Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Where else would I vent

Being poor sucks.  Seriously.  Being poor but not poor enough to qualify for State health insurance is even worse.  Because it forces you to have to do stupid things for medical care.

I have been going to a community health center. 

When I first went there I was happy I found it because I was really sick and I wouldn't have to mortgage my kid to get some antibiotics.  Granted, it is in a terrifying part of town and filled with people who smell bad and look worse, but it was cheap and these were actual real doctors who were willing to see me without an up front cash payment.

But as time has gone on, the gratefulness has worn off.  I am pretty sure they have no idea what they are doing and I am not getting anything close to decent health care.

I have Major Depression.  I have been struggling with it on and off for most of my life and in the last 6 months I have been especially dragged down and lethargic.  I am medicated but it isn't working and the waiting list for the Psychiatrist at the health center is (literally) 10 months. 

I have been getting my prescription needs met by a very nice but extremely young (he may not be legal) Physicians Assistant that we will call Aaron. 

My doctor.
Aaron is terrified of me because he knows absolutely NOTHING about psychiatric medications and I have a long and tumultuous history with them.  When I first went to him, I was having withdrawals because I had run out of my meds while waiting for my mail-order supply to come from Canada (yes, it's legal).  And he was happy to write me the script. 

The next time he saw me, I told him that the drugs that I was on weren't working and he upped the dosage.  The next time he added something else to the mix.  He has tested me for Thyroid problems and Anemia and finally today I told him that he has to prescribe me something else because this shit is NOT working for me and I can't be lethargic and miserable all day every day because I am going to lose my family and my job like this.

So, he nervously agrees to put me BACK on a high dosage of Prozac until I can get into the Psychiatry department where I only have about 4 months left to wait. 

But here's the thing.  He wants me OFF the shit I am on entirely before I start the minimal dosage of the Prozac.  I told him this is a huge mistake.  I told him that I will not survive the transition if my previous experience of going off the meds is any indication of the potential for problems.  He told me that he has to be cautious and that there is no other way.  I told him that as someone who has been through the transition, I know that this is dangerous and I will likely end up at the very least traumatizing my kid and losing my job and in the most likely situation will end up hospitalized.  He told me to come back in 6 weeks and to call him if I have any problems, which is easier said than done because when you call there you essentially just get transferred around until you end up on a line that rings forever.

When I went to make my 6 week follow up appointment, the girl gives me a date exactly 2 months from today.  I say to her, "that's more than 6 weeks," to which she replies, "well it's two months...and there's 3 weeks in a month.".

"No, there's 4 weeks in a month, and July and August are long months," I reply.

She gives me this look like she is going to slap me and says, "there's 3 weeks in a month...give or take." 

What the hell am I supposed to say to that?  So I shut up and take my appointment card knowing that I am getting bad advice from my doctor and that the staff is stupid and incompetent. 

I don't feel good about this at all.  What the fuck am I supposed to do? 

Then there's this:


  1. Is there another clinic you can go to?

    This really fucking sucks. I am so sorry!!!!

  2. I am so sorry. I know those words don't mean much, but I AM sorry this is happening, for what it's worth.

    In the town where I live, there are at least two private clinics that accept patients without insurance and without an up-front payment. It's $125/visit. Have you called around to see if there's anything available like this near you?

    I went through a bout of post-partum depression after the birth of my son. I know this is not much compared to what you are going through, but if you feel like I did (or possibly worse) ... well, let's just say I can sort of understand that what you told the doctor would happen if you go off meds is probably very true.

    Is there anything I can do? You don't know me from Adam, but feel free to e-mail me (mlbell30 at gmail dot com). Hope things get better!

  3. Uugh, what a messed up experience!
    That receptionist must be quite a gem! What a loon! Her job criteria involves scheduling which in the very least requires you know how many weeks are in a month, typically 4 1/2. I don't work (outside the home) and haven't for the last five years, but even I know that! And yes, doctors are totally crappy. :( good intentions, but still crappy

  4. How extensive were your thyroid tests? I ask because I had debilitating (literally could not stay awake for longer than a few hours at a stretch) fatigue problems and I got the same two tests - thyroid & anemia. My anemia panel was great. My thyroid panel was iffy - I had normal TSH levels and low but still just within normal range Free T4 levels. However, it turns out I have TPO antibodies (this is not normally included in a thyroid panel) that screw up my thyroid anyway. I now take Armour Thyroid, which is dessicated thyroid hormone, and I feel pretty energetic. The name of the condition is Hashimoto's Disease, and normal thyroid levels with hypothyroid symptoms is the hallmark and the curse... because few doctors order the antibodies test as part of the thyroid panel. I kept on going with the fatigue and the depression for 2 years after the initial test, until my dentist (of all people!) told me my thyroid was enlarged and had nodules on it while he was checking my health before pulling my wisdom teeth and I decided to get another, 100% comprehensive blood test.

  5. Okay... my soapbox... and you don't know me from any other skinny blogger bitch out there... I am on an antidepressant. I recently took someone's advice and had my neurotransmitter levels tested and my cortisol levels tested... way wacked out. It was a couple hundred dollars. They then suggested a bunch of dietary-type supplements. I have been taking this stuff for 4 months and IT WORKS! holy shit... to feel like a 'real' person is unbelievable. I can tell you more. I don't want to sound like a salesperson cuz I'm not. I'm just a mom of 4 insane kids and 6 checked-out stepkids. Let me know if you want any info on this stuff. In my book it's worth a shot.


I love comments. What did you think?