I lied seven months ago. I wrote my post in October 2016 knowing full well that I was going to end my life that same night.
The daily emotional trauma of coping with my lack of independence and slow recovery, added to my intense frustration with dealing with a new home nurse who was utterly incompetent and sullen, acted as a catapult and pushed me over the edge of reason.
I got the nurse to leave a full container of sleeping tablets next to my bed that night and swallowed them all as soon as she walked out the door. I woke up 11 hours later in ICU, in my old bed. Yes, I was disappointed. Although my mind had given up, my body fought on. I was stabilised, physically, and transferred to a general ward the next morning.
My neurologist had been notified and she arranged for a psychiatrist to see me. Dr Steve duly arrived, reviewed my medical history and existing medications, and stated that I needed seratonin enhancers in addition to the anti-depressants I was initially prescribed 3,5 years previously. He was surprised that these had not been prescribed earlier, but I explained that I hadn’t seen a psychiatrist since 2013. I was discharged the following day and returned home to a replacement nurse.
Seven months later, I am still recovering physically. Mentally, I am far less depressed but I do have days when this slow recovery drains every emotional resource that I have built up. I am reading Viktor E Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning at present. It details his experiences as both an objective psychiatrist and subjective prisoner in concentration camps, in Germany, during World War II. In the book he described internment as a “provisional existence of unknown limit”. He also talks about being able to cope with “how” if one understands “why”.
I perceive my life with Guillain-Barre Syndrome as a life within my life: a temporary existence of unknown duration. I understand the “why” but struggle with “how” to live this unfulfilled life. I still have much to learn.
My real name is Katina Hartman; I used Louise as a nom de plume for my blog as that had been the name I chose for myself when I was a young child.
My major achievement during the past seven months is the publication of my eBook Coping with GBS – My Story, Tips and Advice on Amazon Kindle.