This past Wednesday was my appointment with the Dok-Tore. But to start the night before I was immobilized with stomach pains for near on eight hours from the anxiety. I generally tend to have a high pain tolerance but this had me in a cold sweat. It probably has entirely to do with the fact it was triggered by anxiety.
I was terrified of what would be occurring the next morning. I knew it wouldn’t be pretty. And I was right.
It wasn’t until around two in the morning I was finally able to sleep. And then had to wake up at five thirty in the morning. But that was nothing really.
I am used to odd hours or no sleep.
Y’all know that.
Normally for me, whenever I have to go out to as I call it “Disney-Side”, I have to leave two hours prior to when I am supposed to be there. If I do not have that hour window, it will trigger severe anxiety.
It probably should have been a sign that with the Dok-Tore, I was okay leaving only an hour and a half and was easy on the gas, week after week.
Anyways, back to what I am sure everyone (no-one) wants to hear.
What actually happened at the appointment
As usual I had to wait nearly half an hour after my appointment time for my five minute med check. However, this time I was going to be going after more than meds and it would take more than five minutes.
Do you remember how at my last appointment I was agitated that some unknown girl had sat in on my appointment with the Dok-Tore, and never took the time to introduce herself. When I was called backit was obvious that this was going to be the case once more.
So, after greeting the Dok-Tore and I had sat down this tall thin girl closed the door behind her and went to go sit down. Before she could reach her chair I asked for her name.
“Could I have your name, please?”
I wasn’t overtly sweet. Nor malicious. But straight and secure. I wanted her name.
“Oh, I’m Jess!”
Very cheery with a big smile.
Well, that’s lovely, Jess. But next time, introduce yourself if you are going to be listening to someone pour their heart out and expose their demons. Not only is this a practice of good manners but the decent thing to do.
The Dok-Tore asked how I was and I answered honestly.
I was very frustrated.
“Over the weekend I left three voice mails. And not a single one was returned.”
I went into detail about Thursday’s call and Friday’s panic filled agenda.
“That doesn’t sound right, at all…”
I pulled out the letter from Cigna and asked for a break down of the $1,800 charge.
Once again, “that doesn’t sound right. I have no idea why you would be charged this amount.”
For a while I had a suspicion that Lauren was the one who actually ran the show.
Who fills and files all paperwork and notes?
Who interviews and diagnoses any and all new patients?
Who reviews testing results and explains them to the Dok-Tore?
And who apparently does all the billing work?
So why is this detached old man prescribing my pills?
The Dok-Tore handed the not-bill over to ‘Jess’ and sent her to find who?
I was expecting a little bit of a wait as every time I would call, Lauren would be with a patient.
But she was in that door in less a minute.
And she was on fire.
Speaking very quickly, very fast.
“They want us to bill when we score the test and Cigna tells us to bill it at a specific amount…”
“That’s fine. I just wanted a break down. I figured it was some of the testing.”
“The test (singular) wasn’t scored while you were here.”
Still speaking very quickly. Why so frantic? And 1,800 for one test? It had to be the 750 true or false questions because the spit test
was taken on the 31st of March.
“And I am going to have to ask that you are polite to my staff including myself whenever you are here.”
Is it not rude to sit in the corner staring down someone in the midst of anxiety attacks without even divulging your name? If this is standard procedure, fine. But I am not standard. And it is fairly obvious.
I had kept myself quiet and just looked at her as she continued to try using her height from standing over me as I sat across from the Dok-Tore.
Body Language screaming match.
And about the voice mails.
She said they had tried calling me three times. And the first words out of her mouth were “we can show you the call logs.”
But all you have is a desk phone.
You called me three times on Friday you say?
What about Thursday when I was placed on hold for so long an automated assistant talking about a rotary phone made me leave a voice mail?
You didn’t try calling me back, then?
And in all these “attempts” you never left a single voice mail, even though I had signed a release specifically allowing that?
“I’m sorry, but I do not believe you.”
My call logs on my cell phone were pulled up for the Dok-Tore’s contact info showing any and all phone calls with that number. And there were only outgoing calls. The seventeen minute call on Thursday with over 15 minutes being on hold. And then the two calls on Friday both lasting roughly two minutes leaving a voicemail both times.
“I believe you called us, but you didn’t answer our return calls!”
“No. Look at my phone. You did not call me. There are only out going calls. No missed, none received. And if we look here at my timeline call log you can see I successfully received separate phone calls from my parents, sister and Cigna. But none from you.”
She gave me the Cigna bill and left.
