Saturday, 23 May 2015

New Beginnings

On Wednesday I had my first appointment with a new Mental Health Nurse.

We got there right on time. My GP said she'd meet us in the car park, but I couldn't see her when we pulled in. I panicked a little, I couldn't go in without her. Mum decided to go investigate, and as son s she got to the door, my GP popped out. She came straight up to the car door and ushered me inside. The MHN's office was the first door on the right, so thankfully I didn't have to go through the waiting room first.

I have actually seen her before in the past. I saw her for a while sometime around age 15 or 16. I had a couple of stints in inpatient around then (for depression/anxiety/trauma/everythingelse - this was before my ED), and she was one of the case workers that caught me after a discharge. I don't remember much about her. To be honest, all the people I saw back then kind blend together. But I feel like it means there's an expectation of me to ge along with her, to be able to talk with her, when it's really no different to seeing someone entirely new.

When I walked in she was waiting there, door open. She looked exactly like I remembered her, just with longer hair. There were three chairs arranged around her desk, and as we sat down, my eyes went immediately to the old dial scale sitting against the wall. I can't believe medical professionals, of all people, still use those.

My GP started with a brief rundown she'd written of my history. Starting from when my dad passed away when I was two, she rattled off a list of professionals I've seen, medications I've been on, diagnoses, admissions to medical, psych and ED wards, big life events, trauma, bullying throughout my school years, the big overdose, the different ways I've self-harmed over the years, COPD, the fact I never leave the house.

When she was talking about diagnoses & sections/treatment for Anorexia back in 2011, I felt a huge wave of relief wash over me when she said
"That's not the type of treatment that works for her. She's the kind of person who need more control over it."
And it wasn't just me saying it.

Before she left, my GP talked a bit about my sewing, cooking, things like that. I actually remember showing her some pictures of my sewing years ago on my laptop. I'll have to show her the new ones at some point.

She left shortly after that, but encouraged me to try to stay and talk with the MHN for a little. That didn't go so great. My head was full and overwhelmed and I just wanted to go home, and I shut down.

"What role do you see me having in your treatment team?"
"I don't know."
"Well, what did you and [the old MHN] used to talk about?"
"I don't know I don't know I don't know."

And I think she knew I was done for the day.

One of the things I was hoping she could help with was medication. She's a Nurse Practitioner, unlike the old MHN, and so can write prescriptions. But she said she wants to leave my GP as my main prescriber, and just be there to write scripts if/when I need them. So that was a bit disappointing. But I'm hoping I might be able to change her mind on that one. I need my main prescriber to be someone specialising in mental health, not my GP.

Before I left, we decided on appointments on a weekly basis to start with, at least for the first 2-4 weeks to build up a comfort zone and get to know each other. I'm seeing her again for 30 minutes next Wednesday.

So overall I guess it went okay. She's lovely, but I'm still not too keen on the idea right now. I'm kind of dreading next week without my GP there, but I guess I've just got to give it time. It's been some months since the last MHN left, and I've been lucky to've been given so long without. It didn't help getting me to see someone new after it ended on a slightly crappy note, both at our last appointment and after.
(She said she was going to call and catch up after a month or two. She never did. I'm a dumbass and even had a gift for her. But whatever.)

But, hey, you guys, I did it. I did it and it's done.

And thank you all for all your support lately, really, it means a lot to me. I'm sorry I haven't been so great with returning comments and emails. But I'd be totally lost without our little community.



  1. Hugs and more hugs
    I'm so proud of you Bells
    I know that this was a massive deal for you
    And you did it!

    I hope this victory shows you that you can do more than maybe your illness would have you believe
    I hope you know what I mean
    I just know that you have so much potential
    Inside you
    You are multi talented
    And have so much to offer this world
    You are an integral part of this community
    And offer so much kindness to others

    I know I say it all the time
    But I have so much belief
    And so much faith in you
    I just wish that you could see yourself through our eyes
    Then you would see what a beautiful, kind, thoughtful, caring, funny person you truly are

    Always with you x

    Ps did you get my package yet? X

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  2. Hey lovely lady, I'm SO very proud of you! It must have been so unimaginably hard for you to even get to your first appointment, and then actually sit there through it, but you did it, you really went and did it and like I said, I'm so proud of you! You're such a tough little cookie. Onwards and upwards beautiful Xxx

  3. I think you should give the gift onto your new MHN to pass onto your old MHN.

    "What role do you see me having in your treatment team?"

