Chronic Illness Blogs, Mental Health Blogs

Nurse VS GP: which is more beneficial?

NURSE VS GP

For approximately four years, I have seen a variety of health professionals but never really knew which each individual one actually does. After seeing my Nurse Practitioner at the beginning of the week, I asked her what the difference was between her job and my GP’s in terms of what they specialize in and their roles when it comes to providing care for their patients. It is just as beneficial to see a Practice Nurse as it would be seeing a GP. Here’s why;

A Practice Nurse – 

Practice Nurses are registered nurses that work in GP surgeries. They provide care in the following aspects:

  • Collecting blood samples
  • ECG’s
  • Wound management
  • Health advice and vaccinations
  • Child immunisations and advice
  • Womens and Mens health including sexual health
  • Swabs
  • Blood pressure
  • Urine samples

A practice nurse will have more specific jobs within the practice. They can help and advice within minor illnesses however they cannot diagnose or prescribe medications, however you may find that some can. They also run clinics for long term conditions such as Diabetes and Asthma.

A nurse Practitioner is a nurse who has advanced in their nursing with additional training and skills who are usually able to prescribe medications and have more knowledge with chronic or long term illnesses.

Both have access to your medical notes and care plan if you have one put in place. Many Practice Nurses/Nurse Practitioners specialise in different areas of health which can be very helpful.

GP’s – 

GP’s (General Practice) provides care in all common medical conditions, refer patients to specialist hospitals and focus on the patients health in all aspects such as :

  • Physical
  • Psychological
  • Social

This also includes community, home and care in hospital. GP’s who care for patients with chronic illness have the aim to enable them to stay at home and keep them as well as can be. GP’s can also work in different aspects of the hospital such as A and E centres, Discharge planning and may run clinics. They look at the patient’s medical history and the symptoms that they present with at the time of the consultation. If you have a phone consultation they can also give a patient advice via telephone or organise for them to come in for example a blood or urine test.

 

 

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Awareness, Chronic Illness Blogs, Life With A Stoma, Mental Health Blogs

Weekly Vlog Content – That Crohns Chick Youtube Channel

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At That Crohns Chick Youtube Channel, we have some exciting content coming your way! In my new role as co-host to the channel, I thought it would be good to let you know  about what is new and what we plan on doing!

Live streams are 9:30pm UK time (me) / 6:30am South Australian time (Sharnii) where we talk about all things related to various types of Chronic Illnesses. We have covered topics such as :

  • Dating with a Chronic Illness.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
  • Ostomies (Colostomy, Ileostomy, Urostomy.)
  • World IBD day.
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
  • Thyroid Awareness Week.
  • Autoimmune Hepatitis.
  • PSC / Liver Transplant.

In a few weeks, we will be expanding the channel and bringing you weekly blogs ” The Day in the Life of A Crohns Chick” which will show you an insight to how we live our daily lives, on the good and bad days, ostomy related, eating out with IBD or a stoma and much, much more! This is a good opportunity for us to let people who are not chronically sick, have a view of what it could be like which therefore can help them support those they know that are chronically ill. We will also be highlighting medications and what mental health can look like and also bringing you some positivity and laughter. This is also a chance for you to know us a that little bit more and what we enjoy.

We are looking at having more people on the channel with various Chronic Illnesses, so if you are interested please message  Glitteryguts or That Crohns Chick! We want to raise as much awareness of any type of Chronic Illness out there and look really forward to what is yet to come!

 

 

 

Chronic Illness Blogs, Mental Health Blogs

Mental Health

I have been struggling with my mental health for a long time, due to illness and things happening in my personal life. After being off of antidepressants for almost two years, my GP and I decided that it was best to go back on them as the problems I’ve been having are very complicated and I am in the process of working through them.

After my surgical termination last June it was really difficult having that procedure done itself but also coming to terms with loosing my baby and last month would have been my due date. When problems started happening at home I began to have frequent mental break downs and found it so hard to cope with life. I would lay in bed all day in the dark and try to not to talk to anyone. I would barely eat and I couldn’t see much point in being alive with the stress of everything and being chronically ill.

After months struggling with the mental breakdowns and thoughts of not wanting to be here or deal with the physical and mental pain, I went to my GP and told him that I thought it was time because everything I had tried such as medtitation and anxiety apps on my phone just weren’t helping. My GP had been asking for a while for me to go on medication for my depression and I refused because I was terrified of the side affects.

