Chaos Attraction

Three Appointments

2023-12-07, 6:37 p.m.

Yet again, on another day I could sleep in, I'm wide awake before 6 a.m. I uploaded photos of my finished vest.

Before we begin today, since I haven't explained all of this horrible shit yet: I got suspended from work in October, which means per the union rep, the next step is inevitable firing in another 3 months. He said try not to get suspended, I just couldn't manage it :( There's no coming back from that, UNLESS there is a medical issue/excuse. I've been told by work, both by the management laying the grounds to fire me and my union rep, that (a) I have to get diagnosed with some disability and get some vague letter from a doctor saying I have something but it doesn't disclose what, (b) some medical professional has to sign off on "accommodations" (I note disability services was pretty much "um, pick what you want and we'll negotiate" about what that would entail) and I have to get all of that to pause my firing/losing my health insurance. (I have zero hope of saving the job past maybe a few more months past that. I'm a failure and I'm doomed and they see me as utter shit.) Presumably by January, when they start actually going through the steps to fire me since they won't be able to get everyone together to do it during the holiday season and they are working on a 3-month cycle of penalizing me more and more at work. Hence why I am going through this Special Hell.

For those of you saying, "Why can't you get another job?" obviously I haven't succeeded at this in 11 years of trying. I have limited job skills when I can't do customer service or math. And apparently all the bad letters in my file can be seen by HR at anywhere I applied which explains why I never got past the first interview, and now I'm literally blackballed from applying at GiantOrg again. And nowhere else ever wanted me. I cling to this job, no matter how awful it is, because without it...I have NO hope of ever getting hired anywhere ever again. I'm a terrible employee and a failure at work and I can't do customer service and that's all jobs. Would you hire me? Of course not. I don't deserve to be hired.

Appointment #1: actual MD/psychiatrist off the Internet, paid for by alt-insurance: this took over a half hour to start, apparently because I clicked on the wrong thing and screwed up their system. They sent me a text with the link on my phone, which I did not use because why the hell would I want to do that kind of appointment off my phone if I don't have to, and had to manually type it into the computer...and that's A Problem For Them. Sheeeesh.

Anyway, this lady was absolutely lovely, but said (a) she does this job part-time on Thursdays, (b) she's quitting on the 14th and technically probably shouldn't have been scheduled in the first place, but (c) if I want to go ahead anyway.... sure. She has worked for my HMO so she knew how that goes. Said that online services can only do medication management, won't do any evaluations, won't sign off on anything for work, won't do FMLA because you have to be checked by a doctor again before you go back to work, all of that has to go through your HMO. Also she said the only accommodation the HMO will sign off on is going on part time work for two weeks. Period. That's it. Nothing else.

So that's fucked. I'm doomed, right there. I do realize I still have to go through an LCSW (below) AND another psychiatrist AND probably my PCP (I made another appointment for the end of the month), but you can't argue with Policy Rules and I don't have much faith anyone else will come through on that score now.

Other than that, she said I may have had predisposition to mental health issues before the job, clearly a lot of this is being caused by the job, and about the only thing that will fix it is getting another job, and it'll still take like a year to de-tox from the job once I lose it. Depression meds can help but probably won't do more than about 50% of making that better and I have to believe they can help (I said honestly, I dunno if they'd work or not, I'm more freaked out by the side effects making me worse than anything else). You generally have to be on them for at least a month before they do anything and you probably have to be on them for a year. "Therapy has managed to maintain you," sounds like that covers it, all right. She noted that depression/anxiety treatment is optional and not like bipolar where you have to be on meds.

She said Kaiser makes you go through an appointment with an LCSW first to make sure you're med-seeking and THEN you get referred to a psychiatrist. Her writing me a prescription won't be an issue for them, I just need to tell them that I need a psychiatrist referral in a month. She said if I'm on meds and seeing a psychiatrist, Kaiser will THEN want to coordinate my therapy through them, to which I was all, "um, that's a surprise, they said they don't do that."

