Posted by: Kate | January 31, 2007

Another Round of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Life would probably be simpler if my days could just pick a theme: today will be Idiot Drivers Day, next week we’ll celebrate Random Acts of Goodness, February is How Stupid Can You Be month, and so on. But, no, instead we like to cram things all in at once. Who am I kidding, I would know what to do with a dose of predictability anyway.

So, the Good:
Ticker from

100 days from today, we depart! I am still plenty, plenty excited, thankyouverymuch. Bouncy-excited. And if you know me in real life, you know that I am rarely bouncy.

The Bad:
Today would have been my father-in-law’s 65th birthday. There are ways in which it seems like Willem is grieving more now than he was back in August, but in general we’re all moving along pretty well. I plan on showing the kids the slideshow I made for the memorial service, probably after dinner tonight, and then I’ll have them call my mother-in-law. I’m not sure yet if I’ll have the fortitude to speak to her myself. That largely depends on whether I have more experiences like I did last night…

The Ugly:
When I arrive at a hospital to interview a client, I have a sort of pat routine I go through. I walk in with a clipboard holding a data-collection form and a pen, and I say, “Hi, my name is Kate. I’m with Behavioral Health Services. The hospital asked me to come in and talk to you. Is that okay? Okay. I need to go and get a couple of things together, so while I’m doing that, I’ll leave this for you to fill out. I need your name and address here, any insurance information here, and then on the back you sign here [points] to give me permission to talk with you, and here [points] to let us bill insurance instead of you directly. Any questions before I go? No? Okay, then, I’ll be back shortly.” And I leave, return 5 minutes later, collect the clipboard et al., and say, “Thanks. Okay. So, Mr(s). So-and-so, what brings you here today?”

Which is a nice wide-open question and I get all sorts of responses, ranging from, “Well, when I was three, I….” to “The ambulance brought me here. [silence]” Yesterday, though, was the first time I got the response of, loudly, “FROG you!” and the clipboard thrown at me. Because she could. The fun part about it all was, until that moment, it had all seemed very normal and in-control. Surprise!

Only it sounded more like “truck” and less like “frog” when she said it. Hmm.



  1. Oh what fun it is to ride with the freaks & wombats who show up in our psych wards. The party never ends, does it? I had a sweet little old lady of 83 give me similar business once upon a psychosis ago. Then there are the folks with whom I’ve attempted bedside neuropsych evals who were actively hallucinating. Thaaaat’s always fun. Toss in the odd delusional/oppositional/paranoid/demented and/or personality-disordered psychochondriac (<--my own term for those folks who glom onto any psychiatric diagnosis they run across) here and there and you've got yourself a recipe for professional burnout in no time flat. At least it's not the same old thing day after day.

  2. I *LOVE* it when things seem so normal and then they just, well, aren’t. At least she didn’t reach out and touch you as so many of my kiddos do. But, I agree, keeps you on your toes and is always, always interesting….

  3. I hereby declare tomorrow Eat M&Ms All Day Day. (Yes, I meant to type Day twice.) Also, I think we should outlaw Throw Clipboards At Kate Day from here on out.

  4. Well, now. That’s an icebreaker if I’ve ever heard of one! My hubby has tons of stories like that from back in his psych tech days. Never a dull moment!

  5. Let’s have a toast to 99 days to Paris! Yippeee!

  6. hello kate,
    saw ya at *share the love blog* as i was scrolling thru, and noticed that our blogspot-addys are similar
    *plays freaky music*
    hubby and i went to paris last july… loved it so much, am so dreaming of our return trip one day…
    bonne journee :o)

  7. OMG! (jumping up and down) PARIS! Coming soon! Wheeee!!!

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