Thursday, March 05, 2009


the patient's here have serious mental illnesses. many times, they are admitted and re-admitted to the hospital because there is no where else that can successfully manage their conditions. many patients take months, even years, to reach baseline after an exacerbation because they stopped taking their prescribed medications.

Ms. Layman is one of those patients.

she was admitted only a couple months ago, but her condition is severe. she has schizophrenia with some mood component...and she really truly believes that EVERYTHING in the world is about her or in reference to her.

officially, the term is "delusions of reference"--Ms. Layman thinks that the nurse who answered the phone is talking about her, that the doctor & patient chatting in the hallway are scheming against her, that the CNA who made her bed stole her lotions, and that everyone is out to get her.

Ms. Layman roams the hallways each day, interrupting conversations & making her presence known by shouting & carrying-on about her stolen lotions & tainted medications. she cannot be redirected or told to return to her room & wait--her attention span is that of a 3 year olds.

and although she is incredibly annoying at times, she actually is quite entertaining. here are some of the conversations she has kindly "responded" to, because you know, they are about her!

to top it all off, Ms. Layman suffers hearing loss...

[nurse. talking to another patient]...
Oh my! Is that what you think??
You got MILK!?!? I WANT SOME MILK!!! I knew it! You've been hiding it from me all day!!!

[nurse, saying goodbye to another staff member]...
Okay honey, have a great weekend!!!
MONEY!!!?!? I knew it! I KNEW you took my MONEY!!! Give me back my MONEY!!!

[nurse, on the phone with a patient advocate]...
...& you understand the risks??
Hey!! Hey you, on the phone!! Why you talkin' bout my breasts? There ain't nuthin' wrong wit' my breasts!

oh the joys...

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