Chapter 4. January 1975 to 1998.

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Chapter 4. January 1975 Onwards

Updated 17/07/2013 16:47 GMT

My GP, Dr. Heylen, visited me several days after the drugs had temporarily paralysed me in January but he detected nothing physically wrong. I think he might have done so, perhaps, if he had visited and tested my reflexes earlier when I had been paralysed. The paralysis had also made me as limp as a fresh cadaver while it lasted. After testing my reflexes he said to my mother, "Put his dinner with the horses," seen from my bedroom window.

Dr. Irwin (letter 28 Feb. 1975) later visited me before being sent to Wanstead General Hospital but I do not really remember him coming in, and my parents got me in there three weeks after Limbitrol paralysed me as they thought my condition was physical i.e. a brain tumour. They were right about it being organic though.

I was on a medical ward for one week where I stupidly took the tricyclic antidepressant dothiepin for one week when it was prescribed me (one half of the capsule was red and the other half looked black but maybe it was brown. and I was told years later its name after I wrote Wanstead to see what medicine it had been). This was because my mental illness had always made me do what I had been told or encourage to do. For years I had not possessed a mind of my own, but I finally have one now.

At the beginning I managed to force out several sentences incorrectly telling the doctor I was suffering from schizophrenia and that I had experienced the earlier faint auditory hallucination of the two drunken people for two minutes, as previously mentioned, and I think I told him that Limbitrol had damaged me too. Me forcing speech was making the flesh of my head tighten in a band around my scalp, identical to the relapses' type of pressure band I suffered from during the three weeks prior to taking Limbitrol, but it did not cause a relapse then because I stopped speaking in time. I told the doctor I could not talk to him further because it felt like something in my head was going to break, to which he replied that it would not because he was there to stop it. To show him I thought his remark was mad I returned an indignant, sideways stern look. He obviously thought I was deluded.

At the beginning I also managed to walk once for the consultant, Dr. Frankel, when he instructed me to empty my distended bladder in the lavatory at the end of the ward. I could do things like that when told to do them but hardly anything "off my own bat." His eyes nearly popped out of his head in astonishment when he saw I had walked back. The walking had affected the nerve damage in that  it temporarily caused a tightening sensation in my scalp (I used to tell people it was in my brain instead because that is where it felt it was located). However, I survived it without a relapse. I deteriorated on dothiepin, it eventually making the inside of my head feel like a solid piece of painful concrete.

I had kept blocking my ears all week with my fingers because of the speech of the patients and staff keeping on depleting my mind's hearing nerves of their fuel and the quiet allowed them to recharge a bit. The doctors mistook it as auditory hallucinations because of what I had said earlier. I am wondering if the two drunken wailers were not voices after all but was my late parents' being upset at my state of health. The doctor had one day stood in the middle of the ward and announced to everyone that I was hearing voices, which was untrue in the hallucinatory sense. Towards the end of the week, I heard a doctor at the end of the ward say to colleagues that they thought they could have made a mistake about the reason for me blocking my ears. It was too difficult for me to turn and look at them to confirm it, but I should have made the effort; instead, I just carried on periodically blocking them as normal.

During this time a symptom of the dothiepin upon the nerve damage was that my lower legs became intermittently painfully stone cold despite being properly covered in bed on a warm ward. One night nurse was shocked when she felt how cold they were after I had poked a leg out of the bed to indicate there was something wrong with it. She covered the legs with extra bedclothes and discovered by morning they had they had warmed up. Later relapses of my illness, in the early stages of the relapses, have naturally always produced the cold lower leg phenomenon without having medication to produce it (the coldness commences at the knees and down to the toes), and it occurs whenever my mind feels disconnected from the lower legs; they warm up as soon as my mind feels connected to them again and that is usually in late afternoon. However, I have not suffered from cold legs like that since early 1981 owing to not suffering from a major relapse of the illness since then.

Another effect of dothiepin was that whenever I reached out to get something  from my locker by my bed i.e. urine bottle, a sharp pain occurred inside my head so severe it prevented me doing it. The pain was generated by voluntary movement and it occurred inside the damaged nerves. Consequently, I ended up with a distended bladder.

