Saturday, 5 March 2011

"Dance your cares away, worries for another day"

Before I start this makes me smile from my childhood, it explains the title

Where does the week go, I can't believe it's Saturday evening already. Had a lovely day out with my two mates and my Godson. Last week just flew by, it all went well though and I'm pleased that after my first full time week at work I wasn't completely shattered. I can try and leave some of my MS stresses alone for a while now and focus on all the other stuff, like what we got going on at work and planning holidays (see my last post "Brighter days"). At work there's all sorts of things going on, we are joining up with another GP surgery, there's lots of change going on in Primary Care in England and it's also coming up to the end of our financial year so need to get lots of things done.  Not sure what I think of all the changes that are going on but not much I can do about them just have to go with the flow.

Going with the flow, now that is something that is easier said then done sometimes.  Something I have been meaning to talk about is something that many people suffer with, anxiety.  Those who do suffer with it or have suffered with it in the past will know it can be awful.  I'm a bit of a strange one in some ways I take things in my stride and can handle stress and be very calm and in other ways I can't, it all depends what's going on and what the stresses are.  My anxiety crept up on me really and it all started when I first got my problems back in 2005.  Since then the anxiety has come and gone over the last few years but has mainly I've managed to keep it at bay but it has recently reared its ugly head during this last relapse.  I think a lot of it was to do with being off sick for so long (it was long for me I know others have been of sick for months) and money worries.  Back in January I would get daily feelings of dread and worry. I couldn't always pin point what would trigger it but really it was with me most of the time.  My anxiety has settled down significantly now and this is due to several things. Obviously as I started feeling better and my symptoms of the relapse started improving which helped.  Getting back to work has made a big difference too. Whilst I was off I was doubting my capabilities as a nurse and I was also worrying about what other people were thinking of my capabilities too. The relapse really knocked my confidence for a while.  When you're going through things, with both the anxiety and MS symptoms you start feeling like you're never going to feel normal again and like your whole world has changed forever.  And yes, ultimately things have changed forever, well that change started back in 2005 and was confirmed with my diagnosis last year but I am one of the lucky ones, well certainly at the moment I am, even though I have had 3 relapses in a year I have not been left with any residual disabilities just some occasional odd symptoms mainly sensory which  aren't too bad to deal with  just annoying.  While I was off sick I started to feel like everything was getting too serious and almost forgetting that this was a relapse and wasn't going to be a permanent thing so to speak.  I have relapse remitting MS, so I get "relapses", I had to remind myself of this and that my symptoms were a transient thing and hope that all the symptoms would resolve in time.

After a heart to heart with my hubby it came to light that may be it would do me good to talk to a counsellor.  So I called up my local MS branch who I remembered had a counsellor working for them.  I spoke to one of the ladies who runs the branch and she kindly referred me to the counsellor.  I have had 3 sessions with her so far and overall I think it has helped. Seeing her has given me the opportunity to talk through all the things that are worrying me to someone outside of my life who I have no ties with.  I suppose its made me look at the things in my life which cause me anxiety and what I can do about them.  Now MS is one of those things and obviously there is only so much you can do about it but she helped me put things back into perspective.  I was really quite nervous when I first went but I was more relaxed during the second session.  It has been a positive and enlightening experience getting things off my chest.  One of the things she asked last week was out of the symptoms that I have experienced what one would I least like to come back or would cause me the most worry.  For me so far this would have to be having problems with my speech (see "Where it all starts") . When this has happened it has caused me the most frustration and anxiety and it is a symptom I hope won't come back anytime soon but it scares me as it has been a problem during two of my relapses now.  I mentioned to her I wanted to get used to doing things with my left hand as well (I'm right handed) when I do get symptoms they seem to affect my right side more.  I have no idea where my lesions on my brain are, I just know I had multiple lesions, I have the scan results but I just keep them tucked away in a filing cabinet, I don't to see the point of focusing on them. This brought on a discussion about the brain and she suggested perhaps trying to develop the left side of my brain as well and developing my creative side.  Now I'm sure she said the left side of the brain is the creative side but it's actually the right side. So either she got that wrong or I'm confusing what she said.  Are you confused now? I certainly am, my head hurts now.  I've just looked it up on google, the right side of your brain controls the left side of your body and vice versa and the right side of your brain is the creative side (I am a nurse but I forget things).   I am going to have to check this with her again on Tues, but perhaps I should work on developing both sides of my brain further .  Oh dear its all got so confusing, LOL!

Well ultimately after all that jabbering I am glad that my anxiety levels have come down several notches which is a very good thing.  I've got another two sessions with the counsellor so once they are done and dusted I shall update you with how they went and also clear up the left/right side brain thing.

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