Hello, it’s ‘the partner’ here!
I usually write over at our Bipolar blog, but today I am writing here as S is too ill to blog. I’m sorry this post is so long, it’s more of an account of what’s happening and a vent too I guess.
We’ve had a rough day. S’s Bipolar/whatever-it-is has steadily gotten worse since we first noticed her symptoms. However over the last few years it seems to have evolved. S now has constant psychosis, every single day, outside of any significant mood episode. That is not Bipolar.
Yesterday was rough, but today was one of the worst days we’ve had. I have never seen S so panicked or terrified! She couldn’t talk or her voice would wobble, she was constantly fighting tears and she couldn’t breathe properly. I have never seen anybody feel so immensely scared.
Back in early November S’s GP sent an urgent referral to a psychiatrist through a service called Single Point of Access. We didn’t hear from them for two months, so I called S’s GP and when he looked at the system it said SPOA had sent out a letter (which we never got) and because they hadn’t heard from us they ‘assumed’ we didn’t need help and discharged us. Ever heard the saying ‘couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery’?
The GP was furious with this and contacted them again, and last week we actually received a letter. There was no appointment but a number I could call.
I phoned them today and spoke to someone, they asked some questions about S’s symptoms and then gave us an appointment for tomorrow. We have never had an appointment given to us so quickly.
At the end of the call with SPOA they told me to phone Crisis Team if needed. They didn’t tell me who we will be seeing tomorrow, if they are in fact a psychiatrist or anything like that which seems odd.
A couple hours later S was unrecognisible, she was breaking. Do I take her to A&E, phone the GP and try squeeze in an urgent appointment, or phone Crisis Team? I phoned Crisis Team.
We have seen Crisis Team many times over the year, and we both hate the service. Every time we have seen them they haven’t helped at all and have always made things worse. Every. Single. Time. Guess what? Today was no different.
The man I was talking to had no interest in helping or sending someone out. I told him about the psychosis, the paranoia, the over-whelming anxiety…and he spent ten minutes talking about calm breathing (dear god…), and told me to phone SPOA to ask if they could push the appointment forwards. They had told me to phone Crisis Team! It was already close to 4pm, SPOA wouldn’t see us after 5pm and it’s over 90 minutes travel to get to them…Crisis Team are a 24/7 service!
Surprisingly Raiden has been amazing with S, and has managed to calm her down far more than I have. Not just with snuggles and helping her focus with his training, but when she is depressed or panicked he will lick her face for minutes on end. It is amazing and I am v. grateful to that little pup.
We took Raiden for a walk as he needed one, but just to the nearby field to try keep it as stress-free for S as possible.
That went well…Some fool let their Border Collie off lead by the road, only we didn’t know until S spotted it at the far side of the field (60+ft away), on a hill. It was doing the intense Collie stare. S saw it before Raiden did so we were able to pick him up and start walking away.
Well the Collie raced across the field and was so intense, in a way that only a herding breed can be. Hard stares, super alert body language, jumping up, sprinting in circles around me, nipping my legs. We did not need this, and Raiden was going CRAZY wriggling and screaming in my arms. This was so unfair.
S was freaking. She couldn’t body block the dog because it was moving so fast, I was struggling to walk because the dog was so close to my feet, and S didn’t want to grab the Collie’s collar because of its body language. She told me to walk away from the Collie, then she turned towards where the Collie came from (where the owner was, not that we could see them) and yelled at the top of her voice “CAN YOU GET YOUR DOG IMMEDIATELY!”
There was no reply, the owner didn’t appear. Raiden was screaming so loud he would easily have been heard by the dog’s owner. We were halfway down the road, Collie still circling and nipping, when an owner appeared a couple hundred feet away, bellowing for the dog. The Collie had fairly good recall but it should not have been allowed off lead or allowed to run so far away.
S didn’t take her eyes off the owner as we walked away, and she held up her hands like “wtf?”. The man stared at her for a while and then eventually shouted “sorry”. He is lucky she wasn’t any closer.
I feel sorry for Raiden and I feel sorry for S. I am furious with the other dog owners in this area, and I am livid with the Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment team. For a service that are supposed to help those in crisis, it is disgusting.