Thursday, February 05, 2009

Never Write When

My son nonchalantly asks me, "Uh, can I ask? Is your post today long? Or short?"

I know he's not in the mood to read much. "Depends on your perspective. On a second read, not having looked at it since publishing late last night, I thought every word of it too long. Maybe it's better now." A sensitive man, he caught my regret.

"Everyone's entitled to a bad post occasionally, ya' know."

Nah. And not a long bad post, for sure not.

So it's a lesson, don't write when you're sick. Not if you care what people will think about your post. It's probably no big deal for most of us, and we let the words tumble out into the blogsphere. But some of us should watch this compulsion, resist the need to blog, certainly shouldn't do it NPO, (Latin: nil per os ) nothing by mouth. Fasting affects the brain, not in a good way, necessarily. It's so embarrassing.

Seems to me I learned somewhere that master Japanese fine artists, the ones who use ink so beautifully, deliberately, purposefully-- they only work about an hour a day, the best hour of the day.

A lot of us do the opposite. We write while at home sick with something or when we're exhausted, anything but at our best. We love to write about our aches and pains, too. After all, we're sharing our feelings with friends. And we want to be honest with one another, to be real.

But let's talk.

Probably we're going to kvetch about every day stuff, a typical virus, maybe a bruise. The bruise sounds interesting, actually. But the everyday malady is usually the kind of ailment that FD, under pressure will designate as follows:

Question: "WHAT IS THIS, DOC?"
FD: You have an SDV.


FD: Yes, an SDV. Some D___ Virus.

They are too numerous to name, to count, and why bother? The treatment is usually the same, basically, and usually isn't about gobbling antibiotics.

Wait, isn't this a mental health blog? What can I say? I live with a doctor. Years and years of listening to phone calls, all day, all night.

don't eat much when you're sick, maybe nothing if it's in the gut or heading that direction;

drink fluids if your nose is running;

don't drink, ANYTHING;

suck on a Popsicle if your throat hurts, maybe,

call me tomorrow and come in.

no, don't go to work. see ME.
subtext: at MY convenience, not yours.

Otherwise you're the one neglecting you.

We're supposed to check in with the doc when in doubt, mainly because no one else wants to hear about it. No one else really cares. Except maybe the tissue and drug companies.

Wait a minute! That's not true, not fair, either. Some people care, probably not as many as we'd like to think, but some people care. It is about you when you're sick.

As the joke goes, and I'm sure I'm butchering it. A lawyer asks his friend the doctor how work is going *and the doctor says,

'Tanks G-d for the flu.'
No, it's not funny, but it is, in its way. Depends on your perspective.

Maybe it's just that while we're in it, while in the center of it, our sniffles, our cough, our stomach flu, what else, it is so consuming, such a mark on our humanity. It can feel life threatening it's so intense, and we don't understand it, the physiology, so we write about it, our own little way of working through the disease. But bottom line, to everyone else, it's not so interesting.

Some of us who write about our everyday kvetches , who come to our senses later, will yank posts right off the blog. The truth is that I really like the bloggers who write about disorder and disease, generally I like all bloggers unless their content makes me sick. Our average community writer is so lovable is the truth.

It's funny that to me, some of the the really interesting ones are about disorder and disease that I'm not likely to catch, the safe ones. Maybe this makes me a wimp or a neurotic or both. But I would bet I'm not alone not wanting to hear about allergies and backs so much, nagging reminders of the human condition. Not that I don't worry about everyone who has allergies and bad backs. It's no fun.

In the winter (seems like spring, summer and fall, too, these days) with all the junk floating around in the air, a person just wants to stay home, honestly. We used to be confused about the OCD types, (you can read about OCD here, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), people like Howard Hughes, who wouldn't touch a doorknob for fear of germs, who got agorophobic like this. Now we know Howard was ahead of his time.

When you're truly sick, the only trips to the grocery worth making are for tissues, jello and meds. And you can't carry out Chinese, you know, not if the doc says you're NPO, nothing by mouth. That's you, your new identity, those first four hours at the very least, with most things that affect the gut.

This is the long way of saying that you'll be glad to know (still about me, here, still spreading the joy) that the only way you'll get me to write about nausea or a common virus, from now on, no promises, is if Puffs sponsors this blog.

