Saturday, August 11, 2007
It's been a bit of a tough week. Wednesday I visited the friends whose baby had died, and Thursday I had a really draining shift at the hospital: two visits with terminally ill patients (one of whom got a grim test result while I was in the room), followed by a visit with a haunted, conflicted combat veteran. I bungled that one very badly, undoing the good work of what had been a positive interaction by asking a singularly stupid question; the patient chewed me out in no uncertain terms, very understandably, and I felt horrible about it. (When in doubt, shut up. As often as I relearn this, I always seem to forget it again.)
I had more than my share of confronting my own limitations this week. This is, of course, a reminder that God can do what I can't, but in situations where one wants to demand of God, "What were you thinking?" that reminder isn't necessarily a comfort.
Yesterday, things turned around. Remember the baby shower I was going to on Wednesday? (It was a really nice party!) My pregnant friend had been scheduled to have the baby by c-section this coming Wednesday, but Friday she went for a routine checkup, and her doctor decided that the baby needed to come out then. Right then. Her doctor's appointment was at 1:00. The baby was delivered by 3:30. Mother and child, a little girl, are doing very well, thank you, and yesterday I visited them in the hospital and got to hold baby Ada, who's just gorgeous.
Holding a healthy newborn was exactly what I needed after the events of the previous two days, and the fact that the obstetrician picked up on warning signs and saved what could have been a dire situation restored my faith in what medicine can do, after a few too many examples this week of what it can't.
Babies: good medicine!
Meanwhile, I had a meeting with my friend Marin at the medical school to go over my teaching plan for the med-school seminar on Tuesday. We had a comedy of errors finding each other, but when we finally did, the meeting went swimmingly. I feel good about what I've planned, and Marin was very enthusiastic. Now I just hope the students like it!
My father arrived safely last night, after another comedy of errors involving delays -- he was two hours late -- and United's dithering about whether they were going to allow me to meet him at the gate or not. They finally decided that they would, after telling me categorically that I couldn't (this after I'd made two separate calls to the airport and the airline and been told that of course I could).
When we got home, I found e-mail from my friend Ann the poet, who'd written a thoughtful and very helpful critique of my ED sonnets. She has a lot of good ideas for strengthening the sequence, but certainly seems to feel that doing so will be worth the effort. So that was heartening.
Oh, on Tuesday I saw my psychiatrist, who's taking me off the nortriptylene -- just in case it contributed to my wonky EKG -- and has begun the process of starting me on Lexapro. I'm still taking the Effexor too, but the ultimate goal is for me to be only on the Lexapro, which supposedly had fewer side effects than other SSRIs. I'm a little nervous, since I couldn't write on Prozac, which is also an SSRI, but my doc assures me that if this happens, I can go back to the current regimen.
Fun with meds! Yay! But I like the idea of only one pill. And I haven't given up on my eventual goal of being off meds, at least for a while, even though my doc's dubious about that.
And, finally, here's the latest batch o' cat pix. I had a quilt and some blankets piled on a chair while I was making my father's bed, and Figgy discovered that they made a wonderful cave. Click to enlarge, and enjoy!