Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Abnormal Psychology in High School

This morning was busy; worked with dysplasia clinic all morning. Today we were consenting for the LEEP procedure (which is excision of the area with dysplasia with an electrified wire loop -- not a fun procedure). Most of the ladies weren't frightened this morning which is unusual; I don't blame them if they are, not only does the procedure sound much scarier and painful than it is, but that whole cancer thing is hanging over them too. One lady and her fiancee were even able to laugh and joke with each other and me while I explained it; what lovely joyous energy they had between them. Makes me hopeful, too -- they were older and not all that attractive (although they obviously were to each other).

Made me feel good to be there for a little while, something that's sadly lacking these days with our change of leadership and all the whining and backbiting...what a tremedously bad time they picked to replace our fearless leader, when our grant is up for renewal in July. People just don't think, not even those with two or three advanced degrees. Oh well.

Onto the high school part of my daily adventure...I've been a guest speaker at this high school psychology class now for the past 3 years; after this time, though, it won't be part of my job anymore, and I'll have to do it on my own time (which is OK. I can take a half day off and make it work -- but it still sucks that my speaking on behalf of our facility is being taken away). ANYWAY, the class was REALLY good -- they all either listened and participated, or were quiet enough that it wasn't a problem. It went really well; didn't even have any stage fright this time. They even remembered a lot of what they'd had in class so I was able to talk in depth on a few subjects. Of course, they LOVED the schizophenia part -- they always do -- just because it's so far out of their worldview. I had each of them contemplate their right hand. Then, I told them that the strongly held delusions and hallucinations I'd just been telling them about were as real to the people who had them as their right hand was to them. I think it really gave them some understanding as to WHY schizophrenia is so difficult to treat and to live with.

Have you ever had one of those black hole moments? Where, for whatever reason, the world just drops out from underneath you and all looks hopeless and unbearable? I had one of those earlier today while I was at work; it's been awhile since I felt that way and luckily it was short-lived. But a little cry and I felt better (except that my red nose and eyes always give me away; I think we were so busy, though, that no one noticed -- which is just as well, because I couldn't have explained why it happened except for all the tension at work and at home).

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