Thursday, July 8, 2010

The OCD Project - July 1, 2010

I apologize for the delay of getting this recap done.

As suspected, Kevin was kicked out of the program. Okay, he was graciously told to leave.

Pull-of-my-hearstrings quote of the episode again goes to Kevin when describing that all the remaining patients are all in the same boat:

"I want to be in that boat."

The goodbye hugs and well wishes were genuine, but all it probably meant to Kevin was failure with a capital "F."

I cannot believe that they actually let Kevin drive himself away. He clearly looked distressed and angry. He should have been escorted to another treatment facility.

Jerry was asked to hold a knife to the doctor's throat. The other patients looked squeamish. The doctor said, "Just don't sneeze," and that brought a few chuckles from everyone. When asked what his anxiety level was, Jerry replied, "A 20 or 30." Good job, Jerry! Jerry also commented, "It's not me. I don't care. I'm getting better."

The other patients then touched Kristen's face. That brought Kristen back to her whiny self, but even with the whining, she did a good job, I thought. She could have jumped up and left the table, but she stayed and faced her fear. With Dr. Tolin's hands staying on her face, the rest of the group talked to Kristen until her anxiety level went down. I loved the comment (paraphrased), "The longer you leave his hands on your face, you are getting stronger."

An HIV patient was then brought in to the room. Arine could clearly tell he was there for her. He began talking about his illness. I just didn't see where this was going. When people talk to me about my obsessions, it doesn't change anything. You can tell me my obsessions are irrational, but it doesn't make them go away. Just makes me think of them more. However, Arine said his talk helped her and even asked the man for a hug afterward.

Kristen and the good doctor went to a gas station to touch and kiss gas pumps. Cutest line of the episode was Kristen saying, "I'm not going to kiss a gas pump." It must have looked pretty weird to passerbys. Dr. Tolin made an excellent compromise and adjustment by having Kristen put her hand on her chin and work her way up to kissing her hand. And for those of you who haven't seen it, she finally kissed the gas pump. And as a pleasant surprise, all the patients were inside the van cheering for her when she finally did.

The benefit of support from fellow patients is really starting to show.

Later, Cody and Jerry went through the process of getting arrested, right down to the handcuffs, search, a ride in the patrol car, and fingerprinting. They were in isolation cells. Cody told himself over and over again not to do his rituals. That would be really hard for anyone. That's like telling a kid not to scratch a mosquito bite. They thought they were going home after awhile, but then dinner was brought to them. I would like to know how long they actually stayed. I think it would have been a good idea if they could have stayed the night to make it even tougher. I think by now, Jerry seems almost completely cured, and I never thought I would say that. I know that's not the case; OCD is manageable, not cureable, which is sometimes comforting to me because I don't know what it would be like to live without it. Dr. Tolin talked to the patients in this episode about how it is scary to think about life without OCD. He said it is a lot less predictable, but a lot more fulfulling.

Kristen wanted to go in the jacuzzi. Dr. Tolin said only if he could put 1/2 cup of urine in the water. She tried to talk him down to one teaspoon. They finally agreed to 1/4 cup of urine as long as he didn't tell her whose urine it was. Several other patients joined the urine bath. I am totally astonished that Kristen got in. Arine, Cody and Jerry, yes. But Kristen, wow.

After that, Arine was to go driving at night alone with the aid of a speaker phone, the doctor on the other end. She had to count how many people she "ran over" and DIDN'T check on. She got two points for every child. Some of my other favorite lines of the night were Dr. Tolin's after Arine passed some people, "I'll listen for the thump" and "Don't go back and check. He's already dead. There's nothing you can do for him."

Traci was asked to write a eulogy for her son's "funeral." When they got to the funeral home, she had to pick out a casket. She kept telling the funeral home worker, "I'm sorry we're here." When entering the chapel, she commented that there weren't enough flowers. The other patients were in the pews supporting her. She walked towards the back of the chapel, looking like she was going to back out, but she pulled herself together. She got really upset for a long time. Then she seemed "okay" until they wheeled the casket in. Then she upset all over again. Most telling and deep quotes of the night were from Traci, "I have no one to blame but myself." "I deserve everything I got and get." I could have spoken those words.

Next week - the doctor makes home visits and Kristen has to put urine on her clothes.


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