I was doing some reading of other blogs today and realized something I never knew. I have a bizarre relationship with my psychiatrist. I knew I was very fortunate to have her because she has treated me well, always had creative ideas to help when my medication issues arose, and was always willing to be giving of her time and general caring. I knew that having a doctor actually make a committment to you and work to keep your life easier instead of making you accomodate them was pretty rare.
What I didn't realize is how differently she treats me. From this website I heard many, many people describe how their doctor tells them "this is what I suggest" and then they take it or not. My doctor rarely, if ever, has told me to do anything. Usually she asks what I want to do. The most directive she ever is would be to give me 3 or 4 options and let me decide, but even then I help determine the options.
When I saw her yesterday was a fabulous example of this. We discussed what I feel all the different changes lately have done. We decided it is time to let it ride a little bit and see what happens. And we talked extensively about what happens next. She was 100% respectful of my fears of my remaining medication options (Seroquel, Zyprexa, and Clozaril) and why. She understands that my fears go far beyond the normal issues with these meds (which are not to be scoffed at), and even admitted that with my history of really bad and often rare reactions to antipsychotics these drugs could be bad as well. No one knows.
I told her that after a lot of consideration I have a strong preference for any treatment that does not include those meds. I will of course try them, and I know they are a last resort and that last resort is coming, but I really would rather do something totally unheard or non-medication than take those meds. I told her that if ECT is an option I will do it, noting that ECT is not something I ever thought I'd be asking for. She is checking into this and a few other non-invasive, non-pharmacological possibilities.
But along with that, she brought other ideas to the table. She's doing some research, and then I may begin getting frequent labs for a period so that we can see if my med levels vary, causing my problems. If that is so I could boost or lower my meds as needed.
At the beginning of this I never thought I'd say someone could have as much of my blood as they wanted. (OK, I started off exactly that way because the clinical trial took a ton of blood, but aside from that).
But I had totally forgotten about psychiatrist visits being like regular doctor visits where you describe a problem and they fix it. Those days were so long ago. I am so lucky.