I am not sure there has been a time when I have felt less understood. Today as I sat at Dave’s appointment and heard myself speak and then listened to the responses, I felt as if I were in some parallel universe. I wondered to myself if I hadn’t spoken out loud. Dr. S asked how Dave was doing and my response was “not as well as he would have you believe.” I explained that I had taken a five day trip to Florida and returned to a very changed Dave. I expressed my concerns at his plans to “back away from work” and that he seemed to be putting his life on hold until the next scan results in six weeks. I mentioned that Dave was spending the majority of his time in bed or sitting around the house which was just not Dave. Here are some of the comments that these thoughts elicited –
“You feel like you are waiting for Dave to die.”
WHAT? No, I feel like Dave is waiting to die, and I am trying to get him to engage in life and live.
“My advice to you is to bite your tongue when he doesn’t want to do something. You will only end up frustrated. Instead go out with a friend.”
I can’t sit around and let him check out of life. And I wouldn’t call it frustration, I would call it fear.
At one point, Dave managed to divert the conversation to Jeff and his movies. I sat and watched the conversation and thought “who the f**** cares about Jackass right now?” Needless to say, I am a little frustrated with the mental health care aspect of Dave’s treatment. The reality is that he is not as engaged with his friends, work and life. And while I will not knowingly create more stress in his life, I will not just sit by and watch either. And I call on you his friends, colleagues and family to do your part too. Let’s all keep him engaged and involved in life. I believe strongly that attitude plays a big part in survival. Thank you for including him in events, asking his advice, and inviting him to do things. He will probably say no. A lot. But he might say yes sometimes too.