So – I’ve now got a doctor’s appointment but it’s not till Dec 6th which is a bit annoying – I’m not a good one for waiting, particularly when it’s something I’m already anxious about. I’ve decided to see a different GP this time too, as I didn’t feel like the man I saw last year was really listening to me – so also have that issue to think about.
I’ve also emailed ‘the dragon’, at the medical school, which was difficult, but am meeting her next week. This is probably sensible, as I know, if I’m honest, that my working ability isn’t great right now – the apathy is coming back with avengance, and it has nothing to do with paeds, which I love – but it’s still there. I can’t sit and concentrate. I can’t work my way down a to-do list, which is pretty big at the moment. The paeds department make you tick off a lot of things on attachment, just because we haven’t had much exposure to the specialty yet, so there’s a lot of stress to get assessed regularly, and be proactive. On a community attachment, whe’re I’m in a different part of the city, with a different team who to be honest don’t really notice if I’m there or not, every single day, it’s quite hard to keep keen as you never integrate and never feel valued.
Once again, things feel ironic – this time last year, was when I was running seminars for the first year medics on ‘coping at university’ – whilst falling apart. On Monday, the medical school mentoring team I have set up and chair, met with members of the pastoral care team, which includes a psychiatrist who was consulted (without my consent) about my lack of compliance with medication. I feel like I have one foot in two very different camps. Having met these members of staff essentially as an equal, also makes me keen not to have to plug in to medschool services, myself. I don’t want to have to flag myself up to them, and lose face. Sometimes, if not most of the time, I almost hate being someone who is driven, and builds projects, and follows up ideas. It complicates everything. It muddies the waters. And yes, I love the mentoring scheme – but at the moment, I feel like a fraud again. How far I am from the person who should be leading that sort of venture, how changed.
Going back on medication seems like a huge and daunting decision – the endless GP appointments, the endless checking in, the constant reminder of needing something external to control my soul and quieten my thoughts. And even though I’ve personally told people that a bad response to one drug doesn’t mean another will be the same, and I know that it’s unlikely – I’m terrified. I’m scared that I’ll give meds another go, and before I know it, I’ll be low enough that I’ll once again be itching to get out of my skin and out of my life in order to stop the thoughts flooding in. I’m scared that if I sink low enough, there won’t be anything holding me back. I’m scared that I’ll lose any sense or hold on reality and certainty, and that I’ll lose everything I fought so hard for last year. And that’s not easy to say to a GP who doesn’t know you. It’s not easy to say to anyone. I’m not usually the panicker – I’m always the one leading and chairing and organising. But now, I’m panicking. I don’t know if this is a good idea. I’m tying myself to a minimum of 18 months on treatment, which is a long time. I hate being a patient. I would literally rather gouge out my own eyes, than be in the patient role. And I wish that there had been someone there six months ago chasing me up and making me take medication and keeping an eye on me – so that this relapse might not have happened and I wouldn’t be back beyond square one again, with all of these decisions to make anew.
And again, I look back and realise I’ve not been singing or talking or praying, as I should be. Again, I feel pretty tarred and marked by this, a stain that is never going to leave me. And I wonder what it is that draws me towards this state and the reason for it – but there is no reason, which makes it all the harder. There is no reason, apart from bad genes and bad luck. There is no answer lurking behind this. This is just the hand I’ve been dealt. I don’t want to play it.