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Health notes including suicide attempt 1995-6

Have typed info to here (I think) in piece on Phoenix Rising called ‘My early symptoms and results of 1995 step-exercise test’

By end of this period I still did not know that I had M.E. and had to rest.

NB those who want to avoid reading about suicide attempt should avoid section dated 15.7.96.

11.5.95 GP appointment (Dr F)

12.6.95 GP appointment (Dr F)

Still looking for work.

Having had to take Temazepam to sleep most nights due to difficulty sleeping, around Sept/Oct 1995 I started having trouble staying awake.

7.8.95 Phoned Dr F

7.9.95 GP arranging ultrasound scan (gall bladder etc.)

13.9.95 Persistent IBS, frequent asthma & a 'stigma' (presumably lesion in palm) "OK after about a week" (not clear what)

Electrical info: 17.9.95 Tele colour returned after gone for about a week following collapse of cabinet. Picture watchable too.

2.10.95 Whites of eyes yellow

6.10.95 Appointment for blood test with nurse

10.10.95? (hard to read) (from Job-hunting folder) slip from Employment Service saying “...make appointment with doctor to discuss health problems with view to signing off - if necessary.” (Had had difficulty staying at Job Club for the required hour a week, largely due to IBS and accompanying fatigue?

23.10.95 Optician appointment

30.10.95 Hospital appointment (cancelled?)

Most of November: Chest area aching and tender, not relieved by period

9.11.95 Found oilcan stolen from my (unlockable) car

13.11.95 "Haemorrhoid can now be felt on outside"

14.11.95 Recommenced taking multivits and minerals (Healthwise)

18-19.11.95 Leonid meteor showers expected/flu epidemic? (diary)

24.11.95 Extreme fatigue today. Right eye became bloodshot pm.

27.11.95 Hospital appointment

8.12.95 "Doc's cert expires"

Before commencing Spasmonal (alverine citrate) 60 mg 3 times a day. IBS returned after 1-2 weeks’ absence, I think. Leg weakness maybe before Spasmonal, definitely after.

1995-6 Trying to sell house privately, and looking into possibility of buying house in Ireland as could get more for less; buying local Irish papers, mainly from Cork and Kerry area.

MED 4 (presumably medical certificate) for 3 months from 14.12.95

15.12.95 Started taking Spasmonal. Leg weakness? (Possibly) (Bad?) stitch-like pain on left side of abdomen maybe. Date unknown but after starting Spasmonal: Disorientation; dilated pupils; very tired, aching eyes; sharp pains on right side of chest.

16.12.95 Unusually-bad stitch-like pain on left side of abdomen, lasting for hours. 15th or 16th: bad flatulence and pressure on bladder, usual IBS-related fatigue. 15th and 16th: Cystitis-like symptoms.

17.12.95 About 2 hours after midday Spasmonal, started feeling strange (disorientated) similar to effect of old-type Contac 400. Pupils dilated. Felt fairly normal after about an hour (and a glass of wine).

18.12.95 ‘normal IBS’ until?

Motions more solid since taking Spasmonal (but poss due to time of month and/or other causes?)

‘Better by 23rd’ (unclear what, seemingly IBS)

23.12.95 Piles painful in way they hadn’t been for some time. For last few months there has been alternation of bleeding with exudation of foul-smelling discharge (not copious). Also discharge (thin but copious enough and irritating enough to require large number of sanitary towels); occasional cystitis, not very severe or long-lasting.

26.12.95 Pain and fatigue in evening (presume abdominal pain)

27.12.95 Very little pain or fatigue; only transient

28.12.95 Eyes very tired pm; genital area very raw (presumably related to discharge) p.m. Period stopped on 3rd day. Slight constipation.

29.12.95 Slight constipation a.m., eyes aching all day. Not much IBS pain. Fatigue and weakness. Otherwise well.

30.12.95 Constipation a.m. and leg weakness (associated, I think) Sharp pains on right side of chest after ‘siesta’.

31.12.95 Constipation - several abortive attempts plus discomfort due to presence of faeces near end of rectum (as yesterday); managed to pass some around 0900-0930. Discomfort, flatulence and constipation p.m. Several slow, difficult BMs throughout day; proctalgia. Sharp pains on right side of chest.

NOTES at end of 1995 diary: Doc's certificate expires on 5.1.96? (MED 4 is for 3 months from 14th Dec.)

Driving through at least part of winter with open window on car (drivers’ or passengers’) as it didn’t close, and I could not afford repair.

Another of my cats (P) had disappeared without trace this year.

Health issues 1996 (diary, health diary and loose notes; health diary also referring to diet and alcohol)

1.1.96 Constipation but milder than before.

2.1.96 Mild(er) constipation. BMs still slow; today also frequent a.m. and still slow p.m. (Made pun about ‘slow motions’ so still had sense of humour.)

3.1.96 (Bowel movement/s) “Only a bit slow a.m.” Pain p.m. (presumed abdominal). Mild or absent accompanying fatigue (“poss. non-existent but situation complicated by alcohol intake!”). Difficulty retaining urine, esp. when moving, during pain. Only differences in food intake from yesterday were: yesterday had packet of Nice ‘n’ Spicy NikNaks and today’s lunch had slightly spicy content and sauce contained small amount of diet lemonade containing aspartame (which contains phenylalanine, sodium citrate, ‘flavouring’ and E211); had TVP chunks instead of braised tofu, no white wine, no fenugreek, no onion (fried) with breakfast. Weak legs later in evening.

4.1.96 “Pain persisted with 1st movement around 0700.” Returned after breakfast, but relieved by slowish-but-better movement after half to one hour. Persistent discomfort/tightness/mild pain (groin) all day. Sore throat p.m.(not smoked anything) Belching a lot. Did have breakfast onions, also coffee p.m.

5.1.96 Doctor’s certificate expired? Awoke with groin pain. Less constipated. Bad groin pain p.m. leading to nausea and tiredness. Belching and flatulent. Proctalgia sometimes - quite severe. Transient leg weakness. Tortilla chips at lunchtime.

6.1.96 Considerable pain leading to nausea since waking. Pain almost gone by noon. Quite bad again in evening. Discharge, feeling as though forced out by swollen bowel, in same way as it sometimes causes difficulty retaining urine. NB Currently drinking wine made from Boots House Red kit which is very slightly cloudy. Haven’t changed water filter cartridge for a couple of months or so. Mushrooms for breakfast; for previous week or so I had had spaghetti and veggie sausage. Recommenced same main meal as before this IBS bout.

7.1.96 Pain on waking. No constipation. Slight urinary burning, fatigue and leg ache but groin pain gone (late a.m., I think). May have had groin pain in evening. Real coffee at V’s a.m. Organic pepper pate and raw onion sandwich late a.m. Some Weetaflakes in evening. Not sure if had groin pain then. Physical arousal on occasion, usually on retiring, during last few days.

8.1.96 Very little pain when awoke after rather feverish night. Still some mild urinary burning. Chillies in breakfast, no mushrooms. Same type of sandwich this morning as yesterday. No coffee. Slight tenderness in upper-right abdomen. (Otherwise?) pain-free until evening, when it returned, presumably (lower?) abdominal/inguinal.

9.1.96 No major pain a.m., only for few mins preceding b.ms. (Otherwise) pain-free till evening, then moderate groin pain and accompanying tiredness, leading to early night. “V. windy!” (NB still had sense of humour)

10.1.96 Took last Spasmonal a.m. Lower-back pain on waking (not sure if internal or external). It went after I got up so maybe latter. The usual (groin) pain started around 0900-0930, plus poor coordination (loss of balance) and visual tiredness and strain. This morning (I think) I had dull pain in stomach area as well as usual (usual groin pain?). (Sometimes have bruised feeling across whole upper and middle abdomen as if I’ve been punched.) Spent afternoon and evening in bed.

11.1.96 Moderate tightness and pain in groin a.m. Receded during afternoon (possibly anaesthetised!). Fairly OK p.m. Some pains (transient with wind) higher up than usual.


From having difficulty sleeping and having to take temazepam most nights, around Sept/Oct 1995 I started having difficulty staying awake!

Still sleeping well in Jan 1996 (although wake frequently, have no trouble getting back to sleep, unlike situation for most of life)”


12.1.96 Dullish ache in stomach region when got up. Soon pain-free. Started Motival (nortriptylene and fluphenazine):

OK pm except for lethargy - spent late afternoon and evening in bed.


Tele (C4) lost transmission twice between 0930 and 1000 - just had mass of sparkly and dark dots plus roaring hiss.

1435 - van marked ‘PC Rescue’ arrived at neighbours’. (Noted in case significant)

13.1.96 OK a.m. Mild groin pain in evening but extreme sleepiness - couldn’t stay awake when reading, hence early night (1930). Slightly unpleasant taste in mouth and throat. (This is not at all unusual.)

After brief ‘shut-eye’ I woke up and read till about 2100, then sleepy again.

Noticed when cleaning front door that much of it and frame were covered in thin layer of fine, pale dust which dissolved in water, making it cloudy. (Later observation - probably dust from quarry, about which there were a lot of complaints in the village)

14.1.96 Rectum and legs aching after 3 morning bms. (slowish but urgent in onset). Very thirsty a.m.

Brief spell of ‘disconnectedness’/blankness (in afternoon?) Groin pain started around 1600. Pain almost gone an hour later following moderate flatulence!

Tightness and visual strain returned by 1945. Bad taste in mouth again. Tightness became pain on bending forward when seated. Continued as pain thereafter.

Accompanying clumsiness as usual. (Lost balance this morning.)

Pain for rest of evening but no excessive fatigue.

Electrical info: Colour on TV exceptionally good (p.m.) - had been poor for week or so. It had also taken enormous pressure to change channels; now extremely responsive.

15.1.96 OK a.m. apart from early pre-motion (short-lived and mobile) pain. Active morning cutting up firewood.

Groin pain in evening, affecting concentration but not causing severe fatigue or discomfort as long as not leaning forward too much. Getting tired by 2015.

‘Perceptive’ (perceptual, perhaps?) problems by 2130 - seeing non-existent objects and movement, being puzzled by what are probably normal sounds.

NB This is a common accompaniment to groin pain.

Forced by sleepiness to go to bed 2300.

Electrical info: Tele colour not so good as last entry. Buttons also very hard to press to change channels.

16.1.96 Physically-active morning. Generally pain-free. Groin pain in evening but not too troublesome as stayed in bed to conserve fuel. Sleepy, but tend to be if lie back (I think). Gave up trying to read c. 2100, but couldn’t sleep either. Managed to get to sleep c. 2200 after another read.

17.1.96 Woke with croaky voice (as often do) and need to clear airways frequently.

Feeling lightheaded c. 1000.

After coffee p.m. I felt sudden need to defecate but had difficulty.

Otherwise comfortable day.

