My return to the psychiatry department was comical, to say the least.
I hadn’t seen my designated doctor since June, and I wasn’t sure if he’d even remember me. I put on the clothes that are most readily identifiable with my person (namely a sad, patch covered leather bomber jacket and a retro Star Wars t-shirt (similar to the original bed sheets) I remember the doctor had been a big fan of previously). Would it be enough for him to be able to put a name to my face and person and recall our conversations? I hoped so.
The psychiatry department used to be linked to the hospital, but has since moved several blocks away. I’d been in the new building twice before, once to poke around with a local radio station DJ in their recording space (which just happened to be in the same building), and another time when I had made a desperate attempt to see a psychiatrist (through another organization but located in the same building) that went a little something like this.
I walked into his office, and the conversation began, “hello, I know you are going to want to prescribe me something, but I want to make it infinitely clear that I want to be able to tell you what my situation is before you say anything about that.” I was hoping that made the point that I wanted, that I wanted him to listen first, then prescribe, rather than prescribe while listening, or just prescribing alone.
I remember only making it about 3 sentences in to what I wanted to say before he interrupted me and said, “you know, I would really recommend letting me prescribe you something…”
I threw my hands in the air and walked out.
That was the memory I had when I walked to this building yesterday and into the new office space. Just a previous asshole and a failed attempt to get help several years ago. Oh you know, that and my crazy coked up DJ ex-roommate who was awesome but clearly out of control.
The new office looked suspiciously like a replica of the previous office. It was a little disconcerting, knowing I was in a new building but feeling like I was in the old one. It was similar to the way many of my episodes feel, where my feelings are having a serious deja vu moment but my mind is somewhere else, the present, namely.
The receptionist eyed me suspiciously when I gave her my name. She told me later that she remembered my name and that I looked familiar, but my behavior yesterday was so starkly different than what she remembered that she wasn’t quite sure what to make of it.
The doctor had a similar reaction, with that awkward, nerdy, half-grin that he gets sometimes, and the first word out of his mouth was simply, “wow!”
“You’re like a completely different person!” he exclaimed.
When you show someone, even a stranger, the most bizarre and frustrating parts of you that nobody else tends to see, I would imagine that a change from severe depression to normalcy would be that much more intense and apparent.
And it was, apparently.
It was nice to explain that, even as depressed me had predicted, no particular drug or treatment helped me get out of that depression. It simply ended, and that was what I had been trying (though quite poorly) to tell him all along.
I told him about the werewolf incident, and as I remembered from appointments past, he sat slumped in his chair to one side, typing with one hand while maintaining eye-contact and nodding, still with the awkward grin, like some kind of crazed cartoon character.
But that is part of why I like him. He’s quite odd, really, and awkward to boot. My therapist is also extremely awkward, and I think that is just part of why these people fit so easily into my comfort zone. The oddities of others make me feel like I’m on a level playing field, so having some sterile doctor in a white lab coat with no personality is not an option. I only employ humans, and those humans need to be almost excessively human.
Anyway, we contemplated a few game plans for potential routes for treatment with various medications but wont be making any decisions until my blood-work comes back anyway, so I’m not sweating it.
I really just wanted to have a starting place, some kind of reference so somebody, anybody in the medical world has seen me both depressed and normal. Oh, and actually he’s also experienced very hypomanic and nearly manic me after a last-ditch attempt to throw an antidepressant in the mix a year or so ago to address that crazy depression. That’s a pretty funny story actually, I’d better save that one for another time!
It was probably the most successful 15 minute appointment I’ve ever had, or at least it felt that way, and the resounding glee from both the doctor and the receptionist about how much they enjoy this new person they’ve just met (which of course is just me all along, not really new, though new to them) made me chuckle for at least half the day, as well as now just remembering it.