Saturday, November 20, 2010

Days

I continue going to the day centre twice a week but I'm driving there, trying to fit into our local bus seat is like being forced into the Iron Maiden (and I don't mean a sexual encounter with Margaret Thatcher... nor Bruce Dickinson for that matter). Mind you all 4 options may be equally undesirable. I am getting really enthusiastic about the oil painting and see it as my next big thing. I wanted to rush out and buy all the kit so that I could do it at home but have been dissuaded until I'm sure I'm gonna stick at it... what are they thinking of?... moi, getting overenthusiastic about something, only to drop it like a lead balloon shortly afterwards... err... yeah... they may have a point.


So the day centre is going fine and I may actually stick it. The only bummer was "the meeting" which was as mind numbingly boring as every meeting I have ever attended. Nobody knew when the last meeting had been, all they knew was that they had lost the minutes. A guest speaker provided a cure for insomnia by droning on about something in a monotone voice like some kind of auditory tranquiliser. Someone asked him some questions and was then told to stop asking him questions as we had a lot to cover. But the next thing could not be covered because the person responsible wasn't at the meeting. So then came the inevitable "well has anyone got anything else they'd like to bring up?"... followed by the inevitable silence... followed by the awkward wrap up and close. Yup just the usual meeting. At least no one said "could you please address the chair" (I usually keep a sticky label with "26 Furniture Avenue, Woodsville, Kentucky" handy for just such an occassion. Not required this week.)


I feel a bit of an outlaw for being happy at a time of year. Unlike many folks with SAD (and people in general) winter is often my uptime, here's hoping this year stays true to form.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Magic Bus

Moonstone came to see me again on Wednesday with another medical student in tow. I got the usual questions about sleep, alcohol, activity, etc. She thinks I'm still a bit high so has increased the Aripiprazole to 20mg. She asked if there was anything else they could be doing for me. I didn't really think so but felt obliged to come up with something... a bit like a kid at confession desperately trying to think of a sin he may have committed. So eventually I mumbled something about maybe trying out the loony day centre if it could be arranged. They had refused to let me in previously saying I needed a consultant's referral . She immediately pulled out her mobile and phoned them (God bless her). No, no you don't need any referral, that's all changed, you just turn up. "OK" says I, "I'll give it a whirl". The next day I climbed aboard the mobile disco, public toilet and call centre otherwise known as a modern day bus. An hour later I forced my wedged body out of the cramped seat, relieved to escape the monkey house on wheels, and made my way to the day centre. I arrived there about 11am. I explained that my doctor had arranged for me to attend and guess what... the first think they asked for was... can we have your referral letter please.


What! No referral letter? I got ready to about turn and walk out but they said to wait while they phoned the regional manager. Eventually they got a decision from the Minister for Health or some such high official that I could fill in the referral form myself then get it signed later by the shrink.  What a palaver.

After all the paperwork was done they were all very warm and welcoming and it all went swimmingly. They do computer training and arts and crafts. I fancied trying a bit of painting so did that then nipped out to the local mobile minger van to grab a greasy burger for lunch. As I so rarely get out of the house I was desperate to indulge in the hugely risky game of food poison roulette. Despite the dodgy hygiene and the fact that it probably shortened my life expectancy by 5 years, the cheeseburger and onions were delicious.


I got back in time to find most folks leaving. Although it's open all day, apparently most folks just come for the morning. I sat around for another hour then made my way to the cattle market/bus station. The journey home was even worse, a fully laden bus full of screaming kids, swearing adults, folks shouting down phones, high pitched beats blasting from headphones and people eating stinky food. The woman behind me was loudly telling another passenger how she was off sick with severe whiplash and was unable to even lift a hairdryer at work. She moaned for 30 minutes about how the useless the doctors had been over the past few weeks, they couldn't find anything wrong with her, "so I just told them; if there's nothing wrong with me how come I'm fuckin' crippled in agony". She then got up and sauntered off the bus with 3 huge bags of shopping no doubt off to get ready for an evenings break-dancing. God it was good to get home. I will go back to the day centre though but next time I will try and get the car from Mrs Mo.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sleep That Burns

I'm still writing music at a frantic rate and have been recording songs in my little studio/broom cupboard. Still doing the radio show (at the moment). I ordered the parts to build a new computer, they took my money then a couple of days later emailed me to say the stuff was out of stock. So I ended up buying a laptop and am tearing my hair out trying to get used to this touch pad thing...grrrrr! It also has an auto-click thing so if I hover over a hyperlink it automatically clicks through. I have no idea how to switch this off so if you have any idea please let me know before I lose all my chips on Zynga poker.

Moonstone has been back to see me with a medical student in tow. Just her usual questions and my usual rehearsed answers. I was open about my sleep however which has increased slightly to 5 hours a night now. I'm happy with this as I have lots to do. I continue on the 15mg Aripiprazole and 2000mg Depakote.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Holiday

Just back from a week's holiday in Lanzarote. I actually enjoyed it which is most unusual because I hate going on holiday. I think the difference was that I was kept busy. The first day I took part in an organised activity, rifle shooting, and after that got roped into more. I got to know a few guys through this and ended up with days full of activities and company rather than my usual beached whale routine.


Things were going swimmingly until well... err... they went swimmingly. I agreed to play in a game of water polo and only afterwards realised I had my MP3 player in my pocket. Completely knackered!


