Yanno, if there was one thing I sincerely wish that my brain would quit doing before medical appointments, it would be that it quit catastrophising and insisting that everything is going to go to hell. I can sort of understand why it still does it; I didn’t have any practical experience as a patient until I moved here 8 years and change ago, and it took me a couple of false starts to get into the mental health services properly. So in that, my brain is still having to recondition itself to expect better.
So of course, we were late. My husband and I have differing ideas on what constitutes on time. I was raised on the idea that if you weren’t 15 minutes early, you were late, while he is excellent at arriving promptly. To adjust to this, I quit paying attention to time when it comes to getting to appointments, and therefore was surprised to find out we were late. It was only a few minutes though and didn’t interfere with the appointment thankfully. I was pleased that I took this all calmly and didn’t have any sort of angry or anxious reaction. It goes to show that some progress has certainly occurred in my ability to cope with things.
It also meant that I got confirmation while we were waiting that I was indeed due to see Dr. K. I generally like Dr. Z as well, but because my moods haven’t been stable, seeing him would have disrupted the work that I’ve been doing with Dr. K towards euthymia (not that I think I’m ever going to reach it, but that’s another thing). Like, if I’m doing mainly fine, I’m happy to sit with Dr. Z and his students, because I know my case and my background gives medical students a better idea of how to deal with and treat people from other countries. For example, my local area has a high American and Italian population. Both populations speak significantly faster than the native British and immigrant Asian populations, and therefore the latter pair need to be aware that our fast-speaking ways is not necessarily a sign of pressured speech and/or hypo/mania.
So yes, was back in with Dr. K. She apologised profusely because she’s been covering for so many people over the summer that she’s not gotten back to my ADHD stuff. She wants to make very sure she has it as pinned down and perfect as possible so they don’t reject it yet again, and in that, I gave her a little bit more to build my case. I also printed out an article that a friend gave me on ADHD and bipolar that I thought would be of interest to her. I also mentioned that I did a lot of writing and advocacy stuff like running The Bipolar Blogger Network, which she was well impressed with and thought would be a useful thing to potentially mention to her other patients. So that was pretty cool, and I was once again reminded that I am happy in her care and believe that we’ve got a good thing going.
The one thing that I didn’t expect out of the appointment that I’m not overly bothered with was that she wanted to double the Depakote from 500mg a day to 500mg twice a day. I’d commented that I was aware that 750mg was considered to be the therapeutic dose, and the husband and I figured that she wanted to wait before pushing it up to that due to the chance of really nasty side effects. I’d said to her I wasn’t sure it was doing anything good, but it certainly wasn’t doing anything bad, so we’ll see what happens. She was also okay with me taking all my Seroquel at night rather than splitting it if that is working for me, so that was also good,
I also asked her about whether or not I needed to leave the Depakote in the blister pack rather than in my pillbox. She said she was pretty sure it was supposed to stay in the blister pack until it was used for proper efficacy, but to ask the pharmacist. So we’ll make sure to do that one way or the other.
So yeah, hooray for that I guess. I still retain some of the worst features of my pre-appointment day, namely shakiness and totally crippling fatigue. But I’m back in jammies and hopefully can stay still enough here in my chair to at least like, knit or something. We’ll see.
Hope everyone is alright out there.