Thursday, May 13, 2004

Psychology

This is more of an essay... long, rambling and uncut.

I had an interesting conversation with my psych yesterday. Being on anti-depressants (while I continue to cut ties with my family), the doctor had recommended I start seeing the psych again regularly as psychotherapy works better when combined with appropriate medications (or so many studies indicate). We shall see. In any case, the catchup session was surface, with little delving as there was so much to cover. At some stage she commented that she was completely amazed that I am still keeping on going on. Still working, still trying to study, still trying new things to help my health, and haven't given up on anything much yet. "Most people with such chronic illnesses typically would not get out of bed, and would be at the ER at least once a week, let alone keeping a house, walking, keeping up with friends (albeit irregularly), working, studying. It's quite incredible, and shows you have so much determination", she said.

Thinking a little about that comment, and the people in the various support groups I have been in for endo and adeno, it's probably completely correct.

Over the last four years I have seen my ability to do things decrease. The pain has increased, I can't walk for long, stand for long, work for long stretches, concentrate for long stretches, etc. But I refuse to push myself past the point where I would collapse and be hospitalised, or at least bed-ridden for a week. I rest when I need it, avoid the computer when I can't stand it, avoid my family for longer stretches, and try not to do as much as I once would have. It's sad seeing that I can't, and for a while I pushed myself to old levels and very nearly burnt out.

I'm dreading second semester and administering the technical documentation subject, as I'm really not capable to handle that in my current state, but I'm sure I'll have help from colleagues when I need it.

Another interesting tangent was about seeing the positive, or rather not being able to see the positives. Due to extensive psychotherapy s a kid, I can too easily psychoanalyse myself in any situation. I can see the positives, I can see the negatives much easier, but I do try to push myself daily to see positives. However, I don't feel them.

Starting about 2 weeks back, I've been able to feel a little, mainly in the smell of cypress, pine and other conifers; watching the desperate attempts at growth in my neglected garden (grr aphids); had fun playing with a stupid dog's mind (stared at her, and she hasn't stopped barking at the driveway since - it was hilarious the first time); smiling at the insane numbers of birds around the house (including the silly minah that taps on my bedroom window while talking to his reflection in the mornings). I sense a theme here, and a reflection of my childhood refuge. Nature is not controlled by humans.

I felt claustrophobic walking over the south eastern freeway today (a 6 lane highway) with all the open space around me, just because it was so barren and frantic. As soon as I got to the other side, I giggled at a wattlebird who was sitting in a tree chattering at me (and didn't fly away when I walked over to it). I think I'm getting somewhere, much better than not feeling anything at all.

Towards the world in general, I still don't feel much - the news of an evening is either filled with meaningless chatter about football stars appealing their 4 game suspension (because they kicked someone in the head), governments being completely stupid, and inane stories showing just how removed from the world most major media corporations really are. The more accurate news channels report atrocity after atrocity - not good inspirational stories. I shan't think about this too much, I'll just enjoy the wattlebirds that are frolicking in the pond outside my window.

The doc is pleased at my progress with the Effexor. Nausea has almost gone, appetite has certainly decreased, I've lost 3kg in 3 weeks! Insomnia is still bad. I can't function continuously on broken short sleep, and am racking up a substantial sleep deficit. Doc reckons Effexor will also dampen pain levels, which I'm looking forward to. The costo flare and period has knocked me around, and it will take a few weeks to recover from it. Being late taking the Effexor only has the effect of some tremors and no concentration, although I can't really tell if that is more due to the lack of sleep. I've had really bad yawning fits the last three days.

Enough rambling.. I'd better find out what the actual time is, then clean up the house for a few minutes... I need more sleep :-\

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