18.1.96 Active and pain-free morning. Groin pain in evening but possibly due to period. Also sad/depressed - reminded of Bruce (I think that music on TV started it).

I think that I have felt fairly (relatively compared with current usual state) cheerful and relaxed since starting Motival.

After late meal (2200) had same difficulty as yesterday (sleeping?)

19.1.96 Active a.m. but feeling rather weak, necessitating some ‘mind over matter’. Temporary pain and sleepiness in evening. Spent evening in bed (fuel-saving).

20.1.96 No pain but mild headache, feeling of hotness, sweating and sleepiness in evening. Evening in bed.

21.1.96 A bit weak, mild headache, possibly due to sleeping too much due to having nothing pressing to do (slept much of afternoon and all evening and night yesterday, with very short reading breaks!) Only very transient occasional pain. Not sleepy.

22.1.96 Fair amount of facial twitching during last few days. Possibly due to drinking less alcohol than usual. Lower lip especially tremulous. A bit weak again today but no groin pain but mild headache again.

23.1.96 Very hot when got up, although temperature outside bathroom only 50oF. Very flatulent today - and pungent! Don’t think that the apparent mood improvement (see 18th) is that great or persistent - I still get irritable and fed-up. Weak again, especially legs.

Fire won’t light properly. Slight nausea in evening; staggering and slurring. Latter perhaps because lower lip hard to control. Otherwise OK IBS-wise.

Fingers very sore near cuticles - skin peeling and bleeding. Had to wear rubber gloves to do washing.

Electrical info

Tele working well a.m. - has been bad for days (hard to change channels, poor colour).

24.1.96 Drank at least normal amount (alcohol, presumably) but lip still trembling. OK except for mobile discomfort in late evening (flatulence). Difficulty writing (see 27th).

25.1.96 Legs very weak a.m. - jellyish - had to really drag them to S. Meadow (NB this is up a fairly modest slope).

Slurring quite a lot when speak, and finding it difficult because lower lip in spasm.

Aching rectum and legs in evening. Some groin discomfort (slightly mobile) in early evening, then slowish, wind-mixed, difficult motion following sudden dash need.

Eyes tired (were a bit last night too - looked as though I had been crying). Had to abandon studying due to tired eyes (ditto last night, I think) and go to bed. Slight headache.

Tonight and last night I was physically but not mentally tired.

26.1.96 Lip still in spasm when woke. Can feel (tendon?) inside lower lip with tongue - very straight, taut and feels prominent.

Mild headache.

NB since taking Motival I haven’t been forced to leap out of bed for ‘mad dashes’. (This refers to urgent defecations).

Also NB I think that yesterday was 1st day that I had worn trousers that are tight around waist for at least a few days, maybe since taking Motival.

Headache persistent today, not responding to paracetamol. Affecting vision. Unusually alcohol did not make head worse - ache actually went! Still OK p.m. Legs fairly weak again. No gut/groin pain.

27.1.96 Lip still funny. Slight difficulty in swallowing occasionally (ditto yesterday) but can’t be sure if psychological. Have had slight difficulty in writing at times, especially on 24th. (Keep getting words wrong.) No pain.

28.1.96 Forced by bowel discomfort to get up - a common pre-Motival but not post-Motival (meaning with-Motival) problem.

c. 1200 - Quite strong electric shock from sink - strong enough to induce profanities! Had just been handling large cast-iron pan on cooker (which was on). (NB cooker was electric - no mains gas)

Weak-legged and wobbly-lipped again. (still) (Upper lip also affected for last 2 days.)

Lot of flatulence; also sleepiness p.m. Eyes very tired. For last 2 days I have had a lot of blurring when trying to read.

29.1.96 Weak and wobble-lipped again. Found stirring cake mix hard work - had to keep switching hands! Discharge. Dash early a.m. and late p.m. (This refers to urgent defecations.)

30.1.96 Wobbly lip and swallowing difficulty (camomile tea) a.m.

Fairly weak but maybe slightly less than before. Only transient groin pain.

31.1.96 Wobbly mouth, some leg weakness (not so noticeable in arms, but present, I think) and difficulty swallowing liquids. Sore throat (have had slightly for few days). Mild diarrhoea p.m. (have been a bit loose for few days).

Feel that I have a cold-like infection (or very mild flu).

1.2.96 Extreme randiness a.m. (and last night?). Had had 1st (cannabis) smoke for 3 days.

Extremely sweaty armpits (this is a regular problem nowadays).

Sub-pain tightness in groin much of day. Lip much less tremulous. Legs a bit weak and achy.

Trouble talking again in evening - tongue doesn’t seem to want to respond properly. Lisping.

Groin pain p.m. Same food as yesterday except that had tea with soya milk and a veg sausage a.m. (Have been having camomile or mint tea for last week or two and no sausages, but have had (veggie) sausage rolls.)

Fatigue associated with groin pain as usual. Early bed as a result (2030).

Electrical info

TV colour very poor. Buttons a bit more responsive during last 2 days than prior.

2.2.96 Woke with groin pain. Bit constipated. Still difficult to speak, and slightly so (difficult) to swallow liquid.

Wine I started drinking yesterday (Boots Red House (think this should be House Red!) as usual) tastes slightly odd. Not sure how to describe. Woody?

Groin discomfort late afternoon, becoming mild pain and discomfort in evening (and flatulence). A bit fatiguing, but battled on till 2220, then bed.

3.2.96 Several rather slow, dark motions a.m. Groin pain (quite debilitating) p.m. Bad all evening.

4.2.96 Pain-free on waking. Mild pain/discomfort developed soon after.

Lip not too bad, nor swallowing. No noticeable weakness. Waves of depression (not too strong).

Mild g.p. (groin pain) still p.m. Bed 2100 due to tired eyes.

Electrical info

Buttons easy to press on TV again. On-off (main button) had been sticking for few days. Stiff again by 1229.

5.2.96 Discomfort on waking; unable to shift due to constipation (the ‘advance/retreat syndrome’). Slow but copious purge 0830. Phew! That’s better. Quite comfortable thereafter a.m.

G.p. (groin pain) on waking from siesta.

(NB ‘siesta’ was my euphemism for the afternoon sleep/stupor induced by substantial quantities of alcohol and other drugs each day/most days. These would consist of cannabis and/or prescribed and/or OTC drugs (e.g. benzodiazepines). I think I had two ‘sessions’ most days - lunchtime and evening. They were my way of dealing with low mood due to financial and health situation and sadness over loss (disappearance) of cats in 1994 and 1995, and also of dealing directly with some health issues, I think, notably groin pain and nausea.)

Not much lip trouble. No weakness.

Groin pain and tiredness moderate p.m., fluctuating. Sometimes just tight feeling rather than pain. Upper lip twitching late p.m.

Electrical info

TV picture poor in colour. Interference. Buttons responsive. Shortly after 2100, following interference, colour became good on tele again as I watched. Interference again after a noise which appeared to be outside. (Cat heard it too). Windy.

6.2.96 Groin pain on waking. OK after a slowish motion 1-1.5 hours later (very dark, as has been since taking Motival, I think).

Minor tremor of lower lip. Alcohol counteracts (as usual, I think).

Pain-free p.m. as well as a.m.! No weakness (unless I’m just accustomed to it).

Sour taste in mouth again. Eyes too tired to read by 2230 (closing of own volition). Getting the occasional stinging sensation in one eye that I often have nowadays when eyes tired. Having to urinate about every half-hour (no discomfort of cystitis kind).

Electrical info

TV responsive. Colour and brightness fluctuating.

7.2.96 Fairly profuse rectal bleeding on defecation a.m. (bright, I think).

Do feel a bit weak at times still - body, esp, fingers and limbs, don’t respond as quickly as I think they should.

Eyes rather sore a.m., including (right eye again) the occasional localised stinging/stabbing sensation referred to yesterday, and a feeling of coldness on eye like a draught.

Fluctuating upper groin pain p.m., varying with stage of (considerable) flatulence. NB This is not debilitating/fatiguing like the other groin pain described, which is lower down and accompanied by tightness leading to/causing great discomfort. Extreme frequency of urination late p.m.

8.2.96 Feeling very tense - probably PMT. No major groin pain. Lot of flatulence. Tired enough for bed by 2030 - couldn’t take in any more OU (Open University) stuff. (Maybe due to failed siesta) Eyes very tired - this actually started much earlier.

Feeling lethargic for last couple of days - reluctant to tackle OU stuff I have to do, wanting instead to go on to next book. Also feel restless - strange mixture! (Time of month?)

9.2.96 Temporary weakness in legs after defecation a.m. Lip tremor almost completely gone. Breath seemed foul-smelling in evening. Eyelids drooping by 2115. Bed.

10.2.96 Dash after breakfast. Quite a lot of blood. Legs weak afterwards. Still generally weak 2 hours later. No lip tremor. Still weak 1330. Arms and legs still weak p.m. Otherwise well (except for very mild headache). Slept badly.

11.2.96 3 bowel movements in fairly quick succession a.m. Still feeling weak. Groin pain started 1600 at LETS meeting. Bad all evening.

12.2.96 Uncomfortable a.m. - tightness in groin. Better after a slow, rather windy b.m. (second of day) soon after 0900. Moderate leg weakness in evening. Extremely sleepy by 2030 despite siesta. Bed.

13.2.96 Started taking selenium tablets. Intend to take them on 2 out of every 3 days; on the 3rd day I’ll have a multivitamin & mineral tablet. Weak but restless. Tense. Benefit medical appointment at P 1340 (fairly sure this was incapacity test). Didn’t feel weak when lying down & exerting force with legs and arms (but I am fairly sure I recall becoming dizzy during this test, and the doctor bizarrely saying “That’s OK” when I told him!. Wonder why I didn’t record this.) Right eye bloodshot.

14.2.96 Weakish. Very hot when I move. Slight pain in upper right-hand side of abdomen. Eye normal. Mild pain right across upper abdomen briefly.

Legs very tired after shopping. Legs still weak p.m., but feel restless. Concentration poor.

A recent problem has been finding a comfortable studying position - not sure why. Restlessness? End up on armchair with legs folded beside me (still attached, I hasten to add!) (NB still have sense of humour.)

15.2.96 Loose cough with phlegm all day. A little weak - got very tired carrying wood from spinney (at edge of green) and had to stop after about 3 trips each way. Bit wheezy p.m. Very sweaty night with very vivid dreams (though this is not uncommon).

16.2.96 Still have cough. B.m. looser than usual under Motival. Moderately weak as yesterday. Feeling warm until after breakfast.

17.2.96 Still coughing phlegm. Pains in upper abdomen - suspect that they are muscular due to coughing and sawing wood. Feels internal so could be cause of suspected liver problems last year.

Generally a very good day - cheerful too but pleasant weather helped.

I wonder if the cold/flu has stimulated my system to attack the IBS-fatigue pathogen (or whatever it is).

Unusually un-tired. Studied till 2300! Still catarrhy (bronchial).

