Public healthcare sector blues

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“This is the worst I’ve seen you in almost a year.”

I wasn’t so bad though… The patient ahead of me wore bright yellow overalls stamped ‘remand/detainee’ and clanked past in metal shackles.

Therapy was tough today, naturally, because things have been tougher than usual lately. We talked about some psychological stuff and about clozapine, which is the crux of it all for me at the moment, because of its side effects. Well it’s not purely the physical side effects, it’s that one of them triggers me into the kind of whirlwind flashbacks I’d been free of since 2011. And one other that triggers my own brand of self harm i.e. fast and dirty fists to the head. I was happy to get answers as solid as they can possibly be; ten days or so for clozapine to reach an optimal dose, and another two weeks steady on it, and then review and try and get in for ECT as an inpatient. Olanzepine was also mentioned as an option.

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Did I tell you guys that the head anaesthetist refuses to work with ECT patients, because he reckons it’s barbaric? Shrink one says he goes bear hunting in Siberia every year. People are funny aren’t they…. Last week shrink one told me some horror stories about patients being mismedicated there; one example is a woman who was given double her dose of lithium.

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Anyway, I had blood drawn (from my apparently skinny veins) for the weekly white blood cell count needed during titration of clozapine, and then off I went to the pharmacy. To cut a long queue story short, they fucked up my prescription and I fucked up by only checking it about ten kilometres into the journey home. I photographed the two packets and WhatsApped shrink one, who responded pretty quickly.

That packet is contradicting itself. And WTH with an empty packet?

Listen, I need you to hold onto them as evidence because pharmacy has been making some major cock ups.

Don’t even try to apply first world parameters there, you’d only be wasting your breath. Thank fuck I have shrink one on my team.

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Somewhere in it all, I whacked myself, but not hard. And still I am fortunate, lucky and privileged – I have a backup script registered at a normal/commercial pharmacy, so all I had to do was get a weeks worth of clozapine on my way home. Think of all the other sods it’s happening to, who don’t have private doctors, transport, maybe even literacy. Context and perspective rarely affect my level of middle class whining though.

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I feel shitty about putting my friend through it too. She asked me to ask someone else to go with me next week if possible. I totally get where she’s coming from. It’s actually time for me to man up and drive myself there anyway.

Oh yeah, I puked my guts up all evening afterwards. Wretched and retching, that’s me.

FML

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42 responses to “Public healthcare sector blues

  1. Every pharmacy should be using the ultimate care in filling prescriptions, but a hospital/clinic pharmacy, if this can be said, should be more so. And for the reasons that you stated. When you are treating the poor, there may be literacy issues and certainly there are issues with having private physicians to care for them. I’m so glad that you caught the error.

    The side effects of ramping up meds and trying to stabilize are often awful. I hope that things start to ease a little bit.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Les and yes, you’re right about the need to be diligent and vigilant. It took over an hour to get the meds dispensed and I was in no shape at all to go back and go through the whole process again, having already gone through therapy and then an hours wait for blood to be drawn.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Poignant pictures. I love you, Q. Sorry for losing my shit recently. Think about you daily. I do, I do. This is some lonely suffering we live in. This regime of anguish. I’ve been quiet because I lack answers. I have the deep historical answers. I will rip the skulls out of the Harvard professors. But it proves what? Well, a lot. But doesn’t help the millions of us who are suffering, does it? I am lacking answers. I am lacking faith. The struggle is so hard. Often, too hard. The hours of hard, lonely, bored, gored struggle is so killing. The light grows so faint. Chain-smoking today, I saw a cardinal perch, for a nervous moment, on a snowy branch. Didn’t do shit for my loneliness or suffering. But that still happens. Who appreciates those little moments as much as Tribe? Am still alive. Glad you are still are, too. Love you.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Oh no worries. My over the counter sleeping pills — melatonin, benedryll — are kicking in, anyway. It was just meant as an inside joke I hoped you would appreciate, knowing me and my absurd scuffles with 400 years of “Post-Enlightenment Thought.” The vast, vast, echoing lack of historical context. That they, the “Harvard profs”, perpetuate, blindly, mindlessly. But whatever, doesn’t matter, if we agree or not, if it is a mental illness or not. It is certainly so in THIS world: so it is so. Was just intended as a joking aside, my little “Hulkness” for the tribe. Doesn’t matter. We die; they get tenure. My bad for the lame joke. Good night, my friend. If Z hands you a plank, and you don’t grab it, I will know you are not waving but drowning. I will be sad. I will understand.

