Friday, 30 July 2010

Broken Crystal

I notice that I wrote my last entry on Sunday 25th July and without trying to give excuses for what I said I do have to explain the reasons for it. That day was the anniversary of the best friend I've ever had committing suicide. It's been three years but it is still exceptionally raw and painful. I spent the whole of Saturday and Sunday consumed with a mixture of grief and utter guilt. I ended up totally distraught and I honestly thought that the pain would never end.

To be honest, I'm still not back to my usual self. This week has been horrendous for other reasons and it has caused me to start questioning everything. Things that I thought were certain and that I thought I had managed to reconcile within myself have been thrown into the air and shattered into 1000 pieces.

I've written about Dad before, about how he has been my rock, carer, confidant. How he's stuck with me through the stupid, reckless, heartbreaking. His unconditional love and his calm and loving reading of bedtime stories, making up animal noises for when he wiped my ears with a cloth at my bathtime. This giant of a man who gave so much to so many people, not least his family and clients at work. A survivor of a ruptured Aortic Aneurysm 40miles from hospital in the middle of the night. They called him Lazarus and a Walking Miracle. Well they might, the 13th anniversary of his surgery passed last week.

I just call him Dad.

On Wednesday I learned that my wonderful, loving, gentle Dad is going through a horrible and rapid onset of Dementia.

He has fixed me up over the years, washed grazed knees and done so much more. I've done similar for him a few times. The hardest part now is knowing that there's no way I can do anything to fix this. He is changing right before my eyes, it's as if someone has given him a personality and memory transplant.

I'm not prepared for this. I've always known that as a very late baby I would lose Dad and I've prepared myself for that. But I've never factored in this, I thought death would take him before his mind started wearing out. I wish I had been right.
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Sunday, 25 July 2010

Silence Is Deafening

I've got the message loud and clear. Even though it's been completely silently transmitted.

I don't know what it is that I've done wrong but whatever it is I am sorry for.

So I guess that, although I don't know why, this must be the end of The Planets.

Well, it was good while it lasted.

Like all the candidates on The Apprentice seem to say when they get fired; "thanks for the brilliant opportunity". Read more!

Friday, 23 July 2010

The End?

I'm not depressed, the combination of drugs sees to that. On Sunday, 25th July, it will be 3yrs since my best friend killed herself. I knew she had that plan in mind, she never told me which date it was going to be or anything but she made it very clear that she knew what she was going to do.

She had a very long standing mental illness, she self-harmed in horrific ways and as a result had to get a number of skin grafts to fix 3rd degree burns.

After being prescribed antidepressants she began to feel that her ability to function was being impaired and it frustrated her immensely. Eventually she got put on repeat prescriptions and could just order more as and when. That was the beginning of the end.

She weaned herself off the drugs but kept ordering prescriptions on the right dates so no suspicion was raised. When doing that she was stockpiling the tablets which were an old and toxic tricyclic antidepressant known to be fatal in overdose.

I begged her to go and try to get help from the CMHT and the day before she died she consented and went to see them. For some reason they didn't recognise the level of her distress so they sent her home telling her that they'd arrange an appointment with her psychiatrist and she'd be sent a letter.

That night she was active online, she left various messages but none that even hinted at what she was going to do. It turned out that the very last one she sent was to me. Of course with hindsight I can see clearly that it was goodbye but at the time it never read like that.

Events get hazy after this but at some point on the 25th July she made herself comfortable on the sofa, covered herself with a blanket and necked all of the pills. They estimated that she had taken approximately 5mths worth in one go. Enough to kill her quite a few times over. The PM report said she could not have ingested any less than 17g of the drug.

That figure even scared me a little bit.

I'm jealous of her, she's got peace and freedom. Her torments ended that day and her soul soared to Heaven. I miss her, wish I could have her back. But, deep down I know and accept that her life was always going to end in that way and if it hadn't been then it would have been another day.

I love you, I hope you know that. Sing with the angels.

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Sunday, 18 July 2010

Stumble & Fall

Things are slowly but surely getting worse. They can't be that bad yet though because I can see it happening. I am a great advocate of keeping an eye on my signs/symptoms and making sure I at least try to get something done before things go totally wrong. This is only true of my mental health, I'm not so quick about physical health. I admit to being somewhat bored of all the medical things going on in my life, I really hate getting this much attention focused on me, sometimes I wish that I could just be left alone. But, if I am seen to be 'refusing treatment' then I know very well that I would be risking getting put under a CTO...definitely don't want that.

