Thursday, 17 December 2009

Goodbye, Friend

RIP Simon "Vampire Chaz" Martin.

A man found hanged in a secluded wooded area did not commit suicide, a coroner has ruled.

Simon Martin, 29, was found hanging in the early hours of Friday, August 21 – hours after he was reported missing by anxious family and friends.

Coroner Edward Thomas, however, ruled there was insufficient evidence to prove the popular call centre manager had intended to end his life.

Hatfield Coroner’s Court heard yesterday how the father-of-one was found, just metres from his Bucknalls Close home, sitting under a tree.

This unusual position, Mr Thomas ruled, meant he may have died accidently when a cry for help went tragically wrong.

Mr Martin, the court learned, had been struggling to cope with financial problems and the breakdown of his relationship.

It was also revealed that, just three days before Mr Martin’s body was discovered, he was assessed by a mental health nurse at Watford General Hospital when he was found by police officers “contemplating suicide” in another wooded area.

GP Dr Kay Mackell told how she had treated Mr Martin the following day, Wednesday, and advised a programme of counselling. Fighting back tears, she remembered how he had left her surgery in a “pleasant and positive” mood, vowing to tackle his problems head-on.

Later that night, however, Mr Martin left the flat he shared with his girlfriend after learning there was no chance of a long-term reunion.

The court heard how, in the early hours of Thursday morning, he left, promising to return in 15 minutes. He was reported missing later that day and his body discovered in the early hours of the following day.

Mr Thomas, after hearing two hours of evidence, said there was insufficient evidence to record a verdict of suicide. It was possible, he said, that Mr Martin had intended only to attract the attention of those he loved.

He added: “Did he know that that action would definitely cause his death? I think he would have known that this was a dangerous act. Whether he knew it would definitely cause his death – I don’t know.

“It doesn’t take very much [pressure around the neck] to cause unconsciousness and asphyxiation.”

Parents Helen and Mark said after the hearing: “He was the best son that anyone could have wished for. He was kind, caring and would do anything for anybody. He was a fantastic guitarist, a great skateboarder and one hell of a good guy. We all miss him terribly and always will.”

Mr Thomas recorded a verdict of self harm.

Also - Goodbye Scott MacNamara.
I miss the old days, me sitting on the sofa, brushing your hair.

Someone once told me by the time I was 30 a third of my friends would be dead by their own hand. I laughed it off but it does seem that way.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

A Sharp Reminder

I write this with tears in my eyes.
I have just watched the second half of the very moving "Can Gerry Robinson Save Dementia Care Homes?" [BBC iPlayer]. I feel so much for the residents of these homes, having spent most of last year seaching for somewhere suitable for my Nan before she died*.

I have also seen care of this sort, as it is often "the norm". People don't realise the capabilites of those with dementia. I had a placement on a ward, which I felt was generally good, but which certainly failed its usual standards in the early morning. Once staff had come on shift, following the handover, there was around 45 minutes for 6 staff to assist the clients to shower, dry and dress. Some where able to do this with little assistance, but normally there were around 18 people to assist. Most needed two or even three staff members to assist, mainly due to mobility issues, or because they could become aggressive**.
Older people have fragile skin, and often need much more care. A quick rub down is not sufficient to dry them, and they will often need to be assisted to apply cream etc. You need to check for pressure sores, bruising, soreness or damaged skin. You need to respect them as a person, assist them to change into their clothing, assist them to chose colours and textures whenever possible. I could easily spend a hour with someone, longer even, enabling them to wash themselves and choose their outfit, do their hair. 18 people, 45 minutes, staff working in pairs. Thats 7.5 minutes per person. It seems quicker to many staff to just do it for their clients to get the task done, because you simply don't have the time to take.
When I worked on a adult ward, I worked with a lovely lady who was very confused. I spent over an hour assisting her with showering, even washing and applying cream my own face to show her what to do, as she found it easier to copy than to follow verbal directions. Just spending time choosing her shower gel, enjoying the smell of it, or the feeling of having her hair done.

We need more staff, particually more regular staff. Bank staff simply do not know the clients and the clients do not know them. Staff need more training, and we need to have the time to spend with clients and families to find out the important things. What is your mother's routine? Does she shower or bath, morning or evening? What products do they use, lots of bubbles or just unscented soap and a soft flannel? Do they like to read books, or the morning paper? Do they take sugar in their tea?

How can we provide personalised, patient centred care, when we don't really know our clients?

I'm tired. I'll continue something along this line another evening, because the guinea pigs need their hutch cleaned out.

*On this note, I read each of the homes' reports in depth, for the past few years. I had whittled a long list down to just four which I planned to pay several visits to with my mum, in order to find somewhere that I was happy with. I forwarded this list to my uncle, to keep him informed, and he replied with the ones he had looked at. It was a list of every home in the area, including the ones I had sent him, with no attention paid to ratings or inspections.

**And why shouldn't they be aggressive? They've awoken in what may seem to them a strange place with people they do not know. They have been assisted half-asleep into a wheelchair, taken to one of several bathrooms, and these strangers are removong their clothing and putting them in water?

Thursday, 10 December 2009

1st Class Honours In Plotting Your Own Demise.


We just received our results for the 2nd essay of Branch, Bio-psychosocial Interventions, Unit 2. I got 68%, which should be making me happy. I have more than proved myself capable of completing the degree, in an academic sense at least.

However, the current placement isn't going well. To be frank, it isn't going anywhere. I'm low. I havn't been to placement since the first week, when I managed just 2 days. I can't think, make decisions, concentrate. I'm sleeping 14 hours out of 24, and despite trying to force myself out of bed every morning this week I'm sleeping though the alam, or simply to tired to be of any use.

