I was introduced to some patients as a student completing my internship. When left alone with me in tête-à-tête, the patients started to prove their well-being right away, that they have been already cured and “normal,” begging to be released. I apologized, attempting to explain that I cannot discharge them since I am just an intern. They either did not get it or didn’t believe that I was telling the truth. As soon as they finally understood that I really could not order their discharge, they lost interest in me right away.
Only the sharpest ones quickly realized that release from the “cuckoo nest” directly depended on three golden rules: not to demand anything, not to complain about anything or anyone, and—most importantly—to take all the medication without any discussion.
However, not everyone could grasp these rules, at least not immediately. “Human rights fighters” got the worst of it. Those who complained about the bad taste of the food, the unbearable behavior of their cellmates, or the nasty treatment from the personnel were destined to linger in that place longer.
“It’s good, Adam, that now you have an idea about different psych units of the hospital,” Jenn said when her absence, due to Jewish holidays, and my introductory tour, came to an end. “It’s quite possible that some of your patients soon will have to visit those wards as well.”
Anyway, back to “simply” Jenn.
She was extremely charming and curvy. On top of all that she was smart. She wore plain clothes in the clinic like all employees and her white doctor’s coat hung on the hanger in case she had to go to the “Psych ER” or “cuckoo house.”
She was a religious Jew and, if I’m not mistaken, conservative, but she never showcased her religiosity. The only thing which gave away her Jewish faith was a hat, which she never took off.
She had decorated her office in a professional way. The only exception which stood out from the medical entourage was a small hanging picture of the famous Degas painting The Star, Dancer on Stage, which showcased Jenn’s love for either Degas’ art or for ballet.