Weekend Wrap-Up

Here’s what happened in my life over the past week:

  • WordPress broke my dashboard colour scheme. I’m not impressed.
  • I guess there are corn supply chain issues, because Corn Flakes sure are hard to find. This is a problem in my world.
  • I knew there was a robin close by because I’ve heard it chirping, but I discovered a couple of days ago that it’s nesting in a bush near my bedroom window. It was frantically chirping, and I saw a crow was in there trying to get the eggs. Mean crow! (says the hypocritical carnivore…)
  • I’m reading a book called Quack Quack, and it’s absolutely hilarious. It won’t be released until September, so it’ll be a while before I post my review, but it’s all about debunking wild and wacky pseudoscientific health products and the people who hawk them. One particular wackadoo claims that drinking fermented cabbage juice will allow people to regenerate missing limbs. And did you know there was a World Conference on Urine Therapy?
  • I happened to be Googling the difference between concrete and cement, and I discovered that what I have always heard referred to as a cement truck does not, in fact, carry cement; it carries concrete. This blew my mind. How has everybody (and clearly I’m making assumptions about the broader English-speaking population) been calling it the wrong thing? Who started it, and how did it propagate?
  • I had my second NAMI Brown County Zoom support group meeting with my friend Danei. It started off well, and then I ran out of spoons, so I bailed early. At that point, I didn’t have enough mental energy to interrupt and say why I was leaving, so I just disappeared and emailed Danei. I would prefer not to do that kind of thing, but when there are no spoons left, my rule for myself is to do whatever I need to do to manage and not feel guilty about it afterwards.

Yesterday I had my first appointment at the mental health team. Thanks for all your support in response to yesterday’s post; had it not been for that boost of energy, I might have just walked out partway through the appointment, because it was frustrating. They had a hard time hearing me because my speech is quiet, I had to wear a mask, and the office we were in had lots of traffic noise from outside. That made for a lot of awkward pauses when I had responded to their questions but they hadn’t heard me at all and were waiting for a response (I couldn’t tell if they were staring at me waiting for something more, if they just hadn’t heard me, or if they were confused).

The psychiatrist was patronizing, which I was very unimpressed with. She had asked about my educational and work background (I was a pharmacist and then a mental health nurse for 15 years), so she should have been able to recognize that I know my shit, but nope, still talked down to me. She had no interest in addressing any of the med-related issues I brought up on the first visit. She seemed awfully concerned about the fact that I’ve overdosed on pills before, and my little reassurance speech I’d prepared to explain why that isn’t an issue didn’t seem to do anything to reassure her. I told her that I have a larger quantity than a week on hand of most of my meds anyway because I’m using up what I had from before I went in to hospital. She wanted me to turn that in to the pharmacy to be disposed of. Oh fuck all the way off, bitch.

The case manager was a dimwit. He asked if I was speaking quietly (something that’s a direct result of my illness) so that they wouldn’t interpret my speech as shouting, and he came up with this because I had told them that the notes from the hospital psych ER were inaccurate, and they had described my soft, slow speech as shouting. At first I was baffled and couldn’t figure out what the hell he was talking about, but then I realized he just didn’t have a fucking clue, and I had to explain to him what psychomotor retardation is. Seriously dude, if you don’t know what your client’s most prominent presenting symptom is, look that shit up beforehand rather than ask ignorant questions. And some other dude had left voice messages twice earlier this week and said he was going to be my case manager, but now it’s this dude, so I don’t know what happened there.

When the appointment was over, the case manager said he’d go book the next appointment and then come back and tell me when it was. I waited, and waited, and waited, and then finally decided fuck it and just left. I was halfway down the block when he came out chasing me to give me an appointment slip. Really now? So, now I have to figure out what to do about this. I haven’t decided that yet, but it will most likely not involve going back to see them again.

guinea pig Brownie with her foot on a piece of celery

Guinea pig girls are able to play nice and share food, but I usually give my girls each their own piece of celery, so they’ve never learned to share. On this particular occasion, I gave them multiple small pieces of celery along with the base of the celery bunch. The base was left after they had eaten the other pieces, but they weren’t interested in sharing. One of them would grab it and run off to a corner, then another would come grab it and run off with it, with plenty of squeaking along the way. Here’s Brownie with her cute little foot on top of the celery to lay claim to it. The only reason Casper (with the white hair) isn’t grabbing it away from her is because I’m right there with the camera, and they tend to stay still when I’m that close.

flower garden colouring page

This is one of my colouring pages for this week. I was playing around with light and heavy pressure.

