Notes and more
Things have been quite busy these past few days and emotionally I have been trying my best to regain some stability in my ever unstable roller coaster of life. I am still upset by the therapy decision of last week but I have no option other than just to continue as best I can.
I think one of the most ridiculous and systemically shocking outcomes of that meeting was when I discovered that despite the staff at the specialist hospital writing notes on me every day for the past 9 months and them doing so on the same system as my MH team here uses, because the admission was out of county and under a different Trust, my team here can’t access any of them!! All that they have to inform them of what I have been doing for the past 9 months is my discharge summary which comprises two sides of A4. I am totally incensed by the farcical nature of that - I may as well have gone to Mars for 9 months for all they know about what I did, where I struggled and where I made progress. So much for a joined up NHS. It is bad enough that mental health and physical health records are not congruous as they use different systems (which makes it very difficult for GPs or A&E staff who may regularly come across patients with mental health conditions to have any real idea of what is happening treatment wise) but for the same system to be in place and two mental health Trusts still not able to access each other’s notes is ludicrous. This is something that really needs addressing nationally but which seems to pass under the radar of care authorities. I strongly believe that the best care of patients can’t ever be achieved, especially since so may people are forced to go out of area for specialist treatment of their conditions, whilst notes can’t be transferable.
Over the past few days I have been grateful to be able to spend time with family and friends, and even had a couple of chance encounters with people who knew me when I was an inpatient on my local acute ward last year. All of these interactions have been positive and had a great impact on my mood. They have allowed me to continue to build on my belief that I can make good relationships with people and further, that people see something worthwhile and good in me. I may have a personality disorder (well, 4 actually) but my personality itself isn’t flawed - people want to spend time with me and see positives in me. This is important for anyone with a diagnosis of a PD. It is a very misleading label and all too often people given it already suffer from incredibly low self esteem. To hear then that your personality - what it is that makes you ‘you’ - is ‘disordered’ or somehow faulty can be an extremely invalidating and undermining experience. This is how I felt for a long time after my diagnosis but now I am, bit by bit, proving to myself that I am still valuable as a person and a member of society and my personality is no more faulty than anyone else’s. I wouldn’t want anyone to write themselves off because of a poorly named mental health condition - you are you and not damaged goods, remember that!
Speaking of positive assertions, my proudest moment this week came when my GP told me that he had recently used one of the comments I made to him in my last appointment, when speaking with another patient with mental illness. I had told him that I was slowly learning that every thought and feeling doesn’t need to be acted upon and that it what he shared. It might not have been revolutionary or anything big but if that one sentence helps that patient not self harm or act negatively in any other way even once, then I am more than pleased.