Friday, August 09, 2013

Falling In Holes

I spent a little time with a doctor yesterday that is a good friend of my mom's and has done some surgery on me. He is the world's funniest guy. We spent a larger portion of the conversation talking about my dad and his dementia because he has a father with dementia. When it came my time for me to be in the hot seat my mom made a comment to him about how I've been under a lot of pressure lately. He said to me, "I thought you managed to eliminate your stress." To which my mom piped up, "well, she's got a very sick son. He has schizophrenia."

Dead silence

And then what followed can only be described as a snicker. Even that isn't a fair depiction. It isn't like he was laughing at me and Thomas, it was more like either he didn't know what to say or maybe he had a family member that has it and he didn't want to discuss it. I don't know and my mom and I have gone over what his reaction meant and have come up with nothing. It was just plain

ODD.

I have my whole speech ready to go where I explain a little of what's going on with Thomas and then I attempt to help them better understand schizophrenia but when I opened my mouth to speak this time I felt completely shut down by him. What's weirder is that he was so shut down, as if the lights were turned off when I mentioned the word schizophrenia. I know this because after the silences and strange snickers he fired right up and started talking about the stuff with my dad again literally as if the whole schizophrenia thing had never happened.

So, since I left his office I have been pondering that whole experience. Not once was he rude to me, in fact he joked with me a lot about other things and treated me so kindly but there were these holes in the visit where the word schizophrenia dropped into them never to be found again.

I haven't yet had an experience like this. I have been lucky to be able to talk to people and they have been curious enough to ask questions. I have had only one person tell me that Thomas should not be on meds but as far a opposition goes, that was the worst of it. So yesterday's exchange was a real intriguing experience.

It's interesting to me that when I come up against something I don't understand I will at least listen to what the person has to say and perhaps ask questions. Maybe I'm unique. Or maybe I'm not but perhaps schizophrenia is so scary and foreign to some people that the mere mention of the word causes them to run for the hills. I'm not naïve here, I know how life works but these sorts of things never cease amaze me.

All the more reason to keep up to good fight of trying to help people better understand schizophrenia. That is if people will listen.

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