How has your week been?

Mental Health @ Home Books by Ashley L. Peterson - book covers
Mental Health @ Home Books by Ashley L. Peterson – You can find them on my Amazon author page.

72 thoughts on “Weekend Wrap-Up”

  1. Just shaking my head with some of this, that you have been experiencing. And oh my, the cement thing. The PC (political correctness) camp has arrived there now as it? Lol

    Love the experimenting with your colouring.

    Its just been a normal working week. Having a relaxing long weekend, as not back till Tuesday.

    Having my moments since my uncle passed away. But I am ok since. He passed away before I got to see him.

    My hamster, Daz, still accepts strokes.

  2. My week was better than last week. Next week? To Be Determined. I have medical or eye appointments four out of five days and that just makes me tired on so many levels. One of the eye ones is the injection in the eye thing too. *sigh* I’m sorry to read that your visit with your ‘new’ psych was a disaster and I realize we’re in two different countries, but something is going on in the Mental Health Care field IMO. My psych, whom I like very much, was scheduled to meet with me yesterday via teleconference. Not a peep. He had warned me that some pinhead in his organization had decided that my management needed to be moved to a ‘team’ or some such dumb fuckery. This is stressing me out badly, given the fact that two weeks ago my therapist also dropped out of sight.
    If it’s of any comfort, it took me a very long time, when I was in Salt Lake, to find a competent psych and a therapist I didn’t want to knock through the wall within fifteen minutes of meeting them. I had both in one office (hard to arrange too) at the one I finally ended up with and the meds were easy to manage because they actually talked to one another. Now, with a ‘team’ effort, I have this horrible suspicion it’s all going to go to hell again. My sincerest sympathies.

    The piggies are SO ADORABLE! Ziggy sniffed the entire computer room the week you had Casper with Brownie chasing her around the cage. He wanted to find out where that squeaking was coming from and it puzzled him no end! 🤣

  3. I’m in no position to offer insight to any one but I’ve learned to go to medical appointments with written material! A copy for me, a copy for the medical person – No one seems to read the medical records that are right in front of their faces (everyone has access to everything around here). My written material includes problem/questions and possible options as I see it. You should have taken your book about psych meds and stuck that under her nose!

    I’ve always known that concrete and cement are two different things but I’m hard pressed to come up with the distinction from memory.

    Your coloring page looks like a rich tapestry!

  4. Nothing quite like “I know what’s best for you, even though we met 5 minutes ago.” Geeesh, what morons. Love the colouring technique. It adds a 3-D effect. And, once again, I fell in love with the piglets. How can anyone not be smitten with them? 🙂

  5. Sigh. Dammit. And yes, they can fuck all the way off. I’m so sorry. Why are so many people arrogant asses? A little knowledge really is a dangerous thing.

    People really don’t know how to handle someone who’s attempted suicide. They get weird and make bad choices as a result. I lie about my history a lot now, especially if I don’t consider it germane and if I don’t think the person I’m talking to has the training to deal.

    My father is in congestive heart failure. It shocks me how casual the healthcare system is about that. I broke down in front of my son a few days ago. I’m not sure about doing that. Most of my stuff revolves around very ill parents. I like guinea pig pictures better.

    1. I lie a lot too. Since these people had gotten quite a bit of my history, I decided to be open about the past, thinking that would make them believe me about the present, but nope.

      Healthcare sucks. It fucks the patient over, and the patient’s significant people, and it’s just so unnecessary.

      1. I don’t understand how it all goes so wrong when most people, at least in the beginning, want to help. Though I suspect, once again, that a lack of money and misdirected spending can be blamed for much.

        1. I’m sure that’s some of it, but I think that patient-professional hierarchy is alive and well in the culture of healthcare. I definitely worked with quite a few healthcare providers who thought they were doing what was best for the patient but really didn’t have a clue what it looked like from the patient perspective.

