Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Trust your gut, Peggy

I have sort of trained myself to always trust my gut, but when you feel like you're in the midst of a serious mental challenge, does that hold true?  I have been diagnosed bi-polar.  The person that diagnosed me went on later to seriously breach my trust by pretending she didn't prescribe me the mood stabilizing drug, Lamotrigine, after i had a very serious allergic reaction to it.  She even removed it from my Marshfield Clinic records so that my primary didn't know what I was reacting too - I had to get the bottle.   I do rather believe that I do have bi-polar disorder and wondered if I had it long before I had the diagnosis put on my medical records.  The mental health care in this country is barbaric and sickening.   That's worth saying again.

The Mental Health care in this country is barbaric and sickening.  The care givers are much like your worst primary care doctor experience, and then some worse.  When they are caring for someone who is mentally ill they don't have to take responsibility for any of their actions or words because ... well, you're mentally ill, and the system can reduce you to having the credibility of an untreated schizophrenic that's wandering the streets with a shopping cart and talking to yourself.  In other words, your complaints are easily written off as conspiracy theories or a paranoia.

I find myself in another place where my trust has been breached and I honestly don't know what to do about it.  It seems that it would be simple to just quit going.  My issue is with a therapist, so It's not like she's in charge of medicating me. 

I guess the problem is that I am trying very hard to get Gastric Bi-pass surgery.  I am diabetic, take a LOT of insulin, and am having some irreversible diabetic side effects and I'm scared.  Rightly so. My father was also a brittle diabetic who's disease was a bad as mine when he was much much older than I am now, and he died at a relatively young 72 years old.  I'm 42, I have children - the youngest being 6 years old, and I really need to be around for them.  As things stand with the medical issues and the mental health issues, I am not nearly as active in my life or theirs as I'd like to be. 

I tried to start walking for health.  Just walking.  I wore my diabetic inserts in some athletic shoes and my feet blistered and bled inside the blisters and I didn't feel anything happening on my left foot.  My right foot has a congenital deformity and you'd think that it would be the first affected by diabetic nerve damage, but no ... it's the good foot.   I went to my primary doctor immediately and she put something called an Unna Boot on both of my feet - it's a medicated wrap that's messy and gross, but boy did it ever do wonders!  My blisters never broke open so I didn't have to take antibiotics, and these Unna Boots just made the blisters go down and heel like magic.  I wore them for two rounds of 3 days and my feet heeled up nicely.  They are still tender.  The dead skin is peeling off in different phases (almost all of the skin on the bottom of both feet was affected) and the skin underneath is all new and tender and walking has been a challenge. 

I recently bought new shoes (I also ordered new diabetic shoes, but it will be a while before they come in) , and I believe that they will be the best shoes for my feet but there is a breaking in phase that has been difficult to tolerate on top of everything else going on with my feet!  So, I can't really even plan on a long shopping trip - right now I'm happy to get up and walk around or run an errand.  Certainly not the most healthful way for a diabetic to live.

Wow, I started reading something and came back to this - and I sure did write too much about my particular diabetic situation. LOL - Back to Gastric Bi-pass.   I'm having trouble getting the requirements met for the surgery, but I obviously need it very much.  I'm too young to be this sick, and it's far beyond the possibility of healing myself through diet and exercise.  I can do the best that I can do, but I find myself wondering what the point is when things keep happening with my body to throw me back in bed.  Feeling kinda discouraged and have a sense of disparity.

One of the requirements for Gastric Bi-Pass is meeting with a dietitian for either 3 or 6 months depending on your insurance.  I had this nasty nasty dietitian, Diane Johnson from the Marshfield Clinic, Minocqua.  This woman lacks any bit of compassion or empathy.  She got me started thinking about bi-pass, told me it would save my life and that my diabetic symptoms would go away or nearly go away before I even lost a pound after surgery.   She set me up with these goals each month and I met them all and then at the end on my last visit - told me that I didn't meet the requirements for the surgery.  I questioned her about why and she kept flip flopping around - giving wild answers that didn't make sense and then wrote a report for my medical file with marshfield that painted me as someone who just couldn't succeed at weight loss with surgery because I didn't meet her requirements. *DING!* Requirements that I was never told about, mind you.  My husband was with me through most of those visits, and backs up my side of things.

I then met with a psychiatrist in Marshfield that works with the bi-pass team.  He said he was glad that I had come in and that he heard my side of things with Diane. 

