A few months after my intensive care stint in 2003, I found myself washing my hands a lot more. I had developed obsessive compulsive disorder I found it very hard to accept that I might have had Myasthenia gravis . until I later found out the fact I had Multiple mitochondrial DNA deletions Something clicked in my head and put me into a robot mode and I felt I HAD to wash my hands from time to time.
I blamed the cleanliness of intensive care unit because I felt if my hands were clean I wouldn’t get ill again or catch another ear infection and lose my cochlear implant. I was just freaked at the fact that I might lose my other cochlear implant and be in a silent world for the rest of my life. Although I knew I’m already profoundly deaf, I hated the fact I might lose my cochlear implant and never hear my family and friends voices or music etc again. I began being very protective about my ears and wouldn’t let anyone else touch them apart from my mum and my doctor. I began being more looser on the protective mode on the left ear because of my cochlear implant but I never let anyone touch my right ear because I felt I still had my ear infection and if anyone or anything touched my infected and touched my other ear, I would go into question mode - "is my ear ok?" "Is that ok?" In my case I keep saying "you promise?" Even now (2008) when I know my ear infection has healed, I still wont let anyone touch it.
I knew it was not normal of me to do so but I couldn’t help myself and felt I had to do it. I still have OCD and get very frustrated and wish I didn’t have it because it really gets on my nerves and can be time consuming. I get very angry at times and lash out because I know I shouldn’t be doing it and wish I was better. I began to look for help. My G.P put me in touch with a doctor about it. He recommended I try behavioural therapy. It helped for a bit but I found it hard because the lady I was working with was very judgemental towards me and told me I was being lazy! I felt so angry about that and I stopped it there and then!
I went back to the OCD doctor with my parents and the OCD doctor suggested trying Prozac, he told me it would be 4 weeks before it started working. I began taking Prozac and after a month on them, one evening I felt my lip getting big and puffy. It wasn't till my parents came home from a night out that I noticed something was wrong because my mum was shocked when she saw me. She rang the Medical helpline on the phone for advice. The advice was to keep an eye on me and if it was no better in the morning see a doctor but as it was a Saturday night we would have to go to casualty. Overnight, it had got worse and my face had become very puffy and I had a rash all over my body. My eyes were closing up that I could hardly see.
My parents took me to casualty the next morning, I went there in my PJs, I was very scared and I was holding on to my mum because she was guiding me where to go. I saw a doctor after half an hour and he checked me out. We told him about the medication I was on but he told me I should keep taking it as it’s an anti depressant. He gave me some steroids to take home.
I took the steroids (they were pink dissolvable ones and yes they tasted horrible!!) and as soon as I got home and it seemed to get better but then that evening I took my Prozac as the doctor had told me too, it flared up again so we saw my GP the next day. She told me that it was obvious that the Prozac was the cause of the reaction and that casualty should have never told me to keep taking them! I stopped taking them and I began to get better. It turns out I was allergic to the SSRIs in the Prozac. We made a complaint about this.
When I went back to my OCD doctor we told what had happened and he gave me Clomipramine instead. I wasn’t happy about being on medication as it’s what I wanted to avoid.
After a year on Clomipramine, I decided to stop it because I felt it wasn't helping my OCD. It was still the same as it ever was and there was no point of being on it. I began to get better for a bit. I have my good days and my bad days although now in 2008 it’s getting a bit worse so I have decided to try behavioural therapy again. I want to beat the OCD because I hate having it and it can be very frustrating at times, I get very angry about it. Hopefully one day will be free of it.