  6. That’s frustrating…yet entirely unsurprising about how your appointment went. I wish it went better and I wish there were more competent, less judgy doctors working in the mental health field. I wish that “Do no harm” meant more to them, and that they’d take the time to actually listen to people.
    I wonder if you wrote a letter next time, for them or a different doctor, if it would have a different outcome? Explaining the situation, so maybe you’re voice can still be heard, but through writing.

  7. Wow, what the heck was she thinking, speaking to you in a condescending way? I can’t stand people like that. Sorry it didn’t go well. ((hugs)) Love the colouring page! The last time you posted colouring, I told myself I’d find my books and work on one. I just cannot find them, though. I’m doing OK, not really great, not really poorly. <3

  8. Ugh, that’s so frustrating. I had my fingers crossed you would find someone who wasn’t condescending to you because you’re the patient. I don’t understand healthcare workers who think we know nothing, even when we have experience.

  9. Sorry to hear that your appointment with the Mental health team was so frustrating. I admire that you had the courage to complete the visit.
    Brownie is way cute….
    Lovely artwork!.

  10. Given how sensible your recent post was on your meds and stuff, I’m surprised they weren’t more open and understanding towards you.

    Nice to hear you’re experimenting with the colours, looks great so far.

    Meanwhile, I’ve been visiting my parents a little more linger than usual this month, usually I’d visit once a month due to the distance, but I’ve been 3 times this month. It’s about a two to three hour drive to get there, so I’ve been a little more tired than usual this month.

  11. I’m sorry that your appointment didn’t go well. I don’t blame you for not wanting to see them again and I hope you are able to find different providers soon.

    On the bright side (figuratively and metaphorically) the picture you colored looks great!

  12. Hope your next encounter with health staff is more understanding.

    I really liked learning about Spoon Theory. And beautiful colouring page! I can see that being a wallpaper!

  13. Good to hear from you Ashley. I see you are a cornflake lover, how cool. Lately I’ve been having a piece of low-fat cheese for breakfast because my Geodon must be taken with food and I’m on a diet. I feel left out because I’ve never had a case manager. I don’t know if people aren’t doing their job or they think I’m more capable than I am but at this point I want everything I am entitled to. My IOP will be meeting in person mid-May so I took a drive by today so I could find it. 😊 💕

  14. OMG – I’ve been teaching my toddler to call it a cement truck and I don’t even know the difference between cement and concrete. Mind blown!

    So cute about the celery base. Sometimes you have to put your foot down! 🙂

    Which makes me think about your appointment. Is there any way you could have a written relationship with your doctor? You express yourself so well and if they can’t understand your speech and are clueless about your symptoms – could you correspond via letters? That’s sounds so frustrating. I’m sorry!

  15. Great read and nice to see it end with some happy thoughts. My week was all about relaxing with holidays away from work. I don’t mind work but being around people so much gives me anxiety, eventually.

  16. I’m sorry the psych appointment went ….well not so good.
    It seems that nobody is making the effort to properly attune to you and get to know their patient compassionately and acknowledge you on your level of understanding your own needs and if anything that has made you feel like you have to have these walls up, and are distrusting because of how you’ve been previously treated. It’s not fair. I wonder what they pick up from you, or maybe if they feel like you are talking down to them which makes them feel intimidated… I’m not sure. Do you know what I mean? Maybe I’m way off…

    I do think you express yourself better in writing, and I know in some cases I do too.

    Loving the colouring by the way. Awesome… really like how you’ve done that. Nice to see the piggoos too.

    As for my week… its been full of ups and severe downs. And I’m now in a state of grieving again from a situation that I don’t really feel was my fault either and that I’ve already been through a number of times this year. So it feels very unfair, and I’m crying constantly. I feel loss, sadness, and deep despair… AGAIN. The feelings that this all brings up, are only what can be described as too much for me to even deal with and process…. and then somehow I have to carry on with life now like none of it ever happened…

    There are no words sometimes…

    But what angers me is no cornflakes?! That’s not right…
    There are some things in life that are too precious to even mess with. Cornflakes is one such thing…

    1. I think the biggest issue is that the hear me speak slowly and see me not make eye contact and they assume I’m not on the ball as a result.

