I’ll admit I talk a lot about my awesome psychiatrist, who’s just below God and my husband on my personal “most-admired” list, but yesterday he gave me some bad news: he is planning to leave the mental health clinic and go into full-time private practice, where he can do his acupuncture thing as well as traditional therapy. Maybe. It won’t happen till after the first of the year—if it happens at all—but he wanted to warn me as early as possible, knowing as he does that I’m a “nervous Nellie” who needs time to adjust to changes.
He’s talked about this before, but now he’s serious and I believe it really might happen, unless he finds that he really can’t give up teaching psychiatry residents at the hospital. I can imagine him as a professor; he must be a wonder at it, as I’ve learned more from him about how the human brain works (or doesn’t) than I ever did in my psych courses, let alone nursing school.
Part of me wants to think that it WON’T happen, not only because I don’t have the faintest desire to change horses in mid-stream, so to speak, but because he just took on my friend Jesse as a new patient and I don’t think doctors usually do that when they’re planning to fly the coop. But I also know that he’s been restless for quite a while, and his budding practice as an acupuncturist is so promising (not to mention lucrative) that he really does need to move on. Hell, even I can understand that.
Still, I am nothing if not loyal—to say nothing of determined—so after he was through telling me about all the wonderful residents and other psychiatrists in the area who could take good care of me, I said “Nope. I don’t want another doctor. I trust YOU. What if I were to follow you to your private practice?”
That must’ve been what he wanted to hear, because all of a sudden he became even more animated than usual and told me about how he does take insurance in his private practice (a lot of p-docs don’t), but will give me steep discounts on his rates while I’m paying cash. He simply hadn’t thought that I’d want to make the drive to Salem, but I reminded him that I’d driven those 25 miles five days a week for almost three years, so he talked enthusiastically about trying some acupuncture with me if I’d allow it (which I probably will, even though I’m scared of it) and how he’s planning to remodel the office to include a relaxing treatment atmosphere.
There was more in the same vein, but my decision had already been made: whichever way he goes, I will remain his patient. Unless, of course, he finally succeeds in moving to Hawaii, in which case he’s going to have to leave room in his suitcase for two older adults, three cats and a dog, because Will and I are going too. I could DEFINITELY live without ugly winters and seasonal mood shifts…..who knows, maybe I wouldn’t even need a psychiatrist if I lived in Paradise…. 😉