“So, how are things?” Dr Stein says, pen poised above my notes. We’re sitting in his office. The panther prowls around the room, holding his tail up: he’s restless this morning.
“Terrible,” I say, and burst into tears. “I’m not sleeping and my mood is very low and everything is so awful – I’m crying for hours and hours every day about Seb still and…”
“Here, have a tissue,” he says, pushing the box towards me, his blue eyes flashing with concern.
“Thank you,” I say. “And I’ve put on twenty pounds now with the cancer treatment and I look awful so…”
“You don’t,” he says, looking at me. “You’re not as fat as you think or…”
“It’s not my fault,” I say. “I’m pushing myself to do my exercise – it’s the only thing I’m able to enjoy at the moment – and I don’t eat much and…I feel disgusting,” I say. “Oh, I had the ECG – here.” Handing him the envelope, I blow my nose into a tissue.
Opening the envelope, he takes out the sheet of paper and looks at it.
“Well, there’s nothing wrong with your heart,” he says, sounding relieved. “So I can prescribe the lurasidone and…”
“Phew,” I say.
“It’s no wonder you’re not sleeping and you feel so awful after stopping the carbamazepine and the duloxetine,” he says, scribbling in my notes. “The lurasidone ought to help you sleep – just stick to your routine – and we’ll speak during the week to see how you’re getting on with the new drug.”
“OK,” I say. “My anxiety is so bad at the moment too. On the plus side – the fluffy monster is lovely.”
Dr Stein smiles. He is a Cat Person. “Well,” he says. “Despite it not having been that effective, I think we can say that the carbamazepine has been doing something to stabilise your mood – so stopping it has let you become more depressed and anxious and…”
“At least my heart’s OK and I can start the lurasidone,” I say. “That’s something. Thank you.”
So, on the plus side:
1. I have my prescription for the new drug and Dad can pick it up from the chemist on Monday.
2. There are artichokes for supper.
3. Look at this beautiful person:
4. No-one is going to make me go anywhere or do anything till tomorrow.
5. Push self very hard in Spin this morning (see attached outfit photo).
6. Can watch Andy in the final at Queens tomorrow on my television.
Happy Saturday everyone!
*1991. By S.T. Haymon. A Benjamin Jurnet detective novel in which a famous professor dies after drinking poisoned orange juice.