On the Other Side of Gally

Friday 11th: After waking up from the surgery
Saturday 12th: Home after the event
Wednesday 16th: A few days into the week after the Eviction of Gally!

So it’s been quite the adventure! Last Friday 11th August it was Gally’s Eviction Day! I went to the public hospital reeeeeeeeeally early in the morning (6am Admission) and I was apparently a “priority case” and was the first person called up when the admin desk opened. I was ushered up to the 4th Floor and waited about 30secs (lol) and was whisked through the doors and into the changing rooms.

I got to put on that really attractive purple gown that opened at the back, and a super sexy pair of hospital underwear, then went through a huge amount of forms and got those great hospital stockings. I was the first one taken through the unit to the waiting beds where I was given a bright red hat (red for allergies. I’m allergic to Propofol, the most often used general anesthetic).

My bed was wheeled through countless doors, and because I was so anxious I was rabbiting on, just random stuff. And man, those hospital ceilings are so ugly.

Into the teeny pre-op room, where I had a Parisian and a New Zealand anesthetist team. They stuck an IV in my elbow, asked for something to help me CALM THE FUCK DOWN, surgeon came in, gave us the green light and I was wheeled into the operating room.

I was thinking “Um the sedative isn’t working!” but then realised they hadn’t given it to me yet. Boy, did I know when they did! And the rest I don’t really remember.

Woke up later, in the recovery room, in horrible horrible pain. I found out later on, that they gave me ketamine during the surgery. Apparently everything went well. I have four incisions on my abdomen, the biggest is below my belly button and that’s where they pulled Ol’ Gally out and apparently he put up a fight! He was larger than they expected and so was a bit more difficult to get out and there is some (a fair bit) of bruising below the incision.

They managed to get my pain levels to a lower level, more tolerable level. And I was sent to the 23hr Unit where I spent the night.

Pain was pretty consistent and I was on Oxycodone. My blood pressure dropped overnight, which I have low blood pressure normally but the hospital didn’t understand that so stuck me on IV fluids overnight. And after a horrible breakfast, the surgeon came around and spoke to me.

Now I don’t mean to speak ill of our public health system and the fine people who work there, BUT the surgeon I spoke to before leaving the hospital …. well she could have been nicer. She didn’t listen to my concerns and was very testy when I said that paracetomol doesn’t do anything for my pain – I have Fibromyalgia, pain is a part of my daily life – so she said she was only going to give me a script for 3 tablets of oxycodone. As in, 3 tablets.

Off topic one sec: EVERYTIME I go to the public system for pain, pain of any kind, they give me the skeptical look when I say that paracetomol does nothing. I get treated like a drug seeker, and it’s not an uncommon problem for people with chronic pain – being treated like drug seekers. Yeah, cause I went and had surgery just to get some oxy. YEAH SURE.

So I went home, and I felt like shit and now I’m tired and I am getting sleepy after taking my pain meds so I may have to make this a 2 part series and come back to it later.

Could I Start a Go Fund Me?

Today I looked at my budget and realised I won’t be able to afford the forearm tattoo cover up that I had planned on getting, to celebrate my freedom from self harm (today I am 480 days free!), and to reclaim my body.

And I got really disappointed. This was something I had been working towards, and looking forward to, excited about! And now it wasn’t going to happen.

The reason it won’t be happening is unexpected bills and expenses.

I did consider, and obviously the title and subject of this post, starting a fund raising campaign for the tattoo cost.

And I have contacted the GoFundMe people, and they said absolutely my ’cause’ could be supported.

But. I’ve never been a person who likes taking money from other people. I currently owe a few people money, personal loans from close people who voluntarily loaned me the money, and I feel like if I were to start a fundraising campaign it would be a kind of, slap in the face?, to those people that I owe money to.

The whole thing is confusing and upsetting.

Ps.

Happy birthday to you. I never forget your birthday. Happy 30th birthday. I’m sad I couldn’t share in it with you.

Not even semi functioning

I’m stuck. I can’t leave the house. The pets are driving me crazy. I don’t create anything. I don’t have any art being made. I can’t function. I can’t function at all. My brain is messy. The last few weeks are all a blur. I keep thinking it’s still the 11th July. I can’t focus. My relationships are disintegrating and falling apart. Everything is a blur. And I can’t stop moving. I can’t stay still. I have to keep busy. I’ve got the washing machine going, the dryer going, the Netflix on, I’m not creating anything or making any art, I’m just pulling apart magazines and being driven crazy by my head.

How do people sleep who don’t have insomnia? And how do people sleep, at all? If I don’t have my meds, the only way to get to sleep is being really really drunk. And that’s not helpful.

How do people live normal-ish lives? How do people wake up everyday and go ‘hey it’s okay that I’m alive’? How do people wake up and not hate that they have woken up? How?

Can’t think of a title.

Sometimes pictures speak louder than words. And pictures with words, well I guess they speak even louder?

Essentially, the thing I’m trying to get across here is that I am not okay.

