The Dream

Hi folks,
So as you may have seen on my other forms of social media,  two nights ago I had a dream. Normally when I dream I forget the dream almost instantly upon waking up. Not this one, this has stuck in my head for days now.
The dream itself had me standing in a dark room with a rope around my neck, I could tell it was a rope by the feel of it. Everytime I cut the rope free from my neck it would wrap itself around my neck again squeezing. I would cut it again, get a breath in, then it would wrap around my neck again. 
I know the dream is supposed to represent depression.  But for the past few days I’ve begun to question things. Was this my mind saying it’s pointless to keep fighting?  Which the male voices (hallucinations) have been bombarding me with talk to give up. 
Its been a real struggle for me to try to ignore this. I’ve never dreamt anything that was relevant in my life. Usually weird things that make no sense. 
I don’t know why I’m so stuck on this…

The Float

Hi Guys,
I just wanted to share my experience at The Floatation Center . My parents this year gifted me a Float. So, what is a float? Well, easiest way to explain it is… You remove all your senses, touch, taste, sight, sound. You find yourself in a new complete feeling of relaxation with nothing for your mind to distract you with. As you lay there you experience the most intense feeling of relaxation.

 I even managed to have a flare up of my chronic pain while floating and in minutes it was gone because I couldn’t tense up like I normally would. By the time my float was over I found myself in a glow. Unable to find the words to describe what I had experienced.

Even now hours later i am still super relaxed. Another thing I noticed post float is my normal anxiety I would have being around strangers was gone. I was able to have conversations with complete strangers, something I don’t do because of my mental illness. 

The staff, Palmer, who was my host was amazing, ensuring I had everything I needed and that my questions or concerns were resolved before the float. 

If you’re interested in booking or looking into floating yourself, check them out at http://thefloatationcentre.ca

I HIGHLY recommend it!
Brandon

Full Unedited Interview

THE FULL UNEDITED INTERVIEW

Hi Brandon. Manda suggested that I get in touch with you. I’m looking to interview someone who has had trouble with access to psychological counselling services either because they couldn’t afford it or their work insurance did not cover it. Would you be open to it? Also, would you be comfortable if I use your full name?
Me- Yes I’d be up to it. And you may use my full name. Brandon Foster.

how would you prefer we do the interview? By phone or some way else?

Me- Electronic because my phone anxiety is a killer. We can email. Skype, IM, or DM on here.
ok, here is fine, but I’ll say it was by email. First, where are you from, how old are you?

Me- Bridgwater ,NS born and raised. Living in Dartmouth. I am 30 years young.

Young. I like that. OK, so you mentioned anxiety. Is that why you were seeking counselling, or other issues?

Me -Other issues. Seeking counseling for my severe clinical depression and hallucinations.

Do you work?

Me-Anxiety is Depression’s tag team partner with most people. Currently on medical leave. Still employed

what do you do?

Me- Working at a call center here in Dartmouth, in Burnside.

OK. So did you had trouble finding a psychologist?

Me- Yes. The demand is high for them, and there surprisingly few of them here in this province. In NS, the average wait time can be upwards of 9 months. I waited close to four months and I was marked urgent by my family doctor.

did your work insurance cover it or did you have to pay out of pocket?
Me-My work benefits had expired. I had to apply for the free mental health services through capital health (NSHA) .

OK. How did you feel during those 4 months? Were you getting upset or frustrated at the long wait?

Me- Definitely. As time progressed my mental health continued to deteriorate. My doctor also frustrated put 4 request for urgent help. Perhaps had I gotten help sooner I may have fully recovered by now.

when was this 4 month wait. was it recently?

Me- This would have been early 2015 . With recent budget cuts to mental health programs here I can’t see it being any better now.

And you feel that if you hadn’t waited so long you would not be on medical leave right now?
Me- Exactly. We could have nipped it in the butt so to speak at the early stages before things got so far out of control for me mentally.

ok, final question. In your opinion, how could access to psychologists be improved in Nova Scotia
Me- Perhaps offer them a reason to come here to help the one’s already here. The demand has become too great for the ones here. Not sure what you could offer. Pay raises, tax relief, a free coffee mug. But there needs to be an influx of phycologists to this province.

 

 

Customer Service Me

Hi guys,

Thought I’d do something a little different today.

So I’ve worked at call centers now for 13 years and have tons of memorable moments I thought would be fun to share.

Two Points: (1) None of these stories are from my current employer.
                         (2) Names, Locations, Companies, Projects will not be shared. Just enjoy the hilarious things I’ve seen over the years.

The first of such stories was while working in the cellphone industry. An Elderly woman calls in really upset about the calls she is receiving on her mobile phone. She further explains that men are calling her leaving graphic sexual messages on her voicemail and when answering the phone men are asking for sexual favors from this poor old woman.