I also started therapy at Northland Counseling in Eagle River.  My visit with Diane was a very traumatic event in my life, but not the only one and I felt I needed help working through the stressers in my life.
Backing up a couple months - I had gone to a sleep study, and had to have a c-pap machine.  The insurance required me to become "compliant" with the machine within 90 days.  I put the machine on my face every single night that it was in my possession, save 15 days when I was on vacation and forgot a major part of the machine when I packed up, and when I was having stomach problems (which happens to me more than others because of the illness and the medications I take) and didn't want to wake up vomiting into a face mask.   When I wore the machine, I would frequently wake up with it on my forehead and it had shut itself off.  By the end of my time with the machine, I was up to 5 hours a night with it on - which is where I was supposed to be, but when I took the machine in to be read ... I hadn't been up to that 5 hours a night for long enough, and it averaged everything out, and the woman at the durable medical place said "You had 90 days to become compliant but didn't" as blunt as that and she took the machine!  I don't think my face mask fit right - every time I turned my head, it went *woooosh!* in a leak.  Surely other people must have a better fit - you can't just not move during sleep - that's ridiculous.

So, then I go back to the Psychiatrist in Marshfield and he says that he had just gotten an e-mail from the bi-pass team leader that morning pointing out the big fat "NON COMPLIANT"  on my record regarding the c-pap machine *DING!*, and that they were planning on removing me from the program.  Having your sleep apnea fully treated before surgery is becoming the norm, and this team has to follow all of the rules to keep their certification as ... something that I don't remember, but it means they are good standard gastric bi-pass surgery center and most insurance will pay them. 

I explained to the Psychiatrist about my c-pap experience and after I've had SO MUCH negative feedback lately with regards to doing things "right", I fully expected and prepared to storm out and tell him to fuck off, because I'd really had just about enough at that point.  But, he wasn't negative at all.  He said he was going to recommend that I stay active in the bi-pass program and that it seemed like people wanted me to fit into this little box and that I just didn't fit there - no matter how hard I tried.  He acknowledged that i was trying very hard and I felt SO MUCH better after meeting with him!

I feel like i finally have advocate in this process!  I am feeling very anxious about getting this surgery ASAP because I've had so much irreversible diabetic damage over the last year, and I really need a quick fix right now.  It's rather frustrating. 

So, back to the therapist.  My teen daughter also sees her. This therapist has acknowledged repeatedly that my daughter and I are very very close.  She talked about how refreshing it was to see a girl that loved her mother so much, and said it was like we really had something special, like we share a soul.  I agree.  She asked me to come to the next visit with my daughter because she was having a hard time cracking her hard exterior, and needed some help and because she trusts me so much, then I would be able to help. 

We met last Friday.  My daughter and I were sitting on this love seat together and the therapist brought up this dream that my daughter told her about - a recurring nightmare where my youngest son was in some sort of dangerous situation and she was frozen and unable to help him.   She had also told her this story about her putting him to sleep.  The therapist apparent inferred from that that my girl at the ripe old age of 9 had too much responsibility regarding her little brother.  She leaned in to her, kind of turning her back to me, like she was trying to get in between us and said "That was too much to be put on you."  I tried to speak up but was told to be quiet and "just be with what I was feeling about what was going on."  My daughter was very confused.  My daughter NEVER told her that she had too much responsibility as a child, but the therapist insisted she was trying to help me understand what my daughter felt.  I put my arm across my daughter, you know - like you put your arm across your car passenger when you slam on the breaks, like you're going to be able to hold them back.  I wasn't trying to hold my girl back - I was had taken a protective stance. 

After my daughter left, i tried to explain reality to the therapist and she refused to listen to me and never apologised for making the wrong assumption nor for the inappropriate statement to my girl.  Then she stopped the conversation with telling me that if I didn't feel that she was an appropriate counselor for my girl, then I could take her somewhere else, and that was it - done. 

I have been abused almost all of my life and I felt this extreme urge to apologise to her because it was obvious that I had angered her.  Everything about her body language and tone was screaming at me, and I was so so uncomfortable.  I was very proud of myself that I didn't apologise, but i did go on with our session as normal and I wish that I hadn't continued to give her sensitive information about me.

My ex-husband brainwashed my children to the extreme.  We are in Wisconsin because he isn't here and I had to get my daughters away before he convinced them that i was the anti-christ.  My older sons already believe that about me.  It was 6 months after we left the state he lives in that some of the things my daughters believed about me came out.  They were spending uninterrupted time with me and were seeing that I wasn't like what they thought.  He didn't do it with blatant statements that could easily be discredited.  He did it with little inferences here and there - very similar to what my therapist did last Friday with my daughter. 

It's obvious that I can't go back to her, and I signed an OK for that Psychiatrist in the bi-pass group to speak with her.  See the dilemma?  Now I'm leaving therapy!  *DING!*

I'm very frustrated and very concerned about what's going to happen next.  I have been put on the wait list to go in and see the sleep apnea doctor ASAP - I called them and explained that I was doing so much better in the end but then they took it away, and they are going to get me in to discuss my next move.  I see the Psychiatrist in Marshfield again on Friday, and I did a no call, no show with the Eagle River counselor today.  *sigh*

I have an appointment next week with a Psychiatrist to discuss medications for Bi-Polar disorder, and I guess I'll ask for a recommendation for a good therapist.  I suppose all I can do is explain to the Marshfield guy that we had a conflict of interest, and that I'm going to ask for a recommendation for someone new.  ?  Wish me luck!