222. Kick me when I’m down

“You should think about going down to 50% until September” Those where the words that spilled from my boss’s mouth this morning, during a meeting that I had to request, in order to discuss how I’m doing on my phased return.

They stung! You’re no good to me now Loopy, you can’t handle anything and it’s costing us too much, is what I heard. All I needed was a supportive, “you can do this” but instead the last remaining shred of optimism for my future was ripped away.

I’m a burden, I’m incompetent and I’m very nearly done.

Tonight’s little sleeping pills are the same brand as those I used in August. It’s the first time a pharmacy has dispensed the same kind, in all these months. It’s a coincidence that they arrived today, on a day when I want to consume them all. I don’t have enough though, so I’ll just have to settle for a slightly comatosed sleep.

I have no capacity for stress, no tolerance for the all to familiar stares from other commuters, no cut off valves, when my face decides to spontaneously leak and no hope that this will ever change.

I wish I could see my old CPN. She’d know how to make me feel a little better. God I wish she’d come back…..

Loopy x

211. The fear!!!

I’m literally shaking, my stomach is in knots and I can’t control my worrying. How on earth am I going to endure work tomorrow?

On top of that I’m emotionally exhausted following today’s psychotherapy assessment, and CPN chat. I’m also not exactly happy that I’ve finally been allocated to someone new, but she’s off for the next two weeks.

On top of that I’ve walked a total of 12 km7 today, just to attend the appointments and swing by my village pharmacy to pick up my meds on the way home. God I wish I could drive!!

I also bumped into a familiar face today, from my old ward. I was supposed to give her a shout after my assessment, but when I went to reception her name escaped me. I left a half baked message with the wrong name and was a little frazzled anyway as I had to rush off to meet my new CPN straight after. I would have loved to chat to her today though, and I’m gutted that I missed my chance.

This evening I wish I could call my previous CPN, no one else. L would know what to say, L would reassure me. I need L!!! I’m kind of freaking out!!!

Loopy x.

210. Clothes shopping.

As I trecked through outlets I could sense the feeling rise. That knot in my gut that comes with, just kill me now. I’ve always hated shopping. There are some practical reasons (can’t easily read labels, don’t like crowds, always feel like I’m being stared at) why I hate it, but it’s more than that.

I’m going back to work however, and the trainers and hoodies that have become my mainstay, don’t exactly ooze professionalism.

Firstly, i’ve never understood the lighting in dressing rooms. Can we have 10,000 lumens please, but not above your head. Oh no; these should form a strip along each mirror edge so that your necessary squinting masks how groteques you look in that ensamble.

What if you’re in the hunt for something a little sexy. Satin maybe that’s sleek and contours every curve, something for your hubbies eyes only.

This lighting just won’t do. I need those tea candles and a bottle of merlot, that give even Jabba the hut come hither eyes and a sultry demure.

NOPE full beams please, so that you look like your morbidly obese gran, who has a grimace indicating that she may have just pooped herself, and her skin a little ragged, because they didn’t have fancy creams in her day. They used wire wool to exfoliate!!

And what’s with sizes anyway??? They should just rip off all the labels and have rows of super skinny, kinda skinny but could lose a few lbs, a little excess baggage and finally; sorry love,we’re going to need more material!!!!

I pulled on a pair of size 10 trousers, too big; “oh my,! well I have been working out

Size 8 winning!!!!, but oh dear you”re obviously a few inches shy of 6 ft 4 glamoererous. Let’s try it in a short, shall we? They were clearly expecting dwarfism. Outlets nowadays have to be so careful, politically correct and inclusive

They cater for all body types, but only if you arrive at the crack of dawn just as shelves are being stocked to scoop up that 1 solidary item thats in your size.

“Oh store assistant, can I have these all in a regular 8 please (they can be tailired later)” I mean come on, I’m gorgeous, I’m glamerous, I’m positively glowing……….

10 minutes later, I’d pulled of some moves that Beth Tweddle and Michelle Kwan would be proud off. “Oh store assistant, I’m…………….I’m STUCK!!!!!!!….and I fear only a large tub of petroleum jelly shall set me free!!

I shall have to delve deep into the reccesses of my wardrobe, as I left the stores defeated, deflated and with just a little less self esteem than I’d arrived with.

And to think, people actually do this for fun????

Loopy x

208. Wound management.

I really should know better. I’ve been doing this long enough!

Dressing brands make promises of longevity, absorbancies and water proofness. When you’re dealing with burns (often full thuckness) as I do, it requires the Rolls Royce of wound care management tools.

Burns result in exudate (the cells and fluid released during inflammation); copiuos amounts in fact, that can rapidly seep through sleeves and garments.

