Monday, September 14, 2009

Behind the scenes

In case you've ever found yourself wondering what goes on at my tri-monthly psychiatric appointments (and really, who among you HASN'T?), I'm going to pull back the curtain a little bit. Why this particular one? Because afterwards, she announced that I was very well-adjusted, all things considered, and was also very "realistic" about my condition. (PS--I often try to get her to crack a smile, since she's always so serious and straight-faced.)

At the beginning of every appointment, I sit down and give her a 2-5 minute recap of the last 3 months--how *I* feel I'm doing, how things have been going, etc. She takes notes not just on what I say but on how I'm acting--she's looking, as I told Mom, for "signs of the crazy."

Here was the summary she received today (and most of it is word for word):

"Overall, I'm okay. I'd say a 7 out of 10. I'm not PERFECT, but you know what, these aren't magic pills. When someone makes me mad, I'm still going to get angry, and if I'm going through, say, relationship issues, I'm still going to be sad. Overall, I feel pretty much in control, which hasn't been easy, that's for damn sure. [Here, I give a quick run-down on the Brad situation. For Shawn, I just say, "...and I still have leftover drama with the ex." I think even SHE must be tired of hearing about it and she gets PAID for it.] So yeah, all things considered, I guess I'm doing okay. I'm feeling a little down and my friends say that I've been a little more withdrawn lately, but I think most of what I'm dealing with isn't the bipolar, it's because men are assholes....and I don't think there's a pill for THAT."

(This last part is where she did her cough-laugh behind her fist and kind of raised my file in front of her face.)

Anyway, she said she's a bit concerned that I'm still reporting feeling "down" because I was back in June, as well, although she acknowledged that I certainly have "extenuating circumstances" that could be causing that. If I'm not feeling a bit more peppy by my next appointment in December, though, she said we may need to stop and reevaluate my meds.

So...yeah. As far as bipolars go, I'm actually pretty normal and stable. And that's something I definitely needed to hear right now.

PS--as I was checking out with her receptionist, a young, just-out-of-college new girl, I had to set up the date for my next appointment. She suggested December 14, and I told her that I was pretty sure I'd still be in town but that I was leaving around that time for Christmas break. As she was typing into the computer, I stood there and, muttering to myself kind of under my breath, tried to calculate exactly when we'd be getting out of school and when I'd be flying out. "Let's see...Christmas is the 25th...that means we're probably getting out the week before that's like, what, the weekend of the 19th or so..." She looked up at me and said, "I'm sorry, did you say something?"

"Nope, just talkin' to myself," I said cheerfully. Hey, she's working for a psychiatrist now. What's she expect? ;)


Kishelle said...

Love the receptionist part and perfect response...I almost wanted you to add "Here's your sign" to the end of that when you said "Nope, just talking to myself..." :)...she was clearly not paying attention. I think you are doing great too Jen! Considering the moving, the ex boyfriend, losing one of your dearest friends (LCB), Brad being a dick, school starting, etc...I think you should be patting yourself on the back. Making your shrink do the cough/fist thing...classic!

Renee said...

Hahahaha! You're so funny :-) It'd be nice if there WERE a pill for that. Except not for YOU. The assholes should take the pill. But, since they're already assholes, they probably wouldn't take it ;-)

I'm proud of you and I think you're doing extremely well, from what I can tell by not actually SEEING you :-) Considering all the shit that's going down right now? You rock! And not even just the stuff RIGHT NOW. Katey's wedding was uber-stressful and you pulled that off without a hitch, too!

And remember that WE ALL have days where we're bitchy and if someone pisses us off, we get angry and if someone breaks our heart, we feel sad. You don't WANT the pills to numb those feelings. How boring would it be to never have your emotions change?

And I have a piece of constructive criticism for your psychiatrist: it's okay to openly laugh at funny shit our comedian friend says :-)