What started off as a trip to the Perodontist for what I thought was a scale and polish (the referal form was written in Afrikaans) has ended up with an appointment for Oral Surgery for bone degeneration, a test in the morning for diabeties, which if I don't have now I will have eventually, a referal to the pain clinic and a clinical psychologist, pain meds and anti inflammatories for the chilblains and Prozac.
I left home at 9am and returned with pizza for the kids lunch at 1pm. What a morning.
Being an expat isn't all sunshine and pools although, yes we do have all that. Yes I'm lucky that I don't have to work anymore, the kids benefit from me being at home every day after school and through the holidays and hubby comes home to a clean and tidy house every evening and a home cooked meal.
There are parts of it I do enjoy such as the cooking, I've impressed myself with some of the things I can just 'throw together' and with the introduction of a slow cooker from a friend for my birthday it's all systems go. I don't actually mind the cleaning, it's a tiled house and so easy to do, we also have little furniture and what ornaments we have are in a glass cabinet so it's not really a difficult job. But I do miss work, meeting people, deadlines, sociallising and I find life sometimes very lonely, repetitive and boring.
At this point you're probably thinking 'that sounds like my life' but what you have to remember is that my old life of work, study, volunteering, sociallising stopped over night when we emigrated. And here's where the Prozac comes in. Moving house is stressful, everyone knows that, chuck in my fathers heart attack, renewing our visas, discovering our youngest wasn't being supported in school with his dyslexia and then a diagnosis of disgraphia and it all got a bit too much for me. Forget all the crap with the UK banks and the lack of (non exsistant) support from hubbies company. I'm, how shall I say it? at the end of my rope.
Now don't panic I'm a practical person and I may wallow in self pity with a 'woe is me' attitude but I'm a doer, one of lifes 'the more stress I have the better I thrive' get on with it type of person. But there comes a time when I need help and today is that day.
I left the dentists and went straight to the Doctors to request to speak with the Practice Manager, I wanted to know how I went about the diabeties test? who did I see about feeling depressed? stopping smoking? do I google a psychologist or need a Dr's referal? Do I see the practice nurse for a blood test? How do I get to see a pain specilaist? I got as far as her saying 'come through' before the tears started. She listened, made an emergency appointment for me to see the Doctor and now I feel alot better.
However over the next few months I have a list of appointments with a variety of people. We are in our medical aid payment gap so I drove to Discovery to find out what's happening, what's covered and what's not. I couldn't have asked for better information and assistance.
I'm over whelmed right now, I thought calling home would help, but it just reminded me how ill my dad is with diabeties, heart disease from smoking, lack of exercise and poor diet. However his reply was positive he said 'I'm 72 when all this happened to me and all I can do is maintain it, you're 41 and can prevent it all from happening'
I'd already planned to stop smoking this thursday, I set the date last month and I'm 82% of the way through Allen Carr's 'stop smoking' on my kindle app. I've schedule to return to swimming tues, wed and thurs am, having used the cold winter mornings as an excuse. I also downloaded 'thinking slimmer' a few months ago and then slapped myself for wasting £30 on hype and never listened to it, however on Saturday I thought what the heck and this morning I actually put the chocolate and the coke back in the cupboard as I was going to eat it to cheer myself up when I realised that I'd be better off with a late breakfast of Special K. I'll not use it to think myself slimmer but to think myself healthy and I've set my goals as just that and besides 2 jeans sizes smaller won't hurt me.
Blogging and sharing and tweeting is wonderful therapy for me. As soon as I put something out there, there is no hiding from it any more, denying it's happening. there's been too much of that despite me being an 'open' person. Always putting a positive spin on things, using humour hasn't actually helped, it just delayed this moment, put off asking for assistance, not wanting people to think I was a failure.
Because I'm NOT a failure, I'm a success. I've done it, I've emigrated, I've integrated, I've achieved far more than I ever thought I was capable of and now I'm there, now I've reached that point, it's time to say 'I need some help in understanding it all, medication to get me through while I unjumble and off load my mind'
I'm depressed, I asked for help, I'm taking the meds, I'm proud of how far I've come and look forward to the next set of challenges, but this time I know I NEED to ask for help along the way and not lie and say I'm fine.