Tuesday, July 24, 2007

busy week in blogland....

...for everyone except me it seems. I've spent an average of 14 hours/day doing work-work since my last post. Somehow I've fitted in an hour of gardening hard labour every day as well. And still managed some sleep, albeit bad sleep, and not quite enough. Until today - almost nothing accomplished. Other than a really sad bird/bunny catch. Thought it was good when I caught two bunnies that were loose in the neighbours garden. Thought it was good when I caught two fantail pigeons in the very large aviary. All went to hell when I looked in the first nesting box and found 3 dead finches huddled in the back corner. Literal featherweights. I was called by concerned lady across the street. Apparent discord, both people moved out, house on market. Neighbour-lady went to 1st show day 8 weeks ago, because daughter was possibly interested, and advised realtor that birds and bunnies had no food or water. Agent contacted owner, who was there at least once - issue passed out of neighbour's mind until she saw 2 of 4 bunnies in the street. She went to show house past Sunday, saw bunnies had dug out, and two were MIA, and only two fantails of large flock left in aviary. She didn't know there were finches or parakeets. She made agent on site help her give water and food, and then got hold of me indirectly. And I spent the afternoon catching live ones, and taking photos of little bodies. I called SPCA, they called agent and then owner - his only concern was how I'd gained access (over your 3'6" wall dickbrain...same as any self-respecting burglar would!) and whether I had touched his lock on the gate. And apparently there is some long story about how it all has nothing to do with him. This on the same day as the guy who cut his Husky puppy's head off with a chainsaw gets off with a token fine payable to the local SPCA, and a suspended sentence. And is allowed to continue owning any kind of dog except a Husky. The world sucks.

So...over at Shrink Rap, there's a whole bunch of posts on shrinks talking about patients and vice verse, and a huge number of angry comments. Blogging is going to remain controversial for a long time still, I reckon. I suppose the first newspapers probably were too. And still are, often. So why should a blog be different? Was going to comment there, but figured an "anonymous" would probably bite my head off, and then I couldn't decide where to comment either. Or worse, one of the other people who I mostly respect would be the biter, and right now I couldn't handle that.

Instead of commenting, I'll add my feelings here - if you blog it, it's public. Never say something you aren't prepared to stand up and say in person, be it nice or nasty. Medical blogs are even more complicated than real-life medical ethics, which have been stirring up chaos since old Hippo wrote the oath. Doctors are still people, and are just as much allowed to do what the rest of us do. Even, God forbid, have feelings! It doesn't matter whether you use your name or not, unless you make up everything about yourself, your friends, your family, your job and your entire life, sooner or later someone will associate you and your blog, and human nature being what it is, might use the info for maximum effect. So repeat the sentence about being willing to stick up for what you say. There are only 3 people in RL who know I blog - p-doc, t-doc and Duckbuddy. DB is the only one who knows the blogname. She asked me to take stuff out when we had the big bust-up a while back. I did, and then I put it back. My blog, my life, my thoughts. And I can stand by what I said about her. P-doc and t-doc know I have one, and I've referred them both to sites that I comment on and have linked to - but we've never talked much about it. If you know me from what I say about myself, you'll probably know them both by name, and you might know previous two p-docs as well. Anything unkind I've said about them is true, in my opinion, and I'd say it to them if asked. Well except that # 2 put the phone down on me when I called to say 'bon voyage' before he was supposed to emigrate. T-doc knows him via other patients too, and apparently he ended up not going. And after I told # 1 by email that, 6 years after I stopped seeing him professionally, I still believed that we're supposed to have had sex, and would he consider a quick fling.....and he replied very nicely, but said that seeing as his wife (who I know well) was using his computer at the time and had "accidentally" read my mail, she was a tad unimpressed with me. He himself was flattered that I asked but not planning on any extra-curricular activity with anyone, never mind ex-patients. At least he didn't say 'fat, psycho ex-patients'. We've spoken since then, and still get on well, and I still really admire him. So nothing I could ever say about him to anyone including blogworld could ever be dumber, or more embarrassing.

And the current docs? They know I blog, they know that they are very important to me, they know I am genuinely fond of them. And being in SA where things are a bit less litigious, and thus a bit more relaxed in general, I know an awful lot about both of them as people too. I've posted a lot of p-doc's more outrageous remarks, but always because they are so, so funny. Maybe some people would find below the belt humour from their p-doc intolerable - to me, it's part of what makes me like him. Which in turn is part of what makes me open up to him, and tell him the unflattering stuff. Which also helps me to trust him to help me, even if it is by prescribing meds that can really destroy me if we get it wrong. And it is a question of 'we' - he prescribes based on what I tell him about me, and he tunes the meds based on what I tell him about the results, and if I'm not completely honest, there will be stuff-ups, and I'm the one who will get hurt more. Ultimately, that has to be it - more so even than your spouse, if you don't and can't trust your psychologist and/or psychiatrist, you need to look for another one. Soon.

Bit of a digression there...

Guess what I'm saying is that if I learned that either of them blogged, and got to read the blogs, and thought I could recognise myself......I trust them both enough to accept that anything they would say about me there would probably be what they'd already said to me in person. And if it was something I didn't agree with, I would go to them and ask about it. In the same way as I believe that, although I don't use names (but realise that if you find me and you know me, everyone is identifiable eventually), and still believe that it's my life that I am writing about more than anyone else's, psychiatrists and psychologists have lives too. And they should be allowed to write about them, including about patients, their feelings about a particular patient, the things that either they or the patient have said to each other that resonated somehow. No-one is perfect, not patients (definitely...ask me, I am one!), and not doctors either, but in most countries we're still allowed opinions.

After all, would you want to be married to a person who said nasty things about you behind your back, would you accept that from your family and friends? The choice is simple : if the nasty thing is true, then fix it. If it isn't, then challenge it face to face. And if you can't do either, then stop interacting with people, be it in person or by blog.

So much for a quick and early entry before bed!

For anyone who's interested in the debate, check the original posts at
Dinah's Let me tell you about my patient,
Clink's Let me tell you about my doctor, and
Dinah's Let me make myself perfectly clear, as well as some of the links referred to. And the comments, ohhhh boy....the comments!!

So for the record : p-doc, I still love you. And trust you and respect you. And think you have the sexiest forearms known to humankind. Even though you are short.
T-doc, I still wish I could be like you when I grow up - the fact that you are 10 years younger than me just highlights that I was very grown-up at 20, and have been regressing ever since.
And p-doc # 2? While I used to really like you, and trusted you a lot, I don't think I ever really respected you. And I respect you a lot less since you started acting like (excuse me Sarebear while I borrow your word...) Dr Dorkhead. Enjoy the rest of your life. Not.
And if any of the 3 Shrinks were my p-doc - well sorry, Clink, but rather it not be you - I'd be telling everyone I knew how brilliant and how kind and funny my p-doc was.....

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