Thursday, August 4, 2016

The big decision (chapter 8)

August 21 , 2010 – NY Presbyterian Hospital
            I am the first one into Scott’s room since Chuck is speaking with a nurse. The nurse is undoubtedly   going through the bag of items we  brought for Scott checking everything  since that is usually what happens as soon as we arrive.

Scott is sitting on his bed. No sooner am I in the room that he says he wants to talk about going back to school. I feel assaulted, having hoped to defer that topic for a while, given yesterdays’ disastrous results. With a heavy heart I merely look at him and sink into a chair, waiting to hear what will come out of his mouth. I am not sure I am strong enough to go back to the place we were yesterday.

He looks at me and says that he has been thinking about it and he agrees it would be a good idea if he stayed out of Middlebury this semester, and maybe take a class or two at a local school.

I leap up and out of the chair with joy. I literally feel as if I’ve been told that I just won the lottery. Tears start to run down my face as I place my hands on either side of Scott’s face, telling him how wise I think that decision is. Chuck walks in and wonders what fabulous thing has just happened. I share the good news with him, and Scott elaborates on his decision.

He tells us how the topic came up in group therapy this morning. Two of the patients he really respects: the recovering alcoholic trader and the doctor, urged him to skip a semester. They told him that he had his whole life ahead of him, that there is no rush, and taking a semester off with a couple of local classes could be a really good thing for him in the long run. 

And here’s the miracle part …. he listened to them. He HEARD them. Unlike his response to us, or to the doctor, or to the social worker, he internalized their advice, and agreed with it. Part of me wonders whether Nana or Pappa had a hand in this sudden recovery of his senses, or maybe they spoke through the voices of these other patients.

Scott goes on to say, that in thinking about things, he realizes that we have always provided him with good advice. He trusts us and if this is what we think is the best thing for him, then he agrees. Clearly the medication is starting to lay the groundwork for the path back to a 'normal' Scott. While stress and setback can still make the beast of psychosis rear it's ugly head, the 'scaffolding' that Dr. S. talks about is in place and it is supporting the return of rational thinking.

At the time I am stunned. I wonder how this miracle of rational thought has returned to Scott. But I am too joyful to ponder the question too long. We leave his room to head to the dining room for a celebratory snack and along the way we tell everyone we see of Scott’s good decision.

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