After the door close I turned to the Dok-Tore and simply said, “I am truly sorry, but I do not believe her. I have caught her lying before and the evidence proves otherwise.”
He could only say that they didn’t lie to their patients.
Well of course. What are you gonna do?
“Yes, We lie.”
I knew at that point I would not be returning. I was called rude for inquiring about inconsistencies and failure to to follow policy. And a liar to boot.
No, I could never step foot in the office again.
After that, the Dok-Tore played as if nothing had happened. He went to up the Seroquel again to 500 mg “for three nights,” and then 600 mg.
I told him about taking Benadryl with the Seroquel to quell the side effects and his eyebrows went way up.
Because of this he decided to try a new medication. Zyprexa. 5 mg nightly. And Klonopin for the panic attacks. At 1 mg nightly.
I had asked if it was an on case by case basis taking the Klonopin but no, nightly.
I told them they had to write a note excusing me from my shift Friday since I had to call in due to their failure but of course, the Dok-Tore said Lauren would take care of it. Because of that, I didn’t even bother. They wouldn’t write it. I know it.
I left the Dok-Tore’s sub-office and went to wait in the microscopic waiting room for David to setup my prescription and make the follow up appointment we all knew I will not be going to.
He was at his desk folding papers for a solid five minutes while I sat waiting.
I took the opportunity to calm the shakes and dry my eyes. Dad called while I was waiting and I stepped out into the hallway to let him know what was going on. We spoke for about five minutes or so and when I went back in, David looked at me and left. Then stepped back and said my name and that he would be right back.
Short of ten minutes he did get back. I had to sign a copy of paper for the Klonopin which I learned was a controlled substance.
Which blew my mind.
One thing that always bothered me is that when you make a follow up appointment, you don’t have a choice. They say, “kay. See you Wednesday at… three.”
“I can’t do that.”
“Kay, it will have to be at 9:30, then.”
What happened to, “when is a good time for you?”
I left not even marking the time to memory for the empty follow up date. The past two appointments David didn’t bother writing out an appointment card.
I got in my car after picking up my prescription and called Mom.
Let’s just skip the next two hours.
All I was doing was drive to the psychologist’s office and wait two hours until my appointment with her. I spent the time writing in my journal Vol. II.
I was very worried about speaking with … you know what? I think I will call her my Guardian Angel.
Or GA for short. Or Peach. Like a Georgia Peach.
Well, I was worried that Peach may have been biased as she has worked with the Dok-Tore for a very long time. But she was so professional and simply said that it seemed like the environment wasn’t for me and I should just move on and try else where. She got me tissues when I started to cry (for the first time in five months) unlike at the Dok-Tore’s when my eyes were watering but not full on tears.
I also learned one last thing about the Dok-Tore’s office. Remember the old woman that for some reason just didn’t like me?
She is his wife.
Oh, jeeze that explains everything. Not to sound conceited but married women and I… there is a natural energy between us and they usually do not like me. I am pretty much asexual to the general public. Unless I really feel comfortable or I force an expression of attraction, you won’t see me flirting or “putting out those vibes”. But they still… harbor animosity.
Back to the Peach. We continued to talk and revisited my anxiety and she explained my questions about the Bipolar Severe.
“Bipolar Severe is crippling, debilitating essentially stopping and blocking any attempt at living. The threat of suicide is ever present along with frequent hallucinations. Bipolar Severe is neither Bipolar I or II. It is a bit beyond and yet also off to the side.”
I also came to the conclusion during my last appointment with her that her speech pattern is a tool yes, but it is utilized for different goals in my case.
She loves to go back to the topic of my frequent rambling and racing thoughts.
Her stop and go speaking forces me to stop and concentrate on what she is saying one word at a time and focus in the moment.
At the end of our time she gave me some homework.
- Go the library and borrow The Unquiet Mind.
- Call one of the two psychiatrists she recommend from Cigna’s list and make an appointment and then call her with the information. Appointment date, time, phone and fax.
- Call or see a leader and let them know what is going on and ask if they would like to see progress notes.
Now Disney is a unionized environment. Technically they are in no way supposed to know anything about what was going on. But I was secretly thankful she was pushing this. I needed them to understand. I wanted them to believe me and know I wasn’t just dancing away from having to work.
I chose the one manager I trusted and told her everything.
And I had made the right choice.
She asked if I wanted to come in Sunday. I would come in and we would just wing it.
If it became too much, I could stop. If I felt I could do more, we would try more.
I have written this post the night previous to this shift.
As a relief this is, I have already had a day of stomach pain and nausea. I am so nervous and scared.
But I got everything on that list done.
I’ll let you know how it goes!