The other bummer was that I didn't sleep well at all. Four hours max per night. I just wasn't tired. Although I got to sleep easily, I was wakening around 5am each morning. As Mrs Mo was still sound asleep I opted to read my book in the toilet at these times before going for an early breakfast at 7:30 then later phoning her to tell her to get up.


I'm back doing my community radio show again and working frantically on producing yet another album. The last CD went on sale and sold a grand total of one copy online.

I still haven't managed to get organised into building my new PC but that's the next thing on the cards. It's a bit scary as I've never did it before but it's just got to be fun!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Pills

The Abilify made me feel pukey. I had a week of nausea and reflux (and that was without watching any reality TV). I got some Zantac (Ranitidine) and that sorted it out. The sickness is almost gone now, apparently it's usually just a transient thing when starting some meds. Unfortunately it never suppressed my appetite and I continue to eat constantly.


The alcohol doesn't help either but of course that's something I no longer discuss with the doctors since they tried to take away my driving licence. Not that driving is a big issue, I think I've only been out a couple of times this year. Speaking of doctors, Moonstone came again last week and upped the Abilify to 15mg. I said I hadn't noticed any benefit from it yet. I'm not taking the Diazepam anymore as I'm now feeling really good. They gave me fifty six 5mg Valium tablets so I have stashed them away for a rainy day. Is that misuse? Or would it be misuse if I continued to take them when I don't really need them? Anyway, Dr Moonstone Woodstock said the Abilify will take 2-3 weeks to kick in. I'm only sleeping around 4 hours a night just now, from 2-6am. I go to bed with my mp3 player and (thanks to pirated peer to peer stuff) listen to audiobooks. I was really disappointed to come to the end of Stephen King's Dark Tower series, really enjoyed those books. Now have to decide between Bill Bryson, Stieg Larsson and Michael Connelly.




I'm still really busy and can't really sit still and just chill but I've managed to be more productive and have recorded four new songs. I'm also planning to build a new computer and have spent ages researching how to go about it the cheapest but best way. I'm forcing myself to wait until we come back from holiday. Speaking of holidays, it's this Thursday we go. Moonstone is coming to see me the day before we go. I will have to do my best to sit still and look cool calm and collective. It's a funny old game this being a loony. You have to put a lot of effort into making the right impression on the doctors so you can get what you want and they can get what they want. Strangely enough, theirs is the easy job. And even more stranger is the fact that they are often real fuckin' weirdos... madder than us!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Down At The Doctors

Oh God. I don't know how to start this. As you know I'm a man of my word, a man of great discipline, decisiveness, strong character, great moral fibre and well... damn it a man of principles! I would never go back on my word, not now not ever, NEVER! (Fuck, that reminds me of the cookie bear on the Andy Williams Show in the 1970's... those of you under the age of 85 may need to use the Rosetta Stone to decipher ancient biblical texts to understand that reference). No, once my mind is made up that's that! Well... err... usually. If you've managed to trawl through this drivel before, you may recall my hissy fits and tantrums about medical staff and how I vowed I would never see another doctor again. Well, maybe you could do me a favour and err... just try and forget all that crap I spouted.



Although I made an antihypocratic oath never to see unethical quacks again I have had to come back crawling with my tail between my legs and hold out my bowl like Oliver Twist and beg "Please doctor, can I have some more (meds)". I do have some sort of an excuse... though not quite a note from my parents. Couldn't really manage that as they are both dead. No, we have decided to go on holiday again. I hate holidays and although we got a cheap deal, it's hardly affordable on benefits... but... Mrs Mo loves going on holiday and she desperately needs some cheering up. I have been hell to live with. I've been hypomanic for weeks now. Full of fun and energy at first but then I had a month of that typical "irritability", irritable?... I was fucking furious! Constantly losing my temper at Mrs Mo, everything had to be immediate. If I had to wait for anything I exploded. What a horrible bastard.

Anyway, back to the holiday. We were getting everything booked and all was going well until we tried to get insurance. Usually I have to pay a high premium for my "pre-existing medical condition" (doesn't that sound like a rather unmentionable Victorian ailment affecting ladies private parts). This time however computer said no, no insurance for mad people at all. Apparently "minor psychological problems" can get cover but not dementia, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder... as you can guess I got furious again. I thought the Post Office might offer something as they are pretty lax in their screening, just 6 questions... but nope, no high rate, nothing at all. A nice man at their call centre informed me "We do not offer travel insurance to bipolar people under any conditions". I knew then that I would have to see a doctor beforehand to get something to tide me over the holidays. Much as I like the Four Tops I really didn't fancy "going loco down in Acapulco" with no insurance.

So Mrs Mo made an appointment for me to see Dr Portillo. I was dreading it but it went OK. He was expecting me (must have used his crystal ball... or kept in touch with my wife) and had already discussed it with the shrink. I think they were hoping I would hit some sort of crisis and agree to be medicated. He went through all the medications I had in the past. I remembered some; Olanzapine turned me from a 7 stone weakling into a beached whale, Quetiapine gave me gross oedema (I retained so much fluid that sea levels dropped by 6 feet), Risperidone made me acutely psychotic and the old antipsychotics like Chlorpromazine give me cardiac problems. He said the shrink would need to decide what was best and arranged for her to see me the next day.



