Friday, September 03, 2004

Mouthing Off

I met with a pshrink yesterday...partly to make sure I'm not insane, but mostly to talk about Amy's health. However as soon as he saw me, this grave look consumed him.

It took me a minute to figure it out. Being one of the three doctors we've chosen to keep on Amy's team, he is well acquainted with Amy's problems. He knows that it's been a long fight for us both. We've spoken semi frequently on the phone in recent weeks, but it's been 4 months or so since I've actually dropped by to talk with him face to face. When I walked into his office he immediately decided I must be a deep state of depression...because I'm not fat.

I suppose that's a reasonable assumption...weight loss is a classic sign of depression...although I gently reminded him later that it is also seen by many folks as an indicator of a healthy lifestyle.

Mercifully he didn't take too much convincing to admit that his flash card diagnosis was a bit premature. I explained that I had lost weight deliberately. I was eating better and exercising daily, something I realized might actually help prevent me from stressing out, and coming to visit him more often.

I don't think he believed me at first...he had that prescription pad ready, but I gave him the reader's digest version of my philosophy of discipline, about my daily walks, about writing, about facing our financial demons and about coming to trust more and more that God is in control of this and all situations.

After a while he loosened his grip on his prescription pad and announced, "Well, you're not depressed....depressed people don't do stuff like fact they tend to stop doing things like that."

I found that reassuring, at least until I remembered that only a few minutes earlier he seemed ready to have me committed inside a padded Denny's and force fed lithium laced ice cream.

I told him the truth...certainly at times I get angry, or sad and or frustrated. I could use more sleep, but that's nothing new. I also told him that if I ever felt otherwise I'd be honest about it, but I needed him to focus his attentions on Amy.

Next week Amy is going to fly home to spend some one on one time with her folks. This is something she had been anxious to do before her most recent medical setback and I'm hopeful being able to keep that plan from being derailed will boost her confidence a little. The surgeon has signed off on it; the pshrink is okay with it too.

Although she's out of the hospital, Amy is not having an easy time adjusting and I wanted her to see the pshrink before she leaves town. He'll have his prescription pad at the ready I'm sure, but I am also fairly certain that he'll at least consider the idea that much of the true cure is time and patience.

Being around her folks, rather than me and three manic dogs, may be a bit more conducive to that approach.

The upside to recognizing the need for persistent patience is that I'm teaching myself a new language...I call it, "michaelcloseyertrapese", although now that I think about it, that sounds like it might be a skill only taught in Clown College.

I will tell you it's not an easy language for me to master, but at least there are no verbs to conjugate.

Between now and next week, I will spend my time with Amy trying to be more patient, while offering fewer suggestions. I will still try to gently remind her that God is healing her body and her spirit.

The trick is to do all that while still keeping my mouth shut.

Well, not all the time....I'll open my mouth to eat....I promise.