Category Archives: doctors

Damn, Life, Knock It Off Please – But Don’t Kill Me, Okay?

I am so anxious.

The ankle has been swollen now for, I think, 3 weeks? And it’s been at least 2 weeks since I saw the Nurse Practitioner about it, and she deemed it “cellulitis”, which I am gonna look up now because I really have no idea what the hell that is.

So it’s a skin infection that enters via a cut or crack. Can be caused also by scratching itches. I do not have a cut or crack and have not at all in that area in the past more than 1 month. I have not been scratching my ankle. So, here are the other things it could be:

But feet and ankles that stay swollen or are accompanied by other symptoms could signal a serious health problem, including:

  • Pregnancy complications
  • Foot or ankle injury
  • Lymphedema
  • Venous insufficiency
  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Heart, liver, or kidney disease
  • Medication side effects

So, yeah. That looks scary AF, doesn’t it? And yet, no one seems to think it’s a big deal. And no one actually believes that I have any kind of concerning issue – except for the NP at Urgent Care, who said, my unexplained body aches and feverish feeling could be indicative of problems with my heart, and that he tended to believe people who insist that it is not a panic attack, that they know what that feels like and this ain’t it.

Given the symptoms – and in addition the troponin test being seriously flawed/giving false negatives due to Biotin intake – if I were a doctor, I would be concerned. My therapist is concerned. She is well versed in anxiety, and, again, this ain’t it.

Also, I got the flu, unrelated to the weird feverish feeling, which was not accompanied by any flu symptoms. And the flu kicked my ass for nearly 3 weeks, as well.

So okay. Did I mention I am so anxious?

I am so anxious.

I have an appointment tomorrow with the GP, who brilliantly, as I watched him write the Rx for my nuclear stress test, apparently called me “Edith Santos”. And checked the right ankle instead of right knee to be x-rayed, right after he’d told the nurse, no, not the ankle – she needs the knee x-rayed. Does this make me trust in his diagnosis? Not particularly. Then there is the hospital’s lab woman who said, of the FDA report, “Well, I am SO GLAD you have that information” sarcastically, after telling someone else that “SOMEONE told her” – meaning me, I am the “her” in that phrase – about the flaw in the troponin test, and I corrected her and said, hey, it’s not SOMEONE, it’s the FDA. A governmental agency. (Has she even fucking heard of it?) You’d think, even if they did not tell me what test was done on ME, which I have a right to know, I believe, they would have at least a LITTLE concern about the fact that these tests are invalid. That they would want to investigate that further. But, no.

I am fucked [image of Gene Wilder meme]

Nevermind that my blood pressure has been normal my entire life and now I have not Stage One but Stage TWO high blood pressure. And high cholesterol. And weigh too much. And have had three cardiac events preceded by intense jaw pain (which hey, that happens to be a heart attack symptom, how ’bout dat?). And now the ankle. But yeah, I am sure a swollen left ankle is indicative of PANIC DISORDER, which is what they all say – the hospital, the Primary Care Provider, the shrink, for fuck’s sake.

I have an appointment with the shrink tomorrow. I look forward to showing him my ankle and saying, hey, check out the panic disorder in my ankle!

Because panic disorder is so totally listed in that list above. See it? Oh, wait, IT’S NOT THERE.

It is easy to believe that I am not being listened to.

Further evidence of this: my floors are caving in. The floor under the fridge POPS intermittently. That is not a good sign. I read an article about a family whose floors completely gave way, and that was preceded by much popping. The floor in the kitchen has a dividing line between the floor that is slanted downward – which would be the floor under the cabinets, sink, stove, and fridge – and the non-slanted floor. It creaks when you walk on it. It doesn’t not feel stable. The bathroom floor has indentations in several areas I can feel with my bare feet and it is not particularly stable – of course I received a work order about the bathroom floor when I reported it marked ‘complete’ when they didn’t even LOOK at that floor.  Not to mention that the living room floors are also caving in – bended and warped and they do not at all feel stable and one of my dressers tilts forward and cannot be put against the wall, because why? The floor is warped, unstable, and in the process of leaving this Earth.

