Thursday, 31 May 2012

The Pocket Gude to Aden

IT IS SUPPOSED to be colder today.  My house somehow felt hotter. The temperature this week has hovered around 80F, about 27C. That's the max UK temp, according to my dogged research. (Well I did check all of 2 websites and one had no weather information at all!)

I have been eating oven chips and a salad consisting of cucumber, spring onion, baby tomatoes and avocado all chopped and mixed with spinach, rocket and watercress leaves. I do not like lettuce and I barely put any dressing on any salad.

I went and took heroin yesterday. What a waste. Too weak for words. I blame the stress of my drunk friend Greg Arious. Well I have to blame somebody. OK I'll blame myself: I was weak. I've gotta go drug-free next week anyhow: I have another appointment at the methadone clinic to which I want to turn up clean. With my script "titrating" downwards, I have to abstain anyhow. Any using "on top" will only mess up my detox.

I found a hardback travel guide to Aden (modern day People's Republic of South Yemen) published in 1961. Packed with pages of ancient ads for Frigidaire: "The most exciting look in refrigerators to-day ~ that's Frigidaire's new Sheer Look"... Yardley: "Men who travel far make sure they are as well-groomed en route as they are when at home. They are not content, for instance, merely to include the best of shaving soaps or creams in their luggage. They pack Yardley After Shaving Lotion or 'Tender Skin' Lotion for Specially Sensitive Skins. Their bland, tonic touch braces and tones the skin: soothes every smart left by nicks and scrapes: leaves the fac looking and feeling its finest." (How wordy!) Oh yeah and Vauxhall cars: "Roll up! Roll up! Value is Vauxhall's theme for '61! Try the very latest Victors ~ see what the new rear window does for easy parking. Motor in the grand manner behind Vauxhall's stupendous new 113 horse power 'six' ~ power plant for '61 Velox and Cresta. Mitchell Cotts & Co. (Aden) Ltd. Cotts House, Crater, Aden. Telephone No. 2891 Cable MITTCOTTS ADEN. Your Vauxhall Dealer.

Even the editor admits: "It cannot be denied that the climate in the Colony is, for half of the year, unpleasant." That means summer humidity at 80% with a "temperature which rarely rises above 100F". Sounds marvellous.

There were only two radio stations and no television in Aden in 1961. "Those who are used to having ready-made entertainment "on tap", so to speak in the form of television, radio, a choice of cinemas showing the latest flims, theatre or music-hall and dance-halls will find Aden distinctly lacking in these amenities. T.V., in particular, has not reached Aden and there seems little immediate prospect of it doing so ~ in spite of the optimism displayed by a Little Aden resident whose house is decorated with distinctive aerials"!

I was going to send Welcome to Aden: A Services Guidebook published by Africa Publishing Company 1961 to the charity shop but haven't the heart. It makes very entertaining reading.





Wednesday, 30 May 2012

My Self-Destructive Friend

I HAD to go to the doctor's this morning, where my previously infected and injured big toe nail, which had been opening on a hinge like a trapdoor finally fell off in front of her face. The doctor looked like she was going to be sick. I put the huge yellow nail in my pocket, but soon discarded it, when I realized how disgusting it stank.

I am back on the antipsychotic Seroquel (quetiapine). I "only" took 100mg last night, but was so knocked out this morning it was a struggle to get to the doctor for more. The maximum dose, by the way, is 800mg ~ and I'm meant to be on 200. How anyone can function on 800 I've no idea. My friend Pinky is on 750mg plus the antidepressant mirtazapine (Remeron) plus clonazepam (Klonipin), a Valium-type drug for anxiety, plus zopiclone for sleep!

Looking around at the half-cleared, half-sorted mess of my life of my house, I'm not surprised I hadn't the drive or energy to finish. It's hard enough for me to motivate myself anyway ~ without a treatment that is worse than the disease.

My friend Greg Arious has been behaving in a distinctly antisocial manner since breaking up (yet again) with his girlfriend of 16 years. He has shaved his head, revealing numerous slashes, gouges and slice-marks. He looks like a thug now. I told him it would look better when it grew a bit. Yesterday he was drunk  to near-incoherence by 1pm. And I'd only come to deliver more alcohol. His poor dog, who he loves, looked terrified. I left very quickly. I've never seen anyone drink as heavily or as quickly as Greg. Some days he seems to get through nine litres of strong white cyder at 7.5% ABV. That's 67.5 alcoholic units. More than double the recommended weekly limit in one day. I cannot sit by watching somebody destroy himself. In fact the reason I so often don't want to go round is the Demon Drink. I'm not sure this friendship will last much longer.

The world is still boiling hot. At least London is.

Now I have to go. I'm going to try and make mixed salad from chopped cucumber, spring onions and tomatoes with spinach, watercress and rocket leaves. I just hope I don't poison myself like last time, when I caught roaring diarrhoea for days afterwards...

  Do you want 2 hours of music that will go on and on? This set is from DJ Ernesto (whoever that is) back in 1994. If the beginning is anything to go by, it's far too intellectual for my taste, but there you go...

OK I get why it's so intellectual now: it's from the radio, not an actual clubnight. That explains everything. The track exactly 20 minutes into it is good.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Mount Trashmore

I HAVE JUST CLEARED UP an entire mountain of rubbish. It has sat there for months on end, towering out of an armchair. At the top were bedclothes. In the middle, lots of old receipts and papers, plus rotting food that I couldn't even identify. At the bottom, endless cigarette ends were mingled in a white powder that I took to be salt. I'm not very good at housework.

I found some good NA leaflets in all that jumble. I was about to throw out one on meditation (surely the most boring activity I have ever tried), when I looked again and saw it was on MEDICATION. The gist seems to be that mental meds are fine; methadone is fine, but a person on methadone  doesn't count as "clean".

In the fridge I have some 25p stir-fry. it's mostly beansprouts, so if I don't use it today it'll go off. Hey I could have thrown it into that mountain of junk. It would have been totally at home there, mulching gradually down for months on end.

I'm going to try frying it with as little oil as possible. Usually I seem to add far too much, producing "vegetables in grease". Maybe I'll get some 25p chicken noodles. See how that goes.

It's still boiling hot. Last night was so "sultry" you could still walk around in a teeshirt past 11pm.

Right I'm off.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Good Day Sunshine

LONDON has been absolutely boiling hot this past week. I have been sweating like a swine in teeshirts and jeans. My heavy drinking friend Greg Arious gave me a pair of shorts , among many other things, in exchange for a huge bottle of cyder.
I am hoping that if I could do extensive sunbathing in such shorts, the years of needle marks up and down my legs, which look way worse than my arms, might eventually fade.

