Monday, June 26, 2006

Sticks and stones may break my bones

I’ve worked the last several evenings on a unit for high risk psychiatric patients. This is not to say that they are necessarily violent, though they might be, but rather that they are higher risk for hurting themselves or others, need to be watched for sexual behavior, or just have greater medical needs. They could be depressed, delusional, paranoid, borderline, psychotic, schizophrenic, any number of things really.

Besides my actual name, here’s what I’ve been called by patients on this unit:

doctor
nurse
a puppet
yes man
demon
rapist
nice man
patient (the adjective, not the noun)
motherfucker
cocksucker
dick
The Spanish Inquisition
toilet water
a good guy
nerd

Most of the patients are polite and appreciative, or they just stare blankly at me when I address them. The majority of the negative terms for me came from one person in particular. Today when she called me a nerd, I almost laughed. “Geez lady,” I thought, “that’s so tame compared to all the other things you’ve called me. It’s practically a compliment.”

What do I do to earn her scorn? Oh just things like: checking on her every 15 minutes as required by policy, asking her to keep her voice down when she’s shouting in the dayroom, telling her that it’s inappropriate for her to leer at another patient and say, “I’m licking this chocolate pudding like I want to lick your body.” I know, I’m such an asshole. Oh yeah, she called me that too. Well, she mouthed it. Could have been mouthing “Ice gnoll.”

5 comments:

  1. You mean you're not allowed to tell others how you're going to lick their body?!?! Damn!!! There goes my social life!

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  2. how refeshing! people telling you what they really think about you. you are earning the saint in your name.

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  3. Was 'the Spanish Inquisition' Python-related?

    -chew

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  4. Yes chew, poking with soft cushions was involved.

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