A Roosters off-season

Patient Notes by Dr. (Anonymous)

Patient 3488537 was referred to this institution in October 2004 after being found wandering the streets of Bondi suffering from exposure. Blood tests revealed that she was three times over the legal blood-alcohol level, while traces of THC were also found. She stated she was searching for the Holy Grail and that God had abandoned ?the cause?.

The first time I met this patient she was incoherent, her thought patterns disjointed and was suffering delusions. She believed that the Devil walks among us, although her version varies greatly from the traditional Christian one. Instead of the cloven feet and horned beast, she believed that Satan was made up of a group of men clad in identical blue and white costume, forming one malignant force that had stolen the Grail from Paradise, although once again her vision differs from that described in the Holy Scriptures. In her mind, Heaven is made up of grains of sand, the smell of coconut oil and sizzling flesh, and the sounds of crashing waves and lame pick-up lines.

On top of these bizarre notions of good versus evil, the patient appeared to be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome punctuated with short-term memory loss. She insisted the year was 2002; that the last two years had not passed. When asked about world events within this ?lost? period, she remained adamant in her delusion. For instance, when questioned about America?s invasion of Iraq in March 2003, she became convinced that my staff were the ones who ?should be locked up?, for apparently we were the ones living in the past, namely the year 1991.

For the first month it was difficult to make heads or tails of what she was saying. Her sporadic speech patterns included manic bursts of excited and loud chatter. Over time we realized that there were three distinct personalities at play, although they weren?t so much involved in a conversation, rather they seemed to be engaged in a bizarre sort of commentary. This inane babble, while random in content, always ended with the same mysterious words, ?Hold on Rabs, Crocker has broken the line??, before trailing off into silence, during which the patient?s pupils would dilate, her jaw would slacken and often a dribble of saliva would escape her mouth. We were never able to discover who ?Rabs? and ?Crocker? were, and could only conclude that these were imaginary characters created to support her delusion.

Other times we feared that we were witnessing the onset of Tyrets Syndrome as expletives would suddenly burst from her mouth, directed at further fictional characters, most commonly named ?Willy?, ?Sonny-Bill? (or similar Walton-style variations) and ?Shrek?. Unfortunately, there was nothing we could do for her in this state, other than chemically restrain her. We believed these characters dwelt solely within her mind, and as she so obviously wished to cause harm to these ?people? we believed her to be a suicide risk.

One of the avenues we explored during her visit, was that she had suffered some sort of sexual trauma as she often, and often incessantly, talked about ?c**ks?, but after deep regression therapy nothing was uncovered. It was concluded that she appeared to suffer from an obsession based around roosters, however we were unable to determine whether it encompassed any other poultry.

Often we could not elicit a verbal response from the patient at all when questioned about this poultry fixation, but rather she would place her hands around her own throat and simulate strangulation. We were unable to discover what this ?choking? scenario was intended to symbolize, but once again we initiated a suicide watch and chemical restraints.

This behaviour lasted for about four months, until one day, (strangely the first day of the Chinese Year of the Rooster), she suddenly stopped. Her speech became lucid, she was able to name the correct date and identify certain key world events of the last two years, albeit in a tentative and nervous manner, and she no longer wished to harm herself, in fact, seemed flabbergasted at the very notion.

After a final month of observation we had no choice but to release this patient, however she remains for this doctor a constant source of frustration, as the cause of her psychosis was never identified.

In conclusion, I wish her well with her poultry farm, for no matter how lucid she became, she never did let go of her fixation for roosters.

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