18.2.96 Still have catarrhy cough and still feel well otherwise. 2nd b.m. (bowel movement) (a.m.) loose. Some rectal aching a.m. Also some leg weakness (mild).

Sleepy by 2100 despite siesta.

19.2.96 Moderate leg weakness. Groin pain in later evening. Had been wearing trousers for 1st time in days, and possibly sitting awkwardly. May also have sat forward a lot tending fire.

Cough still moderately bad.

Some exertion today - sawing wood, carrying logs and moving the huge ivy ‘hand’ cut down today. Tiredness started soon after pain developed. (Yawning a lot.) (Assume that this is groin pain referred to earlier.)

Took Temazepam c. 2330 due to tickling cough. (Assume that this is Temazepam elixir, chosen for lack of animal content).

20.2.96 Cough v. slightly better. Well a.m. Busy morning including log-chopping. Wore trousers during earlier part of day.

No discernible weakness.

Mildish groin pain in evening. Started to feel tired around 2300. Felt that it was associated with pain as usual.

21.2.96 Cough better still.

Rectal and groin discomfort before and between 2 slow b.ms. a.m.

Mild groin pain in late-ish evening.

22.2.96 Feeling slightly weak again, as if muscles aren’t quite under my control as they should be. Clumsy. Fingers seem to be more sensitive to pain than used to be.

Feeling slightly depressed/fed up/bored for last 2-3 days.

Sleepiness came on c.2100 despite good siesta. Accompanied by mild groin pain and feeling of bursts of wind passing through groin area.

23.2.96 Slight weakness. Tightness and mild pain in groin from 2000 onwards, accompanied by tired eyes (similar to last night). Pressure on bladder as usual leading to frequent urination.

Falling asleep by 2100 so went to bed, as last night.

Am only spending about 10 hours a day out of bed!

24.2.96 Weak a.m. Difficulty walking while carrying wood; also when walking uphill/upstairs - very slow.

Still rather weak p.m. (early evening). Eyes a bit tired by 2025 - have had problems all day with blurring.

Early night because cold (I think entry means cold weather rather than a cold). Fire wouldn’t burn properly, gas (for portable heater) has run out, and electric heater is inadequate.

2.3.96 Groin pain (i.e. IBS) today and yesterday.

No pain later (after changing light bulb, I think), but sleepy by 2115 - well - eyes were.

Electrical info

Today c. 1700 light outside bathroom flickered when switched on, then proceeded to emit high-pitched continuous tone similar to ‘ringing in the ears’. Bulb failed at 1820. Replaced with new bulb - OK (no noise).


Electrical info

Zig-zag interference on tele for 1st time in (months?) starting at 1900. As before, it varies and stops occasionally. (Rough sketch) Distorts whole screen. Number and size of zigzags varies; so does position.

Liz has been around since yesterday (neighbour at no. 3, meaning she hasn’t been at my house but ‘around’).


Have been well for about 3 days - no pain and almost no fatigue or weakness. Latter has been absent for a couple of weeks or so. However, have felt a bit depressed and fidgety (time of month?). Felt better today after a bath containing ylang ylang oil.

Electrical info

Tele OK 0700.

(from 11th) (Not clear what this means) Played back (video)tape, made when interference was taking place, on 13th when it was not. No interference came out in tape, so it must have been tele affected, not signal.

(I presume reference to 11th means that tape was made then, during zigzag interference.)

17.3.96 P.m. groin pain for first time since about 9th. Had been wearing trousers with tight waistband. Pain only lasted a couple of hours (changed to loose trousers when it started).

Electrical info

Almost no colour on tele. Also keeps switching to Channel 8 when I operate video.

23.3.96 Depressed, possibly due to money worries

27.3.96 Still depressed. Legs aching (possibly due to basket-making yesterday). Alarming amount of blood when passed 1st motions. Also have had diarrhoea for few days, necessitating dashes like pre-Motival ones. Also randy - probably have an infection.

Was still driving on 27th March 1996. Date of car sale n/k (due to poverty)

28.3.96 Diarrhoea. Also lately, booze, dope and sleeping stuff (Temazepam) seems to have little effect. Long sleep yesterday in afternoon after 2 joints; 3 hours after taking Temazepam at night I was still awake.

30.3.96 Still have diarrhoea. Depression slightly less bad.

Very unpleasant artificial smell outside one evening around now.

2.4.96 Slight diarrhoea still, and need for dashes in morning. Maybe connected with fact that I have been drinking some old home-made wine (not very palatable so mixed with kit stuff).

Legs still slightly wobbly, possibly due to Motival - muscles generally don’t feel as responsive as should be.

Took 1st Prozac (fluoxetine) 20 mg about 1600. I may have imagined it but started to feel more cheerful within an hour. Also felt more energetic after 2 hrs (but have been very edgy lately - strange combination of tension and lethargy).

Groin pain came on around 1800. Had eaten peanuts a.m. and done some basket-making p.m. Following is from loose sheet, I think - symptoms attributed to Prozac): Period stopped; headache; poor appetite; rapid pulse; shaky; restless; insomnia?

3.4.96 Felt really bad mentally - tense and depressed. Lower lip twitching badly. Couldn’t sleep in afternoon (no Temazepam). Slept till 0320 at night after whole spoon of Temazepam, then needed another. No pain. Legs rather weak. Peanuts a.m.

4.4.96 No great after-effects from Temazepam. Lip twitching at times. Mood better today. Managed a decent siesta at last (had about ¾ spoon Temazepam - or was it a half?). Lip-twitching comes on after long non-twitching intervals.

Did about 8 miles cycling and pushing (bike) - 4 before siesta and 4 after.

Slight groin pain and fatigue after dinner, hence bed 2045.

5.4.96 Mood not v. good

6.4.96 Mood slightly better but not great. For some time now my movements have felt jerky and uncoordinated.

Started taking multivitamins and minerals daily.

IBS (groin pain) p.m. after studying - well - during studying, making me have to stop.

7.4.96 Still have diarrhoea a.m. - often have to make dash during breakfast. Mood variable - not v. good.

8.4.96 Felt improvement in mood 1025 (Drinking as often do a.m. now. Sometimes have a glass or two in evening as well.)

Still not feeling that good. Still getting occasional lip tremors - had one in upper lip today or yesterday.

9.4.96 Period seems to have fizzled out. Mildish but persistent headache in evening. Legs tired. Appetite rather poor possibly due to monotony of cheap food. Only having slice of toast in evening.

10.4.96 Still have diarrhoea a.m. Maybe it’s because I’m drinking slightly-immature wine. Pulse 112 this morning. Much of the time I feel shaky and uncoordinated. Also very restless. Am taking Temazepam twice a day - ½ tsp lunchtime and 1 tsp in evening. Probably unwise but I just want to sleep - I’m not depressed when I’m asleep!

Mild persistent headache in evening again; had not had my lunchtime Temazepam so it’s not that. Had it after getting up instead, and felt much less uncoordinated when it had taken effect.

Difficulty all day getting message to bladder muscles to contract.

11.4.96 Diarrhoea almost liquid. (2 bouts before breakfast - this is unusual since taking Motival). Had to take about ¼ - ⅓ tsp Temazepam about 0300. Felt slightly better than usual when got up (possibly because of Temazepam). Had difficulty finishing breakfast although it was nice and different from what I’d had for past fortnight.

Decided to come off Motival. Dr W suggested graduating it to one every other day for a week then one every 2 days for a week. Took none today. 1230 definitely feel better than usual (mentally) - is it Temazepam, lack of Motival or Prozac starting to work? Feel more normal.

1250 I feel human again! It seems that I was half-dead before; nothing interested or excited me; my senses of smell and taste were dulled. I’m tempted to never take another Motival, rather than stretching it out to avoid withdrawal.

Siesta lasted till 1940! Still feel much better. Didn’t have any lunch - not hungry. (Recently I’ve been waking up at 1500.) (Assume that this refers to waking from ‘siesta’.) Did start siesta later than usual today.

Still not hungry in evening but forced some food down. Had to take Temazepam to sleep.

12.4.96 Diarrhoea with blood a.m. Only just managed a small breakfast. Took Motival (reluctantly). Mood interim between alive and half-dead. More alive than before took day off Motival. Temazepam had little effect lunchtime. 2 joints. Mild pain on upper right-hand side in evening - area which I used to think was liver or gall bladder but which specialist said could be colon (or intestine).

13.4.96 Right-hand pain again. So traumatised by probable house sale that 1 litre wine, 2 joints and 1 tsp Temazepam failed to knock me out this afternoon. Took 35 ml Temazepam altogether today including late night.

(from loose sheet? 14.4.96 Stopped Motival. Senses reawakened. Date possibly wrong - see later)

from main health diary: 14.4.96 Bowels OK today. Took Motival but not Prozac. Good siesta (¾ tsp Temazepam, I think). Still sleepy later in evening, I think. Stayed up waiting for T to call but gave up and went to bed 2100. Slept well without any more Temazepam.

15.4.96 Went without Motival and Prozac and got so shaky I knocked over an empty demijohn and smashed it. Took a Prozac. Better later but poor siesta despite Temazepam (awake 1530). Took another ½ tsp Temazepam. Poor night’s sleep despite 2 or 3 more ½ tsps Temazepam. Decided not to take Prozac any more despite Dr W advising phasing it out. She suggested fairly quick phasing out and also said that after 48 hrs Prozac was out of one’s system. (This is not correct per http://www.drugs.com/pro/fluoxetine.html)

16.4.96 Stopped Prozac. Blood in faeces a.m. Not sure if took Motival or not. Had to take quite a lot of Temazepam tonight - at intervals.

17.4.96 No Motival. Very shaky. Pulse 110. Blood in motions a.m. Palpitations. Appetite still poor. Quite sleepy in evening but still needed quite a lot of Temazepam. Still didn’t feel as though had slept enough.

18.4.96 No Motival. Couldn’t finish breakfast even though only one slice of toast with beans and one veg sausage.

Not very good night’s sleep despite 15 ml Temazepam.

19.4.96 Appetite even worse - could eat even less breakfast although felt hungry when woke up. Blood in motions (quite a lot). Have lost about ¼ stone. Decided not to take any more Motival. Late siesta failed despite 2 joints and 5 ml Temazepam. Managed 6-7 hrs sleep with an additional 15 ml Temazepam.

20.4.96 Struggled to eat ½ slice toast, some beans and a small vege-sausage. As yesterday I felt really full afterwards and a bit nauseous, which alleviated with wine.

Had 2 platefuls of chips and fried parsnips p.m., then TVP meal at V’s. Went to pub for first time in ages and got groin pain for first time since 6th April. Usual accompanying fatigue. Slept for 6-7 hrs with 5 ml Temazepam. Took another approx 4 ml at 0530 but no good.