My housing manager paid a visit at the end of last week. She kept saying there was too much clutter. One reason the place does look so full is that the numerous bags, boxes and suitcases piled around the place are mostly EMPTY. The mounds of books, DVDs, clothes and kitchen utensils are out precisely because I am sorting through them and casting the excess aside. The local charity shop has profitted handsomely from this enterprise. A couple of afternoons ago I closed my eyes and saw a gleaming vision of what my room could look like if completely decluttered and cleaned out. This has inspired me a to make that dream a reality.

I have a doctor's appointment in a couple of days' time. I'm due for a refill on my antipsychotics. The ones I stopped taking because they made me too ill. Since I stopped my mood has swung up-down-up. It currently feels normal but falling. I still get little voices and inserted thoughts ~ that is, thoughts from outside stray into the edge of my mind. The other day something blasted right into the central stream of my thought, like a bowling ball. My own ideas went skedaddling like ninepins and the same word repeated itself over and over. I had to give up the book I was trying to read and went to bed feeling confused.

I'm not having any kind of "episode" and yet still these weird things occur. My sanity feels permanently impaired. A big reason I want to get off methadone is to see whether I'm any healthier in body and in mind without that toxin. In the old days I was scared of methadone because I feared it would worsen my habit (methadone being more addictive than heroin). Now I wonder whether it hasn't poisoned my mind too. Who knows, without any further chemical compromise, maybe I will eventually recover? I'm not hanging too much hope on that, though.

I have yet to attend any of the Dual Recovery Anonymous meetings I was talking of in my last post. They all seem miles away.

I bought a giant rump steak on reduction today ~ only £1.49. The instructions said fry each side for 6 mins on a medium heat. I gave it more than 12 and it was tough as old boots. Still it was nice. I cooked onions, garlic and mushrooms with it so it was most sophisticated. In a rustic kind of way. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!

Now I must be off. it's past 11pm and I'm still absolutely boiling!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

The Long Road To Recovery

AT LAST I had a proper appointment down the druggieclinic where I have a new worker named Fanny. I gave a clear "suck it and see" style oral drug screen and my methadone at long long last goes down to 25mg per day. I am pleased as punch. Nothing depresses me more than a flat methadone dose with no end in sight. If methadone is there to make me feel "normal" (whoever told Ann Widdecombe MP  it was a "state-sponsored high" was barking up the wrong tree entirely. Almost without exception, addicts on methadone continue using herin on top at every oppotunity for years on end. They tend to do that because methadone is NOT making them high at all! It takes an exceptoinal quantity of willpower to give up heroin, even with the dubious "assistance" of methadone.)

... Anyway, as I was saying, if you're going to feel "normal" on methadone, you might as well reduce the dose and eventually live your "normality" without the need for any chemical crutches ~ prescribed or otherwise. I'm fed up of having an elevated tolerance to opiates so that, even on about 35mg of methadone, as I would have been then, the Co-dydramol the hospital gave me for those broken fingers was rendered ineffectual. 10mg dihydrocodeine is equivalent to just 1mg methadone. Of course the 500mg paracetamol (acetaminophen) in those pills still works. So I might as well have bought myself a pot of paracetamol and saved the dihydrocodeine for someone who really would have benefitted from it.

I don't want to have to ask permission ~ and give at least a fortnight's notice to the methadone clinic ~ just to visit my Dad's side of the family, who I grew up with, yet haven't seen in about eight years. Last time I mooted that idea I was told I'd only get four or five days' prescription in advance and then have to pick up the remainder from a local pharmacy in a gossipy Welsh village. No way!

I'm still a drug addict as long as I'm on methadone. I still sweat far too heavily ~ even worse than I did on heroin. The hot summers I used so much to enjoy in childhood are nowadays a slow torture with me perspiring heavily, despite having taken multiple layers of clothing off.

I turned up (late) at an NA meeting last night and had to squeeze into a packed-out, fusty room in pitch darkness. I felt too sweaty, dirty and paranoid to stay long and so left early, telling myself I'd shower for longer before next time ~ and make sure I had fresher clothes on.

Narcotics Anonymous take the view I do, that you're not truly "clean" until you're off all drugs, including drink, and are no longer dependent on methadone. NA is the only place I know to meet clean friends and God knows I need some. I've decided to get a sponsor, work all twelve steps and follow the programme for at least a year, just as soon as I'm finally OFF the methadone.

With NA you only live "just for today" ~ which echoes Jesus Christ's declaration that "sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof" (Matthew 6:34).

NA advise that newcomers attend ninety meetings in the first ninety days. Again there's little point putting in this level of commitment until I'm totally off  the methadone and able to engage with the programme 100%.

An alternative twelve-step programme that has piqued my interest is Dual Recovery Anonymous ~ DRA. They are oriented towards recovery for drug addicts with psychiatric issues of any type. Most of their meetings are in Central London, so I haven't been yet. But I'm really looking forward to checking DRA out.

Whether I end up joining NA, DRA or both, finding the right sponsor is going to prove a tall order. Your sponsor is like a teacher, someone who guides you through the programme, somebody to turn to in times of trouble or confusion ~ and you supposedly have a lot of them in your first year. In effect, they're a kind of mentor.

I found an NA friend who said he would sponsor me more than five years back, but I wasn't ready to clean up; he wasn't ready to sponsor anybody. Yet neither of us knew this until we were put to the test. It ended up with him dropping out of our local meetings just to avoid me. And me continuing to use heroin and crack and white cyder just as before. My only progress since then has been to knock the crack on the head, cut the heroin back from nearly every day to once every week or two, to cut my drinking to less than a third of what it once was. I'm now a methadone addict, not a heroin addict, and my new prescription is less than a fifth of what it was less than a year ago!

So I'm on the way out. I'm going so slowly, slowly, it drives me crazy whenever I think about it. But slow and steady is the only approach that's going to work for me. By the first week of June, I'll be down to just 20mg per day. I try not to think about any of this too much. I just keep my eyes on the goal. The very idea of being Clean is faintly terrifying for me because it's unchartered territory. My whole life yawning ahead of me, empty and unfulfilled. I could do anything: yet what shall I do? I want to be off the methadone and want to be off all psychiatric drugs too. Then at last I shall know how I really feel. Most long-term addicts say they feel worse in the first year off methadone than they did on it. But most long-term addicts are not bipolar. One upside to my moods is that they've often swung contrary to circumstance. I'm hoping my hard-won Cleanliness if ever, however I attain it, might spark in me a lot more energy than I currently have, along with a better mood.

I don't want to be manic, I want to be happy. I'm yet to meet a happy drug addict. Getting off all drugs is the only thing I can see to do that will truly give me a chance.

And though I'm determined not to fall into a pit of brooding, I now see clearly that dabbling with heroin was the single biggest wrong move of my life. In fact, it's the only big mistake I've ever made. I've lost twelve years to that crap and I'm not willing to lose a single day more.

God grant me the Serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
The Courage to change the things I can,
And the Wisdom to know the difference ...

And now for a musical break...

Speedier version of the track I posted yesterday...

