Yuletide Illusion

‘Can I have a santa hat mum, can I have one today?’ asks our 3 year old daughter as she turns the chocolate shaped santa’s hat over in her hands, sneaking glances at her younger brother’s to check it is not only the same design on his advent chocolate but also weighs the same 3.4g – consistency being the all important ingredient to breakfast going without a hitch and my getting to work on time.

Work, as of last week, now being psychiatry. Akin to marmite, you either love it or hate it, let there be no doubt in your mind, 6 days into this post and I am a fan of neither.  So far I have gone through more thorough checks than most airports to clerk a forensic patient stepped down to medium security after 13 years, become au fait with the local ‘crime families’ despite being 1200 miles from Sicily, seen scabies in both staff and patients and reviewed a patient with a personality disorder (who I incidenty referred) after she swallowed a handful of staples.

Those who know me may beg to differ, but I consider myself too ‘normal’ for psychiatry.  The need for us to attend a Balint Seminar on a weekly basis with a psychoanalyst who is clearly laughing at our expense as she analyses the hidden mystique behind our consultations is beyond me.  And seeing 3 patients in an afternoon clinic does not strike me as a particularly good use of our flailing NHS resources with their ever increasing waiting lists.  Essentially I am mourning the loss of my GP practice and just need to build a bridge and get over it.

As I walk through the front door of our home I am greeted with hugs, tales of christmas parties and twinking fairy lights.  “Santa’s coming to nursery tomorrow” is sung in excited repetition, and I can’t held but wonder why I spend my day prescribing toxic drugs to banish illusions and I spend my night conjuring up vivid illusions of make believe.

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11 thoughts on “Yuletide Illusion

  1. I agree with you on both the marmite and psychiatry. To continue with the psychotherapy session you will need some fancy phrases that mean nothing like ‘psychological process’ and ‘malignant alienation’.

  2. Psychiatry feels like a foreign land, with various big words and “interesting people”. I feel the Balint group could provide much “insight” and/or amusement…

  3. The twinkling fairy lights and santa hats sounds much more fun than clinics… Happiest time of the year listening to people dumping on you… yes they’re sick, but it’s hard not to get depressed too! the chocolate will keep us going…

  4. Where the heck do you find the time to write blogs, Penny?! Mucho impressed. I found psychiatry frustrating, you need to relax into the rhythm of it. Still frustrates me when in the middle of a morning of 10 min GP appts, you have to refer the floridly psychotic patient in front of you and the number of barriers put up to actually getting someone who, as you say, is seeing a total of 3 pts that afternoon, to actually see the poor person, is akin to the security you describe above! GP trainees are good in psychiatry, I think. Partly because they bring a note of pragmatism to a world which tends to navel-gazing, and partly because they tend to asssess those pts who have drunk half a shandy! Quite a good speciality for getting away on time to pick up kids, though. K also beside herself with Crimbo excitement. We are excited/ a little apprehensive at the prospect of the imminent arrival of number 2. Happy blogging into 2012! V

  5. Loving the blog…looking forward to January’s blog already….. You think staples bad…wait to hear about the nails!! I’m with you…never a lover of marmite! see you soon.

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