A Hospital Visit and a quick Update on Work

Hello everyone! I will do a quick update on my week at work before Friday and tell you the details of the funeral of my sister Margaret in the next update. I went with my beloved to an appointment at the Chronic Fatigue Clinic at Harrogate Hospital, so I took the morning off. We first saw the occupational therapist Julie who had been so helpful when we last saw her. She asked for an update on his condition and when it began to deteriorate and understood his tiredness. We told her that he now had been diagnosed with Diverticular Disease, and the attempted colonoscopy and barium enema had made his need for being close to toilets more vital. He described his poor sleep pattern and exhaustion which restricted his life and made him feel frustrated. One incidental fact that immerged was that his condition had become less tolerable in the last year and five months, since he had stopped smoking! That seemed to be the root of the problem, as smoking had enabled him to cope better with his limitations. Apparently as he had smoked from the age of 11 or 12, it would take him 2 years not the usual one year to be free of his bodily addiction. I hope that is true. We still have cigarettes in the house but he has just not chosen to smoke them.
Then my beloved had to wait before the clinical psychologist was available to speak with him and she asked me to let her speak to him alone. I was glad I had brought my book. After a while he suddenly reappeared and said he was leaving and did not want to speak to Julie again nor go to the physiotherapist appointment next week and the psychologist told me she had provoked a panic attack! Malcolm seemed on the other hand just to be very annoyed, not behaving in the way he has done before when having a panic attack. He then told me what had happened. First she asked him if he had low self esteem, which I know he does not. Then if he worried about money or maintaining the house; both of which are not his concerned. His main concern is that he wants to be there for me and therefore is concerned about his health. He also admitted that he found supermarkets often an overload of sound, lights and people and felt uncomfortable in that situation, so the psychologist then asked him what he would do in a supermarket if he felt bad. He explained he would look for a seat or go outside to get some fresh air. However she would not take that as a response but kept insisting what would happen if he could not find a seat or go outside? However when she kept on asking that same question, until Malcolm decided to leave; after all he knew that it would never happen that he could not get out of the supermarket or find a seat and he could not take the question but what if you could do neither seriously, as such a situation would never arise! He felt very annoyed that she would not move on from that question and felt there was no further point. She had ignored the information Julie had given her, notably about his Diverticular disease; that is the problem which also affects his ability to come shopping with me, in that he needs to feel there is a toilet available if he needs it. I quite understand his reaction. He feels frustrated because of his lack of energy and inability to do anything much at all; he feels that his life has no point except for being with me and that is why he is taking an antidepressant. He is not clinically depressed as I have been, so CBT or graded exercise would not help him as it would wear him out. He has to be so careful not to overdo it or he is knocked out for a few days. Exercise has always helped me feel better, as my problems are depression not ME like Malcolm. Some days Malcolm cannot even concentrate on going online which is a lifeline for him. Unless you have the condition or live with someone who has the condition, you could not understand it.
Malcolm used to walk everywhere from one end of the town to the other; he would be standing all day at work; he was very sociable, going to Jazz concerts, going to art displays; his knowledge on art and general knowledge, his eclectic collection of music from rock and roll, jazz, classical and so on. He loved to go to concerts, in his 20’s he saw the Rolling Stones, Rob Stewart, the Downliners a favourite group and many others in the early 60’s. He used to be a ‘Promenader’ at the Proms and he used to go Fell walking; only since his illness onset in November 2003 or at least when it became acute could he no longer work; he had otherwise worked all his life since his teens. It is nothing to do with depression except in reaction to it; it is a neurological condition, which needs proper research.
I had a busy week at work and even on my day off I spent quite a time delivering leaflets to schools for the Fairtrade Group; making a couple of apple cakes, in all a busy week.

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