TW: contains very mild reference to self harm.
As regular readers of this blog will know, I’ve been attending the Practice Nurse at my surgery regularly to have wounds cleaned and dressed. At one of these appointments yesterday, the nurse expressed some concerns over the increasing severity of my wounds and gently coerced me into seeing my GP this morning. Typically, I spent a lot of time thinking about what I wanted to gain from this. I’ve never been very good at getting the most out of a ten minute appointment, but I didn’t want to miss a potential opportunity either.
I’ve been under the care of the CMHT for three years. In that time I have had a Consultant Psychiatrist, two different CPNs and a Psychologist. I have also been referred to the Crisis Team on a number of occasions.
I see the Psychiatrist every 3 months or so and his main role currently is to oversee my meds and approve any changes my GP might want to make.
I’ve always struggled to build any kind of relationship with the CPNs. Having a therapist, my CPN is really just my ‘safety net’, someone to keep an eye on some of the more practical issues and deal with any crises that might befall me at any given point in time. In times of said crisis, I often find the advice of the CPNs rather frustrating. I have heard many weird and wonderful suggestions: watch a musical, go out in the rain and ‘get my face wet’, make a hot chocolate (I had Anorexia), to name but a few. If I phone on the brink of SH, I know the script. I could recite it in my sleep. So am I merely aggravating them by calling regardless? To be clear, I am not slighting all CPNs. Indeed, there have been a couple of occasions where I have called the duty service to be met with some excellent help – sometimes a simple conversation is all that is needed, a distraction, something to help one move out of the threat zone.
I have a good rapport with my therapist. She is young, dedicated and enthusiastic. She (judging by the length of time she has been working with me) is pretty determined that I will learn how to direct compassion at myself and manage my illness in such a way that I might once again lead a purposeful existence. Having said that, the last time I saw her she used the expression ‘back to basics’ which leads me to believe that she has essentially taught me everything she can. So am I now wasting her time? Is she too nice to discharge me and leave me to my own devices? Is she just as frustrated as I am?
I wonder then, whether there is evidence to suggest that the CMHT and I have ‘run our course’? A couple of months ago, this prospect terrified me. Am I one of those whom the system, ultimately, could not help? Is it time to say ‘enough is enough’?
But then there is the question of whether they ‘could’ discharge me. I’m not a danger to others, but I’m not great at keeping myself safe. Can the CMHT, knowing this, cut me loose?
In retrospect, I wish I’d been able to give this post to my GP this morning! Having said that, I think I did ok in terms of communicating most of this to him (albeit in a less coherent fashion!). It was a mostly positive appointment. He spent twenty minutes with me, I felt listened to and the agreed plan of action is that he will write to my care team, copying in all of the relevant people, explaining my frustrations and doubts around whether they can help me further.
So I await the outcome with anticipation. I have no idea what, if anything, will come of this latest effort. What I do know, however, is that I am pretty bloody tired of the whole sorry mess!