At the start of taking Prozac, I was also given Pregablin to help manage my pain. At the same time starting these medications, I caught a sickness bug and was extremely ill so they weren’t able to kick in as well as they should have so they took a little longer to kick in! I felt a little tired for the first week but nothing more than the usual tiredness I get.

Slowly those bad thoughts went away and I felt so much more motivated with my life and wanted to not only live but to accomplish goals and dreams, doing more for charities and also taking care of me more. After a few months the dosage was put up because I felt the affects were wearing off a little. Since then I do still struggle some days but not as bad as before. My Anxiety and PTSD isn’t great but I’m working on those by distracting myself when I feel anxious by watching films or cuddling my 2 yorkies.

Just recently, I had an iron infusion as my ferratin levels were below 50 again. As my iron was dropping, I felt my mood dropping too. After talking to my IBD nurse and another GP it was said that when your iron drops it can also affect your Depression which I didn’t know! So in 2-4 weeks my iron should hopefully be back on track!

When you suffer from mental health, it is really difficult to open up to anyone but also to admit when you need help. Taking antidepressants is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about because the way I see it – you are helping to help yourself get better. Finding a GP or someone close to talk to can really help let out some pain of feeling alone in the battle inside your head. There are a few things you can try with mental health but I really strongly recommend talking to your doctor and making sure they are happy for you to try other things first.

There are apps you can download for Anxiety such as Headspace and learning meditation. Many people find that seeing a councillor helps but the waiting list for one is very long on the NHS. You can also read books on coping with anxiety and many various mental health conditions from amazon or local book stores. Colouring in books can also be very relaxing and handy when you want to go somewhere quiet and colour. Animals can also really help to comfort you and knowing a little furbaby loves you unconditionally is one of the best feelings in the world!

I have heard people refer to antidepressants as “wacky pills” and “loopy tablets” and I just think that is completely unfair for those who suffer. Taking antidepressants does not define you! For anyone who does not walk a day in our shoes they have absolutely no right to judge what they do not know or understand. Be proud for taking that step in talking to someone or swallowing your dose of antidepressants for the day, each day. To fight those relentless demons day in, day out makes you fucking strong.

And if nobody has told you, I’m proud of you.

Mental Health Blogs

If Today Was Your Last Day

This month is known as Movember, a term in which is associated with men’s mental health charity, The Movember Foundation. Their aim is to prevent suicide and mental health in men. They also help with prostate cancer and testicular cancer sufferers.

If I were able to grow a mustache, then I would certainly take part. The work this charity does, hits close to home and is really important. The thing is; I havent spoken of my experience with suicide except from my own mental health. So I’m going to share my story of my experience with suicide (with permission.) Before you continue to read please be aware that this includes some graphic content that includes alcohol abuse, domestic violence, mental health issues so if that could be a trigger for you please donot read.

This is my story on loosing someone to suicide;

At the age of 12 my Mum was with someone who was an alcoholic and involved in domestic violence. In the January of 2008 it had just been a week or two after my 13th birthday, Mum was asked to go down and identify his body and later on told he had committed suicide. It truly was an awful time for mum and for me, as I had to see her cry and there was nothing I could do to help the pain. For me I didn’t really know how to cope, I went to school just 2 days after and ended up collapsing in tears during the morning class and was sent home. Within a week after, my uncle lost his battle to cancer and then my step granda to cancer too. Not long after the suicide, we had come to learn that he had suffered from a Personality Disorder and had drank alcohol to try and cope with that.

Sometimes when we loose someone, they live on in other parts of our lives such as an item, a diary or a song. Before he died, Nickleback was his favourite. So when it comes to that time of year I like to put on If Today Was Your Last Day by Nickleback. The lyrics are also very true and if you’ve listened to it then you’ll know how loud it speaks out to you.

For men, mental health is much harder to talk about because there is this stigma that men shouldn’t cry or are much less of a man if they show emotion and that just isn’t true. Why should mental health be different for men than women? It shouldn’t and isn’tfact. There are so many ways in which mental health can affect a person. My findings online research is that in 2017 5,821 suicides were recorded in the UK, 75% being male and 25% female. Drug and alcohol abuse is not an uncommon problem within people who suffer from mental health issues. The Movember movement seeks to help raise awareness about men’s mental health and to help them be able to speak to someone about their mental health and daily stresses in life. Men grow a beard and/or mustache to raise money for this charity who specifically day in, day out, tackles these issues. Mental health is really important, infact just as important to your physical health. But here’s the problem we face… men don’t want to talk about it. Let’s work to try and change that.