From the small relapse of mid 1981, the next relatively tiny relapse I experienced was in mid 1992 caused by me speaking too much which initially produced night sweats for two to three weeks but, importantly, it has ever since increased my frequency of micturition, and affected my speech more, but have since improved somewhat.

During the last night I was in Wanstead, the staff misinterpreted my action of getting onto the floor by my bed and waving my doctor's nameplate in the air as a symptom of schizophrenia i.e. imagining I was a doctor. All I was actually trying to do was communicate in the only way I could that I wanted a doctor to come and see to my painful head. I could not speak apart from, that is, briefly at the beginning of the admission and once on the last day in there when I once shouted followed by a single scream of frustration to my mother one sentence about the staff disbelieving I had a sore head. The adrenalin had temporarily and momentarily overcome the paralysis to my vocal mechanism.

Throughout the illness when my voice has been paralysed I have usually been able to, albeit rarely and without it causing a relapse, utter something briefly, and scream and wail for a long time, by reflex action whenever sufficiently angry, afraid or in pain. The same goes for standing and walking then when unable to walk. I jumped over a chair in the Maudsley, ward 2, in about July 1977, to escape from people speaking which was hurting my ears. Also, I even once ran in my sleep in hospital when I could not move for a lot of the time when awake (I remember doing it in mid 1976 in Claybury Hospital, Ward 01, Woodford Bridge, Essex, which means I was slightly awake, but it afterwards took several hours for the tight knot or knots sensation in my head to dissipate that the running had caused to the exhausted damaged nerves). A nurse in the Maudsley Hospital said I walked one night around late 1981; but unless I did it in my sleep it must have been a patient impersonating me unless she saw me do a few paces whilst on my haunches and judged that was as good as walking, because at the same time I did that a torch shone at me through the dormitory door's window which obviously was a night nurse. I accidentally made a mental error owing to stiffness of the mind's muscles and accused her of lying for which I apologise, but I then changed my story to say that she must have mistook me for someone else. I think this must be what the doctor was alluding to when he said I was trying to put the nurses against each other. Around that time, one patient who found me irritating had put a sheet over his head and walked briskly across the dormitory in the daytime; I could only wear a sheet all day instead of clothes, and I judged that he was impersonating me, and anyone catching a glimpse of him through the lounge's door automatically presume it was me. Another patient earlier in 1981, Myland Court West, Severalls, Colchester, had incorrectly eagerly told staff that he had seen me walk down the stairs. This one and two others had previously told them that I walked out of the upstairs dormitory. I did not do either. I actually scooted out of the dormitory in a crouched position to get away from the sound of a radio playing which was hurting my ears. One of them was not in a position to see but took the other two's word for it, and one of the other ones later apologised to me for lying to the staff. Perhaps the third one one thought that the manner I exited the room was tantamount to walking because I was on two legs only. I hope the other one corrected the account with the staff because they might not have believed my denials.

I spent the next two days at home after being discharged from Wanstead Hospital. My respiration once temporarily stopped when I became sufficiently excited at having the lady whom I suffered the nervous exhaustion breakdown over visit me. I did not feel breathless at all and it restarted upon calming down. I was then sent by my parents to my then local mental hospital, Claybury for three months, but I came home every weekend. I found the first day there to be a profoundly frightening experience because I knew I should have been in a general hospital instead. I stayed in that hospital erroneously for the next three months because the first tablet of Stelazine (trifluoperazine) on the evening of the first day made me forget my illness was organic until four months later when I finally realized I should never have taken it. I stupidly took Stelazine because the nurse who put it to my mouth in the evening told me to take it and this was because I had always during my mental illness done what I was both told and encouraged to do. Soon after starting Stelazine I got walking and walked about a lot because the drug gave me unbearable akathisia (restlessness). A week later, Kemadrin   (procyclidine) was prescribed which eradicated it ten or twenty minutes. Incidentally, after a couple of days, Stelazine gave me a dystonia (sustained spasm or twisting of more than one muscle groups) for three days so that I was constantly bent double with a twisted mouth. A staff nurse incorrectly told my parents it was a demonstration of anger. It seems dystonia was not all that well known then, and in any case mine must have been severe because of Stelazine's effect on the drug sensitive injured nerves. I got speaking a bit in that first week too. However, the procyclidine virtually stopped all improvement of my condition while taking it.