What irks me slightly about treatment refusal is that I am under the impression that if I didn't have any mental illness I would probably be allowed to put my foot down and tell my medical squad not to do anymore.

The difference between physical and mental health for me is all about other people. I wouldn't be in any danger of potentially hurting another person or acting in an inappropriate way if I said that I don't want any more interventions. However, if I turned around and refused all of my mental med's there *could* be a risk of my behaving in a dangerous or inappropriate manner. I wouldn't want to cause hurt or pain (emotional or physical) to anybody other than myself.

It can be a tricky balance of doing what's right for everyone else and doing what's right for me. At the moment doing right by others is the important thing.
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Saturday, 17 July 2010

What's In A Name?

Just to let you know I've changed my display name. I felt that I wanted things to be even more anonymous than they were already. I'm still me though. And here is the rest of it. Read more!

Friday, 16 July 2010

Oh Well

So, I had a little jaunt to hospital on Wednesday. I don't remember a thing about it and I've lost yesterday too. No bad thing, just a little weird. It's not like memory loss from alcohol or illicit substances. Anyway, I've got a set of results in my grubby paw so at least I know what's going on.

To be perfectly honest I don't care very much about what's wrong. More medication, another test to be done (this time under GA) and then surgery to follow. I don't have a treatment plan for the other issue yet but I'm guessing that'll be a second surgery for the same problem as before.

It's almost funny. I probably need two separate operations and I know fine well that it'll be two different appointments and admissions for those. I don't totally get why the NHS can't have some system by which the two operations are done at the same time and the investigation I need under the GA in that same slot. Surely, that'd save money, time and effort?

Got to confess, I feel more than slightly guilty about all of the resources I'm taking from the NHS. Factor in all the drugs, tests, appointments, scans and various other bits and pieces and they must be spending an absolute fortune on me. Who am I to take all of that and not give anything back? There are so many people on waiting lists and yet here I am taking up all that time and money. I'm not even allowed to donate blood because the Blood Transfusion Service keep saying no.

I get totally confused by the blood grouping system so I can't even talk about any of it. My biology isn't too crash hot when it comes to remembering letters and what they mean. Strange because I memorised the Periodic Table with ease and can still remember most of it now.

Ok, I'm starting to meander so will sign off just now.
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Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Please Remove The Batteries

I need to be asleep right now. Obviously I am not or I wouldn't be writing this. Tomorrow is going to be a pivotal day for me and although I'm not really all that worried about what's going to happen I suppose that it's natural to be apprehensive.

I'm not a fan of hospitals, being a patient is slightly preferable to being a visitor because at least that way I can pretend to be asleep so I get left alone. I have to go to hospital tomorrow (today) for a test to be carried out. It's my 2nd attempt to get this procedure done, the first attempt was a disaster.

I'm not scared of the test, the drugs I'll need to have, the results or even the potential treatments if things are not as they should be. No, none of that worries me. I suppose I have a slightly Kamikaze approach to life which probably stems from not really caring about what happens to me. I had major surgery a couple of years ago and I just didn't care.

The thing keeping me awake right now is other people.

Four friends said that they would see/speak to me today (yesterday) in anticipation of this investigation getting done. One came to see me, one called me up, two essentially told me to ^")£!! off. I can't be bothered with that kind of crap, if you say you'll do something then do it and if you say you're going to but have no intention of doing so then don't pretend.

There's a FaceBook group called; "Oh I'm Sorry, I Forgot. I Only Exist To You When You Need Something From Me" and that pretty much sums up 99% of the relationships that I have with people. They contact me when they want someone to listen, need to 'borrow' money, think I could offer them some sort of help/advice.....then vanish like a burst bubble when they've got what they want for the time being. Meanwhile, I am basically left with no-one.

Now, I know that sounds incredibly self-centred and 'woe is me' or even attention seeky. It is, however, a statement of fact.

Part of the problem is that I hate bothering people with my stuff, I'd far rather listen than talk. I get bored of listening to myself inside my own head so why would I inflict that on someone else? So I withdraw, shut myself away and generally try to disappear. Then I get told not to do that and I should be reaching out for support. I can't win.

Truth is, I hate being me. I've always known, from being a tiny child, that I am worth nothing. One parent validated me, loved me, cared for me. The other abused me, hated me, tortured me. I am not what one of my parents wanted. No matter what I did, how much I achieved or how hard I tried to please, it was never going to be enough.

