The Community Psychiatric Nurse was very friendly. We chatted backwards and forwards about how I was and what help they could offer right now. We talked about the level and type of medication I am on and whether it is working. We had a brief discussion on various options for sleep medication and how I might best use them.
She was kind, compassionate and didn’t assume anything about me. She didn’t need my life story or diagnosis history in order to listen and care.
We talked about how I’m in a period of far reaching change right now (both personally and professionally) and the potential impact that could be having. We spoke about the seasonal effect and if that might be contributing. We even spoke about how my health seems to run in three year cycles and maybe I’m just due a change of mood.
We talk about self care and my plans to get out in nature more. I admit that my lack of concentration has meant I’m fearful of being on the bike. We chat more easily about a couple of great walks I’ve done recently, the photos I’ve taken and the mental space created by being in good company, accepted for who I am.
Just as she is accepting me right now.
How ironic then to get a letter the very same afternoon from the psychiatrist I saw most recently. In it I’m described as being “abrupt” and showing my “displeasure”. Obviously whatever my GP wrote last week has stung the psychiatrist in to some sort of action as I’m told that my case will be put to the “referral meeting for a discussion” – whatever that actually means.
The CPN could do nothing practical in the call though we agreed that a medical review with a consultant was worthwhile and that she would make enquiries about the best way to do that. It will hopefully mean that my notes leave this trust in good (and something approaching accurate) order as I seek better care in the future.
You see that’s the point. I understand that when all is said and done sometimes the NHS staff can’t do much in the moment to help. It’s down to self care and doing what you can (or accepting what you can’t). The difference in this moment was that the person cared. I didn’t need to try to hold the mask on, to appear like I’m coping when I’m hanging on.
A quick note about the image in this blog. It is used by kind permission of the artist Jo Burt and was originally used to illustrate an article about eating disorders in the November 2015 edition of Rouleur magazine.