Monday, July 14, 2008

The Question of Emergency

I called our local Community Mental Health Team this morning to book an emergency appointment with Dr Hillary. Unfortunately she wasn’t at work today as she was having an emergency of her own, and Mr Man was refusing to see anyone else. Additionally, Mr Man has decided that he doesn’t want to start taking Clozaril again (which I will write about later). His Care Co-ordinator is on holiday, so the receptionist put us on hold while she spoke to a nurse.

She came back and explained that there “isn’t a real emergency” so Mr Man could come in and see Dr Hillary on Wednesday.

I accept that there are unavoidable circumstances which mean that Dr Hillary can’t be magically brought into work in a puff of smoke, but it’s that phrase “isn’t a real emergency” that bothers me – as if I’m being accused of overreacting again. I suppose she’s right; Mr Man hasn’t chopped his own head off and he hasn’t been running up and down the street naked screaming blue murder (subject to change). But really, those are the kind of emergencies where I would be looking for an immediate assessment to have him admitted into hospital, and it wouldn’t matter which doctor he saw. This situation is an emergency to us because we want to avoid a hospital admission.

Admittedly, Mr Man’s symptoms haven’t deteriorated as quickly as they have in the past when he has skipped some medication, although I suspect he is keeping much of it to himself and he is sleeping most of it away with the aid of Diazepam. If they had, I would be much more worried about him than I am. Still, I won’t be leaving him at home alone any time soon, to avoid any real emergencies.


Seratonin said...

Grrrr !!! Makes you feel so frustrated at times I bet.It's easy for them to say tis not an emergency, but you're the one who knows you Hubby best in these circumstances.
Hope all goes well withe doc Wednesday.
Sis xxx

Anonymous said...

That is crazy, they have things like crisis teams to stop people getting to the point of admission. If the focus is on early intervention then quick appointments with psychiatrists is a must. Hope the appointment on wednesday goes well.Hannah X

Mr Mans Wife said...

Thank you Sis and Hannah.

Hannah you make a very good point about their so called early intervention plans.

Thankfully it seems that Dr Hillary has been able to go into work today after all, and has heard about Mr Man stopping his Clozaril. She obviously has a similar view to us as to what constitutes an emergency, and has left a message on our voice mail (we were asleep) to say that she will come to our home to see Mr Man this evening.

I will, of course, leave an update later. Thanks again.

Catherine said...

How did everything turn out?

There and Back said...

Your husband's psychiatrist sounds very supportive - much like mine - who always makes himself accessible to me. It makes such a difference doesn't it?

I hope that the appointment went well and that you are being well supported.

Mr Mans Wife said...

There and Back, she is brilliant. We specifically asked for her when we had problems with a different psychiatrist and wanted to change. It makes all the difference.

Catherine, I intended to write an update before now, but there we are - things rarely go to plan in my life! Things went well, but I am very tired this evening so I will try to write a full update tomorrow.

Thank you everyone for your well wishes, it is very much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Just found your blog while looking into hot weather and schizophrenia. Glad to hear you got some help!

I really appreciate reading your detailed comments, they help bring all the "maybes" and "what ifs" into focus. Husband has a schizophrenic relative, and we are facing the same situation - hot weather, possibly off medication, and Doctor's Away...

Mr Mans Wife said...

Welcome to my blog Anonymous, I'm glad that it has been useful to you.

I'm not sure if you mean the GP is away or the psychiatrist, but if your relative needs help then you should be able to contact the Community Mental Health Team during office hours (doctors surgery should have the number), or an on-call psychiatrist through your regular out of hours doctors service. Either service should be able to give you advice and/or arrange a home visit by a psychiatrist even if it's not your relatives regular one.

Sorry if you already know all this.

Do you find hot weather affects your relative adversely? I can't say I've noticed this with Mr Man or heard of it before.

Thank you for commenting. I hope your relative improves soon.

Seaneen said...

How are things now?

Mr Mans Wife said...

Hi Seaneen, thank you for asking. I have just posted an update for everyone - I hope it answers everyones questions, if not just leave me another comment.

rls said...

OMG , I am so sorry i cannot begin to understand what you go though on a daily base. and if i get started i will wind up with a book. I'm from a family of eight all of my brother and sister have been diagnosed as schizophrenic. with bi-polar also. out of eight kids seven schizophrenic and one homosexual... go figure but i would rather be homo then schizo any day after seeing what it has done to my family. two brother now dead. one car accident 1980 and my baby brother hung himself on Oct 6 last year. while there for his funeral i realized that i have lost my in tire family.. there not the same people they were before . I love them dearly. but my one sister sets around and counts out her med everyday 52in the morning then 48 before lunch and she acts so happy to be counting out all them med. i t make me sick. my brother who is my last brother alive now i can catch a climes of him from time to time but its not the same. his wife left him. couldn't handle it. my sister husband left her couldn't handle it. so my Heart goes out to you honey. the way they can change on a dime . just know i wish you the very best. and i hate to say it but it nice to know that there are people who stand by there MAN. with schizo

Mr Mans Wife said...

RLS, welcome to my blog and thank you for commenting.

Firstly I just want to say how sorry I am to hear of the loss of your brothers. I really don't know what else to say except I'm sorry. I hope time will heal your pain.

Wow, 7 out of 8 in one family. There must be a strong hereditary factor. Do you have any other family with mental illness, such as parents, aunts or uncles? Sorry if I am being too nosey.

I'm curious to know what has happened to your other three brothers - you say two have died, you have one sister, and one remaining brother. Again, sorry if I am being too nosey!

Yes, I stand by my man! We stand by each other. I would be lost without him; he really is my best friend. Despite his illness he could have his pick of the girls as he is such a genuine person, so I am a very lucky girl.

Thank you so much for your kind well wishes. Best wishes to you and your family too.

Anne said...

Wow. I work for a mental health trust and it blows my mind that someone working in a CMHT would ever say 'it isn't a real emergency' to the family of a person in crisis. Sounds like she needs a sensitivity injection! Thank goodness for sensitive psychiatrists.

All the best to you and your husband.

Mr Mans Wife said...

Umm... I seem to have grown accustomed to insensitivity from members of the CMHT! It actually shocks me when people are kind and sensitive in that line of work. So far I have met about 6 (not including the carer support worker, as she works with carers rather than mental health patients) which isn't very many when you consider that Mr Man has been admitted 3 times and has been under the CMHT for about 7 years! And only one of those has been a psychiatrist!

Most of them are so awful that I often doubt myself and think this is normal, so it's refreshing to hear you say that it's bad.

Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment Anne.