The evening before I had my major surgery the parent in question came to my bedside (i had specifically said no visitors). I don't know how they knew where I was, which hospital, what ward I was in...they stood there at the foot of my bed and said; "I only came for myself, I never came for you. What would people think if I hadn't come to see you and you die." Just before they walked in I had got a message saying they were on their way. I was hooked up to a machine to measure my BP, Sats and stuff. It went totally crazy when I heard this parent was coming. Classic fear response, I was experiencing the whole fight/flight thing.

My other parent did as I asked and stayed at home. We talked by phone and it was very calm and loving conversation.

If you're reading this I wonder what you're thinking. You might be thinking that I'm an ungrateful brat who should appreciate what they've got. You might be wondering why one of my parents detested me so much. You probably have a belief in your mind about which parent it was who rejected and abused me. You might consider that my physical reaction to the news of the imminent arrival of a parent was extreme and that I faked it. I wish I knew what you are thinking.

So, I'll tell you the answers and let you make your own mind up.

People often say that I'm too grateful. That I thank them when it's not needed.

My parent didn't want me because I was a totally ordinary child. They were hoping that I would be born with Regular Trisomy 21. The disappointment that I was completely healthy meant that they rejected me on the spot. No attachment was ever formed. They wanted a child who would gain them special attention, praise for being so caring, lots of medical appointments and other professional involvement. Like my surgery; "I only wanted you for me, what would people think if I never looked after my child with that condition." Is what I imagine would have been thought if never said.

If you're thinking that it was Dad who rejected and abused me, you're wrong. He was both parents to me, did all the caring/bathing/reading bedtime stories/playing with me in parks/taking me on walks etc etc etc. The other one just lived in the same house as us and made our lives a miserable living hell. To the outside world she was kind and a true Christian lady. Behind closed doors she was a manipulative figure of terror. She wanted a child with Down's Syndrome so that I would be always under her control, no threat to her either intellectually or socially. She wanted the attention that parents of special children get. Then she ended up with me.

I never faked the reaction that I had to the news that she was going to be arriving at my hospital bedside. The machine had been happily measuring my vital signs for the entire afternoon and never particularly showed anything other than normal levels. It only went off on one the moment I was told she was coming. I wouldn't know how to fake that, surely you can't deliberately make a machine like that respond in a certain way?

I wish I knew what you are thinking now.
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Monday, 12 July 2010

Blasts From The Past

Can I just start by saying "thank you" for the comments that have been left on my witterings so far? I logged in this evening and saw that comments have been left and to be honest it sort of made my day:)

My blast from the past for today is a new Soda Stream machine being advertised on television. Having been a child when the original soda stream was all the rage I find myself wondering whether this brand spanking new one will live up to my fond memories of the original. I shouldn't have thought I'll be buying one, I'm really not into kitchen gadgets but if anyone I know happens to invest then I'll be trying it out for comparison. Apparently, it was the herald of the soda stream entering my childhood residence that accounted for my first ever dental filling. What a legacy!

There are loads of things from my childhood era that I would love to make a come-back. Not so much the TV programmes or cartoons - I have a lot of DVD/videos of those but mainly toys and games.

For example, Big Yellow Teapot. My friend had one of those and I coveted it. However I had a Lights Alive and she coveted that so we were even. Another favourite of mine was the Space Ball, I had hours of practice in on my one and could easily (and happily) bounce my way around places. Coming in close was my Roller Boots. It was very much a case of "have boots, will travel".

While I'm on the travel theme I really have to mention bikes. For me and my peers that was our main mode of transport. My best childhood friend had a BMX and it was fantastic his was like the one in the picture there that has plastic in place of spokes. I had various hand-me-down bikes then got my very own brand new Mountain Bike (can't find a good link). It had 5 gears and I thought it was the best present ever. Another friend used to collect Choppers, that was when we got a bit older (not necessarily wiser).

Lego was a firm favourite and lots of happy times were found in the bottom of the lego storage crates of me and my best friend. My friend had the Lights and Sound lego which I was never allowed to get but I had the Space sets which he wasn't allowed to get. My total inability to do jigsaws was what led to lego entering my life and I never looked back.

I could just go on and on and on but I feel that I should quit while I'm ahead. Just before I do sign off I'm just going to mention a few 'fashion disasters' that may have occurred.