21.4.96 Bowels back to pre-Motival state. Great difficulty eating breakfast the size of yesterday’s - had to throw some away. Nauseous again. Took K&M (kaolin and morphine) around 0815.

Mild IBS (no fatigue) while finishing OU assignment a.m.

Continued all day (IBS groin pain presumably) and fatigue developed, but still needed 5 ml Temazepam to sleep and another 5 ml around 0430 (as well as 5 ml during day). Got about 7 hrs sleep altogether.

22.4.96 Blood in 1st motions. Mood lighter than of late.

Managed to finish a ‘½-slice’ breakfast (see 20th).

Took K&M a.m. to make cycling to local village less risky! (presumably referring to risk of bowel accident). NB local village is up a steep hill from, and journey was presumably for shopping. Had more energy than when did the journey on Motival and Prozac.

No siesta despite 2 js and 5 ml Temazepam. Lay in bed though, quite relaxed.

15 more ml from evening onwards, last 5 at 0430 - waste of time (presumably meaning that got no more sleep after that time).

23.4.96 Bad constipation/great discomfort a.m. 15 ml total Temazepam.

(from loose sheet, I think) 24.4.96 (started?) nausea and vomiting persisted until suicide attempt on 15.7.96. (Nausea actually referred to earlier)

(from health diary) 24.4.96 Woke 0430. Didn’t take more Temazepam. Bad constipation and discomfort a.m. again. Occasionally some thin light brown gunge came out but despite 3 glasses wine I still couldn’t defecate.

Took Zimovane p.m. Effect not overpowering but got about 6 hrs sleep. (Woke frequently and had to urinate.)

25.4.96 Depressed - thinking about suicide and how to best serve the cats and avoid upsetting people. Not constipated a.m.

Zimovane again - woke every hour and had to urinate. Max 6 hrs sleep even though took 5 ml Temazepam 0200-0300.

26.4.96 Took 1st Half-Inderal LA (propranolol hydrochloride) 1600.

4 hrs sleep or less despite Zimovane and 15 ml Temazepam.

(from loose sheet, I think) 26.4.96 (started?) Half-inderal LA (propranolol - appears to be 80 mg) Experienced nausea; numb hands and arms; dizziness; vomiting; sleepiness (2 days later)

(from loose sheet, I think) 27.5.96 Potential buyers viewed my house.

Sale was soon agreed, and I informally arranged to buy pleasant chalet-style park home, on well-run, reputable retirement mobile home park, very safe for cats, on bus route, with shop, café and good community atmosphere, which would have left me debt-free and with some spare cash.

Family member then intervened, telling me that he would help me to stay in my present home. Relief was overwhelming, but had to break the distressing news to would-be buyer and deal with anger of estate agent.

Then same family member intervened again, saying that I would have to sell home after all, and find another house to buy, with which he would help for a couple of years. Assumption was clearly that my health would be fine after that and I would be able to return to work. I very much doubted this.

Despite difficulties due to lack of transport, I found a suitable home, but the double-change of plan seemed to have been too much for my fragile physical, mental and financial state.

(from health diary) 27.4.96 Still only managing very small breakfast. Weight down a bit more. Still having 5 ml Temazepam. About 5 hrs sleep - 3 to start with after Zimovane and 5 ml Temazepam. Then problems despite another 10 ml (1st 5 gave me another 2 hrs). Awake from 0430 (quite common lately).

Legs aching (as were yesterday) and stomach area feels bruised.

Proper sleep after wine at T’s + Zimovane (no Temazepam).

29.4.96 Took K&M for post-breakfast nausea instead of having wine, as going out. Nausea persisted and got worse but alleviated by a lager. Returned later, not alleviated by 2nd lager; got worse accompanied by numbness in hands and arms, and dizziness. Unable to eat or drink. Vomited when got home, and felt sleepy.

Period came on during day (5 days early).

No food p.m. - no appetite. Not-too-bad night’s sleep.

Stopped Half-inderal LA.

30.4.96 Very little appetite - couldn’t drink tea a.m. Very small breakfast. Felt dizzy and zombie-like a.m.

Appetite good later and felt fine.

Reasonable night’s sleep. (Only had Zimovane, but had 5 ml Temazepam a bit earlier.)

1.5.96 Almost sick before breakfast. 4 bowel movements before 0840, later ones diarrhoea. After yet another of later (almost liquid) I took good swig of K&M.

Felt OK later a.m. but rather nauseous again after siesta. Very slightly dizzy too. Slightly bruised feeling in stomach again; also a bit sleepy (due to Temazepam?). Better later.

Have had urinary discomfort for about 2-3 days.

Slept fairly well with just Zimovane.

2.5.96 Had a whole slice of toast with mushrooms for breakfast! Got nauseous and dizzy during morning but better once started drinking. Nauseous again after siesta.

Nausea went after telephone call from brother D or after Zimovane. Moderate night’s sleep.

3.5.96 Nauseous as usual a.m. ‘½ slice’ breakfast. Nausea went after glass of white cider.

4.5.96 Persistent nausea a.m. Difficulty eating half slice of toast, spaghetti and small vege sausage. Attacked nausea with K&M and white cider. Bit better by about 1000.

Rather nauseous again after siesta but water helped. A bit dizzy p.m. Slept OK with Zimovane.

5.5.96 Anxious when woke so had 2½ ml Temazepam. Breakfast as yesterday, shaky and nauseous afterwards.

Only very mild post-siestal nausea. Needed small amount of Temazepam as well as Zimovane to sleep.

6.5.96 Jittery and anxious on waking so took 2½ ml Temazepam Spag on 1 slice toast for breakfast - no sausage. Not as nauseous as usual afterwards.

Usual pre-Motival diarrhoea (meaning diarrhoea as before started taking Motival - was not taking it any more) (most days, so won’t mention often) with light-coloured blood, sometimes quite copious).

Weight down to about 8st 2 lbs (was 8½ st before house sale became imminent).

Mild nausea after siesta - better after eating.

Bad night’s sleep - Zimovane inadequate; took 5 ml Temazepam and woke about 0430, when took another 5 ml but to no avail.

7.5.96 Reasonable night’s sleep with Zimovane and 5 ml Temazepam.

8.5.96 K&M a.m. as going out. Still a bit nauseous all a.m. 2 mg diazepam c. 1115. 2½ ml Temazepam 1330. No dope. Siesta.

Quite bad nausea after cycling to P&D’s and back. Came over tired at same time. After cycle ride right eye was markedly bloodshot.

Nausea almost gone after small meal. Woozy. Slept very spasmodically but reasonably long, with 2 Valium, 1 Zimovane and 4 ml Temazepam.

9.5.96 Had a Valium when got up. Post-breakfast nausea persisted until had white cider around 1000. Eye no longer bloodshot. Mood better than usual of late.

Siesta. Thinking of suicide after waking, as have done on occasions esp. at that time. Better when got up.

About 6 hrs sleep with 1 Valium, Zimovane and 5 ml Temazepam.

10.5.96 Valium on waking (0530). Post-breakfast nausea not as bad as usual.

Failed siesta (probably because expecting visitor). Very sleepy p.m. Depressed.

Couldn’t finish dinner. Then had phone call about possible availability of home at well-run mobile home park mentioned earlier and cheered up and managed to eat the rest. Slept relatively well - didn’t wake up very often. (Had usual)

11.5.96 Not tense when woke so didn’t take Valium (have been having 3 a day). Mediocre siesta. Depressed on waking; nauseous till drank water. Fairly continuous night’s sleep with 2 Valium and 1 Zimovane (no Temazepam) but felt unrefreshed on waking.

12.5.96 Felt that didn’t sleep enough.

13.5.96 Valium 1040. Much better night’s sleep than usual - 2 Valium, 1 Zimovane, 5 ml Temazepam.

14.5.96 Not much post-breakfast nausea but quite bad intermittent groin pain as of needing to pass motions urgently but nothing would come. Lots of itchy bites round waist - flea or midge? Felt unwell late a.m.

Quite good late siesta (Valium 1215).

2 Valium and 1 Zimovane mid-evening. Not very good sleep despite same drugs as last night.

15.5.96 Unproductive groin pains after breakfast again. Nausea quite bad. Felt better after bike ride. Didn’t take Zimovane p.m. instead took 10 ml Temazepam. Slept quite well.

16.5.96 Took Valium before breakfast. Morning nausea persistent despite wine. Reasonable siesta. Only mild nausea afterwards. Sleepy and a bit flushed after evening Valium (taken at 1730) Good night’s sleep on 5 ml Temazepam and another Valium.

17.5.96 Almost sick when got up - retched but fought it off. Persistent nausea a.m. until drank, then soon OK. Good siesta. Moderate night’s sleep but interrupted very frequently for urination. Had had 2 Valium and 5 ml Temazepam.

18.5.96 Urinary discomfort. Slept well with 5 ml Temazepam and 2 Valium.

19.5.96 Bronchial catarrh. Felt bit better after morning wine but really ill after lunch.

Failed siesta as feeling sick every time I coughed up phlegm. Dizzy when got up. Nearly vomited 3 times during afternoon.

Unable to eat in early evening. Then vomited.

Difficulty speaking. Managed 4 gin and tonics later but only about 4 hrs sleep despite 10 ml Temazepam & 2 Valium (& another 5 ml Temazepam at 0430).

20.5.96 Could only eat 2 slices of toast a.m. Had ½ glass wine. Feeling very cold and tired and lay down early p.m.

Then appetite returned.

Am now below 8 stone (over ½ stone lost).

Had quite a few g&ts in evening. Slept very well with 3 Valium and 10 ml Temazepam.

21.5.96 Exceptionally long siesta after 1 Valium, 2 joints and 5 ml Temazepam. Eating quite well. Slept v. well tonight too, having had 2 Valium and 10 (I think) or 15 ml Temazepam.

22.5.96 Still only managing small breakfasts (½ slice toast, spag and 1 cup tea today).

Slept from mid-afternoon till next morning with just 1 joint and 2 Valium!

23.5.96 Nauseous all morning despite wine. Nauseous, wheezy and dizzy when woke from siesta. Had cup of marjoram tea (golden marjoram picked from garden). Had had some on previous days (20th and 21st?) and it seemed to help with nausea and chest congestion. No discernible effect today, but nausea went after I took 5 ml Temazepam, & I was able to eat 1½ slices toast.

Physically very tired.

Slept well on 5 ml Temazepam and 1 Valium until S (cat) woke me up 0230. Another 5 ml Temazepam did the trick.

24.5.96 Still wheezy and coughing. Siesta OK but wheezy and nauseous on waking again. Nearly vomited (ditto yesterday). Also a bit dizzy again. Still retching and coughing at 1930. Urinary discomfort (and, I think, discharge too). Soon after Temazepam the nausea went and I was able to eat. Slept well with 10 ml Temazepam and 1 Valium.

