Monthly Archives: December 2010

St. Joseph’s: The Perverse Pathology of Mary Corbliss (Part I)


            Mary Corbliss is a mental health counselor on Unit 3-6.  She is small, in her mid-thirties, and has long, mouse-brown hair.  She presents as a sweet person, with a mouth that she frequently gathers up in a doll-like smile.             … Continue reading

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St. Joseph’s Hospital: About Carol (Part III)


            Tuesday night Carol and I both sleep well, and Wednesday morning we are both up and dressed by 7:30 a.m.  She wishes for something to drink.  I explain to her that Cathy, the night nurse, will not give out … Continue reading

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St. Joseph’s Hospital: About Carol (Part II)


            I talk to Carol, and she takes an interest.  She responds.  The second day we share a room, she stops closing the door and the blinds every time I walk out.  She lets me and the light in.  This … Continue reading

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St. Joseph’s: About Carol (Part 1)


            Carol is in her sixties, a small-boned woman with reddish-brown hair.  She is diagnosed as acutely depressed.  She lies in bed under the covers with her back to the door.  She lays in the dark with the door and … Continue reading

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St. Joseph’s Inpatient Psychiatry: About “Lynn”


“Lynn” is the divorced mother of two children who are both doing well in school.  She has stable employment and is a devout Christian.  She is an African-American woman who is intelligent and soft-spoken—a quietly kind person. Lynn is on … Continue reading

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Answers to More Questions


Family physician prescribe lithium Medicaid ANYONE TAKING LITHIUM SHOULD HAVE LITHIUM LEVELS DONE EVERY TWO MONTHS; KIDNEY FUNCTION SHOULD BE CHECKED EVERY SIX MONTHS, AND AN EKG SHOULD BE DONE ONCE A YEAR.         Family physicians should not be prescribing lithium.  … Continue reading

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St. Joseph’s Psychiatric Services: Dr. Roger Levine, Part One (continued)


            I am odd, too—not easily beguiled by superficial seductiveness.  I require substance from my caregivers.  Dr. Roger Levine, director of CPEP and St. Joseph’s inpatient psychiatry, has all the substance of a vampire who casts no reflection in the mirror. Near … Continue reading

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St. Joseph’s Psychiatric Services: Dr. Roger Levine, Part One


Psychiatry is an undisciplined sport, played with equal verve by the wise man and the charlatan.  The brilliant diagnostician, the experienced psychopharmacologist, and the compassionate healer have practices no larger than the calloused geriatric, the sexual pervert, and the careless … Continue reading

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St. Joseph’s Psychiatric Services: About Me, Part One (continued)


I have celiac sprue, an autoimmune disease; wheat makes me sick.  The CPEP staff just shrugged and said, “Well, sandwiches are all we have.”  That is not true.  Dietary was sending my special diet tray to CPEP.  How can a hospital … Continue reading

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St. Joseph’s Psychiatric Services: About Me, Part One


On Sunday, when no staff were present in St. Joseph’s CPEP, Eddie threatened to hit me; when I threatened to throw coffee at him in self-defense, the staff were present in the persons of Carmen and Dr. Alou.  They tried … Continue reading

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