Another year gone.

The question I find the hardest at the moment, which I get asked pretty much everyday is: “How are you?” Or a variation of this question. We all ask this in a conversation to keep a conversation going as well as either because you genuinely want to know and/or to be polite. Do I answer this with the quick, clean and easy “I’m okay/fine.” which progresses the conversation further and doesn’t make it awkward for the other person if I was at the time feeling really low or some other negative feeling because then they might feel obliged to ask why and then that is just messy. “I’m okay” is probably one of the phrases I use the most, it’s a catch all – a default response. It’s usually only through blogging or counselling do my true feelings about some things come out. Likewise, I find it hard to tell people if I’m struggling physically and I will insist I’m fine when maybe I’m not.

I regularly decide to think about the big things when I should be trying to sleep then silently freak out in my head because its all too much and obviously at midnight or whatever time of the night it is there’s nothing I can do right at that moment in time about the things that I’m thinking about. So the midnight-freak out sessions are not conducive to sleep or anything else apart from a sense of unease as I eventually fall asleep.

Here is a contradiction: my mind feels so full yet so empty. It feels full of worries and concerns but the stuff which I consider to be important isn’t there. I do feel empty headed, I feel like the side of me that should be functioning- isn’t. I feel there is no balance at the moment, I’m waiting for the ‘trigger’ which will put things back in a relative balance. I’m imagining a see-saw where emotions and logic sit at either end. Logic has run off to play elsewhere in this mental playground and emotions is sat on its own on the see-saw weighing the whole thing down.

Since Christmas, I’ve been feeling an overwhelming sense of being smothered by a wave of low mood. There is no particular ‘thing’ causing it, just that there is the accumulation of feeling hopeless about the present and the future. I’ve been telling people that revision for exams is going well but it really is not. As each day goes past it feels too late leading to this unending sense of it all being so pointless. What would be the point of carrying on with college when I do not know if I’m going to get what I hope to achieve out of it. All this time spent, stopping/restarting A Levels – the resits etc, is it going to be worth it? Because right now I don’t know anything, my future feels like it is in other people’s hands which makes me feel helpless and having little control over my life. I’ve had an offer for a different course (as mentioned in previous blog entry) but also a rejection for the Medicine course at the same university which quite frankly just sucks because it feels like the offer is a consolation prize. And to make this all feel so much worse; I’ve now got my heart set on a particular course at another university which is so competitive, something like only 1 in 20 applicants gets an offer of a place to study there.

I’m spending ridiculous amounts of time sleeping and my sleep pattern is going out of wack, I go back to college on Tuesday (03/01) and I don’t see how the fact I spend so much time asleep is going to fit with that. It feels like a vicious circle because the more I sleep the more I feel I need it. Physically there might be a need for it as I’ve just got over a cold but saying that feels like I’m being far too delicate because I don’t normally feel like that due to something as simple as a cold.

2011 has been challenging. New challenges and old. But every year seems to consist of challenges, some which we win- others which we don’t. While I hope 2012 will be a much better year, it seems it would be prudent not to build up my hopes however difficult that is. I’m 22 yet I feel so old, I feel I have lived through so much already but yet there could be so much more to come.

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Update (’cause I can’t think of a more interesting title)

Quite a bit has happened since I last updated here and I should have blogged sooner ’cause now I can’t quite remember everything!

So I’m thinking back to the end of November. I had an upsetting counselling session the day after I blogged, it was so intense. Asthma wise things ended up pretty rubbish a few days later because I still had my cold, the weekend had been a bit crap then on the Monday I had made the stupid decision to take loads of textbooks into college (and it turned out I didn’t need them) instead of my compressor nebuliser because I couldn’t carry both as they were too heavy. I could feel the wheezyness building up over the morning but didn’t go home to use my nebuliser and went straight to the city centre to get my phone fixed (’cause it kept freezing and switching itself off). I met mum in the city centre and it was bitterly cold the only relief was when we went into a coffee shop to wait and my chest felt slightly better then tightened up again when we went outside. It took about 2 hours to get home ’cause I could barely walk and we had to figure out a way which was least hilly etc, when it normally takes me maybe 30? minutes at most to get home. I got home and had countless nebs back to back and felt a little better. My mum was trying to make me go into hospital and we compromised that I’d ring my respiratory nurse who said to keep my steroids at 80mg and 2-4 hourly nebs as I had been doing but go in if I felt worse. I gave college a miss on the Tuesday but went out to post some university things which were important and ended up in a bad way again so I used my nebuliser in a supermarket staffroom which was so embarrassing, I’m actually still mortified about it. On the Wednesday I had to go to a university session about medical school interviews because I had applied through a scheme there. I had felt a bit better that morning but the campus is pretty hilly and big so I struggled on the way back and ended up with a first-aider in the train station trying to find a plug socket and spent the entire train journey home having back to back nebs. I had Asthma clinic at the hospital the next day and I was admitted for some IVs because I wasn’t well and spirometry etc was poor, I felt so much better a few hours after the Aminophylline infusion was started, and while in hindsight I should have gone in at the start of the week the truth is there is no way I’d go in unless I was desperate. There was the relief that I didn’t have to make the decision and it was my consultant who did because I do not trust my own judgement. I don’t call ambulances unless I’m desperate, I’ll try going to my GP or walk-in-centres in the hope that they can do something or just ’cause deep down I know that maybe I need to be in hospital but I want someone else to decide for me. Anyway I picked up so well with the IVs I was home the next day but it didn’t take long for things to get rubbish again but not *as* rubbish as they were and I’m starting to feel better again ( πŸ™‚ ) despite managing to get another cold in that time!

