Living Well with a Bad Diagnosis - Lung Disease

Saturday, October 31, 2015

One Amazing Day

It was a marvelous day. First, I worked a few hours working in the garden. All the cushions are put away for our trip, the new edger worked its magic and the yards are tidy. After a shower, I went into town for Halloween cookies for Winnie and Oliver today then I headed north along the ocean to see the therapist for the first time.

I wasn't nervous. I was just myself. We talked through getting the bad diagnosis in 2005, how I dealt with it, how it affected William, how I realized that this was my path to walk in this life, how Michael and I adjusted to the disease as a team, how we don't let it run our lives, how exercise and the nutritionist were so important to my postponing lung transplants then we talked about the uncomfortable and embarrassing conversation with Dr. K. that brought me to seeing a therapist.

She explained to me that neither of us was in our "normal" mode that day. I had Michael and William with me after a long appointment with attorneys. Dr. K. was clearly out of sorts. We both clashed. I mentioned that my strategy for the next appointment with Dr. K. was to remain calm, share the information Dr. K. requested, ask any questions but slowly and calmly. I am always so aware of the time crunch of 15-20 per visit and we usually have so much to work through that I tended to talk quickly so as not to take more of her time. I am not going to worry about that anymore. She said that was a very good plan.

Calm. This will be my mantra while I sit in the waiting area before the next appointment in December.

I really loved the therapist, whom I shall call Ms. D. She seemed to under the core of me quickly. I also loved that she recommended two books for me to read. More chances for growth and learning. With Michael newly retired, I so wish I could see her a couple of times a week but, for now, it will be every two weeks.

As it turns out, that is going to work well because next Friday, Michael and I have been asked to sit on a panel with the administrators and staff of the pulmonology and allergy clinic at my university hospital. They want our opinions about the patient experience of behaviors and communications of the staff. Should be interesting and, goodness knows, we have opinions!

Returning to my story from yesterday: I zoomed home, grabbed Michael and we hopped in the car to go to mom's to drop off a printout of her new insurance information. From there, we met about ten former workmates of Michael's for a goodbye party for Thomas. It also gave Michael an opportunity to say his in-person goodbyes to several people. It was good for him. As a non-drinker, I was the designated driver and we were home by 10PM.

But, as I looked back on the day, I was amazed how it unfolded. A really brilliant, learning, sharing, active day. I am so grateful to be alive and able to have a day like yesterday.

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