Thursday, May 5, 2016

Flora, The Social Worker

   Flora, a social worker at Davita, was assigned to help me with my insurance and other non-medical issues.  As soon as I arrived in Daly City, she got me premium free coverage from Health Plan of San Mateo as my secondary insurance.  I got zero copay for everything.  Whenever she was in the building, she stopped by, sat down and talked to me about my compliance tests to help me figure out what I was eating wrong and how much fluid I was drinking.

   She worked over and above her duties to help me with my quirks.  She gave me a pamphlet titled Symptom Targeted Intervention Guidebook.  STI was designed to help those with depression, insomnia, anxiety, rumination, irritability, negative thinking and social isolation.  My problems were insomnia, irritability, negative thinking and, although not socially, I am emotionally isolated.  Dialysis patients are prone to suffer depression.

My phone wallpaper
   Flora gave me exercises to practice control of my thoughts and emotions.  She told me to print an image of a box and a stop sign to display where I can see it.  I put them on my phone wallpaper.  I am to put inside the box daily all my worries, anger, negative thoughts and close the lid on them.  The stop sign is to remind me to stop before reacting to any thought that makes me feel bad.  Avoid thinking of the past by taking 3 minutes to just sit and feel the present.  

   In the beginning I didn’t think it would help.  Every week that Flora and I talked, she helped me with one issue after another.  Like she was my psychologist, I told her any event that got to me in the past days and she would show me where I went wrong.  Eventually I started to make progress.  Lately, I have been cordial with two people I did not speak to for more than a year.  I am sleeping better.  I am now handling my irritability and negative thoughts by just bringing Flora to mind.  She has become my imaginary stop sign.  

   Then, Flora said goodbye to me.  She is moving to another job, another place.  I tried to hold my tears.  You would think after losing so many people in my life, I should be used to it by now. 

See also:
Living on Dialysis 
The Bright Side of Colonoscopy 
Response to John Oliver

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