Sunday, August 14, 2011

On Depression

Sometimes patients don’t want to talk to my Mom, even though she’s a really nice and caring doctor, because they’re not happy about being sick or being in the hospital.  I don’t blame them.  One nice man was so depressed he wouldn’t even look at my Mom, no matter how hard she tried to talk to him about his treatment.  He was supposed to have physical rehabilitation to walk again, but he didn’t seem to care about anything.   He just lay in bed all the time.  Out of desperation Mom brought in the big guns.  That’s right--me!   She carried me into his room and asked if he liked dogs.  That got his attention.  He turned in his bed, and when he saw me, he cried out “Puppy!” and clapped his hands like a little boy.  The change in him was amazing.  I sat on his bed as he pet my head and hugged me.  He told my Mom how much he loved dogs, and how much he missed his dog that had died.  Every day my Mom brought me to visit him, and little by little he opened up about his life outside of the hospital.  They talked a lot about dogs (my favorite subject, naturally).  I guess I reminded him of the person he used to be, before he became sick.  Pretty soon he said he needed to walk again, because he wanted a dog in his life.  Mom promised him that when he was ready, she and I would take him to the SPCA to adopt a new friend.  He did learn to walk again, and we went to the SPCA, though he didn’t go home with a dog on that first visit.  After all, you can’t always be as lucky as my Mom, who found me on the first visit.  Or should I say, I found her.  (“Our eyes met across a crowded room”…but that’s a story for another day.)  I know the nice man will find the right dog and when he does, they will be very happy, like my Mom and me.