Friday, 27 February 2009

a letter to my consultant

yesterday i spend a great deal of time writing a letter to my consultant. it read as follows:


Dear Dr Denny,

i am writing in hopes that i might be able to achieve the level of support that i feel is needed given my circumstances.

over the last several years i have been seeing yourself and/or a GP regarding my depression and previously diagnosed Manic Depression (Bipolar Disorder). i have met with yourself approximately six times and your StR (Dr. Neena Irshad) once. quite possibly the third time i met with you, you told me that i was a 'weird case' regarding my manic depression and that you 'didn't know what to do with me,' which, i would hope you could understand, was a little disheartening and also quite unprofessional. you stated that despite my diagnosis, your 'weird' claim came from the fact that i had no desire to harm myself or others.

after you signed me off from work for one month at the end of 2007, i met up with you and you had stated that i seemed 'okay' and that i would not need to see you as much, but if i felt at any that i did, i was more than welcome to contact your secretary for an appointment. i returned for one more appointment approximately three months later where it was reiterated that i seemed 'okay' to you and that i did not need to see you for at least six months, if at all. i was apprehensive, but accepted this.

after approximately a month i began feeling down again. i contacted your secretary, sue turner, and she advised me that she would send out an appointment. after several weeks i received nothing. i contacted her once more, still to no avail.

as a result, i decided i wanted a 'second opinion' as it were. i went and spoke to my GP, Dr Girn and asked to see another consultant. he advised me of the fact that this would be fairly impossible due to the postcode divisions you have set up between yourselves and the practices across derby. i said that despite this, i wanted to see someone else. he said that he would arrange something and promised me via telephone after my appointment that within one week i would receive a letter from the Mental Health Trust referring me to another consultant. five weeks passed and i received nothing and had no telephone calls explaning why. i went back to my GP and he advised me that two weeks prior to me sitting in his office, you had met up with several other individuals to 'discuss my case' and it was decided that i would have to see you once more before being referred on. i explained that i desperately felt like i needed help. he advised that he would write you a letter and i should wait two weeks before contacting your secretary to arrange an appointment.

immediately after this appointment i contacted Cynthia Fern, who has stepped in during Sue's absence. i advised her that i would like it if she could arrange an appointment for me as soon as possible. she contacted me the following day offering me an appointment for the following week. i accepted.

at this appointment i explaned to you the problems i am dealing with and you advised me that you did not believe i had Manic Depression but that i had a 'Personality Disorder' and that all i needed was Psychotherapy. you claimed that the waiting list for Psychotherapy was a minimum of three months and 'you guessed you could' put me on the waiting list if i wanted. you claimed that medication changes were not needed, but could help with my agression problems. you clearly stated to me the changes in personality i might or might not face and the possible outcomes.

during this meeting, i felt very uncomfortable and as though you were unwilling to support me outside of very basic means. i felt that i had explaned some very serious problems i was facing and rather than assisting in any way, you suggested the things that would be easiest to do with the minimal amount of work or assistance on your behalf.

i am going to advise you once more what 'symptoms' i have been 'suffering' with for the last four/five weeks in hopes that you might have a serious think about what help you can offer me.

  • feelings of complete hopelessness, worthlessness and apathy. i constantly feel as though i cannot do anything right, so i often do not bother doing anything outside of work bar watch telly. i have no desite to ever leave the house, eat, see or talk to friends or even cuddle my rabbit.
  • i take no pleasure in doing anything i used to like anymore. including work.
  • constant feelings of sadness. i cry all the time. if i had to put a period of time on it, i would say that i spend approximately three to five hours a day crying.
  • i am constantly anxious, suspecious, paranoid and aggressive with people. i feel as though everyone is talking about me behind my back and i am always asking questions to try to 'get information' regarding this from them. i am always worried that people can see all my flaws all the time and are talking about them. this has become particularly difficult at work because i have constant fears that they are meeting to dicsuss firing me. my mind is constantly running on ways that i have done things wrong, ways i have made people antry or ways that i should do things better.
  • i am still aggressive. i would say, if anything, i am much worse. i have spurred on many arguments with my husband and it is putting a massive strain on our relationship. i push him constantly and become overly moody with him. we have not had a 'good day' in over a month due to my mood. he tries but my fears of doing things wrong make me push him away. often times i will be come completely belligerent and begin crying and threatening him, resulting in me sobbing in a seperate room for several hours while he becomes increasingly frustrated.
  • as a result of many of the problems, my husband has been trying to talk me through this reasonably which only winds me up and then makes me feel even more worthless and as a result i begin thinking about ways i could kill myself and why it would be better for him. these suicidal thoughts have been a constant for me for the last five weeks or so.
  • i am very forgetful at the moment. often due to a combination of all of the above.
  • i am not and have not been sleeping for the last three weeks. i have tried many things to aid me through the night but nothing has worked. things i have tried include Calms Forte, Melatonin, Horlicks and NyQuil. alongside these ingestible remedies, i have also tried sleeping on different beds in different rooms in the house as well as the couch.
i woudl appreciate it greatly if you could please take into account all of the above-stated 'symptoms' when choosing what to do with me next.

the troubles i am encountering are causing problems at work and within my home, which may result in a loss of both of them if not remedied or shown to be remedied soon.

if you still do not feel that i need help beyond Psychotherapy and increased medication, please let me know as soon as possible so i might request a second opinion again, request access to my Mental Health Records and possibly file a complain for the poor quality of service i have been supplied with in the time i have been an outpatient.

i am very aware of how different the Health Services run between here and America, and i am also aware that you are all very reluctant to assist unless you absolutely have to and i am telling you that i need your help to get better. my life is falling apart and i feel there is no way out. i have no means to pay for private care which would assuredly get me what i need, so i have to hope you and the rest of the truse as a whole will help me and get me through this.

Thank you.

Danielle Butcher.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

oh my sweet jesus!

i am SO sorry i have been dead lately... well, for over a month. i have been ill and working and ill again and OMG i will hella post a blog about it either tonight or tomorrow (but most likely tomorrow, as husband will be at work and then swimming)

hope you are all fabulous!


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