The blog of photographer Kim Ayres

When the wizard turns out to be just a bloke wearing ordinary shoes

One of the big problems with my whatever-it-is-that’s-wrong-with-me, is that I seem to be perfectly healthy in all other respects. My blood pressure is nothing to worry about, my iron levels are fine, I don’t have any strange rashes or high temperatures, I don’t seem to be getting ill any more often than usual, my ribs are obviously making the right noise when the doctor taps them with a cupped hand and when I say “Ahhh” my throat looks clear.

So the only thing that’s actually wrong with seems to be me complaining that I’m tired all the bloody time.

The Specialist was quite happy to diagnose that I’m suffering from Depression, but was less convinced by my idea that the Depression is caused by the whatever-it-is-that’s-wrong-with-me rather than the Depression IS the whatever-it-is-that’s-wrong-with-me.

More simply put:

Specialist: Depression Causes Tiredness
Me: Tiredness Causes Depression

As I’ve only been on these current anti-depressants for 6 weeks (now upped to 40mg per day as from Monday past) the Specialist wants to see how I am after I’ve been on them for another 3 months and they’ve had a chance to really kick in.

The idea is that if my problem is just Depression then within a couple of months all my symptoms should disappear, but if it’s something else then at least we’ll be able to take the Depression aspect out of the equation and see what’s left.

If it does turn out to be Chronic Fatigue Syndrome then there’s not a great deal they can do for me. Apparently some people respond rather well to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to find ways of dealing with their condition, but it’s a bit of a lottery as to whether there’s a Therapist in your area and how long the waiting list is.

So I don’t feel much further forward than if I’d been told to take 2 aspirin and phone tomorrow.

Where’s the chocolate?



Dr Maroon said...

I am so pleased, I would have felt a right chump if you had had pancreatic cancer or something.

Zazzy said...

I have depression and chronic insomnia - the tiredness never, ever goes away. I try to time outings for the times during the day that I'm least tired so I minimize the risk of falling asleep at the wheel.

I think I can understand your frustration with the doctors. I honestly don't think my doctor gets it when I say I don't sleep. I think he believes I'm exaggerating. Or he writes it off to the depression and pain issues.

Depression causes not sleeping causes tiredness causes depression... does it really matter which came first? I really hope that the antidepressants do the trick.

Dr Maroon said...

Funny how he can keep posting though.
and lecturin us on Wittgenstein an such like.

He's out just now you know, old corduroy jacket, leather elbows, one foot up on the chair, trying to charm all the innocents up the tech, but we know don't we readers? Oh yes, we've got the bugger.

Canadian Girl said...

I'm so sorry the wizard didn't have anything enlightening to tell you. My thoughts and best wishes are being sent your way.

Pat said...

I was reading an article the other day and chronic fatigue or ME sounds like a strong possibility and strides have been made in treating that.
When you feel more like it give it more thought and investigation. Don't mean to sound bossy.
Chocolate is not the way to go as you know and after wearing a skinny sweater today I'm giving it up so should EVERYBODY FOR SOLIDARITY.

Z said...

Dear heart, you do too much. When did you last have a genuine long-term rest? Ever?

Kim Ayres said...

Dr Maroon - careful - it's beginning to sound like you care

Zazzy - there is that horrible feeling sometimes that when you see the doctor and say you're tired, all he's thinking is "aren't we all..."

Dr Maroon - I'll have you know it was the Existentialists last night, French, Danes and Nazis.

Canadian Girl - thank you

Pat - for goodness sake, I couldn't possibly ask anyone to give up chocolate! Keep on with your daily 4 squares of dark stuff.

Z - what is long-term rest?

Jupiter's Girl said...

I'm with Pi on this. The tight shirts must go.

I watched Chocolat last night. There was none in my house. I'd have done some damage to a dark chocolate bar if I'd had one. And to Johnny Depp too.

Awww, Kim, my sympathies to you for feeling so low. Doctors. Hmmmph. I haven't been to one in at least 6 years. Don't tell my mammogram-happy sisters.

Apex Zombie said...

Would you like a white chocolate coated dark chocolate and baileys truffle? ;)

Sorry to hear there was no miracle cure.

Brave Astronaut said...

