I found a new psychiatrist, and I was able to see him this past Friday. Initially I wasn’t going to write about the experience, but some of my readers have been asking how it went. (It’s great to know that people read this thing.)
If you’ve been following my blog, perhaps you remember my experiences with the first two doctors that I had after leaving the psych ward late last year. Both doctors were from the same part of the globe, and I felt like they didn’t relate to me very well. The first one threw a hissy fit when I came to see her after my second suicide attempt. She ended up kicking me out. Like, literally.
The second doctor would freak out and start massaging his temples whenever I responded to his greeting with anything other than “I’m great.” He essentially let me be my own doctor by letting me choose my medication and dosages. I stayed with him because I was tired of shrink searching. God knocked me out of my comfort zone, however, when that doctor suddenly informed me that he would no longer accept my insurance.
There are a lot of foreign-born doctors practicing in the U.S. Apparently not enough Americans are choosing/able to pursue the medical field, and I have no problem seeing a foreign-born doctor for an annual physical exam or to treat my flu symptoms. When it comes to my mental health, however, I need someone who is patient, understanding, and who can empathize with my illness and not be scared away when my condition fluctuates.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying foreign-born shrinks are all bad and that you should avoid them. It’s just that I’m seeing a negative pattern starting to form.
I went to my insurance website to get a list of psychiatrists within a ten-mile radius of where I live. The list was short because there were only two.
The first one was the psycho lady who kicked me out. The other one was Dr. Ariston Korhonen. Great.
I called the office to find out more information about the doctor. The conversation went something like this:
Receptionist: Good afternoon, Dr. Korhonen’s office. (Good. She pronounced the name for me.)
Me: Um… Hi. I’d like to see the doctor. (My verbal skills are not so eloquent.)
Receptionist: OK. How about tomorrow morning? (Dang. No wait? Is he that bad?)
Me: Uh, how about Friday?
Receptionist: Sure. Is 9:00 okay?
Me: Yeah. Um, can I ask you a question? (I’m sure she was used to weird questions. After all, she works for a shrink.) Is the doctor, uh, is the doctor… from here?
Receptionist: Yes. He’s a white guy with a funny name.
Me: I, uh, didn’t mean anything bad by that. It’s just that… well… I mean…
Receptionist: I understand. See you Friday.
She also told me to show up 30 minutes before my appointment to fill out paperwork. I was used to crowded waiting rooms, so, out of habit, I arrived 45 minutes early.
The waiting room was desolate. I half-expected to see tumbleweeds blowing past me.
The “paperwork” consisted of a one-page personal information sheet. It took me all of five minutes to complete and turn in. I was about to go back to my car and get my phone before the receptionist happily informed me that the doctor was ready.
As I passed by the lady’s desk, I saw a tall, lanky guy surfing the ‘net with his back to me. It looked like he was browsing through the celebrity news on Yahoo.
Without turning around, the guy said, “First door on the right. I’ll be right there.”
Okay. It looks like I’m second to Miley Cyrus. Wonderful.
The rest of the visit was pretty mundane. He asked me a whole bunch of questions, and, by the end, I had spilled my guts about everything related to my illness.
It was traumatic enough to relive everything. The doctor’s exclamations weren’t necessary, though. I mean, did the psychiatrist really have to blurt out “Oh my gosh!” after I mentioned each suicide attempt?!
At the end of our session, I commented on one of the three framed diplomas on the wall. “Oh, you did your residency at the same psych ward where I was. When was that?” It was an innocent enough question I thought.
“Umm, last year. SO, I will see you in about a month, okay?”
Stay positive. Stay positive…