Happy New Year, Surprise, You Get A New Psychiatrist…again!

Twice this week I’ve been knocked for a loop by things I was never warned of. First came the landlord basically selling out to a management company. Today, after almost 6 weeks waiting to see Dr. B…The office called to tell me this was his last week there, he was gone from the practice, so my appointment for the 15th was off. I was told they’d provide me with refills but I’d need to choose one of their other doctors and the soonest they could get me in is…March. By then I will have survived 4 months of winter depression without any medication changes or psychiatric support.

I would have cried or had a meltdown but it’s become so goddamn common in this town…Find a decent shrink, they leave within a couple of years. Now I have to start over with a new one, a woman a friend reccommended (I figure if she got his chronic pot fried brain functioning properly, she must be a miracle worker) and once again, I am tasked with imploring this new doctor to see how troubled I am and take me seriously. And her only frame of reference will be the months of futility when I was seeing doc nurse.

I am pretty hopeless. I had a few hours of blind determination. “These people aren’t gonna help me, it’s all on me now.” But it gave way to just feeling defeated again. Bipolar itself is instability and since 2008, this will be my seventh different doctor at this same place. And none of the changes were my doing, it was either the docs leaving or scheduling problems or staffing shortage. That’s a lot of damn psychiatrists to go through, to have no choice but to endure the revolving door. The doctor is the gatekeeper I need for my disability to remain active and I can’t even get in for 8 more weeks. How is that remotely helpful? Just to get a med change, I’ll be required to go the hospital outpatient, make a psych complaint that concerns them enough to get the on call doc to see me…Ffs, could they have hobbled me a little more, think I still have one good toe to stand on….

Mental healthcare is lacking everywhere but in the UNited States where we are supposedly so progressive and wealthy as a nation…There is zero excuse for such a lapse, and a negligent one, in my mental healthcare. Perhaps my own stubbornness was an issue as I bet I could have gotten in with doc nurse a couple weeks before the actual psych doc but…doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different outcome is the definition of insanity. That was never going to take me seriously, see how hobbled I am by my disorders, and help me. Her mind was made up probably from the first appointment. And because I was sympathetic to their short staffing and didn’t want to rock the boat and make it more difficult…I screwed myself out of the second best shrink I’ve ever had. I saw him not quite 2 years and that man was amazing. Seems to be the pattern, though, with all the shrinks in town. They put in 2 years and out they go, probably screaming into the night.

I am lost. Not giving up but it gets more appealing with every blow life hands me. It took me two days to find energy to do dishes and fix myself something more than microwave food to eat. I’m not suicidal but I sure as hell ain’t on solid ground. By the time I see the new doc, it will be nearing spring and the seasonal affect will start to slowly lift. 4 months without a check in, med change, nothing. And the charlatans have the nerve to claim they give us 25 minute appointments and bill insurance $260 for it even when it’s just a psych nurse. I used to feel mad that insurance companies put caps on what they will allow and pay out but seeing that bill recently, knowing that woman sure as hell did not spend 25 minutes with me….it’s infuriating. At least Dr. B served his time to earn it.

I just…no doc, not sure if we’re going to be evicted at any moment, depression not lightening up…And the sleep problems, oh, dear god. I woke at 3:30 today and spent an hour trying to get back to sleep but it was futile so I sat at my desk and started proofing the last revision of the same novel I’ve been trying to perfect for almost 10 years now. And it kept me entertained right until I got the spawn on the bus, then I caved in to catnapping in 20 minutes increments. I got maybe an extra 2 hours of sleep but again, in increments so not exactly restful. Just enough to get me through the day.

At one point, I was thinking, damn, this book is really good, maybe I haven’t perfected it because it’s just…done.

And then it went way off the reservation and the whole tone changed which in turn morphed the characters and storyline in a direction I despised and it was like, fuck! I can always read my writing and know when my moods shifted, it reflects in how the story flows along for awhile and makes sense and then next I know, it’s like, who the hell wrote this garbage, this character would never say or do that shit!

I am always having to explain and prove how my mental conditions are a disability but I think when they even impact the one thing I love more than my kid and cats-my writing- I’d say that’s pretty disabling. Throw in the inability to focus and stay on track and it doesn’t matter that I’m a half ass decent writer. It just becomes drivel even I find cringeworthy.

Then again, getting that call about the psychiatrist situation may have put my mood in the gutter enough to make my revision seem worse than it actually is. I don’t know. I keep getting kicked in the head here on a daily basis and I’m at a loss how to handle it. Just keep going until I can’t go anymore, I guess.

Just…could the sacred pegacorn throw me a damned bone of not suckiness once in awhile? I’m not a great person but I sure as hell don’t deserve to have this much instability heaped on my already unstable mind. People want to know why I can’t get my feet under me and remain standing…

THIS. No patient, psych or medical, should be subjected to such a perpetual revolving door of providers. It’s doing more harm than good and the rule is, first do no harm.

They have failed.

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2 Responses to “Happy New Year, Surprise, You Get A New Psychiatrist…again!”

  1. I have been lucky in respect to my psych nurse and therapy. I have had some real fuck-ups, but for the most part I have done pretty good. Only the hospital stays fuck everything up for a while.

  2. Terrible lack of consistent psychiatric care. Do no harm. Need more providers, and more providers practicing in underserved areas.

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