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Friday, June 02, 2006

I am PTW's Amygdala

In the interest of improving my skills and acquiring the CEUs I need to maintain my license, I'm attending the U's annual hypnosis conference. I went to the introductory course two years ago and have found hypnosis to be a useful tool in my practice. I don't use it often in a formal way, but I use aspects of it all the time with clients. So I was enthused for the advanced course. I'd heard it can be tedious...a few colleagues told me it's "the same local people year after year." I thought that would be all right, since I'm green enough for the same old local people to be new to me, and I know I have all sorts of things to learn about using hypnosis clinically - indeed, about all aspects of clinical work. I really, really should have listened to my colleagues.

More than that, I should especially have listened when told to skip the Thursday evening session. If the entire conference was the same old local people, Thursday evening was those people showing off. Didn't matter - I don't know these people, I'll learn all sort of things. I even had a colleague who is a senior clinician convinced the session focused on using storytelling and metaphor in hypnosis sounded worthwhile, and she came with me. It was so bad. Abysmal. Appalling. Just...horrid. Holy Random Fucking story, Batman horrid. I get that it was calculated to be an experiential Ericksonian deal, but it...just...wasn't. The story that went on for over ten minutes and ended with "And that, my friends, is why meat loves salt" [dramatic pause, dramatic stare]. It was connected to...nothing. It taught me...nothing. It did piss me off.

(Picking this back up two days later.) It remained horrid. The second day was almost as bad as Thursday evening, with the exception that at least the speaker was entertaining. He was so entertaining, in fact, it began to lose its charm as the day wore on and there was a whole lot more standup comedy than content. By 5:00 when we adjourned (it began at 8:00), I was very bothered by the fact that at the hypnosis conference of the year in Minnesota, a clinician with my level of experience had learned absolutely nothing of use. I've been to the intro section, I am only five years out of graduate school (and took two years off work to stay with Eryn), and I wasn't learning anything. Oh, wait! I learned this: the speaker does an excellent impersonation of Milton Erickson. That's worth $355 and what felt like eight years out of my life. I could have been adventuring with Scooter and Eryn!

At least I got to leave the conference two hours early on the last day, but only in order to try to help Scooter find a key to his car. (Details on his blog at last link.) I wanted out anyway...needed to go to Urgent Care to deal with this &*%^$!# fungus (yes, fungus, I am not kidding and I don't want to talk about it further...uck, disgusting) that the ER doc didn't deem fit to tell me might result from the two hits of injected and then five days of oral steroid I'd experienced. (I ignored the sore throat because I assumed the pain was a leftover from all the throat pain I had with the second shock episode.) At any rate, it explained the disgusting taste and the fact that my painfully sore throat had become a strangely sore tongue. (I noticed that and thought, hm, that doesn't seem right.) Gee, do you think two experiences of anaphylctic shock in 30 hours and all those steroids made me a titch vulnerable? No wonder I've felt so shitty.

So. This morning, Scooter was out riding his bike for about three hours, and Eryn and I were home both feeling awful. She obviously has thrush now too. (Happens when you don't know you've got it...tends to get passed around.) I swear all I did was pick up an ice cube tray. I didn't touch the unopened bottle of vodka. I didn't even bump it. That didn't stop it from dropping from the top shelf of the freezer and vaporizing on the wood floor between my feet. I must have stood there for a good 20 seconds, staring at the blood and vodka pooling at my feet, before I had my first coherent thought, and it wasn't Oh shit. It was least it's sterile. And then, I thought about how pleased I was that I'd picked up the Skyy that was on sale instead of indulging. For one thing, I could see the tiny shards of blue glass embedded in my feet and pick them out.

There we have it - seriously disappointing professional conference, fungal infections, and vodka-induced foot wounds. There's probably a connection.


Blogger LissyJo said...

Hey: I thought the reason you missed artie's bday party was because you were at a lap-dancing conference!

Entertaining hypnosis-practitioners? Aren't those the ones hired by high school graduation parties to make fools of unsuspecting audience members?

And as far as your streak of really bad luck...perhaps praying is in order? They say bad things happen in threes...For you, it just happens in (counting 1: cold, 2: anaphylaxix, 3: more anaphylaxix, 4: thrush, 5: glass in foot)... Five!

June 05, 2006 1:02 PM  

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