Friday, May 18, 2012

How much more bad news can I deal with this week?

This week has been a total nightmare. Obviously, the worst thing that happened lately was my grandmother passing away yesterday. That alone would have been terrible enough. But on top of that, I blew a mental fuse and had to drop my class because of the professor being (apparently) a CIA agent (and there's more to this story but I'll save it for another time when I can see exactly who I am talking to and get their Social Security numbers memorized before I divulge it). Anyway, so that was unfortunate. I could have gotten another A in that class if things hadn't gone awry as they seem to have done. Further, because I obviously want to go to my grandmother's funeral, I had to bail out of the NAMI conference where I was supposed to be hosting a group discussion on auditory hallucinations. So that was really too bad, because I was looking forward to that, and was going to go for the whole four days of the conference and really try to enjoy myself. But we cannot plan when terrible things will happen in this life.

To top it all off, today I went to see my doctor. I probably never mentioned this before, because I get paranoid about who is reading what I write here and I don't know who all that is, but let me just tell you this doctor is the best psychiatrist I've ever had in my entire life. And I have seen a number of psychiatrists in my time. The first one, I saw when I was 15, then one from 16-20, and then there was another one in my early 20's, and then there was one at the agency where I lived in a group home, and then then there were THREE more at the mental health agency I go to now. This is not counting the numerous psychiatrists I saw for one visit or perhaps two, or the numerous and sundry psychiatrists I saw in all the many hospital trips I had the great fortune to take. Yeah. This one, out of all of them, is by far the very best. He's smarter, and understands me better, and he stays up on research. Plus because he is the medical director of the place, he has time to do a really thorough job which other people don't have time to do in this horrible healthcare system that we have in the United States.

And guess what he told me today? He's leaving. This is terrible! Really, really terrible. Going to a psychiatrist when you have a serious mental illness is not like going to a dentist when you have a cavity. It is more like finding a good obstetrician when you are pregnant with your first child. It's rather important. Like finding a good pediatrician you can trust with the lives of your children. We entrust these people with OUR BRAINS. My whole life goes into their hands when I fork over my brain to them and the powers of their prescription writing. This is serious stuff, not to be messed around with by amateurs. I do not want YET ANOTHER new psychiatrist or nurse practitioner who will have to get to know me from atom and who I will have to blindly trust to go where no man has gone before. I do not want to go through this nightmare, and I really do not want to go through it right now. This is a terrible thing.

I mean, I am going to have this illness for life. Life. My entire life. And here I get psychiatrists who don't stick around more than a year or two at the most! Then they leave the agency, or my insurance refuses to cover them because they have the wrong nurse practitioner's license or some other crap happens. And then it's all over. I have to start AGAIN. Like taking your pregnant self to a new ob-gyn when you're nine months pregnant. This is not my idea of a good plan for my life. I thought this psychiatrist was going to be around for the long haul. Obviously, I can see why he isn't. He probably doesn't get paid half as much as he should working in the community mental health setting. Nobody gets paid enough in those places, particularly not in Florida which ranks 50th among the 50 states, when it comes to mental health and substance abuse funding. So I can't say I blame the guy for packing his bags and hitting the road, but I really like this psychiatrist. So this is a horrible loss to me. My person who handles my brain has just left the job to someone else. (To be fair, he did tell me he has been there for 17 years, and I do know this is true, because he actually was my first doctor there, when I went there for a few months about 16 years ago and took Wellbutrin for Attention Deficit Disorder and depression).

Whilst I complain, I will say that the psychiatrist let me spend an inordinate amount of time in his office today talking about the stuff I refuse to write about here, because I don't have your identifications. So that was helpful. I mean, he was trying to help. But at the same time, I am really upset that he is leaving.

