Sunday, January 21, 2007

This Year's Biggest Turkey...

Apologies for the delay, and I will reply to comments tomorrow. A great deal has gone on, and some of this will have to be done in point form.

Right. I am released. This is a good thing, an unalloyedly good thing. I have a fairly aggressive followup programme - I am being seen twice in the coming week, and as I left Clearwater no fewer than three people grasped my hand and told me that if I felt in any way that I needed to, I should contact them, day or night.

It's good to be wanted, even if you are paying two hundred or so dollars a day to be wanted.

And it's good to be back home again, to see Sarah and to stare at the chickens (the slim, skittle-shaped turklets have grown in my absence into full-grown turkeys, deepy strange-looking but also somehow beautiful birds), to smack my punching bag around or look at my books and to lounge in front of the telly or in the bed and read.

All unalloyed good. But I would be lying if I said there wasn't some difficult stuff ahead.

For a start, there is the social side of it. Some of my family and friends know nothing about recent events. Others know only that I have been depressed, they may or may not know about the hospitalisation. A smaller (I presume) group know of the overdose, the detention under the mental health act, the less savoury parts of the admission. A very few people - I doubt there would be five - know the full details of my state of mind on the Saturday that I did what I did.

This complicates things socially - before I go out, for example, I have to work out who knows what, who is likely to ask what, what I feel comportable telling them. And the thing is, there is
the fallout that comes from that, in direct proportion to the closeness of those concerned - the hurt, the anger, the fear.

Most of this I "solve" in the short term by avoiding. So if we've met or spoken or emailed or anything in the last few days, it's been against the considerable force of my own moral cowardice.

The decision on whether or not to avoid is not entirely up to me, of course. I got a phone call the other night from a fellow emergency registrar who had "heard a rumour" about one of the registrars taking tricyclics, and finally worked out who the rumour was about. We are meeting Monday for, in her words, "a cup of coffee. Then a jab and a hook and a cross to the head, and kicking you when you're down".

We don't mess with words, us emergency registrars. Kill you, resuscitate you and kill you again.

The thing is, a lot of this I didn't have plans for. And it is embarrassing how much of this stuff I had basically accepted I would never do again that I have been enjoying. I say my sons today, each now as tall as me (not very tall), each of whom has sworn some solemn oath not to cut their hair for the entirety of the summer holidays while they work in the sun picking apricots and plums. My youngest looks like a Dragonball Z character, my oldest like a strange flowering plant. There is some deep, deep pleasure in this.

But in the interim there is the usual stuff. The cabinet full of medications. The counselly talky stuff, some of which is actually quite useful. The slow, jolting, uneaven repair of the damaged relationships. I suspect I have already lost one friendship over this.


Another unintended flow-on from this whold being unexpectedly alive is I have no real job to go to this season. I don't mean "no job", my current employer (name recently changed to the substances of addiction department (SAD)) would have me full time at a moment's notice. But no hospital job, no emergency type job. I may speak later on about exactly why that is important.

But in the meantime, I will say that Florey looks to be out, the Princess is a very long shot, and the front runners are Lazarus ED and the local Sexually Transmissible Diseases Clinic. Which is good hours and good pay but quite possibly not recommended for the recently suicidally depressed.

Anyway, will post more soon,


Blogger Juanita J. Sanchez said...

Good hours, good pay? STDs...bring 'em on!

5:45 AM  
Blogger Benedict 16th said...

Come and join the dark side (private medicine). I mean anyone can do family medicine (read 'General Practice').
Then you can deal with the WWW*


* Sarah when doing a brief stint in General Practice would often comment about the Worried Wealthy Well.

12:34 PM  
Blogger Foilwoman said...

I think that you and Sarah need a complete change of pace: a fellowship at the National Institutes of Medicine or the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH, from Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH) in Bethesda, Maryland.

3:31 PM  
Blogger Benedict 16th said...

Actually having just taken in the title,
its not the year of the Turkey, it is (for aq little bit more anyway) the year of the Dog* and in a few weeks it will be year of the Pig

Are you not a Monkey? Sarah is a bit of a Rooster isn't she?, I'm a snake, and Foilest would have to be a Rat! (something about quick-tempered perfectionists)

Snakes - Vain, selfish a bit stingy and tend to "overdo" whatever that means? BJ if you are skepicial about the Chinese Zodiac, what about this part about the snake "Snake people tend to overdo, since they have doubts about other people's judgment and prefer to rely on themselves."

* © David Bowie

4:03 PM  
Blogger lauritajuanitasanchez said...

Oh John...

I'm going to throw some cliches out at you, so try not to be disgusted as they are intended to help...

The worst case scenario is seldom as bad as you might imagine. You might go into something thinking that you're about to be beat up, and the reality may end up being that you will be told how much you are loved, which leads me to cliche #1: Try not to have any expectations.

Cliche #2: Just keep moving. Put one foot in front of the other.

This is all 12 step stuff. It's garbage if you choose to look at it that way, or it's very useful if you choose to look at it that way.

Best wishes to you and yours.

12:56 AM  
Blogger Camilla said...

I'm glad you're home, and that things are getting better. I hope that the difficult stuff ahead turns out not to be so difficult after all.

*hogs* to you both,

7:19 AM  
Blogger Foilwoman said...

Benny: Actually, Ox (1961). And a Taurus, so it's bovine all the way. Why couldn't I get a glamour astrological sign? Oh, I'll make up my own system. I'm that constellation of the nice maternal lady throwing up her hands in exasperation and despair. But still looking good of course.

2:55 PM  
Blogger Camilla said...

I'm a Rooster, but I'm sure I was really meant to be a Rattie.

7:58 PM  
Blogger Benedict 16th said...

I dunno there is something to be said for roosters...

MARK LATHAM: I've broken the drought here in Bathurst. Paradise! I think we'll stick with arse licker for the moment. There they are a conga line of suck holes. on the conservative side of Australian politics. Roosters is a term of endearment where I come from.


11:25 PM  
Blogger Bronze John said...

No idea what Chinese star-sign I am. As a Christian and the descendent of Jews I am forbidden to place any credence in superstition.

The simple therapeutic, folk wisdom stuff, the "things aren't as bad as you think, put one foot in front of the other" stuff has a lot of merit. When you look at the cognitive distortions that are an intrinsic part of depression, these are the appropriate things to say and hear and do.

What I'm trying to say is thanks.


11:38 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home