Thursday, February 24, 2011

Placebo Girl

I had to make another trip downtown to BC Women's to see my wonderful specialist, and I felt so sick, and I didn't want to go b/c I felt sick, and I didn't want to cough in my favouritist' sister's car and spread my germs all over her borderline germophobe personal space, but I also wanted to go b/c I wanted the doctor to see that I was sick and I wanted her to tell me that I should stay in bed and be pampered and that I should really start to take some strong medication to make me normal again. It was a conflicting appointment for me. As we sat in the room waiting for the doctor, somehow our conversation got onto being sick (imagine that...maybe it was all the tissues I kept grabbing to cough into) and medications and my sister made a comment about me needing a placebo. Which got me thinking.

A placebo. H'mm....

And it occurred to me that she is completely correct. That's the nice thing about family; they know you. But I am in need of a placebo. And if I'm really honest, I think I would be able to admit that I'd rather have a placebo than have to take actual medications on a daily basis! Give me a pretend medication, make me feel better. Is it bad that I can admit to that or is that just admitting the sad state of my mind? I think the truth is that I just want someone to care, to put an effort out, make me feel better, even for just a moment. I want to be babied sometimes!

I was feeling so bad for myself one night, laying in bed, hacking, coughing, and sputtering, and crying. I knew I wasn't dying and wasn't close to it, but my mind kept thinking of all these terrible things happening, like what if I actually couldn't breathe and I had to crawl down the hall, panting and wheezing, trying to get someone's attention, while fumbling for the phone so that I can dial 9-1-1 and start banging on the digits just so they can figure out there is a serious problem on the other end and they need to send someone over stat to heal me. (Yeah, my mind is a wonder, isn't it?) What if no one noticed that I needed serious help? The thought was oppressing my mind, weighing on me, making me feel worse. Finally, I got up, in tears, and confessed to my Hunny that I was most likely going to die on my own in the bedroom while he watched tv. He took care of me and made me feel better, and half an hour later, I could go back to bed, feeling confident that things were ok.

Yeah, I need a placebo. I'm happy with simple care. Someone to listen to me and not laugh at my drama. A gentle hug, an encouraging word. It makes my heart feel lighter and I can continue on and feel strengthened.

I left the doctor's office with a nice prescription for a strong medication and immediately I felt a good 90% better than I had that morning. And I hadn't even started the medication yet!!! It was just knowing that it wasn't all in my head that made me feel better. The next day, whilst on our way to yet another appointment, I was talking to my wonderfulest sister about how easy things can change for me. I can honestly say that I would be perfect for those medical studies where they give half the test group the real meds and the other half the placebos. I'd be completely happy in the placebo group!

I'm not too sure how I feel about this though. I think it's great to admit that I don't need a lot to make me feel secure, yet the thought that I can be deceived and possibly feel "okay" about it makes me feel uneasy. It's a complex thought. I obviously don't like being lied to and I am deeply hurt and offended by people who are fake or aren't deep, yet I am also simple enough to be able to accept pseudo care. Maybe the word isn't "simple". Maybe it's "strong". Yeah, let's go with that one. Maybe I'm confident enough and am smart enough to know the truth and that in some circumstances, having a placebo is enough b/c I know that's what it is.

Maybe the whole thing really just shows how easy it is to turn things around for me. It's not about how "simple" I am, and it doesn't mean that I have esteem issues or anything. Instead, it is a way to see how to help me get back on my feet. When I need help, I just need a little sympathy, someone to tell me that it's not all in my head, and to help me pick myself back up. A placebo doesn't have to mean "fake." I just need some reassurance sometimes.


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