by Anniel 10/19/16
Alaska: The 49th state of the United States. The largest state in the union, with coasts on the Arctic and North Pacific Oceans and the Bering Sea. Separated by Canada from the 48 contiguous states. Capital: Juneau, located in the southeastern panhandle of the state. Population: 626,932. Purchased from Russia in 1867.
Metaphor: Noun. A figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to a word or action to which it is not literally applicable.
We didn’t know it before, but psychiatrically, Alaskans live in a strictly metaphorical place equated to suicide and death. Yep, sure sounds like everyone who calls this place home.
As some of you know, our youngest daughter, Cate, has many long-standing medical problems and has been living in Chicago to be near her doctors. Over the past few years she has often been hospitalized, always with the same pain that had not been taken seriously, but she finally received a diagnosis of recurrent pancreatitis, not a nice thing to have. Soon after her diagnosis her doctor left on a two week vacation while she remained in the hospital under the care of his staff.
In spite of her real PHYSICAL problems, someone in the doc’s office decided to begin PSYCHIATRIC care. Strange, but junior staff can behave in unexpected ways. The psychiatric resident showed up and began to question Cate about her state of mind, and asked her what her plans were.
Cate replied that she had decided to discontinue treatment in Chicago and would go to Alaska and make the best of her situation. The resident questioned why she would use Alaska as a metaphor for death. Cate stared at her for a few moments, and then said, “You do know Alaska is a real place don’t you?” Apparently she didn’t, and insisted it was just a metaphor for Cate’s despair. Cate had to inform her that people, including her parents and siblings, actually live here, and in fact that she had been born here.
The psych resident might be one of those people who think Alaska is right off the coast of California, just like the Hawaiian Islands that show up on those weather maps.
A little later an officious visiting resident came into Cate’s room and began questioning her status. Bronwyn told him she wanted to show him a picture of how she felt. He would not look at the picture of a plastic skeleton waiting for a doctor which she tried to show him. He acted horrified and refused to look because he said under HIPAA rules he could not discuss another patient with her. Really, a plastic skeleton? And under ObamaCare, what difference does HIPAA make anyway? Your medical records are now out there for anyone to see.
One total fool of a resident was on call on New Year’s Eve, which meant she had to be on duty all night. She indisputably left early in the evening to attend a party and was gone several hours. Video cameras at the parking garage clearly show the time she left and the time she returned. Her Union representative defended her against the powers that be, who were bigots, racist and sexist, as you probably guessed.
But we suicide-challenged Alaskans live only as metaphors, so what do we know?
Ah, yes, now you know something of the new generation of doctors in training. Do you feel better? No? Well, take two aspirin and go to bed. • (899 views)