Somewhere there is in existence a photograph of me taken in around 1987. In that picture I am wearing jeans, tie-die tee shirt and white/green trainers with neon laces that were two different colours. Nice! Of course I also did the Bermuda Shorts (no good image of those either), Shell Suits and baseball caps thing. But some things are better to be left under a thick layer of dust in an attic.
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Stuff To Keep Me Sane

I'm a great believer in distraction as a coping strategy. When things are taking up space in my mind I like nothing more than to spend a bit of time totally switched off. So, here's a few bits and pieces that I apply my mind to in order that I don't sink completely into a self-indulgent misery.

At the moment my favourite distraction is Kaleidoscope Painterand if you're going to give it a go then be warned, it's fairly addictive.

I also like those ridiculous quiz sites where you answer five questions and you get told various things about yourself. They are totally inane but occasionally can be quite amusing.

The Death Clock is a page that I visit quite often too. It said the other day that I'll live until I'm aged 124yrs. Uh, no thank you!

A final one, hopefully it'll make you smile. Demotivators My very favourite is this one;

"Hundreds of years from now, it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove... But the world may be different because I did something so bafflingly crazy that my ruins become a tourist attraction."
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Sunday, 11 July 2010

Is It An Anti-Climax?

So that's the World Cup over again, I only caught the last half hour of the game but even so, what a match. I'm very happy that Spain won but only because I had a fantasy bet of £7,000,000 on them so I'm now exceedingly imaginatively rich. I have to confess, I'm really not into the World Cup, I do enjoy watching a few of the games but I very much prefer club football.

Now all the flags will be taken down and the streets will go back to something resembling "normal".

But what of the people, the fans, the officials, the players and everyone for whom this football tournament provided distraction and solace from every day life? It might sound ridiculous but I wonder how many people will be sitting alone right now having watched the final who are thinking "what now".

That, perhaps, is the ultimate unanswerable question.

What now?
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It's All About...

Today was the British Grand Prix. Quite a race at the best of times but today it seemed laced with not a small amount of hostility. I'm pleased with the result, Webber did great. Shame about Jensen only getting 4th but he did exceptionally to work his way up through the pack the way he did.

I'm not someone who follows a particular driver around. There are a couple of drivers that I like so I do look at how they're getting on but for me it's all about the team. I've been all for McLaren for around 22yrs now, regardless who drives for them or how well/badly their doing. I don't know why I chose McLaren, possibly because most of my peers were what we used to call "glory hunters" and changed allegiance depending on who was winning. Same with football, I've never been interested in Manchester United for exactly the same reason (and because I might be disowned if I did such a thing! LOL!)

As an ardent McLaren fan I have to make a confession. I totally and utterly cannot stand Lewis Hamilton. There, I've said it. He just winds me up and infuriates me so badly that I actually find myself hoping that he'll get a car fault at the start so he'd be immediately out. But then of course it would impact on the team points...Catch 22.

In the post-race press conference Hamilton actually had the nerve to say the following; "Even Jensen did a good job today." Arrogant little toad. Who does he think he is? Jensen is twice the person that Hamilton is and will ever be. How dare he!?

Rant over. Roll on Germany. It should be interesting.
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Saturday, 10 July 2010

Jupiter; Facts

Jupiter: planet, not person.

The largest planet in the solar system and 318x the size of earth. For me that conjures up mental images of a really big dog chasing lots of little dogs (stars/other planets) around the, yeah, anyway...

It takes about twelve years for Jupiter to orbit the sun but it spins on it's axis fast and a day there only lasts for 9.8hrs. It has a diameter of 142,984km (88,846 miles) and contains 71% of all the planetary matter in the solar system.

As well as having approximately 63 moons Jupiter is the 5th planet from the sun and the magnetic field extends for 1,600,000km (994,194 miles).

Finally, Jupiter has a tiny inner rock core but otherwise is entirely composed of gasses. It's main composition is of Hydrogen and Helium. The temperature fluctuates from -163oC to 121oC and it has rings which are thought to be made up of dust particles.
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Having set this blog up and become one of the two founding members of The Planets I found myself unable to decide what to write about.

Pluto has offered me a golden opportunity to become an accepted and valued part of something and I don't want to waste it or pass it up.

I still don't really know what to write about. Football? F1? Weather? Academic stuff, historical stuff, books, could literally be anything. I think the best thing will be to write whatever comes to mind at the time. Then there's no pressure to stick to a theme or try to write about 'target' issues.

The ride will be very bumpy with lots of hills and valleys. It will be sad and happy, upbeat and depressed. In short I guess that if you're coming along with me on the journey you'd better take some travel-sickness med's, have a good head for heights and not be afraid of the dark.

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