“So how are you, Tanya?” Dr Stein says, pen poised above the paper. This is his current folder of my notes. He must have hundreds of these folders, dating back over the last seventeen years.
“Well, my mood is still low,” I say. “But I’m doing what I have to do: work, the blog, exercise. It’s not terrible: maybe the higher dose of the duloxetine is helping or…”
“I’ve seen you much worse,” he says. His blue eyes sparkle. “There’ve been times when you’ve been sitting in that chair in utter despair.”
The panther sprawls over the chair next to me, dozing. Every so often he flicks an ear or twitches the tip of his tail.
“Yes,” I say. “My brother’s here for another day and then Seb returns tomorrow. I’m determined to enjoy my time with them. I’m able to enjoy some of my activities: bike rides with Dad, my training at the gym.”
“Good,” he says, scribbling something down.
“So maybe I put the duloxetine up in time or…I mean my mood is low,” I say. “I’m sleeping a lot, I don’t have much energy. But I’m determined to enjoy what’s left of my life despite it.” Which must mean, of course, that my mood just isn’t as low as it often has been over the years. Or I’d be crying and staring into space all the time, and feeling that everything is hopeless.
“I think you’re extraordinarily brave,” he says, smiling at me.
“Thank you,” I say.
“Let’s leave the duloxetine where it is and I’ll see you in three weeks,” he says.
Attached photo is the fluffy monster at rest.
Happy Saturday everyone!
*2013. By Simon Parke. Number two in the Abbot Peter mystery series.