Well hello! This is the first time I've blogged for ages - I'm not sure why, but it just didn't feel like the right thing to do for a while. I think my last post was about the fire in December, and now it's August. I had another fairly serious depression after the fire - no surprises there - and eventually come out of it in March. I had been told that I needed to have both my shoulders replaced when I saw the surgeon last year, but I put it off and off, and then decided to come off the waiting list for the summer, so that I could concentrate on losing weight and generally getting my life in order. Never tempt Fate - I immediately got diagnosed with stress induced psoriasis, and then became aware that not all was well with my neck. After a series of investigations, including a sudden and unexpected trip to A&E, I was told that I have a prolapsed disc between C5 and C6, and that there are osteophytes (bony arthritic growths) in my neck; both those things are pressing on the nerves to my left arm and my spinal cord. Bummer. I was told that it was "urgent" and that I should have an operation to fix it as soon as possible.
I looked up the dictionary definition of "urgent". Every source said "requiring immediate attention or action". "Imperative". "Especially before anything else". The NHS, apparently, has a different definition. I wonder what it is. I wasn't given an appointment to see the spinal surgeon until some time in August - I went to A&E at the beginning of June - but thanks to his secretary, I actually saw him on 24th June, because there had been a cancellation. He showed me my MRI scan, and then a scan of a normal neck, and mine showed what seemed to be a huge prolapsed disc, which filled the spinal cavity. I just hoped that it looked bad because I didn't understand what I was looking at. The end result was that I was told the operation would be late in August/early September, which didn't actually sound very "urgent" to me.
So, I put up with the symptoms (tingling left arm, neck pain, wobbly legs) and was told I couldn't drive by my insurance company, so had to stay at home unless some kind friend took me where I wanted to go. My friends have all been very good at giving me lifts when I've needed them, but even being driven doesn't help the neck. Meanwhile, the secretary and I had been emailing each other with various bits of information, but even she couldn't make things happen any faster.
Then, last weekend, the symptoms got suddenly worse, and when I saw a new GP on the Monday, she really got the bit between her teeth, faxed and phoned the surgeon's office, marking everything "urgent" (!), and I have now been marked down for an "urgent" admission. Ha fucking ha. I'll see what eventually happens - no news as yet.
So far, my mood has remained strangely stable (I'm touching wood as I type, which is actually quite difficult) and I haven't lurched into a depression or mania. I've always had a severe mood swing after a general anaesthetic, so that's a probability, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.
I spent 16 years in the RAF defending the Free World , then got bunged out unceremoniously for being bipolar. I and was subsequently diagnosed with PTSD. Funny old world, isn't it?