- One of my superiors in the Department of Mental Health sent out an encouraging email to us the other day. One of things she said that really hit me was that in our current state of personal uncertainty, anxiety and turmoil, maybe we were all experiencing just a little of what our patients experience throughout much of their lives. That stopped me in any tracks mentally and emotionally. How right she was. Thanks, Deb, for making us take the time to exercise our empathy muscle.
- I am now working from home four days out of five, as far as my regular clinic job goes. I go into the office on Fridays, as part of the need to have a medical doctor on site for billing purposes for Medicare and other random reasons I suppose. After getting sort of used to being home and having a completely different physical and mental workflow, I went to the office this past Friday as instructed. I drove around to the portico for my pre-admission screening, passed that, parked, and went inside the building. There were probably a dozen people actually working at the office that day, most of whom I did not see the whole time I was there. I went directly to my office, mask in place, then closed my door (mask comes off) and worked most of the day without leaving that small space. I did walk to the medical records area to drop off signed items (mask goes on), left a couple of things under the doors of coworkers’ offices, but spent most of that time in my own space (make comes back off), physically and head-wise. Once, I was out in the hallway (mask back on) and saw another masked staff member walk around the corner and up the hallway. I gave them plenty of space, kept my social distance and only said hello. Nothing more. Odd this felt, in so many ways, this day at the office that felt like more of a punishment than a reprieve. I did not really want to be there. I am now used to working at home (funny how the new normal takes hold so fast) , I did not want to make obligatory small talk (I normally love the little random daily interactions that make up office life and relationships) and I was mentally prepared to just work by myself for that day. This was not a bad day but neither was it a fulfilling day at work. I miss the old way.
- I am not one to remember my dreams, if I dream at all. I know I probably do. There is more time lately to actually reach that stage where dreams may come, but I wake with that vague semi-remembrance that feels like wisps of cotton brushing my brain. Not so last night and this morning. My wife gets up earlier than me on most mornings that we are at home together, and so she did today. I decided that as I seemed to be dreaming, I would give myself a little more time to complete these elusive thoughts. As I am not a Freudian (even though I trained with mentors in a program that was hanging on to psychoanalytic principles with everything it had) I will let you interpret these as you will. In the first part of my dream, I was sitting at an airport bar, Dell laptop (yes, this is the work machine if that has any importance in your interpretation of my nocturnal strivings) on the bar in front of me, drink at the side (a no-no, of course!) struggling with some project or note or problem. Distracted by something that I do not remember, I turned back to face the mirrored surface and multiple bottles of booze only to realize that the laptop had been stolen. Gone, it was. Crap. So what did I do but of course go the bathroom to relieve myself, telling myself that I had my bag containing my personal MacBook at the foot of my barstool, and that I could continue my work on it when I returned. You guessed it, when I got back to my unattended bag of technology, it too had been pilfered. I went home. I then realized that my Lexus (I do not own a Lexus) was showing that its oil level was perilously low to the point of imminent engine lockdown. I went into the house and asked my wife where she kept the cases of extra motor oil, as one does, and she promptly brought out five quarts of Costco’s finest. I drank half of one bottle to make sure that it passed muster, which it did. I then went out and filled my Lexus (I do not own a Lexus) with motor oil, knowing that I was not going to be driving anywhere for the next God knows how many months due to the Coronavirus lockdown. I then decided, as the hour was unseemingly late in the morning even for a Sunday, that I could wake up and start the day.
It is Sunday, right?
Or am I dreaming?