Two days ago my grandma had trouble breathing and was feeling tired. My mom measured her blood pressure which was too high and then called a doctor at a local public clinic, described the symptoms, and told the doctor that she gave my grandma Nebilet to lower the blood pressure.
The doctor consulted my grandma’s file.
“I have not prescribed Nebilet,” – the doctor said. – “If your mother dies it will be your fault.”
She refused to come over and examine my grandma.
In theory, public health care is free and generally available in Poland as nearly everyone pays a mandatory health care fee. But in practice, you have to wait a long time to schedule a visit, often times a year or two even. So we pay for private doctors when we can’t wait and Nebilet was prescribed by a private doctor so that’s why it was not in the public clinic’s file.
This is only partially a story about my grandma, though. The second part is that after the call with the doctor my mom was very upset and cried, and was furious with the doctor who refused to see my grandmother. She was distraught all day and even when she told me the story the next day, she could not tell it calmly. Most of all she was angry at herself that she can get emotional and lets other people get to her.
This is a good start – noticing that we get overwhelmed by our emotions and wanting to learn to manage them. Most people don’t even get to that part. I too was like that.
Here are 2 main things that helped me:
- Writing down all the emotions, in detail. And dissecting them into even more atomic emotions. I have hundreds of pages of notes written after upsetting events or conversations. I kept writing everything that came to my mind and analyzing what made me feel that way.
- Realizing that I am responsible for my feelings – Accepting this made all the difference. The fact that someone made me angry is not their fault. It’s my fault for letting that emotion impact me that much. Once you realize that anger and other negative emotions only live in your mind you get to decide what you do with them.
My grandma’s feeling better now. She’s only 94 years old, which, in her family, would be a bit early to die.