Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Mental Madness


I need blog therapy today.  If you're not interested, please move on.    The sun will come out tomorrow . . . and all that jazz.
 
If I were a professional, real live, licensed psychiatrist, then I would definitely have front desk help to make sure my phones are always answered.  At the very least, I would have a professional answering service so that my mentally ill patients who are experiencing life-affecting side affects from their medications would have some recourse other than calling and hearing the phone ring off the hook for 2 weeks at a time with no answer.  

Mom has been seeing this . . . doctor . . . and I use this term very loosely . . . since her most recent hospital stay back in February.  I have never been overly impressed with him, but he seemed to at least acknowledge that Mom has a problem and needs lots of hand-on serious help, plus he didn't get overly perturbed when I bum-rushed her appointments to correct all the hallucinations she was representing as fact.  That was a small positive in my book.

What I didn't like was the fact that her appointments were only once a month and they only took about 5 minutes total and then he'd whip out his prescription pad and start laying on the drugs.  He seemed to be more interested in warehousing her than actually treating her.  Seriously, he'd ask her questions like "Are you having hallucinations?"  

WHAT??!!

Even the craziest patient knows the answer to that question.  Uh . . . "NO!"  If you answer that question incorrectly, the result is a one way ticket to the loony bin.  When he pulled that stunt with Mom, I was like . . . "Are you serious?  That's the best you've got for an out-patient interview?"  I mean, I've NEVER been to medical school and I'm sure I could have done a better job.  In fact, as the black sheep of my family, it's my job to get Mom to open up to me without upsetting her or making her overly suspicious, so I KNOW I can do a better job.  I DO a better job.  Regularly.  Have mercy!

I'm sorry I'm so prickly.  I was at the end of my rope yesterday.  Today, I let go.   

My mom is experiencing some frustrating side effects from her medications, which the doctor just increases every time she goes to see him without actually gauging how each increment will affect her.  She's been trying to contact him, but he won't return her calls.  She has an appointment later this month, but I'm not sure what little sanity she has will last that long.

I'm also just feeling sort of ambivalent about this entire situation surrounding my Mom.  She has been staying with my sister for a few months now, but she spends about 10 hours a day by herself because my sister works and my niece goes to school.  My sister has more room at her place because it's just her and my niece, we have Baby Boy and we have a classroom/office.  of course, we did give her full reign of the guest room, even moving in her own bed, desk, and as much of her personal furniture as we could fit in here to make her happy and literally gave her 100% free access to all things Two Moms', but she just wasn't happy here.  The thing is, she certainly isn't any healthier over there.  When she was living here, our life was SUCH a struggle and I admit I was pretty happy when she moved out.  She and I are very much alike to the point that I feel like a guest in my own home because I try very hard to be respectful of her as a woman and my Mother.  Plus, since Mom can't work right now . . . and refuses to get a hobby . . . or do any volunteer work . . . or leave the house except to buy fast food . . . we see her a little too much when she lives here.  It's hard to share your throne.  This is my throne.
 
*SIGH*

I'm digressing.  The bottom line is that this week we're firing her psychiatrist even though we're having a little trouble finding another one who is both currently accepting new patients and also accepts Mom's insurance.

So keep the Two Moms plus One Additional Mom clan in your thoughts today.   



Until next time . . .


16 comments:

Mel R said...

That is a tough situation, I'll definitely say a prayer for you and your mom. We didn't have to deal with this kind of thing too much directly but we were involved when my husband's brother was going through mental illness and how it affects the family and just...all of that. His case was pretty severe though. It's so tragic. He's passed away now, complications from obesity and just not taking care of himself as he should perhaps in part related to his illness. That happened last year. He was only 40. We wish he'd been living closer so we may have helped more but he chose to live in another state making it pretty difficult other than trying to help financially here and there. Well anyway, rambling, I hope things work out for your mom and your family. Hugs.

hollysjoy said...

I'm e-mailing you. If I can find you're e-mail, which I think I can. If I can't, then you're in my thoughts. A lot.

Katy said...

Boy that is tough. I'm sending good vibes out to you all! The only thing I can think of is maybe call the hospital she was at and ask if they have/know of/can recommend anyone else, especially someone with more talk therapy experience as well as pharmaceutical.

Good luck girlfriend and big wet hugs from Seattle!

movinginspirals said...

Sending you lots of love, light and support on this one. I grew up in an abusive situation and have PTSD so I have LOTS of experience in dealing with mental health professionals. I can tell you that most psychiatrists will do just what you describe: 5-10 mins, whip out the Rx, see you next appt. You want to look for a psychiatrist that works in conjunction with a psychologist for some cognitive therapy in between the Rx appts. The last key component is that your mom has to want to help herself enough to do what she needs to to improve her mental health. That usually includes dietary and lifestyle changes, which are hard. As I know from years of trying to help my mom (who I'm pretty sure has Borderline Personality Disorder), you can lead a horse to water...
As you work to help your Mom, please remember to take good care of you!

karisma said...

I am also sending much love, healing vibes and positive thoughts your way, just as soon as I stop growling okay? I am really anti drugging people, I know it helps some but like you said, the doctors tend to just up the dose when it doesn't work or prescribe addictive drugs so you really don't get better in the long run. I am more inclined to go the natural healing methods but I suppose that does not work for everyone. Good luck with it.

Big hugs and smoochies, happy DR hunting!

Jana said...

I am also sending healing vibes and positive thoughts.

Rebel said...

Wow, that sucks. I want to say something really profound that will cheer you up, but I'm apparently out of profoundness at the moment. Stay strong!

Holmes Family said...

Lots and lots of hugs!! And even more positive thoughts your way.

Wendy said...

First of all:

I'm not sure the game is still available - it was given to me by a homeschooling mom 2 years ago, and she had it for longer than that.

If you can't find it, email me at autumndivona at juno dot com, and I will send you BOTH Mantis Money AND Tarantula Time (same type of game) in October when we ship out a crapload of Christmas gifts before our move, OK?

Now, as to your mom, I will keep her and your family in my thoughts. Maybe you can visit her and/or take her out certain days of the week, to check in with her.

Believe me, I TOTALLY understand. I've been there too.

Sending your mom and you love and healing!

Kathy said...

{{{{{hugs}}}}}} to all three of the moms and Baby Boy.

Ami said...

I have no advice to offer. I am adding hugs and love to those that you've received already... what a tough situation.

If you ever need a shoulder, you know where to find me.

SabrinaT said...

((((((HUGS)))))) Please make sure to find time for YOU everyday!!! Easier said then done I know...

topsytechie said...

DEFINITELY thinking of you...psychiatrists all seem to be basically just prescription pads with bodies, in my experience. The REAL help usually comes in the form of psychologists/social workers who are willing to take the time and effort to actually provide some therapy in conjunction with medicine. Hope you can get someone to help with the side effects...and soon! Blessings!!!

Jennifer in Vancouver said...

What a difficult situation. I really hope that you can find someone more helpful for your mom. The whole mental health system is definitely flawed, that's for sure. But, I must say that your mom sure is lucky to have you advocating for her! If anything will help, you will!

Jason, as himself said...

In my experience, all psychiatrists are exactly this way. And it is soooooo infuriating!!!

There are lots of good therapists out there. But I have yet to find a good psychiatrist.

Obi-Mom Kenobi said...

I've been hiding from the internet lately, so sorry if this is way late, but I can't believe he's treating your mom so hap-haphazardly. I'm glad you're putting your foot down and making your mom's needs known. Keep it up and hopefully your mom will get the services she needs.

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