Archive for the ‘Immunosuppressed’ Category


I have good news! Are you interested?

I went to my pain management and spine specialist last Wednesday after work. During the appointment we went over the X-Ray results for my hips and lumbar spine due to the exacerbated pain I’ve had since the fall my beastly dog caused on a walk. There was a concern that my hip fractured or broke.

I’ve mentioned before that my lumbar spine already has bulging discs. The X-ray was for just the lumbar and hips, and since my MRI during the summer, that’s deteriorated, likely due to the fall.

Neither of my hips, which have arthritis, are broken or fractured. That’s the excellent news. The arthritis, however, has also deteriorated and has done so more significantly in my left hip. That’s likely due to the fall.

I’m relieved that there aren’t any fractures. That means that we can take “putting a pin in it”off the table. That’s a huge relief. I guess now I’m wondering what my treatment options are, because I met with the APRN instead of the doctor. When I have pain that, in the moment, is at least a 10 what do I do? I can’t support my body when I’m standing up because the pain is so severe. I feel as if my skeleton is being ripped apart and shattered with a hammer. It’s scary, and it takes my breath away.

Since I’m 42 and never had a bone density test, I’ve requested one to be ordered. I know that it’s been an issue in my family, and with the arthritis, maybe it can help with therapy. I’m already doing aqua-therapy but anything at all that might help relieve this pain and I’m in. The APRN didn’t indicate that the degeneration is severe enough for surgery to repair the arthritis, so I’m guessing that’s not an option right now. And honestly I think that has to be a last resort.

It’s funny, though… my PT for aquatherapy seems to think that surgery with additional PT is preferable to additional medications. She has Fibromyalgia, too, so I’m assuming that she’s aware that every time someone like us has a surgery it further suppresses our immune system because the body has to fight so much harder than is typical to heal, and to fight off even simple infections and illnesses. We also have to cope with having all of the medications administered during a surgery coursing through us for months which affects the medications we’re already on. Anesthetics stay in the body for up to two years, especially when it’s administered in large doses.

I would rather exhaust all other options before considering surgery. Just like before I agreed to try pain medications, I exhausted every other possibility first. And sure… I kicked myself and wondered why I didn’t go to the pain management specialist years sooner when my PCP first suggested it, but this isn’t the same thing. I have a hard enough time healing from paper cuts. 😉

I know, I’m putting the cart before the horse. It was just a conversation I had with my PT on Friday. I’m just trying to work it out in my head a bit. And maybe the APRN didn’t let on how bad it really is. She’s been known to do that.

Oi. I need chocolate. Good chocolate. Better yet, I want someone to give me good chocolate.

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I really need to write an entry about managing my spoons per day, because at the moment I’m having trouble leaving myself enough to even get through until 4:00 p.m. during the school week.

I know that I need to recenter myself, refocus, and remember to simplify. I need to use the tools at my disposal.

I need to remind myself of how to do those things and what those tools are.

Before I can even write that blog… I need to take a big breath. In through the nose to the count of five, with the eyes closed. Pause. Out through the mouth until all of the air is gone. Pause. Breathe in through the nose to the count of five. Pause. Breathe out through the mouth until all of the air is gone. When you do this breathing exercise, think of nothing except the breathing. Focus and direct all efforts on your breathing. Do this five times without rushing the process. Keep your eyes closed, and don’t allow outside distractions, such as children or spouses but most especially your phone to interrupt.

This exercise takes as long as it takes. Do it twice if you need, but this exercise will force your brain, body, and anxiety to relax. Bringing in oxygen and forcing out thoughts does wonders.

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As it so happens, thanks to recent news, Jill Stein and that other guy, um, Gary Johnson are completely out of the question as well as long as Senator Clinton stays in the race.  As of today Gary Johnson has as chance of less than 0.1%. That’s not even a quarter of a percent of a chance of winning. Jill Stein isn’t even placing a fraction of a single digit percentage. They would both have to completely change their platforms to gain any sort of traction with anyone; and they would have to, well, not be Independent or Green Party. 😉 Because with their individual platforms and the ideals of each party? I have to go with,

“Thank you, hell no.”

 

If you’ve followed my blog at all lately, you’ve probably noticed that I’m not a Trump supporter. 😉 I’ve questioned why people support him. But then… I may have been a little insulting at times in my passion for my intense dislike of Trump regarding just how little I understand why reasonable people could even consider voting for Trump, but then again ‘m not running for office.

