Archive for journal of a psychiatric nurse

Rise and Fall

Posted in Biographies and Inside Stories, Blogging, jobs, careers and work, mental health with tags , on January 14, 2014 by leovineknight

I gave the report, which was virtually indistinguishable from yesterday’s report, except of course for Cecilia’s wholesale demolition of her room. I’d called the emergency glazier and asked him to board up the window, but otherwise there had been no time to reverse the mayhem and Cecilia would have to spend the night in a spare room. This said, I bid the staff goodnight, and moved towards the front door.

It was then that I noticed a crumpled heap of limbs and cloth resting in a dark red stain, half way down the bottom flight of stairs.
It was the lady herself.

I’d seen this sort of thing many times before (and worse), but for some reason this particular scene stunned me. I stood shell-shocked, sick and tired, wet with sweat and numb, like a mortician at the end of a messy career, I felt my limbs gently tremble.


Ergo ego

Posted in Blogging, jobs, careers and work, mental health with tags , , on July 4, 2013 by leovineknight

The ‘let’s introduce ourselves’ ritual started, even though the identities of 90% of those present were always well known, and personal information of this sort was invariably irrelevant to the content of the meeting anyway. This ritual was, of course, always suggested by one of the managers, and I suspected strongly that the real reason for ‘introductions’ was that it gave managers the repeated opportunity to announce their messianic job titles to everyone else present. Certainly, their decorous false modesty, well-rehearsed phrases and patronising smiles towards less grand individuals, was enough to fill a sick bucket. I looked across at the senior manager, who was quickly reasserting his smug, unctuous charm, and I wished I was the scarred boss of SPECTRE who would stroke his white cat, press a secret button under his desk, and say:
“Goodbye, Meeester Manager”, releasing the protesting panjandrum through a trapdoor, down a stainless steel tube, and into the jaws of five waiting sharks.
“Shall we introduce ourselves?” the sharks would ask.

Day Dream Believer

Posted in Biographies and Inside Stories, Blogging, mental health, satire and humour with tags , , on May 13, 2013 by leovineknight

“Sooty and Sweep are just capitalist puppets, claims Marxist” said the radio.
“It’s time for me to discharge myself” said Sidney.
He was gazing at a dog-eared photograph of a blond, bare breasted lady in stockings and suspenders, who was draped over a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, drinking frothy lager from a bulbous bottle. In the background was a long-haired biker in studded leather jacket, unflattering thong and jackboots, with a three inch spike through his nose. A waterfall of artificial sweat ran freely over the lady’s tanned shoulders, down her back, and through the culvert of her perfectly formed derriere. Nudity, as always, left plenty to the imagination.
“I didn’t know you were into that sort of thing” I said.
“Oh, I’m not Steven” he said quietly. “She’s my muse.”

A Balanced and Objective Account……

Posted in Biographies and Inside Stories, Blogging, life and modern times, mental health, satire and humour with tags , , , on January 16, 2013 by leovineknight

The sun is in your sign and nothing can stop you. Venus turning retrograde may cause snags and hold-ups. Property prices are set to rise 5% over the next year. Property prices may crash next year warns academic. Weather conditions are rather changeable at the moment with showers and sunny spells in most parts of the country, but with some exceptions. Most people hope to retire early and enjoy the good life. Unemployment in your 50’s can double the risk of strokes and heart attacks says recent study. Too many cooks spoil the broth. Many hands make light work. Older couples are now often forced to stay together for financial reasons. Many over-50’s feel empowered to divorce their partners and start a new life. Parents should ensure that all children eat five portions of fruit or vegetables each day. Pesticides found on all fruit and vegetables in schools says health watchdog. Avoid stress. Keep busy. People will be flooding the sun hotspots this weekend. Skin cancer toll rises.
Circularity, conflict and contradiction.
The dope of our times.
We believe everything and trust nothing.


Posted in Blogging, jobs, careers and work, life and modern times, mental health, satire and humour with tags , on January 10, 2013 by leovineknight

I would have liked to put some coins in the plastic R.S.P.C.A. model dog outside the butchers, but I didn’t have my gorilla suit with me and there wasn’t a T.V. camera in sight. Nor did I particularly want my head shaved, chest waxed, or buttocks submerged in baked beans before parting with my 50p, so I left it all to the experts, and thought about the old Philips screwdriver I used to rake out dog cack from my hiking boots.
Pear-shaped people with pear-shaped lives jostled each other off the pavements, determined to be first in something, while the 18-30 group capitalised on a half hour break in the November clouds to model their shorts, T-shirts and sun hats, amidst the midday frost. An airship appeared around the corner, arms and legs set at 45 degrees to reduce friction, and from the opposite direction rumbled a stocky harridan bent low over her personal empty supermarket shopping trolley with elbows surgically attached to the handles, like a Dalek without the clothes on. This was the clash of the Titans, the irresistible force meeting the immovable object, and the rematch of King Gong and Godzilla all in one side show. I stood well back as a massive crunch echoed down the street, and a baying crowd gathered. No need for the dancing bear these days.
Roll up. Roll up. Look at each other…….

Breaktime (said the winking wrestler)

Posted in Biographies and Inside Stories, Blogging, satire and humour with tags , , , on December 2, 2012 by leovineknight

Turning on the T.V. set, I found an interesting quiz programme about identifying strange antiques. Somebody was asked about a piece of ornate pottery, and after toying with it for a few moments, the contestant said:
“Would I drink from it?”
“You might do” said the questioner ”but it’s a spittoon.”
Another contestant said that they liked a beautifully carved Victorian commode, but they “wouldn’t know what to do with it”, and somebody with piggy eyes brought in a painting to sell which had been in the family since 1760, because he wanted to “have a good night out” with the cash. Indeed, most of the sellers wanted to transform their family heirlooms into either “Disneyworld” or “a cruise”, apart from those with a very well developed sense of history, conscience and family honour who just wanted their Grandma’s necklace “to go to a good home”. It reminded me of one of my colleagues who had the same perspective on Grandma herself (“she needs to go to a new home where experts can properly appreciate her”).
“What do you for a living?” the next contestant was asked.
“I’m a stoodent” came the reply.
“Oh, right. Studying which subject?”
“Oh, aye. I’m doing me Masters, like.”


Posted in Blogging, jobs, careers and work, mental health, satire and humour with tags , , , on August 27, 2012 by leovineknight

Our patients were generally frightened of re-entering mainstream life, remaining frozen between ‘improved’ behaviour that might see them move on, and ‘deteriorated’ behaviour that might see them return to more restrictive regimes. Nurses preferred a predictable working day, and quite enjoyed complaining about the stagnation, while some didn’t particularly want their skills challenged by new circumstances. Many relatives would accept the inertia, as long as the patient didn’t land on their doorstep, and our managers were quite happy to leave clinical matters alone as long as the meeting room had plenty of sandwiches and some paper progress was being made with the latest government initiative. Their unofficial motto was ‘ignorance is power’.

The unit was supposed to provide psychiatric rehabilitation services for a local population of 100.000 people, but over a period of ten years it had catered for no more than 30 largely intractable individuals, who had soaked up the taxpayers subscription between them. They were effectively a private ‘club’ of career clients who either remained indefinitely, or returned invariably. Deaths accounted for more movement through the system, than successful onward referrals……

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