    You know, questions like this really annoy me. It's more like an essay question than a "welcome". *sigh*. Anyway isn't it her job to tell YOU what kind of things she can help you with if you want them? Grr.

    Nonetheless I have high hopes for you Bella. This woman might be great help. And it's done now so that's good. Good luck Wednesday!

  4. It may be that she said that about prescribing things since you've only just started seeing her. I think there's always a fear with mental health professionals to make medication changes that will make things worse or not knowing someone well. Maybe once you've seen her more, you could explain how that might be part of her role in your treatment team and maybe explain how the handling of your medication hasn't been helpful. I don't know how much that was talked about or what your GP might have said about the medication, but you may have a different perception of how it has been dealt with.

    I'm glad you went. That's a definite victory, and I really hope this will be helpful. I think it will. Maybe you could brainstorm what you want to talk about next week ahead of time so you have a plan. I do better with a plan when I'm anxious about something. For a long time my mind would just go absolutely blank during therapy if I got uncomfortable, so sometimes I would have to write things out ahead of time.

  5. Bella dear!!! I'm SO proud of you *-* You are so strong my dear.
    I just wanna hug you, it must have been so hard and still you did it and you were awesome ^-^ I have every faith in you :)
    And I'm sure she will be so impressed with the things you have created since then, you have such talent :D
    I just love your aprons so very much.

    Lots of love my dear
    Mandy xx

  6. i seriously hope that i won't say anything offensive or off here. i feel like today is one of those days where i might say something completely and utterly offensive without meaning to. i apologise if i do, my love, as my intents are always good when it comes to someone as lovely as you.

    oh! i hope it went well. i hope it went well. i hope it went well...*chants feverishly*

    a dial scale? i will ignore this. i don't use a dial scale, much less professionals but hey! whatever floats their boat?

    i'm glad that she said it as well. there are some things that need to be grounded and stated firmly. i genuinely do not believe that inpatients or therapies or whatever work as well as people think they do. and i am so against the idea of inpatient for some reason. i've only ever heard bad things about that place.

    "Before she left, my GP talked a bit about my sewing, cooking, things like that." that makes me feel warm. because honestly, that's who you are, Bella. you're a person. you really aren't just a bundle of diagnoses (as you stated across your biography). you are so lovely, and honestly, you are so bloody talented too. i wish you could see that!

    "I need my main prescriber to be someone specialising in mental health, not my GP." i think you really need to tell her that too. the GP is a bit iffy on the medications aspect, especially since she had decided not to let you try in anymore medications + she makes you take useless ones too.

    "Before I left, we decided on appointments on a weekly basis to start with, at least for the first 2-4 weeks to build up a comfort zone and get to know each other. I'm seeing her again for 30 minutes next Wednesday." OH BELLA I AM SO PROUD OF YOU YOU ARE SO BRILLIANT I BLOODY LOVE YOU! i feel like this is a huge step for you. i know that you need to see people enough to get used to them, but i think the fact that she is a tad familiar will help. i hope that she is a good addition to the line and will help you more. i feel like you really need it along with how the dietitian has been + the GP's 'yeah, we'll stop trying medications' and all that.

    i feel like this is a good step that you're seeing someone that's a bit different. it might help in the future and the first step to changing your current life situation is to make a change anyway. i love you lots and i am so bloody proud of you, you strong human being.

    "But, hey, you guys, I did it. I did it and it's done." THAT'S MY GIRL.

    i cannot express my happiness at this moment. i'm half-going to die from glee and half-apathetic and depressed today. it's so strange.

    i really hope i didn't say anything offensive. i don't to make you feel sad or anything. i love you lots.

    -Sam Lupin

  7. Having your GP or a MHN (or other psychiatric professional) make out your prescriptions is a world of difference, so I hope your MHN realizes that she will do a better job of it. Nothing against GP's, but generally they don't have the knowledge that a mental health nurse or doctor have.

    And you did it! You went there! You are so much braver and stronger than you give yourself credit for!

  8. I am so glad that you were able to go. She sounds promising. Well done.

  9. Hey Bella dear, I'm so very happy that you managed to do it :) and take your time, it's natural to be a bit cautious at first (I'm not sure if that's the right word, but I'm sleepy and I wanted to leave a comment anyway). I'm sorry for not catching up all these posts, I am going through a very hard time right now but I will try to be around more (empty promises, I don't know).