Wednesday, October 18, 2006


According to, the definition of flabbergasted is: "to overcome with surprise and bewilderment; astound".

I'm writing about the state of "flabbergastment" because I've had quite the last couple days in clinic this week. While I don't write about individual patients, I can tell you that I have had an amazing run of people who are---gasp---doing rather well. Here are some of my favorite sample quotes for the week:

"I really appreciate what you did for me, doc."

"Out of everybody in the building, your department does what they say they're going to do 99% of the time. When you say you'll see somebody, you see them."

Oh my. This just never happens. Or rarely ever. Mostly I live by Shiny Happy Person's "Eff You" test, which states you are not cut out for psychiatry if you can't handle being told to fuck off. Two compliments in two days is quite the streak of good luck. I am enjoying a rare episode of tranquility, medication compliance, remission, peace on earth and good will toward shrinks.

How boring.

I understand there are places where psychiatrists have nice patients. People without sociopathy or an overabundance of substance abuse. Patients with resources, families, careers, futures. Maybe someday I will know what it's like to have a practice like that. Someday when I'm old and grey (don't touch it Dinah) and can't do the professional heavy lifting anymore I will tap my ruby slippers and go to that nice place. Then again, maybe not.

On the whole I am not an adrenaline freak. I don't drive fast or jump from planes. I like downhill skiing but only the nice long gentle slaloms and not the blood-rushing-in-your-ears, wind-in-your-face-so-you-can't-breath, Sonny-Bono-killing kinds of downhill speed skiing. And my line of work doesn't generally involve that kind of excitement if everything is running well. So what was the great thing I did that caused that inmate's gratitude?

I called in a prescription for him. How boring. How nice. How worth coming back to.