I'm reconsidering my career, and looking at working part-time if or when I qualify. Maybe I can work for Mind, Rethink, or a similar organisation. I don't think I am going to maintain my health well enough to work on a ward or in a community setting.

That's bullshit. I was reconsidering my career. Right now I'm considering dying. I am still being plagued by suicidal thoughts, and they are becoming increasingly worse. My mind is plotting to kill me, even though I try to smother the thoughts, divert my attention. I find myself thinking of suicide every time my boyfriend leaves the house, wondering if I have enough time. Enough time to make a proper job of it, not get found vomiting or swallowing handfuls of pills. I wonder which to take first, whether I should throw in a bottle of vodka or a few packets of paracetemol to help things along. Maybe I could try and get my hands on some anti-vomiting stuff, to stop me chucking the lot back up.

Maybe I would get half-way through taking them, and have to phone for help, mortified and disgusted at myself. Would I be disgusted at myself for taking them or for not finishing the job? To be honest I am not quite sure.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Would somebody please...

... tell my mind to shut the F*CK up?

Numb, unfeeling, slumped in the corner and unable to move - I can deal with that, ok?

It's this round and round and up and down and the strange thoughts and feeling like I'm floating along, my feet bouncing off an invisible pavement 18 inches off the ground. I feel detached, unable to connect with anyone, I feel weird. I feel like a freak. I feel worried. This is not normal.

Friday, 27 November 2009


I took the day off. I stayed in bed. I wait for Boyfriend to leave the house, voluntary work, the pub. I sit, I lay, I cry.

I want her to come back. I can't forgive myself for leaving her, small figure standing in the doorway, waving goodbye, alone. I didn't even think of her, not really, my mind so full of ideas of reclaiming my old life, returning home. I forgot that she was really my first home, Nan's house, cuddling on her lap, hot water bottles and warm lemon when I was ill.

I left it all behind and now she is gone and I can't turn back time, no matter how much I wish I could, no matter how much I beg and bargain with Gods I don't believe in.

I phoned them tonight, Samaritans. I sobbed, I'm barely coherent, everyone goes through guilt when they are grieving.

Not like me I say, I am to blame. I left her. Grandad told me, a few weeks before the overdose, I know you are busy but don't forget about your Nan. I forgot her, I left her. Now she is gone too.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Leucotomy, Tribunals and Placements

I have just started a new placement.
It's an older adult ward, which I was extremely worried about - for my own health.
I don't really feel ready after losing my Nan. This will probably be my hardest placement yet.

On another note, I have to wear a uniform... euurrrrggghhhhhhhh.
The two hour commute (each way) isn't fun either.

One of my new service users underwent a leucotomy forty years ago. I am intrigued, and this person really brightened up the afternoon.

I have my DLA Tribunal tomorrow - I'm shitting myself. Literally, it might help my chances? Kidding... Has anyone seen the preperation that N putd herself through in Poppy Shakespeare (or indeed read the book)? Something like that maybe?

Monday, 9 November 2009

I <3 Journalists

This concerns me.

I am worried that an action which could have been purely appalling practice, is being linked without question to mental illness.
I'm sure anyone in nursing has met or heard of people who have mistreated those in their care without having a mental illness. A quick look through the NMC's enquiries would tell you that.

It has been reported that this lady was diagnosed with Bipolar Affective Disorder at the age of 19, and later with "paranoia". The lady is now 52, and has been nursing for 20 years. How does this article help the public to understand that a family member or collegue who has a mental illness is not going to do something like this?

This sort of reporting disgusts me as it instantly assumes that the behaviour must have been because of the diagnosis - have you never heard of someone who is "sane" doing something which is against human morals?

This concerns me due to my own mental illness. I disclosed my history when I applied, and had to get a letter for occupational health from my psychiatrist to state that I was mentally fit to work. My illness has not affected me professionally, except for times when I have been less-than-ok and missed some time. I, luckily, am able to see warning signs that I am becoming unwell. I can recognise when my mental state would affect my practice, and that is when I don't work.

Some people, due to their illness, are unable to identify warning signs, or become unwell very rapidly. Since being diagnoses as probable Bipolar II, I have been increasingly concerned about such things as "Fitness to Practice". I'm quite confident that I am able to manage myself and my illness - I would rather take some time off than endanger my service users because of my poor mental state.

However, it does concern me in terms of my future, my career.

This p*sses me off.
Mental illness often makes people prone to committing crimes.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Some Nursing Stuff, and A Bit of a Moan

I didn't OD and I didn't self-harm. I did feel rather sorry for myself, which I'm now quite embarrassed about.
I've been having some issues with a female friend recently who I think I am realising doesn't really make me feel that great. I'm really questioning why I'm friends with her, and I've realised a lot about how she makes me feel. I don't really want to carry on being friends with someone who refers to me as "poor" and herself as "posh totty", because she has Andrex-on-the-go and a DKNY purse. What do I have? Value bog roll. I do have a DKNY purse - it was a present. I plan on selling it.

Ah. I think I've just answered my own question of whether I want to be friends with her...

Uni stuff. Oh, Cellar_Door, you are soooooo going to agree with me on this....

My university has a pass mark of 40%.
You need to achieve two units at over 60% during the second year to qualify for the BSc Hons - we have received the marks for 2 out of the 4 units which qualify for this.
I had a butchers at my course-mates marks - it anonymous, but I wanted to see if there will be enough of us to run the BSc Hons - if there isn't, I'll have to defer for 6 months and join the next cohort.

So, here goes...

