After almost being admitted “accidentally” to ICU, then being holed up in an interview room for two hours, you may expect this third post about my admission into hospital on Saturday to also be rather grim. However, I hope you will share my joy when I tell you (tongue in cheek) that there is a new love in my life.
Admission into a private psychiatric ward in Australia comprises three separate administrative stages: the one where you prove your health fund is going to foot the bill, and pay any extras or deposits the hospital requires; the one where a nurse gathers lots of data and assess both your safety risk factor and your risk of absconding; and the ‘formal admission’ by a psychiatrist.
My usual admitting psychiatrist was away all weekend so I was admitted by a fill in. None of the nurses knew who he was. As always, what I write in this blog is truthful and preserves anonymity, so I will refer to this doctor as “W” (which is neither his first nor last initial).
I had very low expectations of W and what the experience would be like. I have a long psychiatric history and had no idea how much of a history he would want. There was also the confounding factor that I had almost wound up in ICU, and I did not know how he would react to that.
W is wonderful. He makes you feel as though he has all the time in the world to spend listening to you (though this is probably not the case). He allowed for the fact that I am an intelligent, resourceful woman who can tell my own story coherently and with insight. While not assuming that I was a specialist, he did not condescend to me when asking about my health. He consulted me about decisions which had to be made, e.g. whether my medication regime should be changed again (NO, thank you!) and how long my “no leave” period should be. He came back the next day to check in and see how things are going.
Many of the nurses were very curious about W after he left, because they had not seen him before. I can’t say too much about those conversations here because that could compromise confidentiality, but I will say that to those whom I knew would also laugh, I declared: “I have a new doctor crush!”
My usual psychiatrist is back today. He, too, does not condescend to me, is a straight talker, listens, and is consultative (perhaps a little less than W, but then, no-one’s perfect).
I may never see W again, but for as long as I remember this admission, I will remember the tremendous gratitude I feel towards him.
May we all be blessed with Ws in our lives this week!