You’ve probably guessed by now if it weren’t obvious that the only option I find reasonable is Senator Clinton. She’s by far the safest choice.

Anything she does is under a microscope. Things from three decades ago are brought under scrutiny, twisted into half-truths and outright lies, and turned into spiteful memes. Present non-issues are “trumped up” if you will and blown into nontroversies until every single Trump Supporter and I Already Hate Hillary Clinton Frother laps it up with a big fat ladle.

They’ll pick apart her statements where she apologizes, even when she has no need to apologize. They’ll comment on how that’s a lie or only stated to gain voters or it’s rhetoric. That’s to be scrutinized crumb by crumb, ingredient by ingredient, until it’s lost all meaning. She can talk about her grandchild or daughter, and that has ulterior motives.

She coughs, and the world is on notice and thinks she’s not being transparent enough in her campaign or in regard to her health.

If only any month’s worth of comments Trump has made were scrutinized by the media so much as any single comment made or cough and antibiotic taken by Hillary Clinton at any given moment. Pneumonia is viewed as a death knell, apparently, and deceitful to boot. Who knew that allowing herself to become dehydrated and catching the common cold now and then wasn’t transparent, was deceitful, and she was on her deathbed. It apparently adds to the mountain of criminal activities she’s involved in while trying to destroy America in her conspiracy with President Obama.

Then this landed in my lap today from a friend on Facebook:

Pundits claim Clinton had a bad week. Next to Donald Trump’s seven days of gaffes and scandal, that is insane.

Source: An absurd week in America’s two-tier election – Macleans.ca

 

Well, I look forward to the day that we can call it the Ovulation Office, thank you very much.

Now, I’m not giving Senator Clinton a free pass. I don’t believe she’s perfect. I haven’t always supported her. In fact, for the majority of my life, I’ve “hated” the Clintons. The thing is, I’ve grown up. I’ve done research in unbiased sources. Some of what I thought I knew, I was proven right except not in the way I thought and most of what I believed was disproven.

For instance, calling half of Trump Supporters “a basket of Deplorables.” I mean… Trump likely doesn’t even know what the word means but most of his fans do, and many of his supporters are educated and are on the fence on whether to support him or her.  I might agree with the sentiment that there are many, many deplorable Trump Supporters, and there’s very good reason. But the fact is that TRUMP is deplorable.

There are many HRC supporters who have been asking what the big deal is in her insulting Trump voters when Trump has been nothing but crude, rude, crass, vulgar, and outright insulting to every voter out there except for racist, sexist, homophobic, or xenophobic voters. In fact, the wording she used wasn’t crass or vulgar.

She was composed and used a relaxed, almost humorous tone of voice. She was speaking to the educated of America. She was speaking to those whom she knew were already on her side and didn’t need rhetoric or cajoling or politicking. She was in a safety zone.

That was exactly the problem.

Due to who she is, and what she is ie. a female AND a Clinton, she doesn’t have a safety zone.

She’s automatically being held under a much greater microscope and to a much higher standard than Trump or any other male. She’s always had to hold herself to a higher standard, and she always has just like any other woman in virtually every career that exists. She’s always carried herself with dignity and grace under pressure, and this was a slip. It wasn’t even as bad as that slip that Mitt Romney made when he denigrated all voters during his campaign for President.

During election seasons, when you’re running for any office but especially for President of the United States, you simply don’t insult the voters. You don’t insult the voters of your opponent because of the off chance you might have had that they would have become your voters at some point in the near or far future. If you call your opponent’s voters “deplorable” even if you specify “half of them” then those people are going to wonder if you really meant “all” and therefore…. you’ve personally insulted every single voter of the opponent. They now have a personal reason to hate you. They don’t simply hate Hillary for the lies spun from half truths by the GOP, or because they dislike that she’s female or a lawyer or a former first lady or a Democrat or “too liberal” even though she’s practically a Republican, or her wardrobe, or who she used to be friends with, who donates money to her campaign, who her husband used to be friends with, the colors lipstick she chooses, the sound of her voice, etc.

