This morning I went to check out Area 51. Well, it felt like that was where I was going. The real name is Region 10 Wellness Recovery Center. To me, the idea of going was otherworldly.
One of the written instructions for my discharge was that I find a Psychiatrist in the healthcare community who will do Adult Case Management. It turns out it’s not just refilling prescriptions. I had thought that and knew I could get my primary care physician to refill my Prozac. My plan was to not really do that part and just call my GP’s nurse when I needed a refill. But now I know better and I know that more is required to beat my depression.
Case management includes asking the right questions so you can know if the medication is working the way it was intended. They can check to be sure the medicine is not having unintended side effects or that it is too strong or not strong enough. That sounds good to me. Now I’m feeling bad about calling it Area 51. (not really.)
The receptionist at the desk was very friendly and helpful. She answered my questions which included, can I get Individual Therapy from a licensed credentialed therapist? She said yes. She explained that there would be paperwork to fill out and time for questions.
Because they are a smaller branch of the Virginia mental health system, their first appointment was a week from Friday at 10 AM. This did not seem too unreasonable, but I had braced for a full session when I walked through the door. Truth be told, I was disappointed because I had made the effort to shower, shave, put on a clean shirt and drive down to the facility.
Another twist to the satellite location is my Adult Case Manager would be meeting with me by way of a Video conference. He works out of the downtown Charlottesville office and “makes the rounds” via Skype or Zoom. I have met with clients via Zoom and Skype, so no big deal. As an aside, the Psychiatrist who made the decision to admit me to UVA was on a teleprompter at UVA, while I was in the Martha Jefferson ER, 30 minutes away. It’s a brave new world.
When I was discharged from the UVA Mental Health Facility, 5 North as they call it, I was given instructions about what to do if I could not get an appointment for Medicine management within 30 days. UVA offers a bridge Clinic on Wednesdays from 1 PM until 5 PM. They require you to come at 12:30 and fill out paperwork. This serves to keep a check on you if you can’t be seen within the first 4 weeks. The receptionist at Region 10 said that would likely be the case for me.
In the end, the receptionist filled out an appointment card and I left the building. It seemed like a lot of effort just to get one business card with an appointment inked on it. Big picture, I will be going back next Friday, and the process will continue.