Reflecting on the past and the present.

Things are feeling very much up in the air again. Mum had a head CT scan last week and the neurosurgeons said to use Dexamethasone to treat the subdural haematomas. Disappointing in that they’ve not diminished by themselves but relieved that for now that surgery is not the immediate option. I’m really hoping that Dexamethasone works so that my mum doesn’t have to go through that surgery again, it was so difficult emotionally for both of us. In addition to this, there is a returning concern- mum’s renal function was not good today, her potassium levels were high so was given an infusion to try to decrease it. In all honesty (and this is so scary) I’m feeling history is appearing to repeat itself. I want answers but they are difficult to get for a few reasons.

I’m finding my character traits very frustrating at the moment. I hate the echoes of timidness I still have from when I was a child. I thought I was over this but I realised last week that it was still there. I’ve probably mentioned this before, but when I was a child I was so timid that I was virtually mute until I left primary school, the timidness was so physical to me I just could not bring myself to speak in lessons when prompted by teachers, one teacher in particular was awful (she was the one who first described me as timid) she told me to answer a certain question even if I thought it was wrong and I just could not do it. So she kicked me out of the classroom. That was years and years ago but I’ve never forgot it because it epitomises just how much of a grip being timid had on me.
Its a horrible word, I don’t like it and how it defines a lot of me. I’m constantly scared of upsetting people, people getting angry with me or whatever.

It is frustrating because I’m too scared to demand answers from the people looking after my mum or to complain about her care. I do ask but it just doesn’t feel enough, I come away with more questions and more frustrated that I didn’t press them to tell me more. I’m angry with myself for being a grown adult and still being scared of being “told off”. And if I can’t stand up for myself, for my mum (the most important person to me) then how could I have expected myself to do that in a job that entails that from me everyday (the goal to study medicine). I just have no resolve. My confidence falls flat in the middle- like a cake which is taken too soon out of the oven that just sinks in the middle. Its not real and is shattered as soon as it is challenged so to speak.

My schools put me through assertiveness ‘classes’ etc but they just didn’t work; when I’m being assertive I feel like I’m being aggressive, the rest of the time I am passive. (The three terms I recall from the classes: passive, assertive and aggressive) My counsellor and I have talked about it at length but haven’t found any ways to address it. I’m not finding counselling helpful at the moment, I mean she’s lovely and its good to talk but even she concedes that this is not counselling but ‘merely’ support. I’ve made virtually no progress in 2 years of seeing her. I had counselling from 16-18 which worked well. Part of the problem is my mindset very much relies on external factors to myself for example, my mum. I find it hard that I can’t change certain things. The other part of the problem is that I can’t change my thoughts however hard I try, everyday I am plagued by the same bad thoughts from the minute I wake up until I fall asleep. I can’t feel good about anything I do, it is never good enough. My counsellor doesn’t think CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) would be effective either because as mentioned a lot of the factors that contribute to my mindset are external.

I hate that I cave in, even when someone has upset me and hasn’t shown me the consideration I have shown them. I forgive too easily. I resolve to limit these individuals’ presence in my life but I cave in and allow myself to feel negative. This is a quote I read on a friend’s Facebook page that gave me food for thought: “Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.” I feel like the world is starting to make me hard in that I lack patience with myself.

I’m worried about this week because so much is happening. Sometimes there is too little time to think, other times there is too much time to think. I don’t know which is worse.

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Going around and round in circles and back to square one – sort of.

A lot has happened since I last posted yet I’m pretty much back to where I was when I last blogged. It is disappointing, worrying and frustrating.

In the past month, my mum had an operation to drain a haematoma on her brain after it suddenly got worse which meant she had to go into emergency surgery. I cannot describe how terrified I was, I wandered around the hospital through the night because I couldn’t settle, she came out of surgery and I was surprised that she was awake as she wasn’t conscious when she had gone to surgery, she was a bit confused and sounded a bit strange when she was speaking to me- she also hadn’t realised that she had had an operation and this remained the case for a few days, my mum’s CPN came to visit her and made her feel her head so that she could understand. It was also really odd, I suppose distressing- to see what they had done to her- like shaving some of her hair off and I know it sounds silly because hair grows back but I wasn’t prepared for it, especially as the surgeon said previously that it would be minimal.

Mum had started to recover very well and was discharged home on 4th April with a severely lacking home support package, no physiotherapy or occupational therapy had been arranged in advance so mum struggled, I struggled too to be honest as I wasn’t well at the time and there was discussion about whether I needed to come into hospital as a day patient for a few days for IV steroids as I had point blank refused to come in as an inpatient and I was adamant that high dose steroids and lots of nebs would suffice. Under normal circumstances this arrangement would have been fine (admission or lots of nebs and steroids) however with mum being discharged the same day the former was not an option and the latter turned out to take longer to work as I was so tired and worn out from doing everything mum needed doing.

Last Monday (08/04) mum had a fall at home when the support workers came to mobilise her, she was taken back to hospital where they found she has two new subdural haematomas which for now they will treat conservatively. I am distressed and angry that she wasn’t supported enough at home and the possibility that she was discharged too soon. There is a lot of uncertainty again, mum’s not mobilising at the moment, and she has had bouts of vomiting, won’t eat at all. They keep questioning if she has an infection but again why was she discharged if that was the case. Some people think mum might not be able to come back home, that she might need a different environment more suited to her needs. I don’t like to think about this, part of me feels like she has given up and this is frustrating. In addition to all of this some of her medications were vastly reduced in dose due to post-operative risks of seizures etc. which has meant her psychiatric problems aren’t great at the moment so that’s another thing to throw into the mix. I don’t know what the plan is and I hate not knowing where I stand.