Stelazine had the amazing effect of making me feel that whenever I attempted a new skill I had the ability to accomplish it perfectly first time after being shown how it was done, and it was so with bowling on the green located right outside the ward, and throwing a  pot for the very first time in occupational therapy. Both instructors thought I had done it before (I even hit the jack once - white ball).

From October 1975 I improved to having apparently no trouble walking or speaking, but still could hardly think, and could only look at the television screen for three hours and ten minutes at a time before the eyes would hurt, making it too difficult to look at it further until after resting them to let the viewing mechanism recharge. Also, my voluntary movement mechanism only worked for one hour and ten minutes at a time, so I would then have to rest. I still felt out of the world i.e. visually not tuned in properly although my vision was sharp. Using the aforementioned mechanisms for longer would have caused an immediate major relapse of the illness as happened, for example, in July 1978 when I worked too long fitting instruments to my car. I quickly deteriorated so that by the next day I was unable to walk and speak for one year.

When I suffered the second of the twelve relapses (since taking Limbitrol) in June 1975, it was caused by walking about four hundred metres in one go. My legs suddenly refused to work and I was then off them for two or three weeks.

After suffering a relapse from walking too far down to the River Roding and back in about June 1975 and not walking for two or three weeks, I was  persuaded by my psychiatrist in about September 1975 to have fluphenazine decanoate (Modecate) depot injections (one per week), but I  stopped them after one month when I realized I should not be having them for an organic ailment. At first, I had it without procyclidine tablets (although one procyclidine injection was given me simultaneously with Modecate), and after three days it caused an increasing, terrible, sore discomfort inside my head which became worse with my increasing tiredness through the night. Mercifully, I happened to have some procyclidine left which quickly removed that devastatingly bad side-effect. Modecate then caused no intermittent attack of fear that it produced three years later when I had it again for the third and final time for one moth.

For several months after discontinuing Modecate, its lingering effect made me forget to ask my GP for a referral to a consultant to try and prove my illness was organic. The same thing happened after I had it again in 1977 for three months that time in The Maudsley Hospital, S. London.

The author, April/May 1976, Cheddar Gorge, Somerset, UK, on holiday some days before his sudden major relapse described below which occurred in May.

My third relapse happened in May 1976 because of me blowing my trombone for twenty minutes one morning. The mental effort of blowing into it used up the little remaining fuel of the nerves in my mind to a damaging level which made me unable to speak. Coincidentally, I was due to see, privately, a neurologist for the first time either on that afternoon or the following day at St. Margaret's Hospital, Epping, Essex. I attended the consultation but was physically unable to communicate with the physician but I was still walking at that stage. I was given an electroencephalograph brain test (EEG) at the same time, and one of the operators asked me if I was sad owing to the unusual reading of the machine. I was not sad or depressed. A photocopy of the result is below. I have had eight of these tests over the years, the last in one was in 1991. They have all shown diffuse abnormalities which could be the nerve damage:

This is the first EEG result of Stephen's, back in 1976. He has had eight of them altogether.

 

