Thursday, May 31, 2007

same old stuff

P-doc came back from San Diego all excited about genes and brain imaging. Great, so in 10 years time psychiatry will be able to focus on specific little bits of brain and fix them. Nothing though that makes any difference to me, now. Coming up for the solid two year anniversary (minus 6 weeks and 4 days), and I don't have 10 years to wait. I don't think I even have one. The only thing that stops me from suicide is that I am to apathetic to even tidy up the house, never mind organise wills and animals. I'm too apathetic to even cut myself - if I could get energetic enough to do it, it might help. I'm doing a little bit of the Andy stuff, an even smaller amount of paying work. I regard my day as fully occupied if I have one 30 min appt.

On the meds, droping Nardil to 4 has cut the PH, but not the dizziness - I still have that, but not as much. Adding the Ritalin so far has done nothing, but that's only at 10mg so far. And something, don't know which is screwing with my short term memory a bit. Things like I will know that I did something two days ago, but I won't be able to remember what - comes after a while, but for an hour or two there's just a total blank. And sleep...taking meds at night in hope that full night will keep me awake during day, but doesn't work - still wake at night, still nap all day. Idiot.
At least the cats enjoy it.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

the big one hundred

- wish I could say it was a happy 100. For a change though, we're back to completely miserable, instead of just 99%. Don't know if it's the meds change or not, don't think so - was here already. But we've cut Nardil to 60mg, Tydamine to 25mg, added 5mg of Ritalin which will go to 10mg on Monday. Still can't walk 100 metres without having to stop and rest, but the PH is gone, and most of the other dizziness as well. Even with being back on the sleeping tabs, I still wake up 3 or 4 times a night. And can still nap all day. Only taking 1 tab at night, could go up to 2, but that is cutting into my suicide stash. And p-doc won't give me any until he thinks the stash is depleted. Beast.

Meantime, the rest of my life is just full of screw-ups - not mine - and things that leave me feeling totally rejected even though they are all minor things. The only thing I seem to do well at is driving a million km's a week to fetch birds and things that have been donated to the Andy-fund. That's about only thing that is working well, and thats because there are now other people involved to do the actual work. Half of the birds die on me. The rest are feral pigeons, and they are tough and smart enough to survive almost anything.

I wish there wasn't such a guilt thing attached to suicide. Even though voluntary euthanasia is legal in a few places, it still excludes depression and mental illness. I can understand being sad about people who die for some reason when they don't want to. But it would be so cool if it was accepted that sometimes people have just had enough, and would like to die. Even better if there were clean, painless methods available on request. I figure I have the reasonably painless method sorted out. What stops me is the guilt, knowing that my family could never understand my choice. If I had enough energy and motivation, I'd become a pro-voluntary-suicide activist. Then again, if I had any motivation maybe I could find another reason for living.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

funerals and baboons

busy, busy day for me. Saw p-doc this morning, BP is nicely in range for all the dizziness etc. Plus he suggests I eat at least twice a day. Not only do I not feel like eating most of the time, but as a fat person, there is a part of me that says 'yay' every time I ignore food, even when I know it doesn't help either diet, dizziness or apathy. So we're adding Ritalin again, and dropping the Nardil to 4, and anything else exciting has to wait till he comes back from San Diego's psych congress. He and I are both hoping there'll be some interesting info on DBS, cos after two full years with the best meds in town and no change, there's ECT and then the experimental stuff. And TMS just got turned down by the FDA.

Then it was off to play with a baby baboon for a bit, and give him his bottle. Too sweet, lies in your arms and holds it with both hands. And then it's play time. He needs this to socialise him, as he appears to have been a pet, but without much stimulation. So he'll spend a couple of weeks here learning to hang onto his bottle, and to do a couple of other baby things, and then he'll go up to the Northern Province to join other rehabbed baboons who are formed into troops and eventually released.

