Ha ha ha.
Bink has met her match: a smart shrink. Not just clever, canny and capable... but caring and conscientious too.
You know what it’s like with bright children: their education is always dogged by the sparsity of teachers quite as quick-witted as they are. Great pedagogues, like my mother, recognise there are always going to be some in the class who will one day prove better mathematicians – if they aren’t already – and challenge and respect their charges accordingly. (But then she taught, inter alia, Andrew Wiles, several Keyneses and a Perutz: Cambridge for you.) Sadly, such humility is rare.
The same goes for mental health treatment: nothing hobbles therapy quite like being able to run rings around your therapist.
As previously mentioned, Bink is addicted to the pernicious prescription poison, Lorazepam. Her problem has long been confounded by the difficulty of supply: as hard for a beggar presented with the occasional banquet to refrain from gorging, as for Bink to cut down on something she has to fight so hard to obtain. The lurching anxiety from one unobtainable prescription to the next is so intense, it becomes a significant contributor to the strain which keeps her taking it.
When Professor Veale agreed to prescribe it until she becomes his inpatient in the Priory (and under managed withdrawal) a burden fell off her like Pilgrim’s sin falling from his shoulders.
“Never again,” she said to us after her last appointment, “never again in my life will I have to worry where my next prescription is coming from.”
There were stipulations along with the script. Bink has been trying to quit this stuff for at least a year and a half, and sometimes manages to reduce her intake considerably. Which means she can stash a few spare pills away to stave off the gnawing stress about the next supply.
Fine. Up to a point, Lord C: until life turns ugly and she resorts to this cache to survive. Meaning her intake teeters and totters.
Professor Veale was having none of this. She had to tell him what dosage she was on, and then take it whether or not she felt like it.
Shaun justified this afterwards – proving, if needed, how useful it can be to have parents on board.
“Surely I should cut down if I can?” she argued.
“No,” Shaun said. “Professor Veale was very clear about that. You are not to decide your dosage depending on how you feel. You must take the amount you have agreed. No more, no less.”
Well, I suspect she probably intended to...
But after her double appointment, with Professor Veale and then her therapist, she slept for about three days. Quite sensibly (to my mind) she didn’t set an alarm for her appointment with yet another evil little pill.
Once or twice since, she has observed, “I really don’t need as much Lorazepam as this. Do you honestly think I should take it if I don’t want it?”
I kept schtum. If this is cunning reverse – or even aversion – therapy, I’m not interfering.
Last night she went to collect her next fortnight’s dosage... and came home empty-handed, the pharmacist having rejected the unfamiliar private prescription.
“Why do you leave it right up to the wire?” I sighed, as Shaun agreed to drive her round Bedfordshire trying to find a late-night chemist.
“Because I find the whole process so stressful.”
Sometime before midnight Tesco’s agreed to ring Professor Veale’s secretary in the morning to check the prescription was bona fide.
The next day Bink came home bursting with wry indignation.
“He is far too attentive and observant,” she complained with a reluctant smile. “Why did I have to end up with a conscientious psychiatrist?” (Surely like asking, Why was my pen in the last place I looked?)
“He’s noticed. That I was late presenting the prescription. So he’s worked out I hadn’t run out yet. So he knows I’ve reduced my dose.”
Ah-hah! Clever Prof V...
“It’s not funny! He’s going to have such a go at me.”
“I doubt it, Bink.”
“And now he’s told the pharmacist he’ll have to work out the new lower dosage. I bet he left the hospital stamp off on purpose. So they had to ring him.”
Ha ha ha ha ha.
“And he’s supposed to be on holiday...” She wailed.