They have known about everything except the bathroom floor since this summer. The maintenance guy said contractors would be out to appraise the situation. But. Has anyone ever come out? Nope. And that completed work order? Said “floor is contractors”. Okay, does that mean that I am supposed to hire a contractor? Because it sure sounds like they are doing nothing about this. To wit: They have been putting lease renewal notices on my door, and they raise the rent each year. It seems to me that they have been in breach of this lease for half a year, because I did not sign a lease that said I agree to rent with unstable flooring. So, they are going to raise the rent, but not fix the floors. They are ignoring the floors. In fact, they have ignored my last THREE emails to them.

And let’s not even speak of the Black Mold that they have attempted to minimize by referring to it as “mildew”. Is mildew black and does it creep through surfaces into other surfaces? Like the picture of my deceased parents which I gave them for a milestone anniversary while they were still alive which they were thrilled by and which was very sentimental to me, and now covered with black mold that traveled through the back of the frame from the wall and further until it is now covering and ruining this picture?

Hi, I’m looking for Horton because I am a dust speck and apparently that elephant will be the only one that can hear me.

By the way – mortality rate on right-sided heart failure, the first thing mentioned on Google regarding a swollen left ankle? Less than a year to five years at best.

For over a month I have been able to count every single one of my heart beats without taking my pulse, because my body throbs in time with them, as if I have just finished an intense workout.

I went yesterday for a nuclear stress test, and after over an hour total, waiting for my doctor to fax an Rx with my actual name on it, I was informed that the insurance company refuses to authorize the test.

At least I got the knee x-rayed on my deformed, turned-the-wrong-way leg from the treatment I received for a broken ankle four years ago.

Also. I have lost five cats this year. Five. Most recently, the love of my life, Milhouse, my smart (though they are all/were smart) extra special guy. Before that, in September, Momo, who I thought would be the last one standing, my also quite special guy. And my heart is broken. I have a mausoleum on my bookshelves of kitty urns, footprints, and the ashes of my parents, representing a huge chunk of my loved ones.

And now I am concerned about Bear. He is not acting right. He is not eating much at all, is suddenly lethargic, seems depressed and not like himself. He needs to go to the vet. So does Tiny – she is a week away from being out of thyroid meds, putting her again at risk for a heart attack due to her sped-up, hyperthyroid-ed out metabolism. And I am a broke bitch. How do I do this?

And all this stress is so good for the heart. Oh, wait…

This is all some fucked-up bullshit, to use a technical term. And I really do not know how much more I can take, frankly.

I have no family to help advocate my cause(s). I am my only advocate. And unfortunately, the fact that my advocate has several psychiatric diagnoses sort of ruins my advocate’s credibility with these people. They just assume that I’m being histrionic, I guess. That is certainly what it seems like.

And. I have not been able to do my work for a month and a half now, because of these health problems and grief issues. So money issues. And big vet bills have been the norm for months now, with most of my kitties dying on me at once.

And ooh, I just noticed that to the right of this rant, there is an article from Science Daily, and the headline reads, “Chronic Adversity Can Dampen Dopamine Production.” Wonderful.

Fuck me running.

I am so anxious.

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Suspended in Amber & Slipping Through Cracks

11 years ago I had a total psychotic break. It lasted for 4 months. I was never hospitalized.

Instead, I ended up homeless and living in a garage where, my first morning there, my adoptive sister tried to choke me out and had to be pulled off of me. This was because I was not able to drive her daughter to the bus stop less than a block away. Because I was in psychosis. I got choked because I could not drive because I was in psychosis and therefore not safe to drive, because you kind of need a sense of reality to drive, at least in some cases.

I lived in the garage for 2 months, sleeping on a couch with bad springs, surrounded by my boxes of possessions that had come from the apartment I’d lost, the nicest apartment I’d ever lived in, the place I still think of as home. It was winter, and the electricity was shut off because this garage was attached to the house my adoptive sister was renting, and she decided to move out. No, she didn’t care that there was an ill person subsisting in the garage. She left, and I was there with no electricity, freezing cold in the dark, still coming down from the psychotic break.

I was given medication that made me sleep over 15 hours a day and gain 50 lbs. There was no therapy. That would come later, in false starts, with bad therapists, including one who would tell me, based on my history of chronic abuse and trauma, “You will never be happy, and you will never be functional”, because that was apparently her version of therapeutic. Those words still haunt me to this day. I wonder, was she right?

