While I was in inpatient I met a different psychiatrist, Dr. Flanders. I really hit it off with him and several of his comments keep echoing through my head. One of them was about Brent. He asked who prescribes my medication and I told him. He said, “He’s very attractive, isn’t he?” I agreed. “But that’s not what you need.”
If I felt confident about working with Brent I would have brushed this off, but unfortunately I don’t. I go into my appointments afraid to be assertive because I like Brent too much and want him to like me too. This would be okay if we were always on the same page, but we’re not. For example, the Lamictal. I had done a lot of reading about medications before I suggested it as a possibility, and he said we’d discuss it later if I needed a change. Well, in the course of a year there were several times that I was not doing as well as I could be, and his idea of changes was to adjust dosages of my existing meds back and forth. He never once came back to the idea of Lamictal.
When I finally did point-blank ask if we could try it now, he was willing, but he only wanted to make one change at a time (understandably) and I felt increasing my anxiety medication was more critical at that point. I’m not sorry I made that choice, but I’m sorry that the next month, when it was time to come back to the Lamictal issue again, he didn’t bring it up and I let that slide.
As I mentioned in The Joy of Lamictal I’m doing much better since starting it. I can’t say that I haven’t had some intense emotional reactions to things, but they are much rarer and I’ve recovered from them faster than I would have in the past. Overall, I feel at peace. I fear that when I see Brent in a week he is going to suggest changes that I don’t want (taking the Lamictal away again, or taking away the Latuda now that I’m on Lamictal) and that I won’t be strong enough to tell him no. Or that I’ll tell him no and he’ll just send whatever prescriptions he wants in to the pharmacy and there will be nothing I can do about it.
While I was on my trip last week, I had a lot of travel time in which to think and I decided that I want to see someone other than Ben. I wanted that someone to be Dr. Flanders, but I’ve since learned that he’s not in-network for my insurance. Today Sadie and I talked about my choices. She said there are two psychiatrists at the facility where I see her. One of them she said would not be a good fit for me, based on knowing both of us. The other one she thought I would like, but he’s only there one evening per week and it would be difficult to schedule an appointment.
I told her I’m happy to go to the other facility, which is no further from home. She said there are some people there who she’s not sure see outpatients and there’s someone who only sees children and adolescents. She mentioned Jean, but said that Jean typically only sees people as outpatients for a brief time after they are released from inpatient, before they transition to someone else for long-term care. She does have some long-term patients, but she was seeing them before she started working in the inpatient unit.
In other words, there aren’t many options and they kind of suck. Sadie did say she would send Jean a message and ask if she is willing to see me. I’m not sure she will be, given our quasi-friendship outside of this professional setting (we are involved in a theatre company together). I’d be more comfortable with Jean than with a stranger though, so I’ll let Sadie try to get me what I want.
Sadie was also supposed to be looking into groups I could attend. She contacted Jan, who is in charge of inpatient, and was told to contact people in charge of the community support services (where I attended DBT group) and the dual-diagnosis facility. However, Sadie’s idea that I might go to the art therapy group with the dual-diagnosis residents didn’t go anywhere – Jan told her I would not enjoy the group, and Jan knows me well enough that I trust her judgment on that.
What this all boils down to is that my plans for ongoing treatment are kind of up in the air. The only thing I know for sure is that I have weekly appointments with Sadie scheduled through the end of February and the week between appointments feels like eternity.