The Power of Madonna!

Monday, 21 May 2012

I Must Give Up

I HAVE to give up drinking ~ yet again. Most day in the past week it had gone up to 3 half-litre cans of white cyder 7.5%ABV. That's 11.25 alcoholic units (112.5mls neat alcohol) per day. The days I didn't drink 3 cans, I drank 2. Today I've had one, and I'm leaving it at that. Three cans of that cyder amount to approximately 1050 Calories. That's way too much.

Last night  dreamt I was in my friend Rebsie's dank and derelict house. Possessions were strewn everywhere, or packed into boxes. Rebs is in rehab still, coming off a 30 year plus drink and heroin addiction. In the dream our other friend, Mother Hubbs was in the house, helping to pack up. In real life Hubbs is clean and thin enough to be unrecognizable.

Whereas I was once the one leading the way ~ the only person I knew even to have been to an NA meeting outside prison or rehab; and the only person who thought he wanted to stop, even if my outlook was delusional. Now only one of my old group of friends uses heroin ~ and that's only once a month. I know one other person who takes heroin every week and somehow seems not to be physically dependent. That person is the exception to numerous rules.

But anyway, they've all left me behind.

And here I am, trailing in the dust.


Sunday, 20 May 2012

Tired and Depressed

I HAVE been going to bed in the afternoon, because I have been craving heroin and thought that sleeping in the day was healthier than taking it. My methadone is supposed to go down to 25mg after next week, and I suppose I had better show up "clean". When I do finally get off that crap, it wouldn't surprise me if I have to spend the rest of my life in bed, avoiding it. Now that my body has got used to sleeping early, it has come to expect it. I'm awake from about 1-4am, then I go back to bed and sleep till about 10. Meaning I'm sleeping 14 hours a day ~ again. No wonder I feel depressed.

And now for a musical interlude...
I like the "country house on acid" visuals.


Saturday, 19 May 2012





... and now for a musical break...


Friday, 18 May 2012

Old Mother Hubbard Came Out Of The Cupboard

YESTERDAY, quite by chance, I bumped into an old friend of mine ~ in fact, I considered her an ex-friend; now I'm not so sure. On my old blog I always clled her Mother Hubbard because she is a generation older than me and used to wash my clothes and feed me. At one point I was barely eating anything. So she did me a lot of favours, which I wasn't quite as grateful for at the time as I probably should have been.

I didn't even recognize her! I myself had calculated that she was drinking so much in alcohol back in the day that Calorie-wise at least, she didn't need to eat. She's lost FIVE STONE ~ that's 70lbs, 32kg. She came off all the heroin. Reduced the methadone to zero "in the community" ~ so at least I now know somebody who has achieved that feat. Most people seem to need a detox unit to come off it. What I have against detox units is that you usually have to clean up entirely in 10 days. That's far too quick for me. The quicker the detox, the bigger the jolt. Jolts and me do not mix. If they don't make me manic, they're almost guaranteed to make me depressed.

Mother Hubbs said she had bipolar problems earlier in life and for years used heroin knowingly as an alternative to lithium ~ and it worked for her! Just like it worked for me. Flattened the mood very noticably. (Of course it made both of us raving addicts, but...) That's why I'm not surprised that the end of my years of using heroin on a near-daily basis coincided with a manic-depressive (I was both) schizoaffective psychotic episode. I don't know whether she's on psyche meds now because I avoided that topic. In fact I said as little about my self as possible.

So she lost five stone, came off heroin, methadone, alcohol and cigarettes, looks unrecognizable with her dead straight white hair that looks professionally done. She is the only person I know who looks truly happy.

Our mutual friend Rebsie, who had a 30 year plus heroin-methadone-drink habit is still in rehab miles away. Rebsie's teenage daughter is living with Hubbs on a permanent basis...

I know someone who is happy ~ wow!

PS Syd brought up this issue in a comment on my methadone, heroin and mood swings post... for anyone who really is interested re psychosis and drugs, here's a digest of the available information. I long ago stopped trying to blame my problems on drugs. Partly because I went ON them because I already was depressed and because when I looked into drug psychosis after I became psychotic, it became apparent I didn't fit the clinical criteria for substance-induced psychotic disorders or substance-induced mood disorders. Anyway the link is here...

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

X-ray Day

I HAVE JUST COME BACK from the breast clinic. I walked all the way so I am exhausted. I had two x-rays taken of each side. They squeezed my nipples quite violently into a class contraption and then the woman ran away to hide behind a screen. I wasn't allowed in the women's waiting room, where I hoped I would pass as a lesbian. It didn't work. So I waited in a room with a couch and a screen until a nurse turned up informing me that a doctor had looked over my results and no ultrasound was necessary. Does this mean they know I'm so riddled with cancer I'll drop dead before another appointment is possible??~! I'm just kidding. Surely, surely this is a good sign..? But what on earth does it mean? And why wouldn't they tell me? I didn't even think of asking till I was halfway down the corridor and the nurse was gone. I doubted she knew much about my case anyway. I'm going to have to wait till my consultant appointment in June ...

I was really upset yesterday because I went to the laundrette and that stressed me out and tired me out. I felt so decrepit I nearly cried.

I could have slept at 6pm, but stayed up late. Next thing I knew it was past 1:30. I got into bed exhausted and didn't sleep for at least an hour. Then I woke up, freezing cold and dying for a cigarette at 6. Eventually I went back to sleep and got up at 10 . I was getting confusing racing thoughts all day and I think it was them that kept me awake.

Oh what a mundane day! I wrote out a really long post yesterday about how upset I was to be schizo. But that's going to take days to type in.

The Calorie-controlled diet is going well. I'm still at approximately 1500 Cals per day. Ironically I don't need to eat very much less than usual to achieve this, so I don't think this alone is going to make me thin. Exercise comes next. Now that might make a difference...? Problem is, I've never done any type of formal exercise programme in my life. The only sport I like is swimming. So I was thinking of forcing myself into three sessions of that per week. I was going to take it up last year, but laziness, shyness and body issues got in the way. I felt far too fat to wobble my near-naked portly frame in front of hoardes of strangers!

As far as I know, I've never gone over 220 lbs, 15 stone, 100kg. Currently I am around 14 stone, 200 lbs, 90kg. I haven't weighed myself since the diet began. That's partly because I judge myself not on what the scales say, but on how lithe I feel. My target weight is 11 stone, 154lbs, 70kg. I don't want to go below 10 stone, 140 lbs, 63kg.

I really wanted to see the chirpies in the birdery, but the old man seemed to have shut up shop and gone home. Wikipedia describes lovebirds as miniature parrots and that's why I want them . What better bargain can you get than mini parrots at less than £30 ($50) each?!??

Soon as I get a council flat (that means permanent public housing) I'm getting roborovskis, a massive furry American akita or lovebirds or all three!!

