Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A Place for Everything

In the pantheon of those claiming to be suicidal, we were recently graced by a superstar.  Discharged by our psych unit, she storms past the triage desk on her way out the door.  After yelling on her cell phone and failing to get anybody to come pick her up, she marches back up to the desk and announces, "I feel like killing myself."  One of the nurses politely but firmly informs her that she had been cleared and discharged by the psychiatrists, and therefore couldn't just go back to her room, but that she was welcome to sign in and start the process all over again.  Hearing this causes the drama queen to start sobbing hysterically.  After 30 seconds of theatrics without a response, the diva turns off the tears and marches out again while screaming obscenities.

Later in the evening, I'm sitting at the desk re-assessing patients still waiting to be see, and quickly recheck a gentleman's blood sugar.  As he returns to his seat, Drama Queen arrives for her second performance of the evening, and sits down in the chair in front of me.

DQ: "I feel... [sobs]... like killing myself."

Me: "Okay, let's get you regist-"

DQ: "If you don't let me back RIGHT THE FUCK NOW, I will slit my wrists and drop BURNING HOT COALS in to my arms!" [with emotion, arms thrashing wildly through the air]

Me [sotto voce]: "Would the coals cauterize the bleeding?"

Triage nurse [stage left, to the audience]: "I bet she'd drop them first."

When I failed to bring her back right the fuck away, she grabbed the glucometer box still sitting on the desk and hurled it at my head (I blocked it with my lightning fast reflexes).  Realizing that attacking staff doesn't gain you sympathy, and eyeing our geriatric security officers lumbering over from their desk, Drama Queen decided to take her final bow and leave for the evening, probably to debut her one woman act at another ER.

I now make sure to keep the glucometer underneath the desk when not in use.

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