4 people, including myself, have achieved 2 out of 2 units at 60% or more, and will be offered the BSc. Whether they accept it will be a financial decision, as you do not get the full bursary, and more people may achieve the required marks in the next 2 units.

6 people have failed to achieve 4o% in either of the 2 units for which we have received marks. These were not "near misses" either. None of their marks were above 30.

It concerns me. A lot. Not that don't worry about failing, about having a bad day and ballsing it all up. But I already worry that 40% is still a low pass rate. And yet people still consistently fail. Why are people allowed on the course if they are unable to make the required grade? The university is allowing, or even encouraging them to waste 3 years of their lives.

The 40% pass rate worries me because I think that the syllabus which we are taught and tested on contains only the bare essentials. So people are becoming qualified nurses, with only 40% of what they need to know. Now that scares me.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Stop Telling Me I "Look Well"

I don't feel well.

I feel numb and overwhelmed, all at once, and I want to stop thinking about my medication. I want to stop adding it up.

A 40 year old man, with non-insulin dependant diabetes, and no other health conditions took 19g of Venlafaxine. He did not ingest any other medications or alcohol, and within 9hours it proved fatal.
He weighed 106kg.
I weigh around 55kg... so I should, technically, need only half that dose.

I have purposely not collected the 24 x 75mg tablets that the pharmacy had to order. However, I reckon I still have in the region of 8g.
And some fluoxetine.
And 20-something Citalopram.
And about 30 ibuprofen, just for luck.

This is spinning round and round in my head until I want to bang it repeatedly against a wall. I self-harmed, superficially, last week. The first time in a very long time. I used the vegetable knife, it wouldn't go through the skin initially so I used the tip to open up a small wound and then sawed at it until I could think again. Six small cuts, on my calf.

I keep thinking about my boyfriend's Stanley knife. I only found out he had it the other day - he was talking to a friend about using it for cutting the griptape on a skateboard, and now I know it is in the flat, and I have a pretty good idea where it is. I want it.

I don't know if I want to die. I just want all the shit to stop. I want to feel normal, not like I'm trying to speak to people through several feet of ... something... like a thick, jelly-like substance, a barrier between me and the world.

It could be so much worse... and that just makes me want to face the world even less.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Recovered, and paying the price.

I got over the flu-like symptoms - think it was just a very bed cold. Managed my night shifts (although the one I co-ordinated was obviously the hectic one).

Now I have to do 4 weeks work in 3 weeks... just short of 50 hours a week.
Yeah. It's fun.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

When nobody wants to treat you.

I'm too hot. I'm too cold. I shiver, I sweat, I burn up.
I've missed all my recent appointments with my Counsellor and Connexions worker, even though now is when I need them most.
I think I'm sick, but I don't know. The apathy, tiredness, low mood - they could all be part of the depression, or at least that's what the GP always thinks.
I need to go and pick up my prescription, I've missed two doses of Venlafaxine and that's probably not going to help.
I've missed 4 days of placement now, time which I'll have to pay back.
I haven't even started the essay.
Last night I wanted to overdose.
I don't have enough tablets to make a decent attempt. It would have been different if I'd collected my prescription yesterday, 28 days of Venlafaxine, 4.2g.
I don't want to die - I just want this to stop. I want help. I want - and I hate myself for this - someone to take me seriously.
I'm going to be in so much trouble when I return to Uni. Everyone thinks I shouldn't be there. I'm obviously not commited to the course. They were surprised I made it through the first year. I hate the fact our failures will always take precidence over our acheivements.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Tribunals, and a return to writing.

I'm writing in here again because right now I need it. I don't need anyone to read it or to say anything, but I need to take control again and this is one of a combination of things which helped pull me through when things got bad again.
No promises that I'll be a consistent blogger, or a good blogger, or an interesting blogger.
I feel better just for getting this out.
I've been on my work placement, in an adolescent inpatient unit, and I love it. I love my work anyway, but this is even better. Despite struggling to fit in initially, and having no clue what to write my essay on, I am really enjoying it and really learning from it.
However, I'm slipping quite badly.
It started initially with being nervous, and having no appetite. Then, I didn't really want to eat in front of people, and I'm still quite constricted in certain areas with what I eat. Eating a meal every day which has been prepared by someone else and which I have limited control of is actually very hard.
I've lost 3 pounds in the past 3 and a half weeks, and I feel good, happier about my body, my smaller stomach.
This is me slipping into a danger zone, and I'm aware of that.
I've also been skipping meals, not taking anything except maybe a piece of fruit to eat during a shift, and weighing myself.

My mood has dipped, and I'm having migraines. I've had two pretty bad ones, and so I've missed two days of work, which I'll have to make up over the next few weeks. My self care and the housework have both slipped, and I'm neglecting to spend time with the guinea pigs and with my friends.

I'm constantly exhausted, and unfortunately still bleeding. I've had about 4 or 5 days this month when I havn't been bleeding. The medical verdict is to change my contraception, but I'm getting no guidance about what to change it too, or what may help. It's pretty much try it and see.

I'm managing, and I know that once I am qualified I am only going to work 3 or 4 days per week. 5 days is too much for me, and I can easily manage on part-time wages. However in the mean time, I need to make my 37.5 hours a week. I'm really struggling to do this, let alone manage university work on top.

I've also got my tribunal date for DLA coming up, on November 25th. I've written to them requesting them to get a supporting letter from my consultant, and a copy of my medical records. I tried to do this myself, but my consultant wants them to write to him, and the surgery want £18.30 for photocopying and administration fees. I'm so tired.