On the following day, I was unable to walk for two weeks, and also unable to speak or communicate, and a couple of days later I was admitted to Claybury Psychiatric Hospital again for four weeks. I should have been confined to bed but that would only have invited an injection of a mind drug I thought. Therefore, every day I managed to get to the dining room on the ward by doing somersaults along the floor as my muscular problem prevented me from getting about in any other way. I would stay sitting at the same table until bedtime. In the third week I had improved enough to walk about on my knees. I did not have the confidence to believe that I had improved enough to walk properly and so I thought it would be less strain on the damaged nerves. However, I was walking normally, and speaking a bit, before I was discharged from hospital. The consultant, Dr. Klassnik, then branded me a malingerer together with the as it happened unfulfilled promise that my weekly sick money was to be terminated. In the last interview with the psychiatrists, I deliberately appeared to be a malingerer by being cheerful and speaking sense (although I never actually said I was one) as a misguided way of avoiding being prescribed mind drugs although I was not told that I was going to have any. This strategy backfired on me five weeks later when I suffered another paralysing relapse from moving my muscles for too long a time and I was put into Claybury again. On this occasion I was unable to get out of bed and could not, at first, move for most of the time, nor was I able to speak or communicate. However, on the second night there I ran to the ward's toilet and back whilst half asleep as I have already described. From then on I was given daily injections of water (see Claybury doctor's report)for about three weeks I think the time length was and I think they demoralised me the most because of being so painful in the buttocks making me walk earlier than I should have done to stop them., and that was attributable to the doctor. I could have got an embolism from them but I did not. I was not told what they were but I guessed  they were water and not psychiatric medication for most of the time because apart from a couple of days when I was most uncomfortable I experienced no side-effects; and a psychiatrist at a different hospital in 1981 showed me in my hospital notes that they were of water, but see later about uncomfortable Stelazine.

My parents complied with my consultant psychiatrist's request for them not to visit me for one month. My allegations of ill treatment at Claybury were reported in the REDBRIDGE GUARDIAN and INDEPENDENT newspaper - Wanstead and Woodford, of September 24, 1976, Vol. CV11, No. 5559, page 1, with follow up articles in later weeks. It was also highlighted on the BBC Radio 4 "Today" programme on the 12 October 1976. I never heard it, though. My parents had called for a Public Enquiry, but I later cancelled it because I did not want to get anyone fired (BBC Radio, Broadcasting House, London, W1A 1AA, Tel. 0171 580 4468).

 

 

Claybury Psychiatric Hospital, Woodford Bridge, Essex (located within the white border). Picture also shows 161 Uplands Road where the author lived - the last house in the road to the left of picture - between 1964 -1970. Photograph was obtained from http://www.thames-gateway.org.uk

Guardian Gazette Newspaper Articles.


Guardian Gazette Newspaper highlighting the item about the author on the BBC Radio's Today programme, plus Stephen's then MP Anthony Buck reporting that he was going to ask Health Minister David Ennals about Stephen's case in the House of Commons.


 

 

 

Incidentally, the newspaper incorrectly reported that I was hit on the head by a nurse with a wine bottle when it was actually a glass urine bottle. It was accidentally my fault it was misreported as a hit because I could not think properly when I communicated the story by pointing to letters of the alphabet in the psychiatric hospital Claybury transferred me to. The bottle was actually only angrily gently placed on my head and lightly pressed on it by an irate female nurse who had stalked over to me upon discovering that I had urinated on the floor whilst I was seated in a chair in the ping pong table room of ward 01 instead of using the bottle beside me that I was physically incapable of lifting which she obviously disbelieved. No one wants aggro like that from nurses when ill. I heard her once absolutely point blank refuse to spoon feed me and so she left it to other sympathetic nurses to do it. She thought she had my number so to speak of feigning illness but she had got in wrong.

It also incorrectly reported, for some reason, that the daily injection or injections (I cannot remember if it was one or two a day I was receiving) I received against my will although the staff never saw me protest when I was given them and this was because I was physically unable to do so  were 'guinea pig' type treatment which blocked out my mind making me unable to think. They definitely were comprised of water; in 1981 a doctor confirmed it by showing it to me in my case notes; and I guessed when I was having them that they were of water because I got no side-effects from them, except I was in agony for two days or so which from looking at the consultant's referral letter to Severalls in August must have been from the Stelazine he gave me. It was actually the Limbitrol in January 1975, and not those injections, which had initially paralysed my mind, and my mind has only worked a limited varying amount since - and it is frequently paralysed - and, of course it being much worse whenever I have been suffering from a major relapse of the whole illness.

In the first half of 1978 I wrote a letter to the editor for it to be published in the already mentioned local newspaper, among other things stating that the Claybury injections were of water. My parents, at the time, were not told I was receiving them; and I was not informed by any of the staff that they contained water. I do not know if the newspaper published my letter or not.

