Today I saw a 75 year old diabetic whose husband was completely incapacitated, having never recovered from a cervical fracture last year. On top of that, he has now managed to develop Pick’s disease (aggressive form of dementia with dramatic behavioral changes). Sounds like my patient from Friday, right?
I asked her how she was doing and she said, “How do you think I’m doing? My husband hates me, social services is worthless, and I have a very big house to clean!”
I asked her if she had someone to talk to and she told me that years ago she spent five years with a therapist from UCLA. (Apparently, I was supposed to be impressed by the name she dropped, but I’d never heard of him.)
I asked her if she wanted a referral to someone in town and she said, “Who’s going to know more about living than ME?”
So, we moved on to her diabetes. When asked about exercise, she said that she wasn’t doing anything now and wished that she had never stopped doing yoga. “And if you aren’t doing yoga now, you had better start!”
And that, my friends, is when the 75 year old diabetic with retinopathy, who came in with a walker stood up, bent forward, and planted the palms of her hands on the floor.
“Not bad, huh?” she said.
I was feeling a little flabbergasted when the drawn-out discussion I had expected turned into senior citizen calisthenics, but whatever.
However, I should have thanked the patient this time. Her visit again reminded me of the different ways in which we all deal with stressors. Her reaction to her situation was entirely opposite from the woman on Friday. Rather than dealing with her emotions, she just shoves them aside and moves on, with a dash of piss and vinegar thrown in for good measure. I don’t know if she is being all that healthy by repressing her emotions, but she is definitely dealing with life on her own terms, rather than letting it happen to her.
Later, I was at the grocery store, picking up some uh, personal items. I have one quick comment and then I’ll leave this topic:
It was more than a little offensive to find that the tampons and maxi pads in this particular store were stocked in the baby aisle—right next to the diapers. They are quite a different product, and I am positive that diapers are the last thing any woman wants to look at who has failed to get pregnant. Seniors needing Depends are probably also offended to find them in the diaper and baby food aisle.
Just my "two cents" if any store managers out there are reading.
On my way home, a mini-van pulled up even with my car and stopped. I turned to look, and the driver was just sitting there staring at me dead on. Maybe I should have smiled back, but I turned my head and looked forward. I could see out of the corner of my eye that he was still sitting there for about 30 seconds more before finally pulling up to the intersection. Why would you do that? I hadn’t cut him off, I had pulled into the slow lane. And if he was trying to pick me up, he should have waved or something, right? Staring is just c-r-e-e-p-y, especially with a baby in the backseat.
It still hasn’t actually rained in my part of town, and I am hoping that it also missed wherever my preceptor was out golfing. We only work a half day on Wednesdays. If his golf game got cancelled, I’m sure there will be a foul mood to deal with tomorrow, not to mention lots of questions about tonight’s reading assignments!
I did spend about an hour at Starbucks reading today, but couldn’t concentrate when the guy sitting next to me decided it was necessary to flip through today’s newspaper reading just the ads—aloud and at full volume. On the plus side, now I know who guarantees the best price on washer/dryer sets.
I'm just hoping it will rain overnight and wash all of the wackos away!