Remember the tear-jerking episode of Lost near the end of Season 3, where Charlie writes a letter to Claire listing the top moments of his life? He called it his "Greatest Hits". While I don't plan on swimming down into an underwater station and drowning, I am about to take a big dive into the "real" world after over 20 years of school. I thought it might be nice to take some time to reflect on some of the more memorable moments of my medical school career. Some of them are touching, most of them are funny, and they're all true. Although you probably won't think so after reading some of the insanity to follow!
My Scariest Patient
Written by DeROK
Saturday, 01 March 2008
Druids? Rhesus Monkeys? Just another day in med school.
After completeing a psychiatry rotation, you'll have a new-found appreciation for the depths of the human mind. The things that psych patients will tell you will leave you floored. While any mental illness is a serious ordeal and shouldn't be made fun of, I've seen somewhat humorous situations where people genuinely believe they're from Mars, or the woman who kept yelling at the dog in the room that wasn't there. I've also seen horribly sad cases where a schizophrenic woman truly believed that her husband was molesting her children and kidnapped them. You can only imagine what damage that caused to her marriage and family.
However, the most over-the-top patient I ever encountered was Mary Magdelene, the Angel of Jesus Christ. Well, at least that's how she signed her admission papers. "Mary" was a sixty year old woman who believed that she had died five years prior and been told by Jesus that she was his angel, Mary Magdelene, and that He was sending her back down to earth to carry out his mission. Not only was she Jesus' angel, but she was pregnant with his triplets. In her spare time, Mary liked to tell fortunes and write angry profantiy-riddled letters to George W. Bush. Pretty interesting, huh?
However, the story doesn't stop there, my friends. Apparently there was an old Indian burial ground directly outside the hospital. "Mary" liked to bring me over to the window and tell me extremely detailed stories about the black-hooded druids who were practicing human sacrifices at the site before our very eyes. We'd go watch them every day during my week on the floor. Some days they would bring black-hooded children to participate with them, and occasionally a pack of Rhesus monkeys would join in the festivities as well. Towards the end of the week things took a nasty turn as the druids somehow found out that she was carrying Jesus' triplets and had become bent on cutting them out of her womb to sacrifice. At this point, I felt my exit from the ward couldn't have come at a better time!
In the end, "Mary" proved to be a very interesting and certainly unforgettable patient. I really hope that she somehow found some help, because I can't imagine going through life with hallucinations like that. It just makes me very thankful for my own mental health.