|Right after we arrived... using the mini bus for protection.|
|Does this look like one student and one patient?|
|The big guys: backs to the wall and grouped together for protection .....|
Our visit was just before Mental Health Week which was observed under the theme “Psychological and Mental Health First Aid for All” and because of this, preparation had been done and we got to see the creative side of the patients; they had beautiful crafts, shoe bags and pot holders.
Our last visit was to the male admission facility. The men weren't so aggressive and the place seemed more clean and less smelly. Two of them however were in isolation. Here we met Akeem who was a previous classmate of one of my batchmates. He explained to us that he was hooked on pills and his parents just sent him in here to teach him a lesson and he's leaving soon. It was unfortunate to see how two persons from the same classroom took two completely different paths.
I realized that mental illness finds a way of touching us ,because this does not only affect the patients, but also their families. If any of those patients was a family member of mine , It would have hurt me even more to see my family in that state of mind and place.
It was something I wasn't mentally prepared for, even made me question my choice of profession for a second , but it made me realize how important my job as Nurse is, how much society needs me, the difference I could make, the lives I could touch and influence, and just gave me an idea of what to look forward to and of what is to come!!!
|The best part of the trip... Lunch at Chicken Heaven|
|The Before .....|
They all write reflections after the experience as I find it a good way for them to get hold of their thoughts and feelings by having to put them as subject-verb-object... even though their English is even worse than mine. I have attached a few student reflections:
|And on the long walk back, I buy them a pop.|
After they write their reflections we talk about it as a whole class. Some are too emotional to speak at first and some stoic, but all have been impacted with the good opportunities to learn about human bodies, the fragility of life, the importance of relationships with family and friends. The other universal is the upsetness with the lack of respect for the dead, as well as the crowded and dirty conditions of the facility.
|Faculty Member Roberta Binda poses with the 2017 Survivors|
St Ann's Girls
I still get to see my girls at St. Ann's though I have spent a lot of my time trying to keep their old computers operating. I used to say that you really can't screw up a computer because you aren't smart enough to do serious damage; however, that was before the little girls there got access to the machines. They have no fear of the machines - or the matrons-- so they unplug stuff and replug it in somewhere else. This week there was no ethernet cable and it was there last week. Anyhow they still enjoy my cameras and so they enjoy me.
This week I was the subject of much of their discussion. They concluded that I could use a plastic surgeon to get rid of my chin waddle and the bags underneath my eyes; a hair transplant specialist; and a good barber to get rid of nose and ear hairs... and their list went on... They were brutal. So I quoted a Guyanese proverb: "Mannish puppy nah live fuh turn daag."
Dr. Tony & One Big Kiss (Not Dr. Tony)
|Tony hosted a swim and dinner celebration with his psychiatry residents.|
My long-suffering companion (or maybe it's me who has been long-suffering) Tony Carr will be finishing up his three week stay, mainly educating the psychiatric residents at GPHC and coming over to teach at Mercy many times, on Tuesday. Certainly all his students will miss him terribly as he brings a unique blend of knowledge about medicine/psychiatry and enthusiasm to everyone he encounters. He has promised to write a blog after he gets home.
|/He only posed with his student nurses - no dinner!|
And the kiss... and more (but this is a wholesome blog)
This October 16th will be my wife Anne Treadwell's birthday, and it will be 15 years since I have been home for her birthday. I can't say she has never mentioned the fact, but she has never asked, demanded or hinted that I stay home and not go to Guyana. And it has been through the whole course of our marriage.
|This was my proposal long ago|
and I'd do it again today.