Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Making some progress...........

Sorry another long post..........

Well I've been taking the new medication for about 3 weeks now (had to increase them) but I think they're starting to have some effect. My thoughts are starting to slow down a little and for all I'm still sleeping poorly I think it's a little better than it was. The down side of them very, very bizarre life like dreams and extremely sore joints (back and wrists especially). I did convince my GP to prescribe some different sleeping pills and they do give me 4 - 6 hours solid sleep but leave me feeling hung over and uncoordinated but if I only take them on the weekend that in itself is an improvement (1 or 2 nights sleep per week).

I took Debbie's advice and have a little notebook full of things that give me pleasure and also my UFO's and projects I plan to do this year. I look in this book when I'm feeling lost or when I plan to do something and I "tick" off each bit as I do it. It might only be choosing fabric or the thread for a stitchery but each "tick" is an achievement. I consciously don't set out to complete a project in one go then I can't "fail". 

I'm still not able to do anything "new" by that I mean make anything using a pattern/tutorial I haven't used before but that will come in time for all it's quite frustrating at the moment as when I'm "me" I can do that!!

For all I'm having more good days it doesn't take much to make the anxiety and stress to resurface. I sat both my DD's down and explained in more detail what's wrong with me and asked them both to take on a little more responsibility around the house and so far so good. I've made some compromises and met them 1/2 way (being a perfectionist; this is a big step for me). I'm making my days simpler which in turn makes them less stressful. Once DD2 has gone to school I go for a 2.5km walk with our Labrador (depending how the she feels!) and then I really don't plan anything I just do whatever I feel like. Some days I have things I must do but I try not to have 2 days running where I do. I try and do some craft each day as this is really good for my soul. 

I'm no nearer work the psychiatrist report says it will be weeks even months before I'm ready..... Not sure how I feel about that (I certainly have no desire to return to my current role). My rehab consultant is away on leave until 28/4/14 so I'm guessing nothing much will change before then (which is a relief). I haven't seen or heard from my managers since my last case conference but will have to take them my new certificate on Friday (not really looking forward to that as I'm not sure how I'll be received). My GP feels I'm not yet able to make a decision regarding what I'm going to do but I feel I'm at a crossroads; luckily I have some time think through all my options before I need to decide which path to take.

Blogging about this journey is helping immensely and maybe it will help someone else too. The support from "Blog Land" is unbelievable and I thank each and everyone of you; "virtual" support is just as important as the "real" support.

Thank you

A no show and a good show...

Well my plans for FNWF were put on hold by my DH. He surprised me with a night out in Adelaide to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show; so my apologies for not turning up (I have visited some of you and some wonderful creating was achieved).
Craig MacLachlan was outstanding as Frankenfurter with lots of ad libbing and Richard O'Brien was for me the highlight of the show (he was Rif Raf in the movie 1974!!) and he's taken on the role as narrator for the Adelaide season; there's not many 72 year olds around looking like him!!!


Saturday, 8 March 2014

No FNWF for me...... never mind baby steps learning to sit

Warning long post - but I need to get it off my chest..........

As you know life is a struggle for me at the moment. My return to work was a disaster so rather reluctantly I agreed to try some medication; unfortunately this really didn't work at all. People tell me I look better but inside I'm anything but. 
I had an independent assessment with a psychiatrist for Workcover. His conclusion was my health is all due to work and I've got a major depression and major anxiety. I'd sort of come to terms with calling my symptoms anxiety as opposed to stress but he was the first person to come out and say I have depression. I've probably been in denial about the depression for a long time but I still found it quite confronting. He did make some recommendations for medication changes and something different to help me sleep. I'm sure if I could only get some decent sleep that would help.

Yesterday I had a case conference with my GP, Rehab Consultant, 2 managers and my husband came for moral support. Before we began my GP showed my Rehab Consultant what I was doing on my return to work and the areas of the hospital I had to walk through. Her understanding at the last case conference (like me and my GP) was that I would be able to have as much or as little interaction with staff as I felt comfortable with but she could clearly see that that wasn't possible with what was asked of me. 
Well to say it was a disaster was an understatement. I'd written my version of War and Peace to explain to my managers how my return to work had made me feel. I was very clear before I read it out that I knew there was no intention to make me feel how I did/do but that this is where my mind is at the moment. I explained about the independent assessment and the recommendations (unfortunately the report still isn't available) and also that my GP has changed my medication but it's too early to tell what effect if any it is having. 
My senior manager commented first; he felt that what was asked of me was reasonable; he didn't recall that I would be able to have as much or as little interaction with staff as I felt comfortable with and that this is not possible at all. He felt that they are supporting me 100% and he doesn't see what else they can do. While he was commenting my direct manager just sat looking at the floor "clicking" the clip on her phone. 
I lost the plot a bit at this point (my thoughts were racing ++++++++; really felt as though there was no support) and I left the room rather than break down and cry in front of them. My GP came after me and I sobbed my heart out on her. Her suggestion was I go tell them to "F..." off (it's a standing joke between us because she knows I don't swear and won't swear but she feels if I did it might make me feel better but that's not who I am) which did make me smile. We discussed what I needed to get across to them and she kindly wrote it down for me as I wouldn't remembered when we walked back into the room.
When we went back in my direct manager spoke; she too felt that they were doing everything they could to support me (despite in my "War and Peace" I'd explained what I felt I would have been able to deal with). She thinks the suggestion of relocation may be best and she's at a loss of how to support me now. One of her comments was "You were one of us"; not are but were (I know I'm probably reading too much into that).
I read what I'd discussed with my GP when I had my melt down;the case conferences are causing me a lot of added pressure and  that I'm not prepared to attempt to return to work until the medication I'm on is working.
The psychiatrist I saw felt I was not ready to return to work. I will continue to see my psychologist and work on the strategies we discuss. My senior manager left with the comment "see you next year or whenever but the longer you take the harder it will be", my immediate manager didn't say anything just left...

The outcome is my GP feel's I won't be well enough to do anything for a few months and then it will be very small steps. When my head's in a better place we'll discuss whether we continue this path of return to my current position or if we look at other options that; for my mental health it would be best. Such as not returning to nursing but retraining for something else that would reduce the amount of work pressure. (My managers did tell me they're advertising my position as a temporary contract. To be honest I don't care, I feel that I should but I don't!).

I still can't slow my thoughts down (so no FNWF for me) and I can't sleep.... The new medication is supposed to help but I think last night I was just so stressed out a sledgehammer wouldn't have helped. The plan for tonight is medication and a sleeping tablet too (keep your fingers crossed for me)

But for all I'm really, really struggling I have tremendous support from family and friends; especially 2 bloggy friends (you know who you are). I have no interest in doing anything but they have given me some perspective, and some sensible suggestions - "one stitch on a stitchery is an achievement", "write a list of things you like to do" are just a couple of the ideas that I have embraced. I can come up with lots of things I would like to do but no incentive/energy to do them. Even choosing fabric for projects is too difficult but I am still reading blogs (I may not be commenting on many but I am still checking you all out). I have made one longer term goal to attend 
 "Let's Get Stitched 2015" (if it is on) this give me 12 months to get to a place where I'm comfortable with social interaction (I'm tending to be a bit selective about where I go and when) and to get the passion back for my crafting.

If you've managed to read this thank you; I'm hoping by sharing my struggle it may help someone else who is going through the same thing.