just saw my OT mark. he had a student with him today. a final year fourth year college student who was studying to be an OT. he had asked me if it was ok if the student came in, i said yes. after all he has to learn!
we talked about me starting the independent living skills course. mark did not know i was starting it, i had not gotten the place when i last saw him. he was thrilled for me. said it was a great opportunity. which it is thats true.
we talked and i told him i’d been writing lists. lists of my triggers, lists of my coping skills, lists of distraction techniques. lists of who to go to when I am in crisis. so many lists.
i’ve also been looking at grounding techniques. the staff in abode arent trained in dealing with mental illness. they know a little bit about it but most of them dont have a background in psych stuff. they know i have did and ptsd. i havent hidden it from them. but i want to find ways to manage during the week, because then i have a higher success rate of finishing the course out.
dr. barry told me this morning that it wont be a problem, because I am managing my mental health every day, with not a lot of support.
its just staying in the residential setting from monday to friday will be a whole new experience for me. one i am not used to. mark told me to bring lots of comfort objects. so i will. i’m going to bring my blanket and some stuffed animals. the littles need their stuffies.
he asked me what helps when i am triggered, i told him mostly sensory stuff, tactile things help. patting nitro, smelling the rose scent, wrapping up in my blanket, drinking something etc. things i can touch, feel, smell, taste, etc.
we are going to meet again in two weeks, i’ll have started the course by then and will have a week done. so we’ll meet after the first week for a kind of debrief.
Yesterday I had an apt with my OT mark. It was a really good apt. We talked some more about options for me to do a college course. I am still interested in something related to childcare. at least I was until I got a phone call yesterday evening from one of the tutors on the other course I am interested in which is called issues in substance use in youth and community work. When the tutor rang me she said she’d send me an application form and brochure which she did and i’ve sent it on to mark, I also sent him an email this morning asking him to fill out the application form with me. But back to yesterday and the apt. We talked about the childcare course. And the supports I may need in the college. Funnily enough the course in issues of substance use in youth and community work is taking place in the same college where the childcare courses I wanted to do are. The thing is I only want to go part time. And the substance use course is part time. The childcare one is full time and that is way too stressful for me. Plus I’ve gotten a volunteer position with cork city partnership as an office admin worker I’ll be doing up letters, writing email and answering phones. Its only 1 day a week but then I also volunteer at the basement club, I’ve taken a small break while I was hospitalised recently but I will be going back to it soon. I work better under less pressure so that is what myself and mark talked through yesterday. Then we got on to talking about the adaptive technology and home improvements. I had asked him to request a price on a frame that goes around my toilet, which he did, but yesterday he said that rather than having me pay for it, he should refer me to the community OT and she could do an assessment and then I should be able to get the frame on my medical card. Since I’ve been having balance issues and postural hypertention that is why I need the frame. I told him I am having the blood pressure monitor done next week to see if my meds are causing my blood pressure to drop. so we decided to wait until we meet again in 3 weeks time to make a final decision about the adaptions to my home. I also have to see what equipment I might need and send him a quote for it, then he will get Karen the social worker to do a funding application for me. That was the bulk of our appointment. I did talk to him some about my ongoing symptoms. He always checks in with me about how I’m doing, what is going on for me, etc. Which is really nice. He’s a good listener and I was able to get a lot off my mind before I ever went in to see dr. barry.
I saw my OT mark this morning. we talked first about courses. i’d been considering my options for college courses. he had gotten me info on the courses i’d been looking into which were mostly childcare courses, and some short courses for leisure interest. we discussed the different courses, prices of them etc. then i told him about the independent living course that I was told about last week at respite. he knew about that course but didnt realise you could do a referal from outside the agency. the leisure courses were things like dream enterpretation, mindfulness, meditation, intro to criminology etc. they are just 10 week courses one evening a week. then there is also the addictions course substance use in youth and community work that I am thinking about doing. so its not like i dont have options. i have plenty its just deciding now what is right for me. we talked about how full time education mostly stresses me out, and one of the childcare courses runs a part time day course, four afternoons a week 1 to 5 pm. then the independent living course you can do that part time too if you want. so yeah part time i’ll definitely be considering. after discussing all the college courses we went on to talk about getting equipment for my house. i asked him if he knew of any funding schemes that would pay for adaptive technology. most stuff over here for blind people like things to help you around the house and stuff is really expensive. he didnt know of any grants available but he said he had a colleague who knew more about this sort of stuff and he’d be willing to talk to her before we meet again. i said i’d look on the website I use and get a costing for some items and email him on the quote. we also talked about him doing a referral to a community OT so they can do a risk assessment for safety in our home. he said if he referred us the wait could be very long but if our gp referred us it might be less. basically they want to see that our house passes all the safety standards you know for me not falling when I’m home alone etc.mostly my house is disability friendly but there could be a few things that the OT might be able to recommend for me so he’ll look into referring me. It was a good appointment. I always forget that Mark isnt on dr. Barrys team at all, that he is only seeing me because he worked with me before I had dr. Barry as my psychiatrist. He works on the locked unit as their OT. I’m so lucky he kept me as a client and he’s such a good OT so good at his job. We meet again on June 14th.
todays been busy with appointments. I had 3 in total.
