The title might seem dramatic, but I feel in my situation it is very suitable. I would’ve posted this last week, but I was very upset and didn’t want to say exactly how I was really feeling.
Like I mentioned in my last post, I am not seeing my therapist for a while. Bobs work schedule isn’t regular and even though he asked for a day off during the week so that he and I could go to doctor appointments, they have been having him work a few monday through friday weeks. I used a transportaton company last week to get to my psychiatrist appointment (more on that in a bit) and it was very similar to the service I used back in Washington for all of my appointments for over a year. I called in to set up an appointment with my therapist and I was told that the nest available appointment isn’t until August 31st. I am pretty bummed to be honest, journaling doesn’t help as much as talking to someone face to face about issues.
Ok on to the main reason for this post-
Last wednesday, which coincidentally was my grandmas birthday, I went in for a check up with my psychiatrist. It was my first appointment in over 2 months and I had a lot I needed to say. I have felt for quite awhile that none of my meds were helping me in any way. I was on medications for anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia, and sedation (to help me sleep), and even though I was taking them exactly how they were prescribed I was still having A LOT of anxiety, and panic attacks every few days. I still was having bad mood swings and manic depression, one of which was paired with a panic attack and it landed me in the hospital for being suicidal and very overwhelmed. I had a couple instances of bad paranoia and seeing things in my periferal vision that when I would look to see them there wasn’t anything. Also my sleep schedule was all over the place and I would have random nights where I couldn’t fall asleep, lucky days where I slept well, and many days where I was waking up between 2 and 6 and wasn’t able to get back to sleep.
I had a lot on anxiety about the appointment itself and using the transportation company for the first time. I spent quite a few hours doing nothing but trying to figure out how to say everything that I was concerned with and wanted to have changed. My game plan was actually kind of simple, go in there tell my therapist that it didn’t feel like any of my medications were helping, explain how I am still struggling with the conditions that she was treating, and also to hold my ground and get put on either new medications or higher doses (like I was on back in Washington). I was told when I made the appointment that it was scheduled to last 15 minutes. When I finally went in to see my doctor, I stuck to my plan on what I needed to say, but nothing went as planned.
I told her about all of my issues with my medications and how I was still struggling with the conditions that they were supposed to be helping me with. When telling her about how none of the medications seemed to be working she didn’t even seem to be listening. I then said “I don’t know if you were informed or not, but I ended up in the hospital for being suicidal because of my conditons”. Again, it felt like she didn’t even aknowledge what I was saying or ask any questions, all she said was “I didn’t hear about that”.
After about 4 or 5 minutes, she began going over my medications and she didn’t mention any changes about them. No dosage changes or anything. Then she mentioned my anxiety medication, klonopin, and I said that it wasn’t doing anything and she simply asked me “Do you want to be on a different medication?”, I said yes. She wrote a few things down and was messing around on her computer and then about a minute later she handed me pages she printed out saying what my medication plan was and saying that I need to see her again in 2 months. As she handed me the pages she said that she was going to have her nurse give me samples of Brintellix/Trintellix because she didn’t want to deal with the hassel of dealing with my insurance to get it approved. Brintellix (or Trintellix as it is named now after a name change) is an anti-depresssant, and she gave me samples of it at my last appointment. I am very farmiliar with the medication because I was on it for a few months back in Washington.
She then said “See you next time” and I took that as her saying my appointment was over. As I walked down the halls to the waiting room to the receptionists to make my next appointment I looked at my phone and I had only seen my doctor for 10 minutes. When I arrived at the receptionists I handed them the paper work I was given and then they told me what times were available on the day I needed to come back and I just went along and said yeah that works. I was then told as the receptionist was scheuling the appointmen that it was only scheduled for 5 minutes.
When she handed back my paperwork I noticed on the medication info that I wasn’t on anything for anxiety and also that none of my dosages were changed. I then asked the receptionist if I could go speak with my doctor quickly because she forgot to put me on anything for anxiety. The receptionist had the appearance of not caring, so I said “If I am not on anything to treat my anxiety, I will probably end up in the hospital again”. She, much like my doctor, didn’t seem to care and I just walked away to the waiting area to get my samples after a few awkward seconds of her not doing anything. After about 10 minutes the nurse came out and handed me the samples and I told her that my doctor must have made a mistake because she didn’t put me on anything to treat my anxiety. She asked for my paperwork and then walked back to speak with my doctor. About 5 minutes later she came back and handed me my paperwork and said “the brintellix should treat the anxiety”. I told her that brintellix is a medication for depressiona and that I need something that can treat my anxiety.
I began walking away when the nurse walked away and I went and spoke with the other receptionist. I asked her for an appointment reminder card and as she pulled up the info and filled out a card I asked her what I should do if my anxiety gets bad and she said “just call in and ask to speak with the nurse”. I walked away and got in the transportation car that had been waiting for me and he drove me home. The whole time I could feel my anxiety building and my hands beginning to ache which is pretty much my sign that I am about to or am having a panic attack. As soon as I got home and walked in the door, I set down all the paperwork and my water bottle and I said some curse words pretty loudly. Then I began walking towards the bathroom and ended up having to run to the bathroom because I was going to vomit.
After throwing up and using mouthwash I walked out to the living room and began looking up brintellix to see if it even helps treat anxiety. Just by typing “Does brintellix treat anxiety” in google and looking through about 10 results, they all pretty much said the exact same thing. People that are given brintellix to treat their depression have increased anxiety for awhile after starting the medication. I didn’t see a single thing about it being used to treat anxiety. I then looked up the medication on a few websites and they all said that it is used to treat depression. After saying a few more curse words, I wrote a post for facebook about everything with the appointment, my terrible doctor, and her plan to treat my conditions. A few people commented and I replied and I realized that I can’t have a doctor that treats me like this.
I understand she probably has maybe a hundred other patients, but that doesn’t excuse how she is treating me. There are so many things she should have done differently, the most major thing being to ask me questions about me ending up in the hospital and trying to figure out what medication either wasn’t doing it’s job or probably lead me to being suicidal and eiter taking me off of it or raising the dose. She also should have asked for my next appointment to be sooner than 2 months, to see if I am doing better. The fact that she doesn’t care about my well being is alarming, but it is way more frustrating than anything. I, as a patient that is disabled because of all my conditions, has to be able to trust my doctors and believe that everything that they are doing medication and treatment wise is to treat my conditions and hopefully improve my quality of life.
I don’t trust my psychiatrist anymore, and for my safety I can’t allow her to treat me anymore. I am going to have to look into getting a new doctor, which is pretty stressful for me. I like regularity, I don’t like changes, and I prefer for my psychiatrist and therapist to be in the same clinic because it is much more convienient. I am slowly building the courage to call into my insurance and get a new psychiatrist, but it’s scary. I mean I have had a psychiatrist that was nothing more than a pill pusher and he changed my medications and dosages every single visit, I have had a psychiatrist that lied to my face and puts my life at risk twice. I have even had really nice psychiatrists that do care about your well being, back in the hospitals when I was hospitalized back in Washington a few times. I will never know what kind of psychiatrist I will get, and with my SSI I don’t want to make it seem like I am “shopping” around for doctors because that could come back to hurt me when I have my recertification. I just want a doctor that cares and that treats my conditions correctly, it doesn’t seem like I am asking a lot.
My goal for this week is to build the courage to call in and to get a new doctor and than hopefully to call in and schedule an appointment.