Wednesday, October 10, 2012
The appointment with my doctor went really well. I had properly prepared for it so I remembered to tell her not just what I knew I was going to tell her about, but what John wanted me to tell her as well.
I did tell John that I thought that my doctor probably realised that I minimised everything to do with my disease and my mood. I do not do this deliberately. It is what I learned to do and in fact what I was taught to do. In common with very many other survivors of childhood abuse I learned a very clever trick; I learned to disassociate. The best way I can think of to describe this is that one is able to go elsewhere in one's mind when bad things are happening. This ability of course has been very good in enabling me to cope with my disease. I am able to put my awareness elsewhere. Unfortunately, this also means that I do not really recognise the truth and so I do not of course tell it when I am asked. However, my doctor did tell me that she knew just from the way that I moved or the way that I looked that my answers to the questions were not truthful! It was made clear to me today that I do need to tell her everything that I experience. I am not sure how well I am going to be able to do this because the ability to disassociate is not exactly deliberate and so I am not aware that I am not aware! Minimising is so ingrained, and the teaching to not 'be a sissy' and to 'not make a fuss' is ingrained also and all of this combined with the trauma of abuse and seeing my best friend killed when I was 7, just makes it difficult for me to always be present. the ability to not be present does have it's up side-it helps me live a good life despite my fcked up body. If I turned my awareness on 24/7 I'd not be happy. I have just realised that my awareness suddenly being turned on is possibly what causes those episodes I get occasionally aware I become extremely uncomfortable and I have to remove all of my clothing because having the clothing touching me is too much to bear. I certainly could not live with that 24/7!
It has only been a combination of recent happenings that made me realise that I had to speak with my doctor frankly about my day-to-day living. The first thing was that the weekend before the one just past, Paul, the man who works in the clothes shop where we sometimes by clothes, mentioned that he could tell that it was painful for me to try on clothes. I was really surprised that he should say that and I asked him what made him think it and he said that it was obvious from my face and the way that I moved. When I questioned John about it later he too said that he was able to tell how I was by the look on my face and by how I moved and held my body. I asked the people at the pool today and their answer was exactly the same.
Due to the above I realised that I needed to tell my doctor what was going on with my body. Oh, the other thing that happened that really brought it home to me was earlier today I realised I had left the bathroom light on and I made myself go back upstairs to switch it off. For some reason, when I got to the top of the stairs I became conscious of the fact that I've felt exhausted and that I hurt all over and that I needed to sit down. I did no such thing of course and I just went back downstairs and carried on with what I was doing which was getting ready to go to the pool. I think that moment of conscious awareness enabled me to realise what it is that I need to speak to the doctor about.
As I realised because of the wonderful effect it has had on me, the baclofen was not prescribed to me as a temporary fix but as a hopefully permanent one. It has worked far better than the doctor was hoping and of course I had no idea what it would do because the only muscle relaxant I knew of was Valium and that only really worked when taken in a dose large enough to make me fall asleep! In other words it isn't that much good. I did not hold out much hope that the baclofen was going to enable my neck to move again. Not only did it make my neck move again but it has made my whole body feels so much better. I have only been aware of muscle pain when I have had extreme spasms either in my legs all my rib cage. I did not realise just how taut my whole body was the whole time. As you can imagine it has made a remarkable difference to the way that I feel in a positive way. I will be continuing to take the 40 mg a day but will have a diuretic added as it does indeed seem that I have retaining water. I would much rather deal with the side-effect of this drug by taking the diuretic than by stopping the drug.
To all those who wrote to me I want to tell you how much I appreciate your support and let you know that I did feel supported. All of you pointed out how stressful the house renovations and the wedding in the last six months have been. Not something I really took into account, especially the wedding. My doctor is in full agreement with all of you!
I feel much more positive now about tomorrow and onwards and I feel that I am more likely to be able to return to my normal routine as it was prior to the house renovation starting. Yes, I do know that it will take time and that I must not expect I shall be back to normal by tomorrow. It does seem though that it is possible now and that is what is most important: that I feel that it is possible.
Posted by Colin Andersson at 6:42 pm