerbil - stan eating)
I slept the clock around last night. I'd gone to bed at 1am on Sunday night and got up at 5:30 and was clearly shattered by the end of the day as I fell asleep at about 10pm and woke up at around 10am, feeling much better, though from there I've become progressively fed up, grumpy and down. I suppose it's just one of those days.

Mum was released from the Day Surgery Unit at around 2 or 3pm yesterday feeling "as if [she] could run a mile". I suppose that's uber hospital drugs for you. The doctor took several samples of the tumour and while he was there he cleared out a bunch of gunk (mostly pus as I understand it) from mum's sinuses, so she feels much less congested at least, though it hasn't helped with any of the major tumour symptoms (the numbness and muscle weakness in her face, eye, nose, mouth; difficulty eating; deafness in one ear; shaking [a newish symptom] etc), it has slowed the perma-nosebleed to almost nothing, which I think is a great relief to us. Mr Tesco delivered some supplies with the groceries (namely micropore and gauze) so if it starts again we can rig up our own nose sling in imitation of the one they rigged up for mum yesterday at the hospital.

Results of the biopsy are due Thursday and my aunt (who has worked at St Georges and still volunteers there) told me yesterday that she was arranging everything. She's scouted out the best dropping off place, is arranging for a wheelchair to meet us there in case mum's unsteady on her feet (she's needed a wheelchair the last two times we've been to hospital) and tracked down the medical receptionist/admin type person who deals with the specific clinic and they're making sure that everything that is needed is there as a favour to my aunt. I guess knowing someone really can make a difference, and let's be frank - having a medical receptionist/secretary/admin person on your side can make a real difference.

While mum was feeling good I managed to have a couple of conversations with her about stuff that needed to be done, people to see and phone calls to make. It was apparently the perfect time as she felt like listening and was also feeling pessmistic about her prognosis, which while not ideal, meant that she gave some of my ideas the thought they at least deserved.

Got a response from Careline (attached to Diabetes UK) today, who I contacted yesterday with a panicked enquiry about the stupid diabetic nurses' comments that all weight loss was good when it came to type 2. Careline basically agreed with Macmillan (and directed me to them) about how uncontrolled, cancer related weight loss is bad and mum should see about getting referred to a proper, specialist dietician as a priority. It's been added to a list of things to ask her GP about when she next sees him (along with asking for different/better anti-emetics as the ones she has don't seem to work well and make her very sleepy). Take that stupid diabetes nurse!

As I mentioned I seem to have spent a good deal of this afternoon getting wound up with various things and increasingly fed up. Not entirely sure why everything is getting to me today, but it's not helpful. At one point I had a long list of things I was annoyed and fed up about. Thankfully reeling the list off to [livejournal.com profile] benc over the phone and a lesser list to [livejournal.com profile] red_pill in person helped a little.

Pondering going home (Canterbury) on Thursday night, but it all depends on what happens on Thursday's ENT appointment. I'm finding it difficult to see past that at the moment, which I suppose (looking at it objectively) isn't helping my mood much.

Phil's first driving lesson tomorrow, which is rather scary. Coulsdon and Wallington, you have been warned. Stay off the roads :P

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (animals - gerbil - stan eating)
I slept the clock around last night. I'd gone to bed at 1am on Sunday night and got up at 5:30 and was clearly shattered by the end of the day as I fell asleep at about 10pm and woke up at around 10am, feeling much better, though from there I've become progressively fed up, grumpy and down. I suppose it's just one of those days.

Mum was released from the Day Surgery Unit at around 2 or 3pm yesterday feeling "as if [she] could run a mile". I suppose that's uber hospital drugs for you. The doctor took several samples of the tumour and while he was there he cleared out a bunch of gunk (mostly pus as I understand it) from mum's sinuses, so she feels much less congested at least, though it hasn't helped with any of the major tumour symptoms (the numbness and muscle weakness in her face, eye, nose, mouth; difficulty eating; deafness in one ear; shaking [a newish symptom] etc), it has slowed the perma-nosebleed to almost nothing, which I think is a great relief to us. Mr Tesco delivered some supplies with the groceries (namely micropore and gauze) so if it starts again we can rig up our own nose sling in imitation of the one they rigged up for mum yesterday at the hospital.

Results of the biopsy are due Thursday and my aunt (who has worked at St Georges and still volunteers there) told me yesterday that she was arranging everything. She's scouted out the best dropping off place, is arranging for a wheelchair to meet us there in case mum's unsteady on her feet (she's needed a wheelchair the last two times we've been to hospital) and tracked down the medical receptionist/admin type person who deals with the specific clinic and they're making sure that everything that is needed is there as a favour to my aunt. I guess knowing someone really can make a difference, and let's be frank - having a medical receptionist/secretary/admin person on your side can make a real difference.

While mum was feeling good I managed to have a couple of conversations with her about stuff that needed to be done, people to see and phone calls to make. It was apparently the perfect time as she felt like listening and was also feeling pessmistic about her prognosis, which while not ideal, meant that she gave some of my ideas the thought they at least deserved.

Got a response from Careline (attached to Diabetes UK) today, who I contacted yesterday with a panicked enquiry about the stupid diabetic nurses' comments that all weight loss was good when it came to type 2. Careline basically agreed with Macmillan (and directed me to them) about how uncontrolled, cancer related weight loss is bad and mum should see about getting referred to a proper, specialist dietician as a priority. It's been added to a list of things to ask her GP about when she next sees him (along with asking for different/better anti-emetics as the ones she has don't seem to work well and make her very sleepy). Take that stupid diabetes nurse!

As I mentioned I seem to have spent a good deal of this afternoon getting wound up with various things and increasingly fed up. Not entirely sure why everything is getting to me today, but it's not helpful. At one point I had a long list of things I was annoyed and fed up about. Thankfully reeling the list off to [livejournal.com profile] benc over the phone and a lesser list to [livejournal.com profile] red_pill in person helped a little.

Pondering going home (Canterbury) on Thursday night, but it all depends on what happens on Thursday's ENT appointment. I'm finding it difficult to see past that at the moment, which I suppose (looking at it objectively) isn't helping my mood much.

Phil's first driving lesson tomorrow, which is rather scary. Coulsdon and Wallington, you have been warned. Stay off the roads :P

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (NCIS gibbs abby protection)
Got to Mayday for the hastily arranged ENT appointment about half an hour early and were seen immediately by the doctor. I can't say I was overly impressed with his bedside manner, though it improved some way into the appointment where we reached a mutual understanding. A little more on that further in.

To start with the doctor was very brisk, and wanted to know mum's history with this problem starting from the beginning which upset and frustrated her, so I'm not sure he got a complete picture. Then without any prep time at all went to stick a camera up her nose to see what was going on up there, which completely understandably completely upset mum. She started to cry and said that she hadn't expected that - which was fair as we were just told to be there, no details more than that - and the doctor got kind of frustrated and said that he'd only been handed the case the evening before and had squeezed us into his clinic as a favour to the Neurologist that mum had seen before and was seeing lots more patients in clinic today than he had timeslots for. I guess that explains why we got seen as soon as we got there rather than at a specific time. After we understood he was rushed and he understood mum was scared and uninformed about what the appointment would involve he became much better bedside manner wise. It's a shame it took tears and stuff to get to that point.

He had a go at getting the camera up mum's left nostril, but it didn't go very far as he kept hitting something which I believe was the tumour (he got mum to have a go at blowing her nose, but the blockage didn't move at all), and the attempt looked like it hurt an awful lot (judging by the way mum gripped my hand). It went fine up the right nostril, and appeared to hurt mum much less.

He appeared rather concerned and disappeared for a bit to arrange some things, and then came back to his office to make calls to further arrange things while we were in there. It amused me to hear him sweet talking nurses in much the same way I sweet talk people when I need something.

Anyway, he'd thought that the tumour needed biopsying asap and managed to squeeze mum into his Monday morning list for a biopsy under a general anaesthetic. The rest of the time at the hospital involved heading to the day surgery ward to get pre-admitted and see an anaesthetist (though not the one who'll be doing mum tomorrow) to be checked anaesthetic wise. Was informed that the major risk is that it doesn't stop bleeding after the biopsy is taken and if that happens her nose (through which the biopsy is being taken) will be packed and she'll be sent from Mayday (in Croydon, where all the appointments so far have been, and where the biopsy will be done tomorrow) to St Georges (in Tooting) to be admitted. Really hope that won't happen, but am pondering putting a bag of jammies and washing supplies in the car tomorrow morning just in case, in the hope being prepared will ward off problems.

The follow up to the biopsy will be at St Georges, where the doctor is actually based. He told us how to get there by public transport as he explained that the parking situation (and traffic on the way) is pretty bad, even for him. It was good of him to explain the transport options but I really don't think that mum is up to public transport at the moment. She had a turn while at Mayday on Friday and needed a wheelchair to get her out to the car again. Managed to sort out alternative arrangements that don't involve public transport, thankfully. My auntie and uncle live very very close (a mile or so) to St Georges, and my auntie has worked there (and still volunteers there) so we'll be parking the car at their house and my uncle will drop us off and pick us up, avoiding, hopefully, the parking problems at the hospital without exhausting mum.

All told, it looks like we'll know by Thursday afternoon what the tumour is and some sort of prognosis. The doctor on Friday didn't tell us at all about the MRI and what it showed, though I know he had the report in mum's file, but I know that between inital diagnosis of the tumour and now she is much much worse. Her left eye is completely non-functional, the huge nosebleeds every couple of weeks have evolved into a continuous drip/dribble of blood, she's almost deaf in her left ear and eating has become more of a challenge. Almost the entirety of the left hand side of her face is numb and tingly now, and the nausea and vomiting is worse. The anaesthetist we saw on Friday suggested mum start taking the anti sick pills at night as a matter of course to hopefully ward off the worst of it.

Off to Coulsdon again soon. We have to be at the hospital for 7:30 am tomorrow, which is quite unholy. I decided I'd rather sleep at mum's and get up early than sleep here and get up in what is essentially the middle of the night and drive there then. I think tomorrow will be quite long enough without starting at 4am. All the same, leaving here for Coulsdon is getting harder each week, though I'm not sure whether it's because I'm eating into my mood/spoons reserves each time I spend a week there, or because the situation is getting harder in itself.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (NCIS gibbs abby protection)
Got to Mayday for the hastily arranged ENT appointment about half an hour early and were seen immediately by the doctor. I can't say I was overly impressed with his bedside manner, though it improved some way into the appointment where we reached a mutual understanding. A little more on that further in.

To start with the doctor was very brisk, and wanted to know mum's history with this problem starting from the beginning which upset and frustrated her, so I'm not sure he got a complete picture. Then without any prep time at all went to stick a camera up her nose to see what was going on up there, which completely understandably completely upset mum. She started to cry and said that she hadn't expected that - which was fair as we were just told to be there, no details more than that - and the doctor got kind of frustrated and said that he'd only been handed the case the evening before and had squeezed us into his clinic as a favour to the Neurologist that mum had seen before and was seeing lots more patients in clinic today than he had timeslots for. I guess that explains why we got seen as soon as we got there rather than at a specific time. After we understood he was rushed and he understood mum was scared and uninformed about what the appointment would involve he became much better bedside manner wise. It's a shame it took tears and stuff to get to that point.

He had a go at getting the camera up mum's left nostril, but it didn't go very far as he kept hitting something which I believe was the tumour (he got mum to have a go at blowing her nose, but the blockage didn't move at all), and the attempt looked like it hurt an awful lot (judging by the way mum gripped my hand). It went fine up the right nostril, and appeared to hurt mum much less.

He appeared rather concerned and disappeared for a bit to arrange some things, and then came back to his office to make calls to further arrange things while we were in there. It amused me to hear him sweet talking nurses in much the same way I sweet talk people when I need something.

