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Cold turkey

Posted Apr 16 2010 12:00am
Just back from a meeting with three psychiatrists. In the room were me, Chris, Ian, Chris's psychotherapist, Chris's medication doctor and her boss. I was looking forward to the meeting as a chance to move forward, to congratulate ourselves somewhat on things to date, until Chris let it out this morning before I left for work that he actually had stopped taking his medication a few days ago. A few days ago? How many days ago? This he wouldn't say. Just dropped them cold turkey.

I saw this meeting going down the tube fast. "Chris," I snarled, "get down to the pharmacy when it opens eight minutes from now and get that prescription filled." Of course, he didn't know where the prescription was, but luckily the pharmacist is okay with filling it first and bringing the prescription later.

What was Chris thinking? He is so close to shedding at least one of the drugs and possibly one psychiatrist if the meeting went well, why would he risk it all by showing up with a chance of looking and acting peculiar? As it turned out, Chris and Dr. Stern were there when I arrived at the clinic. I don't know if she suspected anything. Chris looked kind of red around the gills but that was all.

The meeting was fine. At some point Chris offered up that he had not taken his medication, he claimed it was only for four days, but I have my doubts as I seem to be spending more time recently having these quiet "talks" with him. I got to say my piece about the meds. I decided in advance that I wasn't going to debate the merits of Serdolect versus any other drug, I was simply going to "appeal" to their more noble selves by saying that Chris was spending too much time being a patient, and therefore not moving forward as much as he could and should. Having to schedule an ECG because of the Serdolect keeps him a patient, but so does seeing so many psychiatrists, no offense, of course! I told them that I personally don't believe that two drugs are better than one, and that the reason Chris is on two is simply because the institution believes in two.

The chief psychiatrist picked up on Chris's "forgetting" his meds and asked him if this was his way of saying he wanted off them. We chased that around a bit, and the upshot is that the chief said that cutting it down to one drug is in the realm of possibility. Dr. Stern had rather cleverly introduced the idea that Chris, in addition to gaining weight, was often tired. That may seal the fate of the Serdolect.

There is one thing that the chief psychiatrist said that rankled. He referred to Chris's "disease". However, here's the good part. He said that Chris "had" a disease, using the past tense. This was sounding more like disease as metaphor to me. Ian picked up on this and his parting words to the psychiatrist was that he was glad to see that he used the past tense, because at least as far as Ian was concerned, Chris's real problems were in the past.
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