I know I didn't even start properly and now I am moving out. Please check me out on:
See you there.
Saturday, 27 June 2015
I’ve had lots of favorite patients over the years. If there’s been a theme to their favored status it’s that they gave more than they got. There was Mabel, who developed epilepsy in her eighties who waltzed on for another decade always giving me a hard time over my ties and how Dilantin made her feel, or the pretty young tennis player at a nearby university with seizures from a massive glioma whose fierce determination to fight an unwinnable fight while never complaining humbled me in realizing how petty I could be with my trivial complaints and concerns. I would I’d have had their lessons stick better, but alas.
For about a decade I took care of a middle-aged professional man with a benign seizure disorder. His twice annual visits were a pleasure. We could dispense with the real business in about 5 minutes and then chat about books, travel, work and life. After knowing him for awhile he told me that he disliked his work despite outward success, and that once his children were out of college, he would retire and move on to other endeavors. The topic would surface every few visits, his story consistent, free of angst or any assigned blame, just a steady determination to change paths.And he did just as he said he would - relocated to a small town in Northern Michigan where his goal was to work in a bookstore. No more high status professional, no more large income. Hello to joy, personal satisfaction, quality time with his wife and quality time for himself alone.
I picture him now, part-owner of a bookstore/coffeeshop in a town half-dead in winter, brimming with visitors in the summer. He’d be in his early 60s, fit and active, even more intellectually curious now that he’s had a decade to read and reflect. I’ll bet he’s a great husband, father and grandfather. I doubt he’s ever spent a minute looking back with regret.He had style. I know that he was excellent at his profession. He walked away with both style and grace, making a new life for himself. He, like my other favorite patients, taught me a lot. I’m grateful.