<div> I awoke to the sound of the telephone ringing. Although I was yet half-asleep, Cimmy reached over me to answer it.
"He's asleep… our daughter is in kindergarten…"
So after she hung up, I tore off my C-PAP and "sleep" masks (I can't sleep well without some semblance of total darkness) and tried to maintain some modicum of wakefulness.
"So who was that?"
"It was Twyla. She asked why we weren't up already. She figured we'd be putting the kids on the bus…"
Day-um, does this bitch's assumptions ever end? Well, shit, this apparently means the handwriting is on the wall. I told her supervisor that I did NOT want Twyla to call me. Apparently, she didn't get the memo. Also, if my psychiatrist is unwilling to treat me like an individual, and meet one-on-one with me privately, I doubt anything will change, despite anything the med nurse supervisor says.
I guess I shouldn't be surprised. This particular agency is spread pretty thin, as they are the only ones to offer inpatient services. Inpatient services (yes, I used them a few times) were much better, although I had at least one counselor jerking me around on that side, too.
Nevertheless, it looks like they will NOT change my med nurse, and there is no other psychiatrist on the outpatient side. If I want to stay with the same doctor for a while, I either have to suck it up and stick with them (hahaha… NO), or I go back the same route as before.
I was informed that a previous doctor I had– one that had a policy of meeting with patients one-on-one– was at the same agency I went with to return to an old long-time psych of mine. Maybe I'll recap just how ugly my treatment has been over the last 10-15 years. Get out your pillows, I guess, or take a swig of that Caffeinated Beverage of Your Choice:
My initial diagnosis when I was 18 was undifferentiated ADD. That's ADD without hyperactivity, i.e. spaz attacks. At the time, the doctor I saw for the longest amount of time (Dr. Dye) was working at the agency I'm at currently. A few years later, they decided to consult with him. He said I sounded like a classic case of manic-depression (they were still calling it that at the time), and well, they were blowing him off. As he himself is bipolar (he's made no bones about it), they were dismissing his opinion as "well, he thinks everybody's bipolar". So the correct diagnosis was delayed, as I decided to go with their opinion.
Oh yes… I had a counselor at the time who flatly declared "you are NOT that way" when I revealed issues with sexuality. What cajones.
When I landed in inpatient services at Caronodelet some time later, I was seeing Dr. Dye– at Sunderland. It was the first time I'd been to an agency instead of a private practice. He shat a brick when he learned they messed with my meds during my stay. Ironic, because he prescribed a lot of meds, many on off-label uses, in the years to come.
I had to leave everything behind when I finished up school. Comprehensive Mental Health was the only game in town when I moved to Central Washington. The psych in Ellensburg was nice, but the counselor they stuck me with was a real nutjob. It was never spoken aloud, but it was pretty clear that I distrusted him, and he hated working with me. When I moved to Yakima, I got stuck with a psych that was about as responsive as talking to a brick wall. He did whatever he damned well felt like, and I just had to eat it and smile.
When I moved back with my wife to my hometown, we tracked the whereabouts of Dr. Dye to Nueva Esperanza. As you might guess from the name, many of the clients were poor, Hispanic, or all of the above. But I got in and I was able to resume an old doctor-patient relationship. But this time around… things got weird. Meds seemed to change even faster than before. One he prescribed was killing me slowly, but I had to enlist help from a number of family members to strongarm him into letting me discontinue it. The counseling was really falling flat, too– nothing seemed to click with most of the people I worked with. I liked the first, but some reshuffling of personnel moved me around. The second seemed to have a melancholy countenance all the time. The third was decent, but obviously, I passively resisted– between her cancellations and my missed appointments, I got shoved to the back burner and eventually kicked out of the agency. Dr. Dye had already left, and the next doctor left pretty quickly, too.
So I went back to Sunderland. I wound up with a GREAT case manager– a really assertive guy's guy. This was a rare find to find someone who was both male AND was upbeat, not effete. But he chose to take a job closer to home. I had a good doctor in Dr. Zimmerman, too, but she also left. The next doctor, Dr. Gridlinger, was okay, but his hardline stance against caffeine unnerved me a bit. The two-minute warning seemed to be when all of the familiar faces disappeared. Tacey, one of the receptionists, was the only familiar face left, but she, too, left as well. And thennnn the news hit. Yes, literally, news. I found out through newspaper and local TV media that Sunderland lost their contract with the local counties to provide services to Medicaid and Medicare patients. Shit. Then I got letters from the bi-county agency, and then Sunderland, in precisely that order, and a fair amount of time passed between them. The tone of the first letter was rather terse and strained. The second was from some CEO or some Director at Sunderland, trying to persuade me how great their services really were. Hah.
So the next stop for anything remotely consistent was Caronodelet. It had been recently renamed "Lourdes Counseling Center" because Lourdes Hospital wanted more name recognition, I guess. You know the story from there. I am amazed that their Mission Statement, which they post all over the place (other mental health agencies in this region don't do that), didn't get me further than it actually did.
So, to clarify, the med nurse supervisor said that Dr. Zimmerman had moved to Nueva Esperanza. Perhaps I'll have to move back there– I don't know. Many mental health professionals here— and not just doctors– have a nasty habit of playing musical chairs or moving out of the area.