And last but not least: best pop performances of all time:




Interestingly enough, both are lipsynched..!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Methadone, Heroin and Mood Swings

I HAVE YET ANOTHER DRUG WORKER ~ my fourth in less than a year , if you include the titration nurse (who never titrated me at all, as I came there from another clinic, already on methadone). Anyway, I'm to come in next week when my methadone, which is currently 30mg a day, should be coming down to 25.

 The detox unit idea hasn't gone out the window, by the way, we just barely had any time to discuss it. My one problem with such units is that they tend to take you off too quickly ~ 5mg every 2 days, instead of 5mg every 2 weeks, as I was doing until up to a few weeks ago, when I messed it up by taking too much heroin. If anything is going to disturb my mood, a too-rapid detox will do. I have never managed to drastically reduce, or come off, or switch to Subutex (which involves going through some withdrawal) without depressive or manic symptoms or both.

 I emailed one of the top rehabs in the country, which I'd only get into if they made an exception and let me in free ~ which I was told unofficially WAS a possibility, if I could prove my motivation. I told them I was diagnosed "bipolar schizoaffective". They warned me by email that the methadone might be acting as a mood stabilizer. If this is true, it would explain why I've always had such trouble coming off. My worst withdrawal symptoms were always psychiatric, not physical.

 If methadone does have a mood-stabilizing effect, it's markedly weaker (on me*) than heroin, which in the early days pressed my constantly undulating mood to a near-flat line. years later it was still acting as a potent antidepressant. The days when I didn't take it, and relied on methadone instead , I was so low I barely did anything at all. Then the Great UK Heroin Drought hit in 2010. I decided I had had enough of the "gear" anyway. And 24 hours after my last hit of heroin (but on easily enough methadone to eliminate physical withdrawals) I was floridly manic!

 I am NOT suggesting anyone use heroin or any other opiate to treat mental problems of any sort. If you need a mood-stabilizer, take lithium, valproate, carbamazepine (Tegretol) or lamotrigine (Lamictal), or use an antipsychotic. Get your pills on prescription from a doctor. All heroin did in the long term was make my problems far wrose , to the point where I was completely held hostage by the drug. For years I fantasized about being able to get by on just methadone and live a normal life, but it wasn't to be. I went weeks on just methadone but had so many episodes of high and low mood in a year, I literally lost count. In bipolar terms that makes me a "rapid cycler".

 The meds the doctors gave me seemed to cut out the highs better than the lows. I have tried 2 antipsychotics in the year and a bit since getting diagnosed. I had to stop both thanks to undue side-effects . Risperidone (Risperdal) seemed to cause anxiety and panic (on and off, not all the time) and might well be responsible for the lump of breast tissue that grew on one side. (I have a scan regarding that tomorrow.) Seroquel (quetiapine) made me so faint, dizzy and exhausted (amongst other things) it was like having Chronic Fatigue Syndrome all over again. Risperidone seemed to do a better job of keeping mood swings and voices at bay . No medication has ever helped me feel more motivated. The tiniest things feel like massive chores. Somehow the illness, the drugs, or both, seem to have knocked the stuffing out of me.

 So I'm now on the look-out for a third medication. Olanzopine (Zyprexa) may be the one. It is very commonly prescribed over here. I've met loads of people on that and no-one ever complained of side-effects. Whatever I take must not be too sedating, must not cause anxiety or insomnia and would ideally not make me pile on the weight . Which is probably all too much to ask. To anyone with knowledge or experience on the subject ~ please, some advice!

*Everybody is different. Anna Grace in Wisconsin, who is diagnosed bipolar, says methadone actually makes her feel better than heroin and helps her depression more. "I find Methadone the perfect fix for my addiction,"  she says. I only wish I could feel the same, but I don't. My plan is to get off methadone as quick as I can, which may well take weeks or months, but I'm determined to do it!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Soggy Monday

IT IS A VERY SOGGY DAY . Endless rain. I have just come back from the druggieclinic where someone mentioned "making a commitment to stop heroin". Which sounds good on the surface, but I decided long ago that I would never make promises to anyone regarding that stuff, no matter how long I might have been clean. I have lost interest in heroin and find it boring and that is why I don't want to take it.

Talking of drugs, I've found out how many Calories are allegedly in a half litre can of 7.5% ABV cyder. A website alledges 225, but with 7 Calories per gram of alcohol and 8 grams in a unit (10ml), the 3.75 units in a half litre amount to 210 Calories from alcohol alone. This ignores the amount of sugar in the drink. The lemonade I buy is 200 Calories per litre, so if you add that on and add a bit more for luck, you get 350 per half litre and that's the figure I'm using.

I found the name of an atypical antipsychotic that doesn't make you tubby (and most do) ARIPIPRAZOLE (Abilify). There's another called ZIPRASIDONE (Geodon) but that's supposedly not available in the UK.

I need to find a medication that works for me without causing ridiculous side-effects. I haven't found one so far. The schizophrenia book says aripiprazole /Abilify causes anxiety and insomnia, so I probably WON'T be going near that one...

I've been looking through a schizophrenia book to see whether I do or don't have it. To be schizoaffective in Europe, you must meet the full diagnostic criteria for mania (or depression) and schizophrenia concurrently. Unfortunately I do seem to meet the schizophrenia ones because I've heard voices summarizing my thoughts and I find it very difficult to motivate myself ~ no matter what mood I'm in. (Amongst many other things.) But those 2 are considered hallmark features of schizophrenia. As for mania, I've very easily fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for that, on many occasions. So maybe I am "schizoaffective" after all. I always considered myself a manic-depressive because other people (always with first-hand knowledge, worryingly enough) had been hinting and telling me I had it for years before I really thought that was the truth. Only when I started hearing voices loudly (in 2010) did I consider myself truly "ill" ~
and that is only because doctors seem to consider voices a sign of madness. I had been hearing them quietly ~ on and off ~ for at least 6 years before that. (ie from 2004). I first started seeing visions when I was homeless. I did tell a doctor about it in a vague sort of way and he said it was probably down to stress. I agree. Stress is much more likely to set me off than any drug. Symptoms reached their peak, when I got so manic I couldn't follow what certain people were saying to me, in spring 2011 ~ when I was off all drugs except methadone for weeks on end. Which means I cannot help but nurse the sneaking suspicion that methadone is poisoning my mind...!

The only true news of today is that I saw the lovebirds again. Squarking merrily away. The shop-owner keeps them in a tiny cage. If I had little birdies I would let them fly free. Or build them a miniature aviary. No birds were born to live their lives in prison. Especially when they've just been born and are too young even to have pecked someone!

Well I've got to go. I've had over 1000 Calories since 3am. Why I am so hungry I have no idea...