First thing in the mornings on ward 01, one particular male nurse would, in a nasty tone of voice, order me out of bed. One female nurse in particular was good because she would willingly hand feed me.

The newspaper is true when it says I was deliberately left in my urine soaked bed all night. This was on the second night of my stay there when in the middle of the night I did the sleep running to the toilet and back. The previous afternoon my psychiatrist had instructed a nurse to make good my wet bed but, later, I overheard a male staff nurse counteract the order with the words that I was capable of doing it myself, but I was not. If the staff had obeyed the doctor and changed my bed I would not have run during the night. The running misled the doctors over the nature of my malady. I ran because I had been edging myself to the side of the dry part of the bed and the strain of it geared up my mind to uncontrollably push me out of bed running when half asleep. I cannot recall ever having my reflexes tested during the few weeks I was in Claybury then which if true it may have meant that my neurological condition could have been diagnosed if it turned out that the severity of the major relapse had temporarily produced a cessation of the reflexes.

I was maliciously slapped on my bare back once by a male nurse (but not a very hard slap, though) and there were two other, female, nurses in attendance but they said nothing about it when Mrs Willmott heard it when she was standing nearby out of sight. She immediately identified the sound as a slap and made a big fuss about it, but the culprit never owned up and the other two staff did not report him either. I knew his name and later spelled it out when I was in Severalls Hospital. The first newspaper report says that the hospital authorities denied it was a slap and claimed instead it was the sound of a sheet flicking during bed making. Just before this, she had discovered me, when she visited for the first time with my mother around midday, to be lying in a urine soaked bed, and the hospital authorities in the newspaper report said I was in a clean bed. The nurses had earlier put me in a dry bed, but a short while before mum and Mrs Willmott's visit maybe twenty minutes, I urinated in the bed because I was unable to physically use the bottle that the staff had placed near me but located too far away to reach at the end of my bed on top of it. The staff were unaware that I had wet the bed until Mrs Willmott told them of it. The bed that I had been put upon just before her visit had an uncovered grubby mattress i.e. no bed sheet. Mrs Willmott had incorrectly deduced that I had been in that soaked state for hours which obviously made her go more berserk at the staff than perhaps otherwise. The slap she heard made it worse. I do not remember being struck on the jaw by a nurse, but that does not mean to say I was not; the illness has deteriorated my memory for certain things, but if I said it then it was true.  My pensioner parents when they were alive could not remember it either. Mrs Willmott has died too so I cannot ask her. In any case the blow I received would not have been a mighty one otherwise I obviously would have remembered it easily, but I think I vaguely recall it. Patients can do without being treated with contempt by staff like that.

 The reason why my father heard me wailing in the table tennis room when I was sitting in a chair virtually pinned against the ping pong table, was because I was fed up with the incorrect and sometimes harsh treatment I had been receiving from the staff. A nurse had placed me there to prevent me from getting myself onto the floor.

I got at least two meals a day most days, but my respiration stopped once when I went without food for about eighteen hours as previously explained, but food happened to be brought to me then and I unusually ate it myself rather than having to be spoon fed. I did not feel breathless at all when it stopped. The food re-supplied energy to the exhausted damaged nerves allowing breathing to continue.

The wheelchair incident reported in the news paper took place in the dormitory when two male nurses kept pushing the wheelchair I was in away from a cupboard that I was resting my head against for comfort. I was using that furniture as a head support to ease the pain from the top of the back of the chair digging into my neck owing to the awkward position I was in and did not possess the ability to get out of owing to the injury to my voluntary movement mechanism (I do not think it was as long as four hours which the newspaper reported it was that I was in the agony in the wheelchair). I was able to gradually push myself along with one foot to reach the head rest cupboard again, but as I have said, the staff immediately pushed me away from it each time. However, I eventually managed to get onto the floor where it was more comfortable, and I was left there for a while (no nurse actually put me on the floor anytime, but I would get onto it myself). I was then put to bed by the two nurses and given a drink by one of them which I took from his hand and drank myself. At seeing this they went away amused with one of them amusingly saying something like, "I thought you said you could not move your arm, Stephen." This is because when I had been on the floor he had put my arm in a certain position to see if I could move it, but I could not, until I drank, that is, and the  movement was then spontaneous.

