about a six weeks ago my psychiatrist was running some tests on my thyroid, and other blood work and the lab ran the wrong the test and it came back with some terribly low score. the score was 150 on a scale of ~1300 to 300 (not sure of the top number due to my poor memory).
my psych explained this indicated that i was unable to metabolize vitamin B-12, and showed me the symptoms of this condition. almost all of them fit the more severe symptoms of my depression or the atypical ones. because i have been treatment resistant to over 60~ meds (in combo), talk therapy and even shock therapy, he considered this a breakthrough find. he didn't seem to sympathize with my worries that it would take at least 6 months for the treatments (there is no cure) to really give us an idea of how much this was contributing to my depressive symptoms.
because he is in a city 5 hours drive from where i'm living, he handed the treatment/long term care over to my primary care physician. my PCP who has taken care of me since i was a child, until i left my home town for 10 years to work in another state after gradutation from college, and i still have care about deeply as a friend, has become part of a crappy medical care facility where he doesn't get to call the shots anymore though. i'm lucky to get an appointment with him after a 2 week wait and even then to get 15 minutes uninterrupted because the strain the insurance company and healthcare system he works under has put him under. he simply couldn't keep his own practice, in our small town with the way US healthcare is broken.
so when i took the instructions and test results from my psych to him, he started me immediately on treatments for something he is calling "pernicious anemia." oh how that first word scares me. i tried so hard to corner him to ask him what it all means because its difficult to get more than 10 minutes at the most out of any doctor's undivided attention, but he just gave me a quick explanation and basically told me it was going to mean injections the rest of my life but any damage was probably reversible. he said it was a great catch. and then got paged off to some emergency while some member of his nursing staff came in and asked me what i was there for all over again. *sigh* she had to look up his notes and the prescription he'd called in for the injection stuff.
they had enough in the hospital, which is connected to the medical facility (its a small town 10k) to give me the first injection but told me its cheaper to just bring my own.
i looked it up online and its an auto-immune condition and often comes with other conditions. joy.
i'm left frustrated that no one caught this before, seeing as how all the symptoms lined up with mine, it was only found because some lab performed a test it wasn't supposed to. i'm scared because the doctors both candy coated the condition for me, after reading up on it at the Mayo Clinic and many other resources, symptoms are not always reversible, depending on how long the condition has existed undetected. i'm also scared at how lightly everyone seems to be taking this, my psych is telling me to just wait 6 months of the treatment, that this could be the huge breakthrough that helps me to get back on my feet again. well, i've heard that from so many doctors. thats what they said about the SSRIs, the SNRIs, the ECT, Cognitive therapy and the VNS pacemaker, which my insurance company decided to not let me have at the last minute.
meanwhile, to them i guess waiting 6 months shouldn't be any big deal to me. but i've been feeling crummy for 14 years, and especially the last 4, where my energy and mood dropped so low i couldn't even work part time.
neither doctor wanted to hear me tell them "waiting 6 months" is like some huge, long, scary, iffy, and unknown. when i started to cry, they both told me that if i wanted to get better i had to be patient
well is 14 years not patient enough? maybe they could show some bedside manner. i know they can't hug me and give me a lollipop and make it better, but i'm really getting upset with health care. i mean, my mental health care is largely not covered by the high insurance premiums i have. and i wait for hours, for 10 minutes of distracted attention to see doctors about non-mental health issues.
i'm getting to where going to the doctor is just making me feel worse.