Moonstone arrived the next morning, reeking of dope and the Glastonbury mud still fresh on her multicoloured DM's. She asked all the usual drab questions. I fucking hate those interrogations. Questions like "What are you hoping the medication will do for you?". I'm always tempted to say something stupid like "Oh, I'm hoping it will give me X-Ray vision and the power to fly while cloaked in invisibility". Thank fuck she isn't a physician swithering whether to prescribe a diuretic and asking some poor old lady "but what do you hope the pills will do?". To be fair the main thing I wanted was a day of rest and a decent night's sleep. I have been so driven, recording music, well trying to do things and getting nothing done. Lots of ideas and nothing to show for it.


The questions continued and... oh... to cut a long story short ("I lost my mind" as Spandau Ballet would say) she decided to start me on Aripipazole (Abilify) but only after a huge discussion about the pros and cons... just prescribe the bloody pills woman! I am now envisaging her as a surgeon waking me in the middle of the operation to discuss what size of sutures I'd prefer. Anyway, as it's not an emergency, I don't have acute mania she decided to start me off very cautiously with 5mg and build up from there "as it can make some people very anxious". To counteract this she also prescribed me Diazepam 5mg three times daily. My Depakote levels are spot on so no change there.

 

I had two days of feeling nice and mellow but wondered if it was the Aripiprazole or just the Diazepam so had a day without the Valium and sure enough I was back to exactly where I was before, no effect from the Aripiprazole. Moonstone phoned today and explained it will take 2-3 weeks to work. As I have not become anxious she has started to increase it and I am now on 10mg.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Take It Easy

I feel I should write something rather just than let the blog stagnate but in all honesty there is nothing much new to report in the land of Mo. I went for my ECG as planned and surprisingly it wasn't the nurse who carried out the procedure. It was the ex-receptionist who is now the phlebotomist, ECG technician and probably soon to be neuro-surgeon!


Although logic tells me it's a pretty straight forward task to carry out an ECG, my old school upbringing tells me this is a doctor's job, which may be grudgingly delegated to an experienced and well qualified nurse... but a fucking receptionist?... HELL NO! Of course it's just my Victorian snobbery and ageist view that "the old ways are the best". I mean nowadays it's not even a human being that takes your blood pressure, pulse and temperature, just a little blue box. We don't complain about that, no, no, that's marvellous, that's technology, progress. But an ordinary lady taking an ECG, well that's obviously an outrage.


I am of course being grossly unfair and abusive. The "ordinary lady" is someone I know and am comfortable with. She is extremely kind, friendly and supportive; rare qualities in even the most highly qualified health care worker, so I am more than happy for her to do this. She chats calmy and naturally throughout the procedure, making light conversation and confidently putting me at ease. Despite her lack of training (a mere phlebotomist/lab techinician) and my phobia of health care staff, she is more skilled than any registered mental nurse who has ever cared for me. I remain convinced that caring is an art and not a science. Sure, like any art there are basic technical skills you can be taught to give you solid groundwork but to excel you need to have a natural aptitude. Some brilliant artists are entirely self taught and some "intelligent" people never achieve success despite years of coaching.


That's enough bloody preaching! Anyway, Mrs ECG was kind enough (or instructed by Portillo) to apply anaesthetics to the electrodes as when I got home I fell into a deep sleep and had the best sleep I have had for ages.

Mrs Mo has seen the doc since and my ECG is fine but it's all been a bit pointless as he still hasn't prescribed me any medication. "Has he ever had risperidone?" he asked her, "yes" she replied. Unfortunately she was wrong, it's about the only antipsychotic I haven't had. Oh well, ho hum. Limbo again.

I finally got my CD completed and uploaded for digital distribution and was amazed to discover I sold an album on the first day. It will probably be the first and last but I was well chuffed.


Mrs Mo decided to walk to work the other day as there was a big event in town making parking a nightmare so I decided to go for a drive in the car, something I haven't done for ages. I went into Glasgow and had a walk round one of the parks. So now with the album complete I'll hopefully for the time being just be taking it easy.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Happy Pill

Well it's now been a week since I last wrote something but here I am back again.  I've went and bought a headset for the PC and I'm sitting here looking like Cher while dictating this week's blog entry.  It's not particularly fast being hands free as I'm constantly having to correct mistakes.  Maybe I should just leave the blatant errors for fun or even set up a competition... WIN A WEEK'S SUPPLY OF DEPAKOTE!. I can see speech recognition software isn't what it's cracked up to be but the novelty hasn't worn off yet and I'm still really enjoying it.  Thank god the neighbours can't see me, I must look like some X-Factor wannabe diva practicing my party piece.


Despite Sky now threatening us with a debt collection agency (poo-poo), I just bought another new guitar and also an electronic gadget which I won't even bother trying to explain to you non musos.


Mrs Mo phoned Portillo on Wednesday to find out the rselut of his discussion with Moonstone about my pills. "I don't know anything about this, she has never contacted me!" he protested. However, he did agree to pursue it and call her back... which he actually did! They have decided to defer prescribing me an antipsychotic until I have had another ECG to ensure my palpitations aren't indicative of anything significant. In the interim.. (cue fanfare of trumpets)... they have prescribed me Lorazepam... Ahhhh, joy of joys, the patient's favourite! Don't we all simply adore Lorazepam? Oh that lovely calming, mellow feeling. I am so pleased that in return I have agreed to actually leave the house and see the nurse for an ECG on Tuesady. Let's hope it's not a trap. Hey, that's tomorrow. Zoiks! I better stop prattling on and go and take another Lorazepam before they take them away.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Doctor In The House

I've kind of lost track with where I am with the blog just now and well with life in general to be honest. The last thing I wrote about was not wanting to see any doctors again. My wife phoned the shrink's office to cancel my appointment and told them I didn't want to be seen again. Despite this another appointment arrived and at my insistence she again cancelled and let them know I was refusing further contact. But they don't give up that easy as you'll see.