I moved from the garage into an attic apartment that was infested by rats that ran by me as I slept on the floor. From there I found an apartment that I was able to afford on disability – I could afford exactly rent and electric and nothing more. My adoptive sister tried to have me evicted from this apartment, by calling and lodging many false complaints against me, saying that she could smell my cats in her apartment next door – she of course did not live next door and the entire thing was a lie – and had a couple of her friends call pretending to be other neighbors with the same complaint. She did this because I caught her stealing my mom’s Oxycontin on Christmas Eve, and I was honest with my mother about what had happened. What would you have done? Protected the person who broke into your mother’s home to steal her pain medication that she desperately needed, or be honest about what happened? I did the latter, and was nearly homeless again as a result.

Over the next decade, a lot of things happened. Doctors denied me my medication. I couldn’t find a psychiatrist – none in the area were taking patients – there literally was not a single psychiatrist taking insurance who would accept a new patient in the entire city. A psychiatrist fired me, because I complained about the therapist who said I’d never be happy or functional (she worked in the same office, and I told the office manager, who yelled at me. I was fired for “noncompliance”.) My adoptive sister systematically brought my elderly parents down with a thousand tiny cuts and several hundred deep ones, a constant supply of stress and threats and ultimatums if they did not do as she wished. My father died suddenly. My mother dissolved into profound grief and heartbreak from which she never recovered. I could do nothing to help, because I was so sick, and because I had no control over what happened to her, no way to stop the machinations of evil that my sister (and now her daughter) perpetrated on my fragile mom.

And I had no financial means to help, either. My father had died leaving only a very small insurance policy that was quickly eaten up by cremation expenses and bills and an ill-fated used car purchase that my mother insisted on making because she wanted me to have a safe vehicle. The car was a lemon. I should never have let her do it. I tried to argue against it. I look back now and I am sickened that I allowed her to spend money that should have been kept for her own well-being on something to benefit me. It makes me disgusted with myself, and ashamed.

My rent increased each year, and continued to increase. Each year the struggle to get by became more difficult.  A dear friend offered to move in to help out. I accepted, giving him the bedroom I never used, because due to my PTSD, I could only sleep in the living room, where the front door is, because what if someone broke in and I didn’t hear it? My hyper-vigilance demanded this accommodation, even though now I really wish I had a bedroom.

Then my mom died. I lost my best friend.

None of the therapists I saw could help me. None of them ever even brought up my psychotic break. You’d think that would be a topic of conversation at some point, but apparently, no. I went therapist to therapist, searching for someone who would understand, and also, for someone who would fucking listen. Because these therapists all shared the same trait: they’d listen to the first part, then assume they knew everything, and ‘give advice’ based on that. Which, you know, first off, giving advice is not really therapy. Anyone can give advice. If that worked, no one would need therapy. Secondly, I’ve been through so many things, and there is so much detail to all of them because of the way my mind has processed these things, that I am like an onion, with many layers, and all of those layers need to be taken into account. You can’t read a few pages of a book and know the story.

They would also try to fit me into some pre-fab notion of what a “normal person” is, instead of helping me to understand and accept who it is that I actually am, and work with THAT person, with the person I actually happen to be and not the person they thought I should be. Any treatment plan based on changing who I am as a person will fail. A successful treatment plan is one that works with my strengths, works on my weaknesses, gives me tools to deal with real situations that arise. A treatment plan based in reality. None of these people had it. One therapist even told me that my treatment plan was “none of [my] business”.

During all of this time, I have not once had the time to recuperate, to heal, to process what I went through. I have not been successful in efforts to build a routine again, to be part of the world again. Because I have been struggling financially, always stressed about how to pay things, how to get heavy things like kitty litter HERE because I have no car, how to supplement the unsustainable amount that has not grown commensurate with inflation. And I have been struggling, every day, with just how to get through the day, when I am plagued by flashbacks of lifelong abuse by so many different people, and jarred by so many bad memories, and self-recriminations for things I should have done differently, things I did wrong, things for which I should be and am ashamed. In short, struggling to stay on the planet. To stay alive.

Through this I have been fumbling, trying in vain to create a routine to follow, to do things that are healthy and “self-care”, to right my thinking on my own since I have no professional assistance that is not derelict*; trying fruitlessly to fight the bad voices that make me despair and try to convince me to just give up. I have kept going, my knuckles white from gripping onto whatever might tether me to this realm.

