Last week I had a preoperative appointment at the hospital. They did a physical, asked me a lot of questions, had me fill out stacks and stacks of medical history forms, and drew a bunch of blood. The lady who drew my blood waited until it was just she and I in a tiny room and then began to chat with me. At first it was nice, she asked about what I did for a living and what surgery I was having and why. When I told her, her face got grave and she lowered her voice a bit and asked if I believed in ghosts and spirits. I instantly began looking around the room for the hidden camera and toward the medical supply closet out of which I assumed Ashton Kutcher would be popping momentarily. I tried to be diplomatic and responded that I believe in spirit and energy and prayed that she didn't press me on the specific ghost issue. She then proceeded to imply that maybe if I just relaxed I wouldn't have miscarried (incredibly helpful, thank you). Next she went on to tell me that because I am a therapist that perhaps the ghosts or bad energy of past clients are attached to me. I asked if she could point me in the direction of the nearest ghost cleansing facility. No, actually, I just nodded politely and did my best to wrap up the conversation. She instructed me that I should be particularly careful about hugging or touching people other than those who I am very close to because that is a surefire way to transfer energy and ghosts. I mean, I had no idea. Here i've been depositing ghosts all over town! She also told me that she has a sense that as soon as I get pregnant again I should not work and I wondered if she was planning on bankrolling me for those 9 months.
This whole experience actually made me laugh, but I imagine if I had been in a slightly more fragile place it might have been pretty distressing. When I told my girlfriend afterwards she said, "I feel like this stuff only happens to you!". It may be true that the ...um... eclectic personalities of the world sense a certain kinship with me and feel comfortable unleashing the full power of their colorful belief systems. I guess I'm okay with that as long as I can keep reasonable boundaries. In a way I was grateful for this conversation, because in the midst of a week where pre-op hormones and stress were making it difficult for me to find the humor in it all, this lady swooped in with a diagnosis of ghosts on the uterus that I found too brilliant not to laugh about. Thank you, lady, I would have hugged you had we not already discussed the clear and present dangers of that.