Visit With The Psychiatrist
Upon his arrival, he approached the receptionist desk to check in.
“Your date of birth, please.”
“August 5th, 1978. And I have my insurance card, along with my I. D. right here,” he said as he laid his documentation onto the counter.
The receptionist looked up his information on the computer, and then said, “If you’ll have a seat, sir, the nurse will call you in to get weighed, and get your blood pressure taken. After that you’ll wait out in the special room specifically for the patients.”
“Thank you,” Thomas James replied while collecting his documentation, putting it back into his wallet.
There were five other patients waiting there with either their families or their social workers. Thomas James was not yet assigned a case worker, but then again, he wasn’t as worse off as most of the patients there. He took a seat in the far corner of the room. On the end table next to him were magazines pertaining to politics, sports, and medicine. He read through the articles in the medical magazine, learning about the new advances in medicine for various health issues. Diabetes, heart attack, various types of cancers. Thankfully, as far has he knew, he didn’t have any of these issues.
As he waited for his name to be called, he thought back to his childhood friends and his family. Various images of those people flashed through his mind, while he read one of the sports periodicals. He often wondered why he was dealt the kind of cards he got in life. How would his life have been different? What if had he been born to loving nurturing parents who actually cared about him? He knew he wouldn’t have endured the life he had been given.
He wondered what his purpose in life is, and why things in his life had to be the way they were. In the middle of pondering these things, the nurse opened the door, and called his name for him to follow her.
He followed her into one of the rooms where he was weighed and had his blood pressure taken. Nothing abnormal.
“Everything looks good,” the nurse informed him with a smile, “Your blood pressure is excellent. And your weight is where it should be for a man of your height and age. If you’ll have a seat in the next room, Dr. Aber will call you in when he is ready for you.”
Thomas James waited for approximately thirty minutes before his name was finally called.
“Good morning. I’m Dr. Abner. If you’ll follow me down the hall to my office, we’ll begin our session.”
Upon walking into Dr. Abner’s office, he and Thomas James took their respective seats.
“Tell me about yourself, Thomas. According to your medical records, you were diagnosed as being bipolar.” Dr. Abner paused. “However, I’d like to know more about your circumstances that lead to our meeting this morning,” he inquired, while getting his pad and pen ready.
“Where to begin? I was in jail for the past fifteen years. I just recently got released, because I completed my sentence. Way back when I was in high school, I was involved in the consumption of drugs and drinking alcohol. I’m responsible for a car accident that took the life of someone I cared very much for. She was the love of my life. Her brother was my best friend. He got seriously injured as a result of him being struck by my car.” Thomas James confided to Dr. Abner, while biting his lips. He also fidgeted his fingers.
“Tell me, what led to you getting involved with drugs and alcohol back then? What was your home life like?” Dr. Abner asked while marking down notes on his notepad.
“I don’t come from a good home. Both of my parents were abusive. My father more so than my mother, but neither one was any better than the other. My father served time for domestic assault, but he didn’t stay in jail very long because my mother dropped the charges. She worried about how she’d make it on her own without a husband. I hadn’t seen any of my family members and people who were my former friends, since I was locked up. But being in jail gave me time to think, and to gain some perspective about my life. I believe I’ve become a better man, because of doing time,” Thomas James responded, while taking a deep breath, fighting to hold back the tears.
“Thomas, according to your medical files, you’ve been in remission for fifteen years. Your visit with me today is to find out what steps to take next. You’ve been doing very well on your meds all of these years. I’m going to renew your prescription for your medication. Keep following through with your meds. I’d like to meet with you every couple of months just to see how you are adjusting to being back out amongst society again. Over the course of time, I’ll stretch our meetings further back going from every three months to every four months then every six months, and finally we’d meet once a year. After that, you’ll be able to get your meds from a regular medical doctor, with him or her giving you your annual psych evaluation once you no longer need to come to this mental health facility. So far, everything looks great from what I gather from your medical records. However, tell me how you’re doing when it comes to interacting with people,” Dr. Abner asked.
“I have a job working as a short order cook in a very nice diner. I like the people I work with. The boss is great,” Thomas James replied while reaching for the box of tissues on the table. Taking a couple, he wiped his eyes, and nose, and composed himself.