Wednesday, May 01, 2013


[Insert part where I playfully acknowledge that I have not blogged in a really long time--and make an excuse or two for that--here.]

But seriously, a short while back a writerly friend of mine* remarked that I hadn't written anything in a while, and I was like, "Ugh, I KNOW," and then she said, "No no! It actually makes me feel better about myself for not writing as much as I want to." And then I was like, "Sweet!" So, to the other writerly friend** who just pointed out I haven't been writing lately and asked, "What's up with that?", what's up is that I AM JUST BEING HELPFUL.

But really seriously, I have no excuse. I had some posts partially or mostly written, and never really put my butt in the chair long enough to put anything together. Or, rather, I put my butt in the chair plenty, but I spent too much time reading internet advice columns and refreshing my Facebook feed and looking at homeless dogs on Petfinder, willfully forgetting that I was working on anything. Here is a list of things I would've posted here, had I finished writing anything I started in the last three months.

Feb 13 - Therapeutic Groups, and my thoughts on leading them. "Group" is a regular and often dreaded part of my job but also one of my favorite parts, sometimes. It's kind of like physical exercise--I'll put it off and put it off and take the first step of putting on my gym clothes/printing out educational materials, and sometimes it'll end there but sometimes I'll actually follow through with it, and while it's happening and after it's over, I never, ever regret doing it.

Feb 15 - The Day After Valentines Day, and my thoughts on Valentine's Day. More specifically, a rundown of all the Valentine's Days I can remember from the last 31 years. Which is to say, like maybe 20% of them. I don't even remember what I did this year, and it was barely more than two months ago. [Update: A consultation with my Google Calendar reveals that I took a swimming lesson wearing brand new (cherry red!) athletic swim gear recently purchased from (with the intention of taking regular swimming lessons...yeah, that hasn't happened) and then made sure people weren't going into DTs on the Detox Unit.]

March 6 - Borderline Personality Disorder. I can't even... I am exhausted just thinking about this one. Here is a picture of Madonna in 1984.

March 23 - Funeral. I made a pilgrimage back home to Wisconsin for the first time in six years. For the funeral of a friend I loved since age 6. This is the one post I had the least written for, but the one I had, and still have, the most thoughts about.

March 29 - A Light Vocabulary Lesson! Terms that have recently been introduced to my medical vocabulary, for various reasons which I attempt to explain. Terms include: conversion disorder, feculent, vermilion border, and schizoid.

(I have a newish psychiatrist, who is the best, and she recently pointed out that I am really good at changing the subject immediately after talking about something uncomfortable. I think she might be on to something...??)

Anyway! I intend to finish the aforementioned posts, and post them here, soon. That may or may not happen, of course. So, stay tuned! Or not!


*MA - sorry
**DS - thanks for the kick in the rear

P.S. Here are a couple of work highlights from the last two days:

1. My coworker asks her patient to describe his mood. Most patients say "good," "alright," "terrible," etc. This patient says, "pussy." Coworker documents this mood description in the patient's chart, as we must do each shift. I imagine the Treatment Team reading this in Rounds the next morning and laugh, hard.

2. A patient comes up to me at 10:45 pm and asks for a bag of chips. She says: "Hi Gina, I don't know if I should ask you this because you're not my nurse, but can I have some chips? I never had a slumber party. My roommate is eating chips and it seems so fun! I'm just trying to be a normal person. One time I slept in the same room with another woman. She slept on a mat on the floor and I just fell asleep. I never had a slumber party." Of note, this middle-aged patient with chronic schizoaffective disorder is wearing a nightgown with cartoon cats snuggling in pairs printed on it, a hospital robe on top of that, and socks plus hot pink fuzzy slippers on her feet. She has had her own room throughout most of her lengthy hospitalization, but tonight was moved into a double room. My heart liquefies immediately. I totally get her a bag of chips. And she picks up an extra one for her new roommate.

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