Saturday, November 3, 2007

OD or not OD? That is the question.

We have a regular. She's a few fries short of a Happy Meal. Actually, she's short the most of the hamburger, too. And the drink.

She's one of those people that you'd like to feel sorry for, but she irritates the holy hell out of you, which effectively cancels out the sympathy factor most of the time. And she has a beard. Which is kinda scary.

Her schtick is to pretend to OD on her meds so that they'll send her off to one of the psych facilities for a few days. She's lonely at home, and when she's an inpatient, she gets some attention.

It's getting harder and harder to find placement for her, because chronic fake suicide attempts are apparently only covered for a finite number of times, and she's approaching that number. But, sad as that is, it's not the story.

She's been in twice this week.

The first time, it was a typical visit. "I took too many of my pills." Only this time, Nurse Ratched, my most favoritest co-worker ever in the history of the world (except for Nonchalant Nurse Who's Seen and Done Everything, of course) wasn't having any of that.

NR: "No, you didn't."

Bearded Crazy Lady: "Yes, I did."

NR: " No, you didn't."

BCL: "I did. I really did!"

NR: "Bearded Crazy Lady, you always say that you took too many of your pills, and we always test your levels, and they're always normal. Your vitals are perfectly normal, and you're not acting the way you would be acting if you had taken what you said you've taken. So, again, no, you didn't."

BCL: "Yes, I did."

"No, you didn't," "Yes, I did," ensued for several cycles. I'm pretty sure Nurse Ratched would have kept it up for hours if the Doc hadn't come in. She seemed to be enjoying herself.

Anyway, end result was the same as usual. Normal drug levels, monitored for however long we usually monitor her, shipped away for a 72 hour hold. Diagnosis changed from suicide attempt to suicidal ideation.

Fast forward 4 days. (For those interested in doing the math, that's 72 hours + transportation home + a couple of hours to realize that she's still lonely.)

EMS brings in BCL for yet another possible OD. Only this time she's tachycardic, lethargic, and adamant that she didn't take anything. Nurse Ratched is working again, because, well, that's all she does. She'll be dead of exhaustion before she can make it to retirement.

Nurse Ratched: "BCL, what did you take?"

BCL: "Nothing. I didn't take nothing."

NR: "Precisely my point. If you didn't take nothing, then that means you took something. So what did you take?"

BCL (with a look of confusion, as the logic escapes her): "Nothing! I didn't take nothing!"

NR: "Yes, you did."

BCL: "No, I didn't."

NR: "BCL, you come in here all the time saying you took too many pills, and your vitals are always perfectly fine and you're acting normal. Tonight, your vitals are all cattywhompus and you're slurring your words, but you say you didn't take anything. I think you're lying."

BCL: "No, I'm not! I didn't take any pills!"

NR: "Yes, you did."

BCL: "No, I didn't."

Again with several cycles of "Yes, you did," "No, I didn't." This time, Nurse Ratched wasn't enjoying the exchange. But the irony didn't escape us.

In any case, she did, in fact, take too many pills. She was admitted for observation, and then shipped away for her 72 additional hours of attention.

We should see her again at the beginning of the week.

**Disclaimer: I am not making fun of psych patients in general, nor am I saying that there are not people who legitimately need help. I am merely making fun of this particular person, her abuse of the system, and these particular visits.

9 comments:

Alasse said...

Wow... that seems like a scene from a Paul Thomas Anderson movie. How terribly sad :/

mielikki said...

Yeah, I know that story, we have a few of those over here in West Coast Podunk. Just for fun, sometime, we should give them bus tickets, and trade.

Nurse K said...

We admitted one "medically" the other day for "group home placement" after her 14th visit in the last 2 months with misc. somatic and psych complaints.

This one just needs herself a mental health group home. She'd love it there. She'd have friends, someone to give her her meds, etc etc.

Surgeon in my dreams said...

Ahhh! Just when my blood was beginning to reach that point just under boiling, I saw your disclaimer.

Please allow me to let you know you have no need to be frightened of a female with hirsutism.

We are no more apt to open a can of whoop-ass on your butt than a female without hirsutism.

Most of the time, I would venture to guess 99% of females with hirsutism did not grow it intentionally, to frighten anyone or for any other reason.

I would wager that most were afflicted with it most likely in their early teen years, that time of life where they CARE what people say.

You know what? I bet that horrible hormonal imbalance could even possibly have something to do with the psych problems...there are some professionals out there who are looking into that very idea.

I personally am both a psych patient AND a female with hirsutism (or did you already guess).

I guarantee you it is not the hirsuite you should fear.

Your BLOG causes my hypertension to kick in almost every day as we are pretty much at opposite ends of the spectrum on almost everything, but here I come back every single day.

I enjoy your blog...at least until the bleeding begins....

RealisticRN said...

Surgeon in my dreams
No wonder you are on the opposite end of the spectrum--being a psych patient with a beard. Here's a thought...WAX! I didn't grow the hair on my legs on purpose, either...but I "take care of it."
Ah, I'm sure that both MG and NR are not afraid of bearded lady. Just tired of knowing that their tax dollars are being wasted by this sorry excuse for a human being. See, unfortuately, people like YOU have said that it's cruel to lock up these people in facilities (which is where they belong!)

And I bet this person has been in and out of group homes...how about it MG?

Surgeon in my dreams said...

realistic,

Woah nelllie.

"Sorry excuse of a human being"....wow. You honestly believe that what was described in this post constitutes a "sorry excuse for a human being"?

I don't believe MG took my comment nearly as seriously as you did. There is such a thing as sarcastic comedy.

There is also no place you will see me say that someone in need of hospitalization should not be hospitalized.

Oh, and I tried the wax thing and it irritated my skin to the point where it looked like a severe abrasion. I looked like my chin from one ear to the other had been in a fire. Thanks for the advice though. I'll stick to shaving.

Calm down, you're gonna cause yourself a stroke.

RealisticRN said...

Surgeon,
My BP remained very low/normal while reading/posting, thank you. I don't think I'm in danger of stroking out. Now people whose BP elevate to the point of making their blood "boil"...should probably take your advice.
And yes, anyone who calls EMS because they "OD'd" multiple times per month is a sorry excuse for a human being.

Catherine said...

If you hadn't already commented on the irony, I was going to!

Jim said...

Wasn't this a Monty Python sketch?

"I could be arguing on my own time."