Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Flash: an Army of One

This morning, the other medical student, Flash, and I were sitting at a table in the common area on the unit. We were sitting with patients, nurses, and the psychologist, Juliana. I was sharing the paper with Juliana and Hazel--you know...read a section, pass a section, talk about how if we'd fix the problems of the world if we were in charge. Flash was sitting with his notebook and pencil, waiting for something note-worthy to happen. (Dude missed his true calling as a stenographer.)

The attending physician, Schizophrenic Whisperer, was late this morning; and one of the more irritable and less rational patients was, and I quote, pissed off about this. So, as he is, apparently, wont to do, the patient lashed out at the two people closed to him--Flash and I. He threw a punch at Flash, who ducked and ran (hence the name, which perfectly describes what I saw out of the corner of my eye during his retreat). Flash gone, that left me. The patient came at my neck with his nails, but missed as I weaved away. In the end, he only scratched my arm, and that not even enough to break the skin through my shirt. Another patient came to my rescue, pulling him away from me.

When Schizophrenic Whisperer finally showed up, the staff told him about this morning's bit of excitement. Somehow, though, he only managed to hear about Flash nearly getting hit. So, when he came to discuss the day's plan with us, he started by saying, "I'm really sorry that the patient tried to hit you this morning! Are you okay?"

"Oh, yeah, I'm fine," he said. "I ducked... (and ran, don't forget to mention the part where you ran) because that's what they taught us to do in the United States Army."

Duck and run.
Leave the women to fend for themselves.
I don't know about you, but I feel much better about that war on terror now. Thanks, Flash.

10 comments:

Susanlee said...

This is the funniest thing I have ever read. I cannot stop laughing...I might be a little drunk though, so I'll have to read it again...Nope, Justin's laughing too and he's totally sober. Glad no one was badly injured. I'm sure the army is so stinkin' proud of their boy! They should put that in their propaganda "Learn to duck and run with the best of them.."

Maria said...

Wow. Now I can sleep soundly at night....

But, where was Juliana in all of this? Thank god there was a rational patient....or you could have been really hurt.

This kind of pisses me off. I mean, for fuck sakes...some of these people can go off like a rocket at nothing and to have you all just sitting there in possible peril...

I think the attending needs to have his hands slapped very hard. Or make him sleep in a straight jacket for a few nights...

Terroni said...

Susan,
I'm glad to make you laugh (even if you are drunk).

Maria,
Juliana was actually on the other side of me. She, too, tried to get to the patient. Little good it would have done as she is not much of a brute, but I did appreciate her effort. (At least she didn't run!)

CDPJ said...

Duck and run and leave the women to fend for themselves... you are too much! I love that he was so proud to proclaim that he learned that in the Army, completely oblivious to the irony.

Ms. Avarice said...

OMG, T. are you serious? "...because that's what they taught us to do in the United States Army." Uh. That's definitely counts as quote of the day, and may be in the running for #1 best thing I've heard in the last 6 months. At least.

Lainey-Paney said...

Flash sucks.
You rock.

psych patients are...fun, aren't they?
rarely a dull moment, you have to admit that.

Kate Isis said...

Well, Yankee Doodle RAN to town it seems. Too funny.
What are your protocols for self defense in that situation?
We usually stick to the off balance method, if they come at you then you use blocking manourvres to push the attacker off in the opposite direction. Even a small person can do it with a bigger opponent.
Its scary the first time a person comes at you with the intent to hurt you but eventually over time you learn to see it as a normal days work, which is scary in itself I guess.

Terroni said...

We got a 5 minute self-defense course which basically consisted of them telling us to run. So, yeah, I guess Flash took notes during that, too.

Mme Benaut said...

That's why I've got scars all over the place - my schizo sister would attack me viciously without warning and all my mother ever did was say to me: "get out from behind my skirts and fight your own battles" or "stay away from her, you know what she's like". No protection, no defence. Little children take time to learn the duck and run method. As for Flash - I guess its obvious why he isn't IN the army any more.
Very glad that you weren't hurt, little one. Do take care in there won't you, please?

Terroni said...

I promise I have been much more careful ever since this little incident, Madame. And, I am so sorry to hear about your scars...that truly sounds frightening.