I had a whole series of posts planned out, and then I got distracted. This is nothing unusual. I get distracted all the time. I get distracted when I’m driving down the road and a pretty cloud floats by. I get distracted when I see ugly shoes. I even get distracted when I’m talking and a random thought creeps in, forcing me to pause and think while my listener waits with bated breath for me to finish. Or they just walk away.
After the administering of drugs I agreed to see the pyschobabblist because a) it was the only way to keep the drugs a-coming and b) I would get to use the following phrase in everyday discourse: “My therapist says….” Even knowing that my therapy experience wasn’t going to be near as exciting or couture-filled as Carrie Bradshaw’s (I don’t see a crazed Bon Jovi seeking therapy in Arkansas, much less being attracted to a girl who doesn’t frost her hair or spray tan), I did see it as an opportunity to finally figure out what happens in a “session.” I have a close friend who swears by her weekly “sessions” and spends a lot of time at the dinner table discussing “break throughs” and “mental blocks.” Most of the time I grit my teeth because these are things I have told her many, many times, but when it comes spewing forth from the mouth of a therapist, someone to whom you sign over your monthly paychecks, I guess it sounds more convincing.
The first session was probably the most involved, what with the seventeen pages of paperwork I had to fill out. How often did I experience anxiety? What were the triggers for the anxiety? What is my relationship like with my parents? How many times a day did I piss? So I ::cough:: took my time ::cough:: and answered the questions to the best of my ability. I told them that going into work everyday was like putting a cheese grater to my face and having to eat a taco salad garnished with the grated bits off my face and drizzled with bird shit. I told them that I had coked up hamsters running my heart rate, that my neck skin was having trouble remaining attached. I even mentioned my brother’s frequent run-ins with the law and that while I appreciated his dedication and single-minded determination to be the drunkest family member, it was STRESSING ME THE FUCK OUT. Smiley face.
The session itself was mostly unremarkable. Things continued fairly smoothly for the first forty minutes- the therapist spent most of her time going over my paper work and making comments about my ability to so graphically describe things. And then she made a mistake. She tried to pull the staring trick, the one where an individual ceases to speak, thereby intending to make the other person uncomfortable enough to open their trap and spill all their secrets. Only I don’t respond well to those kinds of tactics and stared right back. For four and a half minutes. The clock was right beside her head, so I’m fairly sure I have an accurate time measurement of the staring. She finally gave up and slapped her hands on her knees, drew in a deep breath and asked where I’d grown up. Therapist: 0, Robin: 1
During the next session we talked mainly about my health. Her suggestion was to take an aerobic class. I had to explain that aerobics, running or anything overtly physical was on the no-no list. All that bouncing around forces food back up into my esophagus, which allows the acid to burn fun holes on my vocal chords. I probably came off sounding overly critical during this session, mainly because I have three doctors that do nothing but monitor my stomach and esophagus. I get enough shit from them – Take your Nexium! Don’t take your Nexium! Avoid vegetables! Eat vegetables! Eat small meals! Stay away from breads! Eat a Happy Meal and tell me what happens! -- that I have no desire to hear anyone else’s opinion about what they think gastroparesis is and what I can do to cure it. First of all, it CAN’T be cured. Second, you’re trained to treat MENTAL PROBLEMS, not STOMACH PROBLEMS.
I only went back one more time after that- it was just too much stress on an already stress-filled plate. Thankfully, the doctor that actually doles out the drugs agreed to keep writing me prescriptions. Notice how the therapist, the one who listens to patient bullshit, is not the one who gets to hand out the drugs. She just makes a “recommendation” and the doctor nods his head wisely and hands you a prescription. Good times. I totally should have gone to school for that.
Now that that end is all nicely tied up, I can move on to the most exciting development of the summer: How I Amused Myself Whilst Spending 6.5 Days in the Hospital.