So I found a new doctor. Yay! And she listened to me. I don’t feel like they are going to be spending a lot of time with me in the office, which, I’m not sure how I feel about that at the moment. But, my first appointment was great.
So, this time, since it’s a new doctor, and my history of new doctors as of late has been rocky, I took my husband with me for some much needed support. He was able to fill in some gaps when I was floundering for words or when they asked a question that I didn’t know how to answer, super helpful. When they talked about stuff that I was uncomfortable with, he was supportive, took my hand and made sure I was OK. Again, super great. We didn’t talk much about the borderline personality disorder, which I am still a little upset about, I like to talk about my diagnosis more with doctors. They didn’t even talk to me about my diagnosis, I told them what I had been diagnosed with, told them my history, we answered a long questionnaire, and answered her questions. At the end of the first session, they hand me a sheet of paper that has the new diagnosis on there. This is after we discussed medications. So new diagnosis are as follows, so far: Bipolar 2, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and PTSD, again……… I don’t like when they put the PTSD on there, because yes, the rape happened, and the abuse happened, but I don’t feel like that’s a part of who I am anymore. I don’t have flashbacks anymore, I don’t have nightmares. It’s just not who I am. Or at least I don’t think so.
So the new meds are working out ok. Except that it’s 3 am and I’m writing a blog post and I’m tired but not sleepy. And I’ve had a headache for 2 days, but I’m not sure if that’s the meds or something else at this point. I’ve been prescribed geodon at 40 mg. At first they had me taking it with the seroquel 100 mg, and I would wake up super slow and sleepy. And would be falling asleep at work, like standing up falling asleep. So they cut the seroquel to 50 mg. Still sleepy, not as bad, but still sleepy. Like still falling asleep at work, but if I kept walking I would be somewhat ok. So now they have it where I’m just taking the geodon without the seroquel. I’m still taking topamax. And I have ativan for emergencies. So now, if I could just get some sleep that would be great!
Mood wise, I feel fine. I might be in a manic state right now. Maybe that’s why I’m not sleeping? I’m also having hot flashes. I’m not sure if that’s my hormones acting up or the med.
Hopefully I will get some sleep soon.
I’m so frustrated with doctors.
They are the ones who are in charge of medications because they know how they interact with each other and how they work with the body… That does not give them authority over my body.
One goal, or dream, that I have held very dear to my heart, is to have a family. To have a child, born of my body, carried and conceived by me. Why is that such a hard concept? Women do it all the time. Women who don’t even want babies, have babies. But when a woman who has bipolar or BPD wants to have a child, it feels like the world is against it.
“It’s dangerous!” They say, while looking down on you.
“You’re dangerous!” He said, with his mouth in a firm line, looking over his glasses, as if he just said the most obvious thing in the world.
“You think it’s going to be easy? Because it’s not. You won’t get any sleep. Because there is no such thing as sleep with an infant. And they poop all over everything.” She exclaimed, as if I don’t know anything about babies, or what happens with babies. Yes, I’m very aware that babies poop and don’t sleep through the night, and they eat, a lot.
“Negative.” The nurse said as she poked her head through the door. “Oh, thank God. That’s great news!” The doctor looks so relieved as she peers at me with this look of elation on her face. All the while, my heart is breaking inside.
She asks me if I’m stable, I say yes. I tell her that I am working and that I have goals and one of my goals includes having a baby. But, of course, I understand that I can’t be on these medications and have a baby, that’s why I’m asking for help.
“You do realise that bipolar is genetic, right? So you’d be passing that along to your child. And you’re ok with that? And, what, you’re going to do this alone?” Well, no I have my husband. (And heart disease and diabetes is genetic, too. That doesn’t mean you’ll automatically have it what’s your point?) “And he’s ok with this?” Well, yes we want a child. “Are you trying to wean yourself off of these medications, because this would be disasterous to a baby.” Yes, I’ve gotten off of several medications, and I’m just down to this. “Well ok, but I’m not going to be a part of it. And I won’t prescribe you these medications, you’ll have to see someone else, this isn’t my area of expertise.” That’s fine…that’s kinda why I was here… not for a lecture… but until you get the referral can you at least give me a refill for what I am taking so I don’t run out? “Fine, but I’m only giving you a 30 day prescription, and don’t try to get pregnant, because I don’t want to be responsible for this. And tell him to wear a condom for a while.”
