Hey! Guess what? My disability is goofed up! I really don't understand how, but now I have to spend a bunch of time on the phone trying to sort it out. I am really much more interested in sorting out why Mrs. X has pain, Mr. Y has confusion and how to help the Z family sort out what their mother would like, but it doesn't really matter. Even though I'm almost off disability, if I need to go back on and this episode was closed improperly, then it might be harder/not possible. Maybe. Maybe not. I don't know or understand, but the disability person says that. Since I am now in the uncertain world of having once had cancer and caring very much that my disability not get messed up for the future just in case, I have the exciting opportunity to learn all about the Dartmouth Disability Program as administered by Hartford. I would rather be learning about treatment of psychiatric illness in the elderly, but it doesn't really matter what my interests are right now; I'm learning about disability insurance. Just complaining as I pass through, don't mind me.
My cold is almost better. I was able to work today and felt except for the constant nose blowing and sniffing like I was back to normal. Well, and the occasional coughing fit. I am hoping that having a cold that took two months to go away followed immediately by a new cold that sent me to my couch is not the new post-leukemia normal, but simply an aberration because I happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, microbiologically speaking.
It was great to be back at work, although it was a bit of a hairy day, made more hairy by the fact that I helped out in Ellie's class this morning. Certainly, hairier and more fun. She wants to know afterwards exactly who I had in my group for each class. "Josh? Josh Smith or Josh Jones? Did he have brown hair or blond?" Also, "Did you notice the girl in my class with the red hair and the purple T-shirt? The one who was sitting two rows behind me and towards the window?" It's lots of fun to get a little peep hole into her world. I remember the days when I would know everything she was thinking because I had seen the raw material go into her head, but now, I have so much less visibility into it.
Also about kids, I had a lovely experience today of being stopping by the elevators and chatting with a patient's family when down the other side of the hall comes a man and woman carrying a newborn baby, obviously going home for the first time after the baby's birth. The family I was with and I cooed over the gorgeous baby and then I left, re-invigorated and amazed. I have noted many times before how much comfort families who are losing a loved one seem to feel from the presence of newborns in the same hospital even. Our society tries to pretend that birth and death have nothing to do with each other, but I think people understand instinctively that they do. Or maybe it's just that everyone loves a newborn, but I think it's more than that. Back when I was a regular hospitalist, my patients did not seem to have the same level of connection to newborns that they do now.
For me, for tomorrow, I am hoping for my loom part. For you, for tomorrow, I am hoping for whatever you are needing to arrive from afar.