I had no room in my head for stories of evolution when it was pounding with disappointment. What shall I do next? I'll try and meditate. I left the earbuds in with no sounds coming through. I'll block out the world. I'll figure out what to do next.
I'm reminded of my patient.
What was she like before she started to drift away?
What was she like on their wedding day...besides stunningly beautiful?
She is still gorgeous, but her sadness steals her beauty.
She feels defeat every single day that she wakes up. She stopped caring.
She would barely speak to me and didn't care to read the consent form. I read through it with her.
She paid the risks little attention because that would mean she actually cared about something.
I read on and asked her to sign at the bottom if she didn't have any questions.
She signed quickly and hopped on the gurney. Get on with it, nurse.
I visited her bedside after she woke up from her second treatment. She was tired, but she was more awake then she had been in a long long time. She thanked me over and over again...she reached for my hand.
She cared again.
Desperation is a funny thing. You will do anything. What do you have to lose?
The moment a patient starts to feel better, better than they have in years, they start to care. All that they want to fight for in life comes swimming back.
They start to have questions about their treatment. They become insightful.
Sometimes they may even decide that ECT isn't for them...even though it saved them. The risks they didn't care to read in the beginning are now something they may fret over.
I don't mind.
You know what that means? It means they are better.
It means they are ready to fight. They want their life back, and we helped them get to that place.
In the treatment room, Doctor Jameela and I cheer and laugh. We are so happy for them. We are grateful for what we get to witness day after day. We also serve as each other's breath of fresh air from time to time. It can be such a sanctuary.
Doctor Joy calls it our Fiji. He is so right.
Our escape and their respite.There should be a hammock in there somewhere.
I opened my eyes, still laying in the hammock. The palm trees were blowing, and the night air was warm and seemed to say, "Life is good."
It's so hard, but the joys in life wouldn't feel quite as rewarding if we didn't have to work for them.
I created my own Fiji. I instantly felt rested and relieved.
I knew what to do next.
I hope I always do.
To my Doctor Joy and Jameela: I never have to visit the island of Fiji as long as I have you.