I have the ability to talk the ears off of a brass monkey, yet I also frequently suffer from the fear that I don't deserve the attention. I sometimes wonder if one of my favorite doctors is going to one day do a Freudian slip and show me I am not worthy of THAT much attention.
My kind acupuncturist, is always calm, attentive and speaks simply and to the point, even in the the face of my complicated stories. Today, I kept things simpler than usual, and shared with her how her work was going to dovetail with the physical therapist and the chiropractor who are seeing me. It got quiet, and then I finished up with just one last detail, as the last needle was in place.
"Now just relax and breathe deeply and when your mind wants to goes to anything outside the room, just bring it back to the breath," she said. "I'll be back in a little while."
Sometimes I doze when she leaves me for her usual half hour. The half hour might be more like an hour on some days when she has another patient, or she feels it will be especially helpful to my treatment. This time, we were working to help untangle muscle spasms; I have old injuries on that right side that extend from my thumb to my little toe. So, I was not surprised to find myself needing again and again to bring my mind back to the breath. I also stared at the ceiling for a long time, inspecting the light fixtures, and a speck on the smooth white surface above me.
I started to suspect she had forgotten me. The suspicion grew stronger, when I heard her on the phone with someone. I heard a door close and click. I called out, "Hello!"
And then, my bladder called, and I just had to check the time on my cell phone. To get off the table, I had to remove every last needle, something I had never done before. I felt like an impatient patient.
I put on my shirt, gathered up my things and headed for the bathroom. It was very quiet, and no one noticed my noise. After I flushed the toilet, my doctor did not call out in surprise, either.
Her office door was ajar, and when I turned the doorknob to the street, the deadbolt held the door firm. I HAD been forgotten!
I could not decide what it meant, whether to be angry, hurt... or whether give in to the funny funny story my busy mind was beginning to write.
I know this: Without recovery, I would have surely beat up on myself or been upset with my doctor, but serenity is too important to me. So, I wrote a note, and went home!