Burns are extremely prone to infection. The skin is our largest protective organ and our first line off deffence against invading pathogens. Furthermore as tissue dies it provides an all you can eat buffet for staphylococcus and his other microbial buddies.

To reduce scarring and achieve improved pain management the healing environment should be moist, and sealed from the elements.

I use Meplilex border Ag when I can. A foam dressing, with a gentle silicone adhesive boeder that can deal with the exudate, combat bacteria with its silver impregnated layers, and provide optimism healing conditions; or so they claim. It’s also thick enough to reduce the odour that accompanies burn healing. Think of your food waste bin, full of meat, during hot summer months in the run up to collection day.

I’d asked my GP for a prescription of said dressings, but my stock is now low. The reality is that these things bend and flex with the contours off your skin. Inflammation induced itchiness forces you to claw and scratch at them. Burning over,or near to old wounds where kelloid scars have formed creates airpockets and channels in the adhesive. All off these factors render them useless within a day or two or immediately following a shower. When my stock is low I try use them sparingly; if at all. They’re incredibly expensive to buy with regularity.

Today’s decision to ration their use created quite the conundrum for me this afternoon. I was going to the gym and knew I’d be showering after. The previous dressing had fallen apart for all the reasons mentioned above and it stunk, so had to be removed. A new one before the gym would waste it, so I left my arms unprotected, covered only by my rash guard. The wounds continued to weep, and a couple of hours later the fabric of my sleeve had congealed with the wound site. IT WAS STUCK!!!

Many of my burns heal with hypergranulation; essentially a process whereby tissue and tiny blood vessels grow back exuberantly above and beyond the original site, creating little delicate flesh mounds. It was one of these that was stuck!!

I soaked my sleeve with water, to no avail. I was forced to “tug!!!” All I can say is Ouch!!! Newly formed nerve endings were severed, blood vessels burst and flesh ripped.

In the context of lecturing I’m used to creating sessions and activities that have “learning outcomes” This was a perfect experience to teach someone not to burn again, but that’s not what I’ve taken away from it.

Despite the trauma, the pain, the odours, the recovery proccesses and the sheer difficulties associated with exudent wound management, and hiding it all from everyone else; I crave it. I need it! It’s my valium, my reality checker, my grounding strategy and my fucked up comforter. It’s my one controllable constant.

I will hoever, be more careful with my wounds.

Loopy x

204. Swimming upstream.

I’ve just completely broken down on OH. There are many reasons that I’m finding today tough;

I’m going in tomorrow to discuss my return to work and I’m not ready. I lied a little to get the nod from Occi Health and right now I’m regretting those lies.

I’ve had a psychiatrist review today and that’s resulted in yet another dosage increase. They have no answers either for my F##ked up head.

Today was my last contact with my CPN as she leaves to take on a new role. Words can’t describe how much this loss has floored me. She’s been my lighthouse in the fog, my buoyancy aid through rough seas and my corner man through every punch that life has thrown at me off late. I’m struggling to process this.

And to top it all off there’s just the weight of greyness, cripplung doubts and self loathing that I cannot shake.

As I’ve said, I’ve broken down on OH. He sat quietly for a moment, drank his mug of tea and has now taken himself off to bed to “lie down for a bit”

All I really needed was a hug. Can someone please swoop me into their arms?

Loopy x

197. BJJ and kickboxing.

I’ve had endless conversations with my psychologist and my CPN about finding hobbies again. Endless conversations about improving my social circle and I’ve always come back with, ‘I don’t know what I like, or indeed used to like.

I don’t care much for girly chats about fashion, shopping, manicures and the latest trends in dieting. I feel ugly in groups of women and judged.

I’m a Tom boy, through and through, and I’ve been thinking lately about the judo I used to do at uni and the lovely support worker who brought in pads and gloves for me to use in hospital. I’ve been googling local clubs lately and trying to muster up the courage to go.

I changed my outfit like 4 times, brushed my teeth 5 times, kept scolding the reflection in my mirror but I did it. I managed to go out of my comfort zone and try a new class.

The BJJ and kick boxing, that I’ve just attended, may be the answer to venting all the angst and rage that I used to vent with “Wilson”

Loopy x

196. Not coping.

God this day needs to end. I’m home alone and I don’t do so good alone.

I can’t keep doing this. The binging, the purging, the self hatred and the relentless scheduling of activities to fill my day. My head is so fuzzy and I’m so tired.

I need to knock myself out for a while, so sweet dreams people.

I honestly don’t care if tomorrow never comes. It will come though, and this hamster wheel will continue to spin.

Loopy x