Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I'm Still Thinking About Fat Doctor!

We started Shrink Rap in April. By early May, I'd become addicted, writing blogs, reading other peoples' blogs: blog, blog, blog. Even the word is ugly. In my post What's Happening To My Life, I mentioned that Roy had introduced me to Fat Doctor.

So, let me tell you about Fat Doctor. She is a family doctor, married to a minister. She works on the same unit as her mother, a nurse. She owns two dogs, one of whom has been treated with Elavil (can't remember if that was Big Dog, aka Spot, or Little Dog) and has a son, a toddler whose exact age I can't quite recall. Her sister recently had bladder surgery. Fat Doctor has been having a rough time of it lately-- this spring, while at a medical conference, she suffered multiple frontal lobe strokes and spent some time in the NICU being stented. She suffers from depression (she was on Prozac which she stopped when she was trying to get pregnant), restless leg syndrome, and sleep apnea. Following her strokes, she went back to work oh-so-soon, and has recently had neuropsych testing. Her pantyhose drooped in a rather horrifying way as she spoke at the end-of-year Residency dinner.

Oh my gosh, it's its own illness. I check in everyday, waiting to see what's happening next. It's like a Soap Opera, only I hate Soaps, and it's not a Soap Opera. Maybe it's like Tony and The Sopranos where I'm waiting to find out what happens next, but this is a real person's life. Except, this is a real person I don't know. Why do I care? It's not like I don't have enough people's lives to follow. I drop in, a session at a time, to my patients' lives and often I'm eager to hear what's happened with the same wonder and anticipation. Only, my patients are real people, and I have some small degree of control-- if something heated is going on ( for example, waiting for biopsy results) I'll ask a patient to call between sessions and let me know how it turned out.

I worry about Fat Doctor. Only weeks after her CVA, she was complaining about being tired, lethargic, lacking motivation. Her brain, I think, was telling her to rest, and yet she pushed herself and returned to work. She's getting better, in leaps & bounds, or so it seems and so I hope, but I do wonder if she should have taken it a bit more slowly.

My husband wonders if Fat Doctor is real.

"What if someone's just making this stuff up?" he asks.

No, no, no. Fat Doctor is real, she has to be. She likes Diet Coke.

"And, so, how fat is she?" my husband wants to know. I think he, too, might get sucked in.