And then to a funeral, of one of my folks' oldest friends - he and my dad were at school together, and stayed friends forever. We all grew up with their kids, and calling them Aunt and Uncle. It was really sudden, and my folks are feeling awful, because they are in London, and couldn't be there. So my sister and I went. I'm not too bad at funerals, but this one, with a whole bunch of people I know or sort of know made me very uncomfortable. So I ended up afterwards standing on the outskirts looking like an idiot whether I tried to work out whether to go say hello to people or not. Total idiot.

Monday, May 14, 2007


I know I've done at least one thing everyday in the past week, apart from Sunday. But most of the time has been spent napping on the couch. Chicken or the egg. I sleep badly at night, yet deeply and comfortably during the day. If I don't sleep in the day, I still sleep badly at night. Having repetitive dreams of the kind where you dream you are awake, and panicking, and then you wake up and you aren't sure if you actually were awake before, or whether you've just woken up for the first time. And you never can decide.

On the good side, CJ, a fat, blond, 3-year-old, male Labrador came to live with us on Friday. Zac gets on well with him, and I will too once he has settled in and stopped barking all night. His family are emigrating. His worst habit is that he carries muddy, wet, slobbery tennis balls everywhere, and brings them to be thrown for him all day. This morning I was given one in the bathtub. And he doesn't give up - he keeps bringing them until you throw it for him - and then, he brings the damn thing straight back and gives it to you again! Very sweet-natured, though. Hopefully this will help with Zac's burgeoning paranoia...

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

days of sleep and silence

A blogless week! I saw psychologist, psychiatrist, numerologist. I slept, morning if possible, afternoons, and nights. Stuart-cat has decided that about 04h00 is a good time to attack mommy, and he doesn't give up. Not as if he wanted to get under the duvet or anything, just attacks for pleasure. I can ignore claws in the arm, although they do hurt. But a claw in the nose or the lip - sheer agony, and gets me upright and yowling! After which Stu disappears...if he wasn't such a sweet boy almost all the time I'd be tempted to hurl him from the room...

Most exciting thing for the week was that CLAW move really fast, and held the first clinic at Slovo on Friday. It took a while for people to actually believe that the vet was there for them, free. After that they started appearing with angry cats and many flea-ridden dogs. Don't think I've ever seen so many fleas in my life as each of the dogs was infested with. They were all deflea-ed though, as well as dewormed and vaccinated, and appointments were made for this Friday with a number of owners for spaying and neutering. Funniest sight for the day was Madiwors, Andy-cat's grandmother (seen above with Andy's sister), who used his crate to capture about 8 very indignant kitties, and was carrying it through the camp on her head. I am hoping to open the Andy-fund bank account tomorrow, after which we should start getting our small but regular donations. One of the rehab ladies has arranged a donation of free dewormer from the manufacturer, and boss-lady has filled 3 boxes with useful supplies. The vet who started all of this by refusing to treat Andy on Good Friday called me just now for a white pigeon. I was tempted to tell them the story, but thought it might not make me too popular, especially when I mentioned that it has travelled all over JHB.

Apart from that, meds are almost the same, with the addition of Gabaton, which p-doc is dispensing from his right-hand drawer (the left hand one is where all the much-loved collections of fatal stuff go before he flushes them), as it isn't available here, and dropping the Surmontil/Tydamine to 50mg. I am still weak, have to stop after walking 50 metres because of being dizzy, still having the postural hypotension - different from the dizziness, and really weird - feeling one set of waves in your head, and another travelling down your legs. Making a concerted effort to eat at least one meal or part thereof per day. And to eat something for breakfast, even if only a muffin. This is the first combo that's given me side-effects, so I'm kind of hoping I can get through them and that it will work after that. Fingers crossed - all of them.

Which reminds me - who all of you can cross your fingers- all 8 of them? I do it unconsciously, when I'm thinking - numerologist asked about it on Monday, couldn't believe that it was comfortable. It is though, and they just go there sometimes - inner ones over outer ones. Anyone else with strange fingers?

