I saw a lady at her home on the way in to work this morning, since her home's on the route in. She's a lady who has had episodes of depression over decades but thankfully has been stable for a good few years now through a mix of interventions.
She's had problems with her physical health, was admitted for investigations and was discharged last week so I thought I'd best pop in to review how she was and if her medication was still appropriate.
Driving in to work, my mind was busy. I've several patients to review later today on the wards. I was seeing this lady and thinking through how she'd been in the past, how before coming to older adult services she's had several admissions and courses of ECT, how she'd been on her medication over the last 5 years I've known her and whether they were now safe. I was thinking through the content of a presentation I'm doing later this week, doing teaching within a neighbouring Trust, structuring what I need to get over to them and what key take home messages I want to stick. I was thinking through 2 formal complaints in a nearby unit I'm investigating and what information I'm going to have to go through this week to substantiate what I already know of how 2 staff really have acted woefully. I was thinking of the patient visits I have this afternoon.
So I visited my kindly lady, who as always methodically made a superb pot of tea, then talked things through with her.
She wasn't having problems of hypotension or risks or treatment emergent adverse events necessitating a change of medication. Phew.
She did make a point that I've heard a few times before but forgotten. As I'd been driving in, thinking of lots of patients and lots of work, she'd been thinking of me arriving. She knew of the appointment that the ward staff told her of so had been fixing on this, as an important event in her week, her chance to meet with her Consultant. And then she said it, "I know you have lots of patients, but I have only one psychiatrist, I'm really glad it's you."
A sobering thought and a pleasure to hear, it really has been the best of ways to start my day.