Thursday, November 10, 2011

The next bridge to cross in my Journey

Today I was reminded of why I started my blog.  I started this blog because I thought by sharing my experiences it would help others not feel so alone and maybe get the right information.   I have been feeling discouraged lately about anything I have done on here.  That can sometimes be my illness telling me that nothing I do is good enough as well.  Sometimes I wonder if this blog is making any difference in any one's life at all.  Since I have not been able to write that much, I also started an online newspaper that collects different articles people post on twitter about Bipolar Disorder.  I was feeling better about the online newspaper because it was a collection of more than one viewpoint on the disorder.  But as I was reading a blog post on, I was reminded of how important it is to get as many viewpoints out there as possible.  I suppose that means I need to blog more myself and put my own personal spin on the illness. 

It has been a tough few months for me, but I guess that goes with the illness.  It's normally tough and I think that is what has kept me from writing.  I so want to be a positive light out there to help others but how can I do that when I am still struggling just as much as I always have with this illness.  And then it hit me that I need to put my feelings out there whether they are good or bad because that is the nature of the illness.  Of course there is the other thing of not being about to write much when you feel so empty and blue.  So as of right now I am pushing through the sadness to try and put my feelings out there. 

I am facing something at the moment that is very tough on any patient but even more so on someone with a mental illness.  My Psychiatrist of over 8 years may have to shut down his practice due to the bad economy and just work full time at the hospital.  About ten years ago he went into a small private practice that allowed him plenty of time to devote to his patients and not just treat them like cattle. It also gave him plenty of time to devote to his own family.   His previous employer pushed him to see so many patients per day he said he could never devote the time he needed to each patient.  So he took a leap of faith and started his own small tranquil environment for his current patients to see him and not be treated like a number.  The only downside to this was that most of the major insurance companies did not pay for full visits.  I was very happy for him but this left me at a point I could not afford him so I had to see another Psychiatrist that my insurance covered.  This ended in a complete disaster because they were not caring or on top of my care.  I actually ended up back into the hospital after ten years of being stable because my care was so bad and the medicine they kept putting me on had such bad side effects and they did not listen to me when I was struggling.  So after I improved enough to get out of the hospital I made an appointment to see my old Psychiatrist and I have been the happiest with his care for the last eight years.  I was lucky enough to have family members that would pay the difference of what I could not afford to see him because he is that good and worth every cent.  Now it seems that people are not able to afford his care and things are looking like he might be shutting down.  He started a new job and is now doing great work for the homeless but I make too much to see him now.  There has been no final notice that he will shut down his office but things do not look good and I am fearful of having to find another Psychiatrist.

My Psychiatrist was the best one I have ever come across and I have seen a ton over the years.  He really knew me and he knew how to treat me.  He would actually listen to me and trust me when a medicine was not working and adjust it as needed and I had complete trust in his care.  He not only treated me with medicine but he took the extra time to sit and listen to my struggles and help me work through my issues.  Most Psychiatrist do not take that extra time to do that because they make more money the more patients they see so I am certain I will not find that again.  It is almost like losing someone in your life because you have spent so much time with them and opening up about your deepest trials and tribulations.  I really hope that he can find a way to stay open and keep me as a patient.

The one positive thing I can take away at the moment is that I learned a lot from him and about my care and hopefully I can take that with me to the next Psychiatrist if I have to go in that direction.  I am working through this pain and the thoughts of having to start all over with someone new with my treatment.   I know my Psychiatrist has been a huge factor in keeping me out of hospitals and helping me stay as stable as possible but I am scared for what the future holds for me and my illness.  So at this moment I am standing at the beginning of a brige waiting to see what direction I will be taking to get to the other side.   I will get to the other side but it will probably be bumpy and unsteady.  I do have my support team around me though to protect me and guide me until I find the answers.