Dr. Vincent DeGennaro Jr. '02 | September 3, 2015
“Fifty-three-year-old homeless woman with diabetic ketoacidosis and severe emphysema exacerbation.” And suffering from adomicilia, too, I added in my head.
Much like apraxia means the inability to perform purposeful movements (praxis), adomicilia jokingly means those who are not domiciled, a pretentious attempt at gallows humor in the medical profession.
I read through the patient’s electronic record imagining a withered woman, wrinkled from years of drinking and smoking, perhaps with signs of schizophrenia. Most of the long-term homeless I encounter are men. Approximately 25 percent of the homeless are estimated to have mental health problems and nearly 40 percent have substance abuse issues. I categorized Helen immediately.