Bipolar Depression and Misdiagnosis

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I was born in January 1964 an Aquarian….

I did really well at High School and left with 5 Highers (3A and 2B) I chose not to go to university and started working in Central Regional Council as a trainee accountant. This was not what I really wanted to do… actually would have liked to be a journalist but in 1982 getting any sort of job was an accomplishment.

I qualified as a CIPFA Accountant in 1988 the same year my dad died aged only 49. I married in 1989 and had my first daughter in 1992 – the pregnancy was a breeze but I suffered some post natal depression and went back to work job sharing. I went back fulltime in 1994 as we were moving to East Lothian through my husbands work.
I managed to get a job with the local authority which was very stressful as I also undertook almost all the parenting of my 2 year old.

In March 1995 I got the flu and a really nasty chest infection. I was prescribed antibiotics. I went to an Accountant’s weekend school at the Marine Hotel in North Berwick the following weekend and began to feel unwell…pins and needles in my hands and feet and my legs became weak, I couldn’t close my eyes when I went to bed as my eyelids wouldn’t shut.

I phoned my mum who was babysitting the next morning and by the time she picked me up and drove the 20 minutes to my home I couldn’t move. The GP was great and diagnosed Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS) a peripheral neuropathy and I was rushed to the Western General by blue light ambulance.

Things worsened and my body started to shut down….worst of all I couldn’t talk!

I had lots of tests and the diagnosis was confirmed. I was told it was my body’s reaction to the antibiotic/stress combination. There was no cure as such and I was told I was lucky that I hadn’t recquired to be put on a ventilator.

Power of speech was the first thing that returned although my family didn’t appreciate my humour at times but that’s how I tend to deal with life. I remained in hospital for several weeks starting off in an electric wheelchair and then was sent home on crutches.

I got tired very easily and was given a bell to ring to summon my mum who became my carer…the bell was confiscated quite quickly…

A contact in the GBS support group recommended I try Reflexology for nerve pain as the myelin sheath grew back. I had never heard of Reflexology until then but I tried it and loved it.

It took almost 9 months before I was able to go back to work.

Local Government Reorganisation took place on 1st April 1996 and I was given a huge promotion – needless to say this was very stressful and I was diagnosed with depression. After that I had recurring bouts of depression resulting in more time off work. Each time I kept pushing to get back to work – before I should have and it became a vicious cycle.
Eventually I was diagnosed as having Bipolar Depression 1998 and was eventually retired on the grounds of ill health in 2001….that’s another long story.

This provided the turning point in my life. After a 10 year gap I gave birth to my second daughter in July 2002. When she started primary school in 2007 I went to college and gained an HNC in Complementary Therapies incorporating Reflexology, Swedish Massage, Aromatherapy Massage and Indian Head Massage.

I now work for myself and manage this around my Bipolar. I have my pension so do not rely on this financially. I offer affordable treatments to people who would otherwise not benefit from Complementary Therapies. I concentrate mainly on Reflexology as it is such a powerful tool.

I am now a single parent with 2 beautiful daughters aged 23 and 13 and am proud of all of my achievements. I hope to go to university in September and will still run my business around that.

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