25.5.96 Retching on rising again. Managed ½ slice toast & spag and 1 cup tea. Unremittingly nauseous all morning despite cider. Also later felt dizzy and tired. Still coughing fairly productively. Took 2½ ml Temazepam about midday to try to stave off nausea.

FOR MONTHS I HAVE THOUGHT THAT I CAN SMELL GAS AROUND THE HOUSE, including from portable gas heater and behind fridge.

Nauseous and dizzy following siesta again. Chest starting to ache a bit (from coughing?). Took 2 ml Temazepam. Slight improvement soon after; able to eat a small amount. Weight still going down. Slept well after further 5 ml Temazepam and 1 Valium.

26.5.96 2-2½ ml Temazepam did not have a rapid effect on morning nausea, but it did go after about 3 glasses white cider. Woken early from siesta & began to feel nauseous so had 3 ml Temazepam. Not much help. Got up a bit later and washed a Valium down with a few small brandies (exclamation mark or colon) Felt better soon-ish. Slept well.

27.5.96 Not very nauseous a.m. - had Valium on waking, followed later by K&M and cider. Retching on waking from siesta. Still coughing productively. Slept OK. NB whisky and Valium reduced evening nausea.

28.5.96 Usual morning retching and nausea. Took 2½ ml Temazepam. No dramatic improvement. Still coughing up small amounts of phlegm. Nauseous again following siesta. Valium didn’t help so took 2½ ml Temazepam. Needed another 10 ml to sleep.

29.5.96 Started Amoxycillin and Stemetil lunchtime. Still felt nauseous after siesta. V. sleepy in evening. 10 ml Temazepam to sleep (no Valium).

30.5.96 Stemetil does not seem to be working. Had to take K&M a.m. Occasional retching during day. Slept OK with 10 ml Temazepam + Valium.

31.5.96 Retching on getting up. Think that cough is slightly better. Not nauseous p.m. Appetite better (except when get up). Slept OK with usual assistance.

1.6.96 Retching as usual on getting up. Almost vomited. No nausea p.m. Slept OK.

2.6.96 Usual retching. OK after K&M and glass of wine. Slept OK

3.6.96 Back to spag for breakfast (had had mushrooms for last few days). Vomited a bit afterwards. Had glass of wine and another ½ slice toast. Started feeling sleepy (this often happens for a while after morning wine but not usually after only one).

Nearly vomited after waking from siesta. Had a Stemetil and glass of wine. Slept OK with just 5 ml Temazepam (but may have had more later).

4.6.96 Retching before and after breakfast. Think I forgot lunchtime Stemetil but had one and some food quickly after waking (from siesta?). Can’t remember what I took for night’s sleep - had received ‘bombshell’ from D K re the possibility of bailing me out. (This must have been the good ‘bombshell’ about not having to sell, as there is reference to the 2nd - bad one on 11.6.96.)

5.6.96 Vomited slightly before breakfast following coughing fit. Quite bad cough - used an old Ventolin inhaler. (Smoked some tobacco yesterday as had no dope.)

Late and very good siesta. (Used hash for 1st time in ages.) Difficulty waking up. Weather hot. No nausea p.m.

6.6.96 No pre-breakfast retching. Mood definitely lighter - wonder if the smell of honeysuckle (see nature diary) is a factor. No post-siesta nausea. (Had remembered to take Stemetil) Quite hard to get to sleep at night (10 ml Temazepam)

7.6.96 No pre-breakfast retching. During last 2 nights I have woken a few times feeling extremely hot. Forehead felt cool compared with hand, whereas it usually feels warm. Had to throw off most bedclothes for while, then felt normal again. No post-siesta nausea. Irritable.

Still cough occasionally, which causes near- or actual retching.

8.6.96 No pre-breakfast nausea or retching. Did have a ‘hot’ attack last night. Think I forgot lunchtime Stemetil. Still coughing a bit (but smoking quite a lot, including roll-ups (not inhaling). Didn’t sleep particularly well despite Valium and 10 ml Temazepam. Took another Valium 0330.

9.6.96 Still coughing at times and wheezy afterwards. V. sleepy on waking from siesta although had less D (dope?) and Tem (Temazepam) than yesterday. Slept quite well tonight on only 5 ml Tem and 1 Valium. Another Valium 0330.

10.6.96 V. late siesta and quite good night’s sleep; total about 9-10 ml Tem.

11.6.96 Pre-breakfast retching. Could be because not eating often enough, but tends to follow coughing. Bit wheezy again after breakfast & after coughing. Weight has stabilised and may be going up again. Appetite tends to be good in evening but sometimes don’t fancy any food I have, or can’t be bothered. Urinary discomfort yesterday and today (& on other occasions).

Think I forgot lunchtime Stemetil again.

Attack of retching on waking from siesta.

Bad night despite lot of Temazepam (15ml?) due to latest bombshell - I’ve got to start house-hunting again.

12.6.96 Late siesta - not v. good. Another bad night despite 10 ml Tem and the usual Valium - still ‘overhyped’ (clearly not right word) over sale-purchase (have made an offer on a house now).

13.6.96 Some retching a.m. despite an ultra-early slice of toast. Legs aching, it seems like every day. Sneezing quite frequently. Remembered lunchtime Stemetil but still retched on waking from siesta. Slept well tonight! At last! (10 ml Temazepam and Valium)

14.6.96 Had Stemetil at 0500 before a slice of toast. Still some retching later after coughing. Didn’t need a Valium early a.m. to get enough sleep so took 2 lunchtime instead of 1 + 2½ ml Temazepam. MISTAKE - too sleepy when woke from siesta. Bad-ish night. Had to take Valium 0400 along with Stemetil & toast! Slept reasonably well but fitfully until about 0800 (unusually late for me).

15.6.96 Groin pain after siesta. Had had different lunch from usual: savoury vegemince with mash spud and cauliflower. Maybe I had too much. It was very tasty. Weight has appeared to stabilise at 7st 12 lbs.

Groin pain persisted in typical IBS manner, relieved after 2 hrs or so by farting and alcohol!

Good night’s sleep with 10 ml Tem & 1 Valium.

16.6.96 Groin pain started late a.m. Oh dear; it’s back with a vengeance. Was at Recycling Fair with V but had to leave early with R due to pain and fatigue. Before pain started I think I had mild electric shock from door handle of V’s car.

Trying to listen to radio in evening - gave up due to interference (loud) making indecipherable. Very hot day. Had to lie down all evening. Slept well with only 5 ml Tem & 1 Valium although had had 5 ml Tem in afternoon too.

17.6.96 Still had IBS when woke. V. sleepy and tired even when time to get up (0715). Didn’t take pre-breakfast Stemetil - had large swig of K&M instead because going out (needed to avert diarrhoea). After breakfast got the retches while still having groin pain. This was too much and started me crying.

Took 1st metoclopramide after shopping trip (trade name Gastroflux). Groin pain gone but maybe due to smoke.

Mild groin pain after siesta.

No bowel movement a.m. - had one after siesta (NOT diarrhoea!).

Had to take 10 ml Tem as well as 1 Valium (but no Valium during day) to sleep tonight, maybe due to pain.

18.6.96 Still had groin pain on waking. Retched when cleaning teeth (usually do).

NB No blood in motions for several weeks. Legs aching like mad (had walked rather a lot yesterday). Absolutely shattered p.m. (Couldn’t study more than a page.) Appetite good.

19.6.96 Groin pain still there a.m. Hungry. Early Gastroflux and slice of bread and peanut butter. Large volume of bowel expulsion - slow - no diarrhoea. (Many visits)

Feeling unusually well for rest of day - no groin pain.

Great difficulty getting to sleep despite 10 ml Tem & 2 Valium. (No Valium during day)

20.6.96 Diarrhoea back. (On 3rd or 4th visit!) Seem to have increased incidence of hiccups since taking Gastroflux - not v. often - once every day or 2.

“Weight up to 7st 12” (This is same as value on 15th, but maybe it fell after that and was not recorded.)

Long siesta after which I was v. dopy although only had dope and 3 ml Tem. Great difficulty sleeping tonight - awake after midnight despite 10 ml Tem & 2 Valium.

21.6.96 Appetite now very good (too good?). Have been (for some time) getting extremely itchy scalp and face. This is in addition to the rash/scab situation in genital region & near rear end.

Quite long siesta on 4 ml Tem + dope. Dopy afterwards but not as bad as yesterday.

22.6.96 Good night’s sleep on only 5 ml Tem and 1 Valium.

23.6.96 V. tense when woke from a 2½ ml Tem + dope siesta. Had ½ Valium & more booze. Period ‘late’ (i.e. due but it’s usually early).

Ate several mature, hairy nipplewort leaves. Drank about 2 litres of white cider instead of usual one.

24.6.96 Vomited slightly a.m. - small amount of blood. Blood in motions too first time. Mild pain in left armpit. Failed siesta.

Poor night’s sleep despite 10 ml Tem and 2 Valium.

25.6.96 Retching a.m. Poor appetite. Better later. V. tense on waking from poor early siesta. Stomach area v. tender - feels bruised. Slept quite well on 10 ml Tem & 2 Valium.

26.6.96 Stomach still feels bruised. Severe retching a.m. despite taking Gastroflux before ‘breakfast’ (a half-slice of toast and cup of camomile tea - couldn’t even face normal tea). (Had had slice of toast around 0300 as ravenous).

Left ear also getting painful - both ears have been itchy lately & skin has flaked off easily when (frequently) scratched. Had to use some old Locorten-Vioform.

Coughing quite badly at times. Have been smoking quite a lot ‘under the glass’, plus an average 2 roll-ups a day which I don’t inhale.

27.6.96 Slightly-less bruised-feeling stomach. Had to fight off retching on way (pushing bike) to local village & when coming in through front door on return, despite Gastroflux & K&M.

Ear better.

Fairly relaxed after 5 ml Tem tonight but had to take another 2½ ml later.

28.6.96 Felt extremely anxious on waking. Had had to eat twice during night (if one can include 0500 today). Copious and numerous bowel movements this morning.

Failed siesta despite 3 smokes, booze, 5 ml Tem and ½ Valium. Still v. tense. Wish I knew whether a period was coming or not.

Slept quite well with 10 ml Tem and ½ Valium.

29.6.96 Mild retching on rising.

Going mad p.m. - despite 3 smokes, booze, 7 ml Tem & ½ Valium too tense to relax, let alone have siesta. In desperation took a whole Valium & another 5 ml Tem at 1520. Another 5 ml Tem 1720.

Slept fairly well, thank goodness.

30.6.96 3½ - 4 ml (presumably Tem) c. 0415. Felt better than usual a.m., maybe because going to V’s - company and a change from routine. Nausea following g&ts in pub & a bit of a cigar. (Not from diary but from memory - got very distressed - ran out of pub to beer garden, cried and told someone I wanted to die - and I did. I couldn’t even enjoy days out or drinks at my favourite/local pub now due to illness).

