good psychiatrist news, bad psychiatrist news

Had my first appointment with shrink yesterday.

The Good News:

1.  He is a Texan.  This is good because if I have to listen to someone for a solid hour of one-one conversation, I’d prefer they have a Texas or Oklahoma accent.

2.  He has good furniture.  Two, count em, two leather couches.

3.  He is an anxiety sufferer.  Very good news.   For him, not so much.  But then again he is a shrink so I expect that he can do his voodoo on himself.    For free.

4.  He is tall.  If I am going to pay someone $250 an hour to fix me, I’d prefer they are taller than me.  Sort of like how I choose men for relationships.  {Except I don’t pay them $250 hour.  Yet.}  Number One requirement for a man in my life is they shall be taller and physically stronger than me.   Except that didn’t work out so well when the last man who was taller and physically stronger than me also turned out to be violent and physically abusive — come to think of it, this story would make great Shrink Fodder – Carol, note for the shrink fodder file.

5.  I was right about some stuff even though I do not have  an MD in Psychiatry.  I told the Doc I am an Internet-certified expert in medicine and psychiatry.  He looked at me funny.  And then wrote something down on his notepad.

The Bad News:

1.  He is pricey.   I told him I could afford maybe five sessions, so he has that long to fix me.  He said good-naturedly  “Well, Carol, it’s up to you and how hard you are willing to work.”  I responded (not so good-naturedly since I had been in the room for 45 minutes at that point, which is equivalent to 6 minutes in line at the grocery check-out counter, or 30 seconds at a stoplight  — in other words, I had reached the Get Me Outta Here point.  Not quite panic but heading in that direction. )  “No.  It’s up to YOU because I am paying YOU.  If you wish to pay ME to work hard at this, fine — my fee is $250 per hour.”

2.  SSRIs are still the primary symptom fix for anxiety.  Which means I will have to learn and use “techniques” if I want to get off Paxil.  I was hoping I wouldn’t have to actually do anything besides pop a different pill that relieves anxiety and causes rapid weight loss at the same time.

3.  I think I was a disappointment to the Doc when he asked if I drank and I said no more than about once every 3 months or so.  And lately it has only been when having dinner with my mother in a restaurant.  Apparently I trashed one of his favorite theories or treatment paths or something.  He said that anxiety prone people tend to drink more than average and can easily become alcoholics.  It seemed to me he was hoping I was also an alcoholic.  Maybe because of the potential for extra sessions.

4.  I can go into an anxiety episode while discussing my anxiety with a shrink.  This was annoying.  It started with a bit of claustrophobia, the usual form that happens to me in closed-door rooms.  Then it escalated  as the appointment went on.  I don’t believe I can be comfortable about discussing my disorders while they are in the room.    I would prefer to talk about them behind their back.

5.  The Doc did not want to get me started on the weaning off of Paxil process until we have had at least one more session.  Naturally.  So next session I will ask him if he has a boat, a second home, four kids in college, a mistress or the equine equivalent (a show horse) that he needs to pay for.  Just for my expectation management.

detoured but not derailed. yet.

First of all, I’ll get this out of the way —  I have not given up on my Vision Quest.  I just took a detour.  Or several.  All of which have landed me right back where I started from.  In the past couple of months, I have gained and lost and gained and lost the same 8 pounds.

Detour summary  …

  • to doctors via newly acquired medical benefits via newly acquired employee status … primary care, orthopod, psychiatrist … to see which of any of them will prescribe pain meds that also eliminate anxiety and cause rapid weight loss.  Which, problematically, requires me to be able to go into the exam room and wait for the doctor longer than the 2 1/2 minutes my claustrophobia timer is set for.  Which, amusingly, if I can wait in the exam room long enough for the Doctor to grace me with his/her arrival within an hour of my appointment time, before I walk back to reception and ask  to reschedule since the Doctor is too busy to do me, so to speak, I do enjoy the Doc’s reaction when I ask him to leave the exam room door open during the exam and then smugly remind him when his eyebrows go up that he is the one that upped my Paxil Rx to 40 mg  as Tx for my claustrophobia Dx.
  •  to deadbeats hired to do work then disappearing with my money,  which begged for me to dust off my extensive experience in investigation work that I obtained in my less than part-time brief stint way back in the olden days as assistant to my investigator friend in the employ of a local private eye — Sandie will remember  —  and start trying to find out just what this deadbeat is up to — or down to — searching the on line criminal and civil case indexes, indices, whatever, of nearby Countys’  Superior Courts.  And finding that the deadbeat truly is that.  Deadbeat Dad.  On probation for a DUI for which he failed to successfully complete the sentence.  Unlawful detainers.   Small claims judgments.  It is amusing finding all of this out after I gave the dude about $700 for maintenance projects around my place.
  • to San Francisco for business trips, many times.  getting used to the travel routine and absolute absence of sleep due to the fact that hotel room beds are [1] not my bed,  [2] located in hotel rooms, [3] with windows that do not open.  Fucking San Francisco ordinance that all hotel room windows have their working up and down and in and out parts removed.  Window emasculation.  Makes sense in San Francisco, though, where masculinity in general is strongly discouraged if not punished.
  • to the local yarn shop and all  internet yarn shops around the globe,  to feed my new obsession – Knitting.    The amusing part of this detour is that I have no time to actually do knitting.  But thank God I am getting enough play time to buy yarn.   I would think, though, that He would insist I get rid of my massive quilt fabric collection before He allowed me time to buy yarn.  I mean, He knew what would happen.
  • to work.  and more work.  i have this great action packed job that i love.  the action is fun but a big time suck, like 60 hours/week.  but i get money.  to buy yarn.
  • and, finally, to my favorite money suck , even above yarn —  Mo, my faithful horse.  the best news about this detour is that after this long year since the bad ankle sprains that still cause me to walk like a penguin, i am strong enough in the bad ankle to jump again.  so Mo is happy since jumping is his favorite job.  and i’m happy, since jumping scares me, and being scared eliminates anxiety, at least while the jumping/scaring thing is happening.

Detours have been interesting and sometimes fun, nevertheless I’m back on the main highway.   I am very frustrated with the lack of progress toward my goal.    I have been working at it, trust me, but I haven’t figured it out — diet, exercise not making a difference.  So on to Plan D — tomorrow, to the psychiatrist —  to get me off Paxil and onto some other therapy.  I prefer drugs, naturally, but I’m open to alternatives.