        Liked by 2 people

        • The over the counter sleeping pills with 50 mg of Diphenhydramine HCI and 2 mg of Klonopin are the ONLY way I can get any sleep. My Dr. finally cleared it after I tried everything else. While in the Hospital they gave the patients Benedryll to sleep anyway. The bill of course didn’t say it was Benedryll but the nurse confirmed it. Ridiculous. We all seem to be going through a downward spiral all at once. I can feel it when I read the posts. It’s comforting and frightening at the same time. I like that I’m not alone in my experiences but I also get vibes of such despair that I worry. For myself and others. It is such a thin fragile line, stability, life, hope, impulse control, and wanting to live. Struggling to find a reason on a daily basis gets harder and harder at times. I’m down to taking it hour by hour. Hopefully we all can find that 1 thing to get us through the day or hour. If I look at anymore pictures of tattoos I can’t get I’ll scream. But it keeps the brain occupied.

          Liked by 1 person

      • me too. just love Blah. It is hard thing, staying alive, when you’d rather not. Will it get better for us? have my doubts. for you, i hope. its so bleak who knows. who knows, blah. to what reason do we disturb the dust on a rose bowl? i don’t really fucking know. wish i did.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Thinking of you, B. If I had to save someone from drowning it would be you. Except for the fact I can’t swim. But it would be you. Get on the plank.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I would drive you, potholes, stop-go’s and the whole nine yards. Probably not much help though, the commute’s a bitch. You’ve put up with so much, my med-roulette guinea-pig friend. I can only hope 2016 is better, for you. Hell, for all of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Had the wrong meds given to me in Ireland. Had to watch them all the damn time. It was annoying. These people were qualified, right? At least I fucking hope so. But we ARE talking about Ireland.

    Unfortunately, that’s not a unique experience. Health care needs to be built from the ground up. The LAST thing any patient needs is a fuck up with medications. It shouldn’t be OUR responsibility to keep check on pharmacies and doctors, damn it!

    Ach, I could go on and on I’m so damned mad on your behalf.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ECT is “barbaric” according to that doc., but his bear hunting is just peachy? Serious WTF!!!!

    Anyway, thinking of you – the pictures are haunting, so sorry you have to deal with all this utter bullshit….

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That is one weird moral stance from that doctor. Did he/she read anything on ECT?

    I just want to teleport and help you out with stuff. You are going through some tough times and I’m worried :S

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m so sorry you have to go through this. The Anesthesiologist story had me daydreaming of some pretty imaginative ways to show him his error in judgment. But people like that don’t change. Just like the Dr. I had that didn’t believe in Klonopin and refused to give it to me while I was in the Hospital. He also cut off my Viibryd a Bipolar med that has withdrawal effects similar to Heroin when he wasn’t even my actual Doctor. The Clozapine worries me. The Dr. and Pharmacist have to be registered with Clozapine REMS program to dispense because of the risks. In the U.S. anyway. I was on a similar med with the same side effects. I didn’t stay on it long. Everyone is different. I’m more sensitive to side effects than other people. I can’t stop thinking of bear hunting in Siberia. They have a lovely prison in Siberia. It would be nice if he accidentally landed there. Sorry, I watched a documentary about Russian prison tattoos and they showed it. lol No one should have to go through what you are. If I had a passport I would come and help you. Hee Hee It doesn’t sound like I would be helpful but I do well when I feel useful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The risks don’t bother me at all. I mean, I’m going through the weekly blood tests etc obediently, but I don’t give a shit. I just hate beaurocratic fuckups, because they make it all even harder.

      Liked by 1 person

      • As long as you’re ok with the side effects than good. I’m not great with them. fuckups in the system will always unfortunately be there. I just had a profanity filled meltdown in the bathroom over the $3,ooo bill I just received today for basically renting the room in the Hospital where they changed my stents so my kidneys can keep working. It’s OUTPATIENT! I still have to pay the Doctors. The Hospital will get $0. They can take it from my “Estate”. lol

        Liked by 1 person

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