Monday, February 26, 2007

"Nonsense on stilts"

Apologies to regular readers. It may appear I have been off on one of my now legendary Woganesque holidays. Sadly nothing could be farther from the truth. If fact this little corner of Borsetshire has been a tad busy of late. And on top of that I am again helping to mould the mind of one of the generation of medics that are to come after me. (Well, hosting a final Year Med Student for a couple of weeks out in the real world anyhow.)

And yes, lately that real world has been a touch too real for my taste. Thing is, Clive Horrobin walks abroad. If you are thinking that is the sort of sentence that should only be uttered to the accompaniment of arch glances toward the door or window of the consulting room, and preferably a few ominous chords from the brass section, then you’d be right.

Poor Clive doesn’t really fit in. This gets him frustrated, and in turn the frustration makes him angry. When he gets angry he makes threats. Nasty, personal, “I’m gonna come round your house and kill all your pets” sort of threats. He does this to anyone who frustrates any of his natural desires, like the impulse to take lots and lots of stimulants, mind altering drugs, both illicit (a little coke to go with his “Coke”TM), and licit, (Booze, Major and Minor tranquilizers, antidepressants and monster dose hypnotics).

Because he has been frustrated in his desire for these basic commodities of everyday living he has threatened a few medics, rather more receptionists and a whole bunch of other quiet and law abiding citizens. In our brave new zero-tolerant world Clive is a “Violent Patient” a cachet his is happy to wear like a teen with a hoody and an ASBO. It makes him "Special".

So special we have to seem him in a secure room at the hospital, with uniformed security personnel standing by.

This last week it was my turn to play “Clarice Starling” and go see “Hannibal” in the maximum security wing that is the local A&E* broom cupboard. It got rather crowded what with Clive in his Hockey Mask and Pallet Trolley rig, two burly Boys in Blue, and yours truly cowering somewhere to the rear and close to the emergency exit.

And the reason for this little edifying Tableau Vivant?

Clive wanted to tear me off a strip and threaten to kill my cats because we hadn’t given him the four-times-normal dose of sleeping pills he needed to help him come down off his speed and coke and “Coke”TM. In doing this we are breaching his Human Rights. I endeavoured to point out from my commanding position at the back, that he had done a fair bit of Human Rights infringing of his own, having threatened to duff up several nurses, porters, hospital docs and a couple of my esteemed partners in the past week or so, but it cut no ice. “See I don’t care about them, it’s my rights I care about innit!” he reasoned. An argument I imagine he is not used to having challenged much.

Sadly for Clive it didn’t work this time for I am made of sterner stuff, at least from behind a phalanx of blue serge I am. Oh, and the cats are off to the cattery this week, for later on I am indeed awa’ for a long weekend north of the border.

And the timing of this little trip is of course entirely coincidental.

* American readers would know this as the ER Closet I imagine**.

**They would also need to subtract the mental image of guards with Marine Corps crewcuts and belts weighed down with Nightsticks, Mace and Firearms. That's just not the way we do things in dear old Blighty. Yet***.

***We get "Kev" and "Baz" in blue pullys, scratchy trousers and peaked caps. And I am eternally greatful to them both.


Shinga said...

Outstanding, Dr. J - looking forward to seeing you highlighted in tonight's Panorama on GBH in the NHS.

Of course, you nearly widowed me. Note to spouse - must not read blogs while eating Jumbo Salted.

Regards - Shinga

Doctor Jest said...

shinga-- thank God it wasn't a pretzel then!

slurry from surrey said...

Yes there are a few round here like that, mainly people without mental health problems who just want to be dam right rude.
love the blog keep it going!

Anne said...

See I don’t care about them, it’s my rights I care about innit!” he reasoned

Oh, how familiar that sounds. Human rights are desirable, but only if they're our own. And never a mention of the responsibilities that go with rights.

Wendz said...

Yeah the British police force needs to come up with a uniform thats just a tad more ...erm...manly? I mean, you know...PULLOVERS? That's for grumpy old men.

Doctor Jest said...

slurry-- thanks for those kind words. I'm sure the scenario is much the same country wide, but at least now we have the likes of Kev and Baz in our neck of the woods.

anne-- In Clive's little world he's the one with all the rights and we're the ones with all the responsibilities. It all makes perfect sense to him, and something over three decades of appeasement has taught him that this is true.

wendz-- by last visit we had progressed to stab proof vests. I should also point out that Kev in particular tops my weedy Five Eleven by at least a head and masses in the 200+ pound category and all of it rippling muscle. (Or so he assures me and I'm not going to argue)