I recently came across this song while browsing YouTube: Nuages – Dreams. I find I’m really enjoying this style of song, where there’s a sort of scientific/academic/clinical narrative that is spoken over music. Another band that does this is Lemon Jelly, in their Experiment No. 6.
For a time, I shied away from doing this style, because it seemed too close to my other life, and I’m very private about my other life. Also, there are theoretically concerns about the privacy of others. But over the past several months, my other life has taken over an exceptionally huge chunk of my waking hours (not permanently! but only for the rest of the academic year I think), and there’s a certain urge, maybe pressure, for my creative endeavors to relate to what I’ve been feeling, even if it’s not so broadly relatable sometimes. I guess what I’m saying is that I find the aloof scientific style more relatable but I know it isn’t so relatable for others, so I’ve tried to avoid going too much into it. But I’ve gone and written something today in that style, and I’m thinking of putting it to music.
18-year-old female with no significant past medical history presents with painless cone-shaped osteoma of the forehead, onset at sixteen. The mass began as a bump of one-centimeter diameter. Patient noticed a gradual increase in the size of the bump over the last two years. No history of trauma to the area, no paraesthesias or sinusitis. The concern of the patient was related to the appearance.
Imaging revealed osteoma with intracranial involvement and close entanglement of its blood supply with the anterior cerebral arteries bilaterally. The neurosurgical team was concerned that the risks might outweigh the benefits of complete removal. Partial removal of the exophytic aspect of the tumor was completed by the maxillofacial team.
24-year-old 6-weeks-pregnant primigravida with past medical history of forehead osteoma status post partial removal six years prior to admission presents with recurrent growth of her osteoma, now with the appearance of a spiral tusk approximately five inches in length. No history of trauma to the area, no headaches or sinusitis. The concern of the patient was related to the paraesthesias.
Per patient, she has dreamed of fire every night for the past three weeks and awakened to numbness and tingling of the forehead in areas surrounding her osteoma outgrowth. In addition, she feels she has developed sensation at the tip of her tusk. The sensation is difficult for her to describe, but she relates it as being most similar to temperature sense. She states she begins to feel “terribly cold” at the tip of her tusk a few seconds before lightning strikes in a thunderstorm.
Thyroid function is within normal limits, other lab tests negative. Patient denies alcohol use or illicit substance use. Referral to psychiatry for depression and anxiety.
32-year-old G2T1P0A0L0 female with past medical history of recurrent forehead osteoma and one past psychiatric hospitalization for severe agitation and questionable suicide attempt in setting of tactile hallucinations presents for routine check-up. No current medications other than prenatal vitamins, however patient was briefly on sertraline 3 years ago after her son’s entire graduating kindergarten class was struck by lightning in a freak meteorological event.
Patient with notably flat affect. States she has learned to control her emotions tightly, “for the sake of others.” Patient is evasive and guarded when asked what she means by this statement. She is recently remarried, and 10 weeks pregnant. When asked if she wants to know the sex of the fetus, she replies, “I already know. He’s coming back.” She mentions dreaming of fire and makes several tangential statements, including, “When I found out what he was, it was already too late. He knows how to find me.”
Interview and exam not completed due to unexpected severe weather resulting in emergency evacuation of patients and clinical staff.