Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The doctor is the drug

The Shrink in his Lake Cocytus blog told a moving tale “Missing you”, about a lady in her late 70s who has been seeing him for a few years. He said “... overall I must confess it's the case that, as better folk than I convey, the doctor's the drug.”

I have tons of patients or parents of patients like that when I was still with the late NHS, the one with no guidelines -- not NICE to say that really. One mother in particular used to have her hair done and really look like she was going to a party when she came to see me once a month. It took me a while to realize it was her only outing.

Another mother kept in touch for the better part of thirty years. Whenever she phoned I left instructions for the secretaries to get me. She even called from Canada on matters like “Should I buy the Condo so that my adoptive son could visit his natural father?" His natural mother had died in a car crash shortly after giving her son up in England, away from the prying eyes of a small town in Canada.

Yes. They only wanted to see us and if they had to pretend to be ill they would. Or their child might.

This is a quote from my book The Cockroach Catcher:

“In time, I realised that I had a collection of mothers who never missed a single appointment. It gradually became clear that my role was less of a psychiatrist but more of a surrogate grandfather, father, husband or uncle. There were a few couples who stayed with me a long time too.”

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