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Sunny Sunday

IT'S A SUNNY SUNDAY. Sparkly cars rush past in the breeze. I can concentrate again! I finished Five Go Off In A Caravan by Enid Blyton this morning, all 180 pages. When they found a secret cave in the moor ~ and! ~ it was full of hidden treasure, I wasn't too surprised. After all, they found sunken treasure in Five Go On  Hike Together. And both times Anne tried on the diamonds, rubies and sapphires. And was pictured wearing a tiara. Enid Blyton's best book, in my opinion,  is The Secret Of Spiggy Holes (a non-Famous Five book). That one has secret passageways galore!

Bloody hell, when it comes to the point when you can't even follow a children's book (like I couldn't last week) ~ you've really got a problem. Why must I have such a terrible affliction? Even if it is an intermittent one. All I can say is, I'm very glad my attention span has come back NOW!

I'm broiling hot. Summer is on the way!!

Tomorrow I have yet ANOTHER appointment down the drugs clinic. I'm going to ask them to put down my methadone by another 5mg to 25mg a day. Sweats or not, I just have to do it. I sweat (heavily) every day anyway. If they do put me down, the new dose won't come in for another 3 weeks...

Righty-ho, I must go. I hope y'all are having a cheery weekend. And if it's not too good, then may it be tolerable!

My diet's going OK by the way... I'm keeping to something around 1500 Calories a day. I don't get hungry, as such. I feel nauseated and sick, with raving diarrhoea, which makes me want to eat even LESS . So it's all good (I suppose)...

PS my usual brands of cyder (White Star, White Ace et al) supposedly contain only 225 Calories per half litre can... so I don't know why I'm so tubby...

Saturday, 12 May 2012

All The Cutest



Roborovski hamsters in a ring...

Sleeping lovebirds...

A chirpy lovebird...

... And sleepy robos...


Friday, 11 May 2012

Diet Tips Required

I GOT UP AT 2 O'CLOCK this morning. I know that's a bit early but I went to bed early too. It is a blue and white day ~ sun and clouds. My mood has gone down to normal. It must have gone up because dance music that sounded amazing a couple of days ago now sounds very average indeed. (Not to mention childish, a lot of it...)

I left for the chemist at 9am. Got there in menopausal sweats. I had to take refuge in the library. There was a man in here earlier, slumped over in an armchair, snoring heavily. He was sternly reprehended by two members of staff on two separate occasions. I made sure I got a front row seat for the second reprimand when he was ordered to leave under threat of the police.

Two hours have passed (I wrote this at 11:20). The methadone is working. The sweats have gone. My mind is about as crystal clear as it ever gets. I can focus on books, magazines, etc, once again.

By the way, I blame my mental condition on methadone. For years heroin flattened my mood and relieved depression; the second I dumped it in favour of methadone in late 2010 I was floridly manic and hearing voices! Whether or not the methadone actually causes these mood swings seems almost immaterial; the fact is there are other opiate substances that could be prescribed that can and will attenuate them. Frankly I consider that brain-dead drug clinic's continuing compulsion to prescribe methadone instead of something less harmful and less addictive, like morphine pills, nothing short of clinical negligence!

I was so exhausted, not to mention bored, in the early hours of the morning that I seriously considered popping a Seroquel. For all its other crimes, that stuff does zonk me out. In fact that was one of the problems of being on it; it left me feeling half-dead most of the time.

My main passions at the moment are to finish that dratted children's story that seems to be dragging on and on, and to think up a way of acquiring an keeping a whole flock of lovebirds (well, 4 would do, or even 2 or 1 ~ the man in the bird shop says you CAN keep a single lovebird, especially if you let it out to flutter all over the place and ride your shoulder ~ then it falls in love with YOU!)

Does anybody know of any good ways of losing weight? I'm right at the upper end of my ideal weight range (approx 200 lbs, 14 stone or very roughly 90 kilos) and feel like becoming stick-thin again.

I went all day yesterday on just one stick of garlick bread (+ 2 cans of cyder). I had the other garlic bread stick at 7am. Being as I barely ever do anything at all, my body should not NEED thousands of Calories. Which reminds, me, I must buy 2 litres of Morrisons' 55p lemonade...

I just read in a book titled The Diet Delusion that the overweight tend to consume a greater proportion of their energy in the form of carbohydrates than the thin. I pretty much live on pasta. Luciano Pavarotti attributed his own tubbiness to pasta. Cripes, I think I had better add smoked fish to that shopping list. Just the thought of fish makes me feel starving hungry. But I'm going to hold off eating it all day. When I was thin, I used to feel vaguely hungry all the time, and enjoy it. The feeling of power and control I got from habitually under-eating made all the hunger worthwhile. Plus I just got used to it. (Both eating less and feeling distantly hungry pretty much all the time.) I still weighed a good 9.5 stone (133 lbs/60kg) back then (in the late 90s) so I was hardly "anorexic". My point is, if you really want to get thin, I've found you must go on a perma-diet, consuming only savoury food and no sweets, and as little of that food as possible. And if you do feel pain, you must learn to enjoy it. If ANYONE has any diet tips and advice for getting and staying as thin as possible for as long as possible... PLEASE TELL!!

when I was in my "expansive" mood this got me as high as a kite... it's the ONLY music from that period ~ all of 2 days ago ~ that still sounds good to my ears now...

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Music of the Rainforest

THE WEATHER HERE IN LONDON is more like a tropical rainforest today. Hot, sticky, muggy ~ streets splashing wet...

The reason I have been so exhausted, by the way, is that I have been moving around far too much. I used to walk at 4 miles per hour, meaning that if I paced to and fro at that rate I'd ping 16 miles in 4 hours. So I must have walked miles and miles and miles and  most of it in my own house!

My mood has gone down. Dysphoria. Flashes of anxiety. Yet still the headful of pinging ideas!

I keep telling myself I need to go back to the doctor to ask for yet another type of antipsychotic. For all their horribleness and side-effects, and I stopped taking the Seroquel (quetiapine) because it was making me drowsy, exhausted and malaised all the time, they do even out mood swings, halt racing thoughts and calm me down.

Yesterday I felt physically exhausted though my mind was still racing, crammed and crowded with an excess of ideas. I was only a bit hypo. And I'm not entirely sure hypomania is an illness at all! Didn't the French used to call it "manie sans delire" ~ mania without madness...??

Sorry I really wanted to write about something more fascinating than my self self self but I'm running out of time!

I'm also running out of banging tunes to put up. At least ones that are new to me. So here's a classic one:

I haven't got all day to find an absolutely perfect version of this. In a succinct package, this is about as perfect as it gets...

This is the Trance Nation version. The one I originally put up. But it ends suddenly...


Why did the typeface suddenly change then??

Here's another mix of the same "song".... give it some time to get going... ukh, i'm not so sure I like this version... a horrible chillout mix. Listen to this if you've no pills and are desperate for something to knock you off to sleep! The proper tune doesn't get going till 3 minutes into it!!


