August 29th, 2002


quick visit

I met Mary and Joey in Morro Bay yesterday at about 3:45. We went to her dad's house, talked a little with Roy & Zene, then left. We went to a nail place, where Mary got her nails filled while I took Joey to Nibble Nook and had some lunch. Then off to SLO. We decided to hit the beach, went out to Avila, watched Joey playing on the swings there while we talked. went to SLO to see The Good Girl at the Palm. But Joey was still wired, did not go to sleep as we had hoped, and made little noises that amplify in a small theater like that. So we left maybe halfway through or less.

We came to my place, where I fixed something to eat from my rather bare cupboards. It was good I had gone to the farmers' market last Saturday, because I was able to do a nice pasta with fresh veggies, garlic, and a bit of marinara and olive oil - and fresh basil, with sundried tomatoes. Pretty adult, so Joey just had the marinara. We then talked, then watched some television, Mary fell asleep, Joey finally conked, and we all went to bed. We're going out to breakfast this morning, then I'll take them to Morro Bay, and they'll go out to Lake Nacimiento with Zeno & Roy. Mary doesn't really want to do the lake thing but it's the right thing to do. So that's all I get of her and Joey on this visit. Sob. It's been good, though, we've talked quite a bit.


So I've been back at work for about an hour now. I strung out my time with Mary & Joey as long as I could. We went down the street to the head start program at the end of the block and discovered it was for migrant families, but there is a "state preschool" there, too, a separate thing. Mary seems about 90% sure she's going to move to her dad's house at the end of September, when her lease is up. So I said of course I would come and help her. Maybe we could enlist Elaine, too, and be able to drive a truck plus my car plus Mary's car and then fly Elaine back or something like that. hmmm.

Mad in America

This book, about the treatment of the mentally ill in America, from the beginnings of this country, is well-researched, documented, thorough, readable, and frightening. Another one I wish were required reading in every high school, certainly in college. I haven't finished it yet but soon will.

In general, the medical view of mentally ill patients has been a discriminatory one, for various reasons, and the methods of diagnosis are inconsistent, resulting in meaningless diagnoses most of the time. And the drugs. The way drugs are developed, what the definition of a "good outcome" is, the long-term effects of these drugs, all are not what I had guessed.

I was brainwashed. I believed that those who were diagnosed "schizophrenic" were permanently ill and their illness could only be assisted by medication. We have all heard the horror stories, and I know of one personally, where the schizophrenic went off the drugs and committed some horrible act. Now the evidence is suggesting that the drugs themselves contributed to the illness and made these "relapses" more likely and more violent. I can hardly wait to get to the end of this book. What is more disturbing than the actual facts is that so few people know them.

(no subject)

I'm late home from work. I left at four, stopped at Food-4-Less, laid in some vittles (victuals?), stopped for gas, and then Elaine called me as I was pulling up to the mailbox. I'm glad to be home, want to veg and read now. Fix food later.