Family Counseling & Psychology Center
2485 Tech Drive, Bettendorf, IA. 52722
Phone: 563.355.1611 | Fax: 563.355.6617

Employment Opportunities

It's Good To Be Back

By Collin Lodico, Ph.D.

April 12, 2016

Last November I unfortunately had to take an immediate and extended medical leave which meant I had to suddenly cancel all my appointments. I have felt badly about this during the many months that I have been away and want to briefly explain what happened. A week before Thanksgiving, I suddenly began having abdominal pain. Within a few days I was hospitalized locally. After a week in a local hospital my condition had deteriorated significantly and the local doctors, despite many tests, could not figure out what was wrong. I was then transferred to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota where I stayed for nearly three weeks. The doctors at the Mayo Clinic figured out the problem and were able to stabilize my condition. However, the damage to my liver and intestines was significant which meant that I needed extended and intensive care for many months after I was released. I am happy to announce that my condition has improved over the last month to the point that I am going to resume working. My doctors have said that my recovery will continue for many more months and have cautioned me about not "overdoing it." With their advice in mind, I am planning on working on Tuesdays and Thursdays and gradually building up my work hours.

When I was hospitalized I asked my staff to inform my clients that I was unable to work and would be on an extended medical leave. My clients were asked if they wanted to transfer care to one of my colleagues or simply wait until I returned. I am thankful to my colleagues for supporting my clients and covering for me in my absence. Now that I am transitioning back to work, I have decided that appointments will first be offered to those who decided to wait and are not receiving counseling. I have asked my colleagues who are providing services to my former clients to discuss the situation with them. I want to emphasize to any of my former clients who are receiving services from another therapist that if you feel it's in your best interests to continue with your current therapist, it is okay! Your health and wellbeing are what matter most! You can decide to transfer back to my care or you can decide to stay with your current therapist. Either decision is okay! I want what is best for you! If you want to transfer back to my care, please inform your therapist and they will notify me. You will then be put on a list and offered an appointment when I have an opening. Please keep in mind that I am starting with a small case load and gradually building up so it may still be many weeks before I can see some of my former clients. I thank you for your patience and understanding and am truly sorry for the sudden interruption of your care.

As many of you may have surmised, the last few months have been the most challenging times of my life. I have been overwhelmed by the love and support from family and friends which was crucial to my recovery and is the greatest blessing that I have in life. If you are ever unsure whether sending a card, email or text matters, I can testify that it does. Knowing that people were pulling for me and caring about me helped me get through some incredibly dark days. To any of you who expressed concern and support, I am deeply appreciative. I have also been struck by how kindness and encouragement from doctors, nurses and medical staff makes a big difference. I have wonderful doctors, locally Dr. Golden and at the Mayo Clinic Dr. Oduyebo, who take the time to talk to me and encourage me in my recovery. The entire staff at the Mayo Clinic was kind, patient and encouraging. The wonderful nurses at the Infusion Center at Illini Hospital have been very supportive during the months of care that I received from them. A smile, a pat on the back, the offering of a warm blanket or a glass of water all can make a big difference in getting through a difficult day. The difference between a doctor or nurse who treats you very impersonally versus one who treats you with compassion is like night and day. I am grateful to all the medical staff who have given me a helping hand and a kind word.

The greatest challenges can also have the greatest impact on our perspectives. A frequent lesson from difficult times is that they help us develop a greater appreciation for everyday things we take for granted. I went months without being able to eat and have only been eating pain free for about a month. Eating for me is now amazing, every bite is cherished. Being able to get through a day pain free now feels like an unbelievable blessing. I have been outside walking recently, and I am overwhelmed with gratitude to just have energy and be able to move without pain. Let me add that my compassion for people experiencing chronic pain is now a hundred times greater. Being able to be active and playful with my children has always been valued, but now it is miraculous. Being independent, driving, and working all feel like wonderful privileges. I could go on, but the key is to now try to mindfully keep this perspective for years to come. As a psychologist, I know how crucial perspective is to wellbeing. As I work to get back to a normal life, I will also work to see my normal life as a miracle.

There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle. Albert Einstein

If we live as if everything is a miracle, then our daily journey can be a treasure hunt and our hearts and minds will be filled with blessings.

Collin A. Lodico, Ph.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Family Counseling & Psychology Center, PC