Then the Doctor died…
I wish I could say they lived happy ever after, but mom and dad experienced a bump in the road. A big one. Unbeknownst to me, the inevitable happened: mom’s psychiatrist died. I can’t really hold it against the guy, but I wish I could, since my parents never thought to seek a new psychiatrist. Mom precariously coasted along on refills of her past prescription. Eventually, Dad found a new internist whom we all liked. He was from Dad’s native China and specialized in geriatrics. Then they made one decision with dire consequences: they couldn’t bring themselves to share mom’s significant psychiatric history with the new doctor. Maybe dad was secretly wishing for a new beginning. Maybe he was hoping for a chance to erase the past. I think he wanted to believe that mom was cured. She had been well for so long. Besides, the subject was painful, embarrassing, easy to avoid.
“Let’s reduce this medication,” the new doc suggested, with good intentions. “It’s old. We don’t use it anymore.” Mom was only glad to comply. Barely a month passed.
“Renee, it’s your mother. Come and get me. I can’t stay in this apartment any longer; your father is trying to kill me. Hurry, please.” Several variations of that message greeted me on my voice mail when I arrived home one day from work.
Hello! I thought to myself, There she is again. After 17 years of relative peace, during which Mom’s disease was managed well with medication, I was instantly brought face to face with the unstable nemesis of my childhood days.