I have no idea what I'm going to say at the tribunal, I mainly want to contend the letter from my previous consultant that says I have no history or risk of self harm or self neglect. I also want to point out that I do require ongoing support with bills and correspondence from my Connexions work, and with ongoing low self esteem and the paranoia it cause from my Counsellor. If I got the lower rate of care then I could afford to go swimming regularly, which I have used in the past to improve my mood. It would also help with travel expenses to see my Connexions worker and Counsellor, and with the increased phone bill as I often need additional support from them, or my mum and boyfriend. When I'm travelling alone, such as to or from work, it helps if I can call someone for support as I often feel very unsafe.

I don't see myself as severely ill, but I do think I have a long term problem which means I require a little more support from those around me than most people. I still work, although it can be a struggle, and I'm planning carefully to ensure that I can continue to work in the future. I'm proud of being independent, but sometimes I need to ask for a little bit of help so that I don't become unwell, and therefore become dependant on others for everything from finances to getting dressed.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Praise to the GODS that are O2

We finally have INTERNET.
It has taken numerous phone calls, technician visits and kicking of the wireless box, but I am connected.
I need this blog right now, so I'm bloody grateful.

Talking of bloody, the irregular menstrual cycle appears to be related to it's grand return [it was also on hiatus following my little weight loss episode prior to Christmas], and possibly some effects of the Pill. My blood tests detected nothing - I'm am medically healthy.
I'm slightly disappointed. I was hoping it would throw up a little thyroid trouble or similar, instantly explaining my mood disorder and moving me from "mental" to "a bit physically ill". Let's face it - it would make life easier.

Food-wise, I appear to be having a slip. I came across a dreadful picture of me from a few weeks ago in which I look huge, and it hasn't exactly helped. I'm at my body's "healthy weight", the one it bounces back to whenever it is allowed to eat, and yet I feel like a whale. I have been surveying the pro-ana sites again, buying lo-cal bread and stepping on the scales a little too often. I'm at the top of a very slippery slope, and I'm making sure everyone knows it, because if I try and throw myself down it, I want the f*cking cavalry out to stop me. I am not wasting away under the duvet again. I want to just be happy with my weight, not keep hiring the anorexia videos from the university library so I can admire the competition. "See, you are huge -she is perfect". Bearing in mind that "she" is 4 and a half stone, and on her way to the Bethlem.

Part of the food problem is that I feel like I am always hungry. This gnawing sensation in my abdomen won't go away and it is having a real effect. I can quiet it for a short while by eating, but I'm pretty sure it isn't just hunger, I think it's an effect of the Venlafaxine to be honest. I have been trying to see my new consultant since March, but still haven't had any luck. The secretary is on sick leave, and the scheduled appointment is during an important lecture.

I am totally confused by food and weight now. My stepsister has two young children and is much smaller than me, she must be a size 6. She works out constantly and is so fit. I can't afford a gym membership and I'm too embarrassed to go running or work out anyway. I have no idea what is a healthy, well-balanced meal, I don't know what is a healthy size, and I feel huge huge huge.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

It's Been A While...

Hi, and hope you are all well, or as well as can be.

I am on Placement at the moment, which is always a trying time, but Boyfriend has recently moved in and is doing his best to help out. Even if he hasn't got a clue how to work the washing machine, he still manages to make me smile. The flat is full of black ink pen drawings of various smiling cats, and he leaves me little notes if I have a shit day. He loves me.

The fridge has become centre point of the house, with me struggling to stay friends with food. I've lost 7 pounds, accidentally, though neglecting to eat when I'm working, and this has fuelled my underlying desire to look like a stick insect. My eating has been very irregular, often only one meal a day when I do my best to eat 3 regular balanced ones. This has impacted on my mood, which started to dip, and on my physical health.

I am finally getting blood tests done - through all of this depression, no one has ever checked if there is an underlying health problem. My run down state has prompted my new Doctor to request for full bloods, so YIPPEE. Peace of mind over how much damage alcohol and diuretics actually did to my organs, eh?

Physically, I am quite concerned - I have extremely irregular periods, which often stop completely for months at a time, I seem to be getting constipation a lot, and I'm always exhausted. I just want to make sure I'm OK, and try to find out why I can't keep up with everyone else.

Placement has been going really well, although I constantly exhausted, and haven't found time to revise for my exam. I just spent two hours making preparations for my essay, and seem to have got nowhere. However I spoke to a friend from my cohort, and she hadn't started her essay either, so at least it's not just me. I'm not lagging behind completely.

Oh. My toilet is still leaking. It has been leaking since I moved in, and the plumber has replaced the pipe twice. Argh.

On a lighter note, when you turn on the kitchen light, the electric shower in the bathroom comes on as well???

Poltergeists, me thinks.....

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Uni Rant

I don't really like some things about myself. Well, I half do and half don't. I come across as a bit of a teacher's pet, know-it-all smug cow at uni. I'm aware of this, and I hate it, but to be honest it's mainly because everyone else just sits there, mouth slightly open, with a uniform blank expression on their faces. I want to stand up and cry out, "aren't you interested? Don't you care? This stuff is f*cking AMAZING!", but somehow don't think it would go down too well. I seem to be constantly questioning, seeking more knowledge, and it's great that I enjoy learning about mental illness so much, but it doesn't exactly help me when it comes to interacting with my peers. I want to say, "I'm just like you", but I'm not. I'd rather spend my break debating some new controversial issue or mulling over the last lecture, not discussing kids or husbands. I'm also short tempered with people who are ignorant. I can't stand it when people make blundering errors or ask ridiculous questions. For example, someone said during a lecture that all incontinent people lack capacity. "Are you sure you mean incontinent? Are you sure you understand the meaning of the word?". Yes, they say, when I worked on a Older Person's ward all the incontinent people lacked capacity. I was disgusted. The same when someone refers to a service user as a Schizophrenic - for f*ck's sake, they have been diagnosed with schizophrenia, but that does not define them as a person. I also get annoyed when people are unable to see past a diagnosis - why do you need to put a person's diagnosis on their care plan? Surely the needs that you should be focusing on are the current symptoms, the things which currently affect that person's life?

