Pathway through the Mist- clinical
Posted by redchrysalis
30th Jul 2013

In January, 4 1/2 years ago, I was ill with pyelonephritis and septicaemia. I had spent the previous 4 months recovering from shoulder surgery. I was physically very low. I remember seeing Dr H several times between my illness in January and going away on a holiday, hip and flank pain, back pains, having no energy, I was worrying.

Returning from the holiday my husband fell asleep at the wheel of the car at high speed on the motorway. We were incredibly lucky to survive, but I had severe whiplash, and I was on strong painkillers for a while.
I didn’t feel well, I had many visits to see Dr H, scared there was something that was being missed, more abdominal pains, more back pains, gynaecological? Couldn’t move at night, and my hip, worrying worrying…. What was going on?? She referred me for an ultrasound in September, but the next morning I woke in unbearable abdominal pain that seemed to spread through my whole body and literally shook me from head to foot, vomiting. D took me to A&E, had morphine, admitted for a night, observed and nothing found. I cried when the consultant told me I was to go home and wait for the scan, curled up and cried. Cried for a week, didn’t eat. Dr H phoned me the next week when she heard I’d taken myself in to A&E the day after seeing her last, she wanted to see me….. I was scared to see her. She began to suggest that everything was in my mind, psychosomatic, that there was nothing wrong with me. But I was in more and more pain, and feeling worse and worse.

I had my hearing tested and was referred to ENT to see why I was so deaf. Maybe that would give me the answer? Something inside my head that was making me feel so ill, or my ear- after all, I do suffer with travel sickness, maybe that’s why I’m dizzy all the time, need to lie down, why I am wading through mud. Still no answer, home again.

By Christmas I remember lying on the sofa a few days before Christmas Eve thinking Christmas wouldn’t happen this year, how could I get up and go to the supermarket feeling that way, how would I wrap the presents? How would I do any of it? But I had to, he wouldn’t.

I talked to my osteopath about whiplash syndrome, I looked it up on the internet. Could be that, why I spin, my ears ring, can’t focus, can’t concentrate, why I can’t stand up straight, my body just wanting to crumple in on itself, could be that for sure. I was getting scared to go to the Dr’s surgery, why am I there again? Dr H again. This patient is such a pain, there is nothing wrong with her, what are you worrying about? That you have cancer? I’ve done this test, that test, your x-ray and ultrasound are fine, your blood tests are fine. What now?????????????? <>

My birthday, 3 years ago. I felt I should go out, should do something for my birthday, thought how sad I was not to want to bother. I had not been anywhere, I’d felt too poorly. I wanted to try for my birthday. Wanted to go to …..(Oh, I remember we had to go where HE wanted to go…) We went to a reservoir I think. I tried to walk with the others, but needed to lie down often, it was a sorry expedition.

I’d had enough, didn’t want to do it anymore… one last attempt, try one more time. I wrote down every symptom I had been having, found a couple of pictures from the internet that seemed to sum up how I felt, printed it off and went to see Dr H again. I began by trying to ask about whiplash syndrome, I had to have a theory. I tried to tell her, struggling not to cry, tried to tell her how I felt, that maybe it was because………….. She looked at my face, asked if I was feeling miserable!!!!!!!!!!!! Then I cried, and couldn’t speak, gave her my printout. She looked at it for a very short time, asked me if the pictures were me- said you are depressed. OH!!!!!!!! I did the depression score thingy- she wrote to the psychiatric assessment person in later that my initial score didn’t reflect my symptoms at the time. ... and so it began….

My appointments with her were frequent, if I didn’t know I was depressed before, I surely knew I was then- I wonder if it had been creeping over me for so long I just didn’t notice it, feel it, that I just needed to be told to release it. I closed up and couldn’t talk, zipped up tightly, scared, so much inside, had the time really come to take a look in there, how could I, it was packed solid, how will it come out, which bit first, then what, and where will it go… HOW. WHY?

She suggested I see a counsellor, a local lady, I went a couple of times, but I couldn’t do it. I didn’t think she wanted to see me either, maybe she couldn’t deal. One week I had been self- harming frequently, but I didn’t understand. I wanted to communicate with someone somehow, not to talk about the tightly packed stuff, just the here and now. I went online in the middle of the night to find a way to talk but not talk and I found a psychotherapist (in the US) that I could write to, back and forth via ‘chat’. OMG I was so scared, shaking as I was typing, ‘hearing’ someone listen to me, anonymously, that I could say anything to and it would be OK, who I could write words to when they wouldn’t be said, who would respond to me and be kind and not be cross. I wrote to her every day for a week, it felt so good to be able to share my stuff, let some out, be understood; got really scared that it would have to end, not now that I had found a way, to release a little bit, to make some breathing space, some room inside.

So that’s how I began. To feel that I need. And that I can tell.

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