A patient without patience

Finally heard back from Bradford Royal Infirmary. Well, I chased them as I had to change my mobile number anyway.

My appointment to have the metal work removed is on the 30th of September. This is 11 weeks after my accident. Almost three months! Now, I appreciate that the NHS does wonderful work and that I’m not a life or death case, but for a simple day surgery, this seems a stupid length of time.

This compounds my frustration as I have a weekend away with my girlfriend booked in mid-September and we are in the Alps and will want to go walking and exploring in the mountains, that’s why I selected that particular area as a base. Therefore, we won’t get as much out of the trip as hoped for and that frustrates me.

Plus, this long off the bike will affect my fitness badly and I have other plans in the pipeline which require me being fit.

I either try and push through with the help of painkillers or I continue to take it easy; neither of which are ideal. I’m hoping that the responsible local authority admit liability before this date and we can move forward with great speed.

I find that patience is not my strong suit, I want results and I want them more or less immediately, maybe that’s reflective of a speed of modern society or maybe it’s a part of my psyche, maybe it’s related to my Aspergers. I don’t really know, but I know that I hate waiting. Once I can visualise something, then I become incredibly focused upon attaining that goal. I realise that my level of drive is often a positive thing, but it drives me mad when factors are outside of my control.

In the meantime, I’m forced to wait and that increases my frustration and anxiety.

I’m sure that I’m not the only one who feels like this and I would be very interested in speaking with others who feel the same way.

 

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Energy levels depleted

It’s taken me longer than I planned to write this entry because of my lack of energy. Writing about this whilst in the throws of it has taken more effort than I had planned but it’s a way of creating a little structure to my Wednesday.

My routine is shot to all hell at the moment. My normal routine is get up, breakfast, social media stuff and personal admin, tutoring, lunch, chill for an hour to allow digestion and then training. At the moment, with the pin in my ankle limiting what I can do, I’m not training. This has thrown my routine completely out and therefore I am struggling to find any order.

I realise that not training is the logical thing, I also realise that the current pain levels are affecting my motivation and energy to say nothing of the effect on my mental state. I’ve had to cancel a couple of races I had planned to do in the next few months, which is incredibly frustrating; but I know that I will just not be race ready. To this end, after surgery, I need to reset goals and restart my training programme. I also need to give myself an event or day out on the bike to mentally look forward to. So that’s my physical health discussed and I apologise to the people close to me about moaning about being in pain and feeling general frustration and malaise.

With all of this in mind, I thought that it’s important to talk about the effect that these changes can have on a person’s mental health. For me, I’m a person who doesn’t sit still for long. I struggle to simply sit and I’m always moving; partially I use pacing as a stimming behaviour, especially when I’m on the telephone. At the moment, being forced to do less, is leading to a feeling of going from having boundless energy to having none. I literally fall asleep constantly, lack of routine means that I don’t have the energy to establish a new one and my patterns are completely out of synch.

Having done some research, it would appear that the cause of this is what simply referred to as ‘autistic burnout’. This might also seen as the neurological effect of putting the brain and body into ‘safe mode’ which the brain and body does in order to protect itself from the difficulties in life.

Symptoms include, but are not limited to: –

  • lack of energy and a growing lethargy
  • avoidance
  • changes in appetite
  • changes in sensory tolerances
  • changes in use or modes of language
  • struggling to regulate moods and emotional state
  • slowing of thought process
  • brain fog
  • lack of ability to motivate oneself

All of these things may appear to manifest in a similar fashion to depression and obviously, this makes diagnosis all the harder for professionals. (Which, I am not.)

I’m a highly logical person and I question why do I have this feeling then? Research states that we, neurodiverse people require more time to decompress than others; we often do this by engaging in our obsessions. Back to mountain biking then; I can’t ride and therefore I am simply not able to enjoy my obsessions and this means that a little like a pressure cooker, the pressure increases until something must give.

Anyway, until next time.

