I know a few people are concerned about me after reading my recent blog posts, so this is an update on my health and situation. It’s quite detailed so you might not want to bother, or just skip to the summary at the end. I’m also writing this partly for my own record.
Pain and fatigue
I’ve been taking pregabalin (Lyrica) for a few weeks now. For the first week I was quite ill, with dizzy spells and lots of fatigue. During that week I spent several hours in a car and stayed with my wife’s parents, and for a few days after we returned home I couldn’t really get out of bed because of the fatigue. The pain started to ease after that, and within two weeks of starting pregabalin I was nearly pain free. I also had a lot more energy and started to spend twelve hours a day or more out of bed and sitting on the sofa or at my desk.
Unfortunately that was short lived, and the burning pain started to creep back, and I had more fatigue again. The levels of pain are low enough to handle with paracetamol and codeine, so this is what I am doing rather than increase the levels of pregabalin and risk more side effects. I’m currently able to spend about eight hours out of bed, a few days per week. I’m crap at pacing myself, but if I can impose some self-discipline then I might manage to build that up.
I started following the Atkins diet at the start of March. Atkins, although considered a fad by many, is actually thought to be quite good for diabetics. It had an instant effect on my blood glucose, dropping down to 4 – 6 mmol/l. I dropped my gliclazide which I had previously been taking 120mg / day of. After two and a bit weeks I was very very fed up with Atkins, and I had lost only 1kg, so I stopped the diet and decided just to follow a reasonably strict normal healthy diet as recommended in my diabetes books. At this point I have resumed taking gliclazide again, but less than before, and my blood glucose is within normal ranges most of the time. I’ve also lost 2kg since stopping Atkins! You can see on this graph where I was on the Atkins diet, and how bad I was before I started that.
I posted an article about depression just over a week ago and worried a few of you. I have been really depressed since before Christmas. I seem to have dips in my mood of just a few hours, sometimes even just one or two and at these times I can be suicidal. Most often the dips leave me lying there unable to make myself do anything apart from concentrate on an overwhelming sense of dispair. My friends on twitter have been really helpful in getting me through some of those dips. I have told my doctor about everything and I have been taking Duloxetin for the last month. It clearly hasn’t worked and so today my doctor has switched me to Citalopram.
Benefits and Housing
I wrote an email to my MP about our chaotic situation with our benefits. He has written to our council asking them to look again at our claim, but as yet we have not heard back from them. As far as we know, our court date is still going ahead. In the meantime, my wife has been hired for a full time supply teaching job until the end of the summer term, which is fantastic. It should mean that we can pay the council tax to stop the court case now, and hopefully apply the payment to future council tax when they finally realise that we shouldn’t have had to pay it in January.
Since our landlord decided to kick us out and gave us two months notice we have applied to the local housing scheme. I’ve been really happy to find them moving quickly – because of my health, and our being evicted, we have been classed as “Gold Plus” priority for a new home. The only difficulty now is that they have hardly any homes to offer.
In summary then, my pain is under control, my diabetes is just about under control, we (probably) won’t be homeless, but I’m still suffering from the depression.