Saturday, 30 June 2007

Been in bed all week. Mrs Mo has gone to her cousin's wedding today. I coudn't face going, anticipating all the "What are you up to? Where are you working these days?". I hope she's OK and coping with all the questions about her absent, mad husband who lies in bed and scrounges a living off the state on benefits.

"Remember when you were young,
You shone like the sun.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Now there's a look in your eyes,
Like black holes in the sky."
Wright, Waters, Gilmour)

Monday, 25 June 2007

I have been lazing in bed most of the past couple of weeks. I've given up on the music and closed down the MySpace stuff. I don't feel down, just a general lack of drive or goal.

Things are much better with Mrs Mo now. She is bright eyed and bushy tailed and has just gone off to the city to see Rod Stewart. Last Sunday we took my nephew's kids out for the day which we both enjoyed. Apart from that I'm pretty much in limbo at the moment. Still on 2g Depakote.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

A short biography

I can never remember the dates or the sequence of events in my madness so I'll try to list a little timetable of how things happened as best I can remember.

Although I didn't go mad until I was 44, I don't think I have ever been euthymic in my life. My premorbid personality was pretty cyclothymic. Outwardly I was always an extrovert, the loud mouthed clown and much of the time I really felt like that, laughing and joking. Inwardly I often had long periods when I felt miserable but for most of my life I managed to hide this.

I was painfully shy, virtually mute and unhappy as an infant. I transformed around 10 and became an extroverted teenager with extreme highs and lows. In high school I was particularly disruptive and loathed any form of authority. Life spiralled downwards after leaving school at 16 and soon I found myself jobless and homeless. After becoming suicidal, I was prescibed antidepressants but they had no benefit on me or my circumstances, so I never went back to the doctor. I married at 19 and my wife brought love, stability and happiness into my life. I had a good, happy and fairly stable 10 years. My mood went seriously downhill in my 30s, bottoming out when I was 37 but I still didn't seek medical help. After coming back up it was a cycle of almost annual ups and downs until I was 43...

December 2003: I was hospitalised with chest pain, diagnosed as pericarditis, partly due to an abnormal ECG. I explained that I normally have an abnormal ECG with ST elevation. Follow up revealed continued ST take off and so some doubt about my diagnosis. The physician (who had a longstanding dislike for me) eyed me dubiously.

March 2004: Again hospitalised with chest pain, doctors initial diagnosis of pericarditis quickly changed to ?reflux oesophagitis perhaps due to alcohol abuse with an underlying look that said malingering. Same physician same mistrust.

August 2004: Hospitalised with chest pain… hmmm…. you again… 48 hours of dubious looks and distancing from staff. No doubt this time... I could see in their eyes the differential diagnosis of personality disorder or at best psychiatric illness. Then bloods came back showing I had elevated Troponin. Suddenly there was much concern and I was surrounded by white coats who told me I had definitely had a heart attack. After much serious warnings about lifestyle changes etc. I was transferred to a city hospital for angiograms. After a few days in hospital, while waiting on the angiogram I plummeted into a confused almost moribund state, when I mentioned this to the doctors they said it was simply due to the shock of having a heart attack. But the strange thing was, despite always being a hypochondriac I was completely indifferent to my cardiac problems. After my angiograms I was told that although I had mild IHD, I had not had a heart attack. I asked what would have caused my chest pain and was told viral pericarditis was most likely. Why were they fucking me about like this? When I questioned how likely it was to get viral pericarditis 3 times in 6 months and had they screened me for connective tissue disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, the SHO became quite irate and said I seemed to know a lot more about all this than he did, before stomping off. I was discharged and later had a follow up appointment with a local cardiologist who said I had probably suffered peri/myocarditis and this had caused the elevated troponin. Fuck! I was going to mention the previous incidents but decided not to waste my breath.

I remained profoundly lethargic and confused after discharge. I thought I was toxic and that my condition was due to a combination of doctor’s flim flam misdirection destabilising me and the beta blockers I was on. My GP tried various different beta blockers and then stopped altogether, still my brain felt altered. I was sure I had been hypnotised and poisoned. My brain and neural pathways had been physically altered by the NHS (who were also my employer) to get rid of me. I had lengthy hypnogogic states in bed at night when for a couple of hours I would hear things and have visions. I was mostly shattered and paranoid during the day. I thought if I could expose my optic nerve to the images of childhood it might restore my original neural pathways. In short I was now insane. My life was falling to pieces and I was desperate to get back to work and grasp at some sort normality before it all fell away forever.

October 2004: I got back to work. Initially I got on OK and felt better having some sense of identity and purpose but found it difficult coping with the workload.

November 2004: I broke down in tears in the office, just sat there crying. Both my manager and OH wanted me to take time off but work was all I had left in my life. I was an empty shell, a hollow man covered by a suit. Without work I had nothing. I pleaded and eventually they let me stay on on condition that I only did limited duties and only what I felt comfortable with.

March 2005: I was now finding work increasingly difficult to get a handle on, unsure of my open role. Much of the time I was just pretending to work, sitting at my PC. Despite being fairly psychotic (still feeling rushes of toxins through my head and obsessing with my physically altered brain) I think I was managing to put on a great act, cheery face and joking with folks.

April 2005:
My fa├žade collapses and after experiencing delusional perception at a meeting I go home and never return to work. At this point I eventually agree to see a psychiatrist. Over the following months I try various antidepressants with no effect.

January 2006: Diagnosed Bipolar I following first manic episode (induced by Venlafaxine)

April 2006: I retire from work on the grounds of ill health.

November 2006: I have 9 blasts of ECT with brief respite from depression

January 2007: I give up on meds and have my second manic episode

Thursday, 14 June 2007

I'm more reclusive now. Not really been out since the neighbours took the dog away. The occassional shopping trip with the missus has been about it. However we have just spent the weekend at Harrogate which was a breath of fresh air to Mrs Mo (even if it was more like a gasp of anxiety to me).

I managed to do a couple of tunes and put them on MySpace but my enthusiasm for the music is burning out, I can't seem to get started on anything, that old state of inertia is returning. I'm starting to wade in mud again.

I suppose on a positive note I am still enjoying cooking.