Yesterday, I had my first visit with my new pdoc, whom I shall call Dr. Goodenough. He reminds me of Mister Rogers—he is warm and kind, and he wears a tie with a cardigan sweater. He’s an older gentleman, so I’m a little worried he’ll retire within a few years; but since he’s new to the clinic I think I might be able to keep him for awhile at least.
Dr. G took a VERY thorough history, from earliest childhood to now. He wanted to know what life was like for me before I became ill, and how I knew I needed help (I didn’t—my primary care provider forced me into it). We talked about my parents, my kids and grandkids, my alcoholism, even the time I was date-raped in my very early 20s. And I discussed my marriage to Will at length, from our whirlwind courtship up until the night he died. It’s amazing how much of a relief it was to be able to talk about it to someone besides family…and this time, I didn’t cry.
We also talked about using a light box during the fall and winter to prevent the seasonal depression I usually experience. This is a bright light that you sit in front of for 30 minutes every morning to fool your brain into thinking there’s more light than there really is. I’ve always been really sensitive to changes in the angle of light from the sun, and Dr. G thinks this light box will correct that. So I’ll be doing some shopping, probably on Amazon because they have absolutely everything and I should be able to find one for a couple hundred bucks or so. Then in the spring, we’ll change tactics to avoid mania.
I think this guy knows his bipolar stuff.
As for my diagnosis, Dr. G said it was “very clear” that I have Bipolar 1, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. That’s the fourth mental healthcare provider who’s labeled it as such, so I guess I’d better start believing it. (Ya THINK??) <<insert sarcasm here>>
I’m pleased that he’s not going to mess with my meds, not yet anyway. I think he subscribes to the philosophy that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Despite all the chaos in my life, I’ve still got a good thing going and I’d probably have pitched a fit if he’d wanted to change anything. Maybe later on down the road, but certainly not now.
In short, I’m back in business. Dr. G may not be Dr. Awesomesauce—no one else could ever be—but he’s good enough for me.