Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The floor show

Last night a ka-rayzee woman came into the hosptial. I think she was a meth addict because she was twitchy, incredibly skinny, and her teeth were just pegs. She opened her mouth and a series of wildly disconnected phrases came out. Her main problem was her swollen foot, but there were clearly mental issues as well.

When asked her last name she said, "Doesn't matter. Whatever. I don't know." I really think she couldn't remember; meth tears up your memory something fierce. Not hoping for much, I asked for her social security number and she rattled it off without hesitation. The mind is a funny thing. Later she said to me, "I'm dead. I know they're carnivores." Oooo-kay.

I'm fairly confident that she was freaking out the other people in the waiting room with her pacing and non-sequiturs. After 30 minutes or so of that she walked to the middle of the room, and with great confidence and poise, threw off the blanket around her shoulders like James Brown doffing a cape. Then she pulled off her tank top. She was not wearing a bra. After a staffer got security's attention (the only person not staring in horror and amazement), the guard laconically said to the patient, "Hey, you can't do that." Really? Huh.

A nurse got her to put her top back on (backwards) and worked on getting her into a bed and away from an audience quicker. A man standing near my desk at the time said, "Let me know when it's decent," while staring off into the distance and clutching a Bible. It was safe by then so I told him, "You're good."

While this was by far the oddest thing that has happened so far at my job, I was relatively unfazed. And here I thought I was only jaded about music and movies.

No comments:

Post a Comment