They now believe that even if they momentarily supported Trump, HRC finds them deplorable and will automatically assume them to be racist, sexist, homophobic, and xenophobic. You have to be careful with the voters. Most of them may be harsh to each other, even in their own circles and families, but they have very thin skins if they think the spotlight is on them. Anything that seems critical of anything they support and it’s a personal insult. And even if they do have these deplorable qualities, are they really irredeemable? Is that really a judgment on their character that any candidate should make? No, it’s not.

Even if they do have these deplorable qualities, who wants to say that those qualities are racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, or any sort of -ist or -phobic or a bigot? Not when they have justification after justification after justification for being anti-whatever it is.

Those things are very true of Donald Trump. And yes, those things are very, very true of many of his fans. But at the same time, there are people who are voting for him not because they support him but because they feel they can’t support any other candidate. Many people are single issue voters, or can’t get past a particular story they heard and don’t research well enough to find out if something was as true as they believe. Many people don’t care to know. Many people just won’t vote for The Woman or A Democrat.

I think she knows these things, and even if it’s more rhetoric, she nearly immediately apologized and expressed regret for her comments. She then dropped the other shoe, and that cracked me up.

Trump has tried that maybe once or twice, and it backfires. It’s always a crass and backhanded nonpology. Hillary Clinton backtracked quite eloquently, regretting that she generalized so grossly and shouldn’t have said “half.” She put the onus of lifting up individuals that are racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, etc. back onto TRUMP. Essentially she called him out for glorifying those traits in people who find those qualities admirable… even if they don’t like the words used to describe those qualities. She called Trump’s social media contributions to be offensive, hateful, and mean-spirited rhetoric. She did state that some of those people are irredeemable (which is true) and “Not America” which is also true of the IDEAL IDEA of America.

She also said that his supporters are people that are looking for change in any form because of economic anxiety and she urged her supporters to empathize with them.

Oh yeah, and the e-mails too. What started as a non-troversy to begin with, and is turning out to be one of the BEST things she ever did. After all of the investigations and committees and waste of tax dollars, because the Republicans have this need to discredit her and try to make her look foolish; after an FBI investigation found her to have done nothing criminal; it turns out that just as it was stated early on in the first week or two that her servers were FAR MORE SECURED than the government servers at that time. It also turns out that if her servers were being used today they’d be more secure than the currently updated servers the government uses. Because her servers were SEPARATE and therefore much, much harder to hack. That was the whole point of several government officials having their own servers.

So I found this below, which was written last week. And to think, I was almost THISCLOSE to thinking that the e-mail stuff actually was a bit more scandalous than I originally believed, and I’d have to eat a bit of crow. That I didn’t actually know what I was talking about way in the beginning.

 

The attention paid to it has far surpassed the boundaries of the facts.

Source: The Hillary Clinton email story is out of control – The Washington Post

You know, I just realized that I never once commented on the positive aspects of HRC’s campaign. I pulled a stunt that I HATE from certain Trump fans. My apologies. I clearly had some purging and pontificating to do! LOL

So, I’ll save the, “why I support HRC versus other candidates” post for another day. This one got out of control and too long. 🙂 Ta, loves!

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I’d love to know why there are people behaving as if Hillary R. Clinton having pneumonia and leaving the 9/11 Memorial because of it is tantamount to her dying and being completely unfit to lead a country?

Do people know what bacterial pneumonia is? That’s what she has. Bacterial pneumonia often stems from extended colds, and she had what was clearly a cold in the past couple of weeks which likely developed into pneumonia.

Then you have to think,

“Especially if she came into contact with someone who was very sick and should’ve stayed home.”

I just shiver and feel squeamish at the thought of all the hands she has to shake every single day, and how many of them don’t wash their hands. You can’t be a germaphobe and run for President. Oh my gosh, can you imagine? Being a germaphobe and refusing to shake hands or touch babies? Or at least having an assistant behind you with antibacterial gel and wipes after every five people you touch? Or the assistant is there to slap your hand to keep you from touching your face; brushing your hair out of your eyes so that Other People’s Germs that are on your hands don’t make it to your mucus membranes.

Since she was prescribed antibiotics, that tells us that she has bacterial pneumonia which is the treatable one that clears up more quickly and easily (versus viral pneumonia).