The truth of it is, though, that I have spent 11 years in this living room, not getting better.

I have tried so hard to get better. I have done so many different things. I have adjusted my attitude – as much as someone with severe mental illness can – so many times.

I’m not getting better. I have never had a chance to get better.

I have never heard of someone who had a psychotic break who was not hospitalized. But then there’s me. This makes sense, though. Because I was in a car wreck where I was thrown 75 feet and no one even bothered to check me for a concussion. And all the bad experiences with doctors in general – from psychiatric to medical. A continual pattern of disregard.

Things like this, they give me the message that I really, and truly, do not matter.

I wish more than anything I could have just a few months, where I didn’t have to worry about financial survival, where I could actually and finally focus on getting well, or at least better. Where I could look again for a therapist and hopefully find a good one, and concentrate on going to therapy a few times a week. Focus on building a new routine, a new life. Find myself again, in such a way that I don’t disappear and I don’t fall apart every morning, the way I do now.

Because right now, every morning of every day, I wake up a sobbing shambles, a complete mess, paralyzed, not sure what to do, and haunted by so much bad shit in my brain that it physically hurts. The anxiety is so bad I have to take a benzo and then I have to ingest huge amounts of caffeine to stay awake, and also to keep myself awash in enough temporary dopamine that I don’t just say, “That’s it, I’m done, I can’t do this anymore.”

I’m on all the medication that they can give me. So many pills. It does work. It does its job. But it isn’t enough. You can’t just medicate trauma away, you can’t medicate your brain into processing and parsing things and assimilating them into your narrative in such a way that you can go on comfortably.

They always say, if you are down, ask for help. Reach out. I have done that, over and over again. I have done that to the point where I now wonder, have they changed the spelling or the pronunciation of the word “help” and I just didn’t get the memo? Am I speaking the correct language? Or is it as I suspect, deep down, that when it comes down to it, I really don’t matter?

Eleven years have passed away, been wasted, sitting in this living room on this futon upon which I sleep. I don’t want it to be this way. I am willing to put in the work, and I have been from the very start – ever since I tried to kill myself the first time when I was 8 years old, and no one believed that I was depressed because a person is supposed to pull themselves up by those bootstraps, those fucking bootstraps that every mentally ill person would love to brandish at the people who suggest that the Road to Wellness is merely a matter of eschewing some indolence they seem to think we have.

Motherfucker, if I could pull up some metaphorical out-of-current-parlance item to fix myself, don’t you think I would have done that ELEVEN YEARS AGO? Because who among us wants eleven years of their life to just disappear with nothing to show for them? Who?

I have spent time focusing on small problems in order to avoid the biggest one, the hydra-headed one that follows me around like the dust cloud follows Pig-Pen from Peanuts. But all problems lead to one end, and it is this one. The Big One.

I never had time to get better. And so I never have. And things just keep getting more and more log-jammed, in my head, and in my life, and I am overwhelmed.

I am studying coding, in an attempt to make something of this life. But I know that unless I get the actual Life stuff sorted out, it’s not going to help. I have to be a person who is reliable and focused, not someone who has to put themselves back together every morning from scratch.

How the fuck will I ever get there, when my main focus must be survival? What I have to do to survive, it’s not healthy for me in myriad ways. And better still, people judge me harshly for doing it. A cherry atop the melted sundae of all the thoughts of the potential I had as a child, and the possibility of what might have been.

It’s hard sometimes to hear parents discuss parenting with other parents. They are all so focused on their children’s welfare. Their lives appear to be centered around parenting, and being parents. They think about things like which school is best, and how it will affect their child’s future. Their kids are involved in school activities and have friends and don’t have to lie about the stuff that happens at home. And their kids don’t seem to be randomly insulted by people on the street for no reason. It’s like, if I squint my mind’s eye I can almost see that kind of life, where every day is the same, there is a routine and you follow it, and you make progress in things, and your parents know what’s going on in your schooling, and the idea of you going to college isn’t considered ridiculous or impossible or simply “off the table” but instead a real fucking thing. Where you say “I want to do this creative thing for a living” and you don’t hear back, “You’ll never make a living doing that” as the very first response to your giving voice to a dream. Where you know how to plan out things, because you have confidence that the future you are planning is actually going to happen.

