Sunday, January 31, 2016

Today and The Doctor's Question

Image description: A yellow happy face missing its smile is looking over to see it's smile beside it.
Today I'm having my birthday party.

It is not my birthday.

My birthday on the winter solstice, which is not a good day for a party for us non-druid types. The season was just so busy and there was so much to do and my chair had just broken down and the scooter doesn't go to the same places ... there were a lot of reasons but we decided to postpone the celebrations.


Today it is.

I was telling someone this and they asked if it bothered my that my actual birthday went without notice and that I'm celebrating so long after that date. I pointed out that my birthday didn't go unnoticed. I got phone calls and happy birthdays and my Facebook page filled with greetings and well wishes. So both in the real and in the virtual world, the day was marked. This is just the gathering. So, no, it doesn't bother me. I get to celebrate my birthday and the end of January, at the same time.

I will have a burger served at our local.

I will sit next to a jute box.

I will get a cake made by children.

I'm happy.

On Friday I had to go to the hospital as part to see a doctor as part of my continuing maintenance of the best health I can given the disability I have. I'd not met this doctor before and when he came in I was shocked at his youth. He was very young. He was quite handsome. He was very suave in his manner. We were very different people. I introduced him to Joe, my husband, to clarify why he was in the room with me.

Then he asked me questions.

He if I worked.

I said that I did.

He glanced over at me, seeing me a little differently than before.

He asked what I did for a living.

I told him.

He paused and said, 'Good for you.'

I wasn't sure why he said that but I said, 'Yes, I have a good job.'

Then his pen stopped.

He put it down.

He turned to me.

And asked a question.

'Are you happy?'

I don't know if I've ever been asked that question by a doctor before, but it immediately struck me as a very good question to ask. I paused myself, for a moment to think, I'd not been asked that directly in a very long time. I thought through the last couple of months, I'd been really busy and really stressed with deadlines and things to do. I brushed that aside - that's just how we live these days. He just sat there and waited.

'Yes,' I said, 'I'm happy. I am loved and valued by others and I love and value myself.'

The second part of that sentence was difficult to say out loud. I didn't want then, and don't want now, to sound conceited. But I believe that happiness begins inside ... people say you need to accept who you are ... I don't believe that acceptance is enough.

He looked at me, nodded, turned back to his notes.

At the end, he said that he had all he'd learned all he needed.

I thought to myself, 'So did I.'

I was glad to have been asked that question.

And it's one I'll ask myself, occasionally over the next however many years. Because I want to live happy, so I need to check in to see if I actually am.


clairesmum said...

Happy - still an elusive concept for me. I can honestly say that I have moments of feeling happy, but more often it is the absence of distress and fear that counts for 'contented enough' and that is usually how I would describe myself. Still learning...still changing....
Have a wonderful "Celebration Day", Dave.

Unknown said...

I recently had the realization that underneath my wonky MH stuff, I"m happy in my core even though I hadn't been for many years. It is a surreal realization to have. I'm glad you were in a supportive situation for your voicing your happiness.

ABEhrhardt said...

It sounds, from your description of the visit, that the doctor had jumped to a lot of conclusions based on seeing you - and you had to do a lot of poking holes in those stereotypes.

I find myself defending myself when I see a new doctor, trying to establish that I am not a fat old woman with a walker, but the doctor's intellectual equal and far more knowledgeable about my disabilities than he/she could ever be.

It is exhausting. I avoid doctors as much as possible - they have done nothing for me in years except renew my pain medicine prescription and tell me they really think I shouldn't be taking it. Then I have to explain I've been taking it without problems, same dose, for a lot of years with no problems, that it took forever to find one that would work, and that the process was incredibly painful and I have no interest in repeating it... I'm fine - as much as I can be.

I hate the moral superiority they project.

They have no idea what my life is like, don't care, aren't going to take the time to find out, and feel perfectly free to comment on it. And they never have anything helpful.

They keep wanting to operate on my spine, even though it was messed up by an operation, and I am in no pain I can't handle, and they only say it will 'stabilize things,' and won't improve anything.

Sorry about the rant - the beginning of your post triggered it. It sounded as if you had to justify yourself, when it was the doctor who should have been justifying himself to you.

Anonymous said...

I bristled at the "good for you" comment by the doctor. Oh-oh. I hope he didn't mean it the way I took it.

Unknown said...

Hi, I am Anju Devasia.
The question was very simple, but it had the capacity to open a new way, to think and realize self. When there is a consultation, usually people would be bothered about there health and disease condition. But here, the doctor's question created a positive energy. Dave, while I went through the blog, I realized that it is not love and value from others, but love and value by self make a person exactly happy. I would like to ask the question myself, so that I can be happy like you.