Thursday, January 11, 2007

"Worrying About Our Future Move"

Rosie waits at the top of the stairs at our new place to see if she can go out and play frisbee.

Rosie and I pose on the front steps of our old place for a team picture.

As Rowena and I get ready to move south to be with my husband in our new apartment, some new concerns have surfaced. First of all, not all people understand psychiatric illnesses and disabilities, let alone adding a service dog to all that. In order for me to continue to use Rosie, I need to continue to get renewals of my doctor's letters. That means that who ever my doc is at that time must believe in and support my use of a service dog. My fear is that I really don't know WHO I am going to get for providers down there and I am not familiar with the area providers of mental health services enough to know who to stay away from. The only thing I can do is hope and pray, and if I get a negative provider (that by now in my recovery I am quite good at picking those people out), I will have to discontinue seeking care from that person. The backlash from that would be that my leaving providers left and right could be perceived as something pathological and could be harmful for me in the future... staying in my permanent record. The mental health system is not a friendly system. That may be why so many people just don't get better in the system. Misdiagnosis, being treated with shame and guilt, power trips, dysfunctional mental health providers (not really healthy enough to be working in the system), and a basic misunderstanding about psychiatric illnesses and disabilities make the healing process slow, if not impossible. Some are lucky to make it out alive!

Another concern I have is that I will not have easy access to a town where Rosie will continue to learn how to deal appropriately with stuff going on around her, different people, traffic etc. I wonder if she may become under socialized even though as a young pup she was probably over-socialized. I worry that I won't find a trainer nearby that I like and that understands my particular type of service dog... not just her breed but her tasks as well.

I also worry about the fact that I will not be near a town and that I may become more of a hermit, withdrawing more. I have begun to think of perhaps enrolling in an outpatient program at the local psychiatric unit. Maybe I could make a link there. I am just praying that I can get a team of good providers to help me ease more into this big transition.
(May 22nd, 2008: Rowena and I never completed our move as things just didn't happen and resources for us fell through. My husband lives in the little apartment on the marsh. Rowena and I still live in Bangor. We miss Chris very much and miss our after work activities.)

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