I guess I’m just frustrated that ever time I tell a doctor that I want to have kids I get a lecture. Why is it such a bad thing for me to want? I know kids come with responsibilities. It’s not like I’m a child coming into motherhood, I’ve thought about this. I’ve helped raise babies, and while I haven’t been the sole responsible party, I know how much work it takes. I know that the current medication that I’m on is not good for a baby, which is why I’m asking doctors for help to get off of them, safely. But everyone wants to put in their judgements about how someone with bipolar shouldn’t raise children. If you don’t know much about bipolar disorder, don’t talk about it. And simply say that it’s not your area of expertise and that you can’t make any claims to what would be the best case there. I’m not asking for parenting advise at this time, I’m simply asking for help to start a family, safely, and off of medications or on something that can be viable to the pregnancy and my sanity.
To sit there and talk down about me, in front of me, judging me, without even truly knowing me and all I’ve gone through is not right. You have no idea how far I’ve come on my journey. How many chapters are in my book that have me overcoming the most challenging things that I have ever faced. You don’t know, because you’ve spent a whole 15 minutes with me and you think you know enough about me to tell me that I shouldn’t have kids. Why? Because I have bipolar disorder? Because I have borderline personality disorder? Because I have panic attacks? Because some days are really hard but I drag myself out of bed anyway? I’m stable. I’m maintaining a full time job. And while my anxiety is getting a little high due to stress, I think I’m doing very well. I have goals, I have decided that I want to go to school to become a nurse. Because I have become confident enough in myself to know that I can do it.
If you would have met me years ago, you wouldn’t know the person I am today. I’m not the same. And I’m tired of people treating me like I’m a basket case because of some label.
I just want to be me. And I want to be a mom.
Such a stupid, simple word. Used to describe horrible situations and despicable people. I never thought that it would be used to describe me…
I went to the doctor last week. This is my second meeting with him. It’s been a month since my first appointment, and a lot has transpired since we first met. He adjusted my meds… A lot, I might add. He took me off of everything, the antidepressant, all save one mood stabilizer, and kept the Seroquel. It’s a drastic change. He said that I was over medicated. I guess I could agree with that. I was on Lexapro, Trileptal, Topamax, Seroquel, and I’m pretty sure that there was another one, but I can’t think of it right now. Maybe, I was over medicated. But it wasn’t a gradual reduction, a weening off of the meds, it was a cold turkey stop of everything and an uptake in the Seroquel and Topamax.
He said, why are you angry? Who are you angry with? Well… If I knew that, I probably wouldn’t be sitting here. I wouldn’t have the anger that I have right now. But I’m not always angry. There are times of peace and joy in my life. They may not be ever present, but they are there. There are times that I laugh uncontrollably. But there are times of extreme sadness, and there are times of unwarranted anger and aggression too.
So, last week, I went back to the doctor. He asked me how I was doing, if there were things that we needed to talk about that we didn’t think of the first time. And there were. Because during that long month, there was an episode. A suicidal episode. I made it through. My husband made it through. No one got hurt. I overdosed a little on the pills that I have left…. Oh, it was. a sleeping pill — because I wasn’t sleeping, that was the one that I couldn’t remember. But during that episode, the person that came through, wasn’t me. And I know, or feel, that it can’t be disassociative identity disorder, because there is no memory loss or gaps in time. But it wasn’t me. I felt everything in me change, my facial expression changed, my eyes changed, my posture changed, even my voice changed. Everything in me changed, and it was something that I couldn’t control. I could hear everything that was being said. I just couldn’t do anything about it. It has to be a coping mechanism. Right?
Anyhow, I told the doctor about it. He was quiet for a minute. And he looked at me with a solemn expression and he’s like “you know you could hurt someone like that, right?” And he called me dangerous. My memory at this point is fuzzy because all I can think about is that he’s calling me dangerous. I haven’t been hurt this much by someone I haven’t known personally in a long time. But he just sat there and called me a dangerous person. And he’s fiddling with his phone, and I’m scared that he’s fixing to call and have me locked up. I just want to scream at him and punch him in the throat, which would only prove his point. But still. How could you say that to someone?
