Radio 4 afternoon phone in programme about sleep with an expert on hand.
CALLER: Just one query, in these night time hours [when I’m awake] you tend to drink tea or coffee, but I’ve heard that can make your sleeping problem worse. Is that right?
This guy has had sleeping problems since 1968.
Did you know the majority all queries phoned in to computer helplines are solved by switching the computer off and on again?
My father, when he was in the Navy, was an electrician. He said nearly every difficulty he was called out to help with was sorted by first of all checking that the non-functioning item was plugged in, and if so, by then checking it was switched on.
I fully understand that 80% of all problems are explained by the completely bloody obvious happening to be overlooked.
But I get sick and tired of each new professional I meet thinking they’ve seen the obvious with my problems, when I’ve already trodden that ground with every previous professional I’ve seen.
They all seem to leap to the conclusion that my Fatigue is caused by Depression and by a quick look at my circumstances think it’s quite clear.
"No, my daughter’s Down’s Syndrome isn’t the problem. Honestly, she’s a wonderful girl and in some ways is easier than my Übermensch son.
"No, no, my son isn’t the problem either. He’s a great lad and I’m really proud of him. And it’s a hell of a lot easier to cope with only 2 children.
"Oh, yes, there used to be five. Three stepchildren from my wife’s previous marriage. Oh of course there were difficulties; there is in any family. And yes, stepfamilies have their own particular nuances. But no, we worked through them and that isn’t the problem. And now we even have a less intense lifestyle.
"Yes, I sold my business and we moved to another area, but these weren’t stressful things; on the contrary they relieved a great deal of the stresses I’d previously been under, so that’s not the problem.
"Well of course we have less income, and this bloody tiredness isn’t helping, but I’m canny with the cash flow and we’re not in debt. Besides, we’re spending less money on food since I lost weight [laughs], so that’s not the problem.
"Yes, I’ve lost somewhere around a hundred pounds…
"No, no, no, the weight loss was a result of eating more healthily - cutting the crap out of our diet and making healthier choices. Losing it was a good thing, not a dangerous thing. It certainly isn’t the problem. I have a full understanding of why I was overeating to combat Depression.
"Yes, I’ve had an on-off relationship with Depression for most of my adult life and know how it affects me, but the anti-depressants I’m now on have sorted that out but I’m still tired. The Depression followed the Fatigue not the other way round, so that isn’t the problem."
And so on.
And so on.
And so on.
What I don’t understand is why no one thinks I ought to talk to someone who knows something about sleep. If someone is tired all the time, surely that’s the first thing which should be looked at?
Still, earlier this week I finally had an appointment with the local CMHT (Community Mental Health Team), and they’ve agreed I would benefit from CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) for my CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome).
However, the waiting list time is currently unknown but is unlikely to be less than six months and could easily be in excess of nine. Apparently the more acronyms involved, the greater the time span.
So, yyyyaaaawwwWWWWWWwwnnnnnn, in the meantime don’t expec…