A couple of great articles here  and also here

 

Transport

It’s not really a secret that I detest public transport; when I lived in London most recently, I choose to drive almost everywhere. I caught half a dozen trains during the three years I lived in Switzerland and then, only until I managed to get a car.  I cannot stand the smell that bus emissions give off, it makes me want to claw my own skin off.

I currently don’t have my own car, this leads to some things not being as easy as with one. I can’t often get to races, which leads to my not racing as much as I would like (although I am still out with injury, awaiting surgery at the moment). Also, I don’t get to see my friends, who, by and large are mainly in the South of England, whilst I live in West Yorkshire.

This leads me on to the subject of trains, I took my girlfriend to Manchester Airport on Sunday as she was flying to visit a friend in Sweden. The trains were, unexpectedly far more crowded than I had anticipated. Stuck in a metal tube with hundreds of other sweaty and noisy people, all of which have luggage was not a pleasant journey. Arrival at the airport was actually reasonably straight forward as was helping her check in and after a nice meal, I escorted her to Security and wished her an enjoyable trip.

Now to make my return journey from Manchester to Bradford, which was almost £30 for a single off-peak ticket. The ticket machine would only let me travel on a specific route, via Halifax, which in train times is a little like travelling via the moon. One train cancelled, three changes and being boxed into my seat by sheer force of numbers. The noise and smells of public transport combined with the stresses of having to determine a very convoluted route and cancelled trains all adding to the stress factor. At one point, I was so confused I asked a guard ‘How do I get to Bradford International?’ (which doesn’t exist). I arrived home in the end, just an hour and a half later than planned. Next time, I think that I’ll hire a car.

Boredom

Well, over a week of not being able to train and I’m already climbing the walls.

My GP has got the results back from my X-Rays and I’ve been offered an appointment, next Thursday. Seeing as I’m in not inconsiderable pain, this is ridiculous; I’ve had to take three days off from tutoring now and this obviously affects the lousy amount that I earn. It may also impact upon future plans and that’s incredibly frustrating and may end up costing me a lot of money.

All through no fault of my own. Lawyers are dragging their heels already; so far busy doing nothing.

My anxiety levels are consequently through the roof and I’m tempted to spend several hours sat in A & E to expedite this now. I anticipate that all of these factors are likely to begin affecting my depression in time.

I accept risk as a part of my sport, mountain biking comes with an element of risk, riding a technical trail at race pace with an elevated heart rate in competition with others increases this risk manifold. However, this injury was caused through no fault of my own, simply walking along and a poor maintained surface and me having a moment of simple misfortune.

 

ankle

Obstructions

Like most people on the spectrum, I spend time building a routine. I use various tools to help me with this, including iPhone apps with reminders and a dry wipe magnetic weekly planner on my fridge door.

My normal week involves a mix of tutoring and training as well as spending time with my girlfriend, attempting to socialise on occasion and the more mundane tasks such as cleaning and housework. Some of this, I classify under the heading of ‘adulating’.

Amongst last weeks ‘adulating’ was an interview for a teacher training provider: this process is a lengthy one, understandably so as it is teaching and influencing children and the training providers want to be sure of the right fit. So, a forty minute trip became a two hour journey because of a burst water mains and involved cancelled public transport and me running later than intended. Cue, stress and anxiety levels increasing. This followed by a three hour interview and testing. On the return home, I decided to relax and go for a G&T in my favourite bar in the town. In walking to the site, I discovered that the site was closed because of an overpriced concert the following day. I also then managed to sprain both ankles on damaged paving and broke one of the screws in my ankle.

Having inspected the site of the injury, there is a potential negligence claim and as such, I have instructed a lawyer to act on my behalf. I hate dealing with lawyers as it almost always involves me chasing them constantly and reminding them how to do their job. Stress I don’t really need.

This is now forcing changes to my routine, which compounds my discomfort and stops me training, means loss of out of pocket expenses and hassle as well as making life more difficult. Needless to say, this is causing me further stress. I will, as always, endure but it’s all additional energy required and just gets in the way of a normal routine.

I would be interested in learning what methods of organisation others use.