Oh, yeah;. And where no one hits you or beats you with a belt or molests you or psychologically tortures you day in and day out. That, too.  And where you can have friends over and know everything will be okay, that there won’t be some horrible scene coming out of nowhere that will end with someone threatening to throw you out of the house to live on the street. Where you can say, “Yeah, this teacher was kinda a jerk”, and know that later on, no one in your family is going to be calling that teacher and threatening to put a bomb in her car.

My parents loved me. But my dad was psychotic for most of my childhood, and neither he nor my mom protected me from the adoptive sister, who was and is a violent sociopath. And they were so busy reacting to her every fucked-up move, that there was no room for anything, or anyone, else.

I don’t know what else to say. I have to try to figure out how to make this day worth something now. I have been crying all morning. I am surrounded by used tissues and I can no longer breathe through my nose. And these tears and this Everything has fucked up a day where I needed to try to do something to earn some money to pay for the ever-growing list of things that need to be paid for, some of which – like redoing my teeth so my facial bone structure doesn’t cave in – will probably never be possible.

This is the truth about my life. Along with so very much else that remains unsaid.

 

*ETA: my shrink is a good shrink. It is the 15-minute hour, though, and just medication, so I didn’t count him among the therapists and doctors I grouped together as derelict. But I wanted to acknowledge him, and say that without him, I would not be here.

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Mental Illness and fMRIs

Here is yet another study where fMRIs are used to determine particulars about the conditions of the brain in certain mental illnesses and disorders.

I recall a doctor – though I forget her name – who LAUGHED at me when I suggested an fMRI would be due diligence regarding my mental illness. She thought it was a ridiculous notion to scan someone’s brain for such a reason.

Clearly she was not taking advantage of Continuing Education. Also, she was a straight-up bitch.

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And Then There’s Maudlin

 

I am trying to correct something that cannot be corrected.

I am a product of my experiences.

I am a product of being beaten and psychologically tortured. I am a product of being chronically bullied and belittled. I am a product of rape and ongoing sexual abuse. I am a product of domestic violence and false imprisonment. I am a product of doctors and therapists who not only did not care but actively made things worse. I am a product of unknown origins, of sealed birth certificates and shameful secrets. I am a product of the inability to properly communicate my inner life.

Sarah Silverman says that, if you are a product of your experiences, then the best way to change yourself is to change your experiences. And that makes a lot of sense. So I am trying to do that.

The present moment though, that’s the rub. And there is that inability to communicate my intrinsic experience, which I chip away at but which seems at times an insurmountable thing. This lack robs me of voice, of words. It traps me in the amber of the abstract.

When I do find that voice, which is rare, there is not of a lot of land it can claim. Because I also lack what is known as an informed witness – someone who is able to comprehend the different levels of experience, who can understand the full gravity, and who will listen, or literally bear witness.

I can’t explain why this is so important. I can only tell you that it is. It is impossible to live a full or even a half full life under the dark cloud of a traumatic past. In fact, a therapist once told me, “You will never be functional, and you will never be happy”. She was of course a terrible therapist for saying that and I never saw her again. But, even though I rebel against that statement and strive to prove it wrong, it haunts me.

How much is the mental illness, and how much is the trauma? Where is the line of demarcation in between the two? How much of the mental illness was due to brain changes caused by the trauma?

I cannot afford good therapy. I can barely afford rent. I can go to a cattle call “mental health services center” where I will be treated as though my IQ is 70 because hey, if I am poor, surely I must also be an imbecile. At such a center I will be assigned a therapist who is either an undergrad trying to log hours or a social worker who for one reason or another is unable to work in private practice and who certainly would not specialize in co-morbid conditions or the treatment of trauma. So this is my problem, and mine alone.

It is a very lonely problem to have. Perhaps that is where the import of an informed witness reveals itself. Maybe it is just enough to have someone in there with you, in that Sunken Place, so that you feel less alone.

I don’t know. And every day I see more and more that I just do not know.

I know that Sisyphus smiled as he neverendingly pushed that boulder up the hill, only to have it roll back down each time. I know that Victor Frankl was able to find a meaning to existence while captive in a death camp. So I try to smile, and I try to find meaning.

Too often, though, it gets the best of me.

