We knew that we would have to find another Psychiatrist. Dr. Kooiker didn’t seem to have any intent to listen to Angela or us, her care givers, about our daughter’s excess sleeping problems, or about our concerns about having any adverse reactions to the multiple medications she was on, or if we thought her therapy was beneficial.
I presumed that a Doctor of Psychiatry would look at her patients records that had been transferred and read them to see how best to treat that patient. I can only presume that she didn’t read that the parents called and talked to the last Doctor about their concerns with adverse reactions to a new medication regiment our daughter was on. She would have seen that our involvement was required. She would have looked for a release of information or asked her patient if she still wanted her parents to be involved in her care or she could have called us to ask us. So, we started looking for another Psychiatrist.
We still hadn’t found a new Psychiatrist when the next appointment with Dr. Kooiker came due. I went with my daughter to that appointment. We were 6 minutes late and were told at check-in that Dr. Kooiker would not allow Angela to see her because she was too late. Angela said that this had happened before and it was not a problem with Dr. Kooiker, but we were still turned away. As we walked out of the office, we saw Dr. Kooiker walking down the hall, not waiting in her office ready to help her next patient.
Yes, it was hard to find another new Psychiatrist. We asked people we knew for recommendations. I asked my grief therapist for recommendations. I had many recommendations that I called and so many of them were no longer seeing adults. They now were only seeing adolescents or they were at their maximum of patients they could feasibly fit into their schedule. Thankfully, we finally found the right place that agreed to help our daughter.
We now were very determined about the several requirements for our daughter’s safe and best possible care. They gave us their full cooperation in fulfilling our needs of being able to talk with them about anything and gave us copies of this agreement. They even take vitals before the visit and want blood work to be done so they can properly diagnose any side effects of the antidepressants and antipsychotics.
Finding the best care for mental health issues is so very important! Until the laws and regulations in this country are changed and enforced you can’t trust that a doctorate degree means that the care is based on his or her safety and with their best interests as number one!
When you or your loved one is in need of getting help for mental health issues it takes time and hard work. First make sure that you or your loved one is safe and not alone, because finding them help is something that you can’t quite do on your own and may need help with when you are in that spot. We knew our daughter needed that help and totally support her in getting the best care.
I must reiterate that you can’t just blindly accept that these medical professionals know or will do what is the best for you, especially when you are not well emotionally. It is so helpful to have someone who can watch and help the patient get that care!
Written by JaRae M. Midlo