So, the weather has finally turned really nice, and that has been pretty good! It’s just a shame that rather than being outside enjoying it, I have to be cooped up in the lab working away! Things have been pretty busy, but mostly just getting on with my work really. I have also been spending a lot of time with my girlfriend, and as usual, she helps keep my spirits up, and so I’m always grateful for that.
I have had one problem recently, although actually it is not so recent, it’s been going on for most of 2013 now. I have a few medical issues, which nobody seems able to pin down, having been sent back and forward between my GP and a specialist a few times now, with no treatment really working and no firm diagnosis. Forgive me for not divulging what the problem is, but I don’t really wish to publicise details of symptoms that aren’t directly related to the reason for writing this blog.
Needless to say, whatever is wrong has been getting me down quite a bit. I’ve spent a lot of time feeling hopeless like I’m never going to get to the bottom of it. Although it isn’t such a terrible problem, it’s enough to say that it is noticeable almost constantly, and is getting in the way with being able to do everything that I’d like. It’s been upsetting me a lot, and getting me really rather anxious and stressed about trying to get it sorted. I must have seen either my GP or another doctor at least 7 times since February, and so I am really getting tired of it. It is something that is occupying my thoughts quite a lot of the time, and sometimes this has prevented me getting as much work done as I’d like, because on the days where it is really in my mind, I have found it impossible to focus and left the lab much earlier than I would normally do. It’s also cost me quite a lot of money trying a variety of different prescriptions for things that haven’t had any effect. If only I lived in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland and they could be paid for me… I thought I had got rid of the cost of prescriptions (which has risen again!) when I came off my antidepressants late last year…! Anyway, enough on that…
The thing that having these problems has taught me, and I was really getting on okay not worrying about it too much until the last month or two, thinking it would get sorted, is that I do have all these coping strategies in place, and I just need to keep on top of them, to keep myself on track, and stay positive (as much as possible!). When I’ve been having trouble at work, I’ve made sure I have a firm plan in place, so that I can almost automatically go between tasks rather than giving myself time to worry and get worked up over it. Obviously, these plans have to be flexible, things can change very quickly in the lab, but it at least gives me starting points, and an end goal to aim towards in my larger overall plan of what I want to achieve also. Similarly, I have tried to give myself distractions, whether that is just popping outside for a few minutes, or walking to the shop to buy a snack or something to drink, or even just distracting myself by noticing what there is around me. It has definitely helped in that respect, as the more I can keep it out of my mind, the less I can get worried about it, and I can get on with what I have to do.
Spending time with my girlfriend has been another distraction from this problem, whether it is chatting inanely about something, or going out and doing something. Obviously, she has been there for me to discuss these problems with, but she has also helped me to stop going crazy about it, letting my mind run wildly with what the problem is, and generally keeping me grounded.
I also have a book so that I can note down any negative/automatic thoughts that I notice, although I am still not as good at this as I would like to be, and I feel almost embarrassed to write things down in there when they are related to having some medical problem, whereas I would quite easily write down other things relating to how I feel about myself in there. Very strange.
Anyway, I know that I can keep on top of this, and I know that eventually it will get sorted. Being referred to another specialist now, so hopefully they will know what they are on about. Fingers crossed that it gets sorted, and in the meantime, fingers crossed that I keep on track, keep getting the work done that I need, and don’t go crazy worrying about it!