Anyway, he'd thought that the tumour needed biopsying asap and managed to squeeze mum into his Monday morning list for a biopsy under a general anaesthetic. The rest of the time at the hospital involved heading to the day surgery ward to get pre-admitted and see an anaesthetist (though not the one who'll be doing mum tomorrow) to be checked anaesthetic wise. Was informed that the major risk is that it doesn't stop bleeding after the biopsy is taken and if that happens her nose (through which the biopsy is being taken) will be packed and she'll be sent from Mayday (in Croydon, where all the appointments so far have been, and where the biopsy will be done tomorrow) to St Georges (in Tooting) to be admitted. Really hope that won't happen, but am pondering putting a bag of jammies and washing supplies in the car tomorrow morning just in case, in the hope being prepared will ward off problems.

The follow up to the biopsy will be at St Georges, where the doctor is actually based. He told us how to get there by public transport as he explained that the parking situation (and traffic on the way) is pretty bad, even for him. It was good of him to explain the transport options but I really don't think that mum is up to public transport at the moment. She had a turn while at Mayday on Friday and needed a wheelchair to get her out to the car again. Managed to sort out alternative arrangements that don't involve public transport, thankfully. My auntie and uncle live very very close (a mile or so) to St Georges, and my auntie has worked there (and still volunteers there) so we'll be parking the car at their house and my uncle will drop us off and pick us up, avoiding, hopefully, the parking problems at the hospital without exhausting mum.

All told, it looks like we'll know by Thursday afternoon what the tumour is and some sort of prognosis. The doctor on Friday didn't tell us at all about the MRI and what it showed, though I know he had the report in mum's file, but I know that between inital diagnosis of the tumour and now she is much much worse. Her left eye is completely non-functional, the huge nosebleeds every couple of weeks have evolved into a continuous drip/dribble of blood, she's almost deaf in her left ear and eating has become more of a challenge. Almost the entirety of the left hand side of her face is numb and tingly now, and the nausea and vomiting is worse. The anaesthetist we saw on Friday suggested mum start taking the anti sick pills at night as a matter of course to hopefully ward off the worst of it.

Off to Coulsdon again soon. We have to be at the hospital for 7:30 am tomorrow, which is quite unholy. I decided I'd rather sleep at mum's and get up early than sleep here and get up in what is essentially the middle of the night and drive there then. I think tomorrow will be quite long enough without starting at 4am. All the same, leaving here for Coulsdon is getting harder each week, though I'm not sure whether it's because I'm eating into my mood/spoons reserves each time I spend a week there, or because the situation is getting harder in itself.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (carebare grumpy sleeping)
Yesterday was a much better day for a couple of reasons. First, I got out for a bit a couple of times (getting some ginger tea and some peppermint tea, and some water biscuits to help mum with her nausea and vomiting; going to Coulsdon for a little bit of a wander with mum later), and secondly I achieved some stuff. I have a feeling that those things are quite important in making me feel useful and thus better about being here.

Mum had pretty bad nausea and vomiting on Monday and during Monday night, but started to feel better on Tuesday morning, though still very tired. She cancelled some visitors who were supposed to be coming in the morning and rested and managed to eat something, and by Lunchtime felt up to attempting to go out, so we took it in several steps, which seemed to help her. Pension first, then Coulsdon itself. First to Coulsdon Hardware to get a new mop and bucket (having broken mum's mop during the great room tidy project - it was very funny, Phil looked all forlorn and said looking very sad "I could have sworn [the squeegee mechanism] would have worked before I actually broke it...), then as she was still doing ok we went on to the butchers for some sausages for tomorrow night, then as she was still doing ok we went on to the Coffee place that has sprung up in Coulsdon since I moved away/the bypass was built. A cold drink from there and some carrot cake seemed to do wonders for perking mum up, as, I'm pretty sure, did just getting out. The whole trip wiped her out, but she said she felt better for it.

While she had a sleep I went to work playing with the mop trialling the mop, before losing interest mopping the floors in the kitchen and the bathroom, and hoovering all the other floors while I was at it and had the vacuum cleaner out. I'm pretty sure that the kitchen floor is better for it. I hope so anyway, because it was hard work.

My adventures in cleaning did reveal to me some interesting personality traits in my mum's cats though. George, who is enormous and I think likes to think of himself as a bit of a hard man, is a big scaredy cat who is terrified of the vacuum cleaner. When I went near his chosen sitting place with it on he jumped up and ran away. On the other hand, Violet, who is his sister and very petite, wasn't scared of the vacuum or the mop, or the fact the kitchen floor was wet, and stayed put in the kitchen on her chosen worktop the whole time I was working in there. But curiously I found out while was taking a break that Violet is scared of 80's Power Ballads. While I was taking a break and listening to a rather eclectic mix of music, Violet was curled up next to me asleep. Every time an 80's Power Ballad came on, she'd jump up and look a bit freaked out and need some fussing before she'd relax again. It was very cute. And funny. And I'm clearly mean ;)

The rest of the afternoon and evening was spent in my little room again, catching up on various internet things, including the CBB, where I asked for prayers and thoughts to do with this situation and everyone has been overwhelmingly amazing. I can't express how touched I am with the responses, especially towards someone who is largely a lurker now and most people don't know well, but will have a go later at expressing it anyway, because they deserve to know how awesome they are.

Anyway, while I was geeking around with my laptop I became aware of being very cold. I assumed I was just being a big girly wuss, especially as this room is colder than the others because of an air vent in the wall. About half 7 I finally got around to checking on the radiator and it was stone cold at a time when I knew it should be on, and discovered that the gas had run out (I'd forgotten how much of a pain these type of meters could be). Ended up taking the gas card and the electric key down to the place in the valley that tops them up and decided while I was out I'd get a pizza for dinner because I really couldn't be bothered to cook by this time. All this meant I was back a bit later than I otherwise would have been and I walked into a gaggle (if two plus a toddler is a gaggle) of Mormons, so my pizza went cold while we all talked. As most of you know, I'm no longer a Mormon, and my time with them was often rather, um, fraught, but one of the people (Good Guy) who was there is the only one who consistently stood by my family through everything and who still talks to, and is on good terms with us. Which is the reason I didn't shoo him out of the door faster.

Mum resigned from the church finally last year sometime over the Church's interference with California's Proposition 8 last year, and has foregone contact with them (except for Good Guy) for long before that, so it was a bit of a surprise to see this man with his Home Teaching companion. They'd come to offer mum a Priesthood Blessing as apparently when Good Guy saw her on Sunday to see if there was anything he could do, he offered one and mum said she'd think about it.

Anyway, she decided that actually she didn't want one and proceeded to doze through the rest of the visit - good for her - while I chatted because after about 6 years out, and 6 years inactive before, and what they did to me and my family (lots of hurt/bitterness still) that I still don't feel like I can be rude to them. Gah. Still, the visit did result in Good Guy saying he'd do some basic garden maintenance for us, which is good because Phil and I are too busy (and I'm too inept when it comes to garden stuff) and mum too ill to be able to do it ourselves. I also chatted to the Home Teaching Companion about UKC, where he was a student at KLS until 2007, which was quite nice. Alas, I fear I have given away too much of my location to him in my desire to express how much I loved Canterbury. Hope we don't end up with a visit from the missionaries...

When I finally got to my pizza it was lukewarm, fading to cold before the end :( I've no idea how they manage it, but Mormons seem very good at turning up when dinner is nearly or actually ready and then talking until it's cold :(

Currently waiting for the Tesco delivery to arrive and feeling the early and cold today. I'd then go back to sleep and be a big lazy thing, but it's mum's payday and if she feels up to it has a number of things she wants to do.


Much later - Tesco turned up, food is all put away. Think I may have ordered too much. Fridge and Freezer cannae take much more captain! Also managed to have a shower, in preparation for venturing to Croydon later if mum feels up to it.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (carebare grumpy sleeping)
Yesterday was a much better day for a couple of reasons. First, I got out for a bit a couple of times (getting some ginger tea and some peppermint tea, and some water biscuits to help mum with her nausea and vomiting; going to Coulsdon for a little bit of a wander with mum later), and secondly I achieved some stuff. I have a feeling that those things are quite important in making me feel useful and thus better about being here.

Mum had pretty bad nausea and vomiting on Monday and during Monday night, but started to feel better on Tuesday morning, though still very tired. She cancelled some visitors who were supposed to be coming in the morning and rested and managed to eat something, and by Lunchtime felt up to attempting to go out, so we took it in several steps, which seemed to help her. Pension first, then Coulsdon itself. First to Coulsdon Hardware to get a new mop and bucket (having broken mum's mop during the great room tidy project - it was very funny, Phil looked all forlorn and said looking very sad "I could have sworn [the squeegee mechanism] would have worked before I actually broke it...), then as she was still doing ok we went on to the butchers for some sausages for tomorrow night, then as she was still doing ok we went on to the Coffee place that has sprung up in Coulsdon since I moved away/the bypass was built. A cold drink from there and some carrot cake seemed to do wonders for perking mum up, as, I'm pretty sure, did just getting out. The whole trip wiped her out, but she said she felt better for it.

While she had a sleep I went to work playing with the mop trialling the mop, before losing interest mopping the floors in the kitchen and the bathroom, and hoovering all the other floors while I was at it and had the vacuum cleaner out. I'm pretty sure that the kitchen floor is better for it. I hope so anyway, because it was hard work.

My adventures in cleaning did reveal to me some interesting personality traits in my mum's cats though. George, who is enormous and I think likes to think of himself as a bit of a hard man, is a big scaredy cat who is terrified of the vacuum cleaner. When I went near his chosen sitting place with it on he jumped up and ran away. On the other hand, Violet, who is his sister and very petite, wasn't scared of the vacuum or the mop, or the fact the kitchen floor was wet, and stayed put in the kitchen on her chosen worktop the whole time I was working in there. But curiously I found out while was taking a break that Violet is scared of 80's Power Ballads. While I was taking a break and listening to a rather eclectic mix of music, Violet was curled up next to me asleep. Every time an 80's Power Ballad came on, she'd jump up and look a bit freaked out and need some fussing before she'd relax again. It was very cute. And funny. And I'm clearly mean ;)

The rest of the afternoon and evening was spent in my little room again, catching up on various internet things, including the CBB, where I asked for prayers and thoughts to do with this situation and everyone has been overwhelmingly amazing. I can't express how touched I am with the responses, especially towards someone who is largely a lurker now and most people don't know well, but will have a go later at expressing it anyway, because they deserve to know how awesome they are.

Anyway, while I was geeking around with my laptop I became aware of being very cold. I assumed I was just being a big girly wuss, especially as this room is colder than the others because of an air vent in the wall. About half 7 I finally got around to checking on the radiator and it was stone cold at a time when I knew it should be on, and discovered that the gas had run out (I'd forgotten how much of a pain these type of meters could be). Ended up taking the gas card and the electric key down to the place in the valley that tops them up and decided while I was out I'd get a pizza for dinner because I really couldn't be bothered to cook by this time. All this meant I was back a bit later than I otherwise would have been and I walked into a gaggle (if two plus a toddler is a gaggle) of Mormons, so my pizza went cold while we all talked. As most of you know, I'm no longer a Mormon, and my time with them was often rather, um, fraught, but one of the people (Good Guy) who was there is the only one who consistently stood by my family through everything and who still talks to, and is on good terms with us. Which is the reason I didn't shoo him out of the door faster.

Mum resigned from the church finally last year sometime over the Church's interference with California's Proposition 8 last year, and has foregone contact with them (except for Good Guy) for long before that, so it was a bit of a surprise to see this man with his Home Teaching companion. They'd come to offer mum a Priesthood Blessing as apparently when Good Guy saw her on Sunday to see if there was anything he could do, he offered one and mum said she'd think about it.

