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I expect you have all been waiting with baited breath to find out how my week of medical professionals has gone. Yes? Yes.
It has been a tough week, I won’t lie. Very hard. There have been emotions, discussions, realisations. Man flu. Tiredness.
My Health Visitor came to see me on Monday and she could not have been more supportive. She listened to me and asked all the right questions to get me talking. She was at our house for over an hour and had a chat with Will, too. I felt like she heard what I was saying and made all the right noises, offering me different kinds of help.
She had me do a test which apparently I scored highly on for both Depression and Anxiety (the first test I have not felt proud for getting a high score on).This was a bit of a revelation to me as I really didn’t think the anxious thoughts I had been having were anything out of the ordinary. For example, I fear a lot for mine and my family’s personal safety when we’re out and about and until Monday I really thought this was quite normal. Apparently not!
The Health Visitor wanted to refer me immediately back to the GP to discuss medication. I didn’t want to return to my old GP and the old medication (Citalopram) as it gave me so many side effects before – most notably leaving me exhausted – but she was the first GP available. She tried to prescribe me Citalopram over the phone but I refused. And so I visited my doctor’s surgery on Wednesday with a list of medications (mostly suggested by you helpful lot and then researched by me – thank-you!) and came out clutching a prescription for Fluexotine (Prozac). My Health Visitor really gave me the confidence to stand up for what I thought I needed, as did everyone who commented here.
I’ve also had an urgent referral to a local department called the Access and Short Term Intervention team who should be calling me in to see them for an assessment in the next few days.
On top of this all Will, Hux and I woke up with a stinking cold on Tuesday: poor H isn’t sleeping much and sounds very Darth Vader-esque, my throat and sinuses are torturing me and I have a bright red nose that’s been rubbed raw by tissues. I’m an all-round mental sexy snot bag at the moment, but despite that I feel so much better already. I managed to drag myself out the house last night for a long-awaited double date with some good friends for Steak and BJ day and it felt so good to not think about how I am feeling for a while, to just laugh and enjoy the company of other people. I’m on my third day of medication and so far there have been none of the nasty side effects that Citalopram gave me (insomnia, shakes, jaw clenching, exhaustion).
Admittedly I have been left feeling quite bonkers this week. The urgency with which the Health Visitor treated my case, the referral to ASTI (it has the word ‘intervention’ in the title therefore it sounds serious) and the Prozac. I kind of feel like maybe I should be expected to run round the village screaming ‘faeces’ with my pants on my head or something. But you know what? That is fine with me. I have finally realised that the way I feel is a product of experiences I have gone through: two pregnancies in two years, two young children. Breastfeeding, a complete upheaval of our lives.
I am not ashamed any more of the way I feel – I have Post-Natal Depression and Anxiety and it’s OK. High five for mental health!