And so the consultations began ………..
Our meeting with our GP on our return from Australia was the first appointment of many over the coming months. Hopefully now we would begin to get to the source of the problem and be able to begin the correct treatment. The medication that Corrinne had been taking while we were in Australia was dealing with her Anxiety and Depression. These tablets obviously had a calming effect but the side effect was the drowsiness.
We didn’t have to wait too long for our first referral. Within a month we had a consultation with a Psychiatrist. Such an intense, long meeting with an in depth investigation into our lifestyle. I could see how tiring and distressing it was for Corrinne, but with a few short breaks, we were able to manage the session. This was the first time that we were facing up to reality, we were here and beginning to see the true extent of the problem. The questions just kept coming, probing into everything from childhood to the present day. Building a complete history of Corrinne.
This was the first time that I was being asked not to jump in and help her with the answers. We had become such a good double act, when she was unsure of anything, she would know that I was watching her, she would look at me and then I would answer for her. Today, the Psychiatrist wanted to let Corrinne struggle, to assess the situation. It was so hard to sit back and say nothing. But in a way, it opened my eyes to see just how bad that this really had become.
At the end of the meeting, there was a slight change to the medication made by the Psychiatrist. He also wanted to see her again within the month for further tests. We came out of the building and the relief that it was over was clearly evident, for both of us. We both had tear stained eyes, we didn’t need to say anything to each other, we knew that this had been an intense ordeal. This was just so upsetting, but something that we had to get used to now. Everytime we were to see someone new, this whole interview would be repeated.
As a result of the consultations, we were then invited to go to a workshop for those suffering with Anxiety & Depression. I have to admit, I think I got more out of the session than Corrinne did. It was like information overload for her. Too much information for her mind to process. Too many people for her to focus on. When more than one person was involved in a conversation it became too complicated to follow. I came out of the session with some good ideas, some new techniques that we could try when Corrinne was having one of her moments. I also felt as though we would be able to work this through together. A positive feeling, at last.
Another suggestion that came forward was that Yoga would be good therapy. As Corrinne had her gym membership and loved going to her classes, this was an easy addition to make to our lifestyle. We found a class on a Friday morning, all it meant for me was keeping my diary clear for a couple of hours. It was challenging to keep Corrinne interested in the class. She was conscious that the instructor spent time dedicated with her, helping her achieve the positions. It was clear that she was struggling with her coordination, as soon as two or more instructions were given, it became so confusing.
The Yoga Instructor was so understanding, and allowed us to position ourselves to the side of the room. We could work together, and create our own variations of the poses. We did our best, and as much as we could. We managed to keep attending week after week for about five months. It then became too much for Corrinne. She felt that she wasn’t able to do what others were doing. We couldn’t keep coming away from the classes in tears, this was supposed to help us. So we decided that we would give it a miss for a while. We never went back.
The other course of action that came from our consultations with the psychiatrist was that maybe Corrinne would benefit from sessions with an Occupational Therapist. This was with a view to integrating her back into society and the workplace. This was a welcome suggestion as we were conscious that Corrinne had now been “signed off” from work for over six months. Although work had been understanding, they were now beginning to ask questions, they requested that she attend a meeting with her bosses.
Thankfully Corrinne’s boss at work fully understood what she was going through. I was allowed to accompany Corrinne to her meeting. This was a massive hurdle that we had to overcome. There was no way that Corrinne was “fit to work”, but how much longer would her job be kept open for her? The meeting was kept quite informal. It was so reassuring to see that Corrinne’s boss wanted to help her and was prepared to give her all the time that she needed. We were given the option of returning to work on a reduced hour basis, but this was never an option.
After we had gone through all the formalities and we had given all the details that were required for HR. I was asked if I minded leaving the room so that they could have a few minutes alone. Corrinne was happy with this, so I waited outside. Corrinne was never able to recall what was said in this time, but I know there were a lot of tears on both faces, when I was called back in to the room. I sensed a deep and genuine love for Corrinne. We were thanked for coming in and wished all the best and hopefully things would return to normal soon. This was the last time Corrinne went into work in any capacity.
We were assigned a lovely young lady, as Corrinne’s Occupational Therapist. Instantly I knew that Corrinne felt comfortable with her. Thankfully Corrinne was not subjected to the intense questioning, and I was able to help the therapist with the history of the illness. We discussed quite a number of possible options that we could try over the coming sessions, all of which Corrinne was happy to go along with.
Throughout all of this Corrinne had her goals that she wanted to achieve. She wanted to be “normal” again. She wanted to drive. She wanted to go back into work. She wanted her freedom, and didn’t want to depend on others. We all kept telling her……“You Will”