Day 1218 – 1224. Monday 18th August to Sunday 24th August 2008

Bad bad week. Karen can’t go any lower. Things dire. Action needed and action coming.

Monday saw Karen reduce her pain patches down another 25mg, so she is now on 550mg Fentanyl every 3 days.

All was going well until Karen had a visitor in the afternoon (Sue). Now, Sue, I know you read the blog, but please don’t feel bad in ANY way for visiting kp or the chats you had. They were the normal chats you would have had and they just happen to have got Karen thinking about how much things have changed.

So, Sue visited, and kp and Sue had some great conversation just like they used to. Unfortunately, it got Karen thinking about how different things are to how they used to be. Apparently, during the visit, Sue took a phonecall from a work colleague. After Sue left, Karen got really hung up on the fact that she felt Sue would normally have discussed that call with her, but that she hadn’t and Karen took this personally.

kp:- It’s ‘cos she knows I can’t take things in.

I tried to explain that there are 100 reasons why Sue didn’t discuss the call with her, all of them perfectly reasonable explanations and that they had nothing to do with her not taking things in. But she said it didn’t matter anyway and that she can tell she is different to how she was before.

So, this set the bad week in motion. Thankfully, we were due our counselling sessions the following day and we left it on monday as a question to ask the psychologist on the following day. The question in kp’s diary read as follows …..

“How do I come to terms with the changes from what I was before to what I am now ?”

I had done my usual explanation that it’s a bit like grieving and that you have to accept things are how they are before you can deal with them.

Tuesday came and we went to the sessions. My session starts 15 minutes before Karen’s so that I can attend the last 15 minutes of hers (when I am done). So, I walked in from my finished session to find a kp in tears with Jane (kp’s psychologist). Karen had asked the question and Jane was doing her best to explain that Karen understandably had got upset at the thoughts she was having but now was NOT the right time to accept how things were. My bad !!!!

Jane :- I don’t think now is the right time to accept how things are. that time will come but not until we have the sleep under control and the anti-depressants are sorted.

So, it was left that we have an appointment with a Dr Parry (a psychiatrist) (next week) and that he could look into the anti-depressants and the sleep problems. This appointment had been a long time coming, but eventually it got sorted.

We went straight from this appointment to Karen’s physio (I dropped her off). Karen did her usual treadmill and bike training before Steve brought her home for some more home exercises.

Wednesday’s are Karen’s day off and we had planned a (fun fun fun) trip shopping for an upcoming wedding. We went to the Metro Centre and after 2 hours of shopping, Karen got fed up, picked up a blouse and we came home, vowing to make do with an old outfit. The mood was getting worse and worse.

Thursday, we had a medico-legal appointment at the solicitors in Newcastle. Karen’s sleep is still a problem, and with only 2 hours in the sleep bank, she was not really on top form for the mental tests ahead.

It was a neuro-psychological medico-legal appointment. It was a continuation of the one before that had to be split up ‘cos kp was too exhausted. So, we arrived and she went straight in and started the tests. Time passed and after about 90 minutes, the consultant came out with kp and said that Karen wanted to take a short break. We went outside for some fresh air (no fag !!!!) and walked down the street. kp was explaining how the tests were going.

kp (laughing) :- He said some words and I had to remember if he had said those words before. (REALLY LAUGHING). I hadn’t a clue what he was talking about.

It was very unnerving the laughter I heard. I would say it was “delirious laughter”. She was giddy and I couldn’t help but laugh along, whilst I was having worrying thoughts inside. Basically, the tests weren’t going very well and kp would normally get upset, but she was in this weird place…..laughing.

So, we went back and she continued the tests and after about another hour, the consultant came out of the room and asked me to come in, explaining that she was in tears.

And she really was………….

Karen :- How stupid am I ? I can’t do these tests and they’re not hard. (shouting…..) I AM STUPID.

dp :- You’re not stupid love, but these tests are meant to be hard, otherwise they won’t know where your limits are.

At this point, the consultant butted in and did a good explanation…..

The upset continued for about 15 minutes, at which point, the consultant said that we’d leave it there….

kp:- Will I have to come back again ?

Consultant :- I don’t think so….

With an upset kp, we made our way out of the building and went home. She went straight to bed (as did I, comforting her), when we got home. Very sad !

Now, that night, we had a late night and we had one of the BEST chats I can recall, and I seemed to be spouting the purest magic from my mouth. I was saying all the right things, and I didn’t know where it was coming from. it was weird. I don’t mean to blow my own trumpet, but I was marvellous. It was like the best consultants from around the world in every field plus a bit of Oprah Winfrey coming out of the mouth (no american accent though). I really was on fire.

What I said made perfect sense to me and to Karen and we seem to put LOADS of things into perspective. I felt sure I would have got kp back on the right track when she woke up the next day. I would have put a million quid on it !

But, it wasn’t to be and until this day, I am still gobsmacked that it didn’t do the trick. I felt better for hearing my own spiel and even the dogs felt better for hearing it. But, it didn’t seem to help kp and the weird thing is, even Karen would say it was a great talk.

So, Friday was here and kp was still as down as ever (maybe a little better than the previous day) and she went to physio. She did the best physio session (according to kp) that she had ever done. Longer and further (bit like the bionic woman). Normally, I take her to the fitness centre and Steve (physio) brings her back and carries on some work inside the house, but this time, she asked to leave it there. Very unlike kp.

From herein, it was all downhill. Her sleep still to pot, we had a miserable Saturday (yesterday). We tried to keep it busy, walking the dogs, watching tv etc, but kp couldn’t be bothered with life and just wanted to sleep, which of course upsets the following night’s sleep.

I felted the shed roof, getting bitumen all over me and the house carpet. Don’t ask !

Today, kp in tears and really low, just wanting to sleep all the time.

She is in the bath as I type this and she has resolved to leave things until Tuesday when we see Dr parry. The Maffeys (friends from darn sarth) are up in Middlesbrough this week, so we are due to go and see them tomorrow (Bank Holiday Monday), so it will either be just what she needs, or she’ll wake up and say “I don’t want to go“. Fingers crossed for the former and a better week next week.

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