I only remember having one bath there and just before being transferred to the other hospital. I think I recall a bowl of washing water being brought to my bed first thing in the mornings and placed upon the table but I cannot remember how much washing I had done with it if any. Kitty Willmott said that I stank when she first met me there so obviously I had not been washed much. And the staff never washed me when they changed my clothes on the day she discovered me in the urine soaked bed which the hospital subsequently apologised for.

The reason why my legs were cold was a symptom of my neurological damage as previously explained, and it always happens whenever I am suffering from a major relapse. After Mrs Willmott and my mother started warming them next to the gas fire - and this was a notable hot summer - they had improved somewhat by the time the charge nurse came to see them, so he seemed to be not very impressed with their degree of coldness, but he would have been had he arrived earlier I am sure.

I fell out of bed once when a nurse was next to me. He failed to prevent it because he obviously thought I was doing it deliberately and would not hurt myself. I do not now know if I could have prevented the fall or not, which did not hurt me. After a while of being left alone on the floor, he came back and put me into the bed.

The staff did not make sure I was getting enough to drink, and it also happened to me a bit in the two other mental hospitals I have been a patient in. During the worst stages of my illness my thirst and hunger mechanisms always become very insensitive, so that when I was once at deaths door from dehydration in the beginning of January 1977 in Severalls Hospital, I was only partially thirsty (I had been having mostly three glasses of drink per day over the previous one or two months owing to being unable to ask for or to get more for myself although I had been walking just from my bedroom to the nearby ward's kitchen every day). I had not drank anything for five days owing to having suffered from another relapse which made me bedridden, whereupon my mouth had literally become bone dry. For some reason I was not eating food by then too, but I kept my respiration mechanism supplied with enough energy for it to work by eating garlic tablets until I ran out of them and my respiration stopped. Just at that moment one of the ward's cleaning ladies opened the door to my room and saw me fighting for breath (this time I did feel breathless). She urgently called a nurse who brought me a drink of milk which started me breathing again. The breathing fault and dehydration went undetected by the staff. The relapse several days earlier had been caused by me doing one deliberate thought which further damaged the link between my mind and the rest of my body. For about the previous two months I had constantly blindfolded myself because the light had hurt my eyes having spent ten minutes outside in the daylight which was too bright for my damaged sight mechanism to cope with; thus it became overused and damaged further.

Later on in the dark evening on the day I became bedridden again from the relapse caused by doing the deliberate thought, I was able to bear the intensity of just dim light (no light switched on in the room) for a while for the first time in weeks and so could remove my blindfold, and this occurred a few hours after starting the garlic; but I think the dehydration's effect may have temporarily relapsed it again until I was sufficiently hydrated a week later. From then on I could only bear the intensity of indoor light levels but not outside intensity level until, that is, they became absolutely normal in this respect in November/December 1977 whereupon I could venture outside in the daylight until, that is, they suddenly relapsed again in mid 1978 when I had the major relapse of all my symptoms caused from working too long - about two hours - non stop on my car. It was early in 1983 before my eyes next improved enough for me to be able to tolerate outdoors intensity light - but no brighter - and they have remained like that to the present day.

Incidentally, whilst I was in Claybury in August 1976, I got well enough to walk for about three days, and even did the washing up according to Dr. Klassnik's letter to Severalls although I do not remember washing the dishes but I could have done it of course I suppose unless the information he received became garbled. I suffered another relapse whilst walking back to my bed owing to it being too early for the walking mechanism to have improved enough to cope with it without becoming further damaged. When it occurred it felt like myriads of nerves breaking in the calves of my legs. I knew that I was walking prematurely but took the risk because I had become fed up with being inappropriately treated. The relapse was nothing to do with my parents visiting although Dr. Klassnik thought it could have been. I liked my parents.

