Another Rough Morning and Advocating For Myself

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Another Rough Morning

<phew> Yesterday was another really hard morning.  I am not quite sure what is up with that…but boy did my mood hit a low point.  Then I fell asleep on the couch for about two and a half hours.  I am not sure this napping thing is the best idea, but I did feel better when I woke up.  The teary sadness shadowed me all day though…Luckily, I had a friend who was happy to text with me throughout the day which was nice because I really needed the support.

Advocating for Myself

I am feeling nervous about an appointment I have tomorrow with my Primary Physician.  This is a new-ish PP to me.  I started with her about 4 years ago when a new practice opened in a more convenient location for me (and she was highly recommended by a friend).  I have had appointments with her several times and like her a lot….Though lately as the practice has been more and more busy, I have been having a harder time getting sick appointments with her.  That’s been frustrating for me, but I have been managing by seeing either of the female NPs that they have on staff.

In April, I had my annual physical.  It went terribly.  As part of my physical the nurse gave me a mini depression screen.  I of course failed utterly.  The nurse then handed me another screen, the PHQ-9.  I filled it all out and scored a 15, which is a pretty crummy score.   However, in terms of where my depression has been, a 15 was a pretty good score for me!  I was not worried about the score because I was feeling better than I had been a couple of months earlier and so I saw it as an improvement.

My PP saw my score and the questions I rated high (like the wishing you are dead/thinking of self-harm question) and she kind of freaked out.  I’m not quite sure what she got all wound up about…She already knew I have depression and PTSD and that I have been in therapy and that I have a Psychiatric NP that prescribes psych meds for me.  However, she had never given me her own mood screen.

I tried to explain to her that I actually was feeling better, but she wasn’t hearing me at all.  She was busy focusing on my score and that it was unacceptable and that I must need a new psych med ASAP to help me feel better.  I told her I didn’t want a new med and mentioned that my PNP was unavailable anyway as she was on medical leave.  So, my PP ran with that telling me that I needed to find someone else to see in the interim so I could get new meds.

After trying to explain again that I actually felt better, I gave up.  I also told her that I had a relationship with my PNP and I was not going to go see another provider.  (It was also a ridiculous thing for her to say as psych care is in such high demand around here…It’s not like you can just pop in for an appointment.)  And I reiterated that I was not interested in a new med.  Let’s just say, my PP was unhappy with me.

We had two other discussions during my appointment and both kind of went the same way….With me trying to be honest and talk to her and her just not hearing me and seeming annoyed with my responses.  I left the physical frustrated and anxious (Her over-reaction to the depression screen had me convinced that there was something very wrong with me and that perhaps I was on the wrong track with my therapy.  So, I was really stressed and upset for several days.)

That experience with my PP was very, very different from all the prior appointments I had had with her…I don’t know if she was just having a bad day or what…..However, it made me not want to go back and see her much anymore.  And I sort of settled myself on that outcome, especially because I had started to develop relationships with the female NPs at the practice.  But, I found out last week that both the NPs have left the practice and they have two new female NPs, one of whom is a brand-new grad.  The last thing I feel like doing is starting new relationships with these women.  It takes a lot of energy for me to build these relationships and right now, I am using that energy with the Art Therapist. I don’t have enough to go around.

I have decided to try to fix the situation with my PP.  I sent her an email explaining that I felt like she wasn’t listening to me at my physical and that I wanted to talk with her about that as well as about my depression.  So, late tomorrow morning is my big appointment to clear the air.  I am pretty nervous about it because I don’t really like confrontation and I don’t want her to feel defensive.  Heck, just sending the email pretty much gave me an anxiety attack!  But I think I can hold it together tomorrow.  I will make sure to write down the things I really want to say so that if I get flustered I won’t forget them.  Honestly, I think my PP will be receptive to the conversation….I sure hope she is!

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