This morning I saw Mark our OT. That went well. It was just a catch up really just to touch base and see how things are going for us. we talked about making a plan going forward. i told him i’d like help with interview skills. that is for when i go to the job coaching service employability. i’ve been referred to them and will be going probably starting in january. mark said he could help me with interview skills and techniques. we talked about the appeals process for the appeal for more pa hours. they had said they’d like mark to do more independent living skills with me. but he said he doesnt think i need them. and he doesnt really know what he can offer because my daily living skills are very good, i dont need any help with those. and the other type, community based skills, he is working on. so really there is nothing more he can offer. but basically we are going to wait for a response from the irish wheelchair association to see what they want and are suggesting. we talked about meeting end of november, and when we do we will plan going forward.
after seeing mark, i went in to see dr barry. we had a long and productive chat. i told her i didnt get an interview for that peer support worker job. she was disappointed for me but i said it was ok that i was over it now. it probably wasnt the right time and i am going to focus on healing and on my volunteering for now. i told her i had to have an abdominal scan and asked her if it would be ok if i take a haldol beforehand. she said yes i could. so that is what i am going to do. we talked about med management. i told her that i am still forgetting to take mine regularly. she asked if it was all of the time or how often. i said a couple times a week. we talked about me having them blister packed because at least then i’d know what i’ve taken. they used to be blister packed befoore but some of my meds are too big to fit in the blister packs. but i said i’d ask the chemist to do it again for me. i tried setting alarms on my phone, but to no avail. we talked about the time of year and i told her it was sucky and that even though i went away this weekend i still had a pretty hard time. i was glad i went away though because there was no contact from abusers. and yesterday when we came home we didnt turn on our computer. that was a choice we made to not have any screen time. i told dr. barry that taylor was very upset at the weekend because she was scared of the fireworks. we talked about therapy and having no therapy this week but i told her eileen was doing a phone check in with me tomorrow night. she was very encouraging and asked me if i’d like to come back in a week rather than in 10 days time. she knows i’m really struggling with this time of year and she knows i need her for the extra support. i’m glad she’s willing to be flexible. it really helps.
i went to the basement club after seeing dr. barry. i had mentoring with julie. it was good. we talked about doing up a time table for november. julie said she’d email me on things that were going on in november and i could take the info and make up a timetable and fill it in with things i’d like to do or go to attend etc. then julie told me she was leaving on friday. its very sudden. she had some personal things come up in her life. and her college said she could finish her placement back in her home town. so that is what she is going to do. i will be sad to see her go. she is a really nice person. she thanked me for allowing her the opportunity to work with me and to mentor me. i said i enjoyed working with her and hoped she got a lot out of it. she said she did. she said she has learned so much from the members, and that its real life, and nothing she had read or learned from books coule compare. the other thing we talked about was me maybe looking up the info for friendly call and me maybe volunteering for them. friendly call is a service that works with vulnerable people. they give the people on the registry a daily call, just to see how they are doing and to check in with them. i am interested in working with them so i think i will look in to it. julie is going to send me on the application form and info. so that was mentoring today.
Its been a busy sorta day.
so this morning i saw mark first and then dr. barry. both apts went really great. mark and i talked about both volunteering and also applying for a part time job. i told him i’d like to volunteer a few hours a week even if i also work a part time job. i said i’d like to maybe work with animals, but then mark said i’d probably need a person to help me if i worked with horses or other animals, its an uncontrolled environment and he said that it might be hard to get in, most organisations are reluctant to take blind people, also he told me they were also reluctant to take people with just mental illness and no other disability. i said if i got more PA hours I could get one of my PAS to go with me so we might still consider it as an option. I had tried to approach our guide dog school to ask about volunteering with the dogs like in the kennels grooming them and playing with them and feeding them etc. but they never responded to me which made me mad. they only seem to contact me if its about fundraising for them. mark told me today that maybe i could volunteer at the basement club, since i am already on the bord of directors of the organisation shine that runs that drop in centre. so i said that was a good idea and i’d ring the co-ordinator and ask her about volunteering. maybe i can facilitate some groups, or do some talks on mental illness, or something. its worth a try.
the apt with dr. barry was also really good. i am starting naltrexone next week. dr. barry did some research and said some studies have been done with the drug and that its been shown to help people with dissociation. she’s going to start me on 25 mg and increase it to 50 2 weeks later. i need to get my liver function checked first though before going on it. i told her i wasnt sleeping and she encouraged me to take the haldol when things are bad. she said there is no point in having it if i dont take it. i suppose i agree. she also encouraged me to stay with my mom at the weekend and use her for support. but i’m not sure i’ll do that.
she referred me to the weekend team again this weekend. hopefully someone who knows me will be on duty. i suppose its good that they are there and available for support.