i'm back at work for one week after being on vacation for two weeks. why do i feel like i was never away?
my cellphone, which doubles as my emergency practice number, rang constantly and at ungodly hours (Hawaii is six hours behaind New York)while i was on vacation. when i got back, i had a fair number of patients and professional colleagues going bonkers. my husband has reacted to the news that he has a MRI-documented brain injury by taking a dive off the deep end. my father is campaining to move into my home, with his aide and with or without my mother. even the desktop computer crashed.
with the help of my therapist, i figured out the following:
1) 9/11 is a traumatic event for most people from NYC. this year, with the horrors of Hurricane Katrina superimposed on it, 9/11/ is even more traumatic for most New Yorkers. vacations are traumatic for some patients because of abandonment/loss issues. i went on vacation right before/during this 9/11/Hurricane Katrina trauma. therefore, my patients (and some professional colleagues that act like patients) are acting up much worse than usual post-vacation;
2) 9/5/05 was the first anniversary of my our car accident, when my husband suffered the aforementioned TBI. John forgot about this;
3) 9/13/05 was the second anniversary of my father's first major stroked and the last day that he walked or ate independently. my dad remembered that it was his second stroke anniversary because he remembered it was right after 9/11 and because i have been telling him for the last several months that it will be two years in September that he had the first big stroke. my mom did not remember (denial is a beautiful thing-she doesn't remember my anniversary either) my dad got angry at my mom, decided that 'she will never understand' what it's like to have a stroke, and told me that he wants to come live with me because i 'understand'
so this leaves me, since 9/10, with the eighth anniversary of my stroke (8/16)still fresh in my mind, with bad allergies and a minor flare of my autoimmune disease, working nonstop to field phone calls, see patients, get a depressed, polysubstance-abusing patient in the hospital (and deal with her insurance because the hospital billing office person is too stupid to do it), write and fax a report, write and fax a letter explaining how another professional attempted to screw me over in a Court case (in professional language, of course), write and fax numerous letters on my husband's behalf for his accident litigation, drive my husband to work in another state(NJ) on Wed because he forgot to set his alarm clock, pick up my husband and drive him from work to his neurosurgeon in the Bronx (NY) for his last appointment on the same day, tell my dad that i will get him into a nice nursing home if he didn't want to stay with my mom but that there was no way i would allow him and his aide to come live with me (he refused; my mom, who knows of this repeated intervention, appreciated it), visit my dad twice, do other paperwork, pay bills, clean up, and ask my super to fix the downstairs toilet because it did not flush. i had a phone session with my therapist because i was too busy to see her.
throughout all of this, my cat, Marmaduke, has been a great support, and my other three cats have been lesser but solid supports as well. how do they support me? by rubbing up against me, jumping on my chest (thus preventing me from reading, using my laptop, or doing virtually anything other than petting them), sleeping at my feet, bringing all sorts of cat toys to me in a bid for play, nosing around their partially filled food dish in an attempt to be fed, and generally by just being cats. what a life! i envy all of them.
20) for my next life, i want to come back as a spoiled yuppie cat