Anyway, she decided that actually she didn't want one and proceeded to doze through the rest of the visit - good for her - while I chatted because after about 6 years out, and 6 years inactive before, and what they did to me and my family (lots of hurt/bitterness still) that I still don't feel like I can be rude to them. Gah. Still, the visit did result in Good Guy saying he'd do some basic garden maintenance for us, which is good because Phil and I are too busy (and I'm too inept when it comes to garden stuff) and mum too ill to be able to do it ourselves. I also chatted to the Home Teaching Companion about UKC, where he was a student at KLS until 2007, which was quite nice. Alas, I fear I have given away too much of my location to him in my desire to express how much I loved Canterbury. Hope we don't end up with a visit from the missionaries...

When I finally got to my pizza it was lukewarm, fading to cold before the end :( I've no idea how they manage it, but Mormons seem very good at turning up when dinner is nearly or actually ready and then talking until it's cold :(

Currently waiting for the Tesco delivery to arrive and feeling the early and cold today. I'd then go back to sleep and be a big lazy thing, but it's mum's payday and if she feels up to it has a number of things she wants to do.


Much later - Tesco turned up, food is all put away. Think I may have ordered too much. Fridge and Freezer cannae take much more captain! Also managed to have a shower, in preparation for venturing to Croydon later if mum feels up to it.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (animals - Tiptoes cat)
It's been a bad day for both mum and me today. She's had the nausea and vomiting and lack of energy that she's been getting frequently from what we now know is the tumour (though I don't know if it's the Primary, the Secondary or both making her like that), so she's spent most of the day asleep (and getting the sweats from the tramadol which the hospital gave her for the pain, which is just the crown on feeling crappy anyway, I would imagine).

On top of that, the hospital have yet to call and tell us when the MRI is going to be, so there's a fair bit of sitting around twiddling thumbs and I'm really struggling with that. When mum's downstairs, as she is a lot, because it's easier for her to breathe and whatnot when sitting in a comfy chair down there than in bed up here, she has the tv on to what she wants, and has the volume up fairly loud, so as a general rule I'm happier elsewhere. In addition, I want my own space very much and so because of all of these factors I've been hiding out in my room (who'd have thought that at 26 and married I would be saying that again?) most of today. I ache from sitting on a bed or a floor all day.

It's also Monday, so I'm furthest away from being home again, and even though it's a short week as far as being away from Ben is concerned, I miss him, and it feels like a very long time before I see him again. I miss our flat, I miss our gerbils, I miss home cooking, I miss our companionable silences.

I'm sorry for the whining, I truly am. I'm very low, mood-wise right now and I just need to vent before it gets too much.

On the upside, I did the computery part of a tesco order for mum (she told me what was needed and I did the typing and ordering of the things), so at least one good thing has been achieved today. And I just remembered that I also called about postal voting, so I suppose that's two. And hopefully tomorrow will be better.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (animals - Tiptoes cat)
It's been a bad day for both mum and me today. She's had the nausea and vomiting and lack of energy that she's been getting frequently from what we now know is the tumour (though I don't know if it's the Primary, the Secondary or both making her like that), so she's spent most of the day asleep (and getting the sweats from the tramadol which the hospital gave her for the pain, which is just the crown on feeling crappy anyway, I would imagine).

On top of that, the hospital have yet to call and tell us when the MRI is going to be, so there's a fair bit of sitting around twiddling thumbs and I'm really struggling with that. When mum's downstairs, as she is a lot, because it's easier for her to breathe and whatnot when sitting in a comfy chair down there than in bed up here, she has the tv on to what she wants, and has the volume up fairly loud, so as a general rule I'm happier elsewhere. In addition, I want my own space very much and so because of all of these factors I've been hiding out in my room (who'd have thought that at 26 and married I would be saying that again?) most of today. I ache from sitting on a bed or a floor all day.

It's also Monday, so I'm furthest away from being home again, and even though it's a short week as far as being away from Ben is concerned, I miss him, and it feels like a very long time before I see him again. I miss our flat, I miss our gerbils, I miss home cooking, I miss our companionable silences.

I'm sorry for the whining, I truly am. I'm very low, mood-wise right now and I just need to vent before it gets too much.

On the upside, I did the computery part of a tesco order for mum (she told me what was needed and I did the typing and ordering of the things), so at least one good thing has been achieved today. And I just remembered that I also called about postal voting, so I suppose that's two. And hopefully tomorrow will be better.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (carebare grumpy sleeping)
The bed came at about 2:30pm and is now built and the room is looking vaguely welcoming, which is good, because next week I'll be sleeping in it for five nights.

Made it home through terrible weather at about 7ish. Was rather grumpy but so glad to be home. My home, with my things and my husband, who had even done my chores so I didn't have anything to do when I got in, which is something I'm more grateful for than I can even express right now.

I'm also incredibly grateful for my friends at the moment who have all been supportive in various ways and I don't know what I'd have done in the last few days without their help. Not having any friends in Croydon is actually one of the hardest things about spending a lot of time at mum's in the last few weeks, and the thing I'm going to really struggle with in the coming months if I continue what will start next week and spend 5 days at mum's and only 2(ish) at home.

I rely on my friends a lot for my sanity, and sometimes it really helps a lot if I can just go out for an afternoon or an evening with them, even if we don't necessarily talk about deep things. The only people I know in Coulsdon/Croydon now are my mum and brother, and it makes getting out more difficult. I'm very dull and find it difficult to be out on my own. I'd much rather have someone to have coffee with, or walk with or whatever. I'm not quite sure yet how I'll find a way around it.

Another thing I need to figure out sooner rather than later is how to make the room I'll be sleeping in a bit more my space and less stark spare room. Starting to wish I hadn't got rid of the posters I had before/during Uni. They'd be a start.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (carebare grumpy sleeping)
The bed came at about 2:30pm and is now built and the room is looking vaguely welcoming, which is good, because next week I'll be sleeping in it for five nights.

Made it home through terrible weather at about 7ish. Was rather grumpy but so glad to be home. My home, with my things and my husband, who had even done my chores so I didn't have anything to do when I got in, which is something I'm more grateful for than I can even express right now.

I'm also incredibly grateful for my friends at the moment who have all been supportive in various ways and I don't know what I'd have done in the last few days without their help. Not having any friends in Croydon is actually one of the hardest things about spending a lot of time at mum's in the last few weeks, and the thing I'm going to really struggle with in the coming months if I continue what will start next week and spend 5 days at mum's and only 2(ish) at home.

I rely on my friends a lot for my sanity, and sometimes it really helps a lot if I can just go out for an afternoon or an evening with them, even if we don't necessarily talk about deep things. The only people I know in Coulsdon/Croydon now are my mum and brother, and it makes getting out more difficult. I'm very dull and find it difficult to be out on my own. I'd much rather have someone to have coffee with, or walk with or whatever. I'm not quite sure yet how I'll find a way around it.

Another thing I need to figure out sooner rather than later is how to make the room I'll be sleeping in a bit more my space and less stark spare room. Starting to wish I hadn't got rid of the posters I had before/during Uni. They'd be a start.

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (apod - milky-way eating)
I suppose, really, that I should have taken photos of each stage of this, because it was a mammoth undertaking. I didn't though, so you'll all have to put up with boring old text :)

When we first moved in to our flat, Ben's parents very kindly gave us an old sofa of theirs. It was leather and a little worn, but basically sound, very comfy and, most importantly as we had no money after buying essentials like a fridge freezer, was free.

Cut to four and a half years later, and the sofa was rather a lot worse for wear. The leather had cracked in the seats, and so was held together from the inside with duct tape. One of the struts had gone, so it was saggy and the lining under the cushions had split open so stuff kept falling right down. Basically it was on borrowed time before it completely disintegrated and we knew it.

With that in mind, we went Sofa shopping, and after much deliberation, we found one we liked at Harveys (the three seater "Clarissa") and having measured our hall, our old sofa and the new one, we were certain we could fit it in. The dimensions were all within a couple of centimetres. So we ordered it, we paid for it and we waited 4-6 weeks for it to be delivered.

And right now I'm so unbelievably pissed off because I finished writing this, only to lose it because LJ logged me out and I'm an idiot who didn't copy paste it before logging back in so LJ *helpfully* restored the last saved draft which involved losing over three quarters of what I had already written. So the rest of this is a rewrite of what I've already done once and my heart isn't really in it.

So four to six weeks later we moved everything in the flat around so that we could fit the new sofa in. This was no mean feat, because our flat has been full to bursting for the last two years or so and we've just been coming up with ever more inventive ways to fit things in. This particular moving of stuff involved taking everything out of the hall - two bookcases full of books, computers and assorted internet paraphernalia, coats and shoes, printer, ironing board and clothes horse, fan... No, our hall is not some sort of Tardis, just very packed ;) It also involved moving two bookcases full of books and another two cd racks from the living room so that the doorway was clear. For the record, 3 of the bookcases ended up in the bedroom where they now form a sort of library ;) The CD towers are still there as well. The layout made enough sense that we decided not to move the stuff back.

Anyway, after lots of hard work to clear a path, we then had to get the old sofa out (which we did and put it safely in the garage for a couple of days) so we could get the new one in. I arranged for it to be picked up by the Council, who did so on the morning of our next rubbish collection, which was handily on the morning the new sofa was being delivered. I think that by the title, and this statement, most of you can guess that what happened next was not straightforward. Really I should have known better than to arrange for our old sofa to go before we had the new one safe and sound in our living room. Alas. I am an idiot who bites her thumb at the fates ;)

The sofa delivery men arrived about an hour or so after the council men had come to get the old sofa. They came up to see what obstacles were in their way and the first and clearly senior man declared that the new sofa would not fit. We had measured everything and were convinced he was wrong, so he brought up the sofa to prove it. And he was right. We had the sofa men try getting it in several ways. We tried getting it in several ways. There was no getting around the fact that this shiny new sofa just would not fit. The problem lay in two places. First, we have a funny corner you have to get around to get into the living room, and this prevented us lying it down horizontally and sliding it through the door that way, and it was too high to get in vertically. Secondly, although this sofa was more or less the same size as the old one the edges are all hard, whereas they were squishy on the old one, so they squished to get round awkward things. There was literally no more than 2cm between us and the sofa getting through the door into the space where it would certainly fit.

The delivery men suggested two possible solutions. Option A involved them leaving the sofa with us and (they suggested) swapping our bedroom with our living room. Ben and I quickly realised that that plan was a no-go for a number of reasons. Option B was that they took the sofa with them back to Harveys. Option B was at this point looking the most palatable, so Ben called Harveys to see what they could offer us if we chose to do that. I say he called - he had to, because I was having a freak out (hysterical tears) by this point, convinced that it was all my fault because I'd taken the initial measurements, and that I could never have nice things and I never would again because I'd messed the sofa business up so badly. I think that this is probably an example of what my old Mental Health Nurse would have called "Catastrophic Thinking".

Anyway, Ben called Harveys and they told us they could give us 50% of what we paid for the sofa if we returned it because making it fit was our responsibility and if it didn't they weren't actually obliged to give us anything. They said that they would then take a £50 charge out of the store credit to cover the cost of bringing the sofa back from our flat, where it was currently vertical on one end in the hall, and then when we picked a new sofa they'd take another £50 for delivering a new one. Basically, when all was said and done, we were looking at getting nothing back and essentially losing all the money that we had paid for the perfectly good sofa in our hall.

After this call, we decided to pick Option C, which was to keep the thing and figure out something. And Ben had the beginnings of a Very Cunning Plan.

