Thank you for making my point

Code 3 for seizure. At the psych group home.

A woman in her 30s is supine in bed, eyes wide open, staring at the ceiling, her left arm shaking rapidly at her side, obviously faking a seizure. The other residents are hovering around the door, some crying, thinking something terrible is happening.

“Hey, what’s your name?”

“<Insert name>.”

“<Insert name>, you can stop that now.”

“I can’t.”

“Yes, you can.”

She pretends to stop shaking, then starts again.

I don’t care what you call us for and how stupid it is, just don’t lie to me. Faking a seizure is lying to me.

“Alright, sit up. What hospital?”

“I don’t want to go.”

“Excuse me?”

“Just leave me alone.”

All kinds of unfortunate people have actual seizures, can’t drive or play sports or do things they would like to do, and these assholes pretend to have seizures.

I turn to the useless staff member. It was, of course, “shift change,” so she didn’t see what happened leading up to the “seizure.”

“She doesn’t want to go. She obviously was pretending to have a seizure. We’re going to leave her here, OK? You guys can take care of it from here.”

“Well, we prefer that she get checked out by the professionals at the hospital so she can be cleared medically.”

And I’m just the cab company. But I let it go.

“I’m telling you there’s nothing going on here. She’s actively doing the shaking herself. There’s nothing physically wrong with her.* I guarantee you the hospital will not be happy to see her, and they will tell you exactly what I’m telling you right now. Besides, she doesn’t even want to go, and there’s no legitimate reason to make her go. Do you understand what I’m telling you?”

“Well, I don’t mean any offense. It’s just that we need her medically cleared because we’re just a residential program. It’s policy. Let me see if I can talk to her about it.”

There was no need. The patient looks over, still sitting in bed, holding her left arm like there’s something’s wrong with it, other than perhaps tiredness from all the fake seizure activity, and glowers at me. She is royally pissed.

“You know what? I WAS feeling pretty bad, so you can take your comments and shove it!!!”

I guess talking shit about patients in front of them does work sometimes.

“You want to go to the hospital?”

“NO!!! Now get out! Leave me alone!”

“I look at the staff member, “Does that convince you?”

“Umm, yes.”

“Good. We’re leaving.”

*There’s plenty mentally wrong with her.

3 thoughts on “Thank you for making my point”

  1. I still can’t figure out how you get away with this stuff working for a commercial service. Not saying I don’t appreciate it, I just would have been fired 10 minutes later if I tried that working for my former private.

    1. fired for what? for being sensible and practical? i don’t see myself as getting away with anything. i used no obscenities or physical force. i used nothing but reason. i endangered no one. there are boundaries in civilized society and no one gets to walk all over us in the name of customer service.

      1. That would have been enough- customer service. Facility wants you to take a patient, you take the patient. Anything else is terminable.

        And I can guarantee that the version my supervisor heard had I done the same thing would have involved the words “verbally abusive”. You weren’t, obviously, but it wouldn’t have mattered.

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