Another surprise- Update on physical & MH appts

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by klmno, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    To bring you up to date on MH- I went 2 weeks ago to VA and tried to see a therapist on a walk-in basis but somehow and for some reason, the therapist I saw first, who had already scheduled a second appointment supposedly to finish evaluation'ing me, prevented me from seeing someone else on a walk-in basis. Then on Monday, I had that second appointment with that first therapist and she was just as unable to keep facts straight as the first time. I had intended to write up a personal history of sorts to take her but between difficult child's early release, reoffense, and my computer going out, I never got around to it. But it dawned oon me that this therapist had written two different appointment dates and times down for me for this last appointment so I was pretty sure that it wasn't all me preventing her from keeping facts straight. I could tell she was treating me like I had Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) instead of a reoccurrence of PTSD and I got pretty impatient pretty quickly when hearing that I might be over-reacting, maybe I misconstrued things, and feeling like she didn't believe me. These are big triggers for me, as is common for people who had childhood trauma and got this kind of response from family when they told. So needless to say, childhood trauma and PTSD might be forms of anxiety but are typically not treated exactly like Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). And it occurred to me that this is exactly what happened when I was in the military and first sought help- I went to therapist's who assumed I had Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and only tried to teach me relaxation techniques and I wasn't getting helped by this at all. When I saw my therapist who did "get it", she used a lot of different techniques and therapy went great and helped a lot. And I remembered a psychiatric telling me (actually 2) that if a therapist doesn't have specialized training in this area, it would most likely be mis-diagnosis'd and they certainly wouldn't be able to treat any related PTSD adequately.

    So, I nicely told this therapist that I was concerned about this and would feel more comfortable with one of the PTSD specialist diagnosis'ing me. She insisted she was able. Mind you, I KNEW she didn't get it. So I gently pushed and she said I would need to call the patient advocate to change tdocs at this point.

    The next day, the lady at VA who was helping find transitional housing calls and says I can meet Wed AM at this place and cover their rules and possibly move in next week. Here's the catch I never knew- ALL the places she finds require a person to have a dual diagnosis, one being alcohol/substance abuse, and that treatment be underway at VA or some other agency. OK, except that my qualification for suubstance problem is due to substance abuse program while in military for street drugs but due to requiremeents, I have to go back into substance program, outpatient. Ughhh. Well, we'll see (I was thinking) but was worried about how this could impact difficult child's placement as far as with my bro and me keeping parental rights "technical custody" while he's in Department of Juvenile Justice or a Department of Juvenile Justice group home- I don't want that transferred whether he ever lives at home again or not. Then, this lady tells me that my diagnosis is depression and anxiety, so of course, knowing that VA providers and agents put EVERYTHING into the person's computer file so the right hand ALWAYS knows what the left hand is doing, I figured I could end up being forced seeing a therapist getting treated like I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) (which can make PTSD worse) instead of what I should have been diagnosis'd with. So I called that patient advocate, tried to explain my concern, and she said I could see another therapist. Great- can you make it one that specializes in childhood trauma, sexual trauma, PTSD, domestic/family issues or something like that? Nope- she says they all know how to do that. Nope, I can assure you they don't. Well, she insists that their SW's are qualified profs. May be, but this requires specialized training- would I get a therapist who has that? I'd probably get the next available SW assigned. So all red flags go jumping in me, I called lady from housing help area back and said I can't commit to this, whether I end up homeless or not. I figured she'd never help me again. LOL!

    Today, I go in thinkking it's for a mammo- nope they want to do a pap smear first. OH, that's even more fun. Not. But apparently, my computer file lists me as a current suicide risk because this nurse (an experienceed one assigned to the women's clinic area) hands me a paper about the suicide hotline and does a suicide screening on me. Have I felt depressed and like things are hopeless lately? Well, yes I have. How often and for how long- 2 to 3 days? Nahhh, I think it's been a lot closer to two years or so. Do I want to kill myself or anyone else? Nope, if I overlook that fleeting thought of grabbing difficult child by the shoulders last night when he said he didn't care if he stayed in Department of Juvenile Justice until he's 18yo but he's incarcerated and has guards there protecting him from me.

    She asked if I want to talk to a therapist today. Well, let me explain...I think this is what is going on and I don't think the therapist I had to see got it. This nurse got it, and that was obvious. I also expressed concerned about places using the least experienced to do intake evaluation's because they give the diagnosis and assign the treatment/provider based on that when, in my humble opinion, it should be the more experienced doing the evaluations so no one gets pigeon holed getting a treatment that is not adequate and not being believed about it because everyone assumes the person just doesn't have the insight. So due to this conversation going on, I barely knew I was getting that exam at the same time. LOL!