The shiny Sofa sat in our hall for the best part of a week while Ben gathered his plans and tools. This involved borrowing a Jigsaw (the power tool, not the puzzle) from dmc, buying lots of supplies from toolstation, and an electric screwdriver from B&Q. Finally, his plan was ready to be put in to action, and to be honest, it scared me rather a lot, but I'd been sitting on a beanbag whenever I was in the living room for the best part of week by this time and ready for drastic action that could have ended with severed fingers.

It turns out that the new sofa basically has a box made of MDF or chipboard or something at each end where the arms are, which aren't structural. So Ben picked the staples out of the fabric at the bottom of the sofa at one end, which was pretty difficult because the staples are cheap and kept breaking, then peeled the fabric back ([Edit] Ben says this staple remover deserves an honourable mention in this story. Possibly because he couldn't have managed the staples without it. Anyway, if you need a staple remover, that one is awesome, apparently).

Next he used the jigsaw to cut the box about half way down (this was higher than Ben is tall, and where the plan could have ended with severed fingers as he was jigsawing above his head, and possibly the scariest thing I have ever witnessed), we slid it into the living room as it now fitted under the door easily being about half a foot shorter than it had been previously and then Ben put the end back together with mending plates. It took forever. There is literally barely a millimetre of the join that is not covered by one mending plate or another. After this was done, he pulled the fabric back over the end and stapled it down again. Apart from the alarming creaking noise it made the first time it was sat on, it's not moved or made a noise since, and we've now been using it for 4 months or so. Ben thinks it may be stronger now with all the mending plates than it was before.

Regardless, it's now in, and not being moved again until we move. What we'll do then, I don't know. Possibly the procedure in reverse, or maybe leaving it for the removal company to try and get it out while scratching our heads and sounding bewildered that it doesn't fit given it went in.

I tell this story largely as a cautionary tale to anyone even considering new furniture. Measure, measure, measure. And that there is usually a Plan C, even were one doesn't appear to be readily available.


The sofa in situ


When I lost this entry, I got a case of the fuckits and considered giving up. I went and washed up instead and I'm glad I re-wrote it. I got into the swing again, and I think it was worth it.

lizziec: (apod - milky-way eating)
I suppose, really, that I should have taken photos of each stage of this, because it was a mammoth undertaking. I didn't though, so you'll all have to put up with boring old text :)

When we first moved in to our flat, Ben's parents very kindly gave us an old sofa of theirs. It was leather and a little worn, but basically sound, very comfy and, most importantly as we had no money after buying essentials like a fridge freezer, was free.

Cut to four and a half years later, and the sofa was rather a lot worse for wear. The leather had cracked in the seats, and so was held together from the inside with duct tape. One of the struts had gone, so it was saggy and the lining under the cushions had split open so stuff kept falling right down. Basically it was on borrowed time before it completely disintegrated and we knew it.

With that in mind, we went Sofa shopping, and after much deliberation, we found one we liked at Harveys (the three seater "Clarissa") and having measured our hall, our old sofa and the new one, we were certain we could fit it in. The dimensions were all within a couple of centimetres. So we ordered it, we paid for it and we waited 4-6 weeks for it to be delivered.

And right now I'm so unbelievably pissed off because I finished writing this, only to lose it because LJ logged me out and I'm an idiot who didn't copy paste it before logging back in so LJ *helpfully* restored the last saved draft which involved losing over three quarters of what I had already written. So the rest of this is a rewrite of what I've already done once and my heart isn't really in it.

So four to six weeks later we moved everything in the flat around so that we could fit the new sofa in. This was no mean feat, because our flat has been full to bursting for the last two years or so and we've just been coming up with ever more inventive ways to fit things in. This particular moving of stuff involved taking everything out of the hall - two bookcases full of books, computers and assorted internet paraphernalia, coats and shoes, printer, ironing board and clothes horse, fan... No, our hall is not some sort of Tardis, just very packed ;) It also involved moving two bookcases full of books and another two cd racks from the living room so that the doorway was clear. For the record, 3 of the bookcases ended up in the bedroom where they now form a sort of library ;) The CD towers are still there as well. The layout made enough sense that we decided not to move the stuff back.

Anyway, after lots of hard work to clear a path, we then had to get the old sofa out (which we did and put it safely in the garage for a couple of days) so we could get the new one in. I arranged for it to be picked up by the Council, who did so on the morning of our next rubbish collection, which was handily on the morning the new sofa was being delivered. I think that by the title, and this statement, most of you can guess that what happened next was not straightforward. Really I should have known better than to arrange for our old sofa to go before we had the new one safe and sound in our living room. Alas. I am an idiot who bites her thumb at the fates ;)

The sofa delivery men arrived about an hour or so after the council men had come to get the old sofa. They came up to see what obstacles were in their way and the first and clearly senior man declared that the new sofa would not fit. We had measured everything and were convinced he was wrong, so he brought up the sofa to prove it. And he was right. We had the sofa men try getting it in several ways. We tried getting it in several ways. There was no getting around the fact that this shiny new sofa just would not fit. The problem lay in two places. First, we have a funny corner you have to get around to get into the living room, and this prevented us lying it down horizontally and sliding it through the door that way, and it was too high to get in vertically. Secondly, although this sofa was more or less the same size as the old one the edges are all hard, whereas they were squishy on the old one, so they squished to get round awkward things. There was literally no more than 2cm between us and the sofa getting through the door into the space where it would certainly fit.

The delivery men suggested two possible solutions. Option A involved them leaving the sofa with us and (they suggested) swapping our bedroom with our living room. Ben and I quickly realised that that plan was a no-go for a number of reasons. Option B was that they took the sofa with them back to Harveys. Option B was at this point looking the most palatable, so Ben called Harveys to see what they could offer us if we chose to do that. I say he called - he had to, because I was having a freak out (hysterical tears) by this point, convinced that it was all my fault because I'd taken the initial measurements, and that I could never have nice things and I never would again because I'd messed the sofa business up so badly. I think that this is probably an example of what my old Mental Health Nurse would have called "Catastrophic Thinking".

Anyway, Ben called Harveys and they told us they could give us 50% of what we paid for the sofa if we returned it because making it fit was our responsibility and if it didn't they weren't actually obliged to give us anything. They said that they would then take a £50 charge out of the store credit to cover the cost of bringing the sofa back from our flat, where it was currently vertical on one end in the hall, and then when we picked a new sofa they'd take another £50 for delivering a new one. Basically, when all was said and done, we were looking at getting nothing back and essentially losing all the money that we had paid for the perfectly good sofa in our hall.

After this call, we decided to pick Option C, which was to keep the thing and figure out something. And Ben had the beginnings of a Very Cunning Plan.

The shiny Sofa sat in our hall for the best part of a week while Ben gathered his plans and tools. This involved borrowing a Jigsaw (the power tool, not the puzzle) from dmc, buying lots of supplies from toolstation, and an electric screwdriver from B&Q. Finally, his plan was ready to be put in to action, and to be honest, it scared me rather a lot, but I'd been sitting on a beanbag whenever I was in the living room for the best part of week by this time and ready for drastic action that could have ended with severed fingers.

It turns out that the new sofa basically has a box made of MDF or chipboard or something at each end where the arms are, which aren't structural. So Ben picked the staples out of the fabric at the bottom of the sofa at one end, which was pretty difficult because the staples are cheap and kept breaking, then peeled the fabric back ([Edit] Ben says this staple remover deserves an honourable mention in this story. Possibly because he couldn't have managed the staples without it. Anyway, if you need a staple remover, that one is awesome, apparently).

Next he used the jigsaw to cut the box about half way down (this was higher than Ben is tall, and where the plan could have ended with severed fingers as he was jigsawing above his head, and possibly the scariest thing I have ever witnessed), we slid it into the living room as it now fitted under the door easily being about half a foot shorter than it had been previously and then Ben put the end back together with mending plates. It took forever. There is literally barely a millimetre of the join that is not covered by one mending plate or another. After this was done, he pulled the fabric back over the end and stapled it down again. Apart from the alarming creaking noise it made the first time it was sat on, it's not moved or made a noise since, and we've now been using it for 4 months or so. Ben thinks it may be stronger now with all the mending plates than it was before.

Regardless, it's now in, and not being moved again until we move. What we'll do then, I don't know. Possibly the procedure in reverse, or maybe leaving it for the removal company to try and get it out while scratching our heads and sounding bewildered that it doesn't fit given it went in.

I tell this story largely as a cautionary tale to anyone even considering new furniture. Measure, measure, measure. And that there is usually a Plan C, even were one doesn't appear to be readily available.


The sofa in situ


When I lost this entry, I got a case of the fuckits and considered giving up. I went and washed up instead and I'm glad I re-wrote it. I got into the swing again, and I think it was worth it.
lizziec: (MASH - Hawkeye Trapper bromance)
I actually wrote this about a year ago, but I'm posting it now, just because :)

I saw Goodbye, Farewell and Amen, the M*A*S*H finale the other day. It's not the first time I’ve seen it – when I was first at University some kind American recorded it for me from cable TV over there (on a PAL tape even!) and sent it over, for which I was very grateful. It was however, the first time I’ve seen it for about 5 years, and this was certainly the first time since I’ve been ill. It must have really spoken to me, because I’ve not been able to stop thinking about it since.

In it Hawkeye, a character who had been teetering on the edge of some sort of mental illness or combat stress since the start of the series 11 years before, has a sort of breakdown and ends up under the care of a psychiatrist in a hospital "pulling shrapnel from [his] memory".

Over the course of the episode the psychiatrist got Hawkeye back to his job, patching up wounded soldiers at the M*A*S*H unit, though he was by no means the same man, and was clearly struggling with life and his job.

All I’ve been able to think ever since (and this is ridiculous given that he is a fictional character) is how that man is never going to be the same again. Maybe it is because I am struggling with these issues myself at the moment, but I can’t stop thinking about how he will be forever changed, more fragile, lower self esteem, never as sure of himself again. The constant doubt that he is getting better, he will get better, he will ever be really better. The constant sense that something, an indefinable something, has been lost. The inability to remember who he really was before.

And it makes me want to cry.

lizziec: (MASH - Hawkeye Trapper bromance)
I actually wrote this about a year ago, but I'm posting it now, just because :)

I saw Goodbye, Farewell and Amen, the M*A*S*H finale the other day. It's not the first time I’ve seen it – when I was first at University some kind American recorded it for me from cable TV over there (on a PAL tape even!) and sent it over, for which I was very grateful. It was however, the first time I’ve seen it for about 5 years, and this was certainly the first time since I’ve been ill. It must have really spoken to me, because I’ve not been able to stop thinking about it since.

In it Hawkeye, a character who had been teetering on the edge of some sort of mental illness or combat stress since the start of the series 11 years before, has a sort of breakdown and ends up under the care of a psychiatrist in a hospital "pulling shrapnel from [his] memory".

Over the course of the episode the psychiatrist got Hawkeye back to his job, patching up wounded soldiers at the M*A*S*H unit, though he was by no means the same man, and was clearly struggling with life and his job.

All I’ve been able to think ever since (and this is ridiculous given that he is a fictional character) is how that man is never going to be the same again. Maybe it is because I am struggling with these issues myself at the moment, but I can’t stop thinking about how he will be forever changed, more fragile, lower self esteem, never as sure of himself again. The constant doubt that he is getting better, he will get better, he will ever be really better. The constant sense that something, an indefinable something, has been lost. The inability to remember who he really was before.

And it makes me want to cry.
lizziec: (XKCD drunk)
Firstly I feel I should mention the US election. Yay! Obama won! :D I wanted him to win, and have thrown aside my cynicism for now to become really excited by a politician. A terribly important milestone too - the first black president of the USA :D I hope he could be like Kennedy for my generation. Except for the sleaze. And the Assassination. Definitely don't want those bits. So maybe not like Kennedy, maybe more like staying as awesome as he seems now when he's actually President.

