…Again. So I’m just going to rattle through the “highlights” of the past 7 months…
- Mid-February, I fell ill with an awful cough that lasted weeks, came with added bonus conjunctivitis, and then as a final flourish turned into a horrible sinus infection needing antibiotics. Partner was also coughing – it went on for months, he had four courses of antibiotics, and eventually a lung CT has revealed bronchiectasis.
- During May, daughter had a stomach bug, an ear infection, and then strep throat / scarlet fever. We had a trip to visit family (during which she developed the ear infection), had the flat filled to capacity with people to celebrate her 2nd birthday (during which she was coming down with the strep infection), then settling-in sessions at a new nursery (which, thankfully, went well and we’re happy to have made the change).
- In June, we started the process of getting grommets insertion done privately (thanks to her grandparents) after 12-13 ear infections over a year, more antibiotics consumed than I was remotely comfortable with, apparent glue ear, and a long wait still to go for NHS treatment. This kicked off with a day trip to Manchester (from Scotland) for a consultation.
- By this point my anxiety had got so bad I wasn’t able to eat properly and lost quite a bit of weight. But in June I finally started psychotherapy and also started taking citalopram, which was a bit of a rough ride for a few weeks.
- Also in June… daughter had two consecutive nights of waking up hyperactive in the middle of the night for 4-5 hours. Following this glitch, as if her sleep behaviour had been resetting itself, the days of putting her in the cot at 8pm and having her fall alseep alone now seem to be over. Average time to fall asleep now is about 9:30pm and one of us has to lie with her. Bye-bye evenings.
- July: grommets insertion done under general anaesthetic; 2-night stay in Manchester. Citalopram dose increased. Signed off work for a week due to anxiety, then I developed fever, nausea and diarrhoea that seemed to get better but came back a few days later for another bite at me. Daughter was also off colour and off food for a day or two. Signed off work for another 2 and a half weeks with anxiety.
- August: another 2-night stay in Manchester for the follow-up check. Thankfully all was well with her eardrums and hearing.
In summary, there has been a lot to deal with lately; not all of it bad, but for a person with an anxiety disorder, that amount of change and stress has not been conducive to feeling well.
I wish I could say I’m on the mend, but I don’t know. Therapy is slow progress. My mood is better – I’m not miserable as often. In fact I can’t seem to cry at all on this medication, which leaves me feeling strangely emotionally constipated. I had a few days of feeling I was able to enjoy everyday life much more than I’m used to, but it didn’t continue. I’m certainly no longer in peak anxiety; my appetite is back, as is most of the lost weight. But I frequently feel tired, cold and weak, which I’m not sure whether to blame on the citalopram. After working so hard to get through the initial side effects – the nausea, sweating, dry mouth, increased panic – I guess I was hoping for a bit more of a “wow”, but, meh…
Time will tell, and hopefully I’ll have more interesting things to write about as I try to learn new ways of thinking. Just now I’m mostly concerned with making it through the winter.