Tuesday, July 11, 2006

 

Footnote

I thought I'd take this opportunity to explain the origin of my blog's title and web address. None of my readers have asked about this, although I'm sure this is mostly due to deference and a wish not to disturb a great mind with meddlesome questions. I'll capitulate, nonetheless. The term "over the mountain" refers to the general direction of the state hospital, which is where we send our patients when we can't make them better during the two week maximum stay that most insurance companies will allow at our acute care facility. This being the South (with a capital "S"), the state mental institution is actually separated from our hospital by a giant mountain that you cannot go around. You must go over it. Rumor has it that there is actually a nuclear bunker hollowed out of this mountain, although I've never actually seen any evidence of this. Few people actually refer to the state hospital as being "over the mountain" anymore. The progenitor of this phrase is now retired - a celebrated psychoanalyst who formerly conducted LSD-based experiments on psychiatry residents during the 1960's, and who was fond of speaking in cryptic psychobabble. One memorable morning rounds found a young borderline patient curled up in a ball with her head at the foot of the bed. The aging psychiatrist turned to a fresh-faced medical student and queried in his thick Austrian accent, "Do you recognize this position?" As the student stammered to reply, he declared with great gusto, "It is the breech position!" He then asked the patient when her last period was and what she had dreamed of the night before, and in a flash of light she was cured of her personality disorder. The next patient, a disorganized young schizophrenic was not so lucky, and after a brief series of questions, the attending turned to his head resident and said simply, "Send him over the mountain."

The blog's title, "That Incident at the Clubhouse" is a reference to the downfall of many schizophrenic patients who find their way back onto the acute ward. The clubhouse is the name of the local community center where schizophrenics go for the day and learn basic life skills to enhance their assimilation back into society. It seems, however, that there is an almost daily incident of epic proportions that lands someone back in the hospital. This leads to frequent explanations from local counselors to the tune of, "Johnny was doing really well until that incident at the clubhouse. Now he's been off his clozapine for 2 weeks, hasn't showered in five days and thinks the devil is after him again."

Comments:
That is funny because when my brother and I were discussing what your tile and url meant he acted as if the phrase 'that incident at the clubhouse' was some secret between you guys. He also thought that 'over the mountain' meant something to the effect that you are now over the mountain by graduating school. I hope that makes you happy that some of us had long conversations regarding this topic.
 
Wow...this blog disappoints me on a daily basis
 
You haven't updated in a long time!
 
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