I’m not very good at this blogging thingy, nor am I comfortable with the subject matter but I’m writing this in the hopes it makes at least one person more at ease if they are ever in the same situation.
I went to visit my Care Coordinator and Palliative Nurse with my wife yesterday and what I expected to be just a run of the mill update turned into an emotional roller coater ride from hell.
I grew up in an environment where emotions were seen as a weakness and talking to anyone about your feelings was something never done. So you can imagine my concern when my wife opens up with the line “my daughter and I are worried about his state of mind.”
What followed next was 30 minutes of torture, firstly as my wife ran through what seemed a never ending list of my faults and then the questions started.
- How did I feel?
- What are my current fears?
- What are my fears for the future?
My wife and I had made a pledge when this all started to be honest, I was regretting that now. As I tried to hold myself together I answered each question but each answer just seemed to open the way for more questions but a common thread seemed to be emerging. They wanted me to see psychiatrist, hell these guys were just the warm up act.
The doctors theory is that my current situation has led me to suffer from anxiety and stress which in turn is causing not just my sleep and appetite issues but also some of the pain and discomfort issues I’ve been having. So I left having agreed to see a psychiatrist.
Just having agreed to the next step seems to have lifted a weight of my shoulders. Before I would sleep 8 to 10 hours overnight and then another 4 to 5 hours during the day I now find if I nap more than an hour my overnight sleep is very disjointed.
I’m a 54 year old male who is quite old fashioned in some respects who doesn’t like talking about his feelings and what I’m trying to say is stress affects different people in different ways. Seeking treatment as you would for any other health issue should not come with any stigmas towards you by others but especially by yourself.
Not everyone needs councelling but for those that do it can be a powerful weapon in our health care arsenal.