In return for Bronwen's (Children of Fire) time on Friday, I was tasked with taking one child for a singing lesson on Saturday, another to hospital yesterday morning, and having offered Bronwen a choice of an elegant dinner for herself or burgers with the kids, as a thank-you, I ended up taking 9 kids and 2 adults for dinner on Saturday night. They loved it, especially the jumping castle and trampoline. For those they probably would have skipped supper entirely. Thank you to the management of the Golden Creek Spur in Northcliff, on Beyers Naude, who, on seeing a group of badly burned children, approached me discreetly to find out what organisation we were from, and then gave us a 25% discount on the entire meal! Much appreciated, guys, and any future outings will definitely be to the Spur! Spur steakhouses

While I was being sociable, F the semi-sane cat lady and I went to what I think is the oldest, unchanged Chinese restaurant in JHB, the Chon Hing in Alexander Street. The area used to be the heart of 'Chinatown', but most restaurants and shops have moved to the suburbs - and become more upmarket. Not the Chon Hing - I remember going there about 40 years ago, when Yvonne ran it with an iron fist, and a collection of shady looking house-dresses. I was almost disappointed to see her on Monday in a skirt and shirt. She has had a hard life, basically running the restaurant single handed, while her husband reads the paper. She has outlived her daughter, raised her grand-daughter, and will probably raise her great-grand-son, who I saw on Monday for the first time. Meanwhile, nothing in the place has changed - walls covered in beautiful cups and bowls for sale, as well as a collection of really awful Buddhas. The Formica tables are, I swear, still the originals, along with the kitchen chairs. The last time I was there I decided never to go to the toilet again, as that means passing the kitchen. But the food is the best, and as F said, the prices don't seem to have changed much in 40 years either. Having braved the city centre at night (and consumed 2/3 of a bottle of wine), F then insisted we go across town to the scuzziest area of the CBD to see the building she lived in when she first came to JHB. The building next door was there, albeit with 2 security gates on the door, her building seems to have become a parking garage with shops at ground level. F was heart-broken, I was relieved that we left without being hijacked! I go to the CBD regularly to fetch birds and animals, but that is generally in daylight, when, although still filthy and rough-looking, the streets are at least filled with commuters as well as hijackers, whores and drunken bums.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

what a waste

of a life. Today was a public holiday, so I slept until clawed by kitties at 08h00. Fed cats and birds, bathed for an hour, sort of reading. Out the bath, check mail, feed birds, more coffee, write down 5 jobs for the day. Start on first one by putting syringes in boiling water and detergent to soak. Have nap on couch as reward. Wake up, feed birds, sort out syringes (about 50) so that all are clean and working. Have nap as reward. Wake up, pick up 6 books and put in pile that need shelving. Move new TV cupboard into corner and unpack old one for Joyce to take. Put almost all contents into new places. Feed birds. Have nap cos I'm exhausted. Wake up when alarm goes, keep hitting snooze until kitty-begging becomes too vociferous to ignore. Feed cats, dog, birds. Rest on couch and consider another nap. Look at list and see I have done 2 easiest jobs and ignored all major ones. Rewrite list for tomorrow, knowing full well already that I won't do anything because I have to fetch birds at 10h00, deliver to new dad, see t-doc at will get home at about 15h00 - and nap on couch. How surprising. No reason for meds to be doing this to me, especially since we reduced the sedating ones and I stopped - voluntarily - taking the sleeping pills. So it must just be me, wanting to blur out as much as possible of both days and nights. Except that I really am physically exhausted by doing even small jobs. Walking up two flights of stairs means resting at the top for a minute or two while my legs consider collapsing, my head considers falling over, and my lungs try to remember normal breathing. Serious. Walking down two flights is almost as bad! Just shifting a cupboard that I slid on the wooden floor, no picking up, has left my arms sore two hours later. I don't think my mind has that much influence over my body. So maybe its me and the meds...a bad combo. Especially seeing as it is so not doing the happiness job.

What a waste. Of life, time, and everything else.