ignis, glacies et pertinacia

Posts Tagged ‘NHS’


In Unforgiving Minutes on February 25, 2010 at 4:57 pm

Phone call from the doc today. Asking me whether I want to be referred to Maudsley Hospital in London or the Barberry clinic in Birmingham. I hesitated, not having much looked into the Barberry and doubting it a little since it is a new service. In my first letter I had specified the Maudsley hospital because it is a known centre of excellence and I didn’t much want to have to deal with another clueless doctor. The Barberry was, however, the centre I told the doctor about some months ago and which I asked to be referred to back then. I let him persuade me. I only now have to wait and see when they can offer me an appointment.

The PCT has only, this far, agreed to fund a first consultation. I’ll see how far that will take me.


NHS Query

In Department of Psychology, Letters on February 24, 2010 at 9:43 pm

Dear Camille Administrativu [CMHT Duty Officer],

I have recently been given your name in connection with some enquiries I am making regarding the policy of Dudley PCT/Dudley NHS on referrals and treatment for adults with attention deficit disorder. The reason for these enquiries is that the treatment I have recieved at the hands of Dudley CMHT makes no sense to me and, I believe, makes no objective sense when the current understanding of adult ADHD is taken into account.

Let me first outline the treatment I speak of over the last 4 years. I will stick to the facts of referrals made and prescriptions given in order to minimise any expressions of anger and frustration that I find it hard to suppress when thinking of or discussing the human aspects of the last few years of my dealings with Dudley NHS mental health.

A referral was made to a local psychiatrist with a (perhaps vague) specialism in ADHD sometime, I believe, in 2006. I never heard from this again.

A diagnosis of ADHD was made. (I was not informed of this until 3-4 years later.) I presume this to have been made in 2006, but since I discovered this fact in late 2010 I cannot confirm this.

Stratera/Atomoxetine was prescribed sometime in 2006-2007. I took it for a few months. It was a particularly difficult and chaotic time of my (difficult and chaotic) life and for that reason the ability to gauge the efficacy of the medication was not optimal. Nevertheless, it is clear that the medication did not significantly reduce the restlessness, impulsivity, incidence of angry, constant and intrusive daydreams and “brainstorms”, disorganisation, inability to relax etc etc., that is the manifestation of my ADHD. This ought not to be wholly unexpected given as Stratera/Atomoxetine is generally agreed to be less effective in reducing the symptoms of ADHD than stimulant medications, and completely ineffective in a significant minority of individuals.

In addition to its ineffectiveness, Stattera led to a number of alarming (to me) side effects. Deep sleep came suddenly and unbidden at inconvenient times of the day. Since another part of my problem is asperger’s syndrome and a need for routine, this was highly disturbing to me.

In short, Atomoxetine was not suitable for me.

Following this wholly unsuccessful assay with Atomoxetine, it was as if we had exhausted all possibilities. My psychiatrist at Hill House repeatedly talked to me about the difficulties of diagnosis in adulthood and the difficulty of doing anything for me. He wrote to my doctor regarding the heartening absence of problems I did not at any point consult him for and referrals were, eventually made, that I then heard nothing about. Read the rest of this entry »

In search of diagnosis #1

In Autism Research Unit, Department of Psychology on September 25, 2009 at 6:20 pm

I don’t know how many years I have been seriously seeking diagnosis now, but it’s three at least and still I’m no closer. This latest stretch I’ve been seeing some young girl, Low Intensity Liz, in the Kafkaesque Citizens Advice Bureau in town. She was put in place to see me while I await a placement on some CBT programme I’ve heard nothing on in the six months they’ve been talking about it. CBT is not the answer for me, and nobody competent who is familiar with my case would believe it to be, but I feel duty bound to experience it at least. Meanwhile, I have been asking for diagnosis. Again, this time round, I have been asking since April.

Getting diagnosis I have placed on a list of ‘Somedays’, goals I aim to achieve that I have written up on the website MySomeday.com, my latest strategy to get help with some mentoring and oversight on my various desultory efforts towards my clutch of dreams, obsessions and aims. You will find me, of course, under the name Gav Belcher.

My priorities shift over and over, and there are times when I forget about my need for diagnosis, my need to explain myself to others, to have an explanation myself, to take the edge, if nothing else, off my own self-hatred, undimmed after all these years after any fuck up, real or imagined (though most often real). This latest time round it was prompted, perhaps rediculously enough, by my perpetrating a catastrophic cooking/baking experiment, a kind of quiche cum pasta bake come savoury daisy cutter pastry bomb. Often, my cooking shores up my self-esteem. But when it goes wrong, as absurd as it may be, it leads me to self-hatred, depression, and to all of the very real faults I store up to hold against myself at such times. Ok, so it wasn’t just down to that. The quiche bomb was a catalyst for my recognition of my own awkwardness, demonstrated time and again over that weekend, and a recognition of the anxiety and restlessness that I feel every weekend I lose my sustaining routine. Salmon smoking experiments (using the dried, brown rosemary at the bottom of my herb pot), first-time attempts at blind baking, and all the rest of it, were the result of not being at my typewriter from the morning as I ought to be every day. Read the rest of this entry »