I awoke this morning with too many writing ideas. They just kept tumbling out of my mind into my consciousness and it got to a point when I decided to let them go rather than trying to keep hold of them. I try to have faith that the important ones will return and be explored. Perhaps I lay in bed too long this morning thinking when I could have been up and doing things but I wonder where this creative burst comes from. Is this a sign of mania that offsets my depression, if so I know it doesn’t appear very often. I don’t really know much about mania but I thought it was the extreme opposite from depression an overreaction. As I sat down to type my dog rushes in with a ball wanting to play, he reminds me that I need to live my life as well as type and I feel bad for ignoring him, a decision needs to be made and I make it; a compromise that includes a few moments of dog play and cuddling before getting the laptop out.
When I got out of bed I forced myself to put some cream on my psoriasis, I forced myself to pick up my used clothing and put it into the washing basket (I had no choice about having a pee); I felt compelled to get my ideas written down somewhere, I was beginning to feel overwhelmed. As I typed about the decision around playing with the dog, I could feel myself calming down. By describing the process I brought myself into the here and now which makes me wonder where I actually was when all the ideas flowed in. I feel calmer now, calm enough to access some of the list of thoughts but that feels a bit dangerous. This is all rather peculiar.
One of the thoughts I feel I need to express (and here I hesitate, struggling to find the words) is that I am still having echoes (flashbacks?) regarding my gastroscopy over a week ago now. Whilst I was out cycling last weekend we stopped at a post office shop come café in Dalavich. I take my helmet off for breaks such as these and try to ruffle my hair (what there is of it) because the helmet leaves tramlines behind which for some reason I find embarrassing (appearance still matters then?). After a mug of coffee and a scone we set off again and I noticed that my left ear was sore. This puzzled me, did I have an infection forming there, was there a spot? Later on it occurred to me that this was the side I had lain on when I had the procedure. It was bruising I was feeling, but I lay down on a pillow I challenged myself, yes on a metal table. I must have been restrained quite aggressively then. I remember the feeling of retching again and being told to keep breathing, three times the echo goes. I feel helpless.
Writing about it brings the echoes back too, and I wonder if I am doing myself any good. Is this dwelling on the trauma? I like to think I am acknowledging it and moving on, except I am not sure that forward progress is being made.
Back home on Sunday morning I wake up and do my usual tossing and turning trying to regain unconsciousness. I notice my jaw hurting when I lay on my left hand side and immediately associate it with the gastroscopy procedure. The echoes return and I want to cry. I feel like crying now.
I talked to my friend whilst I was out cycling about my thoughts. I talked to my wife about the general flashbacks. She tells me it is not surprising – the body remembers. I don’t want my body to remember. Having the bruise marks from the cannula placements on my left arm is enough of a reminder for me.
I am reminded of a time when I was in hospital and bloods had to be taken four times a day (and night) to monitor a drug level. I never had an issue with needles before this but after several days had passed I began to feel anxious about them, it took more and more effort to be relaxed. These feelings continue today. When blood is taken out of my arm, I am aware my anxiety increases and I need to consciously relax telling myself it will be fine. I wonder if I will get to a point when I can no longer find the courage to face another gastroscopy? One thing is for sure, it isn’t going to get any easier. I will talk to my consultant about this; my hope is that there is a combination of drugs that can really make me forget.
In the meantime life must go on.