You Call it Bipolar-I Call it MSD
Ready for Action: Ready for Danger
So I let not one, but two days go by without posting an MSD piece. That was just to prove that I do NOT also have an OCD (obsessive/compulsive disorder). That was a weak-sauce effort to inject a little humor into the subject. Now that the crisis has been averted, as of say seven or eight weeks ago, and my therapeutic journey has been charted and plotted, I am ready for action, ready for danger. I’m ready to work with Dr. Mark Cerri, a psychologist situated in Ukiah, and so traveled down with Annie, yesterday, to begin the process.
We arrived at his office a few minutes early, parking in the available graveled parking lot, adjacent to his office. Like Dr. Garratt’s “office,” this one had a name on the window of the front entrance, that did not match the person I was there to consult. As we looked around, it was easy to see that there were no other vehicles present, so where was Dr. C’s car? At precisely 1:58, a vehicle pulled into the lot, and a man got out, looked over at us, and gave a single wave of his arm, and indicated that he would go around the side, and come back to open the front door.
He told us upon ushering us into his office, that he worked primarily on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and that he hoped we were OK with the arrangements. I told him we appreciated his being able to fit me in so quickly, and that it was all good. Right away I asked Dr. Cerri what I should call him, and he said that Mark was fine. His manner was relaxed, his voice confident and modulated, and he put me at my ease immediately. His opening words were simply ones which indicated that we should get acquainted.
I made the briefest of statements, having already given him some background information in an email, telling him that we had been seeing Dr. Garratt, on the coast, but that it was not a fit because he was not interested in pursuing cognitive behavioral therapy, and we were. I then suggested that Annie take the narrative from there, because I had a tendency to get too detailed, and she could better maintain focus on the big picture. It was a solid plan.
I thought back to the tumultuous circumstances surrounding my first visit to Dr. Garratt, after my having been “rebuffed” by Norm, the psychologist at Long Valley, who had given me fifteen minutes of his time, only to say he had no patient openings. I had not been able to articulate to Dr. Garratt in the same manner, the facts of my case, the way I had done so smoothly in Norm’s office. With Dr. G, I had become amped, as a response to the anxiety I felt at being there in the first place.
The net result was that the man prescribed Seroquel, an atypical, antipsychotic drug! This was in response to what he felt had been portrayed as a guy who did not get enough sleep. All that is history now, and it is enough to say that my opening session with Mark Cerri, went ten times smoother. I had brought my mood chart along, to indicate that I was monitoring myself each day, to determine the level of prominence, of any of my possible symptoms, but we never got that far.
What we established was that we were going to obtain a book from Amazon, which Annie had researched and knew to be the outline of the cognitive behavioral therapy program we wanted to follow. Annie is going to order two copies, one for me and one for Dr. Mark. We established that Dr. Mark is going to begin gathering some history next session, and that he will subsequently begin a series of diagnostic tests, so that we can obtain a clinical diagnosis. That was the one thing we were never able to extract from Dr. G.
So now the process has begun, in a calm and sane manner. It was kind of nice, so maybe that bodes well for the future. It sure feels right.