For the last couple of Wednesdays I’ve been blogging a WIP (work in progress) Wednesday. However, I didn’t do any new craft projects this week because I’ve been working non-stop to finish that quilt in time (which I did!) and which I will write about later this week. Today I’m going to tell you the rest of the story that I started last Thursday, and also about my doctor odyssey.
My regular doctor had a baby a few months ago (good news!) but apparently was not able to find anyone to replace her while on mat leave. This means that there have been a variety of doctors filling in for her at the clinic, each coming in for one to two months at a time. It’s been a revolving door of fill-in doctors, and I haven’t actually seen my own doctor through any of this as she has been away the entire time.
I was first diagnosed and given medication by Doctor #1 on December 22nd. This doctor was very kind and also very matter-of-fact, explaining that I had major depression, probably related to menopause, explaining all the brain chemistry, and ending by saying that sometimes people need a bit of help with medication, and that I should also consider taking a bit of time from work. At the same time, I went to a therapist who also urged me to take some leave from work. Then I had the next two follow up appointments with Doctor #2 who disagreed with the therapist & Doctor #1 about leave, but instead repeatedly urged me to increase me medication dosage (which I refused to do), and who eventually (reluctantly) agreed to giving me a maximum of two weeks off work.
Last Friday I went back for another follow-up, fully expecting to return to work on Monday, and (surprise, surprise!), met Doctor #3. Doctor #3 asked me a lot of questions, and then completely blew me away by saying that she is very pleased with the direction I am going and very pleased with my recovery plan and what I have been doing to get better. She said she did not want me to return to work just yet, but instead to continue as I have been doing through the month of March. She then wrote me a letter for my employer and renewed my prescription. She also said she did not recommend increasing the dosage! At the end of the month, I’m to go back for another follow-up (with an as-yet-unknown Doctor #4) and a re-evaluation on whether I can return to work in April.
So, in the end, I did not have to go back to work last Monday after all, and none more surprised than me!
I want to say that despite the frustration of not having my own doctor to guide me through this illness & recovery (which is not her fault), and despite the absolute crazy-making and anxiety-ridden situation of having to introduce myself to a different doctor each time, I am so grateful to live in an area of the world that provides me with excellent (and free!) health care. It is simply a matter of bad timing and circumstances that has brought depression into my life at a time when my doctor needed to be away and a matter of poor circumstances that a full time doctor could not be found to replace her.
I am also very grateful to have found employment in a job that I love, and at a place that provides me the opportunity to accumulate (and use) sick days. You don’t think you will ever need your sick days until you do. I have worked without benefits in the past. My husband receives no benefits, no sick days, and no pension plan. So I know how lucky I am and I count my blessings.