Busy, busy week. Tuesday, met YD at her work and she took me to the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham, which is very nice but was busy closing down because it was 4pm and a nice day! ah well. Wednesday, to GP. More blood tests. Thursday, to osteopath and Stitch group. Very hot, sticky and unpleasant, and ended up having to undo half the knitting I’d done at Stitch.
Today, to Warwick Hospital to see about my wrist/hand. Well. I was half expecting to be discharged, but no. I am to have a further steroid injection with x-ray guidance in my left thumb (which has to be booked in as it’s done in an operating theatre), had to have four phials of blood taken, am to have ultrasound investigation of my right hand, because there’s a possibility that I have some sort of inflammatory arthritis – eg rheumatoid. Big, big bummer. Symptoms are swollen painful soft lumps between my knuckles, and it’s painful to straighten my right hand out. Ice packs help a bit. I mentioned the blood tests the GP is organising, which are to do with my oversized red blood cells, in case they’re relevant, and they might be.
So having got up at 7.30 am (stupid o’clock), got to the hospital 9.05 am, we finally left at 10.55 am! have had a long, long sleep this pm (three and three quarter hours) and am a bit fuddled. But have a nice cup of tea. How very English.
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A couple of nights ago hubby and I watched a programme by Ruby Wax (celebrity comedienne) about the stigma of mental illness, particularly in the work situation. It was excellent, very good indeed. She herself suffers from depression and has actually been admitted to The Priory, where she was treated successfully.
As a direct result, I put on my facebook “status” that I have suffered from depression most of my adult life, had a breakdown in 1996 (directly related to a hostile work environment), and am currently on a high dose of antidepressants, probably permanently. So I sort of “came out” as a depressive, rather than anything else!
The response from friends was overwhelming. So many positive and kind things were said, it was just wonderful. In my case, because I’m retired, it’s not a problem for anybody but me and mine, but when I was at work in a very hostile situation, and had a breakdown (luckily it was at home one night that I fell apart into a weeping blob on the floor, and not publicly at horrible work) I wouldn’t let the doctor put it on my sick note. I was so frightened that everybody would know how weak I am.
In fact, when I have an episode – though it’s been a very long time since I had a real episode – I do feel weak and wimpy and my self-esteem drops to nil. I can’t imagine why my husband wants to be with me, how my daughters put up with me, I become a self-pitying nightmare.
I think that the dose of “jolly drops” I’m now on prevents these episodes. When terrible things happen I cry, but that’s normal. I am more stable, more able to cope with low self-esteem, which is a constant in my head – there’s a horrid little voice telling me I’m useless because I’m so tired all the time – and able to deal with life in general.
Knitting is a major therapy for me. It is something I can do while I sit still, it’s creative, I’m making lots of presents for people for birthdays and so on, I’m reasonably good at it, and I really enjoy it. The yarns are beautiful and a joy to shop for and use, the things I knit are nice (well, I think so anyway), and I feel useful. Hand pain is a bigger bummer than it would be if I weren’t a knitter though.
I think that’s about it for now. More anon.