Its been since July that my crazy doctor moved to Florida. To most, switching doctors might not be that big of a deal. But there is something about going through a Bipoar diagnoses (or I would assume any mental illness for that matter) that creates a bond with the professional who guides you through it. At least for me it did. When she told me the news, I responded, what I considered to be, quite rationally. There was really no reason for me not to. I had been stable on the same medication for six years and had not experienced any major episodes for nearly three. She gave me ample notice and I knew that I would be fine.
Even though I knew these things, I had a really hard time starting the search for a new doctor. I guess part of me knew that once I made those calls there was a finality to her departure that perhaps I was not ready to wrap my mind around. Then on top of that, once I finally forced my self to get it together, several of my initial calls to prospective doctors were not returned. [Note to said doctors: you treat mentally unstable people, perhaps you might want to return their calls. Just a thought.] I finally received a recommendation from someone and made an appointment. I arrived that day with my mood history dating back to 1991 in hand. For an hour and a half I shared my journey over the last 20 years (since when can I describe something as happening for 20 years…yikes!). I signed all the paperwork so that she could get my records from my previous doctor. And while she was nice and seemingly competent, I had a weird feeling that I could not shake when I left. I felt disappointed in way – I guess I had this unsaid expectation that I would leave feeling as comfortable as I had been with the doctor that I had seen for all those years. Which is silly because that obviously takes time. It made me realize that I needed to create a space in my brain to grieve the loss of that relationship.
I would later learn that after knowing me for 90 minutes, her recommendation for me would be to add 3 new medications to the one that I was already on; clearly we were not going to be a fit. [Note to self: that feeling you could not shake is your intuition. Trust it, it is usually right.] This whole experience really made me dread the next steps in my search. It took me two months to make an appointment with another doctor. I went to that appointment last week and it went well. I decided to keep two things in mind: #1) I was not going to leave with a BFF necklace – relationships take time, especially ones with crazy doctors and #2) This did not have to be a forever choice.
I am learning that #2 is big for me. Do you ever do that to yourself, hype something up so much in your brain that it becomes unnecessarily stressful? I was living in the “what if” of years from now. What if I choose someone and it does not work out? What if she sees me as just another crazy person on her long list of crazies? What if when I decide to have kids she is not willing to work with me as a partner in my treatment? What if she does not get my sense of humor? I was not considering where I am right now. While all of these things are important (especially the sense of humor part, obvs), I do not need all the answers now. It is ok if it does not work out. I have the power to make a change. I can trust myself to know if and when that is the case. It is about embracing the process – there is so much to learn from where I am now. Today. At this moment. It would be unfortunate to miss those things because I am fretting about what will happen when I'm crazy preggers (which is not any time soon, BTW).
So this is where I am now: I have another appointment in two months at which time I may or may not clue her in on the superpower part. We’ll see.