I called my psychiatrist’s office this morning requesting to set up an appointment. It seemed the logical thing to do with the kind of thoughts I had upon waking, especially considering that I’d missed my appointment last week because of the drips.
They wanted to schedule me in January. I wasn’t having it. Next, the assistant offered to schedule me as the doctor’s very last appointment on Dec. 21st (a week from today)… also known as my birthday. I said, “Well, ok… I guess, I could come in on my birthday.”
But then I stopped and explained why I wanted to come in earlier and how I thought it would be a really quick visit. (It was.) I even offered to come in today. To my amazement, there was an opening at 2.
Fast forward to 2:00.
I’m sitting in the all-but-empty waiting room, listening to a kind-faced, middle-aged woman talk to the doctor’s assistant about the crimes that have been committed against her… about how her wallet was stolen, which contained her social security card (Don’t EVER carry your social security card around with you without good reason!!!), and being the sort of woman I am, I join in on the conversation.
Thieves took her purse, stole her car, and are just playing havoc with her identity; her daughter is in Iraq, and this is all going on during the holidays. She’s doing her best to keep it together, but she just doesn’t know what to do. I offered to give her a great big hug, which she accepted happily. I wondered when the last time was that someone gave her a good hug.
So, I told her my story, but just a tiny little bit of it. As it turns out, she is being tested for multiple sclerosis, and is scheduled for a spinal tap over at USC to boot.
There I was, feeling sorry for myself, wondering the point of my life, if it’s worth living, and going on in my head about the pain I’m in, and it’s nothing compared to what this lady is going through.
But I was there at the right time to give her a hug, and to give her my contact information, just in case she does have MS. I told her to email me and let me know – that the first year is a heck of a learning curve. I was able to offer her some comfort. I was able to know that I was at the right place at the right time.
I never would have been in that office if I hadn’t been taking care of my mental well-being, or if I hadn’t demanded care, or if I’d given up on myself or on life.
I was given a chance to make a positive difference in someone’s life today simply by being there and giving of myself. If I hadn’t told her I have MS, she never would have shared.
I got to make her feel less alone and less scared.
So even if parts of today have sucked mightily in the “holy crap, why is my body doing this!?” department, at least there was a damn good reason for me to be alive today.