She has also been to see Portillo (about her own health as he is her GP too) who said he had tried to phone the house after I walked out of the surgery but got no reply and unfortunately we "don't have an answering machine" so he couldn't leave a message. He was lying on both counts, my wife was waiting at home and we do have an answering machine which cuts in after 6 rings. I have found this pretty consistent behaviour for medical staff. Throughout my time as a madman I have found them incapable of accepting any sort of responsibility for their inactions and errors or able to ever offer any sort of apology. It's always the fault of technology or someone else. Anyway, he said he would have to check my blood for valproate levels since my Depakote had recently been increased so between them they arranged a home visit. So one morning he came to the house, I was pacing in circles around the garden (as I am prone to do when uptight) when suddenly there was a voice behind me and there he was. I shrieked and just about jumped out of my skin. Mrs Mo had warned me he was coming but I still got a shock. Anyway, I couldn't bear to speak to him or answer any of his questions so sat mute while he stuck needles in me, trying to draw blood from my invisible, spasming and non-compliant veins. Eventually he struck gold and filled the tube for valproate level then got another tube which he said was for a fasting blood sugar. Again he was lying, I caught a glimpse of the forms the last time the nurse did my bloods and saw a secret request for blood alcohol and gamma-GT which was never revealed to me. I presume he did the same as all the tests turned out to be fine despite me (unknown to him) having had tea with milk and sugar prior to my "fasting blood sugar".


As well as pacing around the garden I have been trying frantically to finalize my latest CD. I have all the tracks completed mixed and mastered but just need to get them all set to similar volumes so they sit together nicely on the CD. It's such a simple bloody task but I can't handle it all, I can't seem to juggle 12 songs at a time in my head. I used to do this with ease but it just seems impossible. I will get 2 or 3 done perfectly then number 4 will be out of kilter with number 1 etc, etc. Shit! It's all looking impossible.


Moonstone was back in touch with my wife last week, apparently Portillo had contacted her after the venepuncture episode. Could she come and see me, NO! Did my wife think I would benefit from going into hospital for a while? Fortunately Mrs Mo said that would be the worst thing possible for me. After interrogating her and finding out that I had thought Portillo may have bugged the house when he was here, Moonstone said she would need to contact Portillo to discuss prescribing me an alternative tranquiliser to chlorpromazine, one that wouldn't give me palpitations. Isn't that a fucking turn up for the books. For ages I submitted myself to her one sided interrogations in the hope of  getting some sort of fucking medication to calm me down, all to no avail. Now that I refuse to see her she wants to give me medication. Now you can tell Alanis Morissette that is ironic, unlike "rain on your wedding day" which is just a pisser.


Anyway, it was last Wednesday Moonstone said she would contact Portillo and arrange an appropriate tranquiliser and fuck all has happened since. My wife has tried to find out if anything has happened by contacting the doctors and the pharmacy where my scripts go but nobody knows anything. I guess it's the usual "it's not my job" scenario with the fuckin NHS. I've seen this before. Psychiatrist wants GP to prescribe suitable anti-psychotic for cardiac problems. GP thinks it's psychiatrist's role to prescribe suitable anti-psychotic for bipolar. Result, stalemate... patient's condition... "it's not my responsibility, not in my specific remit. I have passed it on to the appropriate person. I have followed the protocol. My conscience is clear.". Although you might think it might be easier if I just went to see the doctor, it's only my refusal to attend that has actually provoked some action.


In the meantime I've been quite agitated and uptight. I was up all night on Friday night so took some chlorpromazine yesterday. Can't decide which sedative has the least side effects, chlorpromazine or alcohol?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Bad Medicine

Wow! Blogger have launched new templates, so instead of writing I have spent the past wee while browsing and editing the layout of this new fangled thingy. I wish it would let me install my own image rather than it's own templates. Although the picture of the Bohemian room you see in the background may conjure up in your head images of my crazy, arty-farty lifestyle and my groovy pad... I am sorry to say that it has nothing to do with me. I live a very mundane life in a very conventional semi, in a very ordinary street. I can only hope that Doctor Who will arrive with Amy Pond and spice up my life with tales of aliens in my garden shed.




One benefit of my new Bohemian page is that I have enlarged the text so I can read it if I bend forward. My eyesight has always been perfect until about a year ago when I started to need specs for reading. Over the past six months it has deteriorated rapidly and I now use the strongest specs you can get from the pound shop. Going to a proper optician is out of the question when you are living on benefits. So much for clawing my way up from the gutter. Our pseudo middle-class lifestyle is now diminishing. I'm going back to my roots. We recently had our basic Sky TV package cut off (and it was basic, no films or sports). We have also had to go on the waiting list for an NHS dentist (there are mostly private dentists in our area which we have had to use up till now. The one NHS dentist is understandably prioritising children on his waiting list, we may be able to get on "in a few years time"). Am now praying to be toothache free for the next few years. Ain't the welfare state great!

