The appointment lasted an hour and we never felt rushed, which hasn’t always been the case with previous doctors. I really appreciated that he started the appointment by connecting with my son. He asked a lot of great questions and seemed interested in what he had to say. Next we ran through family history and symptoms. As always, I provide the doctors with condensed details from my charts and journaling with a few typed pages. In the past, the doctors seem to care less and at one appointment a doctor actually handed it back to me and said that it wasn’t necessary. But our new doctor impressed the heck out of me when he sincerely seemed to appreciate all the information and promised to review it all. Per my request, he even said he was willing to look at my son’s entire case from beginning to end to evaluate if any of his medications have brought on symptoms. His initial response was that it wasn’t likely. From there he asked us a lot of questions covering everything I could imagine. By the time we were done I was pleased and felt like he was more than capable of helping our son.
As with every first appointment, I ask the doctors the same question, “What do you think my son has?” Without flinching, in a tone that said “obviously”, he said, “Well bipolar disorder”, as he gestured toward the list of symptoms. He then asked, “why, have you been told differently?” We explained that previous doctors hesitate to label because of his age and one doctor told us that it was statistically impossible for my son to have bipolar disorder since only 1% of the population have it. We also explained how our first psychiatrist declared that our old HMO will no longer be labeling kids with bipolar disorder, but will use the new label once released with the DSM guide. In response, our psychiatrist shook his head and said, “it sounds like politics, I’m glad I don’t work there.”
The only downside was the long commute to get there, on the way home my son started to panic in the car because we were in an unfamiliar location far from home, it was a rough reminder of how fragile he is. Thankfully every other aspect of our new doctor was great. Both my husband and I were enthusiastic about how positive the experience was and my son gave us the “thumbs up”. After all we’ve been through, I wanted to give the psychiatrist a big hug after the appointment, don’t worry I didn’t get weird on him, instead I settled for a hand shake, but I was smiling ear to ear.