Did you forget to tell me something?

A few days into our new rotation, Rachel asked me for help with her patient. She was unable to get the woman to eat or drink anything, and wanted me to give it a try. Normally when a patient won’t eat, you can convince them to take just a few bites, and once they get started, they end up eating most of their food. I thought things would work out this way with Rachel’s patient, so I walked into the room with a big smile on my face and cheerfully introduced myself. I was greeted with a, "I don’t want any." I hadn’t told her what I was offering yet! Ignorantly thinking that my cute smile could win over any patient, I asked her if she would try a few bites of her food. From her reaction, you’d think I asked her to eat her own dog or something. "NOOOOOOOOO!!!! GET IT AWAY, GET IT AWAY!!!" she screamed, pointing at the food. Hmmmm… this is a different situation. Rachel came into the room and immediately determined I had failed at getting the woman to eat, so she asked if I could help her pull the woman up in bed. I agreed, and we reached down to pull her up. This caused even more screaming and pointing at the food, "Get it out of my room!" We grabbed the tray and left, and once out in the hallway, I looked at Rachel and said, "Is there something you forgot to tell me?" Rachel’s face turned red and she replied, "Oh yea, my patient is a psych transfer." Thanks for the warning Rachel!!
A few days later, the woman was back on her meds, and was incredibly sweet and cooperative. I went in with Rachel to say bye to her before we left, and she said to Rachel, "I really enjoyed working with you. Did you know I’m a mental patient?" Rachel managed to appear shocked by this news, and I took that as my cue to leave before the woman asked me the same question. I don’t think I could have kept a straight face after the "attack of the food" incident. I hope she stays on her meds in the future, I couldn’t believe the difference they caused in her.

5 thoughts on “Did you forget to tell me something?

  1. Meds are the most wonderful invention EVER.  I can attest to my disappearing strep throat. 🙂  *crosses fingers that infant son doesn\’t get caught with it, even though my mother in law has already diagnosed him as SICK*

  2. That\’s a pretty funny story! Thankfully I never had any Psych patients. Although….many times I thought some of them needed to be on the Psych floor! Think of all the good friends and great memories you have made during your clincals…..PRICELESS!
    Thank you for your wonderful comments on my site about my Nanny. She is doing much better and hopefully they will catch the guy! She was able to pick him out of a book of mug shots…now they just need to find the guy! He had broke into another home hours before he broke into their home…he stabbed the people that were living there! I am so thankfull my Nanny was not hurt! Had she only had another night gown on she would have KARATE CHOPPED HIM!
    Foster parenting is one of the most wonderfull things I have ever experienced. It is also one of the hardest things I have had to do inside my heart! But I would take the pain and read the last page first over and over again! You would make a great foster parent…you care so much about people and are not affraid to stand up for what is right!
    Have a wonderfull weekend!

  3. Oh dear – somebody having issues with us wack-jobs?  When I was at the House of the Unduly Bothered, there were several patients who had to be fed by tube or sother device.  these people believed that people were trying to poison them.  (Of course, if food is being thrown, poisoning might cross one\’s mind…)  One, at least, would eat anything she could steal, however, presumably with the logic that if it were not meant for her it would be safe.  Maybe this would be helpful in devising a strategy? 

  4. Isn\’t it amazing!!  Modern medicine is such a miracle!
    I was talking to a friend of mine… last week?  Anyway, we were talking about the misuse of drugs…  So many kids are automatically labelled as ADHD (or some such thing) and immediately given some pills to take.  It\’s so refreshing to hear about drugs being used properly–it\’s obvious from your blog that she needs them desperately!!

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