If we wish to know about a man, we ask "what is his story - his real, inmost story?" - for each of us is a biography, a story. Each of us is a singular narrative, which is constructed, continually, unconsciously, by, through, and in us - through our perceptions, our feelings, our thoughts, our actions; and not least, our discourse, our spoken narrations. Biologically, physiologically, we are not so different from each other; historically, as narratives - we are each of us unique. To be ourselves we must have ourselves - possess, if need be re-possess, our life stories. We must "recollect" ourselves; recollect the inner drama, the narrative, of ourselves. A man needs such a narrative, a continuous inner narrative, to maintain his identity, his self.
What an appropriate comment.
I slack off on my stories when I am on vacation, O Best Beloved, because there are so many fascinating things to do. And now I have settled down in my seat for a few minutes between our abortive attempts to assemble a new grill (three girls, all fairly intelligent, and none of us can figure out why the blasted thing is crooked) and a much-needed session of vegging out. I will summarize:
Thursday: Everyone wanted to die on Thursday, it seemed. I went to see two early and unproductive consults - one who left before he was sober enough for us to talk to (third ER visit in 24 hours, the man just comes for a safe place to get a little more sober) - and the other a girl who'd overdosed on GHB and miscellaneous other party drugs. She was certainly willing to tell me what had happened, but I don't speak Stoned well, and her mumbling was positively incomprehensible. Two down.
We spent most of the day trying to figure out what to do with Megan's patient, and everyone let us because we were studying.
This gentleman is approximately 70 years old, picked up by the police for hitchhiking in his wheelchair along the interstate. By the time Megan saw him the ER staff all thought he was a sweet but senile old man and that we should send him back to the homeless shelter. He spun a pretty story about how he had a house and chickens and dogs back in Kentucky, and he was just trying to get home because his 18-year-old girlfriend had dropped him off at the homeless shelter.
She called his sister - we needed to know what his situation was and who could pick him up. Sister says "watch your back." He's in a wheelchair because he broke his hip six weeks ago in prison. He's a convicted child molester twice over and a rapist, he murdered a police officer, and he's the very model of an antisocial personality disorder. No regrets, no real shame. And he has maybe an apartment in Kentucky, but the people he runs drugs from might've taken it.
And if we release him to the homeless shelter, he'll just be back hitchhiking and back to the ER again the next day. Finally, someone came up with funds to put him on a Greyhound home. All the while, Megan had to keep popping in to see how he was doing.
The funniest thing we saw on Thursday was this gentleman, lying on his bed, reading Shape magazine with the same evident enjoyment one would expect to see in an adult bookstore.
The only other patient we handled was a woman who had a BAC of .230 and insisted to me that she'd had nothing to drink but a single shot of vodka the previous night. Furthermore, she told me, nobody had drawn her blood so she didn't know how I'd gotten a BAC for her. I talked to her anyway, and it was a good thing I did.
"If you let me go out of here," she says to me, "I'll walk in front of another train." I asked if she wanted to stay. She said no. She continued in this vein, telling me I didn't know how much pain she was in and that she'd been working herself up to killing herself for a long time. And I listened, carefully, made note of things she said. "I'll go talk to the staff," I finally said, "and we'll see if there's anything we haven't thought of yet."
I made report right away and J asked if I thought she'd sign a voluntary admission. She's endorsing suicidality, after all. I said no, but J was welcome to try. J went to the ER. My patient was in the process of leaving AMA, most likely to go out and try to walk in front of a train again. J had her ID'd in the end - immediate detention, a one-way ticket to 24 hours in the psychiatric ER for evaluation, courtesy the police.
I'm a coward; I was glad I didn't have to see her after that, as it was my report that made the ID possible. Maybe, J says, when she sobers up she'll be better.
Went home early. Crammed for exams.
Friday: Came in and took Psychiatry at 0830 and EBM at 1230. Psychiatry wasn't so terribly bad; I am quite anxious about it after having skipped my usual rituals of taking the exam twice and counting all my answers by categories, but I think I did well enough. Passing is anything better than two standard deviations below the mean. EBM was a breeze: do a literature search and some math problems.
Drove home, had RP, and I must report quotes from that eventually. Went to bed relatively early.
Saturday and Sunday are kind of a blur. We went shopping for some food, found a new grill to purchase, and the youth played "Hallelujah Chorus" on choirchimes. Babysat for another church's video seminar (please, in your homeschooling curriculum, include "do not act like wild hellions when eight years old" next to "the Bible says men should not have long hair"?) and played a lot of Warcraft.
And today I have slept in, worked out, taken my brother clypheous to the airport so he can fly back to New York, put the grill together and found that it was crooked. Also shopped. And now I'm thinking I'll play a little more World of Warcraft and roleplay and sort of bum around until Angel comes home, when we will negotiate the grill.
Because, O Best Beloved, these ten days are my summer break.