Unwelcome anniversary

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It’s a year now since my stay in Perth Clinic with severe anxiety and depression. The clinic was marvellous. I came out much the better for the clinic’s treatment. The treatment was nothing more than talking and being taught how to handle life’s situations. And being allowed to talk freely. And the interaction with other patients. It was great.

But it’s also the anniversary of the actions of a close relative who decided she would submit a three page dossier on me in secret to the doctors. She did it without my foreknowledge, definitely without my permission and behind my back. To this day I have not been allowed to see the letter, but I have had sections read out to me. These confirmed that it was a pack of suppositions, assumptions, misreadings of situations, mistakes and straight out lies. All dressed up in flowery expressions of love and support. Going back to the sixties!

Since she did it without asking or telling me – she knew she was doing something I wouldn’t have approved. She knew it was wrong. Otherwise why hide it from me! Yet she went ahead and ambushed me. To this day I haven’t been allowed to see the letter. Therefore I’m entitled to make my own assumptions, based on the bits I know about, on what was in the letter.

I was interviewed by a female doctor and asked about certain statements in the letter without warning and without being able to see the actual letter. I was then subjected to tests which I thought were tests of my sanity. Only later did they say, “Oh no. That’s just a standard set of questions for anyone over 65 to check for dementia.” I wasn’t told this at the time!!

The effect on me was shocking then and has been devastating since, both mentally and physically. I have been seriously harmed, both mentally and physically. The fact that I’m writing this now demonstrates the mental damage. It has reawakened memories I’ve taken years to get over and forget. Now they’re back. I can’t get it out of my mind. I lie awake at night wrestling with it. It’s on my mind when I wake for a pee at 3am. I have to suppress my rage, force my thoughts away to pleasant things. Like being far away from her on a trip. (I can no longer refer to any family members as Next of Kin on forms! I have to say None.)

The physical harm was a significant rise in my blood pressure, and a much worse condition of my diabetes. Before this episode, I was NIDDM, non-insulin dependent diabetes melitus. Tablets were enough to control things.

The blood pressure is mostly back to normal (with tablets), but my rage in the weeks and months that followed made my blood sugars go out of control and now I’m insulin dependent. I’m very slowly getting things back under control but it’s taken seven months of trial and error, with changes of drugs and injected insulin to finally start making an improvement. But in this time my lower legs have been severely damaged. The nerves and small blood vessels are dying and my skin there is paper thin. I wake at night, almost every night, in agony from itching that no amount of scratching will help. In fact it results in bleeding, which since I’m on blood thinners, is hard to stop. I’m having to take strong pain relief almost every night.

In addition, the insulin has resulted in weight gain, as it does, and I’m now 8Kg up on where I was before I started the injections, and I can’t shift it.

So thanks to this close relative’s actions, I’m now significantly worse off than I was before. Thanks very much, close relative!

Why did she do it? Because (a) she believes she has the right to interfere in someone else’s affairs – she’s told me this and she’s done it several times before; (b) she has an inflated view of her abilities and self importance; (c) she desperately needs to be seen to be GOOD, to seek praise and approval, to be needed, because of events in her early life. She can’t overcome the damage these caused and goes on perpetrating similar actions on others.

In this past year there has been no apology. She does not believe she has done anything wrong and she will never apologise, for anything. This was not the first time by a long shot. An apology would go a long way toward fixing this, but I have no hope of ever getting one.

Therefore I have lost a close family relationship forever, it seems. How can I ever talk normally to her again after this, knowing she’s filing it away? I have also had to cancel an enduring power of attorney. There’s no telling what she’d do if she had the power of this legal document. I was warned about this but I didn’t take it seriously. Now I do.

And if I ever go to hospital again, I’ll be asking the nurses to bar entry to her if she visits. She is unpredictable and dangerous.

What a result! Thank you very much! Not! The fact that I’m writing this, a year later, with such passion and anger shows the damage it’s caused.

