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Left hanging without a pdoc... again


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So, I was supposed to have an appointment with the pdoc again today. I only get to see him every 10 weeks so this is a big deal. I'm not really stable and I definitely need some med adjustments.

I called the office to make sure that I had the appointment time written down correctly and they inform me that my appointment has been cancelled. Apparently the doctor is not in today, but no one actually informed me of this. His assistant will be calling me back to schedule an appointment.... in JULY!!!

I'm sorry, I'm still new to this bipolar thing and I really need more supervision than this. I don't have a therapist (apparently there are none in the public health system that I can get access to) and my family doc is uncomfortable prescribing meds for my crazy self. What in the world am I supposed to do?!?

I'm a wreck, I've been cycling all over the place again after a month of mostly stable. My grandfather died a week ago and I still feel shocky from the service. In the past week I've cycled from depression to a brief hypomania to a mixed state to depression again. I'm going to try to explain all of this to the people at the Mental Health agency, but it hasn't helped in the past.

It seems like the only way to get access to a pdoc with any regularity is to go inpatient. I can't go inpatient and still pay my bills/keep my job. I just want to see a doctor who will prescibe some decent drugs that don't make me feel like a freaking zombie. I didn't think I was asking for much.

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oh thats terrible! im so sorry that the cxl'd you and you have to wait to long for a new appt! i wish i had some advise but all i can do is keep you in my thoughts. please keep us posted on how it turns out!

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So, I was supposed to have an appointment with the pdoc again today. I only get to see him every 10 weeks so this is a big deal. I'm not really stable and I definitely need some med adjustments.

I don't have a therapist (apparently there are none in the public health system that I can get access to) and my family doc is uncomfortable prescribing meds for my crazy self.

I'm a wreck, I've been cycling all over the place again after a month of mostly stable. ...In the past week I've cycled from depression to a brief hypomania to a mixed state to depression again. I'm going to try to explain all of this to the people at the Mental Health agency, but it hasn't helped in the past.

That seems pretty irresponsible. Not necessary the cancellation. That could have happened today and that really really sucks. You should have been called and it is jerky that you weren't...

But how often you are being seen and that you are rescheduled in July? Yeah... irresponsible...

A month of stability is not a good enough cause for sppointments every ten weeks. [although many people do see their psychiatrists every two months or so, a lot of the time it is a financial issue. This doesn't mean it is a reasonable or productive or healthy thing]

A newish patient? Every ten weeks? No. And you are cycling. And your meds aren't stable.

And... you can't find any therapists who you can afford and can't find any one to help you do this?

There are some problems here. You seem really sincere and frustrated so my suspicion is that the people you are dealing with are probably difficult and there may be a different way you need to approach the problem.

It could be one of those situations in which you won't get the answer you need unless you ask the right person the right question when there is a full moon on a tuesday and the celery stalks at midnight.

It seems like the only way to get access to a pdoc with any regularity is to go inpatient. I can't go inpatient and still pay my bills/keep my job.
After you talk to the health center and have tried to talk to someone you haven't talked to before, go through your current med bills, and see what you are spending. Would you be able to get samples for scripts if you aren't right now? Depending on what you are earning and what medications you are taking, you may qualify for patient assistance through pharmaceutical companies or state or county programs that you might not have been told about. Therapists often offer sliding scales for counseling, so if you qualify for med assistance, you might be able to use some of that money for therapy.

Just some ideas.

I just want to see a doctor who will prescibe some decent drugs that don't make me feel like a freaking zombie.

First you need to find a doctor who will see you more than every two months.

For some reason, it always seems a lot more difficult than it needs to be.

~navy~

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Hey, I don't know if this helps but I had a regular family doc that was willing to treat my bipolar..I mean willing to stick with it and try new meds and so on. He seemed to understand it is usually a long trial and error process. (I dumped him because I'm an impatient over-aggressive control freak, which has served me well on some occasions). I'm not sure how to go about finding a doc like that. You could try explaining your situation to your family doc and asking if he knows any regular docs willing to treat BP; they are out there.

On a lighter note, well if they cancelled in less than 24 hours shouldn't they pay YOU the fee! Cancelling without notice is disrespectful, unprofessional, and medically irresponsible. We pay them to provide a service to us and there is plenty of competition if insurance/money allows.

Anyway, good luck!

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If you've limited your appointments to every 10 weeks well then OK. But you're unstable and he thinks you can hang in there between visits then he's an asshat and you need a new pdoc.

Like Navy said, a month of stability for a new patient is absolutely no excuse for infrequent visits. When I started treatment my pdoc saw me weekly for about a month, then biweekly for a while, then monthly, and only when I'd been stable for 6-8 months did he go to quarterly. And if I called and said I was having trouble he'd get me in within a few days. Even the new pdoc, who works on his own and uses an answering service, got me in within 24 hours when I left a scared and shaky message with the service.

Call back and tell them you're in crisis and you need to see him now. If that can't happen, ask for a referral to someone who can take you on and take care of you. You're the boss; he works for you. If he can't get the job done, find someone else.

By the way, it's not in anyone's interest to leave you out there flipping out long enough that you need to be hospitalized. It's far cheaper, to say nothing of kinder, to treat you outpatient.

And when you do see a pdoc be very, very frank about how you are and what's been happening. Don't put on the sane "I can handle it" face.

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I think I've finally given up on the public Mental Health people. It seems that because I'm Canadian I have to work through the Mental Health and Addictions Services to see a pdoc. They only have a pdoc available for me every 10 weeks.

I'm currently in the process of calling all the therapists listed in the yellow pages to see if anyone is taking patients... they weren't when I inquired through Mental Health.

I went to see my family doc and explained everything to him, given that I've got an excellent hypomania going on right now the explanation took about 30 seconds. He agrees that I need regular monitoring and more input than I'm getting through the pdoc. So he's going to do a bunch of research and see if he can help me. In the interim he gave me a lovely script for clonazepam prn.

Honestly, I would be more comfortable with my family doc treating me even though it is not his specialty. He's a wonderfully kind, understanding man who freely admits to taking ADs himself.

I feel so powerless in dealing with the public health system because I feel like I can't just demand to be seen. Afterall, I'm not *really* paying him because my tax dollars pay for Medicare. Assuming I wasn't so poor that I got all of my tax back...

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Alyssha, what a sucky system! I'm lucky, even though I'm in the US, because I have monster health coverage as a state employee. One of the reasons I want to keep this job. And then there's actually a pension...

I'm glad your GP is willing to work with you. Clonazepam should deal with the worst of it, but not the way we'd prefer. In your situation, it could be that the GP is going to give you better interim care.

There's a forum for health insurance issues somewhere at the bottom of the forums list. Check that out; maybe someone in Canada knows a trick for getting more pdoc visits.

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