The Glass is half…


It has been about 3 weeks since I last blogged. I have found the last 3 weeks challenging.

I don’t know how to write this without sounding ungrateful, but here goes. I have been invited to an open day for one of my non-medicine university choices because they are considering giving me an offer. At first when my mum told me it was an interview rather than an open day I was terrified and was planning to withdraw my application until I read the letter for myself. The thing is, a Medicine interview sounds less daunting than an interview for an alternative course because..well how do I put this? I’d know what I would want to say? Whereas this course is very scientific and I didn’t write a scientific personal statement so I don’t understand why they may want to give me an offer. I’m now getting paranoid because I also applied for Medicine at the same university and I’m worried it may affect my Medicine application there.

My head is all over the place; counselling is either painful or it doesn’t achieve much because I’m not opening up. It seems to follow the pattern where one session I am really emotional then the following session where I’m not giving much away and so on. My counsellor is great but I’m coming to the view that maybe I’m too ‘stubborn’ and counselling may not help me. I focus too much on the negative. Last week’s session, she mentioned the college staff worry about me because they believe I have a lot of potential. But that means nothing to me because as far as I’m concerned potential is very different to achieving. These are empty words. Everything that has happened, it shows I crack and don’t have the ability. I see things in a very black and white way.

I’ve been thinking about my blog and what I use it for. I used to blog a fair bit about Asthma but to be honest my mood etc has taken over. I used to, and still do, worry about my blog becoming ‘samey’ either too much about asthma or too much about my mood. But then this is where I write things from my view as they are at the time. I don’t consider my blog an asthma blog or a low mood blog.

I am feeling quite withdrawn. I like to spend a lot of time at home at the moment rather than going out. I am finding meeting up with friends etc challenging; I have to psych myself up for it and get so stressed about it. Even then I don’t feel I am at ease or anything. I just feel I am being scrutinised. The counsellor has suggested I see my GP because they are unaware of the true extent of certain things but I find it extremely difficult to get the words out to anyone else. My mum is aware I see I counsellor and is supportive of that, but I don’t think she really understands what goes on in my mind except when we have arguments, particularly over my Aunt and her comments but my mum and I have discussed that and I feel happier with mum about that situation. My feelings towards my Aunt remain the same. I saw her last week and I feel she a) lies to me and b) puts me down. She always states I wouldn’t cope at university, because she says this when I feel negatively I hear this criticism loudly compared to positive support from others. If that at all makes sense. She said it would not be possible for me to afford university or possibly going to a university directly 2 hours ish away despite mum being highly supportive of this.

I’m finding college difficult, I have exams in 2 months. I don’t feel prepared. I’m surrounded by people who are taking it all very seriously but despite my goals my mental state has impacted on the amount of studying etc I do. I was struggling with a piece of homework the other night and realised that I wasn’t even attempting to think it out. I was instead just going through the textbook just so I can put an answer down. I have more time off from college this year yet I don’t use it productively. I am always tired but I don’t know if its mental tired or physical tired or both.

I have a cold and it is making me feel unwell in terms of Asthma symptoms. I’ve upped to my maximum dose of Prednisolone and it is helping. Today wasn’t good, I had some back to back nebs before getting dressed and then another neb afterwards. I realised college wasn’t going to happen today. My mental state is affecting my judgement about my physical health. Because I am full of self doubt I don’t know how I am perceiving my symptoms and I have been reluctant to neb or up my steroids. Then I have the thought what if they’re helping because I think they’re going to help? Like some sort of I don’t know placebo effect? Argh. My spirometry and other things show my problems are indicative of Asthma but I just doubt everything, like my symptoms or my spirometry and exhaled nitric oxide techniques despite doing them in front of my consultant, respiratory nurse and respiratory physiologists. Surely if I was doing it incorrectly they’d tell me? Arghh I don’t know. The values I get… well I don’t know how to justify them because I used to think I’d have better values than I have until I was told and shown otherwise. I wanted Xolair so much and it feels nearly everything in my life goes against me. So I’ve been diagnosed with allergic Asthma, treatment which should be ideal for me is not an option because I’m basically too allergic for it to work, my IgE is simply too high. It feels unfair and typical. The consultant I see has tried to get it for me but the prescribing community will not agree to funding it due to my IgE. So now they’re looking at Immunosuppressants again which I am very much against and have been vocal about this. People try to encourage me to consider this treatment but I feel it is very easy for someone not in my shoes to say they would consider it. Some of my friends who have difficult asthma say they’d consider it, difference is that in their cases they have other more suitable treatment options e.g Xolair or Subcut Terbutaline infusions or Bronchial Thermoplasty. They are not looking at immunosuppressants as a primary treatment option like it seems I am. My friends who have asthma are very supportive etc I just feel very alone sometimes in this particular situation.

