Taking the Driver’s Seat

Doctor Note

I had a big wake up call this week, reminding me that I cannot continue to be passive in the treatment of bipolar.

When it comes to treating alcoholism, I’ve been an active participant, going to therapy and getting involved in AA.  However, when it comes to depression, I’ve just sat back and let the doctors throw pills at me.  Don’t get me wrong, I need pills, but not the ones I’m currently on.

I saw a psychiatrist last month for an evaluation.  He’s provided my GP with his notes, but because of my GP’s vacation schedule, I haven’t seen her since the notes were sent.  I have an appointment with her at the end of this week.

On my therapist’s request, I asked for a copy of the psych notes.  I never would have thought to do this – I wouldn’t have thought it was something that could be done.  Granted, all of my medical knowledge comes from TV, so my perception of doctors notes is limited to Elaine’s experience on Seinfeld.  I thought doctors notes were meant for doctors’ eyes only.  “What are you writing?  Don’t write that down!”

Reading the psychiatrists’ notes, my therapist and I realized that the medication he recommends for me is not what I’m taking.  I don’t know where the error happened, whether it was him who meant to prescribe drug A, but wrote drug B on the prescription, or if it was the pharmacy that misread and dispensed the wrong drug.  Either way, it’s an error and I’m taking the wrong drug.

Granted, both drugs are in the same universe.  It’s not as though I’m taking meds for gout.  However, I have felt like shit this past month.  I’m ridiculously tired and my depression is running rampant, with suicidal thoughts swirling around in a big bad way.

This is a wake up call for me to become active in the bipolar treatment.  Until now I’ve simply just nodded my head and taken whatever is prescribed.  Yes, the doctors probably know best but they’re human too, and just as prone to error as anyone else.