So this is me asking for help‘.

The above statement is how I ended my last post. I went to see my GP yesterday afternoon, and he agreed we had reached the limit in managing this, and made an emergency referral to A&E, preferably to be followed by admission. There was an incredibly emotional conversation with the kids to explain what was happening. Hubby took over, telling them my head was a bit sore (technically true, 2 hours crying will do that), the doctor didn’t have the right medicine so I was going to go and see if the hospital did. He told them I’d probably be home, but if they had to order the medicine for me, I might have to stay overnight. We had no clue how it was going to go, so thought it best to cover our bases as simply as possible. They were totally ok with that – D in fact told me not to be scared because I’d been there before, and that they would come visit. Cue waterworks.
So, I gathered my bits and hopped on the bus. Yes, bus to A&E. Epic, eh? It made sense at the time, especially as we didn’t know whether or not I would be staying and that way meant minimal disruption for the kids. And then I got there.
I only had to wait for an hour or so which wasn’t too bad. The doctor came down. A new one. He said he had read some of my notes, but asked if I take him through what was happening. So I tried. Downside of attending an emergency psych appointment alone? Completely overwhelmed and borderline incoherent. I kept going. Eventually, he told me about his take on the situation. Ready? You sure? I’m stressed. And overwhelmed. And I need to learn to manage my emotions. I don’t think I’ve ever, in my life, exploded quite as dramatically as I did in response to that particular statement, and that’s saying something (I’m beginning to suspect his reading of my notes went no further back than my most recent visit). I think I could reasonably have been described as hysterical. He talked a bit after that, but I’m pretty much drawing a blank on what he said. He spoke to Hubby. He told me my last inpatient visit didn’t help (interesting observation as he wasn’t actually there) and that he didn’t think it would help to admit me now. So instead, he sent me on my way with a letter for work, and a prescription for a well known and highly addictive anti anxiety medication, as well as an increase for the med I currently take at night as it helps me sleep. Apparently also an anti anxiety. I’m now to take it morning and night, which I find an unusual strategy to take with someone who used to actively pass out on a sub therapeutic dose of the stuff. 
So, here’s what I’m taking away from yesterday:
  • I’m not trying hard enough (Therapist’s biggest challenge, well no, one of many actually, is to get me to believe that I actually am trying, that I’ve tried as hard as anyone can. I was nearly there. Not any more)
  • I’ll see my consultant in two weeks, as planned, and be effectively sedated till then
  • Not a whole lot else
I know Hubby doesn’t agree with this. He feels that yesterday was productive, and that this is the best way to manage the situation until such a time as I can see my consultant. I don’t, we’ve had to agree to differ there. I feel, yet again, that I’ve been fobbed off and left to manage this alone, which is exactly how I came to be in this mess in the first place. So if you’ve any thoughts on where to look for help when all possible avenues have been explored and found wanting (still waiting on a referral to a private psych) I’d be more than happy to hear them.

This article has 17 Comments

  1. Speechless. You must be feeling very frustrated and let down and maybe a little panicy right now. Trip back to GP and see what they say (maybe they could phone and talk to the physc unit and explain that you're not just feeling tired and emotional?) At the very least they can reassure you that someone in the medical profession has some understanding of what you're going through and it'd probably good that they're aware of the situation just in case things take a turn for the worse. And they'd know if you were entitled to a second opinion or if there are any alternatives.

    And you need to have someone with you when you do go and see the consultant ~(wouldn't it be great if hubby and gp could both go, hey whilst we're in fantasy land, you could invite therapist too) – get hubby arranging that to happen, I'm guessing you might need childcare sorting out.

    Ring the counselling service that you have via work – they might not have a solution but they're someone to talk to. Is there any of the charities in Ireland that have a helpline you could ring too?

    I know that you have a bit of a contacting therapist problem thing going on but in this case is it worth emailing her to let her know the situation and see if she has any advice or if she could write a letter to take to the meeting with the consultant. If you're not sure if this is a good idea ask hubby and try and listen to his advice.

    I guess hubby is at work. Is there someone nearby who can come round or you can meet up with and give you a hug and let you cry on their shoulder and maybe if you're up to it share some cake with you.

    Good luck.

