The Clinic*

“So are you still taking thirty milligrams of duloxetine?” my psychiatrist Dr Joshua Stein says, pen poised above my notes.

“Yeah but can I put it back up to sixty now?” I say.  Had to drop the dose due to mood going very high in hospital.

“I think we’ll leave it at thirty for the moment,” he says.  “You’ve got some more of this stressful period to come and we don’t want to rock the boat.”

“OK,” I say, although I really want to put it up.  Thirty milligrams isn’t a therapeutic dose.  But if am not allowed to, then I can’t.

“So how is your mood, do you think?” He says, looking at me. His ice blue eyes search my face for…I don’t know…signs of mental disorder.

“Yeah I feel OK,” I say.  “My thoughts aren’t racing or…well I’m very sleepy: was on antibiotics for a week and they wipe me out and…”

“How many hours are you sleeping at night?” He says.

“About twelve,” I say.  “Eight pm to eight am at the moment.”

“Good,” he says.  “How are things with Seb?”

“Great,” I say, smiling.  “He just came to stay for a couple of days.”

“So how are you feeling after your operation?” He says, looking concerned.

“Well it was healing up OK,” I say. “But then it got infected around the ends of the scar, so I went on antibiotics – I’ve finished them now.”

“Good,” he says, scribbling something in my notes.

“And I had an allergic reaction to the white micropore tape,” I say.  “But we found some more of the pink one, so that’s OK.  I’m just still in pain a bit and…oh…radiotherapy starts soon.  I’ve got a CT scan on Friday and I guess it starts soon after that.”

“Well if I don’t see you before then,” he says.  “I hope it’s not too gruelling.”

“Thank you,” I say.  “It’s the worst treatment I think: I got terrible burns last time and I have to have three times the usual dose, due to the skin involvement – even though the skin isn’t affected on my left side.”

“Well you’ll be able to spend some time with your pussycat,” he says.  Dr Josh is a Cat Person.

“I will,” I say.  “My fluffy monster.”

You can see the fluffy monster in his new nest in the attached photo.

Happy Monday everyone!
*1997.  By Jonathan Kellerman.  Detective novel in the Alex Delaware series.  Delaware is a forensic psychologist in the LAPD.

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