The less said about Prop8 in Cali and an organisation I was formerly a member of, the better.

Now that's out of the way, two rather important milestones happened to me today.

I. I turned 25 sometime around midday today. I suppose I'm now officially on the wrong side of 25 now ;) . I have had a lovely day, and got some lovely presents and cards. Huge thanks to everyone who has wished me a happy birthday so far :) (Various on irc, some via text, [livejournal.com profile] alisondh and [livejournal.com profile] malmo58 on lj, and a couple via facebook). Thank you all - they were really appreciated.

II. My final appointment with Nikki the Mental Health nurse was today, and we talked over some stuff about keeping well, dealing with triggers, preventing relapse and what to be aware of in terms of signs that I might be relapsing. Also lots of stuff about rebuilding trust in myself and my wellness, so one bad day doesn't panic me or those close to me. I'm told this is pretty much the last thing that comes back. I'm feeling pretty positive tonight at least, and I'll be happy if I maintain this level of okayness for a year. If I do, then comes the Big Scary of coming off the pills. But that's in the future. I want to use this space now to thank everyone who has supported me over the last 18 months or so. I couldn't have done it without you guys, whether you are aware of having helped or not. Now the Black Dog is banished to his Kennel. I hope he stays there.

So for tonight I'm celebrating two huge milestones for me - being 25 and being discharged from the Mental Health team. Yay! Come celebrate with me :D Drinks on someone else!

balloons
lizziec: (XKCD drunk)
Firstly I feel I should mention the US election. Yay! Obama won! :D I wanted him to win, and have thrown aside my cynicism for now to become really excited by a politician. A terribly important milestone too - the first black president of the USA :D I hope he could be like Kennedy for my generation. Except for the sleaze. And the Assassination. Definitely don't want those bits. So maybe not like Kennedy, maybe more like staying as awesome as he seems now when he's actually President.

The less said about Prop8 in Cali and an organisation I was formerly a member of, the better.

Now that's out of the way, two rather important milestones happened to me today.

I. I turned 25 sometime around midday today. I suppose I'm now officially on the wrong side of 25 now ;) . I have had a lovely day, and got some lovely presents and cards. Huge thanks to everyone who has wished me a happy birthday so far :) (Various on irc, some via text, [livejournal.com profile] alisondh and [livejournal.com profile] malmo58 on lj, and a couple via facebook). Thank you all - they were really appreciated.

II. My final appointment with Nikki the Mental Health nurse was today, and we talked over some stuff about keeping well, dealing with triggers, preventing relapse and what to be aware of in terms of signs that I might be relapsing. Also lots of stuff about rebuilding trust in myself and my wellness, so one bad day doesn't panic me or those close to me. I'm told this is pretty much the last thing that comes back. I'm feeling pretty positive tonight at least, and I'll be happy if I maintain this level of okayness for a year. If I do, then comes the Big Scary of coming off the pills. But that's in the future. I want to use this space now to thank everyone who has supported me over the last 18 months or so. I couldn't have done it without you guys, whether you are aware of having helped or not. Now the Black Dog is banished to his Kennel. I hope he stays there.

So for tonight I'm celebrating two huge milestones for me - being 25 and being discharged from the Mental Health team. Yay! Come celebrate with me :D Drinks on someone else!

balloons
lizziec: (Rocks fall)
Having made it through Edexcel marking and Clearing more or less in one piece I'm now starting to look at jobs and I've found one I want to apply for.

I've become rather stymied by the "Do you consider yourself to have a disability" question. Thing is, I'm much better than I was, I have to be or I wouldn't consider applying for jobs at all and those closest to me wouldn't let me, but I've been off work for a year, and a year long gap doesn't look good on a CV. I'm still seeing my counsellor and I'm still on happy pills, and though I'm winding down visits to my counsellor I'm probably going to be on the pills for at least another year to make sure I'm properly better and try and stop any relapse. Apparently the first year is when I'm most vulnerable to it. My gut says I should declare it, but I also feel like a bit of a fraud for even considering it.

"The University operates under the Two ticks scheme which means we will interview all applicants with a disability who meet the minimum criteria for a job vacancy and consider them on their abilities". This is rather valuable, and I feel it's my only shot at an interview given the huge gap on my CV when I was essentially "doing nothing", but am I really disabled as it's counted?

The University say: When answering this question, please note that under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 a disability is defined as ‘a mental or physical impairment which has a substantial and long term effect upon your ability to carry out normal day to day activities.’.

[Poll #1246569]

(Please post any expansion on this or thoughts in comments below)

I can't help but feel that this would all be easier if I were visibly physically disabled.

Any (helpful) advice or comments you lot could give would be really great. I'm feeling very mixed up about this, and a tad anxious about giving the "wrong" answer if I'm completely honest. I mean, I was never on benefits while off work (the forms scared me) so never really "disabled" in the eyes of the government. I just don't know what to say :|
lizziec: (Rocks fall)
Having made it through Edexcel marking and Clearing more or less in one piece I'm now starting to look at jobs and I've found one I want to apply for.

I've become rather stymied by the "Do you consider yourself to have a disability" question. Thing is, I'm much better than I was, I have to be or I wouldn't consider applying for jobs at all and those closest to me wouldn't let me, but I've been off work for a year, and a year long gap doesn't look good on a CV. I'm still seeing my counsellor and I'm still on happy pills, and though I'm winding down visits to my counsellor I'm probably going to be on the pills for at least another year to make sure I'm properly better and try and stop any relapse. Apparently the first year is when I'm most vulnerable to it. My gut says I should declare it, but I also feel like a bit of a fraud for even considering it.

"The University operates under the Two ticks scheme which means we will interview all applicants with a disability who meet the minimum criteria for a job vacancy and consider them on their abilities". This is rather valuable, and I feel it's my only shot at an interview given the huge gap on my CV when I was essentially "doing nothing", but am I really disabled as it's counted?

The University say: When answering this question, please note that under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 a disability is defined as ‘a mental or physical impairment which has a substantial and long term effect upon your ability to carry out normal day to day activities.’.

[Poll #1246569]

(Please post any expansion on this or thoughts in comments below)

I can't help but feel that this would all be easier if I were visibly physically disabled.

Any (helpful) advice or comments you lot could give would be really great. I'm feeling very mixed up about this, and a tad anxious about giving the "wrong" answer if I'm completely honest. I mean, I was never on benefits while off work (the forms scared me) so never really "disabled" in the eyes of the government. I just don't know what to say :|
lizziec: (acid)
Today the NHS turns 60, and I want to wish it a very happy birthday and wish it well for the next 60. I know there are plenty of problems with it, I am not blinkered enough to say that there could not be improvements, but I believe that it is one of the greatest achievements of this country, especially in the post-World War II period. Here's why.

In 1900 (that's only 108 years ago) in this country:
* Life expectancy was below 50 years
* 163 out of every 1000 babies born died before they reached the age of 1 (that's 16.3%)
* The majority of families could not afford to see a doctor

The government refused to interfere as the emphasis at this point in time was on a "laissez-faire" country, meaning that things should be left to take their own course. It was believed that interference by the Government would strangle the economy, so generally people were left to sink or swim as they could. During the latter years of the 19th Century, and the early years of the 20th Century many reports began to come out which drew attention to the plight of the poor, which was reinforced by something of a recruitment crisis for the army during the Boer War. Of those who volunteered 35% (over a third) were rejected as medically unfit, generally because of problems related to poverty.

This changed in 1906 when the Liberal Party was elected, with David Lloyd George as their Chancellor of the Exchequor, and what followed was a package of reforms that ultimately led to a constitutional crisis. The reforms included the setting up of Old Age Pensions, free school meals (which went quite some way to tackling malnutrition among the poor), slum clearance programmes and Labour Exchanges (see here for more information).

The most pertinent reform to what I'm discussing today was the 1911 National Health Insurance act, which brought in various safeguards for those in employment who could afford to contribute to a scheme, which would then pay for them to go see a doctor if ill, and pay a small sum every week if the contributor were unemployed or unable to work. The government paid a sum to the scheme, as did the employer. The limitations of this scheme were numerous. It only covered those able to work, which at this period were mostly men, and even then the only hospitalisation it payed for was sanitorium treatment for TB. It did not cover those earning too little to be able to afford to contribute, children, the elderly, women, and those who were chronically and mentally ill. As a result, many still relied on the quack remedies that they had done before the scheme came in to force. The sad truth was that despite the advances in Medicine that had taken place, most people could not access it. The major problems with NHI showed themselves in the 1930s during the Great Depression when so many were out of work, and so many accounts in arrears (upwards of 4 million) that the companies running the schemes made no profit, which was compounded when the government reduced its contribution.

The turning point came with the Second World War. The Government were in possession of some rather terrifying figures about expected casualty rates as a result of any enemy bombing action, which thankfully never came to pass, though the Government did not know this at the start of the war. Expected Casualties (because I found this during my dissertation research and I think it's really interesting) ) As a result the Government planned various strategies to deal with the expected casualties (including a stockpile of cardboard coffins). The one relevant to this "History of the NHS", is the Emergency Hospital Scheme, which was funded and run by the Government and was "designed to serve the purpose of a moment" - to look after those injured in the war, especially bombing victims. Under this scheme any treatment needed, including hospitalisation, was free. It was during this period, in 1942, the the Beveridge Report was published which proposed a "free national health service" as a way of combating the five 'Giant Evils' of Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness. The Conservatives, who nominally had the majority in the Commons at this time (though there was actually a "Government of National Unity" in power) refused to commit to putting in place the reforms, which was one of the reasons why they were beaten so comprehensively by the Labour party in the 1945 General Election. One of their first acts when they got in to power was the 1946 National Health Service Act, which provided in law for a free and comprehensive health care system.

The first day of this National Health Service was to be 5th July 1948 but there was an enormous amount of work that had to take place before it could start, including the nationalisation of Hospitals, the creation of health centres, the better/fairer distribution of doctors around the country and the creation of a new salary structure. On top of all this work, there was a huge amount of opposition (as with any large and sudden change). Most Local Authorities and Charitable Organisations who had previously run hospitals were opposed, as were doctors, who did not want to be employed by the government, or told where to work. In fact, at the beginning of 1948 90% of doctors said that they would not co-operate with the NHS. There was also opposition from many who were scared by the huge costs involved, but Aneurin Bevan who was Minister for Health at this time argued that Britain could afford it, and had to afford it. Bevan worked extremely hard to ensure the creation of the NHS, and by hook or by crook (he allowed doctors to work for the NHS and keep private patients while getting the public to sign up with doctors for the NHS - if a doctor didn't sign the form, he risked losing the patient [and the funding that came with them] to a doctor who would), made sure that over 90% of doctors had signed up by the opening day.

The benefits of the NHS were visible very quickly, especially in those groups which had not been covered until its creation. Maternal and infant mortality levels fell very quickly and life expectancy rose, especially as the new techniques and drugs (such as Penicillin) became available at no cost to people who would have died for want of them.

In 2008 we're looking at:
* An average life expectancy of 77 years, with more and more living until 100.
* An average of 5.2 out of every 1000 babies dying before the age of 1 (0.52%) [figures from 2006]
* Everyone can see a doctor, irrespective of whether they can pay

What I'm trying to say in an incredibly long winded way is that the NHS may not be perfect, but in comparison to what we have had before it is amazing, and I sometimes think we lose sight of just how brilliant it is amongst all the complaining about the things that are wrong and the compromises that sometimes have to be made.