    1. Thank you. I went back to my GP today, he was just as frustrated and disappointed as we are. In terms of the psych unit, they're almost impossible to get hold of, and the absolute only way in for an emergency appt is the route I took yesterday. We're in agreement that I badly need to see my original consultant, and he's pushing for that, but she's been on leave for months and I don't know if she's back.

      Yes, I agree I'd like to have someone come to the next appt, but Hubby can't always get out of work. I like your fantasy land option but it might be pushing therapist just a tad too far!! She has no clue what to say to me at this point either. We're all just baffled at the level of stonewalling I'm getting.

      Not a fan of helplines, I don't feel there's a whole lot they can say about the current situation and without knowing my history, it feels pretty pointless.

      Today passed reasonably ok, mostly because I spent half of it asleep due to new strategy with meds. Possibly not the best solution long term. Anyway, I'm still here. I know GP, therapist, family, friends and a lot of virtual folk are rooting for me and that all helps. Just need to hang on a bit longer xx

  2. I wish I had some suggestions as to how to help or where to turn but sadly I don't. As a sufferer of a rare disease and depression I would agree taht it sounds as if he was fobbing you off and asalways it makes me so very angry not only that they do this but that they always get away with it. hang in there chickie, i know its hard i know you need help and that basically being sedated is no solution at all. any chance of phoning the consultant and seeing if you can go on a cancellation list? unless you tried that already of course. xx

    1. Thanks Uli. I spoke to my GP today and he;s going to follow up with the hospital but I'd be reasonably sure there's not a whole lot he can do to bring the appt forward. Frustrating doesn't begin to describe.

  3. Hi Fiona, yes I would agree with above.I would ring or ask your hubby to ring both consultants secretaries, and stress how urgent your situation is, and ask to take the next available cancellation, or ask to be prioritised on their cancellation list , and hopefully one will come up for you. Otherwise your referral is put at the bottom of the pile, and not prioritised.(Am speaking from experience…and by ringing them and letting them know that you are a real person with a genuine need….and not just a name and hospital number …has generally worked in my favour.. And if you don't her from them by the end of week, ring next week to remind them.
    Good luck xx

    1. I agree Linda. My GP is following up again and is pretty pissed off with the whole situation, so I think he's my best bet. Otherwise it's just hang tight and wait till I finally get to see someone who knows what they're talking about.

  4. I think you articulate the despair and frustration which many people experience when dealing with the mental health services. Hopefully the HSE will take on board the feedback they are getting on their nationwide public listening meetings http://www.hse.ie/eng/services/Campaigns/meetings.html

    That's not much use to you I know, but I think the key for the future is that the people who really understand mental health problems are those who have experienced them, and those are the people who should be in the driving seat in the delivery of services. E.g. if you, as a parent, wanted to improve your parenting skills, you would talk to other parents to share stories, ideas, problems and solutions – you wouldn't talk to a "theoretical expert" on parenting who had no "lived experience" of parenting. Same applies to fixing mental health problems in my view.

    Mind yourself.

    1. I hope that they'll listen, and I desperately want to believe they'll act on what they hear. But promise after promise after promise has already been made and broken. I won't be holding my breath.

    1. Makes you wonder why they bother writing notes if they're not going to read them. I feel like you're being penalised, all the hard work you're doing to hold it together (and your support network) means that despite how rough you feel you're not a total gibbering mess, so you're look like you're coping(ish) and therefore you must be just a little stressed and imagining it and aren't really bad enough to get any help….. That said though, I hate to think how little resource they have to meet the need out there.

    2. I think you've hit the nail on the head. I am working incredibly hard to keep going, and I've no doubt that's influencing their perception of me (although in fairness, I'm not sure how anyone could have missed the state I was in on Tuesday). I've decided to write to my consultant, outlining everything that's been going on, how I've been feeling, impact of (lack of) treatment etc etc. Here's hoping she listens.

  5. I really am hoping you get resolution on this as soon as possible.service needs to be more personal,with reading patients previous history and taking the time to really help them.asking a lot
    in this country I know! I having been re-reading yourold posts today and just wanted to thank you again as you got me through a very tough day. Hope you know there's lots here for you,and ready to help you in any way.

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