I went to the university open day (07/12) for one of my non-medicine choices and they have written to me saying they’d like to offer me a place. For several reasons I didn’t like the course; it is research heavy, they themselves have said they don’t recommend it as a course for people who want to study Graduate-entry Medicine even though they have had some of their students go onto GEM. But it’s amazing to be offered a place there and I do appreciate it. It is a good university and as it was evident from my application that I wasn’t applying there as first choice because my application was for Medicine so they didn’t have to offer me a place. The people who attended the same open day as me were Medicine/Dentistry applicants and had loads of amazing work experience which I had difficulty accessing because either I don’t have the contacts or just the area I live in there aren’t many opportunities. So that was a bit of a knock because I feel they are clearly at an advantage.

Anyway maybe if someone was reading this they’d think “oh she has a university offer surely this should motivate her to keep on with college??” Well no because I can’t think anymore. Literally. It’s like someone has taken my brain and I feel empty headed. Logic etc seems to have disappeared, like wanting to work something out in a past exam paper has gone and I just want the answers to write down rather than understanding what on earth I’m writing or reading. It might be because I am resitting but I don’t know. :/ And I’m wondering is this going to get better? Or have I sort of ‘peaked’ and burnt out? I feel dumb. I have been thinking about quitting college recently, but as for where I want to go in my career I can’t do that. Why is everything so contradictory? I want to study Medicine so, so much yet I have lost or perceive to have lost the ability to actually study?! Why is it I feel one thing so strongly (wanting to study Medicine) but all the other things like low motivation are not impacting on that. It makes no sense. My counsellor thinks that if I actually went to university to study Medicine this stuff might actually get better. She has suggested we increase the number of sessions I have with her. As I finished college for the end of term last Thursday (15/12) I have no sessions til the first week of January and this feels like a long time and I don’t want to be ‘dependent’ on counselling. This is one of the reasons why I was so reluctant to start counselling sessions because I did not want to become dependent on the counselling sessions. It feels like a weakness to need counselling sessions, that I cannot ‘control’ (for want of a better word) my frame of mind without assistance. I still have not taken the plunge and gone to discuss things with my GP because that is even scarier than the acceptance I need counselling. Seeing my GP makes it ‘official’, whereas in counselling I can try at times to rationalise that these thoughts/feelings are a temporary thing and while maybe they might be, I feel if I went to see my GP that maybe I’d be labelled as permanently feeling this way.

My Eczema is becoming a problem again and I saw my dermatologist this week. The topical steroids have not been working for several reasons. I’ve been swapped to a high potency topical steroid, Fluocinonide, in ointment form so that is absorbed properly and my emollients have also been changed to ointment form rather than creams/lotions for better absorption as they feel creams aren’t getting in properly but ointments are so greasy and I feel so yucky after its all been applied but its worth it because my legs have been a lot less itchy but don’t look any better but that will take time I guess. I may need something specifically for my eyelids/face as most topical steroids are too harsh but the skin on my eyelids has been peeling off and weeping.

Sheesh this is such a long blog post… Maybe I should wrap it up now! ahh that reminds me I’m totally useless at christmas shopping, so indecisive and last minute! And maybe I should sleep now cos I need to be trekking it around Ikea tomorrow. There’s probably some stuff I’ve missed so I might post again soonish and bore anyone reading my blog.

Anyway if I don’t blog before, I’d like to wish anyone reading this a very Merry Christmas! πŸ™‚

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