I am a short way through the Pilot for the TV show, House M.D.
It doesn’t give anything away to tell you that there is a lady lying in a hospital bed, and she is sick and unresponsive, although she doesn’t appear to be in any pain.
For you, your instinctive first reaction might be sympathy. Or possibly empathy for her family. Or even plain curiosity about what is wrong with her.
It is telling that my first reaction was different. The patient isn’t in pain and I saw that she was (a) resting in bed; (b) being cared for by other people; and (c) in no hurry to be anywhere else. My first reaction was a surprise to me: envy.
Therefore I can deduce I may need some time off. But why?
My kids are with me every second week these days. Their mom has them the other weeks. She’s back in their lives (without a fair accounting of the cost to me and those around me for the time she was not). The girls aren’t the direct stressors in my life that they were two years ago.
When the girls are not with me, my To Do list is still so long that I don’t do it all. Sometimes I watch a movie or a TV show for a little downtime before going to sleep. Still, I have less time pressure than I had a couple of years ago.
My current consulting position isn’t particularly stressful at the moment. I remember when I had challenging problems to solve. I remember when I bounced into the building and headed for my office, full of enthusiasm and energy. I remember the excitement of being on a mission to get something before the day was over. Not anymore. It’s fair to apportion some blame on my Government boss. He is more apt to say no than yes, more apt to avoid change than embrace it, more apt to say he is building a plan than to actually build a plan. He’s not a horrible guy, he is just a drag on forward progress.
My relationship with Lillian hasn’t gone well this year. It’s been on and off. We have different ideas about why. She’s not able to defend herself in this forum, so I won’t criticize her. For all I know, we’re both right. This is definitely one cause of stress in my life, but it’s not enough to explain how I feel right now.
When I wake in the morning, it takes all my effort to get up and get moving. Not that staying in bed helps. I just can’t sleep properly anymore.
— ooOoo —
As I don’t know how to do an emoticon for “four days have passed”, the above will have to do.
I’ve finished watching the pilot episode of House. Again, it won’t really be a surprise when I tell you Doc House and his team figured out what was wrong with his very comfortable patient. She left the hospital with an alacrity that may be reserved for avoiding more sarcastic remarks from Doc House.
I don’t think there’s anything challenging about my diagnosis at the moment. I went to my doctor because I’ve been too tired to go to work. I showed him a short list of my symptoms on my iPad. Wait, my iPad, you ask? Don’t judge me; I sometimes make a list while I’m waiting to see the doctor. This means I don’t walk out and smack my forehead because I forgot to tell him something important. (For example, that I also have a headache as a symptom. One that’s much worse for having smacked my forehead.) He drew some blood to eliminate other possibilities, but his first guess is the obvious: I may be depressed.
Maybe the damage on my life, my reserves, and my relationships is cumulative…
The past few years have had some significant ups and down. The girls didn’t try to create problems for me, but their problems haven’t been easy to watch or solve. Lillian was incredibly supportive when other people would have walked. Other friends have been very supportive too. But sometimes it just all gets too much. And it’s time to lie down for a while.