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Rock On The [Long] Weekend

I may have mentioned this before [I'm too lazy to check], but my Mum and step-dad have a caravan in a tiny little hamlet somewhere in Essex. We'll call it Doris Bay. It has two caravan sites, two pubs, one marina and one post office, which is owned by a charming World of Warcraft addict and his Thai bride.

I was there last weekend, and I'm going again tomorrow evening, until Monday. My Mum has used the money my Nan left her to "upgrade" her caravan - that is, the new one is two feet wider, two feet longer and VERY pink. It was owned by the "only gays on the campsite" until last weekend, when my Mum purchased it. We have lots of work to do - cleaning it top-to-bottom, replacing the bedroom carpets and making part of the plot into a driveway area for my step-dad's speedboat.

I'm rather sad to be saying goodbye to the old 'van, after four summers there, but my step-dad is about to fall through the bathroom floor, and having a real bed as opposed to an 18 inch wide bunk will be a improvement. I say real bed, I mean 2 foot 6 by 5 foot 6 - leaving me about an inch short, but still an improvement.

The village is full of characters, and I just hope my ban from the pub has been lifted [I was drunk, and rearranged all the bins in the village]. My main concern regarding the weekend is alcohol - it tends to be a place where I drink. A couple of cans or a bottle of wine throughout the afternoon, a few pints at the pub, flaming Sambuca with my drunken uncles - staying sober has never been an option [and on that bed, who would want to?].

This week has been a bit problematic drink-wise. I returned from the caravan on Monday evening, and was extremely paranoid. In fact I was positive there was someone in my flat, and I spent almost the whole night awake, shaking, clutching my phone and struggling not to call my Mum. Tuesday night, I had friends over and got drunk. Result: They stay, and I sleep. It's safe. Last night, I went to a friend's house, had a few glasses of wine on an empty stomach, and once again, slept without too many problems.

I'm sitting here with a pint of cider and trying to decide whether to finish the bottle.
I'm also making an informed decision to start smoking again as soon as the shop opens.

Why can't I stick to orange juice and sugar free gum?

Monday, 27 April 2009

Thanks For The Open Network

... Lovely neighbours!
Yes, I'm being rather naughty, but some social contact and blog venting is needed.
This will be a quick one, and I hope everyone I haven't had time to catch up with is doing OK.
The flat is fine, but my mood is a little unstable. I was close to tears in Tesco earlier - I want to adopt a rat who needs a new home, but I can't afford a cage, and that inability to help him and continue experiencing the little spark of happiness as he licked my fingers was a little too much in my emotional state. I don't really know why I'm feeling like this, but the looming placement could have something to do with it, coupled with the little mantra of "I must not get ill -I Must Not Get Ill - IMUSTNOTGETILL".

The upheaval of moving, even if it was undeniably for the better, has probably just caught up with me, and Boyfriend has just gone back to Leeds after spending most of the Easter break curled up on the beanbags with me.

I am very very very poor - after paying for the flat and the electric, I have £135 per calender month to pay for my food, travel, mobile phone and everything else. Hence the lack of Internet. I'm quite concerned about managing this over placement - my travel expenses will be around £200 for the eight week period, and I can't claim anything back until afterwards, so I think I will be living on beans on toast until July. God knows how I'll cope when I have to pay for heating in the winter, but hopefully Boyfriend will have a job by then.

I have applied for the Access to Learning Fund at my university, and I'm awaiting a decision on my Disability Living Allowance application as well, so things have the potential to get better soon.

My wishes/hopes/dreams at the moment;
- For someone on Freecycle to reply for my [begging] advert for a rat cage
- To complete eight weeks in the acute setting without getting admitted to the ward
- To hold a £50 note at some point within the next year

Friday, 13 March 2009


I am moving tomorrow, and I havn't got any provisions [or money] for internet connection at my new place. I will attempt to get on here as much as possible, and get some pictures of GG's new pad up.

Keep safe.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

DWP and Apologies

I'm swatting up on D.L.A. know-how... I've already completed and sent the form, but now I'm worrying over it. It's funny, I never used to do that, not even with exams, yet now I do.
My Connexions worker assisted me with the form, because I concentrate for long enough to figure out what they are asking, and the form is exhaustingly long.
It's hard to fill out because my condition varies a lot over a week. I have days of ok-ish, able to microwave food, keep myself reasonably clean and presentable, get to uni, keep [almost] on top of my work. Then of being either better or worse, staying home and isolating, or sorting through unpaid bills and making a meal. Oh, and of crashing. Doom, gloom and staying under the duvet. Neglecting to eat, wash or talk.

My tutor at university spoke to me on Monday regarding my unacceptable attendance last year. I'm unsure if anyone else has told her what my "issues", as she put it, were. I wanted to say "I don't have issues, I have an illness", but it seemed more appropriate to grovel my apologies and get out of there.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Well Done! Have A Gold Star!

Things I have accomplished this week:

- I attended our end of year evaluations, completed the mindless forms and collected the certificate. At the end of the session, 'cos they forgot me, but f*ck it.

- I attended part of the second year introduction, and made up a "believable but don't question me further" excuse about being ill.

- I lost my medication, but I managed to sort it out with only a few tears [and with the help of some Valium from the back of the medication box...]

