Saturday, April 11, 2009

Not Fine

Some of this post has been deleted

Yesterday Mr Man was "not fine". He was very ill in fact. He was banging his head on his pillow in an effort to get the voices to stop. He didn't even hear me talking to him and seemed unaware of my presence until I put my arm around him. He told me he had to get on with his "work" again, and he had to mark himself with his number - 4064. I was worried that he was going to carve it into his arm with a knife or something. Later he got out "the folder". The folder has paper in it, and that is where he writes his "codes" and things like that - "work" that the voices have given him to do. He hasn't got the folder out since 2004. I couldn't believe his symptoms had deteriorated so much in such a short space of time, but I knew what the trigger was - we were supposed to be going out that evening to commemorate the death of Christ, and he was very anxious about it. Needless to say, we didn't go.

Mr Man is still unwell today, but much better than yesterday, and typically he doesn't remember much of yesterday. I say "typically" because it is quite common for Mr Man to be unable to remember periods when he has been acutely ill. He's been a little unwell for a while now though. Just a couple of weeks ago he spoke to his Occupational Therapist about how he was feeling. She was concerned enough to start visiting him every couple of days, and she even gave him her mobile phone number in case of a crisis, but he didn't want to talk to me about how he was feeling. I didn't mind; I understood that he doesn't like me to worry about him, and to be honest I was just glad that he was talking to someone instead of keeping it all to himself.

"Outside My Window" by Philippa King


Claire said...

Hiya, I have been following your blog for a couple of months now because a lot of the things you have said ring true to my situation, except you have been coping with this for a lot longer than myself. I've just read your post which is uncannily similar to how things are here. My husband told his CPN to get some counselling for me last week & knowing I wasn't coping particularly well I'd asked my GP about counselling who said there's a year waiting list. I've also been off work for a few weeks as I started getting anxious&everything was getting on top of me. To have my husband ask the CPN for me to have counselling felt like I was "jumping on the band wagon" as I'm not the one with voices in my head etc I do feel stupid not being able to cope properly when I see him go through what he does every day. For myself it's easier in some ways when things get bad as I can switch on to automatic look after husband mode and ignore my own feelings. But that's the point, the feelings come out wether we want them to or not and we have panic attacks, anxiety, anger, irratic mood changes. My husband said to the CPN in order for him to feel a bit better they need to be helping me. Especially as there isn't anything they can do for him at the moment. And when looking at it like this It does make me feel a bit better about it, If I'm helping myself It will enable me to continue helping my husband. The CPN spoke to someone on his team and they're offering counselling to me in a couple of weeks. Maybe try asking the nurse who comes to see your husband If they can arrange some support for you, It's only taken my husbands CPN two years to realise I exist.

Take Care
Claire x

uphilldowndale said...

Sending a cyber hug.....
You sound exhausted, I hope you can access some support, very soon. The first step may be the most difficult. If there is a long wait for help via the GP, could one of the mental health charities, such as Mind help or your church? People who care 24/7 have needs too.
Take care of your self, as you do others.

Becca said...

Sorry to hear it's got that hard for you, it's never easy, my thoughts go out to you.
Practical thought time, I know how hard it is to ask people for help, so say the words needed for them to understand. Have you thought of maybe printing off this post and having them read it? It would be a good starting off point and would reduce some of the worry about not getting your point across coherently.
All the best
Becca, Glasgow

Robert said...

Myman's social worker should be able to help you. You are entitled to a full carer's assessment and if this shows that you have MH needs of your own, then they will "lean" on the NHS to expedite this.

If your GP isn't taking you seriously, get a new one!

You MUST look after yourself - or how can you look after Myman?

Best wishes.

The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive said...

Oh lovely lady. I'm so sorry everything is bleak. Agree to get a new GP if your current is shite.

Anonymous said...

New to reading your blog - and it all sounds a familiar story. Of course its difficult supporting anyone who's unwell - and you're right, everyone does underestimate the impact of (invisible) mental health issues compared to physical health.

Have you had a carers assessment? You're entitled to one - and to have it reviewed regularly.

Your local authority also has a responsibility to provide carers services - they may have some specific counselling, or just a friendly ear to talk to - someone who'll understand. Have you got a carers centre near you? Isn't there a new carers phone line - they'd be able to tell you?

Mr Mans Wife said...

Thank you all for your comments. I've replied as best I can in the following post.

piebuko said...

Hello, you have helped so many people because of your blog. I am so sorry that you are not feeling well yourself and that Mr. Man is not doing well. I am sending you my prayers and lots of hugs. I hope that things will get better soon.

Karita said...

I'm new to your blog and I just had to comment. So much of what you describe is recognisable to me, even though we are in completely different situations. Particlarly avoiding eopening bills, and getting confused easily. I sincerely hope you can access help and start to feel bteer.

Mr Mans Wife said...

Thank you so much Piebuko and Karita.

Anonymous said...

I've just been reading your recent posts. And though it's not exactly a cheery comment it does sound awfully like PTSD to me. There was a certain familiar ring to the way you said traumatised by life.

'when the person you care for has a mental illness it's different. We're not allowed to have "issues"'

*nods* like acknowledging that there are affects on anyone other than the already determined 'sick' person would be dangerous somehow. subversive, even.

i guess it highlights the underlying messiness of being who we are. we try and clearly delineate well and unwell, only to discover that that's harder to do than any of us might like.