Next week, I have an appointment to be assessed as a potential participant in the only publicly-funded day program I’ve found in my region for the treatment of anxiety disorders (private ones will run you upwards of $15 000, which is just not gonna happen – I’m no Lindsey Lohan.)
I got lucky – they were booking for September, however they had an unexpected opening. Now, this program is part of a larger program within a really large institution. I spent quite a while on the phone with various representatives, each qualified to give out a very small amount of information. All pretty grumpy. I get it – is there anywhere left in this world where public health teams aren’t overworked and underpaid? But I hope, I hope, I hope that the doctors won’t be like this as well. I get sassy when psychiatrists can’t find it in themselves to be sensitive enough while asking incredibly personal questions.
This program does not run in my town, but in a larger city a few hours away. It spans the 9-5 workday, 5 days a week, for about two months. It will require a substantial amount of planning on my part to be able to participate. So, when I was on the phone with representatives, I tried to inquire about the dates of upcoming sessions of the program. They were not able to give me any information, instead telling me that I have no guarantee of being able to participate at all; that that is not for me to determine but for the doctors that will be assessing me in the intake appointment.
Well, fudge. Now this feels like a test. Not to mention, as with many of my mental health care experiences within the public realm of health care, I can feel my independence, my role within my own health care, slipping away. Will my sass make me fail the test? Or will I overcompensate, working to appear less affected by my anxiety disorder than I am, since I sure practice that skill a lot, and it’s lead to inaccurate diagnoses and health care in the past? Will these doctors weight my ‘performance’ in this quasi-interview more heavily, or will they put more weight in the detailed letter they received from the psychologist that lead my treatment for over a year? I have no way of knowing. At least I will come out with a little bit less uncertainty, a little bit sooner, with regards to my future plans.
So – next week I will walk myself in there, see what happens, and if nothing else, bring you back some ‘inside info’, should you ever need it, about the process.