Apologies to Geo-Joe for the title there.
Sitting with patients today, I realized that my training basically prepares me to unpack the most unbelievable of patients baggage. During my training, mostly in acute psyche admission's units, I usually unpacked psychosis or manic states.
In the more stable outpatient population, where I am now, I unpack something entirely different.
For the most part, I help unpack trauma and long denied and buried emotional discourse. I help them unpack their pain. It is quite a raw experience. And when the patient was in an acute state of psychosis or mania, during my training, this was pretty easy to fix. Well, at least calm the pain to a level where they could be discharged.
So now I see patients in the community. Post discharge. And i don't have to unpack all the pain with them, just the parts I can aim the drugs at. And what ever else they can tolerate. The entire package gets unpacked during their therapy sessions with counseling staff. I explain to the patient's that we are limbs on the same tree, the medication and the counseling. A big tree they can use to shade them during their time in the hot, hot sun.
My task now, it to embrace pain. Not embrace their pain, but be comfortable with idea that they have pain I cannot effect. I have fully long since learned to sit with their pain and not absorb it. Yet I still fall into the trap of trying to fix it. Working their problems over and over in my head, like some sort of mental rubix cube. This happens when I shower at night, when I am trying to sleep.
Here's the thing. Life is full of all sorts of love and hate, good and bad, yin and yang. I have a prescription pad, a warm open heart, and two ears to hear it all. I do not however, have a magic wand. And really, I shouldn't. That would make the struggle mean nothing. We all have a certain amount of personal responsibility in our own lives. This includes my patients.
So there, there is a post after two glasses of wine. And I believe that I now qualify as the world's worst drunk blogger. I get all meaty in the head after booze. Why can't I just relax?
Maybe I need a third glass :)
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