Ths is an interesting time in my life. I am between practices so to speak, seeing a few clients from my Florida practice over Skype and waiting for the fine state of NC to pick over my credentials with its fine tooth comb. In order to get my NC license I have filled out a parade of forms that require I beset my closet colleagues with requests to also fill out a parade of forms on my behalf. I have had my licensure test scores resent, I have tracked down my old supervisor (in Georgia by the way–hi Steve) to fill out still more forms, and I have sent money. I suppose I thought that NC would take FL’s word for it that I was sufficiently educated and experienced to be a licensed clinician here, too. That, apparently, is not the case.
So while I’m waiting for my NC license to be delivered from the powers that be (and the powers that be are a board of people who don’t even meet again until mid-November!!!) I have been listening to music and thinking about death. No, I’m serious. I have seriously been compulsively playing Beck songs, cleaning this goliath of a house, and wondering if the end is nigh.
When my clients come in with anxiety issues, I more than sort of get that because I have always been a little high-strung myself. But, despite that, I am a cup-half-full kind of gal. And, I have mostly figured that God likes me where I am for the moment and isn’t sending a divine lightening bolt anytime soon. I mean, why would he/she/it allow me to have two beautiful children, complete more college than anyone should endure, and move back to the home of my youth only to casually, and suddenly smite me? That was what I was thinking when I went to the ER a few months ago with pain in my gut that hurt more than labor did. As I sat there shaking and vomiting (classy, I know, but I want you to get the full picture) in the exam room, I assumed I had some kind of roided-out flu bug. But, the doctor comes back and tells me that I have a “mass” in my gallbladder and he thinks it’s probably cancer because of its unusual size. Yeah, he really said that. I remember blinking my eyes open and shut, open and shut like a cartoon character caught on the cusp of a big fall. I was hanging out there above the landscape below, gasping for air like terrified fish. Then, he sent me back for an abdominal scan where I attempted to lay very still in that horrible, loud tube. It was a week before I could get in to see a surgeon who examined my scans and told me that the ER doctor was an alarmist jerk and I only had gallstones that had fused together to form one mass.. I collapsed in his arms sobbing gooey, snotty tears into his crisp white coat. Yeah, he thought that was gross too, but I appreciated the take-one-for-the-medical-team pat on the back he gave me anyway.
So, to make a long story short, my surgeon snatched out my gallbladder, gave me some fun meds, and that was the end of the whole thing. Well, at least it was the end of it physically. Emotionally, and spiritually, that experience of believing I had a rare and deadly form of cancer has lingered on with me still. Never before have I better understood clients who whisper that they have a black cloud hanging over their heads…or feel similarly suspended–paralyzed as though something terrible is about to happen. I must admit, I have wondered (ok, ruminated about) what other silent secrets my body is harboring. My primary care doctor is a lovely man who not only went to Princeton, but also tells me to call him John instead of doctor something or other, and sympathetically hands you a tissue when you freak out about said hidden health boogie men in your routine yearly exam. And, he’s right– the best I can do is take good care of my health and stress levels and keep on keepin’ on.
So, you might be wondering why you’re reading a random personal blog amid the sea of professional advice usually found on this blog. I’m not really sure why, actually. Perhaps it’s because my usual blog posts are born out of an experience I’ve had in session that week with a client, and in the absence of regular practice-related experiences you get this instead. Or, perhaps, it’s because I am suddenly thinking over the clients and friends who have faced real, awful health issues and I am suddenly humbled with empathy. Either way, I hope that all of you out there are taking good, good care of yourselves.
You Partner in Healing,