When did the rain start beating us? Yes I know. It’s one of those weird metaphors typically heard in our local corporate lingo. I heard one of my colleagues say it last week as we were trying to establish the root cause of yet another typical work complaint. Then for some strange reason, it popped back into my head a couple of days ago. I was pondering my current life situation which is one word. Overwhelmed. I’m basically waist deep in search of answers, which is more or less where I left things in my last post.
It’s been a whirlwind really; especially once I realized that I couldn’t do it on my own and decided to pay my favorite head doctor a visit. Despite my two year disappearance, we nonetheless picked up right where we left off which was him trying to find any reason to drill a hole in my head. Can’t blame a man for trying. This time however, he quickly latched on to the fact that my issues were far from physiological. I probably gave him a clue or two. Which was how I ended up with a referral to a supposedly great head shrink. Ok. A counseling psychologist. The former just sounds more…..intriguing. His reasoning was that I just needed someone to talk to. Apparently and much to my surprise, he turned out to be right on the money. Well, so far anyway.
So the way it works is every week I get to see this shrinko…..ok, head shrink. He’s very unassuming and soft spoken. Old doctor, Asian, very sage looking. Reminds me of those Hindu programs we used to catch on local channels with subtitles, where they had all these wise old gurus. The kind whose advice everyone takes without a single protest simply because you would never dream of questioning anything out of his mouth. My shrinko is like that. Then he asks these random questions. Simple questions. And listens keenly to my responses, then links his fingers together in his lap and stares down at them deep in thought before looking up and softly asking the next question. He strikes me as having limitless patience. Anyone who has to deal with me certainly needs to.
So we just talk. And talk. And talk some more. And the time flies by. I only get one hour and I have exceeded my limit every single time. There’s a clock right behind him and despite my furtive glances at it, he calmly continues to prod the recesses of my brain till he reaches a point where perhaps he feels is sufficient. I’m never very sure what he’s looking for or even what he shall find. It’s very exploratory and often as thrilling as it is terrifying in equal measure. The initial session left me feeling heavy, while the next left me as light as a feather. I never know what to expect and he tells me the best is yet to come.
So a couple of days ago, this phrase pops into my head. I had to see yet another doctor following a very nasty throat infection and it occurred to me just how much our bodies (and minds) seem to be failing us. Think about it. Lately, all you hear about is people seeing this or that specialist in relation to something ailing us. And half the time they cannot seem to find anything wrong with us, though that doesn’t stop them billing us regularly as they poke and prod till they find something. The other half of the time when they do find out, it’s our worst nightmare come true and that’s only if they catch it in time. Too often in the recent past, I have lost very young friends to so called lifestyle diseases which in past eras seemingly only afflicted people of a certain (old) age. These days, young people passing on due to cardiac arrest, strokes, clots and high blood pressure are becoming alarmingly common place. Hence we are getting increasingly concerned with our aches and pains and more inclined to letting the doctors poke and prod in search of answers. Myself included.
And I could not help but think; When did the rain start beating us? Is it our largely sedentary lifestyle? Unhealthy eating habits? Excessive drinking? It almost feels like we make conscious choices to be more healthy when we get to a certain age (typically early thirties) but does this negate any of the crazy excesses we subject our bodies to in the preceding decade? Is it possible that we spend the rest of our sometimes-miserable lives, paying for what we put our bodies through when we were too young (and silly) to know any better?
When did it become so normal-like to see all these doctors and almost seem fashionable while doing so? Infact these days if you aren’t seeing Dr-so and so for some weird sounding ailment then people stare at you strangely. Like there’s something wrong with you. Hehehe, pun intended. People carry around their ailments like a calling card, which they flash glamorously almost in competition.
“….yeah, I’m seeing Dr MD for my (insert complicated scientific long name here) issue. You should try him, he’s very good!!”
These days we market our doctors around and swap their contacts as if we have already diagnosed ourselves and the doctor will simply rubber stamp what we have as affirmation. Seriously though. When did the rain start beating us? Disease has become such a normal thing that when we hear someone passed on we barely flinch before proceeding to our next appointment. Young men and women drop from clots or cardiac arrests and we barely pause to ask, what exactly is the problem?
Anyway. Far from asking the pertinent questions and failing to get any satisfactory responses, I am left to focus on my own journey. I intend to live a long and beautiful life if I have any say in the matter and to that end, I will do all it takes to always be ok or atleast work on the process of getting there. Including weekly riveting conversations with a very old wise man who might just teach me a thing or two. I’m just glad there are zero needles and medications involved. I think that’s a start in the right direction away from the rain.