Eric, executive functions and exhaustion

I had an appointment with a consultant psychiatrist this afternoon. Eric and I go way back – 15 years – and he was the first consultant I saw when it became obvious that the brand of bipolar I have was way too much for junior doctors to get their heads round. He hadn’t been in Bristol long and so we were both experiencing new things. We got along great and I was discharged about a year of his care.

After it became obvious that, after a year or so of mania, I just wasn’t going to get any better my GP made a request for me to see a consultant and, in particular, the one I’d seen for about 10 years. That wasn’t possible so I had to wait and see who I was going to get an appointment with and just how much experience they had.

Today I saw Eric and there was a short period of happy catching up before we began the consultation. I trust Eric implicitly and found it very easy to be open, to disclose things that I feared and to cry when it all got a bit too much. He’s a kind person and he knows how to elicit the information he needs without stressing the person too much.

The consultation lasted an hour and I talked, asked questions, forgot what I was talking about, cried, became afraid and anxious and, eventually settled into a state of acceptance.

He thinks that the problems I’ve been facing for the past year or so are coincidental to me easing back on medication last year and not a result of them and that they are about my executive functions. He asked me about my cholesterol levels and if I took statins or had been offered them. It’s not a big leap to think that he was thinking along the lines that I’d had a mini stroke but he wasn’t saying that I had. This is where the fear and anxiety kicked in because I know the link between high cholesterol and strokes and I don’t exactly have low cholesterol levels. On the other hand it could be something else that is interfering with my executive functions and so we have to begin the process to find that now.

This is where I stopped being afraid and anxious and became logical and calm. I am going to have a CT scan and I like CT scans. If you close your eyes as your head is scanned it feels as though you’re drifting gently along on a stream and it’s five minutes of peace and mindfulness that feels a lot longer. I had one about five years ago and it was returned as normal so we will know if there is a problem with my brain straight away.

Tonight I’m exhausted but I need to write this down. I’ve spoken to my sister to tell her what’s happening, sent texts to the people I needed to text and now I’ve satisfied the need to get all this out of my head so in an hour I can take a sleeping pill and get a good nine hours sleep. Apart from a short visit from someone tomorrow whilst Ogden is out I have a day to relax and just be.

Whether this turns out to be my bizarre version of bipolar disorder evolving into something even more bizarre or it is the result of a mini stroke or something different all together then worrying about it isn’t going to make much difference. Logical me has to remind anxious me of that when I do get jumpy.

So off to bed and go with the knowledge that, one way or another, I’m not right in the head.