I saw my asthma psychiatrist yesterday. I completely love her (not in the crazy creepy patient falls in love with their dr kind of way just in that she's so lovely and good at her job) .
When I first started going to the respiratory dept at queen Alexandra in Portsmouth and they said I had to see her as a holistic approach to managing my asthma (Now i suspect they actually thought She would establish I wasn't taking my medication but tests and showing of side effects proved I was I just metabolise medication very quickly. Shame I can't metabolise fat in such a way hey) I was like "that will be one apt no way am I the type to sit and spill out my problems plus it's not bad enough that I need help"
How wrong I was. I had high levels of anxiety and I was genuinely grieving the loss of my job and life as I knew it. I worried constantly about the effect I was having on my kids and my family in general. I worried I was doing something wrong and it was my fault I was so ill. Or I was making it up in my head. But to me, it was something I had to deal with.
She helped me so much. I'm not going to tell you these problems have all gone away. Or it was easy. I have to work at it. Some days harder than others. But I understand them. I'm not alone. People might not get how it feels but they want to help you.
Some things she was quite blunt with. She said you are not making it up. I can show you scans and tests that shows all of us it's not your fault and so on. And at the time I felt a bit stupid like I'd been told off. but afterwards a big weight kind of lifted and I could see things a bit clearer .
Other things required me to talk it out and lead myself to answers and ways to help myself.
Yesterday we agreed I probably only need 3 more sessions. Which is sad because like I said I like her, but I walked out of there and I walked taller. I have worked through something I was so determined could not be done and I didn't need help for.
I am writing this because I think sometimes we trivialise asthma as a society. It makes us think our illness isn't that bad and so all the problems associated with it aren't genuine. You know what? Yes sometimes asthma is mild or well controlled and sufferers can lead a relatively healthy life I'm not going to say that it's a walk in the park for even those people though having a cold or being in contact with an allergin can be a nightmare, in general they can do the stuff they want to do.
But sometimes it isn't like that. I can't walk up the stairs or have a shower some days. I end up in resus a lot and then in wards with older ladies who smoked for 50 years. I'm 31 and never smoked. It feels unfair I shouldn't have to be there. But I am because what I'm suffering with, It's serious. And when it seeps into every part of your life because these days are more often than not it's genuinely life destroying and heart breaking. The medication we take can have absolutely horrific side effects. I have to sit and force myself to take my steroids some days. I feel sick at the thought of them because I know they are causing me so many problems. Then do you know what I feel? I feel guilty I feel that way because other have to deal with so much worse medication and side effects. And they do, but that doesn't make my feelings on what I am dealing with wrong.
Sorry for a long ramble but I spent probably more than 2 years torturing myself and thinking I needed to deal with it on my own. I was lucky I was kind of forced into getting help. I know not everyone is that lucky. If you are struggling please please ask for help. It doesn't have to be as hard as it is. Or even if it is you don't have to deal alone. I know it's cliche that asking is the hardest part but I get that it is. And starting to talk is also the hardest part. But you willl get through the other side and they might not make your illness go away, or even your problems but you will know how to deal with them and I would hope it will make your life so much happier.