I have never had a history of violence toward anyone but myself. Have I wanted to hurt someone else? Yes, who hasn’t? BUT have I acted on those thoughts? No. When I have those thoughts, I take them out on me. I would rather hurt me than you. It hurts me to think of hurting someone else. And having someone sit there and tell me that I could kill someone just struck a nerve. It scared me, and it really hurt my feelings.
Now that I’ve had some time to reflect on the conversation, I’m wondering if, maybe, he didn’t hear me correctly. Maybe he thinks that I said that I didn’t have a memory of what happened. Maybe he thinks that the alter took over and I had no idea of what was going on.
I don’t like this doctor. If all he is going to do is put MORE stigma to people with BPD, that’s not fair. People with BPD are far more likely to be the victims of abuse than the abuser.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted. And all I can do at this point is apologize… I’ve been busy and haven’t really thought about making a post.
My husband and I made a move to a new town, which is in a new county, which means a new MHMR program. This means NEW, NEW, NEW.
New doctors. New recovery plans. New medications. New treatments. New case managers. New, new, new.
The new clinic is fine. It’s an old post office that has been refurbished into a clinical setting. It was unsettling the first time, but compared to the last place, it’s a step up. The people there are nice; although the ladies don’t really know what they are talking about. And, bless the lady at the front desk, she really doesn’t have a clue as to what goes on or how anything works in her own clinic… The financial coordinator seemed to know what she was talking about until she messed up when she was talking about the insurance — stating that once the insurance begins to pay at 100% that I will be paying the clinic the mapped payments – that’s not how insurance works, honey, but it was a nice try. But that doesn’t matter anymore, my insurance has been termed.
New treatment plan. I had to be evaluated. And the only way to do that was to set up an appointment with a counselor who is in Big Springs via Telemed. She was nice. She listened. But, she took some liberties — like saying that I was recently hospitalized (within the last two years, when I was in fact hospitalized back in July of 2013). But, she was nice and was able to get me into the program to be seen by the doctor, I would have medication therapy, skills training (because who doesn’t love that!?), and something else.
New doctor. The new doctor is pretty great. Again, it’s a telemed guy, which isn’t exactly how I like to see my doc. I would rather have someone face to face. But, he seems to be pretty knowledgable. He kinda has a Dr. Phil feel to him, the tone of voice, which is slightly annoying, but nothing too upsetting. He asks me who am I angry at… Well, I guess if I knew that I wouldn’t need you? Right? Besides, I don’t feel angry at anyone, some times, I just get mad.
He asks me all the right things, the history, the diagnosises that I have been labeled with, we don’t get into anything too deep. I guess because it’s our first meeting? And I guess that’s what the therapists are for. Anyhow, he wants me to take my Seroquel and the Topamax and that’s it. He orders labs and will see me in about a month.
Well, then I get a call saying that I need a 6 month treatment plan. The one that I did for intake only lasts a month, it’s enough to get me seen and that’s it. So, back to the clinic. And honestly, I hate doing treatment plans. Because they are stupid! They want a “recovery” plan. You can’t recover from Bipolar disorder. It’s a chemical imbalance. You can control the symptoms. But can you truly “recover”? And the casemanager is always some idiot girl social worker, fresh out of college, who really doesn’t give a shit about what you say. She will put something stupid on the paper just so there is something on the paper. Something about “I will better myself by reading more during the month to lessen my anxiety.”
Ben, is no stupid girl, fresh out of college. He is a casemanager with about 31 years under his belt. He helps with the treatment plans. He’s nice about how he approaches things, but he still puts words in my mouth. We redid all of my intake paperwork, and my treatment plan. One thing that he put on my treatment plan that made me mad is “I will learn that mental health is like diabetes.” Meaning that I shouldn’t feel stigmatized. I know all this! I’m not just somone new to this, I might be new to the clinic, but not to this. I have been dealing with my issues since I have been on my own. I’m not the same person I was when I started this journey.
Then he tells me that I need to learn my triggers. Seriously. I wish I hadn’t thrown away my mental health binder. I had all that stuff in there… But, I have changed so much, that the stuff in there isn’t relavent anymore.
New, new, new…. Just play the game.