And I am trying really hard to be okay, but there are a few things I need to do, in order to be okay. And they are going to happen. I’m having my alien parasite gallbladder (known as “Gally”) evicted on August 11th, and then hopefully a couple days after I’ll be heading back in for another round of TMS. And maybe by then, I will have progressed through this grief stuff and be semi-almost-close-to-something-remotely-close-to-human. Maybe. Hopefully.

Mmkay I think that’s all.

Life is hard.

Screen Shot 2017-07-29 at 3.58.04 pm
I may be mentally fucked up but I still have my selfie skills.

Okay so it’s been awhile since I last posted. And I am really tired at the moment. It’s been a sucky sucky few weeks. I can’t really figure out the last few weeks, like what happened when. Things are a bit of a blur. I keep thinking that it’s still about the 12th of July.

But it’s not. It’s the 29th July.

So, brief overview of the last weeks:

10th July: My birthday.
11th July: Gallbladder attack in the morning that landed me in the ER for a couple hours.
12th July: Gallbladder attack early in the morning – did not go to the ER, stayed at home.
13th July: Got call my grandma was sick and the doctors said “the family needs to come” (doctor speak for “she’s dying”).
14th July: Grandma passed away early in the morning.

I don’t really recall what happened between then and the next few days:

20th July: Funeral for my grandma.

25th July: Specialist appointment for my gallbladder. Surgery got booked straight away for August 11th.

And I’m really tired right now so I can’t really remember what else has been happening. These are the main things that stick in my mind. I don’t really know what is going on in my life right now.

None of this post makes sense.

Round Two, Ding Ding.

img_2347Me after waking up from the attack and a dose of oxy,
with Mr Rainbow Wheatbag

Okay so 3am this morning I had another gallbladder attack. Mr Hippo heated Mr Rainbow Unicorn wheatbag and I fumbled with the oxycodone box.

After taking the tablet and curling around Mr Rainbow, praying and begging for sleep. I fell asleep and woke with my alarm at 8am, feeling like I had been hit by a freight train carrying the densest substance in the universe.

So I have made an ‘Emergency Bag‘. It has the oxycodone and ondansetron that the hospital gave me, a current list of my medications and their dosages + reasons why I take them, a spare copy of one of my MedicAlert wallet cards (which contains info on allergies and medical history etc), a wheatbag (not Mr Rainbow), a hot waterbottle including fluffy cover.

I am worried because I fairly often get these attacks in ‘clusters’ (so obviously more than one) and I really really hope and pray to every god ever, that I don’t get another attack.

I rang the hospital department that my consultation is with on the 25th July, cried and begged for a sooner appointment, but apparently they are only open on Tuesdays and the next one on the 18th is overbooked and the fact two severe attacks within 24hrs means nothing.

And also, this pain is majorly making me reconsider any future pregnancies.

Jokes aside, I am so so tired of this. Please someone make it stop. Please.

The Useless ER Trip

So you guys know that gallbladder I got that hates me? That broke off a rib and carved a shiv out of it, trying to stab me from the inside and kill me? Yeah, Gally.

So like 5something AM this morning, I wake up in excruciating pain with Biliary Colic (aka ‘gallbladder attack’). The pain was so bad that I had difficulties breathing, which started anxiety, further impeding my breathing.

Mr Hippo drove me to the ER at about 6am. I had to half crawl into the room because I could barely stand up, and I waited in the triage line, clutching my unicorn wheat bag to my stomach, and even though there was someone ahead of me, I managed to say ‘I can’t breathe’ and they put me to the head of the line. Then they put the wrist band on (pictured) so loose it kept slipping off.

I was given a clipboard and told to ‘follow the red line and take a seat’ then ushered through The Door (to the actual hospital). I followed the red line on the floor as instructed. I took a seat, cried a bit more, then a nurse came over and took my clipboard and went away.

Eventually they took notes on my situation and did my OBS (all good, just a little tachycardia) and then I got a ‘doctor’ who came over and took the same notes and then took me to a bed and prodded my abdomen. She then took my blood (very badly) and sent me back to the chair in the hallway (there were more than one empty beds), were I sat, and sobbed, and clutched my unicorn wheat bag.

The intern came back and gave me ibuprofen (it does nothing). Then gave me Ondansetron (I asked for Zofran – which is just the brand name for that drug – and she was like ‘what is that?’. I also asked for Motilium, which is an antiemetic, and was told ‘that’s for your bowel’ …. a quick drug search tells me otherwise …) and an Endone tablet. And then the intern told me my bloods were all fine and I could go home.

I started sobbing. A nurse came over to ask why? Because I am so tired of these attacks, they are getting more frequent and more severe (the last attack was just a fortnight ago) and I just was so tired of it. She said that there is nothing they can do about it, I have to either go through the private system or just wait it out with the public system. They gave me scripts and sent me home.

The world is so cruel.

Fight or Flight: What Happens When Neither are Possible?

The last two days have been pretty awful. Mostly due to the house in our street being demo’d. (Pro Tip: Don’t park your big ass truck in front of a cop’s driveway. It won’t end well for you).

It may sound like that is just an annoyance. But the crunching and crushing sounds have been a massive trauma trigger for me. I grew up near an operating rock quarry. And the sounds of the quarry during the day terrified me as a small child. I thought they were “Rock Monsters” climbing the hill to come hurt me.

