Saturday, January 13th, 1912

Journal of Dr. Arthur Corman. January 13th, 1912

After only a couple hours of sleep I woke and had breakfast in the dining hall then went to my office to start rounds.

My goal was to spend time with each  patient today, get to know them and try to develop some level of trust.

The first patient I visited that morning was Abigail Proctor.

The nurses called her Abby.

Abby was 62 and has not spoken a single word since arriving at Reardon Institute eleven months ago.

The fingers on her left hand were gnarled from arthritis and there were fresh bandages on the back of her neck.

According to her chart she had fallen in her room two weeks ago and sustained a deep laceration.

Abby wore thick glasses and was almost blind, she spent the majority of her time drawing with crayons even though she could barely see.

The walls of her room were lined with simple crayon artwork.

The sketches were not remarkable but the subject matter was intriguing.

The file indicated that Abby was admitted to the hospital by her younger sister. 

In her youth Abigail was a renowned pianist but after arthritis set in and her eyesight failed she became a recluse and eventually withdrew into her own silent world.

I spent several minutes speaking to Abby, telling her that I was here to help her. I also told her that I liked her drawings.

Before leaving to see my next patient I ordered a hearing test for Abigail because there was nothing in her charts indicated that her previous doctor had tested her hearing and it was possible that hearing loss could be responsible for her lack of speech.

Possible but unlikely.

I held her right hand and told her I would visit her tomorrow when she shocked me by uttering four simple words.

“I have a key”

The words were soft and I began to question myself as to whether or not she had actually spoken.

Dumbfounded I asked her to repeat the words but she just stared into the distance.

The rest of my day was spent visiting my other patients.

I was relieved that my other visits were uneventful.

After dinner I returned to my office to type up the daily reports for each patient. 

It was mandatory that daily progress reports be given to Dr. Ash.

The reporting process was tedious and took me until the late hours of the night.

My routine was becoming very apparent, long hours and little sleep. 

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