My dad was chronically ill with Type 1 Diabetes most of his life, and we did not have to pay towards his care. His final illness and the two weeks spent in intensive care did not bankrupt us. My sister was born 15 weeks prematurely and spent her 16 hours of life receiving the best care available in 1982, and my parents were not left with a crippling bill as well as a dead daughter. When my mum hurt her back and she was in bed for 6 weeks her care (a physio, home help twice a day, doctors visits, nurse visits) did not cost us. When my mum was pregnant with me and was kept in hospital for most of those 9 months my parents did not have to check her out because they were worried about the cost, nor did they have to worry about the bill they were getting at the end. When I was ill with depression I did not have to worry about the cost of my prescriptions or my counselling. The times Phil has injured himself we have not had to worry about the bill from the Hospital for getting him checked out. Ben and I have not had to worry that while I've been off work I've been without coverage for my health (or traded electricity/food/rent for insurance coverage).

I think there's a lot to be said for that. So Happy Birthday NHS, here's to many many more.

ETA: Pretty much 1500 words. I wrote as much as that in some of my degree essays. Sorry guys!

ETA2 (2011): Since I wrote this my mum died from a rare form of Cancer. Her care was second to none and nothing was denied her on grounds of cost. We were not left with crippling bills, and not having to worry about finding money for her care made her last weeks and days easier for everyone.

lizziec: (acid)
Today the NHS turns 60, and I want to wish it a very happy birthday and wish it well for the next 60. I know there are plenty of problems with it, I am not blinkered enough to say that there could not be improvements, but I believe that it is one of the greatest achievements of this country, especially in the post-World War II period. Here's why.

In 1900 (that's only 108 years ago) in this country:
* Life expectancy was below 50 years
* 163 out of every 1000 babies born died before they reached the age of 1 (that's 16.3%)
* The majority of families could not afford to see a doctor

The government refused to interfere as the emphasis at this point in time was on a "laissez-faire" country, meaning that things should be left to take their own course. It was believed that interference by the Government would strangle the economy, so generally people were left to sink or swim as they could. During the latter years of the 19th Century, and the early years of the 20th Century many reports began to come out which drew attention to the plight of the poor, which was reinforced by something of a recruitment crisis for the army during the Boer War. Of those who volunteered 35% (over a third) were rejected as medically unfit, generally because of problems related to poverty.

This changed in 1906 when the Liberal Party was elected, with David Lloyd George as their Chancellor of the Exchequor, and what followed was a package of reforms that ultimately led to a constitutional crisis. The reforms included the setting up of Old Age Pensions, free school meals (which went quite some way to tackling malnutrition among the poor), slum clearance programmes and Labour Exchanges (see here for more information).

The most pertinent reform to what I'm discussing today was the 1911 National Health Insurance act, which brought in various safeguards for those in employment who could afford to contribute to a scheme, which would then pay for them to go see a doctor if ill, and pay a small sum every week if the contributor were unemployed or unable to work. The government paid a sum to the scheme, as did the employer. The limitations of this scheme were numerous. It only covered those able to work, which at this period were mostly men, and even then the only hospitalisation it payed for was sanitorium treatment for TB. It did not cover those earning too little to be able to afford to contribute, children, the elderly, women, and those who were chronically and mentally ill. As a result, many still relied on the quack remedies that they had done before the scheme came in to force. The sad truth was that despite the advances in Medicine that had taken place, most people could not access it. The major problems with NHI showed themselves in the 1930s during the Great Depression when so many were out of work, and so many accounts in arrears (upwards of 4 million) that the companies running the schemes made no profit, which was compounded when the government reduced its contribution.

The turning point came with the Second World War. The Government were in possession of some rather terrifying figures about expected casualty rates as a result of any enemy bombing action, which thankfully never came to pass, though the Government did not know this at the start of the war. Expected Casualties (because I found this during my dissertation research and I think it's really interesting) ) As a result the Government planned various strategies to deal with the expected casualties (including a stockpile of cardboard coffins). The one relevant to this "History of the NHS", is the Emergency Hospital Scheme, which was funded and run by the Government and was "designed to serve the purpose of a moment" - to look after those injured in the war, especially bombing victims. Under this scheme any treatment needed, including hospitalisation, was free. It was during this period, in 1942, the the Beveridge Report was published which proposed a "free national health service" as a way of combating the five 'Giant Evils' of Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness. The Conservatives, who nominally had the majority in the Commons at this time (though there was actually a "Government of National Unity" in power) refused to commit to putting in place the reforms, which was one of the reasons why they were beaten so comprehensively by the Labour party in the 1945 General Election. One of their first acts when they got in to power was the 1946 National Health Service Act, which provided in law for a free and comprehensive health care system.

The first day of this National Health Service was to be 5th July 1948 but there was an enormous amount of work that had to take place before it could start, including the nationalisation of Hospitals, the creation of health centres, the better/fairer distribution of doctors around the country and the creation of a new salary structure. On top of all this work, there was a huge amount of opposition (as with any large and sudden change). Most Local Authorities and Charitable Organisations who had previously run hospitals were opposed, as were doctors, who did not want to be employed by the government, or told where to work. In fact, at the beginning of 1948 90% of doctors said that they would not co-operate with the NHS. There was also opposition from many who were scared by the huge costs involved, but Aneurin Bevan who was Minister for Health at this time argued that Britain could afford it, and had to afford it. Bevan worked extremely hard to ensure the creation of the NHS, and by hook or by crook (he allowed doctors to work for the NHS and keep private patients while getting the public to sign up with doctors for the NHS - if a doctor didn't sign the form, he risked losing the patient [and the funding that came with them] to a doctor who would), made sure that over 90% of doctors had signed up by the opening day.

The benefits of the NHS were visible very quickly, especially in those groups which had not been covered until its creation. Maternal and infant mortality levels fell very quickly and life expectancy rose, especially as the new techniques and drugs (such as Penicillin) became available at no cost to people who would have died for want of them.

In 2008 we're looking at:
* An average life expectancy of 77 years, with more and more living until 100.
* An average of 5.2 out of every 1000 babies dying before the age of 1 (0.52%) [figures from 2006]
* Everyone can see a doctor, irrespective of whether they can pay

What I'm trying to say in an incredibly long winded way is that the NHS may not be perfect, but in comparison to what we have had before it is amazing, and I sometimes think we lose sight of just how brilliant it is amongst all the complaining about the things that are wrong and the compromises that sometimes have to be made.

My dad was chronically ill with Type 1 Diabetes most of his life, and we did not have to pay towards his care. His final illness and the two weeks spent in intensive care did not bankrupt us. My sister was born 15 weeks prematurely and spent her 16 hours of life receiving the best care available in 1982, and my parents were not left with a crippling bill as well as a dead daughter. When my mum hurt her back and she was in bed for 6 weeks her care (a physio, home help twice a day, doctors visits, nurse visits) did not cost us. When my mum was pregnant with me and was kept in hospital for most of those 9 months my parents did not have to check her out because they were worried about the cost, nor did they have to worry about the bill they were getting at the end. When I was ill with depression I did not have to worry about the cost of my prescriptions or my counselling. The times Phil has injured himself we have not had to worry about the bill from the Hospital for getting him checked out. Ben and I have not had to worry that while I've been off work I've been without coverage for my health (or traded electricity/food/rent for insurance coverage).

I think there's a lot to be said for that. So Happy Birthday NHS, here's to many many more.

ETA: Pretty much 1500 words. I wrote as much as that in some of my degree essays. Sorry guys!

ETA2 (2011): Since I wrote this my mum died from a rare form of Cancer. Her care was second to none and nothing was denied her on grounds of cost. We were not left with crippling bills, and not having to worry about finding money for her care made her last weeks and days easier for everyone.
lizziec: (potterpuffs - ravenclaw)
Watching the news today I'm shocked that the economy hasn't completely collapsed. As The Daily Mash said this morning: "STOCKBROKERS are preparing for a third day of running around and waving their hands in the air, shouting 'nooooooooooooooooooo!!!'."

The amount of doom and gloom has been amusing, but possibly because right now I have nothing to lose. In a fantastic scheduling coincidence, True Movies has the whole of this afternoon taken up with The Day The Bubble Burst, a film about the 1929 Stock Market crash. Seems rather apt ;)

On the local news there was no Kaddy doing the weather to keep the boys amused and hanging onto every second of the bulletin, instead, there was Michael Fish with a rather strange (but cool) tank top with weather symbols covering his nipples. I don't think [livejournal.com profile] benc will think it a good enough substitute.

Michael Fish's Jumper )

My new meds are kicking in now, and instead of feeling very fuzzy, dizzy and somewhat stoned while also sleeping for about 18 hours each day I woke up before midday (a first since Saturday) and have felt relatively with it. A pity I have to up the dose tonight when I expect the aforementioned side effects to come back. At least I know they won't continue forever. On the upside, I am now sleeping through the night :)

Spent friday night playing GH1, 2 and 3 at Adam's house. There was also curry eaten. I'm much better at GH than I was the last time we had such an evening, which resulted in me being practically banned from playing on medium. Damn! I'll just have to get really good at Hard then ;) Pity hard is *so* hard. I'm stuck on the Kaiju Megadome set, so I've started on Expert to see if it will help me along with the last of the hard lot.

I've recently uploaded some new icons, which include some Third Watch ones (a series I'm very into at the moment) and the one I'm using today, the Epstein-Barr virus (also mononucleosis or Glandular Fever) which I had a few years back and ben got me for Christmas :)

Which old language am I? )
lizziec: (potterpuffs - ravenclaw)
Watching the news today I'm shocked that the economy hasn't completely collapsed. As The Daily Mash said this morning: "STOCKBROKERS are preparing for a third day of running around and waving their hands in the air, shouting 'nooooooooooooooooooo!!!'."

The amount of doom and gloom has been amusing, but possibly because right now I have nothing to lose. In a fantastic scheduling coincidence, True Movies has the whole of this afternoon taken up with The Day The Bubble Burst, a film about the 1929 Stock Market crash. Seems rather apt ;)

On the local news there was no Kaddy doing the weather to keep the boys amused and hanging onto every second of the bulletin, instead, there was Michael Fish with a rather strange (but cool) tank top with weather symbols covering his nipples. I don't think [livejournal.com profile] benc will think it a good enough substitute.

Michael Fish's Jumper )

My new meds are kicking in now, and instead of feeling very fuzzy, dizzy and somewhat stoned while also sleeping for about 18 hours each day I woke up before midday (a first since Saturday) and have felt relatively with it. A pity I have to up the dose tonight when I expect the aforementioned side effects to come back. At least I know they won't continue forever. On the upside, I am now sleeping through the night :)

Spent friday night playing GH1, 2 and 3 at Adam's house. There was also curry eaten. I'm much better at GH than I was the last time we had such an evening, which resulted in me being practically banned from playing on medium. Damn! I'll just have to get really good at Hard then ;) Pity hard is *so* hard. I'm stuck on the Kaiju Megadome set, so I've started on Expert to see if it will help me along with the last of the hard lot.

I've recently uploaded some new icons, which include some Third Watch ones (a series I'm very into at the moment) and the one I'm using today, the Epstein-Barr virus (also mononucleosis or Glandular Fever) which I had a few years back and ben got me for Christmas :)

Which old language am I? )
lizziec: (granny's garden bee)
I've been struggling again for a while (thank you to everyone who has put up with it), especially when it comes to i. getting to sleep and ii. staying asleep. That's had a knock on effect with my moods (which had more or less plateaued at less than ideal). The conclusion come to today by Nikki and Dr K was that I was only being partially medicated by the Citalopram, so over the next week I'm being weaned off the Citalopram with a view to starting my new prescriptions - Mirtazapine, which apparently has some stuff in it that makes one drowsy, so I'm to take it at night and it will hopefully help me get to sleep and stay asleep. Unfortunately "weight gain" is a major side effect. Worried I'll turn into (more of) a whale now! Hopefully though it will medicate me properly and I will stop plateauing and start getting properly well again.

