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Pessimistic Optimist

November 2, 2011

I have often been asked if I am a pessimist or an optimist and my normal response is that I am a pessimistic optimist.  How does a person define a pessimistic optimist?  In my mind it is person who is happy, but always waiting for the other shoe to drop.  This person tries to see the good in everyone, but has seen so many people hurt or taken advantage of that they view everyone is a wary eye.  In a nutshell, I am the quintessential pessimistic optimist.

Why do I mention this?  Last night I spoke to my mom on the phone.  We are both working on dealing with the loss of my dad.  It is much more difficult for her as she witnessed his slow decay towards his eventual death.  She tried in vain on many occasions to get my father to stop drinking.  Near the end, before she found him in the garage, she was having a very difficult time dealing with him as he sat at home and did nothing.  Since we live in separate states, she has no immediate family in the area to lean on if she needs help.  It was our plan to move her up with us in few years after she retired.  This would allow her to be with us and be closer to our daughter.  Over the past few months, we have shared our good days and bad days, slowly walking towards our hopeful reconciliation with what my dad did to us and to himself.  She called me last night to let me know that her endocrinologist had found two large nodules on her thyroid.  This represents the third time that her thyroid has regenerated after surgery and the nuclear shake.

Here is where my pessimistic optimist personality comes into play.  On the two earlier occasions when her thyroid was removed, the results were completely benign.  In each of the prior occasions, the doctor chose a conservative route in diagnosing and treating the issue.  An ultrasound was ordered and then they attempted the kill it with the nuclear shake.  After that didn’t work, they surgically removed her thyroid.  The optimist says this time will be the same as the last two.  The pessimist wonders why the doctor ordered the biopsy before any ultrasound.  Also, why did he try a new procedure where alcohol is injected straight into one of the nodules in an attempt to kill it?

The pessimist in me is also starting to wonder how much more of this I can take.  It seems that for every step I take forward is promptly followed by a step or two back.  I am worried to death about my mom and I can’t do a damn thing about it.  In prior years, while my dad may have been drinking, he was also there to take care of her and call me if anything happened.  He is now gone and I am left to worry about my mom, now more than ever.  She gets her results in 7 business days, so now I wait and worry and fret.  I am also pissed at my dad.  In a time where my mom really needs him, he is gone.  Not only do I miss him, but I know my mom misses right now as well.


From → Alcoholism

One Comment
  1. I will add your mom’s health to my list for you and your family. Please know that I care. I’m so sorry this is happening on top of all that you have been facing.

    I like your definition of the pessimistic optimist. Never heard of that.

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