I’m sorry that my blog is a continual moan fest with little helpful or useful insight.

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The clocks going back is confusing my sleep pattern a bit, I think my insomnia might be making an appearance again and if its not insomnia then its waking up at night quite frequently because I can’t breathe. This is poor timing because I’ve got loads of work to catch up on this week. I’m getting sleepy after doing about 20 minutes of concentrated work, my class notes this morning turned into a scrawl across the page because it was too much energy to lift the pen off the page. How ridiculous is that. This is all very familiar and reminds me of last year. I have an organiser which was helping me keep track but now I’m forgetting to write stuff in it so I’m getting myself into a mess again because I’m not quite sure what I’m meant to be doing. All I can think of doing is not thinking past this week and getting all my outstanding work completed that I know about then taking it from there.

I’m resenting being back at college and I’m not throwing myself into it because I don’t enjoy any of it. I need to do Chemistry because I need a better grade for university…but its such a struggle that I’m giving up on it again. It doesn’t help that I’m being given work that is not on the exam specification which is confusing me further because just as I understand the work I need to know I’m being given work which is just *argh* because it conflicts with what I need to learn. I don’t enjoy doing practicals for several reasons; I find them physically draining, I’m scared of doing the more dangerous ones (I had an accident once and had to go to A&E) and because people expect me to take the lead as I’ve supposedly done it all before. I resent doing GCSE Maths again even though its something I took for personal development. I don’t click with my teacher, he confuses me. I’m resenting it all because I don’t *have* to be back, I’m having to self motivate and being so drained in multiple ways makes that near impossible. I let people think its simple but it so isn’t, I’m not at the advantage people think I am as a resitter because I’m obviously resitting for a reason! Then there is the fact I feel this extra year has tainted my experience at college because my first 2 years were quite positive despite everything, I don’t want to leave saying I hated college when that wasn’t the case.

The other issue is something I’m really worried about, I’ve had to stop/start A Levels a few times and the time I finally manage to take 3 subjects to completion I still have to come back to retake one. ‘Extenuating circumstances’ get bandied about when people talk about me but what does it really matter because the simple fact is I didn’t cope and with the university application process being so cut-throat I think I’m actually screwed. All this crap with having this extra year just proves their point, they’ll think I might not be able to complete the course at university 😦 so what is the point? I just feel what if I get through this year, went through this whole frustrating A Levels process only for universities to say well it was basically a waste of time because we only want people who have done A Levels in the standard 2 year time period. Its this thought, which contributes so much to the lack of motivation. I’ve said this to my counsellor before but I basically get told its not like that, but I actually think it may be. ‘Extenuating circumstances’ feels like an excuse, I know they’re not things I have control of but I just feel I should have done well despite them not done badly because of them. I feel like I’m a weak person because I let them ‘win’. I’m questioning so much at the moment; I thought I used to be a determined person but surely if I was I would not have let it all beat me so easily. I just feel so so bad that I’m 22 and I’m still doing my A Levels, that is the crux of it. Everyone who I went to school with has either gone to university and returned with a degree or working or got children etc. I just feel I’m stuck at the 16-18 stage of my life and I’m forever going to play catch up on my life.

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