Tuesday, 20 August 2013

I Want To Live. I Don't Want To Die.

It's taken a bit of a health scare to realise this. But I can now see that I want to go back to university. I want to qualify as a Social Worker. I want to work in mental health and go on to become an AMHP. I eventually want to get married. I want to have kids. I want to live my life.

Basically, this is what has happened...

Since April time I have had one pupil quite a bit larger than the other. When I saw an optician she pointed it out and said I should see my GP. I thought I would just be told it was the stress and was because of what I put my body through when I nearly died. But, the GP referred me to Opthamology. I was referred over 2 months ago and the appointment was today. I thought of cancelling it because I didn't really see it as much of an issue any more. But I decided to go to the appointment thinking I'll be in and out in 5 minutes.

The opthamologist looked at it and said it looked like something called Horner's Syndrome which could be indicative of respiritory track problems, including what's called a Pancoast Tumour. She said it was quite rare the Horner's syndrome but they would need to test for it. She said I wasn't really displaying typical symptoms of the syndrome but she would check for it. So she put some eye drops in and off I went for an hour while they did their job. I looked it up while I was off getting breakfast and didn't really think anything of it as there were a whole host of other symptoms with it and I only had one.

But, when I got back in the room, she tested my pupils again and said that there was a positive result for this Horner's syndrome. I was quite surprised. She said she didn't want to worry me too much but she was going to have to arrange for some scans, x-rays and blood tests as the Horner's Syndrome is acquired as a result of something else. These things include things like a Pancoast Tumour (a lung cancer), MS, Aortic Aneurysm, Thyroid Carcinoma, carotic artery dissection among a whole host of other problems. There could also be other things such as an infection (but being as though I have had a recent course of antibiotics that would be unlikely), trauma (again unlikely as I have not had any trauma to my neck). She said the Pancoast tumour is the biggest worry.

Of course it could be something as straight forward as Adie's Pupil of which there is no treatment but at the same time it doesn't cause any problems.

But she said she had to do the checks for everything.

It probably is nothing, but being told you are being tested for a possible lung cancer is worrying. I am trying to be positive, Yeah, I know I smoke, but I am not even 30. Surly too young for a lung cancer to develop, and I am not a heavy smoker. But, I did look it up. I know I probably shouldn't have done. But you want to know every possibility don't you. And it said some worrying things. Loss of voice is one of them. I have put it down to the trauma of being intubated while on ICU for a week. But that was nearly 5 months ago. I was told the affects of that would only last around 4 weeks, and yet my voice is still hoarse and not right. And it's stopped getting better. Maybe, what started as a side effect of the intubation is actually the result of something else? Also breathlessness is another one. I have noticed when I exert myself I am getting very wheezy and struggle. I thought maybe, and it possibly is asthma. I was told when I was younger I had it and maybe it's just that flaring up. Also, I smoke so I am probably going to get wheezy when I really exert myself. But, saying that, even in the past when I have been more unfit and bigger I was never as bad as I have been recently.

I suppose when you read something scary about something that's a possibility you attribute every thing wrong with you to it don't you? It is probably nothing and I am getting worried about nothing or something just routine. Is it human nature to think the worst or is it just me being pessimistic?

Another thing that is really getting to me is if it is one of those Pancoast tumours, then survival rates are historically not that fantastic. Usually less than 50% of people survive 5 years past diagnosis. So, if it is that it could be fatal. And look how much of my life I have have wasted and how many times have I tried to actually kill myself.

Yes, I know it's probably nothing and I am probably being over dramatic.

So, uni stuff.

I have had an email saying that my fitness to practice assessment will be on the 4th September and I need to write a report for it it. They want to know the dates I have been in hospital and what I am doing now. I was really hoping they wouldn't ask me that. I was hoping they would just be asking me why I thought I was ready to go back and what help I was getting now. I didn't want them to know that I have been in hospital relatively recently. I just hope they don't question what lead up to the admissions. How can I put a positive spin on I took a massive overdose, I was in a coma for a week and very nearly died and only a few months ago. Oh and then I discharged myself from the hospital as I thought I knew better. And it's not the first time I have discharged myself as back in October I was in for a week, discharged myself after a large OD and ended up back in only a few days later after 2 136's and another OD which again nearly killed me.

So that put me in a bit of a spin last Tuesday and got very emotional over it all. I got very pessimistic over it thinking what was the point and that I should just give in and not bother as I wasn't going to get back on the course anyway.

My family haven't exactly been the most supportive over it. They say things like that maybe I am not cut out for it and I shouldn't be doing it. I should do something in the travel industry as I like travelling etc. I do, but working in it involves sales usually which I do not want to do. I want to be a social worker. I want to work in mental health. I went and did my A levels 11 years ago in Psychology because I wanted to work in the mental health field. I wanted to do it even before my own problems started. I don't want to do anything else.

So, I am in a bit of a mess. I am not self harming and the urges aren't strong. But I am feeling quite stressed and a bit all over the place. I just want to get everything sorted out. I want to do the course and I want to live  my life as I planned to live it all those years ago!


werehorse said...

That sounds really worrying GP. How soon will you have these tests? Soon hopefully. Good luck with writing your statement for the course. Take care x

Golden Psych said...

I'm not sure. I'm going back in around 6 weeks to get results so it will be in the next few weeks. It doesn't help that I am getting irrational and pessimistic about it and things start to spiral.

Anonymous said...

Hi GP,
I have been reading your blog for a long time - I think you should go back to college, you will make a great AMHP.

I would write the report as though you are a social worker trying to get your client back into college! There are many ways you could approach what happened some would sound very positive if you phrase it right, and you don't need all the details. After al, what you could have been doing is reading up in preparation for going back on the course - who would know the truth or not of that?