Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Bad News

Just a quick post to let you know i have had a miscarriage. Was bleeding again and it was confirmed today at hospital. Im ok just getting my head around things.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Adjusting to my new life

Life has changed for me in a big way recently with the news of the baby. Now that we know baby is ok I can start to think about the future.

The initial shock has gone, but the nerves are still there from time to time (but i imagine this is the case with anyone during their first pregnancy). Being a tad obsessive I wonder if my fears are a little less common. Of course I worried that I would suffer anxiety because of the massive change but other thoughts are flying around in my head. I don't seem to be nervous about life once the baby has arrived, more about being pregnant. I think its control again. I wonder if i will be ok with having a baby bump, because this is something that I cannot control. Looking down and seeing this huge belly with it moving and being kicked and poked. Freaks me out a little bit ha. Gerry said i have nothing to worry about because it is the most natural thing in the world, but i am 28 years old and this has never happened to me before so it doesn't FEEL natural lol. I wonder if it is already affecting my mental health? Yes i am thinking about things way too much. As time is passing i am chilling out though. I actually look forward to seeing the bump develop, and think that the baby kicking will make the situation more real. Because right now i still don't feel pregnant. I have been VERY lucky because i am already almost 11 weeks and i haven't been sick once. I know this is a blessing. I feel like this is going to be the longest 9 months ever, since i have known about the baby from practically the day i became pregnant. but i am getting really excited now.

More changes. I had spoke in the past about my aim being to move into Gerry's house. I was always working towards the day i would be able to move in with him comfortably. Now though this has completely changed. I did worry about my agoraphobia if i moved into Gerry's house with a baby. Maybe i am just being negative but i seen myself in this small house, in a town where none of my friends live near by, nor my family. I may not feel as comfortable walking as far as i can here or maybe i will just be very alone! I explained to Gerry that for my mental health i don't think the move is a good idea anymore. Poor Gerry. He has wanted me to move there so much and I was so close. But thankfully he has understood and agreed that I need to be as comfortable as possible when the baby comes as we don't want me to go backwards.

So now we are house hunting in my town! I am much happier about this. It means that when the baby is here and Gerry is away to work, I can walk everyday comfortably. I can visit friends and family and feel at ease in my familiar surroundings. The thought of moving house used to scared me but now I am very excited. We have seen a house that we want and so we will keep our fingers crossed that Gerry can get his house sold quickly enough. I cannot wait for us to live together and of course i cant wait to decorate and make a nursery for the baby.

I have been going out as much as always. The only thing i haven't been doing is my driving lessons. I am starting those again next week though so that's good. I look forward to getting back into them as they definitely were expanding my horizons more than anything else was.

I have a pre scan appointment at the hospital on Sunday. Apparently this is just a long talk with lots of forms to fill in before my scan next week. Obviously i was terrified of the drive to the hospital last time but hopefully this time it wont be quite so stressful. I will write back then and hopefully will have some more pictures.

I just feel pretty exhausted right now which is normal but i feel my blogs are lacking. Even though I am pregnant I haven't really had a chance to take things easy as i have been looking after the kids a lot. On Sunday i barley moved from my bed but still entertained the kids with makeovers. This is Jude as a clown.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Finally i went for a scan!

Well i haven't written in the past few weeks as my head has been very messed up. I had written previously about the bleeding i was having and that i thought it was a miscarriage. This was pretty much confirmed by doctors and midwifes who i spoke to, but i was told that there was no way of knowing until i went for a scan.

Well!!!!...My agoraphobia decided to flare up. I still went out everyday but the scan seemed to unlikely. The only place i can get a scan near me is at the hospital, and although i had made the drive before, it suddenly became very difficult. I drove to the hospital one Friday but by the time i was meant to go back the following Friday i felt way too anxious. I made an appointment for the following Friday again and by this time the bleeding had started so it was more urgent that I get there.

I felt huge amounts of pressure from myself, my parents and my partner to have the scan and find out what was going on. Last Friday i felt awful. In fact when I think back to that morning, i don't really remember it much. This shows me i was even more anxious than i thought! I did attempt to drive to the hospital but once i got round the corner i slammed on the brakes and refused to go any further. My mum was with me and she tried so hard to make me go. She stroked my hand, gave me water, tried to give me an encouraging talk but honestly nothing she said could have changed my mind. I wasn't going and it was as simple as that. I felt terrible obviously and scared for my health, but i had hit a wall. ( not literally, my driving isn't that bad).

When i got back home i had so many people to call. I phoned the hospital first, then my own doctor, then David from the Condition management team and finally the nurses in early pregnancy. My doctor offered me vallium to get me there. That was basically it, that's all i was offered, but then what else could they do? I did hope that David could maybe come with me in the car but i only got his voicemail and he never called back.

Anyway i made ANOTHER appointment for the next Friday again and told myself to practice the drive to the hospital each day till then. I didn't. As usual it was hard to find someone who was able to come out with me each day but i did get one day where i drove there a little.

So this morning i woke up and was determined to do it. I told myself that even if i panicked i was going as it would be over with within an hour and I would finally know whats going on! I don't know what had changed but i was definitely much calmer than last week and i knew that there was actually a chance of me making it this time.

