Friday, 26 September 2008

ZZzzzzz..... I've turned back into a zombie and spent the week sleeping and dossing around. God bless quetiapine.

We're off to Spain in the morning, hopefully the heat will render me unconscious and free from anxiety for the week. I have a vision....

Saturday, 20 September 2008

My MSP wrote back within a couple of days. Just some copied and pasted information I already knew but unlike the "Expect More" people at SAMH, at least she took the time to write.

I'm now sleeping around 12 hours each night and am a bit more alert during the day. Despite this I am still pretty much inactive, apart from finalising my new CD, my activity chart is filled in with "did nothing" or "made the tea". Only a week now till we go on holiday, I'll really have to try hard and get my arse into gear.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

I forgot to include an image of the mood chart that Moonstone gave to me on Wednesday, so here it is...

I've used this one before, having previously found it the most suitable chart for me that I could find on the web. If you want a copy you can download a PDF of the mood chart and also the activity chart here.

I finished recording the tracks for my latest CD last night and had a listen to them when I got up today. I was dismayed to find that they sound completely different on my hifi and I'll have to remix them probably repeatedly on a trial and error basis on different stereos. I should have just made a start today but the thought of this seems like a huge hurdle... shit ... what a woose I am... and so I have done fuck all today. I feel really deflated. I managed to put on a brave face and do the appropriate thing... i.e had two fried egg rolls then wrapped myself up in a duvet in front of the telly.

I hate wasting a day. It always feels like if this was the last day of your life and you could choose anything you like, how would you spend it...I guess "lying along the sofa watching repeats of old TV programmes that you didn't even like the first time round" would be pretty low on your wishlist.

It's absolutely criminal and I hate myself for it. Well that's been today so far. Coming over here to the PC is something I didn't want to do but I reckon typing in a few lines is bordering on constructive behaviour and there are also a couple of emails I've sent that I want to remind myself about.

I wrote to our leading mental health charity a couple of weeks ago and have never received any form of reply. SAMH have a very fancy, jazzy website which explodes with ideals and aspirations and outlines their ambitions for people who use mental health services in Scotland.

I discovered on a previous encounter with SAMH that it's all a bit like New Labour spin, lots of style and no substance. Anyway, back to why I wrote to them. Like most people, I'm getting anxious about the rising prices of gas and electricity and how I'm going to be able to afford heating and hot water this winter. We have an old inefficient boiler which is on it's last legs and if we lived in England this would be replaced under the WarmFront scheme. I wrote (in vain) to ask if there were any similar grants available in Scotland or if there was another agency I could contact. Maybe they should consider taking a leaf out of Abraham Maslow's book and alter their slogans of "See Me" and "Respect Me" to "Heat Me" and "Feed Me". Anyway, they haven't responded so I've just written to my MSP asking the same question. I've never written to a member of parliament before, I always thought that domain was strictly for nutters... but I had a brief moment of insight and realised I now fit that criteria.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Over the past couple of weeks I've remained drowsy, dry mouthed and fuzzy headed. I'm still sleeping too much and of course constantly hungry and stuffing my face. I look like an elephant seal waiting on my next fish.

One thing I suppose that is positive is that my alcohol intake has decreased. After I take my meds at 10pm I have a couple of drinks and then feel sleepy and fall into zombie mode before bed. Another positive thing is that I've not been as anxious about the approaching holiday as I would normally be. I've also had the odd palpitation and occassional constipation. All of the aforementioned features are due to Quetiapine (Seroquel). How has it affected my mood? Well I haven't got much idea because I don't really have a sense of mood nowadays, invariably I feel flat and disaffected.

In my waking hours I have been working flat out... working?... well... err... playing... recording a CD which I hope to finish in the couple of weeks. Although I'm very drowsy, I still feel driven to get it finished and I am unable to rest and just sit and watch the telly.

This morning I had my second appointment with Dr Woodstock. She was again very relaxed and easy to talk to. She felt I was brighter today and to be honest I did feel a bit more animated despite having to get up earlyish for my appointment. She was surprised when I told her I had been sleeping about 12-14 hours a day and immediately suggested reducing my medication. Good stuff. So my semi sodium valproate (Depakote) has gone down by 250mg at night and will be further reduced when I get back from holiday.

She also suggested I keep a mood chart and activity chart to see if any patterns emerged around behaviour and mood. I was impressed when she went out to her car and brought the charts in. Although I have in the past personally filled in a chart for my own benefit, this is the first time I have ever been given a mood chart by any of my psychiatrists. She also suggested I see a lifestyle advisor if weight was my main concern but I wriggled out of this by saying I was a bit cynical about it and like most folks I know what I should be doing as regards calories and excercise, the last thing I needed just now was being set up to fail at a task. I'm really pleased with Moonstone, I explained to her I didn't want to continue in my previous role with the pirate where I would just come and do a monthly confession with nothing in return. She said "fine, we'll do whatever you want. We can meet as often or as rarely as you want". I didn't know how often that should be, she said just see how you feel.

I've tried not to like her as I have long standing issues with my NHS Trust but as Portillo told me before I saw her "what's not to like with" Dr Woodstock. She neither too pushy nor too inactive, is gently proactive which I think will work out well for me. I think I will gradually start to trust her and perhaps become more open and maybe even accept support.

I feel positive about this.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Now sleeping about 14 hours a day. Just eating and sleeping.