1.7.96 Vomited a.m., probably because drank too much yesterday and ate too little - also rather traumatic night following late visit from drunken J (who got drunker & slept on settee, but came up to my room twice, once asking to sleep with me! (I think he asked to sleep at foot of bed, but it was still very unwelcome.) He left major foot odour on pillow/s/cushion/s.) I probably got little sleep.

Failed siesta. Beginning to wonder if Gastroflux causes tension. (NB there are reports of this side-effect with metoclopramide, which notably include akathisia, vomiting, restlessness and insomnia) Had had dope, 5-5½ ml Tem & a Valium, but still wide awake - able to study even. Slept reasonably well on 5 ml Tem, but lightly, I think.

2.7.96 (this is a Tuesday) Decided to leave out Gastroflux. Had Valium 0500 & K&M 0750 (as planning to bike to local village). Brief mild retching attack pre-breakfast. Another fairly bad one on returning from local village. Failed siesta and retching afterwards despite another 5 ml Tem after getting up (on top of 5 ml Tem and 2 Valium earlier).

Felt so low that wrote suicide note & updated instructions to V to be acted on on my death. Had decided to do it on Thursday, having got a full bottle of Valium tomorrow (?). Spoke to people, after making decision, as if I was just carrying on with everything as planned (house sale, etc.) but still intended to do it. Later decided to try drinking stout instead of cider & eat less spicy food to see if nausea is relieved.

It’s the combination of nausea and tension that’s getting to me. I don’t know if I’ve got the courage to kill myself - what if I just threw most of it up and just got more ill?

Moderate night’s sleep.

3.7.96 Retching a.m. Still not taking Gastroflux - it didn’t seem to work. Started drinking Guinness instead of cider. Also am going to try using mint tea in mornings instead of ordinary tea - trying to reduce acid in stomach. No siesta despite 2 pts Guinness, 1 Valium & 5 ml Tem.

Panicky butterfly feeling in stomach but sleepy around eyes. Slept well on 5 ml Tem, having had 3 Valium during course of day.

4.7.96 Still diarrhoea a.m. Perhaps it will improve when my insides have recovered from all their past abuse (if I have willpower to stay off cider). No retching a.m.! Still have panicky feeling in stomach as yesterday. Flutterings in chest as morning progressed and I hadn’t had a drink. ‘Butterfly’ feeling continued until evening, but I slept well on 5 ml Tem, having had 2½ ml around 1530. (NB this is presumably the Thursday when I had planned on Tuesday to commit suicide.)

5.7.96 Risked fatty breakfast (mushrooms on toast with margarine). Felt rather queasy afterwards. No retching a.m! ‘Butterflies’ not quite as bad. Asthma for about an hour p.m., apparently set off by cold air. Ditto yesterday. Slept well on 7½ ml Tem.

6.7.96 No retching now since 3.7.96. Still bit shaky & jittery. Struggled with a CMA (computer-marked assignment for Open University) - don’t think I’ve done all that well (unlike my usual performance). Slept till 0230 on 6 ml Tem including some taken around 1700. Took another c. 3 ml at 0230 with a snack.

7.7.96 Risked a cup of real tea a.m. Seemed to give me a slight ‘lift’. Appetite quite poor at present - get no pleasure from food (or anything else, really).

Still thinking about suicide, but trying to hang on in case I start feeling better. Don’t know if I have enough tablets, etc., at moment, and want to time it so that it is discovered in about 24 hrs for cats’ sake, so must be co-ordinated with the postal system.

After 2 cups of tea I felt almost human - actually had the motivation to do some very basic housework. Wonder if lack of morning Valium has helped. Maybe Valium has contributed to depression. Will try to minimise daytime use.

Bit shaky & sweaty by 1130 - had not taken my usual (for last week or so) Valium or Temazepam at about 0900-1000. Took 2½ ml Tem at 1140, having had a bath earlier - first wash for a week, I think! Had really been neglecting self.

Feel that I must fight this without seeking psychiatric help or telling doctor of alcohol problem & suicidal wishes, but feel need for more contact with friends. Fear that if get professional help they may try to stop me drinking altogether (one of my few pleasures) and remove some of my autonomy/independence. They would certainly restrict availability of drugs, whilst I would rather keep control & just try to moderate use.

14 ml Tem overall today but only 1 Valium. 3 smokes.

8.7.96 2½ ml Tem @ 0510. Still shaky 0840. Also sweaty & queasy so took another 2½ ml. Feeling terrible 1320 - shaky, sweaty & with blurred vision. Had had 1 pt Guinness. Also uncoordinated/clumsy.

Felt much better after taking Valium and more Temazepam. Able to work on assignment quite easily! Perhaps I was trying to reduce alcohol & Valium together too fast. (But NB Drugs.com say that metoclopramide withdrawal can cause headache, dizziness, or nervousness. Was I taking it for long enough to cause this?)

9.7.96 Feeling nauseous a.m. When got bad news in post re intended new home I started retching & coughing & became wheezy. Anxious all morning & still ‘butterfly-y’ by 1700 despite my now-usual 2 pts Guinness, dope & 5 ml Tem. Appetite poor again recently. Felt better in early evening after a Valium - had only had 1 today. 12½ ml Tem total.

10.7.96 Felt slightly better this morning than yesterday. V. shaky & a bit sweaty by 0900 - had to take 2½ ml Tem 0950 in addition to the 2½ ml at 0500. Despite this I was still v. shaky & uncoordinated by 1200 (when I allow myself to drink). Coordination improved after a Guinness.

Weight going down again - have now lost nearly a stone since news of having to sell house (13th April). Teeth aching. Felt fine in evening (as often do) & was able to eat the nearest I get lately to a full-sized meal - spaghetti on toast.

5 ml Tem from 1730 had still not made me sleepy by 2100, so took a 2nd Valium. Overall 10 ml Tem.

11.7.96 Retched on waking. More retching later - anxiety due to OU mailing containing an important assignment & another specimen exam paper? Quite shaky & a (bit?) sweaty. No appetite.

Better in evening as usual. Total 10 ml Tem & 1 Valium today.

12.7.96 Surprise - period came on a.m. Slightly less shaky & sweaty a.m. than on previous days. However, still bit so by 1800. Had had 1 Valium & 5½ ml Tem since 0500.

Unable to eat (since small plate of spaghetti for breakfast) until 1800 when managed (very slowly) a mushroom paté one-slice sandwich. No retching though.

Ache in back just below neck. Have had neck-ache for a couple of days, probably due to stooping slightly over OU assignments. Had had 9½ ml Tem & 1 Valium by midnight. No sleep so took another Valium. Poor night’s sleep.

13.7.96 Took 3 ml Tem @ 0410. Nauseous on rising as well as shaky. Retched after slice of toast & cup of mint tea (have been having ordinary tea most days). Pulse fast. Pain in upper back again. Right thumb has started twitching. Ditto right forefinger. Almost slept in afternoon having smoked grass instead of hash (you never know what nasties there are in latter) & had total of 5½ ml Tem & 1 Valium since 0410 plus 2 cans of Ruddles County (stronger than Guinness).

Suicidal urges late afternoon. Better in evening, partly due to M (cat) being adorable.

Stopped shaking by 1930. Backache still. Had to take a Valium at midnight to get back to sleep. Total 11 ml Tem & 2 Valium.

14.7.96 Retched on getting up. Managed a plate of spaghetti but still nauseous & retching afterwards. Hungry again so had slice of toast. Retched again.

Thumb & forefinger have stopped twitching but upper back hurting again esp. after writing out some of an assignment.

Feel shaky again 1125.

Realise that thumb & forefinger twitching must be due to so much OU writing.

Felt v. sleepy after a pint of Ruddles County (unusual). Despite retching a.m. I had a good appetite today compared with usual recent lack. Even had beans on toast for dinner (after a small bowl of soup!).

Total 10 ml Tem & 1 Valium.


Retched on rising. Had had usual early Tem (2½ ml @ 0545). Vomited 0800 - had only had a cup of tea & some K&M. Another 2½ ml Tem 0850 as going out.

Survived a shopping trip with V but retched as soon as got in door.

Edited transcript of account of suicide attempt (some is illegible in original). Some is guesswork due to illegibility.

Suicide attempt using Temazepam, diazepam & paracetamol (2 illegible words) quite quickly. Still feel feeling about cats and friends but suffering due to poverty, low drive & motivation.

Hope this succeeds and that cats get to good homes and that the estate agent ramblings speed up.

I do not want the Ws (illegible) this house as they have (illegible)

Don’t want (illegible) 6 months parts.

But it is instilled in me I should put myself first. Isabel is very (friendly?) but needs Ovarid (tablet form) I have ordered some from W St for Wednesday.

I really think this is (for) the best, as my life has consisted

I hope that the little things that I have done that helped the environment.

Maybe I was not cut out of (for) this world or maybe I needed more motivation and encouragement.

At the moment I can hardly face a trip into L for fear of retching attacks in (?).

I love my cats dearly but feel that I am not attentive enough to them.

Ends with series of over-written words, from which I can decipher names of cats, ‘too many’?, ‘needs’, ‘have’ and ‘fed and’.

It was a massive overdose, carefully planned. About 65 paracetamol, half bottle of Temazepam elixir and half bottle of diazepam tablets. Had had suicidal ideation for months but fought it, and continued studying.

Article ‘Not the last day’ details suicide attempt and aftermath.

‘My ‘OP’ symptoms’ loose sheet:

“Neighbour sprayed my house in July 1996” (house flea spray) (this would have been J, who was looking after cats when I was in hospital)

From ordinary diary (presumably as had it with me)

17.7.96 Transferred to K’s College Hospital Liver Unit

27.7.96 Catheter out. No dialysis.

from health diary:

21.8.96 Came out of hospital on 17th. Still feel v. tired and thirsty. Slimy discharge. Hair keeps getting greasy v. quickly. Sleeping a lot - about 11 hours a day. Poor appetite. Outside of left thigh rather numb.

23 & 24.8.96 Diarrhoea a.m. Couldn’t sleep as much as usual.

25.8.96 Still getting shaky at times and grinding teeth. Have been getting slight urges to have alcohol or calming drugs but resisting without much difficulty. Still getting sleepy every few hours but it wears off. Not as thirsty last night and today. Sense of smell v. acute. Keep getting ache in upper back (not severe) Max 8 hrs sleep.

26.8.96 Diarrhoea after breakfast (incl. tea). Still staggering, swaying & bumping into things occasionally. Spasm of eye & lip 1130. Thirsty tonight.

27.8.96 Went dizzy when hoovering spare room (only briefly). Mildish pain on right-hand side of middle of abdomen later.

28.8.96 Diarrhoea after breakfast. Slept well.

29.8.96 Diarrhoea before breakfast. Phone(d) Dr W (from main diary)

30.8.96 Diarrhoea before and after breakfast. Walked to local village & back as yesterday. Dull pain on right-hand side of chest when walking, also as yesterday.

