“Heavy reading but interesting.” I replied. “You really think I could be a doctor?”
“Yes, I really think you could be a physician. And a good one.”
“And Dr. Mills too.”
“And Dr. Mills too. Maybe you should give what we’re trying to tell you some serious thought. You have the intelligence and compassion to do this. Don’t sell yourself short.” he said, closing my chart. “ I’ll be right back. You can get dressed in the meantime. I won’t be long.”
Slipping off the edge of the paper-lined examination table, I pulled my dress back on, over the pale blue slip I was wearing. Thinking about the faith both of these wonderful doctors had in me. A confidence I didn’t have in myself. And what little self-esteem that was left, rapidly being chipped away at home, each day.
“Anything else I can help with today? ” Dr. Cohen asked when he returned, sitting down to face me.
“Well, as much as I’m not a fan of taking drugs, I’m having problems with my stomach bothering me, in addition to all the anxiety and stress you already know about.”
“You’ve got to leave that guy. It’s not going to get better from what you’ve told me, repeatedly. In the meantime, it’s ruining your health. You don’t deserve to live like that. He isn’t worth it.”
“I know all that. I’ve tried to leave. I have left, more than once. But I always come back. He always says things will be different. And for a while they are. Then it starts all over again.”
“Well, no little pill is going to fix a situation like you’re in. But if you need something short-term, I can prescribe some Librax for you. 4 mg. is the lowest dosage there is. Should help with the anxiety and your stomach issues but it won’t fix the problems at home. Only you can do that.”
“Yeah, just something short-term. Just to help get me through the next little while. I know I have to leave.”
“OK, here’s the prescription. But be careful taking these. They will make you feel relaxed. But they can also make you less aware when you’re driving. You could float through a stop sign some day and not even be aware of it at the time. Be careful.”
“I will.” I said, taking the paper from him.
“See you in a month or so. And keep reading those books. That’s the kind of things you should be focused on, not trying to reform your husband. You’ve already given him more than his share of chances.”
“Thanks doc, I’ll try. On both counts.”
Several weeks later, while driving down a quiet street close to our apartment, I did “float” through a stop sign, narrowly missing hitting a Volkswagen Beetle.
When I slammed on the brakes at the last minute, I felt like something had woken me up in that split second. I had been drifting, relaxed…until I saw the young woman with her small baby, getting out of that car.
I will never forget that moment.
I burst into tears and got out of my car. Went over and apologized again and again.
The woman was shaken up too, but not angry towards me. She was very kind, all things considered. No damage to life, to the cars…it could have all turned out so differently, so tragically.
After a few minutes, she drove off and I pulled my car over to the side of the curb, still crying.
When I got home that night, I threw the rest of the capsules I had, down the toilet.
Dr. C was right. I had to face the problems in my marriage and do something about them, once and for all.
As for the drugs I had been taking while still continuing to drive. …Acceptable? NOT!
You can read more about the dangers of mixing many prescription drugs and driving here.
I know this is a touchy subject for so many people. Drunk driving is becoming more and more unacceptable every year. But why do so many people assume that prescription drugs are safe to take while driving, just because they are prescribed by a doctor? Not always the case.
Names have been changed but this (shorter version) of the actual story is true.
Timeline, my first marriage and in my early 20′s.
Dedicated in memory of one of my best friends, Debbie Claeys who died when she was 16.
Debbie was one of the most beautiful, kind people I have ever known. Because of someone who shouldn’t have been driving but was, her life was cut tragically short and those of two of her other friends too.
Sending hugs Debbie, you will never be forgotten.♥