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.