While talking to her we were able to get the phone number these men believed they were calling.  Upon investigation,  discovered that calls were being forwarded from this other number to the elderly womans phone. We called the number these men were believed to be calling and discovered that this customer was a pornstar on set. We explained the situation to her that she had incorrectly call forwarded to the elderly womans phone, at which point the porn star requested compensation for the calls she had missed,(which was her fault) . We declined to compensate,  and successfully corrected the call
forwarding error.  I don’t think I’ve heard a more happier person then this elderly woman.

This is a real situation I had to deal with. Believe it, or not.

If you enjoyed this leave a like, and I have tons more stories I can share if there is interest.

Cheers, 

Brandon

2016… The year of ???

Hi Friends,

I’m sure you’ve been wondering how I’m doing. Well, it’s complicated.  I’m stuck in the vicious depression cycle,  combined with a new psychotic episodes (what I’m calling them). Moments where I’m a passenger in my body for a period of time. The first two were self harm . The most recent,  well let’s not go there. I exhibited dangerous behavior going off my meds cold turkey,  and that messed me up pretty good with the side effects.

Why?

Well, when you’re walking that dark hallway, you’ll bump into a few walls, stubble and fall down. Each day has it’s ups, downs. I’ve been unable to be alone,  having only spent one night in my own bed since Christmas.  The demons come out at night and I’m better safe then sorry.

I appreciate everyone checking my Facebook page looking for updates.  It helps greatly to have so many caring people around me.

I will try to update you again soon,

Best wishes,

Brandon

December 2nd, 2004

Greetings One And All,

I Know I Said I’d Do This As A Youtube Entry But I Cant Seem To Get Enough Sunlight In The Apartment… So This Was Plan B.

Before I Get Into The Days Events In Detail. This May Disturb Some People Who May Have Also Gone Through Simular Events In There Lives, So If Your Easily Disturbed. Please stop reading. I Am About To Talk About My Car Accident From 6 Years Ago That Even To This Day still bothers me.

People offen say that tramatic events in your live will change you as a person and i would have to agree. i am not the came person i was back after college graduation. I have learned that life change change in an instant. we have no control over these events, there isn’t any warnings. nothing to say, prepare for today. So you really just need to try to  live life to the fullest.

The Day began like every other day. i got up. got ready for work. jumped in my car (which at that time was a Dark Green, Ford Escort Zx2 Sport Coupe, and Dark Tinted Windows). And Left For Work. The Difference That Day Was I was to be picking up a good friend of mine and driving her to work with me. which was out of my normal travel. but we do things for friends. we met at this job and to this day i consider her a close friend. On My way to picking her up. i stopped into CD Plus in the bridgewater mall, I picked up the new blink 182 cd. i proceeded to  wendys for lunch and ate it in the car pool parking lot on exit 13. I began Listening to the cd on repeat on a song called “i miss you” , which up until last year i couldn’t listen to that song without flashbacks of this day. After Finishing The meal i proceeded to continue on my way to my friends house in greenfield. anyone from around the bridgewater area would know the road i had the accident on. windy road with a speed limit from 70km/h upwards of 110km/h in some spots. or it used to be, haven’t been on that road in years so the limits my have been reduced. I had never driven this road in this direction prior to this day.

 

The time was 11:38am. I reached a section of the road which limit was 110km/h.  Nothing To Windy At This Point, I Proceed to a Corner which didnt have any signage to slow down. I began making the turn , only to hear a loud cracking sound. the next thing i knew my car began to fishtail. i attempted to counter steer but the shoulder was a gravel shoulder and was very steep. one tire went off the shoulder and the whole car was sucked into the ditch, which i can’t really call a ditch because it was woods. trees and rocks and (although i didn’t know it right way, water) . The Car Then Began Barrel rolling, i think i must have rolled at least 8 times. not completely sure the number because i seemed to be in and out of consciousness. i do recall looking out the windshield of the car to see a tree stump Breaking the windshield. didn’t shatter it. just cracked it.

 

When the car finally came to a stop. i undid my seat belt. not sure of my surroundings. when i did i fell into water which was seeping into the car. i apparently ended up in wet mud. i didn’t realise untill after the seatbelt was undone that i was on my right side of the car. when the seatbelt was undone i fell into the water in the passenger seat. i then stood up.rolled the drivers side window down. and proceeded to crawl out of the window. i didnt quite get out of the window. i layed half out of the car and began waving my arms . a driver stopped and called 911. i got free of the car. and walked around to see the damage that had been done. Cold. Shaking Uncontrolably. i picked up a side mirror which had snapped off in the crash and threw it on the pavement. by now more people were on the scene. a volunteer firefigher sat me down in the back of his hatchback wagon and we waited for the ambulance for nearly an hour. because instead of dispactching one for liverpool. which was were i worked at the time and was much closed. they dispatched one from bridgewater which was a good 45 min away.

