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I bullshit you not…

October 13, 2007

My male patient, history of cocaine abuse and brain tumors has had a recent stroke and can not talk or swallow too well. He can point to a letter chart though and he spells out for me that there are two men on top of the poles on the roof across the way out his window.

I peer around and see nothing. I ask him if he saw work men on the roof earlier this morning? He shakes his head NO and says they are there  right now via gestures and hand motions I have come to understand over the course of the morning. I like this guy and feel for him. He wants to smoke. He wants to leave. He is pretty young, in his 40’s, and is pretty fucking pissed and sullen.

He insists and I proclaim that I am telling him the truth, there are no men on the roof. He points to his letters and spells…

B U L L S H I T using his middle finger.

I laugh and tell him I like a man who swears and will remember him always because he is the first patient to swear at me. He laughs and I tell him, No bullshit, there are no men on the roof but I believe he sees them and he is okay because I will totally kick their asses if they come off the roof.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 14, 2007 1:44 am

    Ah, this is wonderful! Great response on your part! LOL

    It’s a good thing I wasn’t in your shoes; I might have done something Jungian and gone right into the delusion with him and asked him what they looked like and if they had made any signals to him or tried to communicate anything.

    After that, I’d tell him I didn’t see them but believed he did.

    And that I would totally kick their asses if they came off the roof.

  2. October 14, 2007 2:15 am

    I had a patient once who had coded in the middle of having his leg amputated, he was a diabetic. He ended up intubated for awhile and when he came to us he still had his trach. One morning I was taking care of him and a guy came into his room, a friend I assumed. My patient motioned for me to plug his trach with my finger so he could talk and my patient says,”You fucking asshole!” and that’s when I took my finger off his trach. That’s when I realized that illness doesn’t change people much and that all of my patients have lives prior to becoming patients and even dependant at times. Made me smile though.

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