At the start of this year, I had a meeting with my very absent care coordinator. I hadn’t seen him in months and whenever I could grab a quick meeting with him, he never came through on a single thing he said he was going to do but my NHS trust is chronically over prescribed and under funded so this was not a new problem to me.
I didn’t mind too much at the time since I was in my pre-therapy treatment and seeing a therapist once a week so I was being emotionally supported and my home life has somewhat stabilised.
The problems arose when I decided it was time for me to stop using benzos (I have written a little bit about that before). I have been on them for a good few years now but I am really engaging in this new treatment, I am (sort of) stable, very supported at home, it just made sense for it to be now.
My first port of call was my GP… Extremely unhelpful. Because of my very complicated diagnoses, they are very reluctant to even consider touching my mental health medication. Which really, really sucks especially since getting in to see the CMHT doc is tricky but it is ultimately understandable that they feel like they need a more specialised opinion.
So next on my list was my care coordinator who shall forthwith be known as P.
(In my mind, P now stands for Penis)
P said the same thing as my GP just take less.
Yeah I can totally see how a manic depressive, borderline, self harming girl with very little impulse control is able to just take less of a highly addictive drug she has been relying on for years.
That makes so much sense! Why did I not think of that myself?!
(Queue rolling eyes emoji)
I, of course didn’t say any of that.
What I did say was that I often use the benzo as a way to control my self- harming impulses and if I was to just take less without any other support in place I could end up hurting myself again.
Wanna know what he said to that?
Self- harming is okay!
As long as it serves a purpose, doesn’t become a habit and is not destructive… He also suggested that I might be discharged from the service, knowing I was weeks away from starting the full therapy course with that very same service!
Yeah, I was really confused by that one too… So was my partner which is why he emailed P and asked him to clarify.
Another appointment was made with P with the understanding my partner would be there with me for support and clarification.
The day my next appointment was due was unfortunately the day it snowed. I appreciate that snow in the UK, in London especially is quite rare and disruptive but in my area, no schools were closed, all shops were open, busses were running, trains were only slightly more delayed than usual… Everything was fine.
My partner and I wrapped up warm, slogged through the slush to the bus stop, sat in twice as much traffic as usual and still got there 10 minutes before my appointment only to be told….
He hadn’t shown up for work that morning, because of the snow.
We were, understandably in my opinion, furious with him.
I was dreading this appointment. I was terrified I was going to be kicked off the therapy I had only just started because a CC I hadn’t seen in months didn’t care if I cut or not. My partner was so worried about the state I was in, he took an unpaid day off work to support me. A days wage we really couldn’t afford to lose because of what P had said to me. We had dropped my son off at school and got the bus, 45 minutes in the opposite direction of our home only to be turned away at the door.
The second I got home, I sent him an email. Yeah, I probably was a bit too snappy but again, he just hadn’t turned up for work! He could have called/ text/ emailed me that morning and let me know he wasn’t coming in but he hadn’t.
He hadn’t even tried, I was desperately scared and he hadn’t even given me a second thought.
But it gets worse… Here is his reply, word for word to my email complaining about him, typos included.
Thank you S.I can only apologies for the oversight and inconvinience caused. I can see that you are very angry, over reacting and a bit judgemental in your email. You are very welcomed to make a complain. ***** ******* is my team manager.RegardsP..
So, I emailed the team manager… No response…
So, I made an official complaint with the NHS…
More than a month later, I have just received a letter back essentially saying, well he did say sorry, sadly, you do not get a new CC, we’re just too busy, if you need anything from the team, please call the person on duty.
So now, I don’t have a care coordinator (despite my therapist saying it is a requirement for me to even be in therapy!) I don’t have anyone to help me with my new medication regime or to order prescriptions off when I’m running low (GP won’t prescribe during periods of change, you can’t just call up the psych doctor, therapists have no dominion over medication).
And I just feel so, helpless and hopeless.
What is the point in complaining if nothing is ever going to change?
If my feelings are just going to be brushed to the side because I am ‘angry and overreacting’?
What is the point on raising my concerns if I can just be treated any old way because I’m crazy and they’re understaffed…
Nothing I could ever say, will ever change anything.
Just… What is the point?