I need help, and I have no idea how I will get it. And like the Sword of Damocles, over my head looms Trump’s budget, which would slash the living allowance that pays my rent, and strip me of the coverage needed to pay for my seven required medications. And I am not the only one whose life this will upturn.

If you support Trump, I’d love to hear the reasoning that explains how taking away a disabled person’s home along with their anti-psychotic medication among others Makes America Great Again. No, go ahead, please explain this to me. I’ll wait. I’d love to hear how actively psychotic people are improving our lives daily, to really understand how tax cuts for the rich outweigh human life. (Actually, if you STILL support Trump after all that has come to pass, perhaps YOU are the one who requires anti-psychotic medication. But I am not a doctor. I’m just a Person Who Wants To Help.)

Anyway. For someone with an already exaggerated sense of impending doom, this budget thing really throws a scary new angle into the parallelagram. Or panopticon, depending upon your view of the situation.

And the situation itself is the figurative landmine that I step on every morning, the corner I am painted into. It’s the rock, the hard place, and the discomforting space in between.

 

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Me and the World of Medicine

I used to have this fantastic book that was all about medicine throughout history. Did you know that France was the foremost exporter of leeches? Would I make that up? Well, maybe I would. But it also happens to be true.

I went to the doctor recently for a follow-up visit. First off, I have to get an EKG for some unknown scarifying you-can-rock-my-ass-to-sleep reason. Lovely.

Also, for about the past year or two, I’ve had this tiny little knot on my forehead. Tiny. Only, it’s getting bigger. I’m not John Merrick yet, but these things have a way of spiraling out of control. I mean, you never know, you know? So I ask the doctor about it. What the hell is this thing growing on my head? Hopefully not a horn. Or, you know, a tumor. He says he believes it to be a calcium deposit.

While I’m thinking about that, he says, “Don’t touch it. It will build up more to defend itself.”

To defend itself. As if it is a separate entity. As if it is self-aware.  The film, The Manitou, comes to mind. I am just not comfortable with this knot, now that I know it is actively defending itself against me. What did I ever do to IT, anyway? Why does it have to defend itself? Why can’t we be friends?

Yeah, why can’t I be friends with the knot on my head. That’s an awesome question, Annie. And definitely worth a blog post.

 

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PAIN

I am in so much pain right now that it actually rivals the time I got a broken rusted radio antenna shoved seven inches into my foot. Oh, I haven’t told you that story? I will try to remember to do that. Right now, however, all I can think of is how much pain I’m in and how little medication they gave me to manage this. So I’m in pain which in turn is triggering my PTSD.

This is just not pleasant at all.

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Much Nothing About Ado

Mark Maron, on one of his podcasts, said the drought in California could well be effected by people masturbating in the shower, an act that “could take anywhere from three to nineteen minutes.” I find nineteen minutes to be a very specific number and wonder how exactly he arrived at that. But that’s just me. Now.  If I were Maron, I would now ask, “How long does it take YOU?” And then call you a podcast-branded variant of the word “fuckstick”. (What-the-fuckstick, in case you are unfamiliar with Maron’s brand). (Edited to add: please know it’s not that I think you are a “fuckstick”. It’s that this is what Maron calls his fans – what-the-fucksticks, what-the-fuckaneers, etc etc… Just so you don’t think I’M a fuckstick for calling you a fuckstick, I didn’t mean it that way. Just alluding to Maron’s thang. Not his actual thang. His verbal thang.)

I don’t want to spend the whole post talking about Maron. I enjoy his show a lot. He’s had some really great guests with insightful interviews. Bobcat Goldthwait and Neil Strauss are two I enjoyed in particular. Point being, I’ve gotten into podcasts lately, having discovered I can listen on my phone (yeah, I was a little late to the party on that), and have been podcast-binging. It’s nice to hear conversation as opposed to the television, music, or more often, complete silence as I spend my days the way I spend my days – which is, in case you’ve wondered, mostly isolated and by myself. Which I don’t mind so much, really. I have my cats. Now THAT is something a crazy cat lady would say, or an elderly person. But it’s true. I have my cats but more importantly, I am what you call “self-entertaining”. I am not a person that needs an extraordinary amount of interpersonal stimulation to survive. A little here and there is just fine, thanks. I can’t handle much.