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If there’s any good news, it’s that Byetta finally seems to be working. Injected insulin wasn’t working well enough by late July, with wild swings in my blood sugars. There was a downward trend from six months ago, but not enough. So we added Byetta injections. This is a new drug which adds the naturally occurring hormones called incretins, which are released near the top of the stomach and trigger the release of insulin from the pancreas when food is ingested. This is what the gastric bypass would have achieved naturally if I’d gone ahead. But what a cost – losing 90% of the stomach.

I started this in early August and at first it made no difference, but I think it’s working now as my blood sugar readings are much more stable through the day, without the wild swings. Still a bit high (around 10) but stable.

One of the side effects is supposed to be weight loss. I wish! No weight loss here, I’m afraid. Not yet anyway.

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The cruise is all coming together. Flights from Perth to Singapore and Beijing to Hanoi are booked and paid for. Hotel in Beijing booked and paid for. Cruise booked and paid for.

The Beijing hotel is called the Shichahai Shadow Art Performance hotel, and it’s in a hutong lane behind big black wooden doors, just like an old Chinese dwelling. Hutongs are the narrow streets of old, full of shop houses and stalls and old dwellings. Too narrow for a taxi, I believe. But the rooms are very up to date in a Chinese style, from the website photos. I’ve booked a Superior Suite to get maximum space. Looks good. $138/night for this room. Rave web reviews.

The Hanoi hotel is also old Vietnamese style, right in the action area (Hang Bac Street – we won’t hang back). Again, I’ve booked a suite to get a large room with armchairs by a large window. At $76/night, it’s very affordable. I think we’ll stay longer in Hanoi and less time in Bangkok.

But China and Vietnam require visas and photos with the visa applications. Have to get cracking.

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Aaaaaargh, it was a wild, windy night last night with lots of power bumps. These don’t worry me, but every time it happens, my neighbour’s alarm goes off! Ten minutes each time of the horn blaring. I’m sick of it! It wakes me up.

But she’s gone off on a trip to Europe, so there’s nothing I can do. I reckon the standby battery in her alarm is dead. That’s designed to handle these power interruptions. If she was there, I’d offer to fix it for her, but she’s away. Damn.

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I picked up my free treadmill on Friday and brought it back here. I’ve realised it’s an absolute basic model. No power incline, not even manual incline. Just the flat platform.

When I turn it on, the belt (i.e. motor) started immediately and fluctuated in speed, then settled down to a walking pace. But there’s no control – no stopping it, and no speed control, so I’m not prepared to get on. I’ve got the cover off the motor drive electronics and I’ll see if I can fix it, but it may end up going out on the verge anyway. I wanted a powered incline model, and this isn’t it. Still, it cost me nothing, so I have nothing to lose. Except weight.

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Panasonic. I used to be a fan of Panasonic appliances, but I’ve totally changed my mind, realised I was wrong.

Both my fridge and microwave oven are Panasonic and both are causing me grief. The fridge door rattles constantly and I can’t make it stop. It’s nothing on the shelf causing it. I reckon it’s something loose in the moulding inside the door. It’s been doing it since new.

The microwave oven has intermittently refused to start in the past few months, and I’ve realised the door switch is out of adjustment. I have to push hard on the door to ensure it’s closed.

But now it’s started powering itself off completely, intermittently. The cooking ends prematurely and the clock resets to flashing zero, power off condition. I have to restart it.

Both these appliances are about 17 months old, out of warranty, but I believe these days that you can press your claim regardless, according to Consumer Affairs. Must try it.

Another Panasonic device is my DVR. It’s so slow! It takes a full 60 seconds of “Please Wait” for it to power up, and all the operations involve a 2-3 second wait. Why? I’m sick of it. This is not a fault so I can’t claim on it, but I won’t buy Panasonic again. My phone is also Panasonic, but it isn’t faulty. Wish I’d bought another brand, though.

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