She prescribed me Lexapro, which CAN be crushed and eaten and I could at least start it on the weekend and can take half a pill for the first week and then go to full 5 mg dose. (I asked my therapist to explain "5 mg" vs. "150 mg" with Wellbutrin and she said they were drastically different drugs and she could not.) After four weeks, it should kick in by January. It'll take 24 hours for them to have the prescription go through since they are not in the Kaiser system. She said that all the antidepressants except Wellbutrin (which you don't do for anxiety) handle depression and anxiety. And of course, all this shit is a crap shoot and you can't tell and it might take 3-4 tries...exactly why I didn't want to hop on this roller coaster!

I did ask her about how my castmate Andi ended up being disabled by depression meds, and she said it sounded like an allergic reaction to her. I forgot to ask if I can take anything else and/or drink, had to message her after. We'll see. Anyway, that went about as well as one could expect, minus the extremely depressing no FMLA and especially no accommodations thing. Shiiiiiiiit.

Anyway, that went on so long that I had about time for a bathroom break before my regular therapy appointment (moved over to today due to yesterday's work not-a-party).

Appointment 2, therapy: Lots of stuff about insurance that exhausted me, basically making arrangements for when I'm fired. I told her about the Kaiser therapy thing and she was her polite equivalent of "fuck Kaiser, I'll tell them no and we have an established relationship" even though she has no agreement with Kaiser and haaaaaaaaates them. She said Wellbutrin is an "agitator" med and given to people who are vegetative. Oops. Lexapro works on serotonin. Also that since I'm in a "profound state of anxiety," that of course I'm making mistakes.

I said I'm wrong to everybody and she said, "you're not wrong to me." Awww. I teared up. She also said I'm too hard on myself and I said that's because I'm being judged harshly and people will. not. stop. doing. that. What's the point of cutting myself slack when work won't? That the accommodation I actually want would be to have some slack cut and not to be penalized for everything, but that's like asking for a pet unicorn. She said we have to work on inner child issues. Me: the old therapist did that too.

I also note that my therapist hates Kaiser so much she was all, "Can't you just switch insurance FOR A MONTH?" and I said even if I'd switched during open enrollment (I note I was out on medical leave not sleeping during that time and frankly, after researching on day one that I can't afford anyone else, gave up on the idea), new insurance doesn't start till oh...January...when I get fired...I saw no point in putting in that much work for literally nothing, especially since it sounds like I'll go on Medical/Kaiser or something upon my firing as is.

Then I had a two hour break for lunch and drinking water. Therapist wanted me to go for a walk, I poked my nose outside and said, "NOPE TO THAT" and stayed in where it's warm.

Appointment #3: ADHD evaluation. THIS LADY WAS ABSOLUTELY LOVELY and sweet and a pleasure to talk to and she probably felt the same way about me. It was a delightful chatty 2 hour interview that was more like, how do you live your life and how do things go for you more than anything else, childhood stuff was more like "so, did you do that in childhood too?" "Yes." What a relief. She asked if the depression affected any of this and I said honestly, I've had this stuff going on all my life, I just didn't like, red flag it or or think it was unusual or a big deal growing up and I wouldn't be looking for diagnosis except for the work situation, and that was going on before work went to hell. So hopefully I've provided enough evidence. Then I had to do questionnaires, which were quick going for me as a speed reader, and that was the same kinds of questions I've answered before, not any weird blinky light tests or the weird shit I read about in books. So, huzzah! We scheduled a follow-up call on the 21st to discuss.

(And for those of you who INSIST INSIST INSIST that I am autistic, she said she'd let me know if she thought I was, but noted that some symptoms overlap and I don't seem to have the stuff that does not. Thank you.)

In other news, I scheduled another appointment with my PCP at the end of the month (sigh) to ask about the accommodations stuff if I have to, Mom called, and while to her credit she seemed to have the intention to buy a Gavle Goat sweater (they're down to about 10 in my size), she told me to just buy it myself and she'd pay me back. So, $75 with international shipping on that one.

And now, to relax with ice cream and booze, while I can still have that last one. (Mom snapped at me for saying I was going to drink, but HEY, I CAN STILL DO THAT ONE FOR THE MOMENT, THANK YOU. Also it's like 4% alcohol Cost Plus moscato here.)

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