According to Dictionary.com, the definition of flabbergasted is: "to overcome with surprise and bewilderment; astound".
I'm writing about the state of "flabbergastment" because I've had quite the last couple days in clinic this week. While I don't write about individual patients, I can tell you that I have had an amazing run of people who are---gasp---doing rather well. Here are some of my favorite sample quotes for the week:
"I really appreciate what you did for me, doc."
"Out of everybody in the building, your department does what they say they're going to do 99% of the time. When you say you'll see somebody, you see them."
Oh my. This just never happens. Or rarely ever. Mostly I live by Shiny Happy Person's "Eff You" test, which states you are not cut out for psychiatry if you can't handle being told to fuck off. Two compliments in two days is quite the streak of good luck. I am enjoying a rare episode of tranquility, medication compliance, remission, peace on earth and good will toward shrinks.
I understand there are places where psychiatrists have nice patients. People without sociopathy or an overabundance of substance abuse. Patients with resources, families, careers, futures. Maybe someday I will know what it's like to have a practice like that. Someday when I'm old and grey (don't touch it Dinah) and can't do the professional heavy lifting anymore I will tap my ruby slippers and go to that nice place. Then again, maybe not.
On the whole I am not an adrenaline freak. I don't drive fast or jump from planes. I like downhill skiing but only the nice long gentle slaloms and not the blood-rushing-in-your-ears, wind-in-your-face-so-you-can't-breath, Sonny-Bono-killing kinds of downhill speed skiing. And my line of work doesn't generally involve that kind of excitement if everything is running well. So what was the great thing I did that caused that inmate's gratitude?
I called in a prescription for him. How boring. How nice. How worth coming back to.
Oh, good. I've had nothing to say so I'm glad you posted. Go Clink! Now I'm the one who is flabbergasted: you wrote "fuck off"... I can't believe it! Now I'm not much for obscenities myself, but Clink, this is behavior unbecoming a nun.
Mostly, I have that practice you want: people express gratitude, even fondness. Not everyone, but on a regular basis. A patient's spouse said they liked my hair yesterday: how good can it get?
Re: when you're old and gray: one day, I know this in my soul, you'll wake up and see the virtue of hair chemicals. Until then, you're lovely as you are.
My fingers were burning when I typed that. Then again, that may have been the habenero juice. So my fingers are going to hell but I'm going to sleep. I will have happy dreams of hair chemicals.
Like the red foil pic? I made that myself.
Aww that's sweet. It's nice to have days like that from time to time - when people say thank you! I love days in the NICU when all the babies I'm taking care of have involved mom and dad and they are kind, considerate people who don't yell at me or try to manipulate me. I will work with any and all kinds, but it is nice to have a day where I just smile looking at how great the family is and how kind they are towards me and the other staff. I've often contended that I think I need more training in counseling than I actually have in order to do this job. My own background consists of a stint in crisis counseling (including a course to do so), a psychiatry rotation, and simply lots of experience on the patient side of things, but sometimes it's not easy to know just how to handle every family situation - and there are days when the most important thing I do is not with the baby, but rather in listening to the family and being available to them. Don't know why I went down that road!!
Nonetheless - if you want to hear a story about chaos and adrenaline, go read my blog post for today called What is WRONG with people?? I was the victim of a woman having serious road rage problems when I drove home from my ortho follow up today. She stopped her car, got out and came at my car, arms flailing, mouth shooting out swear words. And this was only one of a few heart-pounding incidents I survived today!
Dinah - I noted the plethora of Rozerem posters in 30th St. Station today. I said this in my blog post, but I may have gotten a picture of one of them while standing waiting for my train - I'll have to see if it came out at all. But nobody can say that I don't think of my "blog friends" even when away from the computer! (Hope you don't mind the insinuation that we are "friends"...even just by blogging!) A true blogging addict never stops thinking about what they can blog about, even while going through the rest of the day! haha
Nice days are GOOD! Great things to have: We all need them and want them and ...
My day was spent listening to my wife think out loud: When she's excited/angry she talks louder and faster. Plus, as she's hard of hearing, she doesn't KNOW she's talking louder. (She's facing an ethical problem in taking a job which was her sister's until late last week. She probably won't take it and I do not blame her ... family problems just aren't worth it.)
I'm glad that you have had some pleasant experiences as of late.
I'm already contemplating what I will get my therapist for Christmas. I don't know if I'll get my psychiatrist anything since I've only known him a couple of months (plus, he's Jewish). I will definitely bring his secretary something. She is awesome.
Store the good feeling to take out later, when the s**t hits the fan!!
What have you done with Foofy?
PS Love the pic, BTW!
I dunno about Foo; he disappears sometimes then reappears like Barbara Eden in "I Dream Of Jeannie".
Ooo, I just dated myself.
Waiting for FooFoo...but if he blinks in and says "Yes, Master?" I may freak.
Suggestion to Miss Molly: Don't bother getting your therapist or psychiatrist any gifts. It makes most of us uncomfortable, as we are trained not to accept them, although it does make for some interesting therapy sessions. The most interesting gift I accepted was a 2-pound block of vacuum-sealed, frozen, salmon that was from the fish that my grad-school age patient and his father caught together in Alaska. This father-and-son time thing was very therapeutic for him and a culmination of 8 months of therapy. How could I say no?
I'm writing a blog post on this, just waiting until a little closer to the holiday season.
What about including therapist on my list of people to send holiday cards to?
I'm thinking it's ok, cause people include their regular docs on their Christmas card lists all the time.
I'll await your post closer to the holiday season, although not for permission, but for your perspective!
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