We’re waiting at the ED with a woman with anxiety. She seems nice but she definitely has that vague, hard-to-define quality in her that, since the beginning of the call at her house, I recognized as an oversensitivity to perceived slights and a propensity to flip out for no good reason. We already had to ask her to calm down once when were on scene, even though she is mostly pleasant. Most of the times, patients make themselves feel worse by freaking out over nothing.
The ED is busy. They’re looking for beds.
“So, ma’am, it’s going to be a few minutes. Just sit tight and don’t get worked up, OK?” I coo.
“WHAT DO YOU MEAN WORKED UP? WHY ARE YOU TELLING ME NOT TO GET WORKED UP? YOU KEEP TELLING ME THAT!”
“Um… this is exactly what I’m talking about.”
I don’t say another word to her for the rest of the call.