 

When the ambulance finally arived i was placed on a backboard and stretcher. it took a good 45 minutes to get to the hospital. i remember asking if the lights and sirens were on and was told that no they were not because i didn’t appear to be injured. the paramedic with me talked about how they were buying sunglasses when the call came in( which for some reason has also stuck in my head) . when we finally arrived at the hospital i spent nearly 2 hours having xrays done to verify there were no back or neck injurys ( which fortunatly there wasn’t) . i did however feel like i would begin glowing green. then i was placed still on the backboard on a hospital bed. the nurse came in and said that a Tanya( who was the friend i was picking up) had called and they wanted my permission to give out any info. i told them it was fine.

 

i also remember how uncomfortable the backboard was and how i wanted off. i was then let off the backboard once all the xrays came back negitive…

 

A Little While Later My Mother Came To The Hospital And Took Me Home. I remained In shock for a good day after the accident. i know this because my friends mother which i went to visit could tell i was in shock and flat out told me so. i went to my local convience store “mo’s” and heard on his radio of the accident.i told mo what had happened. i then proceeded to walk to bridgewater from my home in dayspring. and for those wondering why i wasn’t in bed after all this … quite frankly me and my father had gone at it. because he was convienced i had been speeding. which the police did an investigation into the accident, and they were unable to determine the cause. but it wasn’t driver error. or speeding. the cops then called the next day to get information for there report of the crash. and had me come in to do a written statement.

 

Thats Not All…

 

Every Night For 6 Months After The Crash I Would Relive It In A Dream. Every Night. You Know The Great Thing About Nightmares Is There Not Really. But This.. This Was Very Real. I Still To This day On The Aniversarry of The accident have the dream. a constant reminder of how valuable live is.

 

The day after the accident i place a picture of the car on the desk at work as a reminder of the experience. which most of my pictures are now missing. not really sure what happened to them.

 

For the first 8 years i was unable to work this day. but i guess with time things heal as the anniversary doesn’t bother me anymore

Brandon

Depression, What it’s like…

Everyone has different experiences with depression. This is my battle with the illness.

This blog has been a work in progress now for 8 months, because depression has destroyed my focus and my enjoyment in blogging…

I’ve spent most of my life hiding my mental illness,  this blog has not been an easy one to write.

I have had chronic depression off and on again for 8 years or so. At the time I didn’t do anything about it, it would always go away in a day or two. Wasn’t life altering. 

Then a year ago I came down with a mysterious illness , months went by and I saw no improvement in my condition. I went through loads of bloodwork (6 or more times) , various tests at the hospital,  dealt with a specialist,  was never able to get answers. About 8 months into this illness the depression returned, far worse then it had ever been.

I became lethargic, self care was a real issue,  lost all intrest in anything I once enjoyed. Blogging, YouTube,  Video games, Movies. My ability to focus on anything disappeared,  I could watch a movie but wouldn’t stare at the screen for more then a few minutes.  Was just noise in the background.  My relationships suffered. I lost the ability to hold conversations,  found myself distancing myself from everyone. 

At this point the thoughts of suicide began.

After talking with my family doctor I was placed on antidepressants,  I was also given a referral to Dartmouth Community Mental Health. I began seeing a therapist. 

As I type this paragraph it’s now been months of therapy and antidepressants.  Overall things are improving.  That was until my week stay at the hospital for an infection. I believe I got PTSD which is now another hurdle in my battle with mental illness.

There is help out there. It is terrifying to reach out. But it is the only way you will get better,

Brandon

The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Long time no blog,

Hi everyone. 

A lot has happened since my latest blog.  So much so I’ll probably forget some things that happened…

But here’s the old college try….

After many months of extreme stomach pain and ER visits it stopped just as quickly as it began. My digestive system has somewhat returned to normal. I seen a nutritionist who disagrees with the IBS diagnosis,  says that something was missed during the year of tests. I’ve believed all this time it was an issue with bile being produced, which the nutritionist agreed with. Changed my diet to a bland diet with high protein (it was discovered I needed to up my protein in my diet) .

Almost immediately after my digestive system got better I started having a sharp pain in my temple.  After 10 ER visits in two weeks I was sent for a cat scan when my bloodwork had elevated levels of something.  Basically meant I had an inflammation.  I was placed on Prednisone and refered to a specialist.  The specialist diagosed me with terporal arthritis.  Which is something you don’t see in anyone but the elderly.

I continued taking the Prednisone for about a week. Still complaing of pain, still visiting the ER, because it was so bad I couldn’t sleep. To the point they said ” I don’t know what you want us to do” …

Only a few days after my last ER visit I was told by a Nurologist that it was likely a sensitive nerve ending im my head. Had a needle put in my head to deaden the nerve. The head aches stopped.

