Knee + Steroids = ? Days 1 & 2

Thursday 17th September 2015 @ 10:05 pm : thebitchwascrazy : 0 Comments :

Yesterday my consultant stuck quite a large needle under my kneecap and squirted some steroids in that bitch. That felt weird, but not as weird as getting liquids shot through an IV. Honestly, the effect was almost instantaneous, although I did still use my crutches to get from the hospital back to the car, because the steroids may have made it 100x better, but it still hurt to put weight on. A lot.

(Aside: I deffo no longer have a needle phobia any more. Thank you, massive amounts of pregablin. You have done many things for me, but this might just be my favourite of them. This was another change brought about by the miracles of modern medicine. I still get nervous when people approach me with needles, but I think that’s mostly because I spent 21 years having phobia reactions, and only 6 years not having them, so it’s like my body remembers ‘this is how we’re supposed to react to the thing’ and tries to make me have a panic attack, but then I take a few deep breaths and it’s fine. I am super excited that this is  thing that has happened.)

Blah blah, went home, had a nap. Knee did not lock or seize up while I had  nap for the first time in two years. I woke up after 80 minutes and didn’t have to move my knee with my hands to get it warmed up or anything.

Then I did some walking around town WITHOUT MY CRUTCHES. It hurt, but it was more of an ache from the steroid injection than the constant screaming agony that walking was before. Oh, and I lasted through the whole of seeing Legend at the cinema without having to resort to a) opiates, or b) leaving the cinema.

Last night I slept for seven whole hours. Uninterrupted, blissfully un-painful sleep. Previously I would only get an hour or so before my knee seized up, and then I tried to move in my sleep, and then I woke up swearing and sweting from the pain. Rinse, repeat, get very cranky from long-term insomnia.

This morning I sat on the edge of my bed, and then I stood up. With a bit of stiffness, bit of soreness, but no actual pain, and more importantly, I did it without having to push off the bed with one hand and the desk with the other. And then I walked normally across my flat to the bathroom and back. No limping at all.

When I got to Hove for my eye test fifteen minutes early I just wandered (WALKED, WITHOUT CRUTCHES) around the shops, and did it a bit longer afterwards JUST FOR THE NOVELTY.

Then I came home and did thirty squats. THIRTY. And my knee feels fine. It hasn’t seized up once while I’ve been sitting around reading for the last five hours. AT ALL.

Because of the Hypermobility Syndrome it’s possible that the steroid injections effects will wear off a lot sooner than intended, so I am going to try and keep an update every few days of any progress, regressions, or side effects so that I can go prepared into my next consultants appointment.

Because giant knee needle every few months is WAY BETTER than a knee replacement before the age of thirty.

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Party like it’s 2010

Saturday 5th September 2015 @ 1:01 pm : thebitchwascrazy : 0 Comments :

I mean, it would be a terrible party. Because the reason it’s like 2010 is that was the last time I experienced this much stress.

Seriously. Terrible party.

You would think that someone with the level of anxiety and depression that I experience would be an old hand at stress, but you would be wrong. They are totally different beasts. Anxiety and depression are my brain’s default settings. Stress is their response to outside stimulus.

When things start happening that require me to work to deadlines, or make multiple phonecalls, or just turn up to things over and over again even when the best thing for my mental health would be to not interact with the world – well, each thing makes my stress levels rise a tiny increment. Often there is enough time between each of these things that the stress of one thing goes away before the next thing happens. But the last two months have not been spacing stressful things out considerately, and so now I am stressed.

Which, actually, would be fine if it didn’t effect anyone but me, but it doesn’t. The more stressed I am the less control I have over my temper (I live with a strangle hold on my truly horrible, awful temper every single day. I don’t get angry any more because a) I do not want to make people cry, and b) I am over 18 and can be arrested for punching people in the throat now), so things sort of bleed over. I get snappy and irritable, and then that escalates to throwing things, which escalates to me punching people, which is just bad for all of us.

It sucks because the only way to stop it once it’s started is to stop doing ANYTHING for a while. For 1-4 weeks I have to just do nothing, say nothing, see no one if my brain doesn’t really want to. It requires self-awareness and selfishness, neither of which I am accomplished at (I have this driving need to HELP PEOPLE and not LET PEOPLE DOWN even when it’s to my own detriment and I CAN’T STOP DOING IT).

So, instead, I will do what I always do: carry on as normal until I have a breakdown and am FORCED to stop Doing Things by family, and people with medical training.

(Coping mechanisms? What coping mechanisms? Your FACE is a coping mechanism.)

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Me vs My Brain on: Sleep

Monday 24th August 2015 @ 9:52 pm : thebitchwascrazy : 0 Comments :

Sunday
Me: Yay alcohol!
Brain: Yay alcohol!
Me: Sleep?
Brain: Sleep.

