Beyond Cell Block H

I’ve written previously about my experience with mind altering drugs (see my pre Christmas rant) so I won’t bore you with more details of that. Suffice it to say that my expectations of getting clear of the withdrawal symptoms of Citalopram were a little optimistic. After a couple of weeks off the stuff by which time it should have been out of my system, I’m still getting bouncing legs and twitching arms so after a chat with the GP, we decide to go back on the stuff.

Bad decision.

The bouncing legs are getting worse and now I’m getting what effectively about to full blown fits. I’d suspect epilepsy were it not for the fact that I’m fully in command of my mind, it’s just that my body won’t do what I tell it. Thankfully they don’t last long but I never know when they’re going to hit although I have become convinced that my kitchen chair hates me as that’s a common site for the problem. 

So five months bounces along (see what I did there?). I’ve been for a consult with a cardio consultant and an ECG but apparently it’s not my heart although I’m not entirely sure why they thought it was. Then we go for a neuro consult who thinks that these are panic attacks. No they’re not and I say so. In the meantime Doctor Google has been consulted and I’ve tried Ashwaghanda which is supposed to calm muscle control and it helps for a while until things get worse. I’ve also tried potassium supplements which is an ongoing experiment. Not sure if that’s really doing anything… 

So in the middle of May I’m back to the GP who refers me back to mental health. They have an intermediary on site as a result of all the Covid related drama so I go for a chat with her. As a result we decide to come off Citalopram and see how it goes in  six weeks time. So a staged withdrawal starts and 3 weeks later I’m off the stuff. Whoopee. Hopefully all will now start to get back to normal. Except it doesn’t. 

Mid July it’s the six week follow up. The initial interest seems to have waned and we seem to be back to ticking off boxes. So I’m duly ticked and dismissed but at least I’m referred onwards to neuro. 

I’m the meantime I’ve developed a strange ability to talk to the dead. Mainly this consists of extended conversation with my parents in law, visitations from my mother and various odd people popping in and out. Suffice it to say I didn’t have a very good childhood in that my mother used to discipline me with a riding crop which, these days, would have been called abuse. My father was more interested in his job than me and I have been told by another dead person that he’s not my biological father which might explain why he never pops in for a chat and my, other is fairly aggressive in these little visits. 

Anyhow, I’m not a great believer in these things but they’re pretty intense so one Sunday after noon after a chat with the in laws I get the idea to see if there is a spiritualist church in town. Google says there is and there’s a service in 2 hours time so I give them a ring. Numbers are restricted but they just had a cancelation and there’s one place if I want to come. Coincidence or just plain spooky. You decide. 

I spend an interesting 90 minutes sat in the meeting hall with my dead parents-in-law stood behind me with a hand on each shoulder. 

A few days later I’m off to Addenbrookes in Cambridge for a consult with the neuro consultant who specializes in tremor problems. She’s impressive and seems genuinely interested especially in the fact that these spasms also happen in my sleep which, I gather, is unusual. I’m rererred for a scan and more tests. At last someone seems genuinely interested! 

In the meantime my better half and myself go to the spiritualist church for my second visit. I ask John to talk to his daughter just to convince me that I’m not actually losing my mind and all this is real. When the medium stands up to do her stuff, she goes straight to my wife, says that her father is here and tells her things even I didn’t know, never mind the medium. So great. Now I’m bloody psychic. 

A couple of weeks after the neuro consult and back to Addenbrookes for a scan. I have to have a radioactive tracer injected and get my brain scanned in a very strange machine. It’s quite intimidating but thankfully I’m so exhausted through lack of sleep that I doze off for half an hour while they do it all. 

Rather intensely the next day I have a video consultation with a neuro psychologist that alst nearly two hours. At the end of it, I get an appointment for a couple of hours of yet more tests. That’s today so let’s see what happens. 

I’ve been to the spiritualist four times now and I’m convinced that some mediums are more genuine than others, but it’s an interesting experience so maybe I’ll keep going for a while and see what happens. I’m not getting as many voices in my head but the in laws seems to drop in for a chat every now and then. 

I’m writing this at 4 in the morning because, guess what? I’ve spent the last two hours spasming in bed, some of it while asleep so as is common these days, I’m up and about unable to sleep because every time I lie down my body objects and starts jerking so I give in and get up. 

So let’s see what brilliant insights yet more testing brings today before I bugger off for a few days to celebrate getting a year nearer to death, and look forward to September when I have to go to the Papworth to be wired up for an overnight sleep test. 

Happy days… 

3 responses to “Beyond Cell Block H

  1. Dioclese, I blog no more but still keep an interest in your posts and tried last week to comment on your travails. I, too, have been battling mysterious and I thought, age related issues. We are of a generation though that, pun alert, do not lie down easily. I believe I may have identified my issues as statin related peripheral neuropathy. A nerve related condition but yet to be examined and confirmed. Also deemed relatively rare. It’s a long shot but worth a modicum of consideration in your circumstances. Unlikely but still worth ruling out. I wish you every success in beating this condition. My betting is on your stoicism and my prayers with you.

    • Good to hear from you and glad you’re still alive and kicking albeit a little less vigourously.
      I have had peripheral neuropathy for many years. It started in my feet and spread up my legs. They put it down to drinking. I drank a lot when I was younger. I think that was a convenient diagnosis. All this was long before I was offered statins. I was told that the nerves were dead and would never recover – which turned out to be crap so take heart. The feeling has returned to all except my toes. However, my feet burn severely at night for which I take Gabapentin. A happy coincidence is that this is the same drug I use for my tremors.
      I’ve not heard of this being statin related. Mine occurred as I said years before I got near statins for which I am intolerant (see rants passim) and take Bezafibrate instead. Peripheral neuropathy is confirmed using a machine that tests nerve conductivity. Coincidentally I was the test manager for the company that makes the machine still used in the diagnosis.
      Meanwhile, I have been to Addenbrookes again this morning for more tests and have an overnight sleep test booked at the Papworth in a few weeks time.
      Happy days…

  2. Have a great weekend and thank you for your helpful reply.