Speaking of the welfare state... doctors... fuckin' doctors! AAAaaarrrgghhh!!!! Moonstone came to the house last week and asked the usual million questions and offered little in the way of responses. She did raise her eyebrows when I told her I had to stop taking chlorpromazine as it was giving me palpitations. That was her only real contribution. Other than that, just her usual silence and placid smile. Could I get something else to help chill me out? "No, let's wait and see how you go". Thanks so much, that's as much use as a cardboard fanny.



Something good did happen this week however. I got a temporary driving licence from the DVLA for one year. I'm limited to certain vehicles, I'm no longer allowed to drive a minibus in case I go on a suicide mission (pity as I was planning to help the local doctors on their annual picnic). Instead I went fishing with my pal Enzo which I haven't done for... err.. at least a year I think. We had a great day and surprisingly even caught fish so the next night I made Thai green curried trout (I don't think they actually have trout in Thailand but it was beautiful!). I am addicted to chillies.


I got another summons through the post from Portillo (my GP) telling me again I needed an annual review as I had a chronic mental illness and could I please make another double appointment. So I reneged and did so. I was due to see him last night at 17:20. I got there early. There were only a couple of other folks waiting. I waited. I waited. I waited.17:20 came and went. At 17:25 he appeared, I was ready to stand up when he shouted in another person. Fuck! Not even, "I'll be with you in five minutes". What a bastard. By 17:30 I was the only person left in the waiting room. Everyone was packing up and going home. There is nobody on reception, only a self check-in touch screen, the imperial storm-troopers sit in a back office and avoid all human contact. Probably just as well. I start pacing around, walking the length of reception back and forth like a caged beast. As the minutes pass I get more and more agitated. At 17:40 I am staring at a patronising poster on the wall that says "40 hours wasted in the past six weeks by 625 patients not turning up for appointments"... Appointments!... why have them?... how many hours have been lost by patients waiting on fucking arrogant doctors who think they are superior beings above the human race?... I am fucking furious. I am ready for battle. I am almost running around the empty waiting room now. Doctors pass me on their way out, they give me a wide berth. Nobody asks "are you OK?", nobody says "sorry Portillo is running late, he will be with you shortly". Maybe they know if they speak to me I will punch their fuckin' lights out. Time drrrraaaaaaaaagggggggs unbelievable slowly.... I watch the clock 17: 43......17:43..... 1744..... eventually it is 17:50. I sit down. I stand up. I pace the floor... 17:51... I EXPLODE! I storm out, get in the car, floor the accelerator and drop the clutch, scream out of the car park and fly home in a fury. That's it. FUCK THE DOCTORS! All they ever do is ask me questions. I tell Mrs Mo to cancel Moonstone's Wednesday appointment. I never want to see any of them again. I am totally bemused at why I have carried on with this charade for five years. How could I have been such a fool? Why on earth have I never seen through their charade? They have interrogated me, drugged me, twisted my brain, destabilised me, broke my back, damaged my teeth, played mind games, hypnotised me and that can be the only reason why I have continued to see them. They have never helped me one iota. Just screwed me up. Deliberately fucked with my brain. I must use all my determination never to fall for their arguments and false logic and let myself be put in that vulnerable position again. I must never see a doctor again.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Get Off My Cloud

Today I finished recording my new album but I'm not happy with the mixes so am gonna go back mix all the tracks from scratch. That should keep me busy for a while. I'm also hoping to get a guitar on Ebay I'm bidding on. I also wish folks would leave feeedback on Ebay, I sold a memory card over a week ago, posted it First Class and still no feedback. So I don't know whether it's lost in the post or what? I downloaded an audiobook, "A Scanner Darkly" by Philip K Dick which is absolutely fuckin awesome. I listen to it in bed at night and have nearly finished it but keep having to go back a chapter as I forget to listen and lose track of where I am. I'm also reading Stephen King's "Under The Dome" which has a huge list of characters, trying to remember them is like a test from the Krypton Factor. If you're thinking about using Record Union to publish a CD, forget it. If a deals sounds too good to be true then it probably is. I was going to use them to re-release an old CD but have had problems uploading and their support is absolute zero response to my queries. Strange things are in motion in the background. Last week I got a letter saying Moonstone was coming to see me tomorrow. What the fuck? Apparently Mrs Mo has spoken to her on the phone without my knowledge. Portillo is also claiming that I have been wiping messages off the answering machine he has been leaving... bullshit. They have increased my depakote from 1500mg to 200mg... without consulting me at all. I don't want to take the stuff never mind take more but if it keeps the missus happy then whatever. And hopefully it will keep Moonstone off my back.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Five Years

It's all been a bit wacky since the last post. I was full of life and full of fun but got a bit overexcited. I reverted to dropping Largactil (Chlorpromazine/Thorazine) to calm down and get a handle on things. Unfortunately the old Largactil gives me palpitations and makes me reach for the GTN spray. Eventually I took to bed to try and reduce all the stimulation. Because I was in bed Mrs Mo thought I was depressed and it made me wonder was I having some sort of mixed episode? If so this was new for me. Anyway, after a few days in bed I rose like Lazarus to once again face the world. Well, not exactly face the world but at least the living room and the cat. I have not left the house. I'm too irritable, people drive me crazy. Mrs Mo has phoned the radio station these past two weeks to say I wouldn't be in. I have been busy writing and recording songs. Tunes are just blasting out of my head but completing stuff is difficult.