31.8.96 Diarrhoea before and after breakfast.

1.9.96 Usual diarrhoea a.m. Pain on l.h. side of chest (high up) becoming persistent.

2.9.96 Usual diarrhoea. Copious, mobile flatulence late p.m. with some groin pain (ditto yesterday).

3.9.96 Usual diarrhoea. Several dizzy spells when standing up after bending or crouching.

4.9.96 Diarrhoea a.m. Blood test 0920. Went dizzy when had tie on arm for blood test.

6.9.96 Still have diarrhoea every morning. Chest pains quite noticeable today - mostly on right but all way across at times. IBS in evening (meaning groin pain?).

7.9.96 Usual diarrhoea. IBS in evening. Have had v. bad (mobile) wind lately in early mornings. Moved to T today: temporary accommodation - room and kitchen above craft workshops in pleasant rural setting, with loo down stairs and outside, with 3 cats and no transport except bicycle. Continued pushing self while cycling (e.g. to shops and friend’s house). Also went for some long walks. Had now sold house and was awaiting completion re purchase.

8.9.96 Usual diarrhoea. IBS late afternoon (flatulence & tiredness - no groin pain). Left thigh still semi-numb - found it completely numb when in D Hospital. Only reason I can think of for it is damage to nerve caused by drip being left in left arm for too long - it became painful & I had slight pains in left armpit as well. The drip was left in for a week, on inside of elbow. Have had funny feeling in nose since leaving hospital too - feels permanently congested in middle.

9.9.96 Usual diarrhoea. Still under 7½ st although eating quite well. No chest pain. Still have vague, woozy periods (long) which I used to associate with need for alcohol. V. flatulent p.m. along with urinary continence difficulty.

10.9.96 Diarrhoea a.m. Bad wind (quite mobile but painful) + squits p.m.

12.9.96 Headache a.m. (mild). Legs bit achy. Slightly sore throat (as last night). Bad wind again yesterday p.m.

13.9.96 No diarrhoea! Couldn’t pass much a.m. (Did) another in afternoon.

14.9.96 Usual diarrhoea a.m. & wind p.m.

15.9.96 Diarrhoea or wind all day.

16.9.96 No diarrhoea a.m. Bad IBS from late morning, persisting till bedtime. Clumsy, tired-eyed & generally zombified.

Had had mint tea at breakfast (as yesterday), no chillies but tofu with tomatoes, cumin, turmeric and oregano. Later had had cornflakes & soya milk.

17.9.96 Shaky & sweaty after breakfast. Eyes feel strained already & nose still feels strange. No diarrhoea a.m. - only passed stools once. Some slightly mobile wind from afternoon onwards but nothing like yesterday. Have been very itchy lately.

18.9.96 Slight diarrhoea a.m. Mobile but bad wind from early afternoon throughout rest of day. Commenced with loud gurglings, squealings & groanings from intestines around midriff (as is often the case). Usual urinary continence difficulty.

19.8.96 Mild pain on right-hand side of chest. Fairly profuse sweating (usually sweat heavily at some time during day, not as a result of external heat). Slight dizziness at times. Have had mild dizziness a few times over last 2 days or so. Took digestive herb tea 3 times today. Wind began around 1700 - mobile but painful & uncomfortable & incontinence-causing. (I think this refers to slight urinary incontinence arising from pressure from wind in bowel).

20.9.96 No night sweats lately. Sleeping well. Usual diarrhoea a.m. Hair not getting excessively greasy any more. Sleeping about 8 hours a day properly.

Mobile wind, moderately uncomfortable from 1800. Usual accompanying tiredness & urinary continence difficulty.

21.9.96 Mild, fairly mobile wind from about 1800. Not tired but had to urinate extremely frequently.

22.9.96 As yesterday - perhaps even milder.

23.9.96 Have a slight cold which has been trying to take hold for days. Woke with headache, as a few days ago, but it soon went. Diarrhoea a.m. - it’s been less prevalent for last 2 days. Appointment with psychiatrist Dr F 0950 who wrote long, sympathetic report containing a number of inaccuracies.

IBS yet milder than yesterday: wind (mild) started after 1800. Lot of urinary frequency from then & through night. Also v. bad itching. Earlier on I seemed to keep finding bits of fluff on face, esp. irritating on nostrils and eyes.

24.9.96 IBS quite bad & late in onset - 1800-1900, but later became more immobile & v. tiring. Usual urinary problem.

25.9.96 Woke feeling hungry & with headache. Nauseous after 1st cup of tea & before breakfast.

Still getting dizzy spells (esp. in mornings but after a good breakfast) when rising, e.g. from chair. Some pain & tightness in chest too (not v. often). Pain high up on l.h. side of chest this a.m. IBS even later today - started between 1900 & 2000. Mild at first, becoming painful & v. uncomfortable about 2100.

26.9.96 Felt well until late evening, although some bladder weakness. Bowel discomfort only lasted from about 2200-2400. Period had come on, and hadn’t had usual large meal with pasta/bulgur.

For weeks now my upper arms have been aching (all the time, I think).

Also have grating sound at back of neck when turn head, like when I had arthritis due to poorly positioned VDU at work, but without pain.

27.9.96 Sleepy from midday onwards; also a bit weak. Intermittent wind & bladder weakness in afternoon.

28.9.96 Hardly any IBS. Weight up to about 7¾ st. Hungry a lot of time. Memory & logic have been deficient for weeks (months?) - forget to post letters, use coupons, make phone calls, ask/tell people things. When psychiatrist asked me to recount key events I forgot one. Worried about V’s cat getting run over, when she was sitting on my lap! Suggested that someone might give me a lift when I knew that they didn’t have a car. Etc.

Some pain (sharp-ish) on inside of left elbow - connected with that drip that was left in for ages? Left thigh still quite numb. Nose feels pretty normal now. Pain inside left elbow gone later. Slight stitch-like pain in right thigh then.

30.9.96 Dullish pain on left side of chest. Had been cycling, typing and doing washing, so maybe it’s muscular.

IBS fairly mild today.

Morning diarrhoea hasn’t been too bad lately.

1.10.96 Urinary continence difficulty (great frequency) & some tiredness but hardly any wind.

3.10.96 IBS started 1400. Wore off a bit later. Moderate.

4.10.96 Biceps aching. Arms still aching much/most of the time. Mouth sore inside. No IBS except morning diarrhoea. Hygienist then Mrs J (dentist) (latter from ordinary diary - was this cause of sore mouth?) NO HERB TEA.

5.10.96 Diarrhoea from early morning (explosive at first). Mouth less sore. Uncontrollable flatulence & accompanying squeals and groans from colon from afternoon onwards. Discomfort too, sometimes pain. Some tiredness from quite early on.

6.10.96 Difficulty gauging need to defecate - some false alarms. Solids mixed with wind.

Uncontrollable flatulence from afternoon. Noises as yesterday. Mouth better. Left ear painful. Used Locorten Vioform drops.

7.10.96 Left ear better but not completely. Have feeling that cold virus had spread to bowels, mouth & ear. Explosive but not v. fluid diarrhoea a.m.

8.10.96 Ear almost completely better.

Hardly any IBS discomfort, but some uncontrollable flatulence for while in afternoon & urinary frequency in evening.

Slight but sharp pains in shoulders p.m. - rheumatism?

9.10.96 Mild but persistent head- & neck-ache. Sweaty.

10.10.96 Vision blurry. Dizzy spells when rising, even p.m. Eyes shining, wet-looking. Quite bad groin pain in evening. Hadn’t eaten or drunk anything different from yesterday.

16.10.96 Keep waking up with mild headache & sore throat.

26.10.96 Moved to M P on 17th. Developed cold. Now for last few days I’ve felt tired, esp. in evenings. Not much IBS - just some in evenings (fairly mild). Sweating quite a lot. Bit headachey in mornings. Want to sleep a lot. Hallucinating a bit today - seeing moving shadows. V. varied & vivid dreams last night.

27.10.96 Quite bad IBS 1700-2000, including sleepiness & hallucinations.

28.10.96 Sore throat. Hallucinations.

29.10.96 Diarrhoea as most mornings recently. Feeling a bit fed up lately. IBS p.m. Also jittery. Clenching teeth.

30.10.96 Slimy discharge as well as diarrhoea. Sweating profusely today (weather cold).

31.10.96 Diarrhoea, discharge, weak & aching legs a.m. Weak. Eyes blurry & tired. Have had numbness & cramp in limbs on occasion during last few days.

No herb tea & no IBS today.

1.11.96 Thirsty last night - had to keep drinking out of water bottle after getting up to urinate. Diarrhoea & fairly copious discharge. 3 cups of herb tea. Not much IBS but spells of extreme tiredness. V. blurred vision at times.

2.11.96 Diarrhoea & discharge. Extreme urinary frequency & thirst before getting up. Extreme frequency in early evening, an hour or so after herb tea. Diarrhoea again at that time as well.

3.11.96 Diarrhoea. Thirst again early a.m. Some discharge & usual excessive sweating (in crotch). Resultant irritation & itching quite severe. Still scratching obsessively. Getting through lots of sanitary towels - great relief to put dry one on. Uncontrollable flatulence for a while p.m. Have been using a margarine containing annatto. Finished it today.

4.11.96 Legs weak & tired. Faeces less runny.

5.11.96 Mild diarrhoea. Every morning for long time I have had fluid in upper airways necessitating a lot of vigorous throat-clearing. Can’t be due to smoking as I haven’t smoked anything since July.

6.11.96 IBS 1530. Had eaten same as yesterday, but didn’t get it till evening then.

Suffering for rest of day, including the usual washed-out feeling.

7.11.96 Profuse sweating a.m. Legs tired & aching early p.m. (sweating had stopped). Have at least one wart in crotch (near leg). Profuse sweating again in evening whilst also polyuric (following 2 cups of tea).

8.11.96 Private parts too sore to wash properly - made me yell.

Bought & installed a small ioniser (brand name Ionostatic, made by A.D. Products Ltd of Sheffield.)

Was feeling irritable today. Bad IBS in evening (groin pain & urinary frequency). Cold sweat p.m. as well.

9.11.96 Diarrhoea. Having to pass motions in afternoon, evening & early hours of morning at times. Legs v. weak a.m. Hair getting greasy quickly lately. Aching clavicles. Profuse sweating (cold, as usual) in afternoon, accompanied by polyuria. IBS started during or after this.

11.11.96 Trouble staying awake after lunch, as yesterday. Then sweating started & lasted a few hours. Still hallucinating regularly. (Shadows which I momentarily think are cats or people) Having to defecate frequently during last few days. Hot flush (?) in afternoon - face felt hot for ½ hr or so.

Considerable trouble with memory. Cannot hold thought in head for more than few seconds. Keep going blank. NB Eating well (perhaps too many biscuits, mostly choc. ones, but otherwise healthy food). Not using any drugs, not even alcohol.

