Why I thought I had posted recently just shows you that I'm either on drugs or not on the right ones. It's been a hectic winter, a cold one, thank goodness, but crazy. Kindsay has been her usual self--calling me a child abuser because I want her to stay off of Facebook, passing her gas and telling us how much she loves to smell it, and eating us out of our house. I told her pediatrician that something has to change. She's not sleeping at all at night...up and down the stairs, cupboards banging, microwave beeping all night. But because of her challenges, he said he wanted us to find a psychiatrist. Problem is this--she's at full height and weight where she will be when she hits eighteen, but alas...she is only sixteen...so there are only a handful of doctors willing to prescribe mood-altering/behavior-modifying medicine. I've seen them all too. One stopped taking my insurance, another was so arrogant that I decided I'd rather deal with an unmedicated Kindsay than see him again, another quit the clinic and disappeared, another is so backed up with patients that he doesn't accept any. Stuck. I called the mental health people for my insurance and they told me they'd get back when they found one they would pay for. Usually I'd get a call in 24 hours, but this time it was a week. It was to a woman, an Indian woman, who was so new to private practice that the office she works in has no physical or visible indication that she exists....which made it a blast to find her when it was time for our first evening appointment.
I've been around psychiatrists enough to know the ones who have to prove their ever-exceeding knowledge to me versus the ones that just want to write the dang prescription and collect their $125 versus the ones who really want to treat the symptoms. This doctor is all of them, which makes her a collection of good and bad practice. At this point, I'm so happy to have a psychiatrist that I ignore many of the warning signs that say--this is just going to jack you up somehow--and make appointments with her. She really wants to get to know Kindsay. Now...keep this in mind...Kindsay had been without a nighttime pill for a few months. The old one made her dizzy and had her screaching down the hall at bedtime, "I'm having a heart attack!" Good enough sign to flush those. So over and over Kindsay is hounding me..."when am I going to get new nighttime pills?" "when do I get new pills?' "when will I get something for bed?"....always I say---when I find a doctor...when I find a doctor...when I find a doctor...boop beep...repeat. Finally, I have a doctor so I tell Kindsay--we will be able to get you some new pills so you can stop this incessant wandering around at night eating yourself sick. Kindsay jumped up to dress and leave for this appointment...only other time she'd jump up and get dressed to leave is if I promise her a bean burrito from Taco Bell, drive-thru only so she doesn't have to be around people, and cash...in singles.
We finally find this unmarked building in the dark after I crept around a parking lot that I knew to be the correct one, just finding the actual office was not happening...so I looked like a stalker driving in circles, peering into windows, watching people carefully as they exited a building. It was quickly getting dark so I sat in the car in front of the office I thought just had to be the one. No reception, a light, but locked door. A call comes through to my cell--Uh, is this Kindsay? I am waiting for you to come to your appointment. (please, without taking offense, read her words using a strong Indian accent so you understand the cultural and verbal miscommunications that are frequently occuring with this doctor.) I told her I was sitting in a dark, empty parking lot without any clue as to where she was located. She comes out of the very door I assumed was it and said, "it is here, I am here." OK...the locked door really threw me off, and the closed reception window was a bummer too, but how could I have not known she was in her office waiting for me all this time?
Our first visit was frustrating. She wanted to get to know Kindsay, so all her questions were aimed at Kindsay. Kindsay wanted to shrink into the floor. She was nervous, unsure, looking at me constantly for help...all the while the doctor would say, "Don't look at your mom or I will have to have her leave. I want to see what you know, I want to hear your answers." *use accent please. Kindsay wasn't answering, however, but repeating what she was saying. It was like the doctor was leading her and getting the answers she wanted to hear because Kindsay was agreeing with everything. Kindsay just wanted to get her pills and get the bleep out of there.
Doctor: What time do you go to bed at night?
Kindsay: Um...8 or 10
D: Which is it, 8 or 10? 8?
K: Yeah, 8.
D: When do you get up at night to eat?
K: uummm...10 or 11 or 12
D: Which is it? 10?
K: Yeah 10. (at this point she is sounding and acting like every other teenage girl--aloof, bored, normal...of course the rash goes away when the child is placed in front of the doctor.)
D: Why are you eating at 10?
K: Ummmm, I'm hungry.
D: What time do you eat after you get home from school?
K: Uummm I eat dinner at 5.
D: And do you eat anything else before you go to bed?
K: uummm..(chewing her hands mind you and not looking up), no.
D: So you eat dinner at 5 and then get up at 10 for a snack? (She's thinking, well, Mom...how crazy is she? Should I prescribe the strong stuff now or work our way up to it? Are you just completely unable to control a 10:00 PM snack that you need a doctor??)
K: ummm, yeah.
D: So maybe you just need a snack, huh?
Me: (I am now done with Kindsay appearing to be the poster girl for every American teen.) Okay, so do you want to hear the real answers to those questions?
D: (looking at me with a smile but not a happy smile...more like an inconvenienced smile.) Yes of course.
Me: She gets home at 3 PM and then she eats every hour after that until she is put to bed at 8, then I fall asleep at 9 and then she eats another 2-3 more until the crack of dawn comes and she comes into my room looking for Pop Tarts that her dad keeps on his nightstand so he can control when she gets those, which she is promised she gets one a day. So, she eats all day and night, and doesn't ever get a good night's sleep.
D: (Looking over at Kindsay now) Do you need to take a pill to go to bed every night?
K: um, maybe, yes, um, no, not every night, sometimes, maybe three or five nights.
D: So you don't need one every night?
K: no, no, no I don't.
(at this point I am dumbfounded...prescribe ME the pills lady and let's get this over with.)
Ultimately we leave with a new prescription for her daytime pills, a DECREASE from what she is normally taking, and NO nighttime pills. I'm waiting for it..waiting....waiting...waiting...
WHERE ARE MY NIGHTTIME PILLS?? is the first question she has when we are driving to the pharmacy for her new dosage.
Kindsay, I say, you told her you DIDN'T NEED THEM.
I'm dumb, I don't know what to say, I don't know, why did I say that? I need nighttime pills! I have to get nighttime pills! When am I getting nighttime pills?
I'm clutching the steering wheel, which of course already has my hand indentations from previous white-knuckle drives with an irrational child sitting beside me, inches from my ear but volumes past hearing anything clearly. The only thing that saved me was the appointment I made for our next visit...then, Kindsay, you will tell her what you need. She won't listen to me, she wants to hear it from you, and you told her you didn't need them. What are you going to say next time?
K: that I need nighttime pills.
YES...that you DO need help sleeping, EVERY night, not 3 or 5 or 4 or 2 times a week...EVERY night.
So you think this visit was a disaster...wait until I tell you about the next one. This time I promise I won't be away for long.