Hello, Dr. Young. Can I Be Your Patient Forever?

I love my new psychiatrist.

We had our first meeting this morning, and I was immediately impressed with her command of my medical and psychiatric history. I could tell she’d done her homework by the questions she asked, such as whether some of my mood episodes correspond with the seasons and what I do when my anxiety flares up. We talked for almost a solid hour, and she was bright and eager and intuitive. Hereafter she will be called Dr. Young, because she might be in her early 30s…if that. But I won’t hold that against her, especially since she also treated me with the appropriate deference without making me feel ancient.

I must admit it’s a little weird having a female head doc. All of my mental healthcare providers, except for the nurse practitioner I saw for a few months several years ago, have been men. I was comfortable with that and even preferred them in this capacity. Maybe it was because males are known for fixing problems (or at least trying to fix them) and tend to be authority figures. Dr. Y isn’t heavy on the authority, but it’s clear who’s the doctor and who is not, and I like it that way. Even though it’s very early in the relationship and I’ve been stable for a long time, I feel I can trust her to take care of me when things get bad.

She also cares about a patient’s physical health. She ordered blood tests for kidney and liver function to make sure they can handle my medication burden, and even an EKG because some of the meds I’m on can cause heart rhythm problems. She urged me to check my blood pressure often and monitor my weight too, It’s funny, I don’t even know how much I weigh. All I know is that I’ve gained back most of the 100 lbs. I lost after Will died…the specifics, I don’t really WANT to know. Haha!

Best of all, she isn’t changing my medication regimen. (She didn’t change my diagnosis either, but it’s so well-documented that there wasn’t any question about it and we didn’t even discuss it.) You can’t argue with success! I’ve been in good shape for quite a while, with a few hiccups now and then, and I know my meds are the reason. Like Dr. Goodenough, she said that my medication management is complex and there are a lot of moving parts, but if it works and adds quality to my life, then we’re going to leave things exactly the way they are. (Including the Klonopin, which a lot of younger doctors don’t like prescribing.) That is, unless there are some ominous changes in my bloodwork or on my EKG. Otherwise, we’re sticking with the tried and true, and that too is very reassuring that I’m in good hands.

So, I’m once again under a psychiatrist’s care, which is a big sigh of relief. I have to admit, though, that the clinic I’ve always gone to for mental health care has done right by me even when I was between docs, like the interim MD who called me to order bloodwork for cholesterol and thyroid, and the one who backed up Dr. Awesomesauce and put me on Zyprexa a few years back when I was manic AF and didn’t know if I was coming or going. Dr. Y also mentioned that she has plenty of backup and assured me that someone would always be available to me.

I just hope I get to keep her longer than four years…

Published by bpnurse

I'm a retired registered nurse and writer who also happens to be street-rat crazy, if the DSM-IV.....oops, 5---is to be believed. I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder at the age of 55, and am still sorting through the ashes of the flaming garbage pile that my life had become. Here, I'll share the lumps and bumps of a late-life journey toward sanity.... along with some rants, gripes, sour grapes and good old-fashioned whining from time to time. It's not easy being bipolar in a unipolar world; let's figure it out together.

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