Monday
Me: Hangover!
Me: Sleep?
Brain: Maybe
Me: Sleep?
Brain: Maaaaaybe?
Me: SLEEP?
Brain: ok you talked me into it

Tuesday
Me: Sleep?
Brain: No.
Me: Sleep?
Brain: Still no.
Me: sleeeeeeeeep
Brain, 4.07am: ok
Brain, 8.34am: haha jk

Wednesday
Me: *reads*
Brain: Sleep?
Me: r u serious or is this a trap?
Brain: srs
Me: … okay. That sounds fake, but okay.
Brain: Sleep!
CAR ALARM, 2.46am: WEEOOWEEOOWEEOO
Me: DEATH

Thursday
Me: Sleep?
Brain: OK, since I ws thwarted yesterday by that fucking car alarm. Can we key the car next time?
Me: Yes, if you let me sleep until it inetivably goes off again.
Brain: Deal. SLEEPY TIME.
Brain, 3am-8am: i mean yeah i said u could sleep, i didnt say i wasnt going to give you CONSTANT ANXIETY NIGHTMARES HAHA
Me: I really hate you right now

Friday
Me: *reads*
Brain: Sleep?
Me: *reads”
Brain: Sleep?
Me: *reads*
Brain: Sleeeeeeeeep?
Me: NOT TODAY, SATAN

Saturday
Me: ok for reals this time i have to coach roller derby tomorrow, truce?
Brain: No.
Me: Please?
Brain: Here’s your truce: You go to bed and I will let you KIND OF sleep all night. But I will also wake you up every time there is the slightest noise outside.
Me: … Like what?
Brain: Well it’s Saturday night, so how about every time a drunk person speaks anywhere on your very long street?
Me: Um
Brain: And whenever a car goes past!
Me: But the taxis for most of the city go down my road at night
Brain: Yes, see, now you’re getting it!
Me: I suppose this way I at least get to sleep a bit?
Brain: That’s the spirit!
Brain: … You’re wrong, but that’s the spirit!

Sunday
Brain: Sle-
Me: *sleeps for 18 hours*
Me: SUCK IT, BITCH, I WIN

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Inside Out (AKA ‘My Depression and Me’)

Thursday 6th August 2015 @ 7:06 am : cerysjones.co.uk : 0 Comments :

(Trigger warning for depression, anxiety and mention of being suicidal.)

This may or may not* devolve into an incoherent mess as I attempt to write about depression, a kids movie, and my life.

So, I live with what is known as ‘chronic unipolar depression’, which is extremely common for someone on the autistic spectrum. My current ‘cycle’ has been stuck in the ‘depression’ phase for more than nine years now.

I like to sum it up with an anecdote from the time someone thought that CBT would be a good idea (it was not. CBT is generally not helpful for ASD except in super specific circumstances, which were… not mine). Every week that I went (9 weeks total) I had to fill out a ‘mood assessment form’ before my session. Because I’m not a moron it would have been very easy to fake my way through the form and lie to my councillor, but, well, I decided not to (and yes, that does mean that I sometimes/every fucking day lie about how I’m feeling. Not lying about how you’re feeling when you have chronic depression leads to people shunning you. Which fucking sucks whichever way you look at it). Of course, I scored in the ‘severely depressed & anxious’ range every time, but that was fine because I was feeling severely depressed and anxious.

Except, one day, I wasn’t. I felt good. I felt great. I can’t remember why, but I really remember that feeling. I went and I filled in my test thinking ‘this is great, she’s going to be so impressed at the progress I’ve made! Look how great I’m feeling!”

I only scored four points less on that form than I had on the previous week. I think i scored something like 36/46, when a neurotypical non-depressed person feeling the same way would have scored 0-5.

This is what long-term depression and anxiety do to you. I was so fucking happy just to feel the way that other people would experience as borderline suicidal that I thought I felt fantastic. And I did feel fantastic- compared to how I could remember feeling. The next week, of course, I lost those extra points, because happiness when you are depressed is not something that lasts very long. A day or two, maybe, if you’re lucky.

And this is where I want to talk about Inside Out. Because I was diagnosed with depression when I was eleven years old, and I have displayed the same ‘symptoms’ for most of my life. I will probably continue to experience depressive cycles for the rest  of my life.

But what if, when I was eleven and Autistic and anxious and depressed and so very, very alone, I had been able to sit down an watch this film? One of the things that I struggle with most, and have my whole life, is a phobia of sadness. Because, Inside Out makes it very clear what those of us living with depression know to be true: Depression is not about feeling sad. It is about not being able to feel sadness. Or joy. Anger, fear, disgust: yes! At least to start with. Stay in a depressive cycle long enough and you’ll loose those too, but to start with, those three are your constant companions.

