In which a therapist mysteriously happens to me

So, um. Wait, what? You know that bit in the Talking Heads song where he says “You may ask yourself: Well, how did I get here?” Yeah, I think I have that moment way more often than I want it.

I’m trying to reconstruct how I got into this situation (another thing that I do far too often, frankly). My Dutch doctor prescribed birth control pills to try to control my migraines, because we thought they might be a cyclical hormonal thing. They didn’t help, but they solved some other problems so I kept taking them. So far this all makes sense.

Then we moved back to Germany, and my German doctor referred me to a gynecologist to ask if the Pill was a reasonable response to chronic migraines. The gynecologist said that migraine patients with aura had a higher risk of stroke if they took the pill, and she took me off it and referred me to a neurologist. Then December happened, and I got too busy, but this week I used my health insurance’s Doctor-finder app to locate the neurologist nearest my house and it pointed me to a doctor in Ziegelhausen, across the river.

Here’s where we enter the Twilight Zone.

Er, what’s a neurologist? I thought that was the doc that taped electrodes to your head and measured brain activity and maybe stuffed you into an MRI thing. This one works in a tattered old building in a part of town with no parking and appears to have no machinery more complex than a desktop computer. She asked me questions for an hour and got a very sketchy picture of my (admittedly sketchy) life story and then said yeah, we definitely need to talk more, so we scheduled an appointment for next Tuesday.

Now, I had been of a mind to look around for a therapist, because my various coping mechanisms haven’t been doing their job lately, but the search was pretty daunting. I need one who takes my insurance: check. Preferably female: check. With a medical degree: check.

Digression: There’s a proverb, “When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.” We saw this with Ignaz’s ADHD therapist: it would never have occurred to her to suggest medication because she’s not trained to look at this problem through that lens. Meds might (or might not) have helped him, but we never got the chance to find out. So this time I want someone who can cover all possible bases, even if I choose not to cover some of them later.

Finally, I really want someone fluent in English: this is the kicker. Maybe she speaks English, I don’t know, but yesterday’s session was in German and I noticed several moments where I wasn’t sure I was saying quite what I wanted to say, and thanks but no. I’ve already had this experience with Ig’s therapist: “Oh no, you couldn’t possibly have misunderstood because your German is perfect! You just don’t want to hear The Truth.” It’s been eight years, and I still want to punch her for that.

So it’s altogether possible that this is not the therapist I’m looking for. But wait, I hadn’t started looking for one yet, so how did I get this one? And what do I do with her? I wasn’t prepared for this, ack!

Whatever. I’ll see her again on Tuesday and bring this up and hope something useful happens. But I’m also weirdly nervous about this because I have some pretty hefty issues around rejection and I’m maybe projecting said issues onto her. Agh, what a mess. You see why I don’t want to have to explain all this in German?

Song du jour of the day: well of course, Talking Heads, Once in a Lifetime, though that name can’t be right because I swear I find myself in this situation at least twice a year.

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