Sami's Sunday Ramblings : ok, so it's late again

Yep. I'm painfully disorganised...

This past week has been pretty manic! I have spent most of my time working on my teapigs recipes and it's been so much fun!! My favourite drink has got to be the sangria, but I'm not done experimenting yet so we'll see what happens this week. From the baking perspective; it's got to be the chocolatea cake,  but I'm very proud of my super-skinny cupcakes too!

I've got some Duerr's recipes planned for this week, but I seem to have misplaced my cookie cutter so using their recipe may well come later on unless I can figure out another way to make them look presentable without it. I'm painfully clumsy and have lost my co-ordination so doing delicate things by hand is a risky strategy.

In mental health related news: I visited the day hospital twice, which wasn't ideal but it's all good university practice. Tuesday was my last art therapy session, which was quite sad. Having a creative outlet seems to be very good for me, but for some reason I don't view my blog as something creative even though it most definitely is! Daft. I spoke to my occupational therapist about my medication increase and how I felt the increase in anxiety and paranoia wasn't going to settle down. She said she'd speak to the doctor and let me know what the plan was.

My new group 'stress management' started on Thursday. Oh gosh that was a shock to the system in so many ways. There are 10 people in this group. It is 'closed' so we all start and finish together, unlike art therapy where people come and go quite regularly. Having a closed group adds an element of security and from my own personal viewpoint it is an introduction into a classroom sort of environment. There are 7 women, including me, and 3 men. Apart from myself and 1 guy, everyone else was definitely over 40. This led me to start thinking about the flaws in this group but I'll save that for another post I have planned.

In all, it was a difficult first session for everyone. While our group was running, there were one-to-one meetings being held upstairs with patients and their keyworkers. It seems that a lady was either having a bad day which only got made worse by talking or she struggles with experiencing intense emotions, either way, about 20 minutes into our session when we were discussing "what is stress?" she came down the stairs screaming and crying at the top of her voice. Not nice. She was guided towards the kitchen but it wasn't long before she was outside the hospital crying in a very elaborate way. She didn't walk off, she just remained outside basically on the steps. There is a garden at the back of the hospital she could have gone to if she needed outside space.

I don't mean to sound unsympathetic but it was so bloody annoying after a while. We spent a lot of time discussing what we were hearing and how we felt about it. Credit to her for giving us a brilliant example of stress. I don't know the outcome of what happened to her, but she was taken away by either a family member or someone from the inpatient unit.

I say 'we' like I actually participated in the conversation. I didn't. Haha. All I did was point out that the noise and atmosphere she was creating was a perfect example of stress in a number of different ways. Oh, and at the start of the group everyone had to say their names and how they were feeling at that moment. I believe I said I was scared enough to want to jump out the window and run away... That got a laugh.

I'm going to share with you all this group and what we work on. Hopefully it'll help!

In medication news: I was lowered back down to 150mg venlafaxine, but the type of medication I take was changed so I'm now on the extended release version. Somewhat luckily, I was started on quetiapine but at a vastly higher dose than I was expecting, 75mg! Because I am hyper-sensitive to medication, I usually start on a ridiculously low dose and gradually build up, but it seems my new psychiatrist didn't get the memo on that. By rights, 75mg quetiapine is a baby dose. It's not unheard of for people to be taking 600mg!

My first dose was Thursday night. Ever since then I've felt very sedated and generally crap; but other than that the only issue I have is being very accident prone, easily confused and dizzy. The morning dose hits me hardest and more often than not I end up napping early afternoon. I have no idea what dose my psychiatrist is aiming for but I'm not expecting to stay on 75mg. I need to do my homework on quetiapine for the next time I see her!

In terms of symptoms, I haven't seen the monk or the little girl in a while but I do still feel like they're around and watching me. The voices are still ever-present and filling my head with all sorts of crap. I'm trying to remind myself they're lying to me but it's very hard to believe it sometimes. My mood has definitely dropped and I'm itching to unleash all kinds of hell on my skin again. I won't. Sometimes I wonder if my thoughts are slanting towards the more 'odd' side of things but I'm too dosed up to act on anything so it's fine. Definitely still anxious as all hell and struggling to keep a lid on it.

On a related note: I went to Cafe Nero with the boyfriend yesterday and saw my old, useless keyworker from Addaction in there with a friend. Oh my gosh it was so awkward. Part of me wanted to leave! She looked straight at me but it didn't look like anything registered. Maybe I look quite different to a year ago. It was just a reminder of where I was and where I am now... I didn't know whether or not to say hello to her or what I was supposed to do! Aaaagh. I said nothing and did nothing.

What else went down this week...? Oh!!

I got my student loan details through on Friday. Holy damn I am going to be in so much debt!!! :( It was also pretty terrifying just to see my name associated with Medical Neuroscience at Sussex University, starting this September! That piece of paper showed my path away from the past 7 years of crippling illness, and a life that would be no different to that of my immediate family. Something I always vowed never to happen to me. It's right here now, I can frikking touch it!!! My future actually exists, and god willing I won't end up collapsing under the strain of study and living with the boyfriend in Brighton.

I cannot mess this up now... Nothing worth having in this life comes easily.

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