      Thanks for the shading inspiration!

      It’s so unfair, and so wrong, that you got put through that again. Reopening that wound was a cruel thing to do to you.

      I’m not sure how life without cornflakes is even supposed to happen….


  17. It’s funny (well, not funny… maybe odd?) how differently practitioners in Canada seem to approach medications and care, in comparison to those in the United States. Here, it has been my responsibility to make sure that they do not hand me 90-day prescriptions, because I do have a serious history of overdosing on pills. Here, big pharma and the insurance conglomerates only care about the financial bottom line. (More pills! More appointments!)

    My medication regime hasn’t changed in years (with the one unfortunate buspirone-bump exception); and yet, my insurance company demands that I be seen six times a year in order to maintain prescription access. (This is something I sometimes cannot afford due to ever-increasing copay amounts).

    It angers me to hear that your psychiatrist was not respectful of your education and background. I find that once folks have been “labeled” as mentally ill — no matter how they live and/or try to improve their situation — they are no longer seen as productive members of society, and therefore it is apt to treat them like naughty children. (This observation has never been proven wrong by others I know who are “trapped” in the system.)

    I am so sorry to hear how difficult a journey you have been on; but I do know that you have the strength, endurance, and beautiful will to carry on. Your voice is an important one, and it deserves to be heard. (And I am always listening, Lovely One.)

    1. Thanks, lovely lady. ❤️

      I agree about the naughty children treatment. It bugged me when I was working to see colleagues pulling that crap, and it bugs me even more as a patient.

  18. Oh sheesh, your mental health team sounds like one huge meltdown-inducing disaster. I feel like as much as there are loads and loads of problems in mental healthcare and the stigma in that field, this whole patronising thing is in a way most frustrating because it would be so easy to get rid of it, people would just have to use a bit more empathy and you’d think it’s something that most if not all medical professionals should be able to do no problem. I mean is it so difficult for such a psychiatrist to imagine what she would feel if she was a patient and someone talked to her and treated her like a child, ignoring the fact that she not only has the right to be in charge of her treatment but also has professional knowledge about psychiatric medication? I get that mental health people want to minimise the likelihood of suicide but it’s sad that they often try to accomplish it in such odd ways without looking at the whole picture of an individual case.
    Lol about the cement truck! :O English is weird. 😀

    1. English is very weird.

      Yeah, the whole mental health team thing is frustrating. I wonder if it even crossed their minds that me going there was not my idea in the first place, and me going back would depend on me being happy with them. Most likely not.

  19. That crow is a jerk! It’s the circle of life but I’m sorry you witnessed that.
    Sadly, I have a similar story. One morning this week I looked out my kitchen window to see a red tail hawk standing over the carcass of one of my laying hens. 😞 this happened last year, too. We moved their coop closer to the house in hopes it wouldn’t happen again, but the hawk was hungry, I guess.

          1. And I forgot to mention the hawk took the one hen that was causing trouble and bullying my favorite- Brenda. So, there’s a silver lining.
            Okay, I’m finished talking about my chickens, I swear! 🐓
            And I’m so sorry your mental health team treated you like that!

  20. I can’t wait to read the book review! Sounds like an ‘interesting’ book- pretty scary some of the advice some folk put out.

    Psychiatrists baffle me. I can’t get over the attitude so many of them have 🙁.

    1. Yeah, the attitude is not cool.

      The book is pretty awesome. It’s scary the advice some people give, but also how much people are willing to pay for these wacky things.

  21. Oh for sure! Some people will fork out some mega big bucks. There was a ‘celebrity’ in Australia spruiking a lamp for $15000, yes $15000 which he claimed could cure a whole number of ailments- including COVID 🙄 dunno how many people bought the light, though he does have a small but strong following….

  22. I have found it really hard i when the medical profession doesn’t see me as a human being no matter how hard I advocate for myself.

  23. Thanks for sharing. I love the colouring page, beautiful and neatly coloured. Great that you followed through with the visit to the psychiatrist. My week has been good so far. Days are getting hotter but I’m enjoying.

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