In September 1992, weeks earlier, Napoleon Cuenco at the George Washington University Medical Center Department of Psychiatry performed a two-hour assessment (September 1, 1992 and September 8, 1992). Dr. Cuenco's assessment chart, dated September 24, 1992 assigns the diagnosis bipolar disorder (rule out: schizoaffective disorder). Dr. Cuenco claims to have observed the mood-congruent psychotic features of pressured, rapid speech; loose associations; and flight of ideas. None of these symptoms are present in the following transcript.
I filed for Social Security Disability benefits five months later, in April 1993. GW's assessment of psychotic mental illness was a factor in SSA's disability determination.
[Sister:] Hi. Oh, How ya doing?
[Freedman:] Oh, pretty good.
[Sister:] Yea. So. I just noticed Mer left the window open here. So, how are you doing.
[Freedman:] Oh, pretty good.
[Sister:] What are you up to.
[Freedman:] Ah, not much. Oh. Well. So.
[Sister:] Edward's working on the computer.
[Freedman:] Oh, yea?
[Sister:] Suz had a horse lesson today at a new stable.
[Freedman:] Uh huh.
[Sister:] And Meredith's at work. And I'm cleaning up in the kitchen.
[Sister:] And, eh, Supposed to rain. Is it gonna rain, ya getting' rain down there?
[Freedman:] Well, it's supposed to get really cold.
[Sister:] Yea. Cold front coming in, yea.
[Freedman:] Yes. Beautiful day.
[Sister]: And, eh. So that was that. Today I got home about, I don't know, 11:20 maybe, something like that. Had a quarter of ten appointment. So. But it was nice today. So, what did you do today?
[Freedman]: Took a walk.
[Sister]: Oh, your usual?
[Sister]: So, eh, you off cigarettes?
[Freedman]: No. I'm not. I got back right on when I came home.
[Sister]: Oh. Just like the cruise, huh? Did you see that data about this caffeine--the withdrawal?
[Freedman]: Oh, I knew that myself from experience.
[Sister]: Yea. You didn't need somebody to tell you that.
[Freedman]: I thought that was common knowledge.
[Sister]: Yea, that you would. Yea, but the thing, well the new knowledge was that even as little as a cup a day.
[Sister]: . . . can cause, eh . . .
[Freedman]: Well, that's about a hundred milligrams.
[Sister]: Oh. Or a couple colas a day, I don't know. So.
[Freedman]: I mean, didn't you have that experience?
[Sister]: What, you mean withdrawal?
[Freedman]: Yea, from caffeine.
[Sister]: Wha, I don't have, eh, I drink one cup a day.
[Freedman]: Oh, but you never have,
[Sister]: . . . eh, I drink one cup a day.
[Freedman]: Oh, but you never had a situation where you'd . . .
[Freedman]: . . . where you didn't drink and . . .
[Sister]: No, cause I get so many headaches, how would I know? You know, my head is . . .
[My sister used to suffer from migraine.]
[Freedman]: But you also get sort of like nauseous and dizzy, and . . .
[Sister]: Oh, no. I don't think that ever hap . . . Like, let's say I, let's say it's the Fourth of July, I'm just saying, 'cause I mean, or something, 'cause I usually, I don't drink soda. But, no, let's just say that I have, it's a day and I'm, every once in a while, you know, I drink a bunch of cola. So, I don't think one day, or even two a day, or three, you know what I'm saying? And then you stop. Let's say on the fourth day, you stop. I don't think, I mean, do you think?
[On October 15, 1992, contemporaneous with this phone conversation, the U.S. Social Security Administration announced it's Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for the year 1993. My sister's father-in-law was on Social Security Retirement benefits at that time. You don't think my sister's repeated references to "colas" had a double meaning, referring both to a soft drink and SSA benefits?]
[Sister]: That you would get a, I don't know.
[Freedman]: I guess different people have different tolerances, too.
[Sister]: Oh [as if thinking about something going on in her environment.] Yea, Oh, that's true, too. That doesn't happen to everyone. Yea, so, something by Arnold Schoenberg on. It's the pits, you know. So.
[Freedman]: You don't like that?
[Sister]: No. I have this tape I bought and, I, for . . . I knew I had it, it's not like I forgot, but I hadn't played it. The Bach Magnificat?
[Sister]: Did you ever play, did you ever hear, you have that?
[Freedman]: I don't know.
[Sister]: Beautiful! Beautiful!
[Sister]: I like Bach,.
[Sister]: Yea. Even Ed likes his motets?
[Edward was my sister's husband. He died in February 1996.]
[Freedman]: Oh, yea?
[Freedman]: Did you get the, um, B minor mass?
[Sister]: No, is that good?
[Freedman]: You said you liked that. You said you were going to get a recording of that.
[Sister]: Yea. I'm going to get that next, maybe. Yea. I went in and, see, I, we were down the shore and I bought this, um, you know, it was one of the cheapy tapes, it was like a double concerto? Bach? And, I mean it's a tune you heard, one of them you heard before, you know it's a familiar type tune, I couldn't hum it. And I listened to this tape, and even Suz was like floored. She said, "This is fabulous." So, then I bought this Jascha Heifetz, and I think it's just a solo violin. And that, it's sonatas. Solo violin. And partitas. That's a little dry. I guess you have to get used to that. But um, yea. I bought that. That was a double. It was Heifetz. It's a double tape.
["Suz" is my sister's daughter, Suzanne, who was ten years old in 1992.]
[Freedman]: Does that have the Bach chaconne?
[Sister]: The who?
[Freedman]: The chaconne? Chac . . . ?
[Sister]: Oh, what's that?
[Freedman]: Well, it's a variation form. But it's a very famous piece.