Defecating all evening. Intermittent bouts of sweating. Some trembling. Another flush in evening. Cheeks v. hot to touch but don’t look especially red.

12.11.96 Profuse sweating a.m. (after breakfast). Sleepy in early afternoon again although hadn’t had a main meal, only snacks. Crapping in evening again. Noticed that I had double vision when looking through binoculars.

13.11.96 Profuse cold sweating a.m. Mind very fuzzy - cannot remember anything from one minute to next. Seems to be due to tiredness, but I can’t be getting much less than 7-8 hrs sleep a night.

Feeling flushed p.m. after meal. Started Hypericum on 14th.

15.11.96 Usual sweating a.m. (I think I get at least one bout, lasting 2 hrs or more sometimes, every day). Also usual fluid in respiratory tubes necessitating lot of throat clearing. Have had bouts of sore throat & voice cracking.

IBS in late evening. Right eye stinging.

16.11.96 Usual sweating a.m. Extreme drowsiness c. 1645 (after a meal). More sweating in evening.

Sometimes wake up with legs or arms rigid and feet or hands numb or cramped.

17.11.96 Still get sweating & weakness in legs after passing motions. Don’t think latter due to standing awkwardly while wiping.

Sweating bouts a.m. & p.m. P.m. one accompanied by flushing.

18.11.96 Sleepy in early afternoon. Have been gritting/clenching teeth a lot during recent weeks.

Minds gets v. tired after ½-1 hr of intense thinking (e.g. working on devising board game).

19.11.96 Feeling rather fed up. Still frequently get what I suppose is a kind of disorientation. Example: walking along road some distance from house, thinking that one of my cats is with me, & (almost?) turning and looking for it. Haven’t had much IBS for last few days. Bowels fairly normal too. Found walking to N rather tiring. Legs weak & achy. Left ankle & sole painful at times. Cracking sound heard around where ankle joins foot.

‘Burning’ nostrils in evening. Extreme urinary frequency at bedtime - kept me awake till after midnight.

20.11.96 Diarrhoea a.m. Persistent sweating all day & urinary frequency worse than usual.

21.11.96 Sweating heavily most of day - armpits, crotch & poss. feet (they feel wet; maybe they’re just cold). Weather v. cold - didn’t wash because didn’t want to take clothes off! Had to change pad v. frequently.

22.11.96 Passing lot of urine & getting thirsty from early hours. This happens quite often. Feeling bit fed up again. Weather cold & damp. Bout of sleepiness around midday. Uncontrollable flatulence after evening meal. Skin sticking to pad after scratching.

23.11.96 Several bowel movements a.m. Sharp but not intense pain v. low in groin at times. Sweats. Hair feels horrible lately - lank & irritating. Hands v. dry. Sleepy around 1430. Hair rather electric - standing out straight. Falling asleep again c1700 after meal. Seeing haloes round things (esp. moving objects) at times. Shadowy hallucinations, e.g. thinking that a cat is beside me when there’s nothing there. No IBS except flatulence after meals.

NB I seem to have been misusing the word ‘flatulence’ to mean passing wind rather than its build-up.

24.11.96 Feeling irritable maybe partly due to incessant rain & difficulty lighting fire.

Edgy & bit anxious late afternoon - thinking about OU. Urinating frequently & profusely. Sweating too. Considerable urinary continence difficulty - may have had small accidents due to only slight movement. Clothes feel v. tight round waist (often do).

Groin pain & backache after few hours working on board game - must have been leaning forward. Pain short-lived. Also uncontrollable wind.

25.11.96 Slimy clear but faintly yellowish discharge. Mild pain in groin - feel as though it’s related to an infection in the reproductive organs.

26.11.96 Slime again pm - also defecated then. Could evening shits be due to brussels sprouts?! Abdominal muscles aching as if bruised, but presume it’s from cleaning furniture in garage - quite strenuous.

27.11.96 Frequent urination a.m.; several bowel movements, last one diarrhoea.

Difficulty seeing for minute or so after using binoculars (couldn’t see details). Difficulty cleaning teeth as arm kept getting tired/weak.

Couldn’t grip loo paper (right hand) after carrying home 4 kilos of chicken mince (for cats). Sleepy p.m. Mild head-& neck-ache. Eyes blurry.

28.11.96 Urinary frequency & continence difficulty for much/most of day. Bowel continence difficulty a.m. (as often is). Groin discomfort/mild pain p.m. Had eaten v. little (no large meals) but had been leaning forward in chair a lot. Cold sweating. Discharge. Frequent urination & thirst after going to bed.

29.11.96 Discharge still. Mild pain in groin which I think is due to a reproductive infection (or poss. bladder).

Noticed that I frequently or always have difficulty taking off jumpers - it’s hard to pull them up over my head & hurts my arms (forearms).

Became sleepy twice today (as quite often happens).

30.11.96 Discharge. It’s extremely slippery & hard to remove with loo paper. Dull pain in groin again. Frequency & IBS-type groin tightness & sleepiness in evening.

1.12.96 Still have infection(?)-related pain. Also chest pains (near armpits), some leg weakness & sleepiness. Realised in evening that I wasn’t breathing properly - keep holding breath. Due to anxiety? Feeling rather low in mood in evening. Have had to ration herbal medicine for last few days as nearly run out. Haven’t been using herbal tea for a week or more. Drinking lot of ordinary tea.

2.12.96 Sore throat on waking. No discharge or associated pain. Much less sweating than usual lately.

3.12.96 Reproductive (?) groin pain again. Having extreme urinary frequency on waking (every ½ hr or so). No diarrhoea.

Fingertips went slightly numb after small bit of washing up. Twinges in wrists (upper/outside) after numbness wore off. Feeling tired & rather weak. Aching legs. Frequent urination & thirst.

4.12.96 Slight numbness in left hand again. Only holding lopping shears. (Numbness only brief) IBS pain, flatulence & tiredness/sleepiness in evening. Early night.

Frequency & thirst after going to bed. Going about once an hour (which isn’t unusual).

Frequency & thirst at night on 5th too. On the whole feeling better than usual on 5th & 6th, but arms weak when cleaning teeth on 6th.

Fair amount of sweating on 6th.

7.12.96 Pain in groin at times which I think is bladder-related. (Yesterday too)

8.12.96/9.12.96 Only had to get up about 4 times overnight! (Thirsty as usual after last 2)

9-10/12/96 Only 4 or 5 visits again.

10.12.96 Dull pain (occasional) & tenderness in chest near right armpit a.m.

11.12.96 Lot of twinges in groin, some severe (making me yell) - due to period being imminent? Also some in lower back & in chest near armpits. Strenuous physical activity a.m. (making hole in door for cat flap).

12.12.96 Mild headache last few days. Weak today, esp. legs - had to stop several times when walking up R Hill; also had to rest arm during teeth-cleaning (as do sometimes). Pain on left-hand side of chest (dullish).

15.12.96 Still not having to get up more than every 2 hours at night. 2nd day of diarrhoea a.m. Mild headache, eye strain & inexplicable tendency to weepiness. Sweating quite a lot during past 2 days.

17.12.96 Slept better than usual last night - 3 hours at a stretch! Vivid & varied dreams. Still have to urinate v. frequently on waking up (for a couple of hours) Nausea after lunch + profuse belching (which relieved it, I think).

Profuse rancid sweating after late afternoon cup of tea + needing to urinate about every 10 mins.

Getting quite bad eye-strain through working on illustrating board game. Need new glasses? Occasional flushing. Slightly sore throat p.m.

18.12.96 Headache again on waking. Irritable (not enough sleep? Have had a cup of strong coffee last 2 days)

19.12.96 V. irritable last few days. Not sleeping as well as usual, partly due to bladder refusing to let me sleep on in morning. Extreme urinary frequency after cup of tea in afternoon - every 5 mins for ½ hr. Definitely passing more than a cupful!

20.12.96 Slippery discharge in evening. Left ear sore inside. Energy & strength v. low. Arms & legs aching. Having to stop several times walking up R Hill; also when walking back carrying quite heavy shopping - arms hurting.

21.12.96 Abdominal pain throughout hours of daylight, from waist to groin (not all at same time). Pain again in evening after short respite - period-like pain + rectal twinges. Sore tongue & peeling skin below fingernails (had pushed cuticles down recently - connection? Had also had hands in v. cold water - so cold that it hurt)

22.12.96 Ear still sore. Used Locorten-Vioform. Getting gastric reflux even before breakfast.

23.12.96 Slime early evening.

24.12.96 Slime a.m. Nausea (mild later in morning - have had this a few times recently - prob. associated with gastric reflux). (Added bracket)

Seem to have chilblains on both little toes. Quite sore. Hadn’t noticed that feet were cold, although they’ve felt damp sometimes. Have been wearing equivalent of 1-2 prs socks & fleecy lined boots most of time; wellies when outside (which is only brief apart from shopping). V. cold this morning - below 40°F in kitchen.

Breasts aching as though period due, but only had one 11 days ago.

25.12.96 Had 3 glasses port in pub & 1 glass red wine. Also 3 teas & 3 coffees during course of day. Really bad urinary frequency from around midnight-0300 - every 10 mins. Got progressively thirsty although swigging small amounts of water. Groin pain too (IBS + bladder?). Wind seemed to both press on bladder & prevent complete emptying.

27.12.96 Pretty knackered after shopping lunchtime (still knackered 2 hrs later)

Started having a mug of sage tea a day (made with 1 tsp dried sage)

Sleepy, hungry & thirsty in afternoon.

For some time have had considerable stiffness of limbs & difficulty getting up from kneeling or bending, & unbending arms after holding phone for long-ish time or carrying shopping. Arm retains imprint of shopping bag handle for some time (quite deep dents).

29.12.96 Chilblain on left little toe gone. Right one purple, sore & blistered. Breasts still aching. Vivid & v. varied dreams last few days.

Occasional flushing of cheeks.

Heavy sweating all over during sleep. Had to defecate 0600. Vivid dreams (some about war)

30.12.96 Diarrhoea a.m. but slowness. Explosions! Difficulty getting clean, as often have. Dull occasional pain in small of back & slightly sharper one in groin different from the persistent tight pain that I call IBS or groin pain.

Disorientation in supermarket & elsewhere - things seem to be swimming/swirling before eyes. Bit like when I used to think that I needed a drink.

Diarrhoea still/again in evening.

Back of right hand itchy this evening as yesterday evening. Red ‘pinpricks’ & a raised spot.

Bad defecatory frequency & urgency in evening.

31.12.96 Mildish headache (persistent).

Mobile groin pain, urgency sometimes only resulting in large farts.
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You kept a very detailed track of your symptoms and experiences. I can imagine this helped you with your GP when getting your diagnosis. If nothing else it organises thoughts and you can see patterns develop.
Thank you for sharing.

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