I'm considering leaving the whole community mental health environment behind me and going somewhere where people tend to have more permanent jobs. I don't know who I would go to - that is the problem. You would think with all the people I've met in NAMI that I would know the name of the best psychiatrist in town, but such is not case (unless my current one is the best in town, and that very well could be the case). I don't know anything about any good doctors to turn to. I am a total loss here. This is really unfortunate.

I have a good rapport with this psychiatrist, and I really don't just have that with everybody I meet. It takes a long time to create with most people, and with some people I cannot create it at all. You don't just hit it off with everybody you meet. Not everybody understands complex situations like the kind of mental health issues I have. But this doctor does understand, and when he doesn't he at least has the decency to admit that he doesn't know something rather than pretending for ego's sake that he has all the answers and stuffing me full of diabetes-inducing drugs. I like this psychiatrist's approach. He doesn't switch me off ten meds at once, or start me on nine at the same time, like some other doctors I've known who ruined my life. I don't feel like going through that again.

This is terrible.

Also, I am really not looking forward to going to a funeral. I miss my grandmother and I am very sad that she is gone. I really don't want to be around all of my relatives - most of whom think they're so much better than I am - and deal with their judgements of me. I really do not want to do that right now. I also do not want to have to deal with traveling on an airplane when I'm a little paranoid about being watched, followed, observed, and monitored, pretty much anywhere I go. Homeland security doesn't comfort me at such times. It makes me lose it.

But I will survive somehow or other. Hopefully, I can do it without winding up in the hospital. I made my doctor promise that I'm not going to a hospital any time soon and that's another problem - there are doctors out there who would send me to one in a flash! That is the absolute last thing I need right now. Every single time I have ever been inside a hospital, they have put me on so many medications that I did not even know what drug was doing what, and I did not know which side effects were caused by which drug, and I never even stayed on that same stuff when I came out of the hospital anyway. So going to a hospital is not a helpful thing all the time. For when you're suicidal, or if you're ever a harm to other people, going to a hospital is good. But for when you're dealing with symptoms you've been dealing with for thirteen years or longer, going to a hospital is really not useful to do. Especially since they usually keep you for about three days. Anyway, my doctor does not think I need to be in a hospital, so that is good. I don't even know why I'm talking about hospitals. I haven't been in a psych ward since January of 2008. And I don't intend to go inside one again in the near future. I'm just getting nervous about everything that seems to be going wrong at the same time right now.

When it rains it pours.

I guess the sun will come out tomorrow, as Annie would say.

Also, I am now on 120 mgs of Latuda, which is probably not healthy for my liver, but perhaps will help with the apparently miswired circuitry in my annoying brain, since I am supposedly a bit delusional right now about certain things.


  1. Praying for you my friend and hoping the Latuda helps relax your grieving mind. Hugs to you xxx

  2. I well know the~ not being sure of realities times ~that permeate every aspect of life when this happens...& the misty word connections too. I'm sorry Jen, so sorry. Too many things are blooming in complexity at the same time. I'm hoping the Latuda boost will help. ~Mary

  3. I'm so sorry that you are succumbing to some paranoia. Not a good time to have to switch to a different psychiatrist. Too much stress can do this. I am also sorry about your grandmother. Jen, maybe it's a good thing to slow the pace down. And it is a good thing for you to challenge your paranoia and not give into it. I know that can be hard. That's why I talk into my taperecorder. It trains me to hear when I'm going in a misguided direction. You have a lot of experience in spotting the warning signals. So heed them and don't settle into the illness, no matter how convincing it may seem.

    I've said this before, but I see most psychotic disorders as an imbalance of the ego. I still sometimes think that people who drive by me know who I am and are following me, but then I make the decision to stop looking at the people in the cars who pass by me. If I continue to look, I get sicker and I make myself out to be something "special" when I am definitely not. You are a very valuable individual but that doesn't mean that there are spies trying to get you somehow. Continue to question any assumption you make. Don't take things for granted. You will get through this. You have quite a few people here in your corner. Keep writing.

    Love Kate


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