“Your husband hasn’t had attacks since we’ve done routine sessions of ECT.”
“What’s that again, doctor?” I sat up straight, perked up to hear something I’d dreaded would happen.
“It’s a specialized treatment, called electroshock to the brain. Your husband’s manic-depression and “bipolar” has stabilized, cured.”
“I wasn’t consulted about the shocks, doctor.”
“It’s standard procedure in psychiatric medicine,” the doctor said, indignant of my questioning.
“Uhm…were the shocks helpful to Dan, doctor?”
Dr. Rolls reclined. He locked his fingers in front of him and made his usual thumbs-twirling-- thinking.
“I gave him lithium in the four-week period of confinement,” Dr. Rolls paused. “It’s controlled doses; it was manageable under such conditions.”
Dignified in his suit and tie, Dr. Rolls leaned forward, and then scribbled, “Prozac”; and the tranquilizer, “Valium3”. “This will quiet him down from recurring depressive mood swings.”
I read the prescription note. Do I have a choice?
“Keep at it in giving him the reduced doses I’ve written here, Mrs. Solomon.”
On the wall, hung Dr. Rolls’ PhD credentials posturing authority over Dan’s, and patients’ “behavioral-mental illness”. That should shush my doubts about the whole matter, I surmised.
But something didn’t seem right as I sat there. Should Dr. Roll’s scientific words and rigid drug-cure quiet me to some peace with Dan’s deep problems?
“He can go home Friday.” A contrived smile let out from his fixed dignified face, and handed me his doctor’s waiver of release of my husband to my care.
Admitting Dan to this psychiatrist disabled me a full say against the doctor’s bold signature written all over the defined office.
After twenty years of marriage, I resolved to seek out professional, psychiatric intervention.
Had I been unjust to Dan to do this?
My husband who found recluse, abandoned to his own world. A world he hadn’t taken me along. Would I be willing if he had asked me to? What had happened to drive him away to an unreachable plateau-- where he alone confused with truth and unreal? What could have troubled him?
Dan’s problems crept slowly into our once happy home as husband and wife. Later, I noticed, he constantly weighed over my shoulders. I had suspected the gradual change. I grew tired, anxious, and irritable with Dan. But what would I have done?
Psychiatry offered impressive scientific answers to identify Dan’s problems—“mental disorders”, ‘bipolar”. I wondered what the Great Physician would have said about Dan’s problems. What would have the Most High God said of me when I began seeking help with Dr. Rolls as soon as I suspected Dan’s problems in dealing with life?
The doctor’s litany of answers to Dan’s whirlwind labeled him-- “mentally ill.” Dan’s distresses had maligned his spirit—unsolved--in his own boundary of comforts.
Sunday, 21, February 2010
Dan’s coming home on Friday.
I’m afraid. Resentment disables me in coping with Dan. But I can’t let him go through electric shocks and lithium drugs again.
What should I do? Help me to reach out to Dan to help him, Lord. Dan needs me.
Hushhh, my troubled heart.
Your voice O, Lord, may come in a burning bush;
in a glorious cloud;
in fearsome thunderclaps;
in still small voice;
to display Your majesty,
power and glory,
Hush, my soul to abandonment to You.
Out of the whirlwind,
You choose to speak.
Bring me low and humbled,
penitent and purged of Self,
Out of a storm-wind,
Your mighty strength revealed
Hush, my soul, to abandonment to You.
Search me and know me.
So I may give answer to You, Lord.
I come defiled and guilty
To Your Redeeming Presence, save.
By Your death on the Cross
Break me away, Lord, to death to Self.
Help me reach out my hand to Dan’s heart,
Help me speak to him kindly
in the midst of a whirlwind
Quiet our spirits to abandonment to You.
Careful not to walk at ease too soon;
Watchful in trusting man for cure
You are strong to heal, compassionate, pure
You’re high tower, and deliverer;
I yield to Your power and grace
help me softened be, die to self for another;
Hush, my soul, to abandonment to You.
I will trust God daily. He is kind. I will help Dan cast all our cares to Him who cares.
I will help Dan restore good memories the electroshocks damaged in his mind. His road to recovery may be a long distance battle and walk.
But my trust is in the Lord.
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