There is a thing that I have found to be true for a lot of people with recurrent depression, and that is this fear of feeling sad. Because depression in its early stages can feel a lot  like sadness. And so you start to feel sad and then you panic because what if it’s happening again? so you try to ignore the sadness and you lie about how you’re feeling, and you hide it so well that you forget it ever was an emotion you felt to begin with. The problem with that is, it is often sadness and vulnerability and the ability to open up to people that forms bonds with others. And so your friendships drift apart, because superficial friendships might be fun but after a while it’s difficult to keep things going without a deeper connection- but that would involve letting yourself be vulnerable and opening yourself up to rejection, which may well lead to depression (because by this point depression may well be your brains go-to method of coping with emotions because why the fuck not)- but the fact that your relationships are falling apart is going to cause you to become depressed in the long run, so in fact, why bother to make friends anyway? You’re just going to end up alone and depressed eventually anyway.

That is honestly how I think most of the time. A huge amount of my mental energy is spend combating thoughts like this to try and stop them from becoming self-fulfilling prophesies. So far it hasn’t worked, but that’s no reason to stop trying.

Inside Out is such an important film because it’s giving kids and adults a clear and simple set of tools to communicate about depression and emotion with. I’ll be honest, I sort of want a set of toys of each of the emotions for myself, since I communicate better in a visual/kinesthetic way, having a set of emotion toys in my bag to help me figure out how I’m feeling sounds fucking fantastic (although it’s a disney film so I’m sort of crying on the inside over how much they’ll probably cost…)

NGL, I cried pretty much the whole way through the goddamn film. and not even subtle crying like you hope you’ll do in the cinema: no, these were fucking FULL ON SOBS that I kept having to breath through (although I was not the only one in the cinema audibly sobbing, so that was nice. SOLIDARITY!)

I will say, though, that I would put a warning on it. If you are currently in the midst of a depressive phase then this might not be the right time for you to see this film. If you’re struggling with your first bout of depression, or, like Riley in the film, situational depression (ie she is depressed for excellent reasons like moving far away from your childhood home, leaving your friends, not fitting in at school, etc etc; my kind of depression is random and not triggered by life events) then go for it, I think this will help you. But while I LOVED them film, I have definitely come away feeling worse. Because I have never got ‘better’. Literally, I have not not been depressed since I was a teenager. I have been less depressed, more depressed but better functioning, more depressed and less functioning, less functioning but also less depressed, and flat-out suicidal. I have had good days, even good weeks and occasionally good months, but I have still been depressed. It has taken a great deal of work and a lot of medication to get me to where I am now- which is very depressed, but mostly okay, and I do think that, while it will take a lot more work and possibly some more medication, I will one day cease to be depressed (for a while at least. My goal is one full depression-free year). I’m just not there yet, and one of the things that I’m feeling having watched Inside Out a few hours ago is: Why can’t it be that easy for me?

(* Of course it will, the question is just: how quickly?) (This quickly. We have now reached full-on incoherent mess status. Abort. Abort!)

 

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Friday 6th December 2013 @ 11:09 am : Tumblr : 0 Comments :

The last six hours of my life have involved me rolling around my bed, laying on the floor, standing, sitting, stretching, breathing deeply, and googling ‘beta blocker overdose’.

Yes, it’s panic attack time again! This one seems to be in for the long haul (after not having any for so long I think my body has been saving up) because SIX HOURS.

Also, I do not have panic attacks like most people do thanks to my most excellent drug cocktail. I get the physical symptoms without the emotions, and it turns out that this SUCKS. I get muscle cramps, difficulty breathing (because my diaphragm and the muscles around my ribs are locked solid), sweating, etc. 

It hurts a lot. And coping with that much pain and adrenaline is exhausting.

Today none of my usual remedies are working, tea (my go-to fixer) has angered my body, and I am getting so anxious about missing college that it’s getting worse instead of better.

I am trying to focus on the positive things, like that there are plans to resolve the conflict that is causing this, but oh. I would like it to stop now please.

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Tuesday 11th September 2012 @ 12:23 pm : Tumblr : 0 Comments :

SO far today I have been so anxious that I haven’t been able to:

All of these are things that I need to do today, and I haven’t been able to yet, even though it’s already after one pm.

Today I am a sad panda. And hungry.

ETA: I did a thing! None of the rest of the things, and one of the least important, but still. THING.

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Tuesday 25th October 2011 @ 5:15 pm : Tumblr : 0 Comments :

sleepingchild:

shilmulo: (via helloalena)

(via imasexmachine)

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Caffeine-free faux punk fatigue: okay, so I’m going to talk a little bit about anxiety

Friday 26th November 2010 @ 12:29 am : Tumblr : 0 Comments :

Caffeine-free faux punk fatigue: okay, so I’m going to talk a little bit about anxiety

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Argh *twitch*

Saturday 12th July 2008 @ 11:31 am : Livejournal : 2 Comments :

Dear Me:

Please stop twitching. I know you’re nervous, but twitching is NOT HELPFUL when trying to holding a camera steady.

And then Chris and Ronnie will hate you for screwing up their wedding photos, and then you will die alone.

Thanks,
Me.

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