Would people make such a huge deal about this if it were Donald Trump? George Bush (either of them when they were running)? Barack Obama, even if you hate his guts? Mitt Romney? John Kerry? Sarah Palin? Joe Biden? John McCain? Okay you got me on the last one because a big deal was and is made of his heart problems with good cause. But the others were all in good health, and whenever they have a cold or the flu we don’t hear about it. If they’ve had Shingles we don’t know. If they ever had pneumonia, not a peep.

Now, I wish I could say that Trump was kind to her when he sent her well wishes to get better for the campaign and debates. Except he turned it into an opportunity to trash the lack of transparency about her health, which he and his campaign keep hinting is poor and near death’s door. And he’s so transparent he just had a physical last week that he plans to release in comparison to her current health. He tried to show empathy, but even that was cagey… oh it’s so grueling on the campaign trail, it’s terrible, even though she does have a lighter schedule than I do…

So he thinks that these thinly veiled potshots will be amazing for his numbers. Get ready, because this is what he thinks will win him the election this time due to the in-the-moment-of-now-September snapshot:

Trump! Fully fit and healthy even with a grueling campaign schedule!

Clinton! Sick as a dog with OMG PNEUMONIA and can’t handle campaigning because she has GERMS! and needs REST! much less be President!

This isn’t as bad as when he tried to profit off of his “friend’s” death last week, that hideous, very horrible woman who wrote a book about him, but it’s still really shady and I suppose we shouldn’t expect any less from his campaign of dirty tricks.

This isn’t saying that HRC is pure as the driven snow. If she pulled the same trick, I’d be saying the same thing.

Pneumonia is a lung infection that can make you very sick. You may cough, run a fever, and have a hard time breathing. For most people, pneumonia can be treated at home. It often clears up in 2 to 3 weeks. For most people, pneumonia can be treated at home. It often clears up in 2 to 3 weeks.

Source: Pneumonia Symptoms, Causes, Treatments & More

 

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I don’t get paid to write this blog. I’m not good enough. So take me at my word when I say, as a very hyper-critical caramel-in-coffee-but-I-love-it coffee drinker that this is THEBEST salted caramel… nay, caramel creamer for your coffee. 

I say this, admittedly, as someone who already enjoys Natural Bliss. It’s the only one besides pure organic cream that I can drink in my coffee without contributing to pain issues and migraines.

I was skeptical about the flavor before buying because so many caramel creamers leave a weird aftertaste. No worries. I’m not buying any other caramel creamer brands now.
COFFEE-MATE Natural Bliss Salted Caramel Creamer 

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I don’t write about this often even though I’m sure a lot of you could empathize. Fibromyalgia and weight issues often go hand in hand.

The thing is, it’s usually not for the reasons you might think. There are many who have Fibro that are underweight, and can’t seem to gain no matter how much effort they put in to make sure they get a calorie packed diet. There are many who are overweight and can’t seem to lose no matter how healthful and active they are in spite of the pain.  I don’t know if people realize just how hard it is to have an appetite when you’re in moderate to severe pain 90% of the time. Pain suppresses the appetite. Many medications suppress the appetite as a side effect. With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as a co-diagnosis, it’s hard to eat if you’re so fatigued you can’t even chew or blink, let alone cook a full meal or go grocery shopping very often.

The fact is that no matter how healthfully we eat and are active in spite of the pain and fatigue, we have to deal with the biology of the disorder and additional health issues and co-diagnoses that are part of the very real chronic disorder that has a mind of its own. We do the best we can when we can as often as we can. We just hope it’s enough.

I’ve been fat, and I’ve been slender. I’ve been in between too. People treated me better when I was in between than when I was fat. People treated me far, far, far better when I was slender than when I was in between or fat. Because due to Fibromyalgia, my weight blew up to 280 lbs on a 5’4″ frame.

Give me a moment to digest the fact that I’m divulging this sort of information.

When I was That Fat, people treated me shamefully in public. People, nurses, treated me shamefully in doctor’s appointments. People feel obligated to say nasty things about food intake and exercise, and apparent lack of willingness to conform to anything healthy yet have the nerve to complain about being heavy. It’s still acceptable to fat shame here in America because A.) people think it’s helpful to point out the fat and ugliness of it and B.) they think it’s motivational to be rude and mean and C.) some people just think it’s funny to shame people due to their size and act like bullies.

