Adventures in Low Income Mental Healthcare Clinics Continued…

Typically, I work 10-12 hour shifts at my day job, as well as do my freelance work on my “days off”, evenings, or weekends. This doesn’t always allow for time to finish topics I want to cover, or really much of anything except squeezing in some downtime to decompress and maybe some laundry on a really productive day. My field is physically, mentally, emotionally and intellectually demanding. Combine that with painful spinal issues, regular insomnia and trying to keep my mental health in check and well, I’m exhausted.

So back to my mental healthcare clinic…

I can be in that waiting room anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours. It’s busy, buzzing, often loud and I quietly observe while waiting for my name to be called. The atmosphere is thick and concentrated with varying degrees of mental illness and instability. A Police Officer is on location and sits in a small office overlooking the lobby. I cannot help but feel disassociated from all of this, like I’m waiting for myself outside the doors downstairs and I’m holding my breath until I’m back out into “the real world.”

At this point, my visits to see my shrink seem almost a formality to continue receiving my medications. Sometimes, we don’t even discuss medications outside of “everything’s the same.” He trusts me and I am honest with him. We’ve worked together to find the best cocktail of medications I can remain functional on over the years. I went through several Dr’s before I found one who would really work with me on not being over medicated, yet address the complexities of my particular set of symptoms, as well as medications I take for some other health issues. You don’t often find that in a clinic like mine. Blah blah blah we all know finding a good Dr and a good med cocktail can take years.

The pharmacy is there as well, in the same area as the lobby. Each time the Pharmacy Tech hands over a bag of 5 medications, just for my mental health issues, I wonder how in the fuck I do function sometimes… I can’t wait to get outside and get back into myself.

 

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