I had a bit of a wake up call yesterday. I had an appointment with my psychiatrist about my inability to sleep and my overwhelming anxiety that has made it pretty impossible for me to function lately. I went into that office with detailed notes so I would be sure not to forget anything and was ready to come up with a plan of action. I hate medications with a passion but did acknowledge that whatever I have been doing was clearly not working. I was ready to cave, take some anti psychotic medication to allow me to get more than two hours of sleep a night; hoping that just getting some sleep would allow me to feel like a human being again. I do also know lack of sleep, anxiety and the migraines I have every single day are all interrelated so I was really trying to ingrain in my head that whatever he was going to give me was just temporary and would hopefully allow my body to get back on track.
But the conversation, usually 15 minutes, lasted an hour.
I like this doctor. He is kind, honest and calm. He said to me point blank that I was a difficult patient because of how distrusting I was with the medical profession, how I come into his office armed with information, that I can’t seem to allow myself to be the patient, and a handful of other accurate assessments. That, compounded with my complicated medical history and situation, makes things a lot more challenging.
I completely understand where he was coming from.
(Yes, I am sure you saw that coming)
When he said those things in his office yesterday, it did not sit well with me. I got defensive. I was oddly calm and together almost the entire appointment except for about five minutes of me talking fairly loudly about why I was the way that I was. I went on to share with him about how if I wasn’t so on top of things I would be dead. I acknowledged that while some of the things may be viewed as a bit much, they are certainly justified.
After I came home and had some time to process, I realized that the reason why I was the way I was didn’t really matter for the purposes of that appointment. The things that this doctor was saying were true, regardless of how I got to be that way. They were factual statements he was making in an effort to explain to me the entirety of the situation, from his perspective.
I was really taken aback yesterday but my appointment ran late and luckily I had an IBD chat scheduled with my friend Sara right as I was walking in the front door of my house. That definitely took my mind off things and allowed me to see that life was exactly the same as it was right before I spoke with my doctor.
After the chat, my parents and I talked about everything which made me realize that this was my life and his suggestions were just that… suggestions. I then talked with a friend later in the evening which made me feel like someone else understood where I was coming from.
Our orientations, as with our experiences, are all different. My doctor yesterday is a psychiatrist so he is going to approach things with that mentality. I have been a patient who has had terrible experiences with the medical community in so many areas for so many years so that is going to travel with me wherever I go as well. The bottom line is that we are all just trying to do the best we can and usually there is no set right or wrong way to live your life. We just have to do what we feel is best and if that ends up being the incorrect path, things can always be shifted.