Since I started to lose the weight, in the typical Fibro start and stop fashion, I have dropped 85 lbs so far. This number is accurate as of 1 1/2 weeks ago. And let me tell you, I’m thrilled over breaking that 200 lb barrier. It took me six months to do that with tripled efforts, which means for me trying to fit in 2500 calories a day with as much full fat in whole foods as possible. I try listen to my body when the fatigue takes me down. Managing the pain, managing the relief so that I could move more easily has helped. A few months ago we got a wonderful new mattress so being more rested helps.

During all of time, with each 15 lb mark of weight loss, I see and feel a difference.

Oh, not a difference in how I feel physically. My pain is still there in full force and in fact I’m in far more pain than before I started to lose the weight I gained. That weight that never belonged there.

There’s a difference in how people are treating me and looking at me. People are offering me their places in line again. They’re smiling at me again, more smiles with each pound I lose. More doors being held open for me, where when I was fat, people made it a point of looking me in the face and letting the doors close.

There are people asking me if I need help. People are complimenting me out of nowhere lately on my clothes when I run errands after work. Strangers.

People are noticing my pain now. They are actually seeing my face. They see the pain in my face AND my body, and then they see my cane, and they’re kinder.

I’m not behaving any differently. I’m still me. The only real difference is my weight. This all feels good because I never realized before how kindly people treated me when I was slender. I sure did notice while at my fattest how poorly people treated me. I was invisible to many, less important. Even certain family members. Slimming out somehow is legitimizing.

That angers me a bit, but saddens me more. I think maybe I don’t need to explain why. You guys are pretty intelligent.

But guys… I’ve lost 85 lbs. I know I’m poopooing it, but I am happy about it. Maybe my pain isn’t better, but I know that my risk of Diabetes is down; my risk of Heart Disease is down; and even though I have very low cholesterol intake, my body was producing more bad cholesterol on its own while heavier. I was also drinking more coffee, though, which raises the bad cholesterol readings. Yes…. yes…. while still a coffee fiend I did reduce my coffee intake to two cups tops a day.

My next goal is 25 more. I know it’ll be slow, and that’s okay. If I never lost another pound but suddenly magically had Disney Princess hair, I’d die happy in old age (somewhere in the far future, I hope).

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Falling Down the Rabbit Hold

Falling Down the Rabbit Hole: Image found on Baby Steps on blogspot by Katelyn Elizabeth

What do you do when you’re falling down the rabbit hole, and the one person who should be able to pull you back is someone who seems to keep dropping pianos, shoes, lamps, couches, teacups, hats, dinner plates, and potted plants down onto you?

I need a new psychiatrist. Beginning and end. I’ve lost all loyalty because I finally realize that the amount of time I’ve spent there can’t be a reason I stay. Reminding myself that she used to be a great doctor with great advice can’t be a reason I stay. Liking who she used to be can’t be a reason I stay. Feeling in my gut that maybe she has something wrong in her own physical health or neurological health can’t be a reason to stay. In the past two years, she’s gone from: a great psychiatrist; to quirky; to OMG Who Is This Woman; to I’m Going To Throat Punch You Hard If I Stay.

The only reason I’m still there is because I’m having trouble finding a new psychiatrist and I need someone who will prescribe the two medications I take. I’m warning anyone right now, there will be cussing. If you have sensitive eyes or tend to clutch pearls when there’s an F-bomb then this may not be the post for you. I think there are more F-bombs in here than I’ve said or written in my entire life. I know God forgives me because he loves me. Baby Jesus might have a hard time with it, but he loves me too so he’ll eventually forgive me. As soon as my stove works I’ll bake him some cupcakes as an appropriate apology.

The reason I’m writing this post is because I needed to get it all, or most all of it, into one spot so that I can see it and realize that I’m not imagining things. I’m also writing it because it’s important for people to see others who are having issues with mental health providers that they’re not alone. Finally, it’s important for others who are experiencing mental health issues to see they’re not alone in having mental health problems, and it’s okay to talk about issues surrounding mental health and the mental health industry. We have to be the ones to change how we’re treated. We have more of a voice than we realize. We CAN self-advocate. We CAN’T wait for other people to do it for us most of the time.