Here's another tune I really like, though it's not dance music at all


And all that talk about dysphoria and panic. I feel absolutely fine now. Music is a great therapy. I can get a greater buzz off than anything else ever. Including drugs!!

Why am I talking about drugs? They are infinitely boring.

I haven't taken any drugs except Nytol, which is over-the-counter, in days on end...

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

The Exhausted Mountain Climber

IT'S BEEN so rainy and cold in London it was like living on top of a mountain.

I have spent hours and hours in bed, even though I was awake for most of it. Struck by absolute physical exhaustion.

I went to bed at midnight 30 and was up by 2 thinking "please no!" Then I did go back and sleep from at LEAST 6-12 if not 1 so I got at least 8 hours' sleep. I just wish I could have slept EARLIER.

I flicked through 70 pages of Five Go Off In A Caravan but my head was still racing with thoughts of endless other things plus I had one eye on the television, so the book flew past in a blur.

I have been feeling sad and confused, because I was trying to reason to myself that I was not in any way ill, whilst experiencing symptoms that are famously the hallmarks of hypomania. I'm nowhere near as excitable as I was a couple of days ago, so that's good.

If I start sleeping normally again, I'm going back to "normal"; if not, no matter how "normal" I think I feel, the Monster is just round the corner. Bitter experience has taught me this.

Come to think of it though: when am I ever "normal"?!

Now for a famous Eastern-sounding Tune. The music featured in this track is from some film, which is definitely NOT The King And I, which I saw last week... does ANYBODY know the name of the film, the tune, or both?



  Illustrated: Wudang Mountain, Five Go Off In A Caravan...

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

The Beautiful Lovebirds

I SAW a pair of lovebirds today. Outside the paper shop, chirping merrily back and forth, then eyeing you suspiciously if you ventured too close. It would have been kinder to the birds to hang them higher up. Birds feel distinctly uncomfortable when they have to look up at copious random passers-by. Even if they are oo-ing, aah-ing and cooing all over them.

My local birdery once had a single lovebird on sale. If you get just the one, it falls in love with YOU. I would love to have lovebirds. (They're no more expensive than budgerigars!)

I had an appointment at the drug clinic this morning. But it's two weeks until my script runs out. So I rescheduled for next week. I'm getting a new worker. I hope the new one is as kindly as the old one. And I hope he's more efficient. He was supposed to be getting me an appointment with mental health services when I was suicidally depressed. About TWO MONTHS ago. Though I never told him exactly how bad I felt. I'd never trust a drugs worker any further than I could throw one!

The real reason I wanted to get off methadone so badly, by the way, was so that I could die Clean. ~ No risk of having to do Cold Turkey in the afterlife!

My dose is currently a flat 30mg. Next time, I might ask for 25. Dead or alive, I still want off that repugnant crap!

I keep getting symptoms of mania. Racing thoughts. Pacing back and forth. Laughing fits. Cannot sleep at night. Valium Marilyn thinking I needed the loo because I wouldn't keep still. My other friend Greg Arious convinced I'd been at the crack. Even his highly annoying and insulting paranoid schizophrenic friend thought I was off my head on drugs when I hadn't taken ANYTHING. I told Greg Arious it was a NATURAL HIGH. Something with which most drug addicts are completely unfamiliar!

We all got free Chinese dinner last night! The paranoid schizophrenic was very generous.

As for my mental "state" ~ it's not even hypomania. My mood is pretty normal most of the time. Sometimes [in the past] some of the signs appear then disappear as quickly as they came. Doesn't mean it's necessarily any "episode".

I am determined to focus my energies anew on my children's book. Haven't penned a word for 3 days since I came to a standstill where a piece of well thought-out dialogue was required.

Still I was up till at least 5am last night so I could have written it then! My mind was crystal clear by that time. But I ended up reading the Famous Five and actually being able to follow what they were doing. When you can't even focus on a children's book [like the night before!] then your attention span has gone pretty terminal! They've just found sunken treasure. Julian and Dick are heaving it out of the river, while the girls look passively on! The creaking 1950s dialogue has me doubled up in laughter.

Well I have to go-go. Too many things to do!!


SAK NOEL ~ PASO (CLUBMIX) beauty pageant video




Monday, 7 May 2012

Most Odd

WHY O WHY did I waste so much of my time on DRUGS~?? They only make life much more mediocre.

I only stayed up till 4am. I was trying to read the Famous Five but just could not focus. My attention span is growing terrible. Pages and pages flying by in a blur. I am ranting, ranting, ranting in my head all the time at someone who is not there!

O I didn't want to say this but 2 friends of mine are dying. When  you've got liver cirrhosis that bad it looks like you're pregnant, that's terminal. And my certain other friend has a breast lump ~ yes, someone ELSE ~ PLUS lumps under the armpit. That means she is fucked. At this rate I'm going to be left completely alone. I'm the only person I know who thinks he is going to live past 90,

I'm not depressed any more! I feel more excitable than average. At least when people die they are at peace.

What am I saying about "fucked"; my Mum's breast cancer had spread to her lymph nodes too and she's alive and well 5 years later!

Great Expectations just came on. The black and white version. One minute Pip was a kid with that Elizabeth Taylor-like brat saying, "You may kiss me if you like." Then he was grown up. Then some people were sentenced to be hanged. Then she (brat-girl) inherits the house. Then it was over!

The dance music (presently) on Clubland ~ Freesat 514 ~ is way too slow. I need something exciting and fast like this:


Barbra Streisand. What a voice. She mightn't have been "pretty" in her prime but wow, was she beautifully sexy. Last night I put on Yentl. Tunes going round and round my head. Cannot get ANYTHING I want from her to put her: "embedding disabled by request".

So here's DJ Sammy "Heaven" Sweetzero remix


Hope y'all are having a good weekend!

Sunday, 6 May 2012

A Windy Time

I WAS IN A REALLY WEIRD MOOD yesterday. My friend Pinx wanted £25 off me, £10 of which I owed to her, £15 of which she was borrowing from me. This entailed, annoyingly enough, a walk in the freezing cold and rain.

Then I stopped to have a wee round the back of a church and found I was hearing "voices" or very loud random thoughts. I could point to where precisely they came from, which was the air around me. Then we messed about going round Morrisons. I kept having laughing fits. Then we went in the £1 shop where they had fart cushions and then I really was laughing my head off. We tested it out at the bus stop and I thought "if the police come past they'll think I'm a drunk, cackling like this" but I'd only had a half can of cyder at this point. I don't hear my thoughts aloud all the time by the way.

 Anyway then I went and got my step-Dad a death card because his Mum has died. Pinky told me in no way should I get the sunset one I really wanted. So I picked out a landscape of hills reflected in a lake ~ neutral. I really wanted Van Gough's Starry Night from the rack above but wasn't sure if it wasn't too depressing. I've no idea of my step-Dad's taste. He and I have water under the bridge but I did write, "I was very sorry to hear about your Mum. I know you loved and cared for her deeply," which he did. She died of Alzheimer's in a care home. No idea where she was. Then I signed my name.