I got the annual summons to visit the GP for a "double appointment" to review my "chronic mental health problem". However, I didn't feel well enough to see the doctor, this phrase always tickles Mrs Mo. But I loathe seeing doctors and can only tolerate them when I'm relatively well. I hate the interrogations, they never offer any help, treatment or therapy. They just ask lots of questions so that they can tick their boxes, do their risk assessments, meet their targets and earn their commissions. None of this is any benefit to me. It's just them making money out of our taxes. Anyway, Mrs Mo went to my appointment instead. Portillo revealed that Moonstone had written to him saying she thought I was a bit high. He wanted to see me and if I don't appear within the next month he will come to the house and see me. Hmmmm.


I've still never heard about my driving licence (which runs out tomorrow) but I did get a brilliant letter from the Department Of Work & Pensions today. They have decide to continue my Disability Living Allowance. I will continue to receive the high rate of care allowance and the low rate of mobility allowance for another FIVE YEARS!!!! Yowza! The new Tory/Lib Alliance are all set to slash benefits and investigate all claims rigorously but at least I'm off to a good start. It would be great if they really left me alone until 2015... maybe they will.... but I doubt it.But hey! Five Years!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Waking Up

Last night I dreamed a nurse told me about the new DSM codes for bipolar disorder. She explained there would now simply be two possible diagnoses; "Bipolar Psychiatry" and "Bipolar Second Generation". "Which shall I fall under?", "Bipolar Second Generation" she replied. When I asked what this meant she said that it signified second generation Nazi. I woke up before I could ask her if this meant I was a second generation Nazi or simply fell into the age-group of people who were a couple of generations behind the Nazi regime in Europe. I woke perplexed knowing that I won't see Moonstone for 6 months so can't clarify this.

These days my dreams are so vivid and my days are so vague I wonder which is the real waking state. When I go to bed at night do I fall into consciousness? and then in the morning climb out of bed into unconsciousness?

In the daytime dreamstate I am still busy recording music... oh and I have also now applied for my temporary driving licence.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Cars And Girls

Well I have been busy. Happy and busy. Busy reorganising my wee studio and setting up my new monitors. As well as recording tracks for my next album I am also engineering and mastering a CD for a friend. I'm in the process of re-releasing an old CD on Amazon in the hope of selling some copies. I've also been busy with my radio show reviewing a lot of material sent to me by PR companies. I've been interviewing local artists. For the first time in ages I've been out. Three times! Once to the dentist, once to the cardiovascular clinic and my pal took me out hillwalking... a very short distance and a very small hill!



The shrink arrived at the house this morning. I was in great form and told Moonstone how well I'd been doing. Despite my good news, she asked all the usual boring questions at the pace of dripping treacle which seemed to last a century. I told her it was all good, I was happy, busy doing stuff, making sweet music and enjoying doing the radio stuff. How we'd been on holiday, how I was reading for the first time in ages. That I now listen to audio-books in bed so I'm not restless through the night. Despite all this, Dr Moonstone Woodstock sat smiling, pausing ages between questions. It was all I could do to contain myself, she was like in slow motion. She obviously asked about my drinking... and I obviously lied... "21-28 units per week". She asked how I thought my mood was, "fine" I said... "between 1 and 10?"... "right in the middle I replied". She thought I was "a bit on the edge" and asked about my usual warning signs of buying guitars, lack of sleep etc. I told her I was absolutely fine. "Well when do you want me to see you again? Six months? Or do you want me to discharge you?" she asked... Yowza!!!..."Discharge sounds good". "If you stay on the books you can contact the team directly for support, if I discharge you you will have to contact us via your GP". "Support?" I asked incredulously. "The only thing I've ever asked for is medication and you all invariably deny it. While you are more than happy to prescribe me drugs which make me grossly obese or give me diarrhoea or headaches, if I ask for anything that might actually make me feel a bit better you say I can't have it because it's addictive or not while I'm drinking or let's wait a while longer because you're stable at the moment or there's not much evidence for it helping". Subsequently I opt for discharge... then remember my pending DLA application and ask if maybe I should stay on until that's sorted out, "no, they don't ask me, they ask the GP about that"... zoiks, OK, bye! Moonstone then spoke to Mrs Mo, asked her if she thought I was high at the moment, Mrs Mo sided with me and said no it was just my normal exuberance although she did express some concern about my overactive imagination. Moonstone asked her if I should be discharged or reviewed in six months (can't a psychiatrist make a fucking decision based on her own observations...errr.... duh... it's not my job). Mrs Mo opted for the 6 month review and agreed to call the team should she be concerned in the interim. I just want my fucking  benefits and be rid of the psychiatrist forever. Get outta town you muthas.


The shrink left and then Mrs Mo went to work. At lunchtime the letterbox clanked and there was a thud on the carpet. I danced along the hall and glanced down just in case a CD had arrived. No, no CD, just a pile of mail, mostly junk, election flyers, supermarket leaflets, white envelopes, all the usual trash. I was about to ignore it, I don't bother with mail nowadays. However, one brown envelope caught my eye, I stopped and looked down.... DA DA DAAAAAHHH.... four letters caught my eye... oh no.... "DVLA". I bent down, picked it up and did something I haven't done for ages... I opened the letter.

