I watched as she hurried around the front office this morning. I was there early so it was interesting to see her move around the place. Normally I don’t see her until she comes out of her prior appointment. Eventually she acknowledges me.
“Sorry, I didn’t have my make-up on earlier. Please feel free to go on back.”
I gather my bag, water bottle and phone and head to her office. I make myself comfortable on her couch. I’ve been here several times so I’m comfortable here, but today I’m fidgety. I can’t quite place why though. I look around the room while waiting on her. My papers are on the small table by her chair already. I’m obviously her first client of the day. There’s a wall graphic on the outer wall to my right. There is a bird and a quote about Obstacles, but it is partially blocked from my view by a toy easel she uses with her child clients. On the drawing paper, are two swans, one right side up and one upside down. I’m staring at these when she enters the room.
She hurriedly takes her seat and apologizes again. ” Sorry again, some days the goal is getting out the door. Then I have to do everything else when I get here.” she almost sighs as she slides into her chair and grabs my paperwork. “Hey, I understand, we all have mornings like this.” I say cheerfully. She looks at me and my session begins. We talked about the past two weeks. It was a lot of ground to cover. The year mark of my miscarriage occurred since my last session. I told her of my poem, that instead of avoiding the emotions of the loss I decided to meet them head on and embrace them. She listened intently and remarked “It sounds like this was a positive approach to dealing with this aspect of what is going on.” I agreed with her.
Conversation then changed to the anxiety I’ve been having over the fact that my Rheumatologist wants me to see the Dermatologist for skin biopsies. I started fidgeting and could not sit still. That part basically has played out that I’ve decided that I will see the Dermatologist for the skin biopsies but I think after that at least for a while I’m done, I think that’s where I draw the line with tests for a while. Unless something comes up that they are absolutely needed. Of course this is all subject to change. We go over the fact that my Hematologist vetted the Dermatologist yesterday, that I won’t see the Hematologist for a year but I’ll still have to go to the same office building to see the Dermatologist anyways.
Next we discussed about my ongoing anxiety over taking pain medication and the newest issue of Aleve. See, my Rheumatologist wants me to take Aleve but my other doctors have told me not to in the past because I am on Warfarin. At my last appointment he said I had to take it so we knew if the anti-inflammatory action of it was beneficial. So I’ve been taking them as needed, no that’s not quite true. If I took Aleve or pain meds as needed I’d take them all the time. I take them when the pain gets unbearable. We talked about how I’ve been gauging when I should take it and when I shouldn’t. AL said “Perhaps you shouldn’t wait until you are irritable and it is affecting your day so badly. What if you took it a step before that point?” I thought about it and nodded. “You are right, I should take it sooner.”
We also talked about the book I purchased for CBT. Luckily I purchased the right one. We went through the various distorted cognitions. “Which ones do you think fit you?” she asked as she took a sip from her coffee mug. ” Oh hang on I marked them in my book, Overgeneralization, Mental Filter, Magnification and Minimization, and Should Statements.” I said. She peered up from the papers as she added softly, “Jumping to Conclusions perhaps?” I sighed heavily, as much as I hate to admit it, “:Yes that one as well.” We talk about this topic pretty much for the remainder of the appointment in some form or another. She asks for a few examples and I can barely get the words out “I still have moments where I feel I should have seen this all coming.” That is a manifestation of Should statements and Personalization. I still feel I am somehow responsible for getting sick. I know logically that makes no sense, but the thought process still happen. I would say emotions, but what I’m learning through CBT is that emotions are triggered by thoughts. We feel the way we do largely because of how we think. I feel responsible, and guilty over being sick because of the thoughts I have about being sick.
The session wrapped up with her telling me to continue reading my book and to continue challenging my distorted thoughts as they crop up. We headed back to the front office and she scheduled my next appointment for two weeks and took my payment. “OOOO Cash!” She is always so excited when I pay with cash.