[Sister]: Ah, by Bach?
[Freedman]: Yea. It's . . .
[Sister]: How do you spell "cha" that?
[Freedman]: I think it's part of his partitas or something.
[Sister]: Oh. No. I don't know But, eh, then, well, I had the Magnificat. I had bought that and I heard, when I was listening, you know, if I listen to something and I really like it I write down what it is, so I, it was the Motets. So I got this tape. It's Motets, 225 through 229. Then I got the Magnificat. Well, the B minor mass is probably two tapes, isn't it? Well, yea, I'll get that, maybe that'll be my next selection.
[Freedman]: Oh, you're not getting disc?
[Sister]: Da, I donno. I'm in the habit of buying. I don't think like that, you know what I'm saying?
[Sister]: I don't think like that because, ah, yea, we have the CD player, but . . .
[Freedman]: Does your CD player also play cassettes?
[Sister]: That's why I buy tapes. I listen to them on the . . .
[Freedman]: I thought maybe you listen on the other one.
[Sister]: No, no. The one in the bedroom plays tapes. So, eh. Yea. Ed likes 'em.
[Sister]: So, eh. Eh, yea, that's pretty good.
[Freedman]: All right.
[Sister]: So, that's about it, huh?
[Sister]: I got your letter.
[Freedman]: Well, you know, I send so many of them, so I don't know which one it is.
[Freedman]: I guess that's like saying to Shakespeare, "I read your play." You know.
[Sister]: Yea. [laughs]. No. The one about the, em . . .
[Freedman]: Or, saying to a person with diarrhea . . .
[Sister]: Eh, let's see. What was I going to say, Oh yes. The tape [slip of the tongue] about the, em, that joke you had told us.
[Freedman]: No. It reminds me of um, um, Jay Leno had this great comment about the debates.
[Sister]: Oh, yea, what did he say?
[Freedman]: He had, eh, Did you see the vice-presidential debate? With uh, Did you see that?
[The vice-presidential debate was held on October 13, 1992, between Senator Al Gore, Vice-President Dan Quayle, and Ross Perot's running mate, Jim Stockdale.]
[Freedman]: With Jim Stockdale?
[Freedman]: And he said that Jim Stockdale was refreshing because he was not a professional politician That when you ask him a question he answers the question and then he shuts up. He said, this is unlike professional politicians who never answer a question and never shut up. So, I sort of fit the professional politician category.
[Notice how I am continuing the theme of prolificacy: the politician who never shuts up; the person who writes letter after letter; Shakespeare who turned out play after play; the person with diarrhea. These are not loose associations. They are all examples of the same idea: prolificacy. Presumably, it was this tendency of my mental functioning that caused Dr. Cuenco to diagnose "loose associations." My mind generates example after example of the same idea. Compare Beethoven's Diabelli Variations--33 variations on the same theme.]
[Sister]: Did you see the debate last night? Did you see it last night?
[Sister]: That was pretty good.
[Freedman]: I thought Clinton did better last night than . . .
[Sister]: They say that's his bailiwick. He's been traveling around the country, eh.
[Freedman]: Yea. He seemed sort of tense in the first . . .
[Notice how I seem to be projecting my performance anxiety onto President Clinton: "he seemed tense."]
[Sister]: Well, so are you going to watch Perot tonight?
[Freedman]: Oh, yea!
[Sister]: Yea. He's gonna offer some. See, if he doesn't. That's what people keep criticizing. He keeps saying, "there's a million plans in Washington, we just have to implement 'em." But, you know, he just doesn't come up with concrete things. But eh. If he would come up with some concrete things, he'd probably go up in the polls.
[Freedman]: Uh-huh. Well not with this Vice-president . . .
[Sister]: Well, I know. Like he said last night, did you hear Tom Brokaw interviewed him, and he said, "That's why, exactly why I picked him." I said but, you know, he's got these qualities. He's just not a professional debater.
[Sister]: Well, I guess I'll go.
[Freedman]: Uh, all right. I just had these, um, Stell?
[Freedman]: I was just calling you to, I had these paranoid feelings today.
[Sister]: Oh, what did you have?
[Freedman]: That something went on at the firm today.
[Freedman]: Ah, it didn't shed very good light on my supervisor.
[Freedman]: But those were the vibrations I picked up today. See now, it comes and goes, Stell, my paranoia.
[Sister]: Uh-huh, Yea.
[Freedman]: So, I just was in a good mood because of that.
[Freedman]: All right,.
[Sister]: With that yawn, I'll let you go.
[Sister]: All right. Have a nice weekend.
[Freedman]: Have a good weekend.
[Sister]: Yea. Thanks. Bye.
Notice the paranoid ideation, suggestive of the manic phase of bipolar disorder. I believed I picked up clues to events at Akin Gump by the words and phrases used by personnel at the Cleveland Park Neighborhood library and the Brookville Supermarket.
But where is the pressured, rapid speech; the loose associations; and the flight of ideas?
Then again, was I being paranoid? Note the following message I sent to my sister in April 1992 (See page 81 of Social Security Document Submission):
Talk about looking back in time. . . .
My readings of certain sound waves, just reaching me now, tell me that there was probably a “big bang” in the vicinity of 1333 New Hampshire Avenue, Washington, DC, around March 31 or April 1, 1992, involving my former supervisor.
[Pat McNeil, an African-American co-worker in the litigation support group supervised by Chris Robertson was fired on April 9, 1992. Was this job termination the "big bang" that I refer to above? Was my recollection of the date on April 27, 1992 faulty? Was I picking up signals at the Cleveland Park Neighborhood Library that something significant happened at Akin Gump on April 9, 1992? Keep in mind that I had no way of knowing what was occurring at Akin Gump.