"Dear Insignificant Bastard
We have decided that your current driving licence will be withdrawn from 26 May 2010"


Absolutely no explanation why. Am I too mad to drive? Who the fuck knows. According the Norwegian bloke that sends these, "Mr Drivers Medical Group", I can apply for a temporary licence which will run for one year. However, they are not giving me this automatically. As well as filling in fucking forms, I have to go and have a photograph taken and have it signed by someone who isn't a relative. I hate all this shite. I don't want to do it but I know if I don't jump through their fucking hoops they will make it even harder for me to get my licence back in the future. I'm not sure what I'll do. Oh what the fuck, maybe I should follow Springsteen's superficial creed, who apparently thinks that life is just about Cars And Girls... well that is if you believe the crap that Prefab Sprout.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Personality Crisis

I had just been reading about Kate's celebration
When the postman delivered my new application
I should have been annoyed. I should have been paranoid.
The envelope's brown should have made me frown,
But Her Majesty's letter didn't get me down
I was expecting a ban from the DVLA
But it was a request for my own DLA
The DWP sent a whopping great form
Asking me to prove that my mind had strayed from the norm
My wife filled in the huge application for me
Hoping taxes we'd paid would be money we'd see


My Disability Living Allowance doesn't run out until September so I was a bit gobsmacked to find they were asking me to re-apply now in April (I say I was gobsmacked but there was a delay, I don't open my mail anymore, my wife does, I have no interest in mail or anything else from the outer world)... I just know they will ask me to fill it in again in August... "just in case your circumstances have changed". The bastards. It is a fucking huuuuugggge formidable form and is totally inapplicable for a condition like mine that varies. Do I need help getting out of bed? Well yes and no, sometimes not, sometimes I need encouragement. When I'm down I don't get out of bed at all and when I'm high I don't go into it at all. There is no answer. How the fuck do you fill in a form that is asking for details of a permanent disability when you have a permanently fluctuating condition. probably the most pertinent question for me is... WHEN should you fill the form in? At the moment I feel great, I am full of energy and raring to go. However, in October I was depressed, hallucinating and delusional. Today I couldn't give a toss... benefits schmenefits. We went out today and I blew more of our dwindling savings on a DVD/HDD recorder, you only live once... or is it twice? I can't remember.


Anyway, my wife filled out the ridiculously long form, God Bless her. She decided to fill it with examples of my extremes such as lying moribund in bed for days or racing the neighbours dog down the hill till I fell head-first and knocked myself unconscious. I guess these sort of examples are honest and bode well for claiming benefits but a more typical picture of my existence would probably fluctuate between long periods of lying on the couch watching Judge Judy, short periods of making records and brief periods of madness. Either way, I cannot conceive of ever going back to work again. If I lost my benefits I dread to think what would happen.

Another big shocker this week was the UK's (2nd) most celebrated (after Fry... even though he is cyclothymic so she is actually #1) bipolar sufferer, our friend Seaneen, being whacked with that muthafucka of a diagnosis... Borderline Personality Disorder. Now sadly, BPD is much maligned and I'm almost scared to talk about this unfortunate mental illness for fear of retribution (In fact I'm scared to talk about most things these days, freedom of speech is fine as long as you adhere to modest liberal views) but there is little doubt that mental health "professionals" aren't particularly compassionate to this diagnosis. Anyway, despite her current self doubts, Seaneen has in the past been prescribed Lithium and Depakote, surely it would have been grossly unethical for a doctor to prescribe these in the absence of bipolar disorder. So just as loads of your readers have commented Seaneen, give yourself a break and try and chill. Fuck the label. It's just one doctor, they all have different viewpoints depending on the latest seminar they were at. We're all thinking about you. I hope I have not upset you, I only wish you well.

The reason I mentioned  Seaneeen's unfortunate experience is that this is a recurring fear of mine. That one day the doctor will turn round to me and say "you're not bipolar" and expose me as a five year fraud. Will I have to reset the clock to 2004 and return to work, to a job I can no longer do, to a person I no longer am. How could I integrate? How could I function in that world? They hypnotised me and injected toxins in my brain when I was in hospital. ECT erased my memories. I am not the man I was. I still dream that I am back at work, it still feels real. It still scares the shit out of me. My dreams are usually more real tham waking life.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Uptight (Everything's Alright)

Everything is good. I am recording new stuff. I am buying new active monitors (... £180... which I can't really afford). It's all good!


My pal has brought me new acoustic panels for the studio. I have no idea if he wants money for them or if they are a gift. Who cares? All is well. I am writing, I am productive, I am positive. Magnifique. Uptight (Everything's Alright)!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Holiday Rap

Just back from a scorching week in Lanzarote. Got badly burned the first day (don't know if my meds were a factor?). After this I covered what was left of my skin in Factor 50 on a daily basis. Just wallowed about in the sun, reading and eating and drinking.


Although I never bother or remember, Mrs Mo is always fanatical about me taking my meds. However she frequently forgot when we were on holiday (and I certainly never remembered) and I missed quite a few doses of Depakote. Amazingly this had no ill effects at all... quelle surprise. Perhaps paella and alcohol are also potent mood stabilisers?  


