We had dinner last night in Providence with my local hematologist-oncologist and his wife. I liked this guy from the day I met him. This was our first social visit.
We've spent a lot of time together and have come to know each other quite well. He has two kids the same age as my younger two and we've talked endlessly about the perils of parenting, college applications, majors and the like. He has a lot of angst on the subject; maybe he saves all the anxiety of treating very sick patients and transfers it to his children. I'm a lot calmer in this arena; maybe I spend all my anxiety on health issues and spare my children in some ways. I say some because I know they have not been spared.
In all the years he's known me, he's only witnessed one breakdown. I know how to control my feelings, even sparing doctors my black moods. Oh, I cried once when he wouldn't let me out of the hospital, but that didn't alarm him; it only made him feel bad.
I'll admit that seeing him dredged up a thick and disgusting stew of dark emotions, before and after dinner. What I usually keep the lid on rose up and hit me from behind. Ouch. Still, it was a very nice evening, and I'm glad we did it. Part of me hopes I never see him again, this man who helped save my life. It's too close for comfort.