Friday, May 14, 2010

Stockholm Syndrome

Have you ever heard of Stockholm Syndrome, Company?  That is a condition by which a captive person becomes enamored by and sympathetic with their captors.  It was discovered in 1973 and it is named after the city where it was discovered.  Some people who worked at a bank, and when it was robbed and the robbers held the workers captive for like six days, they actually because emotionally attached to the guys with the guns.  They even defended their captors once they were released to the waiting arms of the amazed and confused authorities.  Anyway, that is Stockholm Syndrome, and I think that I might have it.  Please allow me to give you a little back story.
     A few weeks ago I suffered what would normally be considered everyday, I was defeated by gravity, fell down, and scraped some skin off my leg.  A patch about the size of a dime.  That patch got infected by a bacteria that required a pretty heavy duty anti-biotic to treat it.  After two nights in the hospital to ascertain just how I would respond to this pretty harsh drug.  I responded well, and they put what is called a PICC (peripheral intravenous cardiac catheter) which would allow me to receive those same drugs on an outpatient basis.  Since then, I have been going to that same friendly local hospital every day, twice a day actually, to get my treatment.  It takes 2-3 hours each time I go in, and because of the rest of my daily schedule I get my treatments at a time right when shift change is occurring around the hospital, which is sort of inconvenient for them (I don't care) but is sort of nice for me because it allows me to see as many staff as possible.
     Yesterday, I went to the doctor so that he could check how I was progressing, and he informed me that my treatments would only last one more day.  After my last treatment I would have my PICC line removed and I would go on with my life, with an oral antibiotic for another ten days.  As I sit here in the hospital receiving one of my last treatments, I am filled with a sort of mixed emotion.  I will not miss the 4:30 am alarm clock to wake me for my morning treatment.  I will not miss having six hours of my day taken up by something that I have to pay dearly for.  But you know, when I walk out of the door after my last day, I have to admit that I am going to be sad to leave this place.
     See?  Stockholm Syndrome.  Something about this place sort of suits me.  First of all, it sort of feels safe.  I have this problem, and here I am taken care of.    Not to say that no one has offered to help me out or take care of me beyond the hospital, but there is something about being here, even though for only twice a day, that feels so good.  I know that anything, no matter how small, will be taken care of properly for me.  Now, I am leaving and it's all on me, and you know what?  I don't know jack shit.  I feel sort of like a child that is leaving the village and heading out into the wilderness all by myself for the first time.  Not a good feeling.  I just sort of like that safety that twice daily hospital visits bring I guess.
     I am also going to miss the people who work here - the nurses and CNA's.  That is Certified Nursing Assistant.  They have all been incredibly nice and, over the last eighteen days or so I have learned a lot about them.  I am sure that they have learned more about me than they have wanted to, but they have been kind, sympathetic, hard working, and just generally nice.  Sure, there have been some bumps in the proverbial road, but that happens all the time in any situation.  On the whole I feel that they have taken very good care of me, and for that I am appreciative.  I know that I have talked about this before, but I will say it again.  What I appreciate the most is that they made my mind feel well.  They have all put me at ease and really made my time not so bad.  Listen, nobody likes to be in the hospital, but they have been caring and nice enough that I actually haven't minded so much, aside from the time consumption.
     So here I am, thanking and gushing about the people who have stabbed me repeatedly, dripped alcohol into the inside of my body, forced calesthenics on my, and kept me captive for about a week's worth of my life.  Sounds like Stockholm Syndrome to me.  Listen, I know that none of them will probably ever read this, and I understand that the nature of the beast is that they will most likely forget all about me long before I have forgotten about them.  They have had a much larger impact on my life than I will ever have on theirs, and that's okay.  But I guess that this is just my way or sort of saying thank you to them for everything.  I appreciate it more than they will ever know.  I can say that when I walk out of here for the last time, through the overly excessive powered automatic revolving door, I will miss them, and to a much lesser degree this place.  Is that weird?  No, it's just the Stockholm Syndrome.  But thank you to them all anyway.

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