Touching base, plumbing the depths…

There I was, minding my own business an hour or so ago, and Neil Young’s Four Strong Winds came on the radio. It just broke me up.

OK, I know why, and it’s bugger all to do with the song – that was just the trigger – but I can’t go round bursting into tears at the slightest thing, FFS!

I’ve been here before, in the weeks after my divorce, and I’m heading for a breakdown as sure as god made little green apples. That was clear in hospital (to more than me, as it turned out), and I thought I’d be better away from all the stress and aggro. And I was, for a while, but it’s just rolled me under again.

So I’ve taken some DHC, Paracetamol, and Amitryptilline, with a shot of Jack – see if that helps calm things down (antipsychotics would be better, but I have to go with what I’ve got)** – if I don’t chill I don’t like where this is going – not one little bit.

**Seems to be helping somewhat – I feel rather more stable. Don’t knock booze – extremely strong alcohol (paraldehyde), has long been used in psychiatric medicine (and also to treat epilepsy). Its normal-strength cousins can be valuable too, if not abused.

And looking at DHC, I wondered if that’s at least part of the problem? I’ve been addicted to the stuff for years, but because I always took it at the same time every day, it wasn’t a problem unless I stopped. And it is again, now, as I’m trying to get back to a lower dose now I’m in less pain.

Or maybe I’m just screwed.

I’ve always known that the words “A ripe old age” had no place in my future, but suddenly being told, out of the blue, “Hey! Better take your library books back,” is an entirely different ball game.

I’m dying, in case you missed the metaphor. I can deal with that. What I can’t deal with, one little bit, is not knowing anything else.

Have I got a week? A year? Two? What? I’d be fuckin’ mortified to die watching yet another repeat of Two and a half Men!!!

If it’s a week, screw it, I may as well go out, get shitfaced, get laid – what’s to lose? And also have the small pleasure of spending every penny of my overdraft facility – suck on that, ya parsimonious pricks! (Not my favourite people right now, having just refused me a loan to buy a powerchair, which meant I had to use all my capital and a chunk of my overdraft, as well as compromise my choice of machine.)

If it’s a year, though, I can plan. Maybe the lifestyle changes I’ve already mentioned will help; maybe we could come up with a drug, or a combination, that might help? And where’s my urgent referral to the heart clinic – don’t I rate one? Doing anything has to be better than doing bugger all. (This isn’t a suicide note, no matter how it might look in parts.)

If all else fails, with a year – or whatever – I can at least arrange to step out of this world on my own terms. I’m an atheist – suicide doesn’t scare me. What would  scare me is pulling the plug now (but no, not at this low ebb when I’m not fully in control, it’d be just wrong), when I might yet have some time ahead of me. And maybe something better than this to contribute to this narrative.

(Sorry to dump this on you, by the way – I’ve been dumping on a friend all week and she needs a break! – I’m just hoping against hope that if I can get it out of my system, I might be able to get some focus on the situation.)

What I cannot deal with, on any level at all though, is not knowing.

Y’know, I’m scared to go to sleep which, itself, sure as hell isn’t helping, in case I don’t wake up (and yes, I do know that makes no sense – logic has bugger all to do with any of this). I read til exhaustion takes me down, then two hours later the alarm, goes off for my first meds of the day, and hey – there’s a whole, untouched day waiting to suck me back into an emotional meat-grinder. Oh joy…

I guess what I’m trying to say is this – you simply cannot, not ever, just tell someone they’re (potentially?), dying, walk away and fuckin’ leave them swingin’ in the wind. It’s obscene.

They wouldn’t do that with a terminal cancer patient – so why do it to me?

And how many others are out there, this weekend, lost, desolate, equally fucked over by the medical system and just left to get on with it? And how many won’t make it?



A ray of light – I’ve just remembered than one of my COPD meds can cause depression which I treat with 200mg B6 daily – and I’ve taken none for over a week. So, taken my B6 now – every little helps – and tomorrow I’ll get back into the rest of my supplements, too

8 thoughts on “Touching base, plumbing the depths…

  1. wish i was a religious person ron, and able to offer some inspirational spiritual advice, unfortunately the meaning of life to me always comes back to “42”, but if you need a reason to fight on and stay a pain in the neck, there are a load of people who after reading your blogs, realise that we can take control and fight against the idiots who are supposed to “know” better than us, hope you can get back there soon

    • Cheers, Wayne.

      I’m absolutely not religious, so no biggie.

      I’ll feel better when I get some hard information, good or bad – whistling in the dark can only take you so far!


  2. Re power chair, apply to your local wheelchair service it is possible to be loaned one.
    Pain and perception management program on tv tonight
    I read your rants with interest thank you for sharing

    • Thanks, Elle.

      I really need my own chair, and it’s being delivered Wednesday – a problem less. I’ve had NHS loaners in the past and they’ve not been too successful (you tend to get what they want you to have, rather than what you actually need).


  3. Ron
    I care for my husband who has COPD, Heart Failure and End Stage Renal Failure, back in June Stepping Hill Hospital had a good go at killing him off, they actually told me he had no chance of surviving and wanted to withdraw all treatment as he was in a comma (poor man was actually asleep!!!) when he finally came home (after being transferd to MRI and spending months in there) he was so weak we needed to get a stair lift, wheelchair and bath hoist.
    Social services came round after I had bought the chair and said as we had a downstairs toilet he could sleep on the settee or we could bring a bed downstairs and that the kitchen sink would be a good place for me to try and wash him.
    Anyway I borrowed the money off my mother-in-law and son and bought what he needed, form a local shop at prices that would make you cry.
    Today I got a thing through the post from Chesire Careers that gave the name of a company who seem sell stair lifts, scooters wheel chairs etc at very reasonalbe prices so if you need anything else check them out

    keep going for as long as you find something that gives you pleasure every day

    • Hi Marie,

      Regarding your first sentence, I’ve been forced to wonder, today, if that’s what the buggers are trying to do to me. How else to explain my GP’s complete failure to discuss heart failure, and where it’s going, with me? I doubt it thought – he’s always been a clown, little hope he’ll change now. I faxed him, yesterday (Monday), asking where my HF meds were and, by the way, am I gong to die this week, next month, or next year, because knowing might just be helpful? No reply.

      So, first thing tomorrow, I’ll nail him again. I’m too weak to go in person but, as long as I can type, he’s gonna get hassled until he talks to me! If he’s not careful he could find he features on my blog.

      Luckily (ha!), I’ve been disabled for a long time now (and I’ve been in a sheltered flat since my early fifties), so most of what I need, I have, and my new powerchair arrives Wednesday afternoon, which will give me back my mobility.

      Thursday, if it’s humanly possible, I’m off to the pub. No beer – all that fluid would be seriously bad news – but the important thing is that at least I won’t be sitting here!

      Social Services are a waste of space, and it seems not to matter where you live, they don’t get any better. Anyway, there’s a little surprise waiting for them when I die – they’re burying me! If I can’t have it while I’m here, I’ll have it when I’m gone.

      I just didn’t think it’d be quite so soon!


  4. Cracking, concise article Ron. Sorry to hear your so ill and that Marie is going through the mill. It shows the need for info from people that are on the receiving end of these system. Good luck to you both and thanks for sharing your stories.

    Kind regards

    • Hi Trevor,

      Good timing – go to my home page and check out the most recent post a few minutes ago – I’m in seriously deep shit!


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