Misperceived reality, no self-compassion

For a variety of reasons, I haven’t been taking care of myself for a while. A while long enough not to have seen my doc for over two or maybe even three years. My doc had been gracious and kind enough to renew my medications even though I haven’t come in to see him for the entire two or three years, but sometime around last summer, he said ‘no more, please see me, I really need to examine you, we need to talk. I’m sorry but I can’t renew your medications until you come into the office.’ Even saying ‘no’ in the summer, a couple of months later, he renewed them a couple of times more.

This weekend, I tried to renew my medications. The pharmacist called and called my doc. After the pharmacist had tried to reach him for several days they finally got what they said was a gruff response in return saying he couldn’t renew my medications. They even tried again and then today, I got a call from the pharmacist telling me my doc said NO, firmly.

I was positive that my own doc, who had known for so many years through so many hard times, had rejected me. I became flooded with awful feelings in my body soon followed by feeling profoundly ashamed of how irresponsible I was and that I had taken advantage of him. Finally I had pissed him off so much by my irresponsibility that he didn’t want to have anything to do with me.

I just couldn’t sit still so I paged him. No response. I paged him again, no response. Now I was even more certain he didn’t want to have anything to do with me. I laid down on my bed, feeling even more miserable and dejected than before. This time, I had really done it.

A couple of hours later, he called me and was talking in a low, controlled tone of voice. He sounded, I was certain, furious. I didn’t want to hear him say all the angry things about me I was sure he was going to say and so I interrupted him and started apologizing for not living up to my word to see him in his office and . .

. . . he interrupted me and said in low and deliberate voice, almost a whisper, “I can’t talk now, it’s a terrible time for me, my sister is dying of lymphoma, I’m in her hospital room right now.” He continued, “I am so sorry I haven’t been able to take care of this for you, but I just have not been able to.” And he said, “I’ll call you in a few weeks, I’m so sorry.”

I felt an immense sense of relief, along with a stark feeling of unreality. My body still was shaking, feeling wracked by awful feelings, my own lack of compassion for myself when we got off the phone and my deep feelings of sadness for my longtime friend and doctor.

The only rejection I had had was by me, of myself. It had all seemed so real.

I’ll call him later this week and extend any help I can offer to he or his family.

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2 responses to “Misperceived reality, no self-compassion

  1. Blessings to his Sister, and to him and his family.

    And call his office, and make an appointment, you *laggard you. (Which reminds me, I have to make an appointment with my dentist.) He may have a locum covering for him, so you can still get yourself taken care of, or at least an appointment when his crisis abates.

    I can understand the anxious times in the USA because things that we Canucks go to the pharmacy and get for $12, you folks have to pay a Dr $50 minimum for an appointment and a Rx, and then still have to pay for the Rx to be filled. (we use bottles of Aspirin w Codeine as filler in your Xmas parcels, but customs are starting to get wise.)

    We have a friend of the family, a well known author, Auntie Adrienne, who feels that if she has toilet paper and potatoes, she is not yet poor. And she starves for a month or two each year to get enough potato money together to to pay for her female exam. Last time I heard, the Doctor gladly took a signed 1st edition copy of one of her current books in lieu of payment.

    YOU take care of yourself. If you hadn’t noticed, the *sensible Buddhists on the Web are thin on the Aether. Web should not have fewer. You know what I mean.

    Heh, try to live without guilt.

    Blessings,

    Robert

  2. My laggard self appreciates your compassion and thoughtful response. As a step forward to self-care it’s been almost two weeks since I have eaten a dead cow! Feel better already (and I am sure the cows are partying!).

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