Chapter 16 : Head Torso Knees and Toes PT2
I was going to tell you about the various things that I am currently dealing with physically, but as you can see from Head, Torso, Knees and Toes PT1, I didn’t get far past the ‘head’. Well things from the neck down are not currently great either, and where some are related, there are others ailments that stand alone, or could even be the cause of others. I need quite a long time to sit with a doctor, discuss the background of each illness, the treatment that I am on, whether it helps, and then the side effects, the relationship between the treatments and the other illnesses, and whether or not I am caught up in a vicious circle of treatments and illnesses and side effects and treatments and more illnesses. This seems like a good idea, but, there is a problem with that. Firstly, GP’s don’t have enough time for such an in-depth consultation, secondly, there would be lots of tests needed which cost money, so they are more likely to test one at a time and hope they catch the cause before anything serious like death occurs, meanwhile, I would still be suffering with all of these things, and may not be here when the results arrive meaning I would have to start the process again when I return to Spain, but thirdly, I don’t technically have a doctor, and feel very guilty taking up the time of a doctor that has agreed to take me as a temporary patient whilst I am with my parents recovering.
I have however been convinced to go on Monday as there are some troubling developments.
My blood pressure yesterday started at 103/38, this is pretty low by anyone’s standards, but it did rise throughout the day to an unimpressive 109/60. Today, it was a grand old total of 119/44, still pretty poor to be honest. That coupled by the fact that I am unable to keep my eyes open with tiredness, I have palpitations regularly (which I have put down to anxiety for a while, as this is also one of the things I experience during my roughest of times), and I have a lot of tingling in my arm. I don’t want to add any more problems on to my parents already full plate, so getting checked is for their benefit as much as mine.
Now this blood pressure, or hypotension, could be the cause of some of the other problems, the fatigue would come in to that category, the terrible memory and concentration abilities, the lack of enthusiasm and did I mention forgetfulness? Or are these symptoms part of the depression? Or are they due to the COPD? What about the severely bad skin that has appeared on my face and scalp. I don’t normally have any dandruff, but my scalp is quite bad these last few weeks, and it has spread to my face. Really, I have face dandruff. Every couple of days, I have to literally scrape the dry skin off to stop myself looking scaly like a crazy fish woman, and underneath is red and sore. I dread to think of the long term damage that this scraping is doing to my already aged and quite frankly, way too big for my body skin!
I also have type 2 diabetes. I try to keep this controlled with diet, but lately, my appetite has come and gone, which could be because of the depression or the hypotension, and as a result, my diet has suffered, and I have even a lot more junk food and ‘easy’ snack food than normal, so my weight has gone up. As I have type 2, I don’t monitor it regularly, I generally work on how I feel, but with so many conflicting feelings, I have dropped the ball a bit, and am not sure if the control has gone, and this is causing the bad skin, or the hypotension. When I came, I didn’t have my diabetic drugs on my form from my doctor, as this was something that was done through a private doctor, and the drugs are available over the counter in Spain, so it didn’t cross my mind, so I haven’t been taking them, even though, I think I probably should. Who do I tell, or rather when? My poor temporary doctor isn’t going to have time to listen to all of this in the 7 mins she has allocated to see me!!
My knees and hands are also painful. I don’t know why, it could be something totally new, or it could be a result of one of the drugs I am currently on, or it could be caused by the lack of control with the diabetes, or it could be part of the low blood pressure causing a lack of oxygenated blood passing through my joints, then again, that could also be the COPD, which could also be causing the freezing cold feet that I have, but that could also equally be caused by the diabetes. Alternatively, the drugs are causing problems with circulation, causing the cold feet and the sore joints, and the low blood pressure, but if that is the case and they stop the treatment, then what happens to the illnesses that they are there to treat? You see, there really could be a very vicious circle, or I could just be very unlucky, and happen to have all of my ailments together, rather than spread out over a life time.
This all sounds a little bit ‘oh poor me’, but it isn’t really. I am able to deal with all of these things as long as I know why they are there. If there is anything that I can do to make it better, I will try, but I still laugh and joke. I can deal with everything if my head is straight, and I do feel that it is getting there now. There are still some concerns, some that I don’t want to talk to people about in case they think that I am being negative, but they are there, and they are real concerns.
What if the CPS decides not to prosecute Twat Face? How will I feel? I can’t imagine that they won’t due to his confession to part of the charges, but there is also a chance that due to his age, and ill health, that they will chose not to as there is no guarantee that he will live to the end of a trial, and there is no chance that he could survive jail. If they don’t, then that is it. I will have gone through this for nothing, knowing that I left it too long. The worry that he could get away with this, or worse, due to them not prosecuting, people could wrongly believe that there was no case! That would be devastating to both me and my family. It could look like I was lying, and even though my first question would be ‘why would she lie?’, maybe other people would just jump to conclusions and assume that if there is no charge, there is no crime. Living with knowing that I left it too long would really be quite a heavy burden. I would urge ANYONE that has gone through this, and has kept it to themselves, that they should speak up. You can’t get the time back, it is easier than you think, there are people to help, and life is much easier when you can look forward and not back. If I fail in getting this recognized, in ensuring that the neighbourhood knows who is living in their midst, then I would be heart broken. Please speak out if you are holding on to something so terrible that it eats you alive. You deserve better. If the first person doesn’t believe you, be brave, and speak to someone else. There are some cruel people that may choose to criticize your choice of remaining silent, but there are a million more that would understand your reasons, and not judge you for them. These are the people that matter, not the ones with the closed minds who ironically seem unable to close their mouths.
I hope you’re enjoying my tale; I still have no direction other than to recover, I have discovered a love of knitting, and decided that wherever I live, I really want a garden. It is therapeutic, satisfying, and certainly helps with depression and other mental illnesses. I am still not smoking, I haven’t bitten my nails since I arrived, so am looking forward to decorating them when my nail art pens arrive, so ultimately, I am starting to see the joy in life again, even though I am a little tired to currently enjoy it, and I am seeing a future, and it is one with a garden.