Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Walking into judgement.

I was lucky recently. A friend posted on facebook that a clinic in Westmount was taking new clients for gynaecologists and a few family doctors. I called and booked an appointment right away. My first appointment went really well. I really like my new doctor, he seems to be genuinely caring and concerned. He's young, and approachable, and doesn't seem like a douche. Our report was excellent, and he was engaged and listened.

My first appointment with him also meant discussing why I was there. This meant broaching my issues with mental health. I gave him a sparks notes version, and he ended up referring me to Dr. Singh, who is apparently part of McGill University's psychiatry department, and is heading up some type of practice at St-Mary's hospital. I called and booked an appointment, and a month and a half later, here I am.

My appointment with Dr. Singh is tomorrow around noon. I have mixed feeling about this.

Of course, I want to do everything I can to supply myself with emergency services and support if I ever need them. I want follow-through. My doctor seems to think Dr. Singh can potentially refer me to free or sliding-scale services I've yet to find. Maybe he's a wizard.

I also have a desire to be clinically assessed. I've experienced doctor's of all kinds, but I've never been clearly diagnosed. My assumptions are my own. Certain terms have been used. Nothing is official.

The only reason I'm even worried about this, is that months ago when a walk-in clinic doctor refused to be my doctor, he said psychiatric cases frightened him and that he wasn't comfortable taking on the responsibility of someone "like that."

What if one day I'm hit by a wave of depression so bad I can't function? Will it being clinically recognized aid me in asserting the legitimacy of what I'm living?

The legitimacy of my mental illness can only be recognized by others - since my brains and insides are nothing but glumness and tricks. How can faulty wiring calculate it's own efficiency?

And so I am filled with a sense of dread about tomorrow. I was told I would be evaluated by three doctors. Two residents and Dr. Singh. I will be asked to lay everything out. I will be asked questions I don't feel are pertinent. I will be asked questions that are cutting to me.

I want to think if I feel something is inappropriate or that someone is being a dick I'll have the gaul to say something about it. But I'm not sure. These spaces for assessment are cold and difficult. And as is often the case, so are the assessors.

How is it one can be a doctor of the psyche, yet have so little understanding of compassion and empathy?

Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself...

I sit here and try and think of the things I should or could say tomorrow. It ends up a long list, a long list of ways in which sickness can warp into different areas of your life.

Are there links I can't see? Are the habits I feel trap me, obvious to others?

Can you see that I'm in pain by looking at me?

I have questions. But that's not what tomorrow is about.

I am going to try and be... not bitter. It's very difficult. There are only so many times a doctor can ask you to regurgitate your pain without it leaving a bad taste in your mouth.

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