Just wanted to drop in and talk about an occasion; in which I almost get chaptered.
It was busy, pull up a chair, get a snack and a drink.
I’ve been having a lot of mood swings – hating humans, irritability, just general “WHY are you making that noise?!” attitude. Could be perimenopause, could be PMMD, could be a hangover from radiation; who knows. I don’t actually CARE what the cause is, but I do want to get it under control because I like being employed and the perks thereof (food, insurance, yarn, shelter, etc.)
After a couple of really sketchy episodes where my internal dialog totally lost its shit, but I maintained a blank countenance I decided to seek drugs. I’ve been doing all the “healthy” stuff: sleep, self-hypnosis, cutting caffeine and sugar, trying to spend time in healthy relationships, blah-blah-blah. But the rage episodes were internally escalating.
So I call a local physician group covered by my insurance – tell the scheduler my tale of woe and that I want drugs for my mood disorder. She schedules me with a doc. I type up my list of stuff (Whining complaint list; healthy habits I’m already doing; underlying health history) because I hate breaking in a new doc.
TUESDAY – go to appointment. Turns out they have scheduled me with a freaking OB/GYN. Okay, must be because of the PMS/Peri. Get roomed, usual delay, but I have Knitting so I’m set. In he comes. He asks what I’m there for, I explain about the irritability etc., and that I had previously had a PRN prescription for Ativan but when I pulled the bottle out as an emergency stop gap, saw that it had expired 2 years ago. So I was seeking a new prescription, because I can handle the irregular, heavy periods; the bloating; the cravings; the fatigue; but the rage was gonna get me in trouble.
OMG! This is where the train derails. He takes no PHM. Picks up my Whiny List, and he becomes fascinated with my uterus (heavy/irregular periods”. I need an U/S, but that won’t clarify the answers so I will still need a biopsy. I need a D/C. It could be cancer. I let him talk, and then ask: “What is this going to do for my mood disorder?” He ignores me and continues about my freaking endometrium.
So I ask again: “Uh, mood disorder?”
“Well, it might be hormonal, we could give you estrogen.”
“Okay, but forms of estrogen therapy are related to an increased incidence of breast cancer. What is your preferred format?”
Dr. Uterus: “Do you have breast cancer?” (kid you not)
“No, but I don’t want it either.”
“We could balance it with progesterone.”
“Which form? Some forms are related to fibroids.” By now, I’m starting to be pissed. And since it’s a crabby day, I am still using my Miss Violet Dowager Dutchess tone of voice, and knitting on my mitts, but I am starting to use the death stare.
He gets up and gets an MA to come stand in the room. I keep knitting, but I’m red and angry now.
“So we’ll order this ultrasound, and then set you up for a biopsy.”
“What about my mood issues? I came specifically for that.”
“Well, I can’t give you anything for that. You would need to see Family Practice for that.”
“Then why was I scheduled to see you? Why am I paying $268 to see you, if you’re not the right person?”
“Well, your heavy period is a concern. So I’m going to order some labwork”
“Not to me. To me I am concerned about my desire to stab people with my knitting.”
“Well, I want to see what your labwork says.”
“I just had $978 worth of lab work done in March, what are you looking for? Copies are right here.”
“Your estriol and progesterone. Those are unusual, I don’t expect that you have them.”
“Well, and your TSH, and FSH.”
“Also, right here.”
“Well, I need a new serum level of gobbledy, and a new FSH. So I’ll order those. Beth here is going to schedule your ultrasound. I’ll write you a referral for Dr. Groovy in Family Practice.” And he leaves.
Beth sits down to call the schedulers, I keep knitting, she says something innocuous and I reply with “This whole thing was Bullshit. Not your fault, but bullshit.” She sorta nods her head, we schedule, I go to lab, I check out. Turns out Dr. Groovy can either see me 730 Friday AM or in 6 weeks. I risk the wrath of the boss, and take the 730 slot. (Because I’m ugly desperate at this point)
The next day I get a call from Behavioural Health attempting to schedule me for some therapy. I’m surprised, but okay, Dr. Uterus has referred me. So I’m talking to the scheduler, telling her my tale of peripausal woe, she says “oh honey, I’m 51, I KNOW just what you mean. I can set you up with a therapist in the next couple of weeks, Psychologist takes longer, about 17 weeks.”
“What will talk therapy do for me? I know it’s not Them, I know it’s me. I am doing CBT, self-hypnosis, getting rest, going outside for breaks. What’s a therapist going to do?”
“Tell you what; I have an appointment with Dr. Groovy on Friday. If he can’t help me with my drug seeking, then I’ll call back and we can get me on the list for Psychologist.”
“Okay, let’s do that.”
FRIDAY - yes Boss is annoyed by the request for time off. I figure I have 326 hours of sick leave on the books, time to use 2.
Dr. Groovy comes in relatively on time, polite, professional. I start off with just baldly stating : “I am here for drug seeking behavior. I am having episodes of rage and irritability that are life style affective, and I need help. Here’s my old PRN prescription, it expired 2 years ago, I still have 11 tablets left, so I obviously don’t have an abuse problem. Here’s my list of Whiny Complaints” And I’m knitting.
He immediately jumps to “I’ll write you a referral to behavioural health.” “Already on the waiting list, currently a 17 week wait.”
He sits there, asking appropriate questions, scrolling though pages of my chart that are scanned in from my previous physician, and then he must have moved onto Dr. Uterus’ notes, because he’s scrolling, scrolling, scrolling…Freeze. And he gives me a side eye, then says very slowly, “And..you..threatened to stab someone with your knitting needles?”
“There’s a note here to that effect.”
“No, what I said was I wanted help because sometimes I Want to. It’s called Hyperbole. And I’d never do it, because it would get blood on my project, and this isn’t superwash.” I keep knitting.
He sits there a moment, then starts to laugh a little.
So I say “I understand what is appropriate and inappropriate. I understand what not to do. But I also have episodes where my adrenals are squirting, my hypothalamus is twitching, and every nerve in my body is sending the ‘Irritating and annoying signal.’ I want help, so I don’t mouth off to the boss, or yell at the poor dog, or spill coffee on the counter and feel like burning the house down is a solution.”
He proceeds with the whole schizophrenia screening questions. I give him the “Srlys??” look and answer them. Finally it wraps up with a prescription and a return visit scheduled.
But apparently Dr. Poophead Uterus has put in my chart that I am violent.
Hence the rapid call from Behavioural Health. Also, buddy? If you’re attempting to slot a woman into the whole money making juggernaut by trying to scare her with the cancer diagnosis (on a 3 minute acquaintance)…you might want to notice that she’s wearing scrubs, ask her what she does, and not schedule an ultrasound tech for a freaking ultrasound.