 

Reasons To Find A New Shrink:

  1. She likes to talk about herself for most of the appointment and you still have to pay the co-payment
  2. She’ll even go so far as to walk you out of her office into the break area to show you all of her vacation photos to
  3. She sometimes confuses your file with someone else’s file
  4. She confuses YOU with other patients to the point of calling you a bad mother; too permissive; passive aggressive; not a good example to my children; and you know for sure she’s not talking about you when you’re ready to cry when she finally says that I’m “not strict enough especially my son” except, well, I don’t have a son
  5. She tells you that you have unreasonabe, unattainable high expectations as a complete and utter perfectionist about anything and everything, being rigid and essentially comparing you to Mommy  Dearest when moments before she told you that you were too permission, passive aggressive, not strict enough with your non-existent son, etc.
  6. I’ve been seeing her for 11 years now and she apparently hasn’t heard a word I’ve said
  7. She can’t read her own handwriting most of the time in my multiple files
  8. She complains about how Americans are very petty with the whining they do during sessions
  9. She mocks Americans for “all of the medications” they need when she figured out the proper foods and spices to take to get of any and all illnesses because apparently, ALL ILLNESSES ARE IN YOUR HEAD AND YOU CAN GET RID OF ANY PHYSICAL AILMENT IF YOU ONLY CHOOSE TO
  10. She used to consider herself a one-stop psychiatrist: Talk Therapy plus Meds-If-Needed plus Natural Methods and skills
  11. Not any longer; She seems to consider Talk Therapy beneath her and a waste of her time EVEN THOUGH SHE’S GETTING PAID
  12. She forgets to tell you diagnoses she’s made and lets them slip out such as diagnosing Fibromyalgia within months of beginning therapy with me but waiting until I told her when I got the diagnosis from two other doctors with, “Oh, I know, I diagnosed it seven years ago! See? It’s in your file.”
  13. In spite of physical, documented, scientific, medical proof with DNA and at the cellular level narrowed down to an actual thing of its own…
  14. AND Fibromyalgia having an actual physical MEDICAL diagnostic code of ICD-10 Fibromyalgia M79.9
  15. She thinks it’s a junk diagnosis and purely caused by uncontrolled anxiety a.k.a. it’s all in my head [when she told me that last appointment I said, “Yes, you’re right… the pain I feel in every nerve and cell and fiber in my body is interpreted in my brain and it destroys grey matter. And THAT is in my head but not the way you think it is.”]
  16. This is relatively new: She thinks that childhood traumas should simply be “let go, forgiven, and forgotten” and that’s the path to happiness, especially if you simply look at the situation from the point of view of the person/people who abused you
  17. She used to be nice to work for, based on observation; now she goes through office assistants like Post-It Notes
  18. This is very, very new: She thinks that the way to heal yourself is to simply choose to be happy; choose to never have anxiety again; discover the secret to perfect health and you’ll never ever be sick again and she has found the secret to complete health and happiness but SHE WON’T SHARE THE SECRETS, GUYS!
  19. She’ll share every detail of her life but SHE WON’T SHARE THE SECRETS TO COMPLETE HEALTH AND HAPPINESS!
  20. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?!?
  21. I think she’s closing in on 75 and possibly flirting with Dementia because she’s had a complete personality change since I met her and it came on suddenly within the past two years
  22. She holds opposing viewpoints in the same conversation, sometimes the same sentence

 

At least she’s stylish?

Maybe I expect too much out of my psychiatrist.

That would be the old me talking. That would be the old me questioning myself and my  judgment. I may not stand up to her as much as I ought to, but I’m finding that the more angry she makes me the more I’m speaking up. For a while I thought that she was testing me. I thought she was saying some rude asshole things to me to get a rise out of me to see how I would handle it and if I could control my anxiety visibly. Telling me that pain is all in my head, searing screaming pain that requires pain management plus back pain due to injury, is really all in my head and reliance on pain meds is why pain increases. I reminded her scrawny ass how I was completely without pain meds except for occasional Advil for 36 years and she brushed me off. I was SEEING HER BEFORE I EVER TOOK PAIN MEDS. She knew the lengths I went to with naturalistic methods.

I reminded her of all of this:

 

“Of course the pain meds work, you want them to work. You’re reliant on them. It’s all psychosomatic. If you could just control your anxiety and eat properly, eat vegetarian, you wouldn’t have any at all. You choose to be this way.”

“Doctor, I’m vegetarian. I use yoga. I do everything right and I still had emergency room level pain. No meds equals level 10 pain.”

