217) Seductive Orange Juice Attack

February 12, 2008

El Milagro: Dr. Rowder and Jennifer the Dietician come before I am getting stuck for their drive-by and they report my blood count is going up. That's good news! I tell them the story of my orange juice gluttony: on Sunday I am looking for a drink and open the refrigerator and this carton of Tropicana OJ is just sitting there glowing and shimmering… almost floating in a light that veritably shouts out seductively, “Take me!” and I notice my hand at the end of my arm moving towards it as my little brain says, “no no no”, but my hand isn’t any longer connected to my brain… it is somehow connected to the glowing carton of orange gold and I feel my fingers touching the waxy smooth cold carton, grasping it from its float and bringing it slowly up to dock with my lips.

My little brain is whimpering “no no no” but another part of me has control now… the part than can’t say no” to that glowing carton and cool feel. And as it meets my lips and I gulp the orange juice of my m
emories (it seems like 10 years since I’ve tasted this taste), feeling and tasting its pulp free smooth tanginess flow down my gullet. This taste brings back memories of the orange juices of my youth, my adolescence, and my college years, when it was by far my favorite drink. I am gulping and reminiscing and basking in my past love affair with oraaaange jooooooce… ah yes… and then a little brain voice shadow again gets my attention… it is strangely the voice of my mother… “Jack! Don’t drink out of the carton!” and that grabs my 
awareness enough for the whimpering voice to catch my ear again and I can finally re-control my hand and begin to pull it away from my lips. The trance is broken. The impulse is over. And the taste is gone as the carton no longer glows and the whole compelling experience is done… as is about half the carton of orange juice!

Jennifer immediately wants to solve my OJ Gluttony by giving me options like drinking Sunny D. So, I respond with Liz’s famous guy response: “You know, you don’t have to solve everything. I just want you to listen to my experience and acknowledge it… you don’t have to tell me what to do to solve it.” From there we get into the difference between men and women (ala Men are from Mars, etc) and then off into family counseling and the idea of helping people come up with their own solutions rather than advising them how to do such and such.

Carrie the Tech sticks me and tells me about her internship as a tech and her initial fear of blood. She liked being a dialysis tech and had to get over her fear of blood so she did (and didn’t mention how). But still today she still doesn’t like getting shots herself.

I am listening to NPR, ABC, and PBS as usual and on the Jim Lehrer News Hour they interview a doc* who wrote the book, How Doctors Think, who is talking about how 20% of diagnoses made by doctors are wrong because the newer docs jump to diagnose without fully assessing the situation. I am remembering how Dr. Moritz, after two years of treating me for PKD, sent me for another test and when I asked about it, he said, “Well, I want to make sure it’s not cancer instead of PKD” and I thought to myself, “Shit! Why didn’t he send me for this test last year?” Dr. Groopman, in suggesting how patients can get doctors to expand their assessment, should ask, “What else could it be?”. Alright! For you family counselors who read these posts… does that sound familiar? “What else?” is a great question to have in our repertoire, for all sorts of situations. So, that’s the story for today… and so it goes in dialy-land.

* Dentzer, S. (2007) Doctor Explores Decision-making and Diagnoses. Interview with Dr. Jerome Groopman, available online at the Newshour website, http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/health/jan-june07/groopman_05-15.html

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