- I went out last night to see friends, got a bit drunk, and I'm going out again tonight. I'm not going to beat myself up for spending money on alcohol - I'm going to enjoy myself.

- Most of my packing is done, and I know basically where everything is in the boxes and bags.

- I've got dressed EVERY day this week.

- I completed my DLA application, because I'm poor and, guess what, I have a disability. It causes me problems in everyday life, and it's a REAL illness, not me being silly.

- I haven't binged, purged, restricted, cut etc.

- I did my washing today. Who cares if I'm living off frozen tuna pasta bake - I don't smell and I have been fed. Go GG go!

Saturday, 28 February 2009

Of Guinea Pigs and Mentalists

Paddi is not very impressed. Guinness is hogging the snug, and won't share.

The guinea pigs moved out of the garden and into my room this afternoon, and they seem quite content. They were purring away when they first went in the cage, but now there is a problem. I only had enough fur fabric for one snug, and they both want it. Guinea pigs don't share food and they most certainly don't share snugs! They are also argueing over the new water bottle - apparently the old one just won't do. It's been fun, especially watching Paddi running in and out of the snug repeatedly, purring and wheeking.

Today was my last day of placement, and I actually feel a little bit weepy! Lots of hugs and farewells, and I honestly will miss that ward. All I can think of now is looking towards starting my second year, and I just hope that I have more placements which I enjoy as much as that one.

Having said that, if a certain patient had followed me around for much longer complaining of being unable to cope, and begging for help, I might have thrown the towel in. The constant answering of the same questions [What should I do? Should I sit here or in my room? What do I do? I can't cope...] to someone who would not listen to the advice was starting to grate on me, after 6 weeks of being her chosen target. Honestly though, I've loved the placement, and I think the main reason that particular patient made me feel that way was that I hated to see her that agitated and distressed. I accompanied her to ECT appointments, assisted her with mealtimes and personal care, helped her in every way that I could think of, and it was nowhere near enough. Somehow, I still feel good. I left her this afternoon on the road to recovery, clean, comfortable and with a full stomach. As a nursing professional, given the situation, I feel I have done that best possible for her today, and that makes me feel good. That makes me feel proud.

Working on an Over 65's ward has made me wonder about my future health. A person's health tends to deteriorate as they age, people collecting illnesses like my mum collects shoes, and mental health doesn't appear to be an exception. I don't want to be old and crazy. Old and crazy conjours up images of conversing with felines and smelling of piss. I don't mind young and mentally interesting, most of the time.

Monday, 16 February 2009

I'm f*cking low again.

I want to cry right now. I've been crying for the majority of the last 24 hours, but now I actually want to, I have a reason to. I want to scream too, and stamp my feet, and maybe curl up defeated and exhausted. I'm going downhill again, fast, and I can't afford to get ill now. I'm on the verge of being discharged from the mental health teams, and I'm nearing the end of my first year, and now I'm fantasising about suicide and unable to stop this constant weeping. I'm grasping at straws, making unsuitable decisions [it's only the knowledge of this, and the therefore obsessive caution I have adopted which stopped me from renting a flat today]. I should have realised that I was getting worse, instead of being overwhelmed with grief and guilt on Sunday night. I'd been somewhat dispondant, flat even, over the weekend, but I put that down to knowing I had to come back to London and Boyfriend had to stay at university, but now I'm totally deflated. I wandered round the shops, killing time until the bus came after seeing the flat, and I felt so unbearably numb. I'm concerned because this numbness tends to precede a slashy-slashy incident, and I have 112.5 hours of work placement to complete within the next two weeks. I can't afford to be ill. I need help, but I don't know if there is anything to help me if I'm like this. I want to change things, anything so I don't feel agitated and yet numb simultaneously, but I also barely have the energy to get out of bed let alone take an interest in doing anything. I'm finally feeling emotion related to my Nan's death but I didn't want it like this; delayed, agressive and set off by anything. I'm breaking out in those awful cold sweats, I can't sleep at night but I'm dead to the world during the day, and my legs feel like they've been dipped in cement. I don't know how to explain this to work, again, and accept the fact that maybe I can't ever have a proper career, because I will always be bouncing between ill and almost well.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Today I did very little.
It was my turn to clean, and I managed that.
I washed my hair.
I cleaned out the guinea pig hutch.
I attended my nurse check up.

Comparing this to how I was during my last placement, I am doing amazingly. I am coping, I am managing, I may not be 100% but I can look after myself at the moment, which is great. I still feel like I am giving myself this fake, patronising encouragement for doing next to nothing. I hate it, it's like "Yay well done! You're 19 and you can tie your own shoelaces!"*.

My check up was mainly for my contraceptive pill, but the nurse also weighed me. Ughh. I hate being weighed. I bit my tongue to stop myself informing her that my boots were heavy, and I had change in my pocket, and I was wearing a big jumper, and I'm NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT that big. The scales screamed back a 21 pound gain since November, and I am not ready to face that.
I just want to weigh myself properly, but I can only do it first thing in the morning, otherwise I start panicking about water weight, and chowing down on diurectics.
The ridiculous thing is that I'm supposed to be gaining weight, that was the plan, and yet every little gain makes me want to drop half a stone.

*When unwell, attempting to tie my laces has resulted in me in floods of tears, or retreating back under the duvet.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009


Oh why oh why does he have to be a locum?
He listened. He replied. He actually told me what is going on, and he offered to send me a copy of my report [which I accepted]. And now he is going. Sob*.