A warning to those of you who have a lot to do with me. The dr told me that while the meds are switching and whatnot I'll probably have a fairly big dip, so I'm going to apologise in advance for anything I say or do while low, and if I don't get out very much in the next few weeks.

Anyone reading have any experiences with Mirtazapine and can tell me about it?
lizziec: (granny's garden bee)
I've been struggling again for a while (thank you to everyone who has put up with it), especially when it comes to i. getting to sleep and ii. staying asleep. That's had a knock on effect with my moods (which had more or less plateaued at less than ideal). The conclusion come to today by Nikki and Dr K was that I was only being partially medicated by the Citalopram, so over the next week I'm being weaned off the Citalopram with a view to starting my new prescriptions - Mirtazapine, which apparently has some stuff in it that makes one drowsy, so I'm to take it at night and it will hopefully help me get to sleep and stay asleep. Unfortunately "weight gain" is a major side effect. Worried I'll turn into (more of) a whale now! Hopefully though it will medicate me properly and I will stop plateauing and start getting properly well again.

A warning to those of you who have a lot to do with me. The dr told me that while the meds are switching and whatnot I'll probably have a fairly big dip, so I'm going to apologise in advance for anything I say or do while low, and if I don't get out very much in the next few weeks.

Anyone reading have any experiences with Mirtazapine and can tell me about it?
lizziec: (Third Watch - bosco and yokis (coffee))
Please note before I start that though it may not seem like it, I do not actually spend much time bitching about my depression, especially here.

I fucking hate my fucking illness. I woke up this morning in a good mood despite my inability to sleep properly (trouble getting to sleep and then staying asleep. 4am and I are becoming well aquainted and according to the pharmacy I can't have any over the counter drugs to help, so I guess I'd better speak to Dr K :/). I enjoyed the drive to my mum's (the weather was such that driving was really fun) where I abandoned Ben and then headed to my first CBB gather. Everyone was very nice and I had fun, but I came out ready to cry having made a really rather hasty getaway. I think I overdid it and to use a [livejournal.com profile] baraktaism (hopefully correctly) I think I just ran out of spoons at the end/did not have enough spoons to do what I was attempting to. Managed to calm down on the walk to the station and did not cry, but really really pissed with myself.

The gather itself was nice. People were lovely and I met lots of new people (everyone) who were all very welcoming and friendly and we ate lots of varied food (Lizzie-friendly rockyroad [no nuts :D], crispy cakes, sausage rolls [turns out there is such a thing as too many sausage rolls]) and lots of other stuff. I spent lots of time hiding behind a lovely large cushion cos I was freaked and talked too much about many things, lots of which probably weren't appropriate. Next time I shall try to be more Sotto ;) Played some games - the present game and an articulate type thing but with CBB words. The team I was on won, but that was largely down to the scary Chalet knowledge of Xanthe and Liss, then I ran away cos I was tired and getting panicky.

In all, it was really nice and I'd do it again, but maybe I should wait until I'm more betterer. Or something.

Have a meme I stole from [livejournal.com profile] greenfurrymoose. Ben also did it and is pretty much the exact opposite.

Your results:
You are Deanna Troi
Deanna Troi
80%
An Expendable Character (Redshirt)
65%
Beverly Crusher
55%
Uhura
55%
Geordi LaForge
50%
Chekov
40%
Leonard McCoy (Bones)
40%
Spock
37%
Jean-Luc Picard
35%
Data
32%
Will Riker
25%
Mr. Scott
25%
James T. Kirk (Captain)
20%
Worf
15%
Mr. Sulu
5%
You are a caring and loving individual.
You understand people's emotions and
you are able to comfort and counsel them.


Click here to take the "Which Star Trek character are you?" quiz...



Finally, and some of you know this already, Sue has asked me to be John's godmother and I said yes :D I am very proud and excited. It's even worth braving the incence of Catholic Church for! :)
lizziec: (Third Watch - bosco and yokis (coffee))
Please note before I start that though it may not seem like it, I do not actually spend much time bitching about my depression, especially here.

I fucking hate my fucking illness. I woke up this morning in a good mood despite my inability to sleep properly (trouble getting to sleep and then staying asleep. 4am and I are becoming well aquainted and according to the pharmacy I can't have any over the counter drugs to help, so I guess I'd better speak to Dr K :/). I enjoyed the drive to my mum's (the weather was such that driving was really fun) where I abandoned Ben and then headed to my first CBB gather. Everyone was very nice and I had fun, but I came out ready to cry having made a really rather hasty getaway. I think I overdid it and to use a [livejournal.com profile] baraktaism (hopefully correctly) I think I just ran out of spoons at the end/did not have enough spoons to do what I was attempting to. Managed to calm down on the walk to the station and did not cry, but really really pissed with myself.

The gather itself was nice. People were lovely and I met lots of new people (everyone) who were all very welcoming and friendly and we ate lots of varied food (Lizzie-friendly rockyroad [no nuts :D], crispy cakes, sausage rolls [turns out there is such a thing as too many sausage rolls]) and lots of other stuff. I spent lots of time hiding behind a lovely large cushion cos I was freaked and talked too much about many things, lots of which probably weren't appropriate. Next time I shall try to be more Sotto ;) Played some games - the present game and an articulate type thing but with CBB words. The team I was on won, but that was largely down to the scary Chalet knowledge of Xanthe and Liss, then I ran away cos I was tired and getting panicky.

In all, it was really nice and I'd do it again, but maybe I should wait until I'm more betterer. Or something.

Have a meme I stole from [livejournal.com profile] greenfurrymoose. Ben also did it and is pretty much the exact opposite.

Your results:
You are Deanna Troi
Deanna Troi
80%
An Expendable Character (Redshirt)
65%
Beverly Crusher
55%
Uhura
55%
Geordi LaForge
50%
Chekov
40%
Leonard McCoy (Bones)
40%
Spock
37%
Jean-Luc Picard
35%
Data
32%
Will Riker
25%
Mr. Scott
25%
James T. Kirk (Captain)
20%
Worf
15%
Mr. Sulu
5%
You are a caring and loving individual.
You understand people's emotions and
you are able to comfort and counsel them.


Click here to take the "Which Star Trek character are you?" quiz...



Finally, and some of you know this already, Sue has asked me to be John's godmother and I said yes :D I am very proud and excited. It's even worth braving the incence of Catholic Church for! :)
lizziec: (toys - munkeh!)
One of the symptoms of my depression is that I get very tired, very quickly. The mornings are my best time, by lunchtime I'm hyper like an overtired child and by the afternoon I'm desperate for a nap. In the evening if I haven't had a nap then I am grouchy, bad tempered and very down. If I go out for any legnth of time to do something, no matter how rested I am and after 3-4 hours I am exhausted and down and need to come home and sleep. These two symptoms frustrate me no end, they're possibly one of the things that pisses me off most about my condition - more than the early morning waking, than the rollercoaster of emotions, than my lack of self respect and self confidence.

One of the side effects of my meds (Citalopram) is vivid dreams. Last night I had one, a really really weird one which makes me wonder if my subconcious is trying to send me a message.

I dreamed I had a serious operation (no idea what it was), which meant that I could barely walk and it took me a long time to have the stamina to walk very far or for very long, and then to be able to do that unaided. I was getting really pissed off with the process in my dream - I wanted to be better now and was annoyed that something that I should just be able to do was taking so much effort. Just as I was at my most pissed off [livejournal.com profile] kimble and [livejournal.com profile] barakta appeared (why them? No idea - my subconcious is pretty fucked up at the moment) and told me to stop getting pissed at myself. I would be back to how I should be with time, practice and patience and I just needed to stop getting annoyed at myself and take things a day at a time and try to do just a little more each day and eventually it would come.

Wow. I'm pretty fucked up at the moment ;)

Under the cut is the four things meme everyone is doing. I'm doing it cos I was sort of tagged by [livejournal.com profile] twigathy and I clearly have nothing better to do except waffle to LJ about my dreams ;)

Four things meme )
lizziec: (toys - munkeh!)
One of the symptoms of my depression is that I get very tired, very quickly. The mornings are my best time, by lunchtime I'm hyper like an overtired child and by the afternoon I'm desperate for a nap. In the evening if I haven't had a nap then I am grouchy, bad tempered and very down. If I go out for any legnth of time to do something, no matter how rested I am and after 3-4 hours I am exhausted and down and need to come home and sleep. These two symptoms frustrate me no end, they're possibly one of the things that pisses me off most about my condition - more than the early morning waking, than the rollercoaster of emotions, than my lack of self respect and self confidence.

One of the side effects of my meds (Citalopram) is vivid dreams. Last night I had one, a really really weird one which makes me wonder if my subconcious is trying to send me a message.

I dreamed I had a serious operation (no idea what it was), which meant that I could barely walk and it took me a long time to have the stamina to walk very far or for very long, and then to be able to do that unaided. I was getting really pissed off with the process in my dream - I wanted to be better now and was annoyed that something that I should just be able to do was taking so much effort. Just as I was at my most pissed off [livejournal.com profile] kimble and [livejournal.com profile] barakta appeared (why them? No idea - my subconcious is pretty fucked up at the moment) and told me to stop getting pissed at myself. I would be back to how I should be with time, practice and patience and I just needed to stop getting annoyed at myself and take things a day at a time and try to do just a little more each day and eventually it would come.

Wow. I'm pretty fucked up at the moment ;)

Under the cut is the four things meme everyone is doing. I'm doing it cos I was sort of tagged by [livejournal.com profile] twigathy and I clearly have nothing better to do except waffle to LJ about my dreams ;)

Four things meme )
lizziec: (milky-way eating)
I have to admit I'm impressed. Or possibly more shocked. After I emailed edexcel two days ago (after the yelling ranty call to the tax office following major incompetence and stuff) I expected very little in the way of either cooperation, speed or competence and this morning my statement of earnings turned up. It's even been signed by a real person! I'll be taking a photocopy of that then before I send it off to be eaten up by HM Revenue and Customs. Still, as I said, I'm impressed. It seems the key to dealing with edexcel is to set your sights and expectations very low and then they may actually impress you!

In other news, I went to curry to celebrate Adam's birthday (on Tuesday evening), which was lovely. I also met up with Oziris for coffee (on Wednesday), which we must do more often and today I looked after Sue's baby, John, who is delightful and lovely and not terribly hard work (or at least wasn't today) - the best part is having a nice time and handing him back afterwards! Finally tonight foo and rah came round and we had uber lasagne of doom. Yum.

Now I'm off to bed - I have a counsellor's thing tomorrow, preceeded by a gulbenkian breakfast :D Atfer that the day is mine. Any ideas? ;)
lizziec: (milky-way eating)
I have to admit I'm impressed. Or possibly more shocked. After I emailed edexcel two days ago (after the yelling ranty call to the tax office following major incompetence and stuff) I expected very little in the way of either cooperation, speed or competence and this morning my statement of earnings turned up. It's even been signed by a real person! I'll be taking a photocopy of that then before I send it off to be eaten up by HM Revenue and Customs. Still, as I said, I'm impressed. It seems the key to dealing with edexcel is to set your sights and expectations very low and then they may actually impress you!

In other news, I went to curry to celebrate Adam's birthday (on Tuesday evening), which was lovely. I also met up with Oziris for coffee (on Wednesday), which we must do more often and today I looked after Sue's baby, John, who is delightful and lovely and not terribly hard work (or at least wasn't today) - the best part is having a nice time and handing him back afterwards! Finally tonight foo and rah came round and we had uber lasagne of doom. Yum.