The hotel was lovely with great food and extremely friendly, helpful staff. 90% of the guests in the hotel were Spanish, the children played quietly and were doted on by their large extended families. There was an air of warmth and calm. It was all very nice (and I don't like holidays) until.... on the last day the Brits arrived en masse... loud, angry men sporting gold chains, tattoos and all wearing England football strips... hyperactive, screaming kids (also wearing England strips) who immediately destroyed the giant chess set... mums with Romford facelifts (hair pulled tightly back in a burberry scrunchy) screaming at their kids "FOR FUCK'S SAKE DARREN PISS OFF I'M TRYING TO READ!!!".


Within minutes they were all moaning about all the "foreign stuff" and the lack of real beer and chips.
 
 The football strips always fascinate me, why do they feel the need to let everyone know they are English (when it's bleedin' obvious from their behaviour anyway). Aren't they ever scared they will be the only English family in a hotel full of Germans? How many strips do they have...7, 14, 28? Do they take one for each morning and a "dress strip" for dinner? Or do they just wear the same on the whole time and ignore the sweat?


Anyway, despite the arrival of our charming fellow Britons, we had a nice time. We had an all-inclusive deal so were constantly overindulging like Romans at an orgy, eating several meals a day plus snacks and Moonstone would have had a fit if she had seen us take advantage of the free alcohol. We only managed to drag ourselves out of the hotel once for a beer in the town. As we spent no money, Mrs Mo decided to run the gauntlet of UK Customs and blow it all on fags which were only £17 for 200. Fortunately they didn't have the Embassy Regal sniffer dogs at the airport when we returned.


I hate going on holiday. It's a shame cos it costs a lot of money and I'm sure there are lots of people who would love to go abroad and can't afford it (unfortunately Mrs mo likes me along with her). I don't like hotels, I hate being among other people, I know there's a high risk I'll offend someone with my "merry banter" or upset them with my snoring. I spend the whole time worrying about things that might go wrong and can't wait to get home. However, this time all went well without any probs.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Paper Roses

I'm incredibly busy recording music at the moment. Frantically trying to get stuff done before we go on holiday. Instead of wasting time writing here I thought I'd throw in a comment I've just posted on the delightful Abysmal Musings....

"Overconfident, hilarious, facetious, bad attitude, the funniest person I have ever met, the nastiest person I have ever met, friendly, over-familiar, hostile, passive aggressive, intelligent, superficial, an arsehole"... as an adolescent I fell into the role of court jester. It was an easy role to play. I forgot who I was, I still don't know. Actually I don't think I was ever anybody, I think I probably just invented a personality for my vacant mortal coil.

Occasionally I think I am that confident arsehole. However, mostly I know I'm not. It doesn't matter. People expect the joker and presume animosity if I don't perform. I can hardly try and explain "Oh don't be offended, the past 40 years have all been an act, I've been living a lie my whole life, I'm actually a very miserable twat". What's a phoney supposed to do?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Music

Hey you crazy muthas... things is much betta in the land of mo... sleep is now down to around 6 hours per night and music is high on the agenda. I am feeling much better and much more active, I was asked to contribute an old song of mine to a local charity CD. However, after listening to my original version I thought it was shite, so spent the past couple of days recording a new version. I say a couple of days but it's taken me a week to get it right. It's such a pain having to record everything in individual tracks, part by part. I wish I had session musicians, I could do everything in a few minutes rather than days. Anyway, I've finally got it done and dusted... it's not perfect but fuck... it's only a bedroom recording.


I've had a few anxious moments during the past few days when I've got quite worked up. Some days I've taken chlorpromazine (Largactil/Thorazine) to calm down, some days alcohol. The chlorpromazine gives me palpitations, the booze gives me mouth ulcers and diarrhoea, so I switch between the two. Thank fuck the shrink isn't in the picture at the moment, she would put the cart before the horse and stupidly tell me the booze caused the anxiety. They always get it wrong and see us as neat little diagnoses (or dual diagnoses) that fit snugly into cute little boxes. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) I don't think I fit any of their boxes. It's such a great relief not having any medical intervention at the moment, it always freaks me out. Thankfully I don't see Dr Moonstone again until the end of April. I still dread coming into contact with any fucking "carers".


Why do I do it? I have never sought help or treatment. I have always been badgered into it. I only participate to please my wife. I continue to take the pills but ever since the driving licence charade when the shrink betrayed what I had said to her in confidence (and relayed all to the DVLA), I no longer confide in her. Discussing my feelings and personal issues was always an alien experience anyway, it never felt right. I had been brought up to be tight lipped and forbidden to express anything that wasn't positive and upbeat so it's good to put that behind me.


I'm back doing the community radio show again and once again I'm perplexed as to who I should be. Mr Confident? Part of me wants to be quiet and introverted but after spending 40 years masquerading as a superficial, loud mouthed fool, it's so easy to fall back into the role of the court jester. This comes easy in the safety of the studio but on the other six days of the week if I ever venture out of the house I wear a baseball cap and pin my eyes on the ground avoiding all contact with the human race. This is in sharp contrast to my previous gregarious personality and surely irritates the good people of Smalltown and ensures their annoyance of me and increases my alienation.


But hey, this started out as a positive post and positive it shall remain. I am really well at the moment and next week we go on holiday and I am determined that Mrs Mo shall have a good time (even though I hate fuckin' holidays, I am a real homebird). I have downloaded numerous audiobooks for my MP3 player and even if I don't want to do the holiday thang I will happily stay in the room , lie in bed and listen to the books and snooze.