I hope you find some relief soon, but won't stop telling us all about it.

Your visit to the wizard is very "Wizard of Oz-like." I guess it's true, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. We all want our solutions to be grand and find ourselves disappointed when the best we can get is some panacea out of a goody bag.

If you head out to get a Lion bar, can you send me a box? I miss them over here.

Be well.

Mary Witzl said...

I too would feel pretty bad if you had pancreatic cancer!

While I can appreciate your frustration, I do remember that a friend of mine started a medication once that she was certain was not working; three months later it really did kick in and she has never looked back. It could happen, so hang in there.

I've just had the small piece of chocolate I allot myself occasionally and I was about to go and get myself some more when I read Pat's comment. Damn.

The Birdwatcher said...

There's no point in going to see my doctor. As soon as I walk in he starts talking about rugby (ex player and Welshman) After five minutes of this he asks me whats up and I have to admit I can't remember. Last time I felt embarrased so I made something up and he made me have a blood test. Shan't do that again.

Eryl Shields said...

I saw a brilliant cognitive behavioural therapist through my GP and she works with GP surgeries all over the region. So if you do find you need one you should be ok, I got an appointment within a couple of weeks.

Hopefully the ADs will work and that'll be that.

How disappointing those ordianry shoes must have been.

Restaurant Gal said...

A week in the sun, lounging on the beach in the sun. I don't know that it will cure all that ails, but it will be a great week! Guest room reservations still available as we head into the season :) .

Tom said...

Since it's the week of the Existentialists I was just wondering how much of the midlife "existential crisis" affects your moods? I know that these existential periods have contributed to my own depression (or did the depression contribute to the existential crisis?).

Anonymous said...

how about exercise? i remember from one of the blondie movies of reese witherspoon that exercise produces some kind of happy hormone. :) unless of course, you're also too tired for it...

get well soon...


Kim Ayres said...

Jupiter's Girl - Maggie has quite the thing for Johnny Depp too. Quite what she sees in me, therefore, remains something of a mystery...

FLG - aaarrgglllll... slurp...

Brave Astronaut - sorry, we boycott Nestle products. Although I'd kill for peanut butter M&M's which you can't get in the UK

Mary - don't start giving up chocolate on my behalf! I couldn't live with that guilt

Birdwatcher - superb :)

Eryl - I know, I was expecting pointy things with fancy embroidery and sequins at least

Restaurant Gal - mmmmm... bliss...

Tom - I've been in the middle of an existential midlife crisis for pretty much most of the past 25 years.

They say that those who study philosophy are really trying to get a grip on how they exist in the universe. Sounds like it's a description that fits you too.

Cheche - unfortunately the extreme tiredness does rather prevent ever getting to the point where the endorphins can kick in. I usually pass out first.

Z said...

I've given up chocolate so that you don't have to.

And I'm sorry to say that, whatever the cause of tiredness, the answer is rest. I'm sorry to say it because it's so difficult to achieve. But it helps to recognise yourself as worth cherishing.

Anonymous said...

Another reader mentioned a sleep clinic, but I thought I might bring it up again. Seems like it might be useful -- I have heard about sleep apnea causing extreme tiredness.

Unknown said...

Specialists are jerks. How dare he tell you to see how your doing in three months. This isn't a new thing. You have tried everything under the sun. GRRR.

Are you and dr maroon the same person? Because he seems like the Hyde to your Jekyll. Or whichever way it was. Your the good one though and he is the bad one. If you are a real person dr maroon, sorry. But you have grumpy down to a fine science.

Kim Ayres said...

Z - this past fortnight has been excessively busy. I was all prepared to do nothing but sit back and take it easy for a week when we had another family crisis yesterday that could take a while to play out.


Anonymous - thanks for your concern and thoughts. Whatever else is contributing to the tiredness, sleep apnea isn't one of them. I don't stop breathing in the night - it is one of those things my wife checks.

If you post again, please use a nickname so I can separate you from other anonymous comments. Thanks :)

Carole - I'm not Dr Maroon, but don't get upset by him.

Wary though I am of admitting it, in case he accidentally strolls by and overhears, his speciality is that he takes me seriously, while not allowing me to take myself too seriously. His jibes always make me smile.

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