Now I'm off to bed - I have a counsellor's thing tomorrow, preceeded by a gulbenkian breakfast :D Atfer that the day is mine. Any ideas? ;)
lizziec: (acid)
Honestly, it's days like this that make me wonder if I'll ever be a useful member of society again! (I should write a CBT sheet for that thought I suppose)

Anyway, I woke up in a pretty good mood and went to collect the post. The first one I opened was from HM Revenue and Customs. I should mention at this point that I am waiting on money (over £500) to come back from them that I overpaid in tax last year. This has been going on for four months. I sent them a letter when I got my P60 from Kent (which was when I realised just how many squillions of pounds I had overpaid) enclosing my P60 and my forms from edexcel (essentially a payslip, but it's all they give me - edexcel don't issue P60s). When I first called in April to find out what I needed to do to claim back my tax I was told these forms would be sufficient. I got a letter in August (two months exactly since they recieved my original letter) asking me to fill out my employment history for 2006. I did that and sent it back. Cue the clock starting again on my claim (they say it'll be up to two months from the date of my last communication arriving with them). More or less two months since I sent back that form I get another letter today, saying that they've sent back my P60 (which wasn't enclosed) and that my stuff from edexcel was not sufficient, despite what I had been told four months ago.

At the moment I seem to be able to go between extremes of emotions. I ended up getting very angry very quickly and I called them and first yelled at the person who answered the phone and then requested a supervisor and yelled at her. When I'd yelled at them for about 20 minutes about how the legnth of time wasn't acceptable, nor was the fact my P60 was MIA, nor was the conflicting advice I had got from their office I got off the phone to them and burst in to tears. I went from angry to very sad and virtually helpless in a matter of seconds. Now I feel bad for yelling at them. I've done jobs like that and I know it's not their fault, but I was very angry and had to take it out on someone. I called edexcel who don't do P60s and are instead sending me a statement of earnings. I'm now more than a little terrified. I am waiting for them to send me the right document as soon as possible. I'm basically combining the incompetence of Edexcel with the incompetence of the tax office. I'm starting to wonder if I'll see my money this side of Christmas.

As I said above, it's days like this that make me wonder if I can ever be a useful member of society again. It probably doesn't help that my hormones are all over the place at the moment, as I have come off the pill to see if it helps with my depression. At the moment though I just feel even more out of whack than before. Argh. I'm also annoyed at myself. It's moments like this that I feel a real burden on those who are close to me, especially my husband. Don't worry, I'm not going to do anything silly, I've never been that depressed. I just needed to get it all out. There.

By the way, I still haven't filled in the forms for Incapacity Benefit. I'm so scared of getting them wrong. Wow. Talk about lame excuses.
lizziec: (acid)
Honestly, it's days like this that make me wonder if I'll ever be a useful member of society again! (I should write a CBT sheet for that thought I suppose)

Anyway, I woke up in a pretty good mood and went to collect the post. The first one I opened was from HM Revenue and Customs. I should mention at this point that I am waiting on money (over £500) to come back from them that I overpaid in tax last year. This has been going on for four months. I sent them a letter when I got my P60 from Kent (which was when I realised just how many squillions of pounds I had overpaid) enclosing my P60 and my forms from edexcel (essentially a payslip, but it's all they give me - edexcel don't issue P60s). When I first called in April to find out what I needed to do to claim back my tax I was told these forms would be sufficient. I got a letter in August (two months exactly since they recieved my original letter) asking me to fill out my employment history for 2006. I did that and sent it back. Cue the clock starting again on my claim (they say it'll be up to two months from the date of my last communication arriving with them). More or less two months since I sent back that form I get another letter today, saying that they've sent back my P60 (which wasn't enclosed) and that my stuff from edexcel was not sufficient, despite what I had been told four months ago.

At the moment I seem to be able to go between extremes of emotions. I ended up getting very angry very quickly and I called them and first yelled at the person who answered the phone and then requested a supervisor and yelled at her. When I'd yelled at them for about 20 minutes about how the legnth of time wasn't acceptable, nor was the fact my P60 was MIA, nor was the conflicting advice I had got from their office I got off the phone to them and burst in to tears. I went from angry to very sad and virtually helpless in a matter of seconds. Now I feel bad for yelling at them. I've done jobs like that and I know it's not their fault, but I was very angry and had to take it out on someone. I called edexcel who don't do P60s and are instead sending me a statement of earnings. I'm now more than a little terrified. I am waiting for them to send me the right document as soon as possible. I'm basically combining the incompetence of Edexcel with the incompetence of the tax office. I'm starting to wonder if I'll see my money this side of Christmas.

As I said above, it's days like this that make me wonder if I can ever be a useful member of society again. It probably doesn't help that my hormones are all over the place at the moment, as I have come off the pill to see if it helps with my depression. At the moment though I just feel even more out of whack than before. Argh. I'm also annoyed at myself. It's moments like this that I feel a real burden on those who are close to me, especially my husband. Don't worry, I'm not going to do anything silly, I've never been that depressed. I just needed to get it all out. There.

By the way, I still haven't filled in the forms for Incapacity Benefit. I'm so scared of getting them wrong. Wow. Talk about lame excuses.
lizziec: (animals - bunny!)
A quiz, stolen from [livejournal.com profile] bethanthepurple

1. Go to http://www.careercruising.com/.
2. Put in Username: nycareers, Password: landmark.
3. Take their "Career Matchmaker" questions.
4. Post the top ten results.

1. Anthropologist
2. Archivist
3. Historian
4. Child and Youth Worker
5. Adoption Counselor
6. Writer
7. Print Journalist
8. Critic
9. Market Research Analyst
10. Translator


In other news, the flat inspection went fine and we still have a home. It's even a very clean home, the cleanest it's been (imo) since we moved in 2.5 years ago. I'm glad it's over because it was a real strain on me. Having spent all the time since we returned from holiday stressing and angsting over it often while cleaning as I have never cleaned before and only not doing those things when I've been asleep I am now very very relieved but also incredibly tired, which I think is mainly due to the depression. [livejournal.com profile] no1typo is coming for a visit tomorrow and I'm looking forward to a relaxing wander around Canterbury or an afternoon spent in Espression with her, depending on time factors and the weather.
lizziec: (animals - bunny!)
A quiz, stolen from [livejournal.com profile] bethanthepurple

1. Go to http://www.careercruising.com/.
2. Put in Username: nycareers, Password: landmark.
3. Take their "Career Matchmaker" questions.
4. Post the top ten results.

1. Anthropologist
2. Archivist
3. Historian
4. Child and Youth Worker
5. Adoption Counselor
6. Writer
7. Print Journalist
8. Critic
9. Market Research Analyst
10. Translator


In other news, the flat inspection went fine and we still have a home. It's even a very clean home, the cleanest it's been (imo) since we moved in 2.5 years ago. I'm glad it's over because it was a real strain on me. Having spent all the time since we returned from holiday stressing and angsting over it often while cleaning as I have never cleaned before and only not doing those things when I've been asleep I am now very very relieved but also incredibly tired, which I think is mainly due to the depression. [livejournal.com profile] no1typo is coming for a visit tomorrow and I'm looking forward to a relaxing wander around Canterbury or an afternoon spent in Espression with her, depending on time factors and the weather.
lizziec: (animals - duckling-bum)
As I mentioned in my last entry we went on holiday to Skegness/Chapel St. Leonards for a week in a fixed site caravan. We had a lovely time and selected photos are here and some different ones here. All photos were taken by [livejournal.com profile] benc (I was taking black and white pictures on a film camera which have yet to be developed).

We did a fair bunch of stuff, though it was all sadly rather curtailed because the effects of my depression are such that after doing something for 3 or 4 hours I was so tired I had to come home and sleep. One of the things that we did that isn't in pictures is we drove an hour and a half to Stamford so we could see The Dam Busters (which had been cleaned up a little) on the big screen. Well worth it :D though I was dead almost all of the next day.

When we went to Skegness we saw the Skegness lifeboat with its awesome tractor which pulls it down the beach to the sea and pulls it back out again:


It was sooooo cool :D

I won a zippy toy at the "Hook a Duck" stall on Skegness pier and he "did" Skegness:


In Chapel St. Leonards we found possibly the most offensive building in all of the UK, the Golden Palm:


The pictures don't do it justice - the palm trees *flashed*. The shopping arcade owned by the Golden Palm also produced the worst curry I have ever had - sauce like water, sweetened with sugar and chicken so dry it had probably been sitting under lights for hours. The curry places around Skegness were all very special. None of the ones near to us did "Curry". They all did Curry/Kebabs/Pizzas/Burgers. Really we should have known better than to buy from there.

On our last day we went to the beach, as it was the only day really nice enough for it.

I buried Ben:


We worked on a sandcastle:


Which had a working moat :D


Thus, our work was done:

(Mine is the blue spade).

Finally, ben brought me a giant Eeyore for an anniversary present:

He's pretty awesome :)

Today I have called the Job Centre plus in an effort to apply for Incapacity benefit as advised to me by Payroll at UKC. It seems very complicated and I have no idea if I'll be eligable but I don't loose anything by applying. I have also been abusing the BBCs archive trial and now have about 12 tabs of things to watch. Ah well, will keep me busy!

And finally, the reason I chose the icon I did: we got back from holiday to a letter from our Letting Agency saying they'll be coming to inspect the flat for the first time in two years on Thursday. It's a routine inspection but I'm bricking it and utterly convinced we'll be evicted despite saner voices telling me I'm being a muppet. I'm sure on Thursday I'll be able to come back and tell you all that they were right. Until then I suspect I'll be a bit of a nervous heap.
lizziec: (animals - duckling-bum)
As I mentioned in my last entry we went on holiday to Skegness/Chapel St. Leonards for a week in a fixed site caravan. We had a lovely time and selected photos are here and some different ones here. All photos were taken by [livejournal.com profile] benc (I was taking black and white pictures on a film camera which have yet to be developed).

We did a fair bunch of stuff, though it was all sadly rather curtailed because the effects of my depression are such that after doing something for 3 or 4 hours I was so tired I had to come home and sleep. One of the things that we did that isn't in pictures is we drove an hour and a half to Stamford so we could see The Dam Busters (which had been cleaned up a little) on the big screen. Well worth it :D though I was dead almost all of the next day.

When we went to Skegness we saw the Skegness lifeboat with its awesome tractor which pulls it down the beach to the sea and pulls it back out again:


It was sooooo cool :D

I won a zippy toy at the "Hook a Duck" stall on Skegness pier and he "did" Skegness:


In Chapel St. Leonards we found possibly the most offensive building in all of the UK, the Golden Palm:


The pictures don't do it justice - the palm trees *flashed*. The shopping arcade owned by the Golden Palm also produced the worst curry I have ever had - sauce like water, sweetened with sugar and chicken so dry it had probably been sitting under lights for hours. The curry places around Skegness were all very special. None of the ones near to us did "Curry". They all did Curry/Kebabs/Pizzas/Burgers. Really we should have known better than to buy from there.

On our last day we went to the beach, as it was the only day really nice enough for it.

I buried Ben:


We worked on a sandcastle:


Which had a working moat :D


Thus, our work was done:

(Mine is the blue spade).

Finally, ben brought me a giant Eeyore for an anniversary present:

He's pretty awesome :)

Today I have called the Job Centre plus in an effort to apply for Incapacity benefit as advised to me by Payroll at UKC. It seems very complicated and I have no idea if I'll be eligable but I don't loose anything by applying. I have also been abusing the BBCs archive trial and now have about 12 tabs of things to watch. Ah well, will keep me busy!

And finally, the reason I chose the icon I did: we got back from holiday to a letter from our Letting Agency saying they'll be coming to inspect the flat for the first time in two years on Thursday. It's a routine inspection but I'm bricking it and utterly convinced we'll be evicted despite saner voices telling me I'm being a muppet. I'm sure on Thursday I'll be able to come back and tell you all that they were right. Until then I suspect I'll be a bit of a nervous heap.

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