Sunday 23 June 2024

More Problems

Sorry folks, things aren't exactly easing. I hate to be writing a never ending tale of woe but I've got to vent somehow. Please, do not feel obliged to read on, and certainly don't feel that you must reply in the comments.

So, here we go. I have the dates for hospital visits, ops and treatments, which is good, provided they are not cancelled. (So far only once. You expect that with the NHS in its current state.) And all within the month as the consultant promised. In a month's time I will be better,  limping along metaphorically speaking, or out of it entirely. One way or another. My son is taking compassionate leave for he first few days afterwards and I have a carer who has promised to take up the slack when he leaves.

So far so good.

Now comes a non medical problem. Last September I changed mobile service provider. Long after my contract with them had ended I changed from Vodafone to my current provider; I was certain  I followed the normal procedure, bar using the PAC code, preferring to take up a new mobile number supplied by the new provider.  Vodafone decided, some time later, that I owed them monthly payments and plucked a figure out of thin air. Less than a month later they had handed my "debt" over to a debt collector. I wrote to Vodafone informing them of the state of affairs and heard nothing. I wrote to the debt collector "Ardent Credit Services", who first increased the amount of debt and then emailed me to say that they were "looking into it". I was then handed over to a second debt collector, they call themselves "The Zinc Group". They now regularly ring my landline with a computerised message inviting me to ring a mobile number. I have so far declined. I googled "The Zinc Group", they exist and are indeed debt collectors with a registered office, but no address. Lots of people have left reviews online on their activities as well as Vodafone's unjust persecutions of customers and non-customers. I tried writing another letter to both, inviting them to explain; still no reply.

A Consumer Champion might help but I simply don't have the energy physically or mentally to enter into a dispute. In the meantime they keep harassing me.

Some time ago I wrote a post here about night terrors.  "Sleep terrors are times of screaming or crying, intense fear and sometimes waving arms and legs when not fully awake."

The terrors seem to have reverted to nightmares, because I actually dream very violent dreams. Earlier this week I woke up, on the floor, screaming, having drawn blood in three places, with deep bruising on the back of my left hand, my upper arm, and my forehead. The knee which was healing nicely is damaged again!

Do not laugh, it really wasn't very funny!

My doctor thinks it is partly to do with the new cancer; I am not so sure about that, I have had serious nightmares for several years and have been violent before. Remember the lamps I have damaged by throwing them across the bedroom floor? What kind of mental health specialist deals with sleep abnormalities? Psychiatrist? Analyst? Counsellor? My doctor thinks there is a need for going deep into my subconscious to dig up the reasons for my disturbed nights. Get this blasted cancer out of the way and I will explore. 

However, please do not use the stock phrase  "And How Did That Make You Feel?" I might actually turn violent while I'm awake.


  1. Night Terrors are no joke, I had them for years. The best thing I found is to make your brain busy with word games just before bedtime...crossword puzzles...anything to get your brain busy. Sorry I have no advice on the debt collectors, do you have the paperwork from the of luck.

  2. I am so sorry you are going through so much. Perhaps a mattress next to your bed would help so that if you hurl yourself out of bed you will land on something softer. As for mobile 'phone providers, they can be a complete pain. Landlines will soon be a thing of the past. Meanwhile, why not unplug it or leave the receiver off the stand?

  3. Hi Friko - I don't know what to say ... but I know how I'd feel in my position, let alone yours ... the only suggestion I can make is to get hold of Age Concern ... I see there is one in Ludlow 01584 878 046 ... your solicitor, your son, the carers' office, or even Martin Lewis, the Money Saving Expert ... who deals with hassles, and I note has a complaints section. One other place is a debt charity StepChange ... they are in Leeds ... but I can't see a phone no for them ... it'll be an 0800 one - I'm sure. The main thing is to find a way of what you need to do that won't implicate you in further hassles, and once that's done - then 'switch off' about them. Not easy - I'm sure. With thoughts ... and I do hope you can resolve it ... just don't get wound up ... if you can help it?! I'm sorry I'm so far away ... with love and thoughts - Hilary xoxo

  4. Friko, I can certainly see your need to vent! And I shouldn't even comment as I have no answers. But here's my 2 cents anyway. With your medical issues taking priority over everything else, don't freak out over the mobile phone problem/unfair debt. It will work itself out or someone will eventually work it out for you. Let it go (easier said than done, I know).