I drove to the hospital and although i wasn't exactly chilled, i didn't panic. I was taken at the hospital straight away and scanned. Relief! Baby is still there and baby is fine! Reason for the bleeding? I have a cyst on my ovary. This was NEVER mentioned as a possible cause and believe me i done my research. The cyst is 5cm x 4cm which i think is pretty big! But thankfully i was told that they care common in pregnancy and it could disappear on its own. Phew.

So it has been a successful day. I think i will have the best nights sleep tonight that I have had in weeks. Thank you all so much for your support. (that isn't actually my scan but its pretty much identical to what i saw)

Thursday, 4 June 2009

For Diver

Diver this post is in response to your comment about the Psycology text book. I will just write what appears on the page.

Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder in which there is great fear of open or public places. This fear can be so great that agoraphobics are often reluctant to leave the safety of their homes. Agoraphobia on its own is rather rare. in most cases, patients who develop agoraphobia already suffer from panic disorder, and so the disorder becomes panic disorder with agoraphobia. The fact that agoroaphobics typically also suffer from panic disorder is important in understanding agoraphobia - agoraphobics try to avoid open or public places from which escape would be difficult if they were to experience a panic attack. Thus, they are frightened of what might happen to them in public rather than the public places themselves.

Before discussing the criteria for panic disorder with agoraphobia, we will consider the definition of a panic attack. According to DSM-IV-TR (APA 2000), a panic attack involves intense fear or discomfort, with four or more bodily symptoms suddenly appearing. These symptoms include palpitations, shortness of breath, accelerated heart rate, a feeling of choking, nausea, sweating, chest pain, feeling dizzy and a fear of dying. Panic attacks can be distinguished from other types of anxiety by the fact that they are typically short in duration and of great intensity.

The DSM-IV-TR criteria for panic disorder with agoraphobia are as follows (APA 2000):

  • Recurrent unexpected panic attacks.

  • At least one panic attack has been followed by at least one month of worry about the attack, concern about having more panic attacks, or changed in behaviour resulting from the attack.

  • Agoraphobia, in which there is anxiety about being in situations from which escape might be hard or embarrassing in the event of a panic attack.

  • The situations are either avoided, endured with marked distress, or manageable only with the presence of a companion.

According to ICD-10, one of the main criteria for agoraphioa is that anxiety is largely restricted to: crowds, public places, travelling away from home, and travelling alone. Another criteria is that there is frequent avoidance of the situations causing anxiety.

Approximately 3-4% of people develop panic disorder with or without agoraphobian during the course of their lives. Similar percentages have been found in many countries and ethnic groups. About 75% of those suffering from agoraphobia or panic disorder with agoraphobia are female. One likely reason why men show less agoraphobic avoidance than women uis because they are more likely to drink heavily so that they can go out in public.

Case Study : Lynn, An Agoraphobic for 8 Years

Friday 19th December

Today has been the biggest challenge. I woke up and immediately felt anxious. Too much time in bed and too much time to think have caused this. From 7am all i could think about was 'I need to go out, I havent been out in 2 days, what if i cant do it again'? I sat and i thought about it, and thought about it and thought about it. In the end I was so worked up that i could feel the panic attack getting closer. I ran to my bedroom and got dressed and went out. I knew if I just faced the problem instead of sitting thinking about it, i would feel much better. it worked. I went out and walked my usual route and felt fine. I enjoyed it actually even though it was freezing and pouring with rain. I ended up back in bed after this. Still not well at all and while suffering from the cold it is probably not a great idea to walk in the rain. but mentally i feel far better.

Saturday 20th December

Arrgghhh maybe that walk was a bad idea. I. AM. SO. ILL!!! There is no hope of me leaving my bed today. But i can rest easy and not obsess about not getting out again. I also have the added joy of looking after my three nephews tonight. I can barely look after myself right now.

Sunday 21st December

I feel so much better! Got up and took two of the boys out for a walk. We were out for quite a while. On returning home I learned my dad was heading out to do some Christmas shopping. I quickly jumped in the car with him and asked him to take me for a spin. I havent been in the car since Tuesday so i wanted to prove to myself that i can still do it. We went around the usual and then for some reason my dad took a wrong turn. The panic really does come over me in waves. One minute i felt it rise from my tummy to my head and then it would go down again. i think if i can mentally talk myself through this i will be ok but when taking the wrong turn my head just went 'No No No'.

How does Lynn's account tie in with what you know about agoraphobia?

Diver im not sure if this answers your question. After my case study it just goes on to sum up the Agoraphobia section. I would be interested to read peoples answers to the question though.

A Published Author....Kind Of

Yey my blog is now in a book. Ok so i may be a case study and it may be about my mental illness but so what... Im in a book haha. I appear on a page where is shows 'Lynn an Agoraphobic for 8 years' and then quotes a post I made. I guess it will only be students who will use it so thought I would tell you anyway. I had mentioned the book a few months ago, i was contacted and asked if I would mind my blog being used, but today the finished article arrived in the post. Its MASSIVE! It seems to be mostly about depression/phobias etc but i might just give it a read.