Working With My Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
I love my PNP. I relate to her so well, it makes talking to her easy and not stressful. At a typical appointment (she sees me for an hour) we chit-chat a little bit to break the ice, then we discuss how I have been doing. I am pretty candid with her…And if I am not being forthcoming, she always asks the right questions to get the answers from me. We review meds and then sometimes, like yesterday, she slides in a proposition of a new medication. Yesterday, she brought up Latuda. We also discussed Abilify, which I had tried ages ago and on which I had an immediate and significant weight gain….And I didn’t feel like my appetite had increased nor was I eating any differently than prior to the med trial. (She took me off it asap)…but we talked about it as a possibility to try again. Latuda would give me pretty much the same benefit as the Abilify, but supposedly without causing the weight gain. I, of course, said no to both meds. But I will read up on Latuda and then read up again on the Abilify and then think on it some.
We also talk about therapy…Often we have talked about the AT and what I think of him and in the beginning, we talked a lot about how the relationship with him was going. Mostly, now we just talk about what kind of work I am doing in therapy and how it is impacting me. Yesterday, she was asking about how I felt after therapy appointments…and how long that feeling would last. And sometimes, she and I will be discussing something and she says, “Have you talked to [the AT] about that?” For the most part…I disclose the same basic info to both of them….there might be a nuance to a topic that I hadn’t pursued…but they are on pretty equal footing….
Oh…maybe not though. I just realized that I talk to my PNP more about my eating/diet kinds of things than the AT. Hmmm….that was a pattern I had with my previous therapist. I could never get myself to talk to therapist #2 about food/eating issues, body image/body shame issues. I didn’t realize that I was falling back into that habit. I am going to make a mental note of that and try harder with those topics with the AT.
And my PNP and I always discuss my suicidal ideation and thoughts of self-harm and she always asks very deliberate questions that make me squirm a bit. Yesterday, she asked me if I could ever see myself in a place where I would kill myself (something along those lines, anyway) and I said yes. I don’t think she liked that answer. The she asked about my deterrents and I check-listed off dh and ds. And she asked for others and I said the dogs. And she asked for others and I looked at her blankly. Then she asked what the friend that I had breakfast with Monday would think if I killed myself. I shrugged and said, “She would get over it.” And my PNP got this look on her face…And said, “Nobody ‘gets over’ suicide.” And then she asked about the AT and herself as deterrents and said that she would not get over it if I killed myself.
That was a tough conversation. She did make it very clear to me, and with much genuineness that if I ever need anything or any help I can call her any time.
I had actually said earlier in the appointment (we were discussing self-harm) that I am supposed to call the AT if I am having a really hard time. And he is supposed to help me (well…he will help me!). And my PNP kinda got this funny look on her face and said something to the effect of, “I’ve known you a long time and you haven’t really ever called me. I imagine it would be really hard for you to call [the AT].” And I agreed. Of course, she is right. I am terrible at asking for help when I need it. And if it is after-hours, I just can’t do it. (And actually this was a part of a discussion I had Monday with the AT too). I don’t want to bother them. The AT would say, “It’s not a bother…And you know why? Because you matter.” But I just can’t wrap my head around that.
Let’s see…we also talked about my problem with my Primary Physician, especially because my PNP was going to call my PP to update her on how I am doing and about my meds. I wished her luck talking to my physician because I figure at this point my doctor probably hates me. (Not really…but I bet she is not happy with me!) Oh and we talked about my Nutritionist too! We really covered a lot in an hour!!
Something that I really like about the AT and my PNP is that they complement each other perfectly. They, of course, do not know that or see it because they are isolated within their contexts…but I see them both and they both have the same gentle manner and are both easy to talk to (I do better with my PNP but only because I have known her longer) and they both take me where I am at and make no judgments. To be perfectly honest, I couldn’t be happier with them as my support team.
Speaking of my supports…It’s a yoga day! Woohoo! I can’t wait….I love my yoga!