In which case. . .well, what can I say. . .seriously. TELL ME ABOUT IT! LET'S TALK ABOUT YOUR COLD! BRING IT ON! I care, I really do! And so does everyone else! We're going to talk about this, blog about this until we have cured the common cold, and we'll buy stock while we're at it, in tissues, only certain ones, obviously.

All joking aside, to be honest, maybe it's not the worst thing in the world, to kvetch about the little aches and pains. We keep saying that blogging is therapeutic.

The best we can do is do what our doctors tells us to do, not take aspirin (hard on the stomach), do call them when they're working, not sleeping, for non-emergencies, try not to spread it around, and read about the latest home remedies on the web. But ask your doctor, maybe, before you try them.

FD recommends chicken soup for just about everything, you should know.**

To your health,


*You know times are tough, have been for medical docs for twenty years, you have to have compassion, here.

**Vegetarians have to take it slow, if at all with chicken soup. You've lost those digestive enzymes, probably, depending upon how long it's been since you had a good steak.


Awake and Dreaming said...

I love reading books about people with conditions/disorders i don't have/won't get/probably won't get.

And I write long blog posts.

blognut said...

You crack me up. I actually blogged with the flu last Sunday (2/1). What do they say? Misery loves company, or something like that? I was definitely looking for a little bloggy love there!

No worries TD, type what you want, whenever you want, and we'll all be as sympathetic as we can be. If we fall short, well... you're the forgiving sort.

Tanya said...

"Now we know Howard was ahead of his time."


Mark said...

Hope you are now well and of sound mind or as sound as your mind gets, ha.
I find that I do my best writing in the morning when I first get to the office. Once I have my writing done, the rest of my day is more productive. I often have an outline of what I am going to write come to me in the shower, which is usually at 6:00 in the morning. Morning writing flows for me, other times often feel forced.

therapydoc said...

Glad someone laughed.

Retriever said...

Actually, your mention of adult kid at home and their awareness of your blog is something I can relate to .

My kids (the one away, and the one at home while taking a semester off against my advice....grrrrr) both read my blog and are ruthless about it. Usually ordering me to remove anything remotely connected with them, but mostly (I think) hurt feelings that they have to exercise their "take it off the internet" prerogative so seldom! Kids are so used to being the center of our universe that they are surprised when we can find something else to write and think about....

I somewhat wish they did not know about my blog so I could bitch and moan freely to my millions of of longsuffering friends about the kid related stuff on my plate right now. Unfortunately they are interested in the stuff I write about, and they keep reading, so fat chance!

Certainly hope you feel better. :)

Anonymous said...

Still laughing. I'm a doctor. My college-age daughter, who feels she has never gotten proper sympathy at home, now complains about symptoms for a hobby.

i~RN said...

This is hilarious! Thanks for the chuckle. As a nurse, I happen to enjoy reading about maladies :)

Anonymous said...

I write whatever I feel like writing, and don't edit, really, at all. I don't think anyone minds.

Anonymous said...

Therapydoc, you take yourself too seriously.

therapydoc said...

Oh, that's probably very true, Barfly.

Anonymous said...

Feel better, therapydoc. Pay no attention to "barfly" (looks like "barf-ly" to me). Stay in bed. Ring the bell on the nightstand and we'll come fluff your pillow and tuck you in.

therapydoc said...

I have the best readers in the blogosphere. Thanks!

Dreaming again said...

Therapydoc .. I am a relatively new reader of your blog. I must say, I sure enjoy your blog. I found it last semester, when as a newly returned to school (mid life crisis?) psychology student ... I went looking specifically for psychology related blogs.

Yours has quickly become one of my favorite blogs of any type!


Anonymous said...

Feel good, Therapydoc.

Dr. Deb said...

Kvetching is a good thing. Some are great artists!

Brother Frankie said...

kvetches... oh how i miss Brooklyn ...

there were the jews, the italians and the irish... and i miss the interactions and the sharing of cultures.

i know this has nothing to do with your post, but u did use the word.


therapydoc said...

Frankie, I like the non-sequitors the best.

Brother Frankie said...

non-sequitors i like that too, loosely defines marriage right.. :)