    Anyway, now I have been assigned to an outpatient crisis something or 'nother to let me spill everything and get some of this out while getting a little more stable and waiting for an open appointment with a female sexual trauma specialist, that they really do have. (I knew they did- it is a VA medication center and hospital for goodness sake). This nurse even got it when I said I believe I am having reoccurring PTSD but the first therapist thought because I wasn't reliving the initial childhood trauma, that this wasn't PTSD. The nurse said "you mean you are waking up during the night, being startled easily, going over things 5000 times in your mind due to your son's actions and having to testify in court before about all the family stuff". Yep, that's what I mean.

    I'm going to have to get used to viewing the people in the physical health clinics as case managers, but clearly, they are the ones to go to when I need to get something rolling there. Oh- and as it turns out, I might not have blown ALL my chances with the people who help with housing. It seems someone might have already made her aware that I went a little whacky, actually DO need treatment for PTSD and they are more worried right now about preventing me from becoming suicidal. I don't think I am but I'm sure I will feel worse if I don't get this job tomorrow. It helps though to know I will have a therapist who should be able to help better than the first one though.

    I think I've gone thru all I can handle mentally and emotionally for one day. I'm going to relax for a bit then prepare for my interview tomorrow and spend a little time with the dogs.

    Thanks for reading, if you made it this far- I just needed to unload some of this.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2010
  2. Dharmamama

    Dharmamama Guest

    What an incredible load of s$&@ you have been carrying forEVER!

    You don't know me from a Christmas tree but I am so proud of you and your ability to keep moving, heck the fact that you are still living and breathing is awesome enough. You are a testament to the best of us and I know better days are coming your way.

    Kudos on your sense of humor by the way; it's probably been your saving grace!
  3. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Glad someone heard what you were saying, k. Many, many hugs.
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    PTSD and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) are not too far off from one and other. Its very difficult to tease out which one of mine is showing its face at any given time. Then when you throw in the fact that anxiety is just a basic component of bipolar well, I just got the trivecta!

    I just thank my lucky stars for all the years of klonopin and now that it seems like it pooped out, this xanaxER seems to be working ok. Nothing is perfect but it helps a bit. Hopefully you can get on some medicine that will help you a bit.
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I can see how that can be the case, Janet. But in my case there were some clear PTSD signs that were identified and treated/worked thru by my therapist in the military. They completely went away until two years ago after testifying about family stuff and a few other things happened around the same time. Anxiety for me is something that has a web and flow but doesn't get real extreme if I can use techniques I learned. The nurse I spoke to yesterday agreed that this would be a return of PTSD and it probably was easily identifiable to me because they were there, then gone for over 20 years, then slap me in the face again after clear triggers. And I just don't have the patience to go thru session after session waiting for a young, inexperienced SW to figure it all out. Plus, I felt like she was blowing it off like I was just being neurotic when I felt like my top was about to blow and I really needed someone to talk to about this stuff. When this kind of stuff is going on saying "don't think about it" tells me she just doesn't get ptsd at all. Or at least she needs to find a better way to treat it because that answer won't be very effective, I'm afraid.

    On to other topics....I had my job interview. I think the man defnitely has a difficult child. LOL! He talks almost non-stop, mentioned he was divorced, has a 16yo who has "some issues", was hopspitalized briefly at the end of next week so he had to get there to visit her and now she is hom and as "settled" as can be. He also said he's on the stress diet and has probably lost 15 lbs in the past week due to stress alone. Sounds like difficult child-dom to me. I told him not to worry, I completely understand and would be willing to help with whatever I could. He is swamped with paperwork at his office now and the one young lady he has helping him can't get it all done so I would be there to help them. He brought her and said in part, he wanted to make sure we could work together. She seems nice enough but she might have taken me as being a little uptight or too serious. She seems like she likes to joke around and I do too, normally, but not today. Anyway, I might have a good shot if she doesn't convince him that I'm not chipper enough. (it's amazing how much it helps to be able to say "yes, I can work flexible hours, I can work overtime", etc.) He is supposed to contact me tomorrow evening to let me know if he's made a decision or if he needs to think about it some more.

    And something is wrong with my AC- heat pump. I came home yesterday and it was hot in the house. The thermostat said 78 but the AC was running so I didn't think much about it. Then when I came home about 20 mins ago, it was 80 in here. The AC kicks on and stays on a while, it feels somewhat like cool air but not as cool as normal, but the temp is not dropping much before it goes off and then it gets hotter in here. Good thing I won't be paying to fix it. I just have to live in it a while longer.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2010