For No Reason
Yesterday’s appointment at the hospital went splendidly. It was merely a check-up in the scheme of things, and I got two students in the room for a bonus. I like being a test case for students; as my husband puts it, it’s paying it forward. And I like to think I’m a good patient – I try to answer as fully as possible (too fully, if I’m honest), and I do my best to be pleasant and kindly. I’m also a useful subject here in Britain by dint of being an American. As flight of thoughts and fast speaking can be markers of bipolar, it’s useful for British student doctors to understand that Americans speak faster than Brits by default. By the same token, we brushed over Italians, as my local area has a very high concentration of that population. All in all we agreed that I was holding up fine on my small dose of Seroquel (I’m on 200mg; he ideally wanted to move me to 300mg plus an antidepressant, but since we’re trying for baby #2…), and that my self-applications of CBT and herbal medicine (chamomile supplements to fight my anxiety) were ideal.
I have to say though that it is SO nice to have a doctor who knows his stuff and that I have a good rapport with. The diagnosis process was hell for me – the first doctor I saw suggested bipolar and started me on Seroquel… and then the hospital lost all my files and said I’d never been to any appointments (even though it was on record in one place that I had; because it wasn’t in another, they decided the first was wrong). The second doctor who got stuck on clean-up decided that there was nothing wrong with me, cease being medicated… and when I came back for round two of push-the-diagnosis-wagon, the response was very much, ‘Oh, still here? PERSONALITY DISORDER’. Feh? Feh. My blogging was my salvation, insomuch that I was able to use it to clearly demonstrate that there was something going on, ha ha. But really, it was a huge relief when I got moved on to my current doctor, ’cause the right diagnosis made a world of difference in giving me the ability to cling on and fight.
So anyways, on the back of that fruitful touching base, we had a toddler-free evening by design. Myself and my husband enjoyed leisurely bathing, went out for a fantastic meal at the new Mexican restaurant in town (hooray, Brit-Mex! Watercress on burritos! xD), and then enjoyed Stitchin and Bitching outside for a change (until it got dark, then we moved indoors). It was about as perfect as a night could be, until on the way home…
Brain: Ha ha, there’s a robber in your home that’s stolen all your things and is going to kill you!
Me: Shut up brain. Seriously.
Brain: No, you shut up. They’ve broken your gate and all your doors and your computers are gone forever!
Me: Shut up brain.
Brain: THEY’RE GONNA
Me: LA LA LA LA LA LA
At this point, I turned to my husband to tell him what fun my brain was trying to get up to, and managed to shut it down to the barest whisper… but I still felt really paranoid as we entered our darkened yard. I checked the gate carefully before we opened it, I peered into the shadows and could logically and clearly see there was nobody there. The doors were fine, the cats and all our things were fine, but I was bemused that my brain’s oh-so-loving response to a fantastic day is, ‘It is dark. You are likely to be eaten by a grue. Who also stole your things, ha ha!’ At least I didn’t let it get me down… there’s a lot of tiny things like that that are trying their best to get the first chip into my current stability. But I’ll just keep doing my best to hold up and enjoy it… if only to spite that part of my psyche. 😀
I love having students in the room. Never have it with my head doctors given that they’re private practice, but any time I have them with physical doctors it makes me feel a lot better. They’re WAY more thorough because they want to know everything and make sure they miss nothing. There have been several times when I only got referred for a test or to another specialist because of the med student.
You know, I had never thought of the thoroughness aspect before – good point! As far as I can tell, the NHS is all learning all the time, but my experiences with students in the room surely agrees with that. For example, the one time there was a student midwife in the room, they busted out Ye Olde Hearing Tin, which was awesome to see.