I was really upset with my last call to our doctor’s office. The nurse told me that the doctor has recommended Risperdal, that we should research it on our own and once we make a final decision to get back to them. I told her I was very disappointed because I thought such an important decision under his threatening condition would allow us to meet face to face with the doctor. In our last appointment with her, she told us that she would never put her own child on Risperdal. So it makes me mad that we can’t discuss this further before giving him this medication. I would love the opportunity to show her video of what happened (taken by my iphone during his episode) and to discuss all options available.
But the nurse said that she was sorry, that she couldn’t fit us in and that this was the best our HMO could do. She explained that due to insurance companies, we can’t get more access to our doctor. If we wanted to have more appointment followup with a psychiatrist, we would have to pay for it on the outside, but she reminded us that we would never be able to afford the cost of appointments let alone medication. Then she tells me that there are a lot of other families suffering just like us and that programs previously available to help support families and the costs for care are no longer existing due to cutbacks in the bad economy.
(insert sound of me crying over the phone)
I told her that I was feeling frustrated that these decisions were being left up to us, yet they won’t give us a diagnosis. Or even a hint as to what they think my son has. I know that I need to let go of getting a diagnosis and I have for the most part, but this conversation brought this frustration back up.
The nurse said that we didn’t need a diagnosis to treat our son since calling him “Bipolar” doesn’t change their treatment plan. I explained that I knew that was the case, but for ME, it mattered.
Let me explain why:
If a parent brought their child to the doctors for unusual symptoms and the specialists said that they think their child may have cancer and they want to do chemotherapy. The parents would want confirmation of the illness, they would want the doctors to test to see if there was cancer cells present before they would allow their child to go under such dangerous treatment.
Now, I know that bipolar illness can not be tested and proven, I accept that, but I don’t trust that our doctors are evaluating all of my son’s symptoms, yet they’re now prescribing treatment that they wouldn’t even put their own child through. It’s unsettling.
I guess if the psychiatrist looked at my son’s entire case and said that it looks like he might have bipolar disorder, instead of saying, “he’ll probably outgrow this someday, most kids do”, then I can justify the next level of treatment.
But without a close evaluation of his case, I’m left with the nagging thought... what if the medication is making him worse? Then my next thought is, what if his illness is getting worse and we are wasting time by not starting the Risperdal today.
The responsibility of this decision is weighing heavy on my heart.
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Thank you everyone for all your feedback. Your positive experiences with Risperdal is encouraging. I also appreciate all of your opinions and personal stories shared on my last post, it has been very helpful to both my husband and I. Even my husband told me that after reading all of your feedback, he can see why this blog is helpful to me. Thanks!