Adventures in Sertraline: Three Weeks In

I went back to the GP on Friday for a review. I told him that although my mood is starting to lift, it’s not back to normal yet, and I’m still low on motivation. Then we had a chat about the side-effects and I said that although they’re an inconvenience, they’re not intolerable. I said I think I’ve been really lucky – the Sertraline has started to work quickly and the side-effects aren’t hideous – and he said that it’s helped that I went when I did. He thinks if I’d left it another couple of months the depression would have been more entrenched and would take longer to clear, and he says it was good that I’d thought things through before I went and he didn’t have to spend weeks persuading me to try meds.

So, I’m staying on the same dose, going back in 6 weeks, and as I’m on annual leave next week and therefore not exhausted in the evenings after a day of work, I’m going to try to get back into an exercise routine.

Books On Wheels


This is brilliant

Originally posted on Tales of One City:

4293291804_b4c2a7f632_oEdinburgh is well served by libraries with 28 branches across the city. However, it’s not always possible for some folks to reach these branches so we have a number of other services operating which allow access to books and reading. These include the mobile library, the home delivery service an library link.

Mobile Library Service
The mobile library service first took to the road in 1949 becoming the first service of its kind in Scotland.  The first van cost £1,836 and carried around 2,000 books across 10 sites.

Mobile Library out in the community Mobile library in 1954

These days the mobile library makes 79 different stops across the city covering areas from Balerno and Ratho to Leith and Restalrig.  It also visits sheltered housing and retirement flats where residents can come on to the bus to choose book and books can be delivered straight to the rooms of those living in care homes. 

We caught…

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This Is England (A ‘f***-you UKIP cooking series)


Shit son, food just got political again. I’ve been in a sort of personal hell lately, hence the sudden blog-silence and absence of any recipes lately, and I hope my wonderful readers will forgive me that. I don’t want to talk about it. I just vanished for a bit, and now I’m back.

Anyway, this morning I turned on the TV to see Sky News zooming in on a jar of Polish pickles with the voiceover declaring that THIS was what people were worried about in the General Election. The camera flashed over to some not-white people behind the counter of a corner shop, before some members of the public espoused their views on the rise of the Polski sklep and how immigration was ruining our great country.

This was not satire. This was a serious news broadcast on a mainstream channel at 11 o clock on a Saturday morning…

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Adventures in Sertraline Day 9

Still tired and sleepy,  but not like Wednesday when I fell asleep at my desk. Hands and feet still sweating, and my body temperature feels warmer, which is weird for me as a permanently cold person. Weird dreams have started, but that doesn’t bother me. Nothing intolerable so far; this could be a lot worse. And I had enough energy last night to go to swimming class for  the  first time in a few weeks. So far, so good.

Adventures in Sertraline

Went back to my GP yesterday. All the bloods came back normal, so we’re happy there’s no physiological reason for why I’m feeling like this. We had a discussion about antidepressants and my priorities in terms of avoiding side-effects – there are some things I would find much harder to tolerate than others. And he’s started me on 100mg sertraline once a day, with a follow-up appointment in three weeks and the understanding that it might take a month for them to work.

Took the first one yesterday morning. Now, I was very very tired yesterday after the awful day at work on Thursday, and yesterday was nearly as stressful, but I think taking the first dose yesterday was foolish. I’d have been better waiting until today (Saturday) to give me a chance to adjust to the side-effects rather than being hit with them at work. Yesterday I was very woolly-headed, but that might have been the pre-existing tiredness, and I spent the afternoon suffering waves of nausea. That had settled by tea time, but by then the tiredness was overpowering me, and when I went to bed, I lay awake the whole night, knackered but unable to sleep. Fingers crossed the insomnia passes quickly.

Another Private Care Agency Lets Us Down (And By Us I Mean the Tax-paying Public)

I refer you to my previous post on this subject.

For the last few years I have been working with a man who has a degenerative neurological condition. He now requires, and has received, a large care package including 2 workers 3x daily for hoisting and personal care, and one worker once a day for meal preparation. This has been provided to him for several years by one private agency. We’ve tweaked the package over the years but it’s stayed relatively stable. The man’s wife died a few weeks ago, after a long illness, and I had arranged to meet the agency at the house next week to see if we needed to make any further changes.

Yesterday morning the agency phoned me to say they had some concerns about their ability to provide the service and that they were planning on withdrawing from it, but said they would maintain the service until we found a replacement agency. We agreed they would visit the client the same day to tell him. at 1630 yesterday, they rang me to say they had decided to give us 12 hours notice that they were terminating their involvement, and that the man’s last visit would be this morning. When I pointed out that contractually they can’t do that, they said they only have to give 12 hours notice if their workers are at risk in the house. I asked what the risks were and the care manager couldn’t answer me – her response was “I’m the care manager and it’s my decision.”

Even worse, when I phoned the client to say “we will do our best to find another agency by tomorrow but it might be impossible”, he told me that they had told him (and his sister, who was present) that they were giving 28 days notice and would hand over once we had a replacement care provider. When he realised I was telling him that wasn’t the case, he was in tears. So I rang his son and asked him to go round, and the son said they had phoned him that afternoon and told him 28 days too.

Lying liars who lie.

Bad enough that they’ve left the man in the shit (literally), but to lie about it to him, to his family, and to me?

So today I phoned 21 different care agencies to see if any of them could take the package on, only to completely and utterly fail. The poor man has gone into a care home tonight, three weeks after losing his wife, and with absolutely no idea when we will be able to get a new care package and get him home.

This is the reality of private agencies providing public services.

He Said, She Heard: A Conversation in a Bar

Originally posted on quiteirregular:

Yesterday I was in a bar in a British university city.  Craft beers, food not served on plates, wonkily-typeset menus with obsessive levels of detail about the coffee beans they use, you know the sort of place.  (That bar is no doubt currently telling a friend “Beard, waistcoat, Mary McCarthy novel in the pocket of a thrift-store tweed jacket, you know the sort of customer…”)  It was early evening and quiet, which meant I could hear the conversations going on at the bar, instead of the background hum I’d been hoping for.  A young woman came in and was greeted with enthusiasm by the barman.

“Hey!  You’re wearing the same jacket you had on this morning!”  She looked slightly surprised and he continued “You walked past the window this morning like you always do, and I was going to run after you down the street and say how good that…

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