I do believe that one male nurse there hit me several times on the head with his knuckles and swore at me when he was trying to get me to relieve my bladder into an aluminium foil container in 01 ward's  lavatory room. I have actually been ill-treated by some staff members in all three of the mental hospitals I have been a patient in, and it was bad enough to have got some fired from their jobs had I officially reported them, but I did not report them. However, it does not bother me nor does any of the other incidents, probably because I judged them not to be malicious enough, or in the more serious ones I hoped the people had learnt their lessons after being reprimanded by my parents or by me. However, it probably means I am too soft. I was even too timid to ask properly for a raise in salary at work, or reprimand anyone I saw doing wrong, although the latter had improved slightly by 1974. I did report someone at school to the deputy headmaster when I was a school prefect  for deliberately walking in the wrong direction up steps in grounds, but I failed to do it when he once  fired a pellet from an airgun across a science lab classroom after school hours. "Strain out gnats and gulp down camels" was me all over.

The newspaper article is true where it says I got a school prize for exceptional courage, and that was for attending school despite suffering from ulcerative colitis. Incidentally, apart from maybe one small relapse of the illness in early 1971, I have been totally free of it since 1966; and I might have been cured by the herbs Fenugreek, Comfrey and a duodenal ulcer herbal tablet. I stopped the herbs and Prednisone (corticosteroid) in 1966. Incidentally, the newspaper incorrectly says that my all male secondary modern school, St. Barnabas, was a High School. I blame my fear of women on being separated from females at puberty when I attended all boys secondary modern schools, the first one being Warwick, Barrett Road, Walthamstow. I had previously attended a mixed primary school - Thomas Gamuel, Walthamstow, London. However, I ultimately blame my woman trouble on zinc and Vit. B 6 deficiencies.

I wish now that I had reported the certain Claybury staff members who mistreated me (they possessed contempt for me from incorrectly believing I was acting illness; they would call it righteous indignation) at the time I was officially questioned when still a patient there. This is because I doubt if I would have needed to be transferred to Severalls and so would have avoided the totally unnecessary six doses of ECT (electric shock therapy) I received there which the doctor thought was necessary. Dr. Klassnik at Claybury thought I was not ill enough for it. Too, I reckon the shock to my 91 year old grandmother of learning that we were moving 90 kilometres away from her to Colchester to keep me in Severalls and away from Claybury killed her as she passed away soon after, and my uncle said it did kill his mother. So, sorry about that. I would not have allowed them to sell their home in Abridge if I had remembered her for that reason. She had completely slipped my mind owing to a combination of brain damage, mental illness and maybe a mind numbing effect of the ECT. It is a pity no one reminded me of grandmother. The Severalls doctor would not allow me to continue there without a valid local address considering the policy was only to admit local people, and the only way that could be accomplished being as I lived with my parents in Abridge was for them to move into Severalls catchments area. Staying put would also have avoided them experiencing the trauma of unexpectedly and quickly uprooting to another place which  made them against character go downmarket from a semi detached with a splendid  rural view out the back on to a farmer's large grass field sloping down towards the house populated by horses, and in 2004 it was still the same and not built upon except for a village hall at one end to a terraced modern Georgian dwelling but with rural views across houses to a hillside rising above them seen from the top windows which was  bit of compensation for the lost Abridge view. Incidentally, after they moved we learnt that a rainstorm flooded the house, so we missed that. However, the situation was corrected admirably in 1981 when my parents moved to a detached place but minus the country view. However, the country is literally only a stone's throw away doing a walk to see it. I had also forgotten that I liked living at Abridge maybe because of the detrimental effect of the ECT numbing my mind, and it would have been nice to have continued living there considering it was so near to London too being the first rural village one comes to after leaving urban Chigwell - Birds of a Feather BBC sitcom is set there - so one would have had the country and London on the door step, quite an envied position I should think having the best of both worlds. It was on the main road but I did not mind that and never noticed the traffic considering I occupied the rear bedroom. When I was walking in Severalls in 1976 I once actually plonked myself down in my parents Morris 1100 car because I wanted to go home and initially refused to budge, but my father eventually persuaded me out of it. If I had gone home it may have meant I would never have had my allergies and mental illness dealt with successfully by Dr. Vicky Ripper and Dr. Stephen Davies. I was only sent to the Maudsley Hospital, where she was located, in January 1977, because I suffered a relapse in the beginning of January which suddenly made me bedridden again and I did not eat or drink for five days except for garlic tablets, and Dr. Maxwell thought I was ill enough to go to the Maudsley. Whether or not I would have ended up there if I had stayed at Claybury is an unknown. My physically disabled sister was pleased mum and dad moved to Colchester in March 1977 because she was then only living a bow shot away from them. She had moved there nine months earlier. However, my parents lost thousands of pounds moving earlier because if they had moved at all  later the difference in London and Colchester's houses prices increased  greatly. To get me into Severalls from Claybury her address was given as my new abode. Dr. Klassnik said my parents had already moved there at the time I went to Severalls but they only moved to Colchester in March 1977. My father's brother who lived in Chingford had to then travel sixty miles further to see his brother instead of the few miles he had been doing and vice versa. So, all that mistreatment by certain "judge and jury" Claybury nurses caused a lot of trouble to others and not just to me. Please give the patient the benefit of the doubt next time and do your jobs properly. I forgive you.