“Of course! Because you don’t know any better! You’re dependent on those medications because you don’t know any better!”

“I’m dependent because I want to live and not be suicidal. I’m dependent, not addicted. As a doctor you know the difference. I’m not on anything addictive. But I depend on my medications to work, and because they do, I rely on them and depend on them to keep me healthy and productive.”

“Why are you so argumentative today, Jessica?”

“My session is over. Do you have my scripts?”

“Yes, don’t forget them. You clearly need them. What are they again?”

 

Nope, she’s just turned into some strange, rude, sometimes mean, forgetful, immovable asshole.

I don’t really have many expectations.

I certainly don’t expect that if you advertise yourself as a talk therapist that you should then tell your patients they ought to find a therapist in addition to meeting with her because she prefers not to deal with it. Right. Separate my services so that I have to pay more on a very low income with a tight budget.

I just… I can’t. I’ve lost all of my even. Gone. Withered away.

It’s funny how in the current culture, expecting kindness and honesty are”high expectations.” It’s funny how when you tell someone exactly what it is you need, want, or expect, their response is one of confusion. Now… this following conversation occurred a year ago with The Mister. I remember this conversation well and I’ll simply refer to it for cake-making purposes this year so that the conversation need not occur again regarding cake.

 

“Honey, would you like chocolate or vanilla cake for your birthday?”

“What do you mean? Why go to the trouble?”

“Because I enjoy it and it’s less expensive. Plus the kids want to help. So would you like chocolate or vanilla cake? Or another flavor?

“What? What do you want from me?”

“WHAT what? I want you to tell me what flavor birthday cake you want. I’d like you to do it kindly. That’s all I expect.”

“Oh. Can you make chocolate chip cookie cake? It’s kind of… my favorite.”

“Sure thing. That’s all I needed to know. I love you.”

“Love you too. I have things to go do.”

 

I don’t know if I forgot how to use the English language with my cognitive impairments thanks to ICD-10 Fibromyalgia M79.9 😉 but this isn’t uncommon throughout weekly interactions. It can’t all be me. It’s like people forgot how to interpret language, and their receptive language skills are just dead. I don’t think my expressive language skills are totally shot yet. I know I can be wordy but most of the time it’s in an effort to be sure I’m understood. I try to make sure that my expectations are clear. I guess that makes me a control freak.

I know that not all of my expectations will be met. I don’t expect all of my expectations to be met. They’re just expectations. I’m fine as long as I know that best efforts were made. Best efforts and truthfulness are huge. So is responding to me when I say something. Acknowledge me when I speak. Acknowledge my presence. When I call you, when I say your name, don’t call back “WHAT?” in annoyance or stare into space. Come to me. Look at me. Treat me like a person. That’s a reasonable expectation.

That all said, there are some jobs that you would think have established expectations built in and there are standards for the field that would be observed. A code, even. I know that many psychiatrists are “only prescribers” and don’t offer talk therapy but many, many, many do and so when they advertise their practice that way, then there are reasonable expectations of what that job entails.

Hence:

 

Reasonable Expectations To Have Of Your Psychiatrist:

  1. Listen to your patients more than you speak because that’s your fucking job
  2. Remember that the appointments are about your patients and their lives, because that’s your fucking job
  3. Appointments are not time for the Dr. Whackadoodle-Pants Show where you show your patients how much better your life is; It’s appropriate to sometimes draw a vague comparison to your own life but your patients don’t need or want to know about your personal life because sharing every aspect of your personal life every chance you get is NOT your fucking job
  4. Offer advice, tools for coping, and emotional support because that’s your fucking job
  5. Discuss various additional options for self-regulation with Depression, Anxiety, Mood Disorder, and other psychiatric issues because that’s your fucking job
  6. Discuss pros and cons of medications because that’s your fucking job
  7. When your patient tells you that a particular medication gave her A, B, C negative and/or allergic reactions you listen, take it seriously, and you report it because that’s your fucking job
  8. When you make one or more serious diagnoses of your patient, you TELL THEM ALL OF THE DIAGNOSES like a fucking boss because A. That’s what they’re there for and B. It’s your fucking job
  9. When you feel superior to your patients, as if your patients are whiny complainers, and you can’t get your shit together enough to have the correct files in front of you, close your office and quit your fucking job

 

Really.

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