Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:13

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Would I have heard this if I weren't bipolar?

I really would like to hear what you all think on this. It's really bothering me. I can't decide how I feel and if I am being hypersensitive.

Unfortunately I'm also very, very tired. So I'm going to modify an email a bit and post it here. Please feel free to tell me whatever you think, even if you think I was totally out of line, which I'm pretty sure I wasn't.

Here goes:

When I eval someone I write their name under an assistant's name, along with the number of minutes I feel they need. For whatever reason that has evolved into something that is usually my call. There are guidelines; the sickest patients are to get the most time (happens only sometimes as ortho stuff also needs lots of time, some insurance patients get 60 minutes unless there are special circumstances, Medicaid generally get 30 minutes. Last Monday I picked up a dementia patient and assigned her to an assistant who balks at harder stuff. I've been forcing her to do more than she wants in these cases. She was very unhappy about both it and my picking up another patient with dementia who was not on her caseload. I explained my reasoning. Later that day I noticed that the minutes were changed to 40. That's a lot of time over a week, a lot of revenue and they should be spending time just coaxing this lady to cooperate. I was pretty mad, but it was late and I'd worked 24 hours in 2 days and was exhausted. I left the direct manager a note sealed and taped to her computer about did she change those minutes, because if she didn't I was angry but if she'd approved it I was ok with it because I did realize this lady would be tough to treat. At the bottom I wrote a PS saying that I was very grumpy and I didn't want to react until I had rested and also knew whether she'd made the change. I had a phone call from the higher manager, who reads everything on the first one's desk every day. I guess theoretically she has that right, but it is ridiculous that a copy of any memo I give my assistants is in my personel file, along with many other random things. She wanted to know what the last sentence about being grumpy meant. Feeling stupid, like this always does, I said "It was 1 am, I was tired, I hadn't had supper, I was exhausted, and I was grumpy. I didn't want to respond until I knew more facts, but I wanted it known that I didn't like this issue". I see no place in that where I deviated any from a normal person who had worked a ton of overtime, had dealt with several difficult situations, and was tired. I think it was actually quite responsible of me to not react until someone clarified. She said ok so I thought that was it.

Today in my fun probation meeting that came up AGAIN. This time HER boss was there. And her boss gave me a lecture on not making threatening statements or anything that could be misconstrued. I was told that if I felt I ever was a danger ot myself or others I needed to tell someone. Would that ever have come up if I weren't bipolar? I'm thinking not so much. And I'm pretty insulted, to tell the truth. I had no idea how to respond. I'm a bipolar patient, not a serial killer.

Help?

1 comment:

Bipolarlawyercook said...

Oh, I think you're responding to the meeting appropriately-- and I think that your note was "reasonable," in any objective sense. However, I also think that most organizations, discriminatory or not, are prone to read too much into everything. The path of least resistance would be just to leave a note-- "can we discuss in AM?" rather than reference mood explicitly on paper. The less in writing, the better. Conversations are harder to pin down, should it come down to it later on.

I think you could even turn it around on them-- "why, do you have a complaint about my work I ought to know about?" because otherwise, you're inappropriately being put on the defensive. You have a right to be tired & grumpy. Unfortunately, employers are employers, not therapists, and they will always have a different set of interests than you, and will always be paranoid (reasonably or not) about someone who has a known medical condition. I think you can trust them not to intentionally be illegal, but you can't trust them to always react reasonably, rather than overly cautiously. I also think you do have the right to assume things that shouldn't be snooped into won't be-- so their accusations of "threats" aren't really fair, because the assistant who was a problem shouldn't even have been reading the note at issue.

Don't know if this makes sense- feel free to email me. : )