    As for the night terrors, these do need to be addressed somehow... but here's my thoughts as I've had something like that (though definitely not as drastic). When awake, I'm never confrontational or violent, but in my dreams sometimes in the past I have been... and it bothers me as to why. My solution (if you can call it that) is not to watch or read anything that makes me anxious or nervous in the evening (only Hallmark-like shows... funny sitcoms or romantic, etc.). No news, no political trash, etc. It works for me so far. Also, I read somewhere that these things happen to an aging brain. Not sure what that means, but something to think about.

    1. That sounds very wise. Only think on good things. Another thought, do you have a way to sleep lower to the floor, a mattress maybe, can you get down like that? Or a guard rail maybe, so you don't fall out of bed and hurt yourself.

      Also, call on the name of Jesus. It works. He is real.

  5. Night terrors? Violent nightmares? Just what you need. Not.
    I hope your can resolve those debt collection issues though - and please, vent away.

  6. I don't know what medications you are on but some of them can cause nightmares and night terrors, also vitamin and mineral deficiencies. as for the debt collector, can you block their number?

  7. I think your doc is probably right about going deep, since this is a longstanding issue, but as Ellen mentioned, I wouldn't discount a look at medications and such, too. Definitely, this is the last thing you need when already stressed out. The phone situation doesn't help, either. A person could do well being in that role of problem solver for such things. I send all good wishes and hopes that you can get everything straightened out. Just hang in there. And feel free to vent anytime.

  8. I know people mean well and are trying to help you avoid the mental strain caused by these debt collectors, but I must say i don't agree. Ignoring it will only escalate it. Maybe your son could deal with them? I don't have kids but I had a similar problem years ago with one of the three largest phone companies in the US. The hounding by debt collectors went on for severeal years before I could get them to stop. I learned that the phone company owns several debt collections agencies, so if one doesn't get you to pay up, they just send the file on to the next one, endlessly.

  9. Night terrors sound awful! I dream a lot and remember them but I quit watching and reading anything with murder and violence in them. Not sure if it's helped but I figured garbage in garbage has got to come out. If you haven't already, I'd check for drug side effects and ones you're not supposed to mix.

  10. I dont think you need a counselor. You are simply under alot of stress..
    Is there an actual office where you could go talk to someone about this phone thing?
    And could there be some kind of sleeping pill or anti anxiety pill you could use at night?
    Maybe a nice glass of wine at night ..a toddy before bed..

    I hope you can get the phone thing straightened out and then I think you’ll sleep better.
    Cancer is #1 concern, but the other two aggravate it, I’m sure. Mary

  11. While I am a big believer in dream analysis night terrors are right out. They are a neurological matter, a dysfunction of the wake/sleep neurology where both are off. Pay no attention to the dream contents - unless there really is a recurring one. If so start to think about what it means viz. why it wants to scare you. Nothing is to be feared but understood.

  12. This is tough. Have they tried tranquilizers? I am so sorry to read this and wish there was less for you to deal with until the treatment in a month. Don't weaken, you will get through this.

  13. It’s difficult for me to advise you anything, Friko. Nightmares, perhaps a psychiatrist could help you. Mobile communications are a problem everywhere. I pay for the Internet every month and if I haven’t spent the entire amount, it disappears and the next month I pay again. Talking to them doesn't do anything. The cancer has taken hold, the main thing is to treat it. the rest will sort itself out.

  14. Oh Friko, I have no advice to offer, but my heart aches for you as you deal with so many different things just now. I pray you will have grace for each moment.

  15. I would start with a trial of medication for the night terrors, prescribed by an experienced psychiatrist. It must be hard to get a good night's sleep with this possibility, even on good nights. I hope all goes well for you. xo love kj

  16. I hope your son can help with the debt collectors. Get a consult with a sleep specialist and medication if needed. I'm truly sorry you are under such stress.

  17. Oh, Friko! I am so sorry you are going through all this. As my Mom (96 this month) says, "Old age isn't for sissies." An understatement, for sure, and no one really prepares you for it. On the Vodaphone, I don't know if this would work in the UK, but over here, sometimes a local politician's office will take it up. Some young, eager, tech savvie person on staff who likes to help people out. Isn't it always the way that, when you've already got plenty of problems, you are pestered with something like this!

    And back to getting older, yes, sleep is harder to come by, and sleep disturbances all too easy. I have a whole sleep manual's worth of stuff in a file somewhere. It only works on the margin, but some things I find do help is to read no news after midday, and no reading from electronic equipment close to bedtime. (Kindle Paperwhites seem to be OK, but nothing with an LED display.) You've probably read this book long ago, but I just finished Stella Gibbons' Cold Comfort Farm and found it delightful. There is nothing like old-time British wit!

    Anyway, sending all our best wishes to you that you get a break from all this, and soon.


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