Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Concrete and Practical Help

The idea for this post came from Eliza Jane's comments about sometimes needing "concrete" help...thanks EJ

On Sunday I left a message at my pdoc's office to see if I could get an appointment before my scheduled appointment. They called me this morning and booked me in for 4pm. Even as I spoke to the secretary I thought maybe I don't need the appointment now. I was still depressed, but not as acutely so as the past few days. I went against my avoidant self and took the appointment.

A few "concrete" things helped me in my appointment today:
  • Dr. X's welcoming attitude when I expressed how I was happy to be able to see him earlier in the week. He said he was glad that I felt comfortable enough to call when I needed to.
  • Both his offer to write, and his taking time after my appointment to write, a letter for me to take to the emergency room if I ever felt I needed to go to the emergency because I was suicidal

This letter was brought up after I explained to him how I was afraid to go to the hospital because I felt like I might get there and my mood might lift momentarily, then the Dr. would dismiss my symptoms, reject my cry for help and send me home, where I would feel even more depressed that no one "heard" me, recognized how depressed I was and that I needed help.

In the letter he wrote about my mood disorder symptoms and the intensity and severity of my suicidal ideation. He also said that I would not bring myself to the hospital if I was not ready to put my suicide plans into action.

  • As I read the letter it became really clear to me that he really did understand how much I was hurting; how much pain my symptoms were causing me.

I feel now, that if I were to be suicidal I would take myself, with the letter, to the hospital.

  • We discussed possible medication strategies...this gave me some hope that there are options we have not explored and many combos we have not tried.

Thanks Dr. X for listening and helping me take care of myself. It really helped me to see you today.

Thanks too to my friend "E" who encouraged me to see him in the first place.


Cassie said...

Wow, it's great that you have a great pdoc who really helps you. Well done on calling to make an appointment when you needed to, I know it's hard to do. I find it really difficult to reach out for help when I need it.

Eliza Jane said...

I'm so glad that you were able to get some concrete help from your psychiatrist. I'm glad that you were able to make that call, and that you accepted the appointment even though you had doubts. I am also glad that you were able to talk to him about your concerns re: going to an emergency room.

I think sometimes that some people talk about "going to the emergency room" when you are feeling very intensely unwell/ suicidal-- but no real details are given-- and people don't really talk about how awful an ER can be when you are not feeling well, how difficult it can be to be heard. The idea of having a letter from your psychiatrist to present to ER staff is a very good idea.

I am so glad that your psychiatrist helped you so much. I am so glad that you have someone who will very actively help you right now. You said a little while ago that you did not understand sometimes why you kept seeing a psychiatrist if nothing was working, but THIS is exactly why you need to keep seeing your doctor. .

Harriet said...

I'm so glad your Doctor was able to help you like that. You sound much better in this post. I wish I had a Dr. X! I have J, but he's not quite Dr. X. Or maybe it's me, putting up that damn wall between us.

I love you Aqua - don't forget it!

findingmecrazy said...

Hi, I've been reading youur blog for a while now and thought I'd comment for a change. Have to say I'm with Harriet, I wish I had a Dr. X! That was really good of him to write that letter, might actually speak to my psychiatrist about something like that. And that was good you called to make the appointment, I'm useless at dealing with my psychiatrist!

The girl with the flour in her hair said...

I also have been reading your blog for awhile and I really enjoy the way you write; you are very honest in your posts and I decided it was time to comment. You are fortunate to have that kind of relationship with your dr. I'm glad you have that letter. Anything to make what you are going through easier.