And then the phone rang. It was another friend wanting a DVD back. I said fine I'll be right with you. He lives only 7 minutes away. Searched everywhere in my bag. It wasn't there so I really flipped my lid. Stamped home. Then all the way to his. Which took ages. Was still in fury when I got there; he asked what the hell was wrong. I just told him I was a moody bastard. He thinks I'm cuckoo anyway. Then I got out the fart cushion and was laughing my head off again. What I really wanted was some sexual lubricant to rub down the neck to make the farts sound really wet and dirty. But nobody had any. His dog went nuts when I let off the windbag in its face. Jumping back and forth then running up to me, trying to savage the Rubbery Trumpeteer.

Oh yeah then I got offered free brown and white ~ that's heroin and crack ~ but I said no way in hell. A little too vehemently. Crack really rattles my cage; brown does nothing. Plus it will dirty up my test down the drug clinic.

So I quickly went home. Tried to sleep in the early evening because I thought I was tired. Couldn't sleep. A good sign, really. I'm no longer sleeping 12-15 hours every day. In the last few days my sleep has become really poor. I put on the film Quills and was laughing my head off at the dirty stories ~ especially the graveyard one where the man gets so vigorous with a corpse that her bones fall apart.I didn't like the bit where Michael Caine (the sadistic dr) orders the Marquis's tongue cut out. Though the film was set in an insane asylum, the Marquis de Sade was no lunatic. Yes he was a pervert. Yes eccentric. A bit hypomanic, maybe. But not mad.

Come midnight I was too excited to sleep so I put on loud dance music videos. I know from experience not to bother even trying to sleep when I feel even slightly hyper. At 3:45 I lay down in bed but still couldn't sleep. I took a Nytol and eventually crawled under the duvet at 5:25, truly exhausted. It was daylight outside. I got up around midday and have done little except watch back-to-back Dallas repeats. And that's my day!

PS I no longer believe I'm seriously ill at all. With liver disease or anything else. And don't even care that much about turning into a woman! If I were going to turn into anything I'd much rather be a roborovski hamster. Or better still a bird. A seagull wheeling high in the air.



MADONNA: GIRL GONE WILD this is the song from Madonna's perfume ad. Took her long enough to bring out a fragrance. You'd think a business-headed girl like her would have got in on that act years ago.


Friday, 4 May 2012

Why I'm Turning Into A Woman

I THINK I KNOW WHY I am turning into a woman now. At least on one side of my chest. RISPERIDONE the antipsychotic I took on-off for nearly a year DOES cause "gynecomastia" in men and boys!

I was getting money out of the cash point at 1am last night when I heard a woman's voice yelling "that dog looks like a donkey!" It was a friend of mine. Drunk out of her head. Wanting a can of dogfood for a man she later claimed was trying to sleaze her up. She was so out of it in MY corner shop ~ picking up jars of peas, slurring on about pet food which it eventually transpired they don't sell (they don't sell breakfast cereal either) and I could tell if we didn't leave quick we were going to get chucked out. So we had to go a few shops down for Pedigree Chum and then the giant dog was too nervous to touch it! She has liver cirrhosis so bad it looks like she's pregnant. And she told me the symptoms of that were real heavy sweats (which I get, but blamed on my methadone wearing off too quickly because methadone does cure them; then again opiates cure a multitude of symptoms (not just pain) so that doesn't necessarily mean anything... also episodic extreme fatigue (yes) ~ but then again I got diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome 16 years ago and I always assumed it was just that. I'm hep C negative. Yes I did used to drink enough to get memory black outs. But that was years ago. I still drink. I was drinking yesterday and the alcohol was making me feel ill. My tolerance for it seemed to have fallen (which is a sign of liver disease). When I knocked it back I felt really high ~ more like a drugs high than a feeling you'd expect from drink... followed by horrible dehydration. And I had to knock back double the volume of water compared to cyder and even then I didn't feel 100%. Ukh. What the hell is wrong with me?

I'm totally off the drink today, by the way.

 We went back to her flat and she had a really good grope of my tit and kept comparing it to hers. It doesn't even look like a woman's breast, not even one that would score 1/10 in terms of size. I pressed down her fingers and said "feel it. There's something else there." And she said "It's not a lump. It feels like a bit of gristle." And that is exactly how it feels. The word "cyst" means "bladder" (hence cystitis). There's nothing round and bladder-like about this and no way is that "normal" breast tissue.

I just looked up symptoms of alcoholic liver disease and though they do point out how nonspecific they can be, I get a lot of them. Including this weird nausea-like feeling. No jaundice though. If they think they're giving me a torturous liver biopsy without general anaesthesia... well I'm 50:50. Would I even bother having one? Bearing in mind they insert a terrifying knitting needle length contraption that tears out a chunk of liver. It's like the device they use for testing cheese, but in miniature. Liver biopsies REALLY HURT. Another friend of mine had one and now has to go for another. And she says this time they've promised her general anaesthetic. Though everything this person says has to be taken with a pinch of salt. There doesn't seem to be much in the way of treatment for alcoholic liver problems anyhow. Which is even less reason to bother with a biopsy.

Another reason I didn't think I had anything wrong with me for weeks, despite what I now see as "symptoms" was that the nasty drug quetiapine (Seroquel) made me ill all the time. And as y'all know I'm prone to depression. In certain "episodes" I get quite a strong feeling of malaise. For lack of any specific symptoms I told myself it was all in my head. As for quetiapine: the first week on that coincided with flu-type symptoms and heavy sweats. Weeks later I was still getting excessive drowsiness, faintness, dots in front of the eyes (like when migraine is coming on) and the type of brain fog associated with hepatitis C and CFS/ME. Then I found out that of all things the athelete's foot spray I was applying every day was messing up metabolism of the Seroquel. When I stopped that I felt better ~ but not completely well. The same symptoms persisted. Just to a lower degree. I need to find some mental treatment that works, surely. One day I might really need it. I've met loads of people on olanzopine (Zyprexa) and they don't seem to moan about side-effects.  Another possible route for the mental health is mood stabilizers. But lithium, the commonest one, sounds horrible. Anyway it's not good for rapid cycling and a lot of my "episodes" are pretty short. I just get lots of them close together, without necessarily any period of truly "normal" mood in between. A lot of people on mood stabilizers say that even if they do flatten out the mood completely (rather than just reducing the amplitude of the manic-depressive cycles) they tend to leave them feeling slightly depressed all the time. Well that's bloody wonderful.

Anyway what am I talking about here? I've been posting for too long. Anna Grace if you're reading this, change your comments setting. You got zero comments last time because your old blog is set to "team members only". Whoever your "team members" are, I'm not one of them. And why, Anna did you say you were in Hawaii a few weeks ago. And now you're telling us you've been in Wisconsin the whole time?

