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My first experience of the next in a string of case managers...I can tell.
Case Manager #2, Trudy, called me at 1430.  "Can you meet us at the Hastings coffee shop in at 1445?"  Well, yes.  "Are you in the middle of something?"  No.  "Are you at home?"  Yes.  "Well, let's say somewhere between 1445 and 1500 at Hastings so you can meet Wendy.  We'll head over there in a few minutes and meet you there.  That way you won't have much time to think and worry about it and maybe it won't be so hard for you."  Okay.  I beat them there, just me and my clipboard for writing down notes.  I had the idea of doing a clinical interview with this Case Manager #3.  Wendy.  I did not know what to expect, but I somehow knew what I would be getting in terms of this new case manager.  And I was right.  What I did not expect was all the nervousness from my old case manager.  Trudy nervously kept the pace of the meeting and she kept the tone light.  It was not until I took over the meeting by telling Case Manager #3 that I am a fairly independent person that Case Manager #2 leaned over and told her for me, "She don't need no fucking babysitter."  Proud of herself, and significantly less anxious, Trudy sat back up smiling and said, "There.  I told her for you."  I did not get to say much.  Trudy said it all for me from that point on.  I would begin my sentences or comments and she would finish them for me, exactly as I would have finished them - exactly as I did finish them with her a few years ago.  Trudy kept the tone light, but serious enough that Case Manager #3 knew she was perfectly serious and that I was perfectly serious.  Case Manager #3 and I set up a time to meet next week.  I gave Trudy a short hug and we walked out of the coffee shop.  That was the meeting.  That was the last time I would meet with Case Manager #2.  I walked to my truck as they walked away in the opposite direction.  Once they were out of sight, I went back into the store.  I bought an UglyDoll named OX because I needed something to hug, then walked back to my truck and drove away.

Now, my impressions of Case Manager #3.  She dresses very girlie, almost too girlie for her age.  She has not worked with Vets.  Trudy instructed her on my triggers and things that I may need help with, encouraging me at the same time to tell Case Manager #3 when I had a problem requiring her help.  That may or may not happen.  My impression of Case Manager #3 was not one of compatibility with me.  I think that if I missed a week or two with her, she would simply cross me off her list as a client.  She is new to the way of meeting in the community as well.  I do not like meeting in cubicles and offices.  That is not the point of my particular case management needs.  She did not strike me as terribly flexible, either.  More anal, with the potential to add way too much detail to my paperwork and ask way too many detailed questions, neither of which will I tolerate.

BUT.  That is the word I must hang on for a moment.  Being a psychology graduate student, I know a fair amount about the way people's minds work, including mine.  I must not prejudge this person too harshly, or at all for that matter.  I am shifting all of my anger and hurt over the loss of Case Manager #2 onto Case Manager #3.  That is not wrong - it is a normal defense mechanism - but it is not fair.  I am also depressed about the matter, in a state of grieving.  I had no desire to meet a new case manager, and I felt worse for having done it because it meant that my relationship with my old case manager was officially over.  She was gone.  May she rest in peace as far as our relationship went.  It was the loss of a friend.  I allowed myself to get attached to her, which was my fault.  I had no intention of becoming attached to her because I was meeting with her simply to cooperate with my doctor so that he did not have to bear the burden of my care alone and so that I had a broader base of support should I not be able to get a hold of him for some reason.  I found myself disappointed in particular that this Case Manager #3 works Monday through Friday.  My doctor, the best I could ever have and my most trusted friend, only works Monday through Thursday.  There was never any conflict with Case Manager #2 because she only worked Monday through Thursday as well.  So now I have a dilemma of sorts.  What if something comes up on a Friday?  The case manager is available that day, whereas before, I knew I had to make it through Friday, Saturday, and Sunday on my own.  This is a conflict for me, and a sore spot.  It creates a symbolic threat to the relationship between my doctor and I in my mind.  I never said that people's minds made sense.  They do not.  Trust me on that one.  They do not.  BUT...
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