Thursday, August 15, 2013


   There are always patients on a service that the team will deem "crazy."  And this can have many meanings.  Sometimes it means that the patient is difficult to deal with.  Sometimes it means that the patient is a little odd.  And sometimes, it just means the person has a diagnosable mental illness.  For some reason, I tend to gravitate towards these "crazy" patients, and I find myself wanting to interact with them.

   When Rosemary*, an eccentric and talkative woman, was admitted to the Gyn Onc service, she was immediately given this title of "crazy."  When we would come in to round as a team, she would always say off-the-wall comments, all the while with a smirk on her face showing she just wanted to get a laugh out of us.  She even commented once that the cardiologist was no fun, as she had "tried to make him laugh and he didn't even crack a smile."

   She was very sick with interesting medical problems, so I took her on as one the patients I was following.  Every morning as I'd come in to pre-round on her, and we would chat for quite a while.  In fact, I learned to allot like 10-15 extra minutes to spend with her, since she was so chatty.  But I enjoyed it very much, as most of the time she was quite entertaining.  And she often had very insightful wisdom or advice.

   Since she was in the hospital so long with such a complicated course, she began to keep a written log of who she would meet and of the events that happened each day.  Early on in her stay she had me write down my name and title ("medical student", nothing exciting there).  A couple days later, she had one of the fellows write down her name.  So after she had written her name down, the fellow handed me the paper to show me something. It was the same paper I had written my name on a few days prior, and next to my name, Rosemary had penciled in "NICE GAL".

* As always, name and identifying information changed to protect privacy

1 comment:

  1. I just love reading these stories you post up. your profession is incredibly entertaining and fascinating to us non-medical folk!