Monday, 8 October 2007

Less Anxiety - More Indicators

As well as the common symptoms of agoraphobia, Marie has other issues.

I have mentioned before that she has a very large handbag (purse, I believe, is the US term) with a shoulder strap. She keeps it fairly full and quite weighty and it only leaves her shoulder at home, in our car and in other rare occasions when she has little anxiety. This is, of course, a symptom of obsessive compulsive disorder and Marie also has other, less extreme symptoms of this.

But in addition, there are other more bizarre things which make
Marie anxious. One of these is hair shampoo/conditioner. At its most extreme , I have to administer these to Marie or she cannot wash/condition her hair properly.

Another is going to the optician's. When she tried to do this some years ago, she had to leave before the examination was complete. Based on what evidence he
had collected, the optician took an educated guess at what kind of lenses Marie required. He did quite a good job, too!

So it was with some surprise that Marie informed me that she was going to have her hair permed. Here's the "before" picture...

Marie organised a hairdresser to call at our home and do the perm there; but nevertheless since it involved washing her hair and then having perming lotion on it hair for quite a while, it was quite an achievement for Marie.

Then, knowing that her eyesight, even with her glasses, wasn't at its optimum for driving, Marie made an appointment at the local
optician's. I drove her there, of course. Marie wanted me to go into the building with her but there was no legal parking space available. Still, Marie went in to the optician's by herself while I parked illegally (but safely) outside and waited in the car. Marie managed to stay for the entire examination without much anxiety, and then spent quite a while choosing frames. A week later, she took possession of her new spectacles. Here's the "after" picture, showing the permed hair and new specs...

With Marie maintaining her earlier small steps out of agoraphobia, it seems that we still have an improving situation. Happy days!


Aff said...

Ah, I'm so pleased for both of you!

Well done, Marie. I know what a big step that must've been.

Ah, I'm going to work with a smile on my face today.

Robert said...

Aff -

You've gotta be the nicest guy in blogland!!!

Aff said...

Second. I know this guy who blogs about his agoraphobic wife...

It did cheer me up this morning though. I was nervous about work and when I read it, it did bring a smile to my face.

I know how manic I personally feel when I say, order in a pub. So for something that huge... well, words fail me.

And how I managed to post without paying compliment to how Marie looks, particularly in the second photo, puzzles me.

Robert said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marie said...

Thank's for the nice comments Aff..

But I have to say the first photo is one of the worst photos of myself...(husbands have no taste! lol) but then again it's a good one to put before an "after" shot...

Another thing - when people hear about someone having agoraphobia or other similar conditions they have a picture in their head of someone looking depressed and drained all the time.. But hey - we do look normal most of the

So if I'm seeing a therapist I like to look my best now, 'cos if you go with no make up on and perhaps a black or grey jumper or top, they say that you should be wearing bright clothes and putting make up on. And then after a few sessions of going, maybe one day you don't get an early appointment and so you have time to do yourself up properly - you get there and they say "Oh you must be feeling better!" 'cos you're looking so different.. And then I feel like shouting at them!!!!

MrsC♥ said...

Firstly - WELL DONE MARIE! (Cool hair and fab glasses. Very similiar to my new ones, but mine are all black frames).

It's so hard to understand to a "normal" person how hard it is to do the everyday essential healthcare appointments, especially when you're in a small room with a massive piece of equipment trapping you in a chair (that's what its like at my opticians!). My last appointment took me about 3 cancellations before i felt brave enough. Ugh!

Anyway, i finally did do it and got my new glasses too. In some ways i wish i hadn't 'cause it cost me a bloody fortune :)


Leila V. said...

That's awesome! I recently had my hair cut after more than five years of avoiding it, so I know how huge that is. It's the small talk with the stylist that gets me, that and the fear of getting butchered.

john said...

dont you just love mobile hairdressers?! I have a local woman do mine, she is very friendly.

You have reminded me that I need to get my eyes checked, they were due about 3 years ago. oops.

Well done!

Aimée said...

very nice job Marie! I love the new hair. I just chopped mine and their is alot of anxiety about a new do. I think you are gorgeous. Very cool that the hairdresser came to your house. IF only I could have a hair dresser do my hair everyday!

Keep up the good work!

Marie said...

Hi Sarah -

Yes, it's like that at MY optician's too! I surprised myself this time because it didn't seem so scary.

Thanks for the compliments. A girl can't get enough!

Marie said...

Hi Leila -

Can I congratulate you too for getting your hair cut. As Sarah said, "normal" people have no idea how hard it can be to get the most ordinary things done.

It's 6 years since my last perm! I have got my hair cut since then, but in the last couple of years it's been at home only, and not much off it.

Marie said...

Hi John & Aimée -

It's easy to get a hairdresser to do home visits here, you just have to be careful that you get a good one.

Aimée, are you the same as me?... anything that changes makes me anxious, hair, shoes, refitted shops...everything!

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