If you think I’ve paused blogging because I am composing a profound and erudite entry you will be disappointed. The reason is I’ve been up to my oxters in work.  The week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve is a hectic one. There are a lot of calls from frantic folks wanting something done prior to 1 January when their insurance changes.  It happens every year.

Yesterday was all ‘med checks’ consisting of fifteen minute appointments, which in theory go smoothly along the line of ‘I am still good, the meds are good, I just have to check-in for your sake, and see you in another three months”.  This did not happen.  Many patients were quite emotional from loss, loneliness,  and physical maladies for which there is no relief.  I also got a lot of patients telling me they had covid19 since they last checked in. It feels like I’ve heard more cases in the past fortnight than in the past four months. 

The ostinato to these cases is nearly all of the distraught had a sense of being trapped. They can not get out of that awful situation/marriage/relationship/financial/medical/legal situation.  I try to get them to examine what is truly a trap vs. what is only feels like so.  Alas, I have little success, not because people are stupid but due to human nature.  Your brain wants your life to be predictable; your emotions want life to be stable.  We are wired to want to feel safe; we avoid uncertainty and the unpredictable.  It is scary to let go of the familiar, even when you know it is killing you, to go to – what?

For better or worse freedom and uncertainty are linked.

Sometimes I imagine I am looking at a caged person miserable therein and so wanting out.  When I point out the proverbial cage isn’t locked, or the bars are breakable, this doe not evoke relief but panic. “Yes, but…” often follows. These are based on fears, often quite legitimate, of what happens next.

Yesterday ended as days sometimes do with me feeling I did little or nothing to help anybody.  My patients don’t need pills but resources that I cannot provide.   They also need courage – courage to act and to give up the need to know how things will turn out.