If I had reported the nurse who slapped me for his offence it might have saved the two female nurses who had witnessed it from suffering a bad conscience if they had lacked enough courage to inform on a colleague. Therefore, I apologise to them for not doing it and making them worry all these years. However, it would have been difficult for me to communicate anyway and dangerous too in respect to relapses occurring from forcing muscles to work when unable to do so. However, perhaps with minute nods of the head I could have communicated, perhaps I could have held my breath for yes and continued breathing for no. Anyway, I should have done it when I became well enough to do so in the first half of 1978 but I was too much of a softy feeling sorry for people as I have said.

My father was a lithographer (colour printer) so could get a job anywhere.

I got walking again on 28 February 1983 (after two years and five months unable to walk) when I had done deep breathing for two minutes. This gave my damaged nerves sufficient energy and also to cope with outside intensity light levels and to wear more clothes; but upon stopping hyperventilating I immediately regressed to how I had been previously i.e. unable to walk, had to wear less clothing etc. (the sense of me knowing how much is around me is damaged so it affects the amount of clothes I can be covered in; and in the worst parts of my relapses since 1980 I have, at times, been unable to be covered by anything because of this). However, I soon could do walking and going out without having to hyperventilate. Query: Does this mean that the hyperbaric oxygen chamber would improve my condition and would it now? (oxygen delivered under pressure which helps, among others, multiple sclerosis sufferers).

Up to the latter part of 1976 I used to improve naturally a lot up to a certain level after suffering a relapse, but from then on only certain psychotherapeutic medications e.g. Modecate plus procyclidine (Kemadrin) and orphenadrine (Disipal), Depixol (flupenthixol) plus orphenadrine, chlorpromazine (Largactil), pimozide (Orap), plus allergy therapy, and perhaps a week's course of homeopathy treatment in January/February, has mostly caused improvement to my injured nerves to varying amounts. This is because the relapses have made the nerve damage too bad for it to happen much since without medication.

The improvement I made when I had Modecate and procyclidine from June to August in 1977 was only slight while actually on them, but I improved a lot, albeit gradually, upon discontinuing them. This was because the drugs had healed the natural healing mechanism of the nerves sufficiently for me to improve but only after leaving them off. Procyclidine, as I have said before, stopped virtually all improvement when I took it with Stelazine, and later Modecate, in 1975 when I used to improve naturally up to a certain point after suffering a relapse. I had been improving on Stelazine when I took it on its own for one week, but the improvement stopped as soon as I took procyclidine, and continued upon stopping it.

If I were bothered about being so ill at present I would chance taking Modecate and procyclidine again but with chlorpromazine on hand to eradicate the once every three days or so truly awful frightening feeling which it produced before owing to my particular nerve damage it interfered with. I would not have Depixol again to save the universe if chlorpromazine was found not to eradicate its similar intermittent fearful feeling. Then again the improvement in my physical condition could have been instead attributable to the anticholinergic procyclidine and orphenadrine and not the neuroleptics just mentioned.


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