He couldn't access the system due to a fault, so he did ask me some things about my past history, but not to repeat every sordid detail. He didn't want to know the colour of my socks, or piercingly stare whilst enquiring whether I was "compliant".
I like LocumShrink.

He also has an idea of what might be going on in this little brain of mine. It's just an idea at the moment, we'll see what happens, but it could explain why Prozac and Citalopram didn't agree with me. He thinks I might be Bipolar II, as after going on Prozac I had what is suspected to be a hypomanic episode, and possibly also following my brief spell on 'Tally.

Bipolar II, for anyone not so familiar, is depressive episodes with a few hypomanic episodes thrown in. No fullblown manias, just probable hypomania, periods of excessive everything which to be honest can be quite enjoyable if a little unpredictable. Well. More than a little. After the Prozac kicked in [and kicked me up up up] I was in a bit of a whirlwind for about 6 weeks. When I came out of it, I had started a nursing degree. Now, I love what I do, but prior to that I hadn't even considered it.

*The good looks and soft Irish accent helped. LOL.

New Shrink

Eeeep eeep eeep.
Meeting the new mind-doctor today. Let's hope he does more than the last one did!
Important things -
Assigning him a new name, for use on this blog.
Remembering to take my diary - although I'm not quite as dependant on it as I have been.
Working out what to wear - too tidy and I'm discharged from services, too scruffy/smelly and I risk admission, not to mention my pride.
Oh. Holy fuck. I have pride in my appearance again. I actually CARE. This is great, fantastic, but also scary, as it is already expressing itself as a desire to LOSE 25 POUNDS NOW.
I hate these appointments.
New shrink usually means having to go through the last 19 years, and with my slightly squiffy memory, it's not that easy.
Fear of a BPD diagnosis - hmmm, young female who selfharms? What could that be.....
I will tidy this post up later, I'm just all in a muddle and I want another fag and I want to see Boyfriend for a good luck kiss but he is Oop North again :(
Half of me wants to let the numb feeling slide over me and crawl under the duvet for a few months, and the other half wants to skip and dance and tra la la la la all the shit stuff away.

Monday, 26 January 2009

Where The F*ck Are My Hipbones?!

Let's just bear in mind the fact that I've never really lost that much weight. My BMI has never been under 15, and I cut no skeletal waif-like figure even then.
I just can't stand this weight gain business. I'm almost back to my previous normal weight, and it sucks. It's shit. I hate it.
Oh, yes, it has it's advantages. I'm capable of working, I can study, I can get out of bed in the morning, and I haven't had a black eye from fainting and smacking my face on the toilet bowl in recent months. I haven't cut since November, and I haven't purged since before Christmas. I have more energy, I am not suicidal and I have breasts again.
I'm not special. Before I had something, something I cherished and nurtured like the life-sucking little parasite it was, but still it was mine. My special thing. It defined a lot of what I did. Now, I'm lost without it.
I know that my disordered eating only really comes into play when I am unwell, so the recent weeks have reflected me being much better than I have been in a long time. I also know that messing around with my eating greatly increases my chances of a relapse into depression, as the two tend to strike together. I know all of these things are good signs, that I am getting more and more stable, and yet I WANT HIPBONES. I want bones. I want jutting bones and paper thin flesh and I want purity and all that is good and the effort of day to day living to show. I want to be special again.
If I put half the effort I have expended on disordered eating into something productive, I would be special by now, and yet that just makes me want to lose 25lbs even more?

Thursday, 22 January 2009

My Size Zero Is Better Than Your Size Zero...

Or the wonders of so-called "vanity sizing".
I usually wear a pair of lowrise jeans, bought from Asda, which claim to be a UK size 4. They are getting a bit tight now, but they stretch a bit after an hour or so of wearing them. Today I bought a pair of leather trousers [for motorbike rallies and the like] from The Gods Of Clothing, the almight Topshop. They are a UK8, however they seem quite tight. Part of this is because they have a higher waist, and I have high hipbones, however they compare more to a size 6 in most of the other high street stores. I also tried a higher waisted pair of Topshop jeans in a UK10 [!!!], which hung off me, and made my mother grimace and comment on how I "need feeding up".

A UK6 in New Look still fits relatively well, although they seem to think I have the thighs of a UK14. Boots are never small enough on my calves. Most clothing stores seem to think I have no breasts [I have them again! Back to a 30DD! Mwa ha ha ha ha!]. Although getting a longer leg length is relatively easy, getting tops to fit my [ridiculously] long upper body is still almost impossible, and for someone who HATES their stomach, this is very frustrating. I tend to buy t-shirt dresses, or get men's band t-shirts and sew up the sides.

Shirts are a nightmare. The arms and body are never long enough, and if I get clothing from the "tall" section, I need a UK4/6 which is hardly ever available.

What is the deal with this vanity sizing business anyway? Why can't everything just be available in tall as well as petite? Almost all the hghstreet stores cater for the *ahem* fuller figure, with Plus Size clothing getting it's own section, designs and even name, yet tall clothing is limited to one rail, if there is any!

The only options seem to be paying extortionate prices at specisalist online stores, which usually don't do smaller than a UK8, gaining lots of weight [Noooooo! This is big enough!], or having life changing surgery to shorten my body and arms, so that I can wear normal clothes!

Next clothing rant: How DARE La Senza stop selling 30-inch back sizes!? Now, I have to buy from specialist, not to menton expensive brands such as Freya. Or spend hours at my Mum's sewing machine removing inches of excess material.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Funerals can be FUN!