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Update on The Denying Doctor

So my former primary care doctor has gotten away with lying, because when I switched doctors on August 6, it wiped the slate clean and retroactively placed me with my new doctor, so the system erased everything back to August 1 and said I was with my new doctor since then. Since I didn’t visit the lying doctor in the beginning of August and only called, everything in the system backs her up instead of me. SO for all intents and purposes, the evidence that I was her patient disappeared despite the fact that I was actually her patient, so she and her office manager are using this technical loophole to make me appear to be a drug-seeking weirdo who was not her patient, and implying I was never a patient.

But I was her patient: from May 1, 2015 until August 6, 2015. She even gave me a breast exam, for crying out loud. I got bloodwork done for her office, so Quest Diagnostics has her listed as my physician on my lab results, which are independently accessible.

Kristen Marsonek was in fact my doctor when I requested repeatedly that she prescribe the psychiatric medications that I was out of and suffering withdrawals from, medications that she refused to refill because she did not “feel comfortable”. Despite the knowledge that I was suffering withdrawal symptoms, including severe depression, anxiety, rage, hallucinations, panic, paranoia, nightmares, insomnia…she refused.

She knew I could not get in to see a psychiatrist for months, but still, she said, “Go see a psychiatrist. Go to a mental health center.” Even the mental health centers had waiting lists. You could go and wait all day and hope you’d be seen, with no guarantee, and no guarantee, either, that you’d be treated with any sort of decency. With agoraphobia and general fear of people I couldn’t chance someone being cruel to me. So many medical so-called professionals had been already. So a mental health center was not really an option. Besides which, the ones I had already visited had refused to prescribe my ADHD medication. (I have been back on it a month, and while the dosage needs to be adjusted, there is already such an amazing difference in my mood and my outlook. It is integral to my medication “cocktail” and to my mental well-being, and mental health centers just don’t get that.) So again, not an option.

I could understand not wanting to prescribe a controlled substance like Adderall so I even gave her the option of Strattera, also approved for ADHD, and not controlled because it is an SNRI class drug. But no. She would not even fill my anti-psychotic. Feel the gravity of that. She would not even keep someone from having a psychotic break. Hippocratic Oath. Above all else do no harm. I feel like this goes beyond not doing her job, and into being a bad person. But that’s just my opinion. You may feel differently. You may never have lost everything to a psychotic break.

And so, after refusing to help me at least try for some semblance of stability or hanging on to what little sanity I possess, so that I might hopefully one day try to start building upon that little block of sanity and make it bigger, she then lies about why she refused me the medication. And makes it sound as if I’m just going through the White Pages or Google, calling up doctors insanely demanding crazy pills. Demanding medication that doesn’t even get you off, for crying out loud. I mean, who the hell gets high off of Abilify?

As if there isn’t enough stigma for being mentally ill, now my records probably have an Elaine Benes-esque mark on them with this lie, which was perpetrated by the office manager, according to the letter from the Grievance Department at Staywell  (whose parent company, Wellcare, apparently SPONSORS THE JERRY SPRINGER SHOW. This is who I am dealing with here.) Basically, I was told, I can do nothing. They can do this and that is the end of it. Oh, but wait. If I wasn’t a patient, do I even have records with their office now? Or did they burn them in some skylarking pagan ceremony?

Whatever the case, if they can lie,  I can write this blog post, and have it serve as my review of my experience with Dr. Kristen Marsonek in Tampa, Florida. I find it very lacking in compassion to let a patient suffer, and allow a patient to actually beg you for help, and to not only refuse them, but then, when the patient tells someone, trying to cleanse themselves of this psychic damage that comes from a caretaker being neglectful and unfeeling, actually lie about the patient and exploit that patient’s mental illness to put yourself in a good light is just egregious. It is entirely antithetical to the idea of healing, and it is wrong. This is my honest review and assessment. I would not recommend a doctor who would do that to a patient. I would not recommend a doctor who would allow a patient to suffer and then deny that the patient was ever even a patient of that office. Therefore I cannot in good faith recommend Dr. Kristen Marsonek to anyone.

This is my personal opinion, based on my personal experience. I have a letter from Staywell which backs up that Dr. Marsonek’s office said I was not a patient, and I have proof from Quest Diagnostics and Staywell that I was a patient of her office.

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