Anyway I've got to go. If your weekend can't be great then may it be tolerable :-)

Thursday, 3 May 2012

What Happened At The Hospital

FOR THE FIRST TIME IN WEEKS I wasn't clucking when I woke up this morning. I was so para about missing the 9:45 hospital appointment I got up at 7am. Packed a toothbrush, deodorant, Michael Jackson book, Famous Five and everything. Just in case I needed instant surgery. I drank most of my methadone. Am saving some till tonight in the hope that I won't have to walk to the chemist tomorrow in menopausal-style sweats. Miraculously I had survived the previous 24 hours on just the 30mg prescribed. I had been drinking a little extra on top as I'd messed up my system taking heroin every day for just over a month. I'm off the heroin now. And off the extra methadone too. I won't be going back to either in a hurry.

The consultant told me I was growing breast tissue. He mentioned normal and abnormal tissue but wouldn't tell which was mine. I had to tell him about the methadone and the Seroquel/quetiapine. Methadone because it could mess up general anaesthesia if some opioid like fentanyl were part of the cocktail. Seroquel becaus it can cause production of breast milk even in young boys. He said there was no connection between this and what I have. He did say cannabis can make you grow tits, but I never touch that crap. The doctor seems to suspect my problem has something to do with my liver. As for why is the swelling one side only, he said that just happens sometimes.

He can't think I'm seriously ill, surely, as my next appointment is in JUNE. He also said excessive male breast tissue does not necessarily have to be removed. We'll see about that. I've also got to have a scan in about 2 weeks. I had to go down for blood tests ~ liver function, electrolytes and soemthing called B-HCG or B-HC4. Couldn't read the doctor's writing. O I just googled it! B-HCG is the PREGNANCY HORMONE!!!

Here's the scene from Carry on Matron where Kenneth Williams thinks he's turning into a woman. Watch it and you'll see why I love Carry on films so much:


Anyway back to the blood-letting and I really wasn't looking forward to the stabbing at my veinless arms but she got me first time in each hand. My GP annoyingly enough wanted a glucose and lipids profile so I needed 2 tests. My right hand dried up after barely 1ml and that took a stressfully long time to dribble out. The left hand was a real gusher ~ 3ml within a couple of seconds. I haven't hit up there for years since hitting an artery right beside where she hit the vein.

Then I hit the cyder on the way back. Only drank one litre (as well as a half litre can on the way there) ~ but that was enoughto make me feel dehydrated and crap all day. It's past 8:30 and I still don't feel right.

So anyway I've no idea what's supposedly wrong with me. The mystery continues...

Illustrated: fentanyl ~ often used in general anaesthesia.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012


IT'S NOT A BREAST CLINIC it's general surgery outpatients I'm supposed to get to first thing tomorrow morning. I'm pretty glad about that. I thought I'd end up in a room full of women hiding myself behind Hello magazine.

Still the prospect of surgery fills me with a faint fear. The painkillers won't work, because I'm on methadone. I have "elevated tolerance" to opiates. Doctors love that word Elevated. Elevated tolerance. Elevated mood. Everything about me is elevated. Including my hight. I'm fairly tall. I'm not in an elevated mood now though. I've been feeling severely irritable for ages, plus depressed. Today I'm not in any mood, except one of creeping trepidation.

Surely they won't keep me in for surgery on the very same day?? That will really mess up my methadone collections. If I can't get out of the hospital for early evening Friday there's a good chance I'll miss that day and won't be allowed my weekend pick up. Also I'm broke until Friday. Barely a pot to piss in. Yes this is partly due to drug abuse. Partly due to not being able to manage my money. I have to save up bus fare to get back from the hospital. If I do get hacked open I'm not WALKING back all bandaged up with bruises on my neck from the drips.

I can't afford to phone the methadone clinic and ask for any special treatment. My talktime is down to £1.50. Everything hangs on Friday when I should get money early because of the Mayday bank holiday (that's a public holiday to those of you on foreign shores). Maybe the hospital will let me use their phone.

(Another reason I'm broke is that someone who's lent as well as borrowed in the past and is usually 100% reliable, borrowed £20 he can't pay back till Monday when I won't need it. The DWP have left him hanging penniless for THREE WEEKS because he's being transferred from Terminal Decrepitude Benefit to State Pension and that's what they do to people...)

Ukh. I'm really not looking forward till tomorrow. Last time I was in that hospital I walked past oncology and felt ever so glad I wasn't due to walk through THAT door. Just past oncology, in the humming bowels of the building was nuclear medicine ~ even scarier! The sign had a picture of an atom on it, just to freak out new patients even more!

I've got to go I only shelled out for half an hour in this place and am about to be terminated. I'll let you know whether I still have 2 nipples by Friday.



 Yes I KNOW I have terrible taste in music. I'm OLD.

Illustrated: my personality, even though my name's not Yvonne; a scary atom as used on the nuclear medicine sign

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Life is a Gift

I HAVE AN APPOINTMENT WITH A BREAST CANCER specialist this Thursday at 9:45am. I nearly didn't pick up the phone from the clinic, thinking it was an annoying friend.

I am sorry about what I said yesterday, or the attitude behind it. I have been very ungrateful for my life. Talking about meeting God, when life itself is a miracle from God.

As for the rest of the ranting, I really don't know what the hell I want. I just know I don't want to be FORCED into any treatment against my will. I want my own life to be my own decision.

Apparently my swelling is visible through clothing. The lump itself feels flat, the shape of a very shallow pencil eraser. It's about 2cm or 2/3 of an inch long. I've been told by several people, including my mother, who's actually had breast cancer, that it's probably a cyst. Cysts hurt. Cancer doesn't (until the terminal stage and we all know about that.)

By the way I never mentioned this before because for weeks it just felt like a bruise. But when I knocked it the night before the doctor's appointment for my toe, I had a proper look and realized how swollen it actually is.

Re my other minor medical issues: the pus-ridden toenail has stopped pussing, still smells a bit of dustbins and has gone itchy ~ a sure sign of healing. I'm on flucloxacillin 250mg x4 daily.

My once crooked and inflexible broken finger has straightened up so well it barely looks any different to my other fingers now. It isn't stiff. I can type properly again.

I don't know how long it will be till I find out whether I'm at death's door and how far from that door I actually am.

I know if I do get diagnosed with cancer I will probably cry. I cried when the doctor told me I had schizophrenia and manic depression together and back then I was in what he succinctly called an "elevated mood" (ie ravingly manic).

I'm reading Enid Blyton's Famous Five. Her characters are obsessed with food and seem forever to be knocking back ginger beer.

My mood has improved considerably since last week. I'm not even that bothered about the prospect of surgery ~ just as long as they don't lop my nipple off!

Well I've got to go. I'm about to have four cheese tortelloni and broccoli with a mountain of grated Red Leicester.