And so, the last two days I’ve been stuck hearing the Rock Monsters outside. Add that to my pre-existing major anxiety and you get a fun bag of crazy!

The two responses to any stressful situation is commonly “fight or flight”, but what happens when neither of those are options? I can’t “fight” the construction workers and their machines, I can’t “flight” either: I have nowhere to go.

I can, in a sense, “fight” my Rock Monsters. I can challenge those thoughts. I can challenge them with “I’m safe. I’m alive. I’m here, not there. They aren’t real. They cannot hurt me.” thoughts, but that is waaay easier said than done.

Another reason I am out of sorts, is my birthday is on Monday. I do not like my birthday. I really do not like my birthday. And it is a bit of a trigger in itself.

What is left, when an anxious person has their trauma triggered, when the main responses are unavailable?

“A child molester only has power as long as their secret is kept.
Tell the truth, and his power is gone.”
– L&W: SVU, ADA Alexandra Cabot.

Real Talk

People have been asking me how I am, and I don’t really want to talk about it, and I don’t. Because I’m ashamed.

I have gone backwards. I have gone right back to ‘recluse/agoraphobic/social anxiety/can’t leave house/leaving bed is a struggle/severely depressed/etc’ that I was before the TMS.

At least, I feel like I have gone backwards. 

And I’m afraid that the TMS didn’t work. And since I have a page long list of all the antidepressant medication and mood stabilising medication I’ve tried, there really isn’t any medication/drug option for me. And due to the type of illness I am living with, which is not ‘curable’ but certainly many people can live fulfilling lives, there are only so many treatment options for me. And if the TMS didn’t work, well I’m pretty much out of options for further treatment.

[I am aware there are ‘other’ treatments possible, group therapy, ECT, and other options. But while I have shared a lot of personal information in my posts, the full history of what treatments and therapies and whatnot I have been through has not been disclosed. So please unless you know me personally, don’t suggest a treatment that helped you. I appreciate the thought, I do really, but I’m not emotionally strong enough to be told what to do.]

And I am ashamed. I am ashamed because I feel like such a failure and a burden on everyone around me. My family and friends are being kept at arms length, I don’t talk about what’s going on in my head because I’m afraid that this is as good as it gets. That this is what my life is going to be like for the rest of it. This is the best I can get. And I won’t ever be a contributing member of society again.

This is as good as it gets for me it appears.

Stop telling me I’m ‘brave’

**This post was originally written on May 26th, I have not been able to finish it until now. So the first half of the post will be what I originally wrote and then I will make a separate section for my current thoughts**

So. Yesterday was a very hard day. I upped the TMS % and I actually did some head-on trauma stuff (which is in the last post I made). Today I upped the % again, I’m at 85% (aim is 120%) and I did a touch more on my trauma but not too much as it’s Friday and my shrink isn’t here on the weekend.

I only just shared the previous post on my personal Facebook account, took a bit of psyching myself up to do it, but I wanted to. For a variety of reasons. Which I can’t really explain right now, my head is a bit weird.

I do want to make sure one particular person knows that I love her and am here for her always, Athena my Warrior Queen, you are stuck with me! 😋

So yes. After talking to people over the years about my illness and trauma history, and even my current treatment, I keep getting the same themes from people: ‘you’re so brave/strong/courageous/etc’.

I appreciate the sentiment, that it is hard to recover from any illness and speaking about recovery is not as common as we as a people would like. I am not the first, nor the last person to ever suffer from a mental illness or attempt to recover from one. I am not the only person who has ever spoken openly about it, but sadly going by a rough estimate of how many people suffer from some form of mental illness in their lives, the people who talk about it are still in the minority.

I’m not the first. I’m not the last.

Telling me I’m brave/strong etc may seem like the right thing to say to someone battling for their lives, it may seem like a compliment, and it’s what everyone says to everyone who is unwell enough to need treatment (cancer also springs to mind).


Okay so this is now me, awhile later. I’m further down my treatment “schedule” and I’ve had more posts on how I’m going, and I’ve had no posts as well.

Still

Do not tell me I am brave.


memiddayfifthjuly5th July, 2017

And again, this is being written later, it has been sitting in “drafts” for so long.

Don’t tell me I am brave.
Don’t tell me I am special.
Don’t tell me I should be proud of myself.
Don’t tell me I am a good person.

Because even though all those are meant well and with good intentions and well wishes, they are no competition to the tirade of words and phrases in my head. The constant words that tell me I am not enough.

Those words even enter my dreams. This morning Mr Hippo was leaving for work, he sai goodbye and told me he loves me. But at first, it wasn’t him. The first words, were not his. The first words, while part of my dreams [cough, nightmares] were not his. And they scared me. Scared me enough, to start that tape in my head, that tape that tells me I am not enough/I am bad/I am wrong/There is something bad in me/There is something evil in me/I need to be kept away/I am bad/I am a burden, and to not leave the house again.

In the dream-mare, the words are not real and never spoken to me, but the reason for them and the reason they were in my head at all, is real.

I am not brave.
I am a coward.