At this point I should mention that morning I woke up with a swolen face. They diagnosed me with a swolen sweat gland, gave me antibiotics.

With each passing day the swelling got worse. On day three I couldn’t open my mouth far enough to get a spoon full of ice cream in my mouth. I could barely talk my voice was raspy and it hurt to swallow .

I went to the ER.  A cat scan was done. I was told I needed to go to the other hospital urgently.  They paid for my cab.

When I got to the other hospital I was seen right away.  Told I needed to have emergency surgery that it was an absess tooth that was infected and the infection would only spread.

I was prepped for surgery,  during which time the surgeon explained I would not be sedated where my air way was obstructed.  He then explained that I would have a breathing tube inserted through my nose. He said ” Now, this is gonna hurt”… at which time I felt the worst pain on my life as he jammed this tube up my nose,  I could hear cartilage breaking… fortunately I blacked out.

I woke up in ICU on an assisted respirator with the breathing tube up my nose and down my throat. Tied down on the bed because they were scared I might try to remove the equipment in a panic.

It took awhile but I earned their trust and was given my arms back. I was given a clipoard and paper to write in so I could communicate with them since I couldn’t talk. 

The first night in ICU my air tube got plugged with blood at 1:38am, and I couldn’t breathe. They paged the person to clear the tube who got there in 30 seconds, after a few minutes they were able to clear it.  Luckily i was getting some oxygen as I manged to clear it a bit with my breathing. But it caused the first of many anxiety attacks that week in the hospital.

Even now weeks later it’s always replaying in my head. That feeling of helplessness.  I can’t shake it.

I should mention the hospital had no records of my medication so I was off my meds for two days. In those two days I had more then a dozen anxiety attacks. 

Though bloodwork they found the infection had spread to my blood.  I had a sonar done to see if it had reached my heart.  Luckily it hadn’t before they got me on the correct antibiotics.  I’ve now had 4 different antibiotics in the hospital. 

I was sent for my second surgery only a day after leaving ICU.  They found three other problematic teeth. Thus bringing the total teeth removed to five.

I had a stint put into my arm for IV antibiotics and collecting blood since I had so many holes in my arm you’d think I did needles. 

When I was released on day 7, I had a nurse setup to give me iv antibiotics at home.  Also taking oral antibiotics through the day.

After 7 days of that I’m now on one oral antibiotic for the next two weeks.

My jaw because of the swelling is tight. I can open it to fit one finger in my mouth. But they say it will take months to get the full movement back.  I’m on a soft foods diet for 6 weeks while everything heals.

I’m feeling better physically.  Just a little shaken up from the breathing tube issues.

That should bring you up to date…

Take care,  more blogs to come

Brandon

Late Night Hospital Selfie…

Hi Friends and Family,

I wanted to post an update because I know how some of you worry. Quite frankly for good reason you worry.

I’m just going to come straight out and say it, I’ve taken a turn for the worse these past four days.

I’ve lost my appetite completely , my stomach hasn’t growled dispite the fact that in the last four days I’ve eaten, one hotdog(not breaded), 4 handfuls of party mix, chicken fingers and fries, and a half a tuna sandwich. That’s it. The pains from eating are the worst I’ve had yet , to the point I can’t force myself to eat. I slept 40 minutes Monday night because I couldn’t get the pains under control.

Last night the pains were so bad , I took a Tylenol 3 the hospital had given me the last time I was there, and it gave me relief for 15 minutes before spiking again. I then tried a warm bath, which usually helps and it did nothing . Having barely slept the night before I decided I had better visit the emergency department at Dartmouth General Hospital.

So I went, the wait in the waiting room wasn’t too bad. They gave me a barf bag because the nausea was bad, dispite the fact that I’ve eaten next to nothing all day there was no way I was going to vomit. I also had the pleasure of peeing in a cup.

The emergency doctor gave me another Tylenol 3 , which did the exact same thing. It helped for a few minutes before it spiked.  They took more blood which they found nothing wrong with.

I was surprised when the nurse returned having seen me curled up in the fetal position on the bed and said that I was being given more T3 for home and that I was free to go. She could see I was in pain but the doctor made the call to give me nothing more .

Being the nice guy I am I couldn’t go off on the nurse, considering how great she was the four hours i was there. So I gathered my belongings and left, disappointed.

I am lucky to live in a country to have free healthcare, I know this. All I wanted was the pains under control so I could eat something last night and sleep.

Needless to say, I got home. Took my third Tylenol 3 and went to bed. Curled up in the fetal position and fell asleep for 5 hours.

So how do I feel this morning? Okay ,I guess . I learned an important lesson last night . I can’t go back to the hospital for any reason. 

I snapped this selfie after one of my crying in the bed sessions last night. Enjoy.

image