Here we go again back on my mental health merry-go-round.
I explained in my last blog post that my first experience with a mental health team was a disaster. After this, I was referred to a new consultant psychiatrist. This lady was lovely and couldn’t be more helpful. I was finally getting somewhere.
One day I went to my appointment to find someone new sitting there. Turns out my lovely Pdoc had retired without telling me even though I had only seen her 3-4 weeks before. The new Pdoc explained that he was a psychiatrist and a psychologist. He had retired but was helping out as locum so he may not be around for long.
My husband and I then moved house but remained in the same town. This meant a change in GP surgery. I was informed that the CMHT I was going to did not cover the south of the town. This ended up being the best thing as I met the best consultant psychiatrist I have ever seen. I will refer to him as DrH. DrH explained so much and was very clued-up on the latest news and research from universities studying Bipolar. He was on top of my medications suggesting where we make changes and suggesting new ones to try. DrH took me straight off my antidepressants as they can actually make Bipolar mania worse. He went on to diagnose my other conditions that no one had mentioned/considered before.
In 9 years we all moved around the town as the NHS Trust decided to sell off buildings and move us on. This happened a few times, sometimes temporarily moving areas together to buildings that couldn’t cope with the number of patients and staff. It became a bit of a joke after a while. “Guess what? We are moving again but we don’t know when or to where. You better phone to check the day before your next appointment.” We even ended up back at the same building where my journey(nightmare) began for a while.
About 4 years ago I went to my appointment and DrH looked very uncomfortable. I knew it was bad news. This time the NHS Trust was moving the areas and staff around and that he wouldn’t be able to see me anymore. I cried – a lot. I was devastated, to say the least. DrH knew my merry-go-round of people and places and somehow (on the hush), enabled me to stay with him. I was elated, relieved and so very thankful.
About 2 years ago we have all moved again to a new building. One that is not at all ideal for many reasons but still with DrH. We had got to know DrH quite well over the years and noticed that recently he seemed to continually be more stressed, tired and not his usual cheery self. It was obvious that his workload had increased considerably and wasn’t being appreciated. I could go on a rant about the Government’s Mental Health/NHS failings but that would be a post of epic proportions.
At my July appointment, DrH looked sad and very tired. He explained that he was sorry but he was taking early retirement from the NHS as there were more and more pressures and fewer resources available. I didn’t cry this time. After seeing him lose weight and be so overworked I totally understood. How could I be so selfish when the man that had helped me so much was not having the life he deserves? I have no idea where or what he is doing now but I know that he is a huge loss to the NHS.
It was strange leaving the CMHT for the first time without a follow-up appointment instead, I had to wait on a list to see a locum. I had to cancel and reschedule 2 as it would have been impossible for me to cope with the stress of stranger danger on top of some really bad episodes. I have to go to the next one or they may discharge me. This can’t happen, so off I go to see my new locum Pdoc…tomorrow! I’m petrified and my heart is beating out of my chest but I have to take a deep breath and ‘suck it up buttercup’. Wish me luck.
Thank you as always for reading. This post was done ‘on the fly’ and is longer than expected. Kept my mind busy today though x