Monday, June 23, 2008

"Alright, and what else is new?"

I had a very long day at State Hospital. Although I was actually busy today, which was a nice change, although I concede a lot of it was busy work and fussing and logistical crap. Whatever. Hopefully tomorrow will be a reasonably early day, because Wednesday is my last full 30 hour call at SH. Possibly (I think it is) the last one ever in my life, actually. Hooray! I'm on call again on Sunday night, but that doesn't start until 8pm.

Anyway, I'm at the end of this long, long day and waaaay down at the other end of the hall (the women's unit is very loooooooong), one of Ruthie's patients is arguing with her. And she screams, "Fuck you!" and storms down the hallway to her room, loudly slamming the door behind her. I continue walking down the hall and grab Ruthie by the arm (she's one of my good friends and one of my cellmates office mates next year) and start harassing her about, dude, Ruthie, what kind of doctor are you, patients all slamming doors up in here? And she rolls her eyes and says, "Right. And I'm going to hell."

I said, "Haven't we already established this?" Ruthie and I have had multiple conversations about how, not only is she a heathen and a sinner, she has failed to accept Jesus Christ into her heart as her personal savior (as I think I've mentioned previously, Ruthie's Jewish).

She says, "Well that's what I told her! I said, 'alright, and what else is new'? Ugh!"

I assured her we'd have a good time.

Maybe she can be a third for Claudia and my standing Canasta game on Tuesdays in Hell. Or perhaps PenguinShrink and Chef will have us over, for pork, I assume, on a Friday during Lent. Peng has often commented on how they're already looking at a nice condo with a view of the River Styx.

Seriously, if we went to hell every time our patients told us we were going there, we'd already be in hell right now (or maybe that's the point of intern year. Nah, I think that's more like purgatory).

Oh, speaking of the afterlife, did everyone know that George Carlin died? I'm a little sad. And I wonder if Jesus will, in fact, serve him pork chops tonight.

Anyhow.

It was just a long damn day today. Mondays usually are, but today, man. My patients were extra cranky, two of the men got in a big, table flinging, chair throwing, drag-out of a fight up in the mall (we have this thing called the psychosocial rehab mall, which is just a wing where patients go to groups and classes and such. It isn't an actual like a shopping mall or anything. But it confuses a lot of new folks. The first time I heard this I was like, you're taking them where??). I stood there and looked puffed up and large and immobile. On the unit we call this "show of force." It's basically an intimidation tactic where we display our presence to the patient in hopes of getting them to back down and comply with what we want them to do, and usually involves several large black men and me standing there looking severe. Occasionally, it's just a numbers thing - i.e., we pack as many staff members as we can find into as large a posse as possible to overwhelm them with our sheer numbers. Most of the time it works, actually, and we avoid having to lay hands on the patients and physically restrain them or whatnot. But truth be told? If that guy had so much as blinked twice in my direction you would've been amazed at how fast my fat ass was across the room and diving behind the upended table for cover.

I had one patient who was trying to tell me that her mother had schizoaffective disorder, which is something we diagnose when someone has both schizophrenia and a mood (affective) disorder, like depression or bipolar. But she told me that her mother was schizodefective.

Um...I know she may have seemed that way to you, but...

But, when I came home, I had gas! And in a good way, not because we went for Indian food yesterday. It actually smells a little more strongly that I'd like by the fireplace, which is a gas log and has a pilot light, so I'm trying to air the place out a little and keep telling myself it's just because the gas hasn't been on in so long. We'll see. I'm going to go see my shrink in a few minutes. so we'll close up and see how bad the smell is when I get back.

Oh, and Maxine came over when I got home, because Sparrow's flown off to the mountains. She and Maggie are still being all jealous and competitive. But they occasionally unite forces to protect the house from errant squirrels or falling leaves and cars and such.


Aww.

PS, I'm back now, and it smells less like gas in here. I guess we'll see what it's like in the morning. Oh, and my shrink made what had to be one of the shrinky comments of all time. We were talking about how I get in my own way - everyone does. It's therapy, resistance is expected - and I was saying that part of the reason I think this is true for me is because of my intellect, and thus my ability to intellectualize the crap out of anything and everything. I framed this as, "On occasion I'm just too smart for my own well-being." And what I assume (hope) she was trying to say was, your intelligence is just fine the way it is.

What she said was, "Kate, you're not too smart."

I laughed really, really hard. Fortunately, so did she.

4 comments:

Claudia said...

Maybe Ruthie actually knows how to play Canasta.....although I think part of the whole hell thing is that none of us knows how to play.

Tiny Tyrant said...

*snort* I hope she meant that too. ;-)

Hugs to you and Miss Mags.

Lil Kate said...

I'm hoping it was "you're not too smart for your own well-being." Otherwise, OOOOH SNAP! ;)
Too funny.

Barb said...

I got up at 4:30 (because who could sleep with that lack of pain thing I had going on?) So, I'm a little punchy and I got to the part about "And not because we had Indian food..." and I think I might have aspirated some wine.

I'm not too smart. Really.