May 4th, 2004

White Coat

And when my mother asks me where I learned such words...

...I'll tell her I learned them at school.

I stood in the psych ER - a seven-bed locked unit, just across from the ER, trying to present my very second patient ever to a taciturn crisis clinician whose name was at distinct odds with his mahogany skin. It had gone well, thus far, despite my unreasonable fear of him - he seems such a competent man, this clinician, with such brief and simply eloquent responses to questions. I don't know that it is fear; perhaps it is more awe.
The presentation was going well - I had discussed it briefly with others prior to the whole mess going down, and was reasonably confident that the depressed and unconfident (is that a word?) gentleman who had been so forthcoming regarding his drinking (four beers a day before the gin and wine starts at 5 PM) and crack cocaine (up to $500 a day, when he was working, every day. Now just a couple times a week) habits, who admitted that he had a problem and who didn't want his four-year-old daughter (youngest of seven children) to see him drunken and depressed; that this gentleman had a probable substance-induced depression on top of a questionable organic depression, and that the best place for him was in D&A - drug and alcohol rehab. The presentation was going well until the police arrived.
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Megan and I are staring at each other across the table, both gauging our behaviour on the actions of the other. "Shall we just go after lectures?" I will if you will. "Should we take Psych ER patients?" They scare me. "Did you park by the VA hospital?" So did I. It's nice to have someone here who's just as lost as I am, and admits it. Plus, she's cute, in a girl-next-door sort of way, and fun to talk with.
I don't make friends easily; I still rank on the I side of the Kiersey scale. But I like to talk, and I love my audience (as well you know, O Best Beloved), and I like the company. The company is nice. If only this rotation didn't drive me crazy.
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