I think it’s a really great movement mostly via social media and I have seen money raised by a few people I know for Prostate Cancer and The Movember Foundation already! One person who is unwell himself, is raising money, growing a beard and moustache. He is the founder of The Sick but Invisible Campaign, Ste Walker. If you would like to donate please click here! To donate to Adz Michael’s page please click here! I have donated this month and even the littlest of pounds can go a huge way to help all men out there battling with mental health issues. Being through what I have and loosing someone to suicide, no person should ever have to feel like the only way out is out of this life.

For mental health services advice and information please visit the nhs mental health services page.

Awareness, Mental Health Blogs

What It’s Like To Be With Someone Who Has OCD/ What it’s Like To Be With Someone Who Doesn’t!

It’s no secret that I have OCD nor am I ashamed of it or embarrassed. I actually have, over time, loved having OCD. Why? You may ask; It gives me some peace of mind when I am able to get things done such as the ironing, having a clean washed sofa or a freshly cleaned floor. It gives me real satisfaction emotionally. When people use the phrase “I’m bored of waiting it’s like watching paint dry”, I literally could sit and stare at a freshly painted wall and have so much peace and happiness. It’s not something easily explained but it feels great looking at something that’s so fresh and clean.

One thing I do wonder however, is what it is like being in a relationship with someone who has OCD. I have never discussed this with my partner before. I sit here on the sofa whilst he is gaming and I am watching The Notebook on Netflix and away to ask him what it is like for him. Hopefully it’s not all bad answers!

“How do you find it with me having OCD?”

“Honestly, it doesn’t really bother me. Sometimes it can be frustrating when I help to do things when I’m over e.g hanging out the washing- you like it a certain way and I always forget and you take it all down and hang it all up again.”

“Or when I do the dishes in the sink and you hate dishes being done in the sink and like them done in a basin so I have to take them all out and put them in a basin otherwise you get really unwell.”

“But really it isn’t so bad. The house always looks so clean and tidy except when you are more ill some days and infections, the Crohn’s Flare or fatigue makes it hard for you to even walk, but even then it’s never bad.”

I think I’m quite glad that my partner isn’t too badly affected by my OCD however being with someone who doesn’t have OCD can be extremely difficult for me;

I have to do things a certain way and in routine. Certain days for certain things. If I’m unable to do things I get extremely stressed or if I’m really unwell the littlest of mess will aggravate me and I get really moody and stressy!! I find it infuriating with myself that because things have to be done a certain way that when my partner does help me that if it isn’t done my way then I have to feel the need to correct him and re do it. I get annoyed at myself.

Sometimes I have had panic attacks because my anxiety kicks in from the OCD and the days I feel like I’ve failed to do even the simplest of tasks. Many days I get so caught up in cleaning that I make myself unwell for days because I try to get as much done as I can to the point where I’m crawling and crippled by pain- baring in mind that even doing a load of washing and then taking it out or hanging it up causes me extreme pain.

I always make sure to de weed the garden when it needs done and I do my best to make my garden pretty so if I need air from being sick or feeling sick that is relaxing and helps me calm down. But again my OCD makes me seriously ill and unable to cope with the pain I have most days that even finding a cigarette tab in my garden sends me into a fluster. At the moment I am constantly finding them littered in my garden and I spent 30 minutes just picking them all up a few days ago resulting in me not being able to cope with the pain and I’ve lost sleep. Over the past few days I’ve had around 11 hours of sleep possibly even less, meaning each day is a real struggle with pain being intensified by fatigue which then brings on sickness.

When I do have panic/anxiety attacks triggered by OCD or not I have extreme insomnia that can last for days sometimes weeks. So it is a vicious circle if it isn’t a good spell of OCD. I think that, really, the best thing is knowing other people who have OCD. So many of us mostly suffer from the mental health condition but I also believe that it brings great joy to people’s lives too. It’s a love hate condition and I found that accepting it and dealing with it each day was a much better option for me rather than continuing antidepressants. Due to suffering from anxiety and depression over the years, I have been on many and the only time I have benefited from them was when I was in a bad depression which led me to self harm. I’ve been free of that dark place for just little over a year now too which I think OCD has helped me out of on top of the treatment.

If I could sum up OCD I would say it’s taking the good from a bad situation and taking the bad from a good situation- there are always going to be pro’s and con’s. You can’t always garuntee it to be a good day but you can try to deal with as best as you can.