chess

one way to make a psych patient’s day?  send them to 6400.  instant cooperation.  with my favorite patient, all i had to do was suggest a game of chess.  from 8 in the morning when i mentioned it until we managed to sit down and play (11), all he did was prepare for the game.  when i walked into 6100, he had the game already set up perfectly.

the key to psych patients is not to go around thinking they’re “crazy”.  i’m not going to say something stupid like “they just like us” or something lame like that.  but i will say that it is easy to underestimate the intelligence of someone who says they’re 100% mohawk indian or that the aryans are after them when they themselves are aryan, and aryans to them are black people. 

my patient gave me great tips and refreshed my memory for our first game.  unfortunately for him, because i’m a quick learner, i beat him at the first game.  we started the second game and it was a ‘stalemate’ aka i basically kicked his butt.  the third game, he won, but barely.  tomorrow is to be our tie-breaker and sadly it’s my last day of psych.

we ended up playing for about 2-3 hours.  it was entertaining through much of it, and it was so much fun getting to know my patient better.  honestly i wish studying were less important because i am really not ever going to have this kind of time later.  

there are downfalls to playing with an impulsive/paranoid patient however.  when other people would come up to talk, and he got irritated, he yelled at them.  then, when his arch nemesis was sitting nearby, the man said something to my patient, and my patient’s response?  he flipped him the bird.  but not just any bird – it was accompanied by the kind of glare only a person with schizophrenia can give.  an absolute dead stare, like he could see into your soul and rip it to shreds just with a gaze.   it was a great time.

 overall, psych has been a great run.  i doubt i will have more fun on my other rotations.  nevertheless there are many reasons i wouldn’t do psych.  it will never be the experience i’ve had.  if my job could be what i have done for 4 of my 6 weeks, then heck yes.  i would love to spend my time just hanging out with patients all day.  but no doctor will have the time (again unfortunately) to play chess for 3 hours with one patient.

i’ll let you know how the tie-breaker goes.  i anticipate it being a great game.  (we’ve also attracted quite a crowd.)

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