My Nan's funeral was hilarious.
The priest was Welsh, and my Nan hates welsh people [something to do with a long ago camping trip and an obnoxious welsh shepherd, apparently].
He kept calling her by my Mum's name, and then went off on a huge rant about sinners, Jesus and the Gaza strip.
We had requested a simple reading, only one hymn [all things bright and beautiful], and minimal religious bullshit, but we got several other hymns and plenty of bible bashing.
My Nan would have had a coughing fit.
I was rather rude to the poor old bloke afterwards [apparently, he was asleep when the funeral director found him, and they had to wake him to do the service]. I refused to shake his hand, and told him quite bluntly to get the names right next time.
I then demolished a bottle of wine and hid in the conservatory for most of the buffet-come-mourning afterwards.
To be honest, I'm glad that it was funny. Otherwise I would have completely broken down. I thought my little brother was crying, but he was just laughing and trying to smother it. It was better, really. She would have liked it, I think.

I got home last night, and did something quite strange. I got drunk with my housemates, and actually, they aren't so bad. I'm just perpetually grumpy at the moment.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Late night paranoia and plotting revenge...

If I am accused of stealing coffee or failing to empty the tumble-dryer filter one more time I am going to hurt someone, most probably myself.
I've been here the longest.
I showed you how to clean that sodding filter, remember?
And the reason I was being quiet was because a) I'm ill b) I'm being considerate and c) it was 11pm.
I was not "sneaking" around, I was showing some f*cking consideration for people who may have been sleeping. Turn off you f*cking Akon crap and try doing the same?

At the same time, this may just be my paranoia. Or maybe I just hate you and your annoying habits.

Maybe, just maybe, I'll stop cleaning, and I'll start playing music loud with my door open? I'll pop in and distract you whenever you sit down to eat, and I'll make extra sure that I have an annoying little brat so that you can get woken up nice and early too.

I'm making a mountain out of a molehill, I know, but I've put on nearly 10 pounds, I'm pissed off and these ignorant, insufferably mind numbingly boring individuals are not helping.

Monday, 5 January 2009

I'm feeling a bit better

I got up to visit the bog [ain't I lady-like?], and thought I heard something coming through the letterbox, so I headed downstairs. My foot hadn't even touched the first step before mature student housemate appeared, peering up and grinning like an amused overweight vulture.

"Oops. I made a mess. He he he he he."

Turns out the noise was not the letterbox but the aluminium mop handle knocking into the fridge, as he cleaned up the vast number of muddy footprints covering the route between the back and front doors.

Now, why that struck him as exceptionally funny, or made him think that my ill, dressing gown clad self would find it hilarious, is totally beyond me.

I do have , honest sense of humour, honest. But seriously, is what he does funny? Am I just a bitter twisted girl? To be honest, I enjoy dry bitter humour, and think Nemi is a goddess, but living with his alien sense of comedy is driving me up the wall.

GG - "Oh, Right. Um.... Any post?"
Mature Student - "He he he.... Oh, post? No, nothing for you. He he he."
GG - Oh, ok. [Heads back to bed].
M/S - You can come downstairs...
GG - [What, and put up with your humour?] "No, just wanted to check if there was post."

He can't understand why, at 2pm, GG thought there may have been post. GG has to explain that she thought she heard the letterbox banging, which he denies happening, so GG has to explain why she said she thought she heard it, but is aware now that she was mistaken. He flatly denies making any noise at all. GG returns to bed to write this. At this moment he is repeatedly running the hoover up and down the wall outside my room, despite the fact it isn't his turn to clean.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Snuffle Splutter Snuffle

I have an awful cold, courtesy of my wonderful housemates, so apologies if this is rather boring, and peppered with references to coughing up lime green slime.
I want to move house.
I have sent a text to my Connexions PA begging for help in finding somewhere suitable, and I'm prowling the Internet for a job delivering leaflets. I plan to be sneaky, sign up to several companies, then whack out 3 or 4 leaflets at each house - therefore greatly increasing my earnings. This is also clever, as it means I can pace the streets without people worrying about me, my weight or my mind.
Getting back to the point, I need to move house.
Not only does delightful mature student think it is vastly amusing that they have passed on their plague, he still seems peeved that I said I felt ill, and did not want a conversation. I mean, surely I can snuffle my way downstairs and rest my head on the table while I wait for the kettle to boil without being subject to his abysmal sense of humour? Seriously, it is like having your soul sucked out through a too-small orifice by a half-hearted anteater.
Second housemate has a child. Yes, a small noisy creature, which of course hates me, and decided that early this morning, when I had finally got to sleep, that the best option was to cry. Loudly.
It stays over most weekends, which was most certainly not what I signed up for when I moved in. If I wanted sleepless nights and screaming children, I would have had my own and got a nice cosy council flat, right?
Also, if he uses my facecloth to wipe his kids arse again, I am going to literally hit the roof.
I am quite annoyed at the moment. I'm like this when I'm (physically) ill, I get grumpy because I feel like shite and every time I try to do something, my nose starts running. Particularly if I'm up to my elbows in washing up.
I've done nothing to my Insight project over the holiday's, but I've had a bit more on my mind, what with Nan being ill and then dying, Boyfriend getting himself kicked out the other night, and desperately needing to move.
I think they've got the point that I don't want to talk right now, they haven't knocked on my door since I went down stairs and made the point that "it's half ten, can you at least turn the music down if you insist on listening to that shit?!". They've tried talking, but I once again pointed out that I'm ill, I don't want to talk to you, I just want to go back to bed.
I need some sleep but I can't breathe properly, I'm so stuffed up, and lying down makes it worse. I've got my eye on a little flat in Hornchurch, but I don't want to call the estate agents if all I'm capable of saying is "Uggg".
Well, I hope you are all feeling better than me, and that you avoid the Winter Lurgie...