Getting Down to Business

Okay, so I was surprised to receive the promised letters from my doctor’s office on Saturday, since his scheduler had just called me on Friday at around lunch time. But indeed I did receive a confirmation letter of my appointment with Doctor Adolfo Z. Fernandez on 5/21/15 at 10:00 a.m. They also want me to know that Wake Forest Baptist Health has a new online patient portal, called myWakeHealth, so I need to go ahead establish an account through that.

In the packet, there were two more letters, One was from the office of the nutritionist, Paula Kroustalis Manser with whom I have an appointment on June 16th at 3:00 p.m. The other is from Dr. Jeffrey A. Smith, the psychologist. I guess he just needs to go ahead and put it in writing that I am certified crazy. Okay, just kidding. Anyway, the letter says I need to go ahead and give them a call to schedule my “evaluation,” which will take place over two visits. Gee whiz! If the penalty for cancellation without at least 24 hours’ notice is $100, I cringe to think what the actual fee for the visit it going to be.

And then there is my secret.

Well, I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in 2006 or 2007. So, of course I was prescribed medication that they continued to increase in dosage over time until I was at the highest dosage of 3 meds daily. In another post I will disclose how I came off these meds, but it was NOT under doctor supervision. I have never returned to the medicated lifestyle and have survived and thrived these 7 years since that nightmarish time of my life. Do I still notice the effects of the chemical imbalance they told me I had years ago? Well, I’d be outright lying if I said I never notice. The point is that I believe I have learned to cope without medication. And I have not killed myself, nor anyone else in the process, so I’m good, right?

I notice that in the patient health assessment, they ask you about medical conditions like depression. Every time I see that word I pause and I don’t know what I should do. Do I get depressed sometimes? Heck yeah, but it’s not the black engulfing pit that I used to fall into and become debilitated for days at a time. So, I tend to simply skip over that question on the forms. But I have this sneaking feeling that I won’t be able to avoid this type of question with the shrink. What am I going to do? If I tell about my previous diagnosis will that make me NOT a good candidate for this surgery? If I admit that I still struggle from time to time with emotional swings, will someone try to convince me to take medication again?

At any rate, this process is now in full swing so it’s time for me to get down to business, filling out papers and keeping appointments…


12 thoughts on “Getting Down to Business

  1. I have what my therapist considers “bipolar tendencies”….not enough to even be considered bipolar 2. I’m of the opinion that mental health is a balance of therapy, meds, and putting in the hard work of the therapy and taking the meds. i also believe it’s important to work with a doctor who prescribes the absolute MINIMUM needed to keep the worst of symptoms at bay. You will not be doing yourself a service to keep this information under wraps, so just embrace the opportunity to work with professionals and be open to what you discover with them. :):

  2. Yes… The psych evaluation is expensive. Or at least mine was. Insurance did not cover it so it hurt my feelings writing that little check.
    I agree with Amy… Be open and honest about where you were and where you are now. They truly want to create a fully, healthy person at the end… At least that’s what I took away from it. Good Luck!!!😊

      • Mine was about $750 when all said and done. Originally, I paid just at a thousand… But for some reason, my insurance said they would have to absorb some of the cost because it wasn’t allowable or something… Not real sure, all I know is I got a credit afterwards that made it more around the $750 mark.😳
        But not everyone will have the same experience, I’m sure. Hopefully yours will be better. My psychiatrist was in with the Bariatric group… As was the nutritionist. It was nice having them all at one location.

      • What the devil???? I never in my life have heard of such a thing. $1000 for a psych eval? Was that one visit or two? I swear I was already bracing myself for a big chunk, but NOT THAT BIG!

      • Oh, Lord I HOPE not. Because if the out of pocket costs are going to be that prohibitive, then I just might not be a candidate for this surgery after all. I mean I live off the salary of a TEACHER, not an ATTORNEY! My letter said that the evaluation will take place over 2 days.

      • I am a teacher as well so I know what you mean. I had to save for mine. The hard part is that everything is due up front. Surgery, hospital, anesthesia, etc. So I’ve now paid out a total of about $3,500-$4,000 (and I may get a few straggler bills in the next few weeks). But that’s still really good considering my other options. My insurance has been a big help in the process. Id do it again in a heartbeat!!!

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