Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Getting in is the hardest part

The units in the state psychiatric hospital are all locked. When I arrive in the morning, I sign out a key. In order to get into the unit, I have to unlock a door, step into a small room, wait until that door closes behind me and then unlock a second door. My first day in the hospital, I unlocked the first door and let it close behind me. When I tried to unlock the second door, my key got stuck. Really stuck. I jiggled it and jiggled it. I tried to pull it back out. It wouldn't budge.

I was stuck. Really stuck.

At this point, patients started to notice something was up. There were suddenly four pairs of eyes peering at me through the small window in the second door. One of them was fogging up the glass with his breath. And this is when I stopped fucking with the key and started laughing. I thought, when people ask, "How's med school going?" I'll say, "Well, right now I'm locked in a small room in a state psychiatric hospital. The experience is made somewhat less enjoyable by the fact that I'm terribly claustrophobic. But, on the bright side, I seem to have made four new friends."

11 comments:

Kate Isis said...

I'm glad you got out eventually. Occasionally life will give you a glimpse of life on the other side of the galss.
This made me smile. :)))))

Mme Benaut said...

I want to hear the story about who let you out and how long it took. Hooray for observant patients - just hope they told someone soon. Have they replaced your key?

dive said...

Hee hee, T.
We have these stupid electronic tags we have to wear to get in to the office. I'm always forgetting mine. I used to bang on the outer doors and wait in the rain.
These days I'm wiser and simply sit in the coffee shop across the street enjoying a late breakfast while I wait for someone else to turn up.

Cheryl said...

Well, the patients got a chance to study you up close. Were they friendly when you got in? I wonder what you'll see in this hospital.

.j.william. said...

your ability to laugh in the midst of frustration is very inspiring :)

Terroni said...

To answer the questions...

Madame~ The key eventually just worked. No, the patients didn't tell anyone--they just watched me laugh, looking at me like I was crazy. When I asked about getting a different key I was told, "Uh, just keep jiggling it and stuff." I'm not sure what "and stuff" meant exactly, but I haven't had the problem since.

Cheryl~ Yes. For the most part they have all been very friendly. In fact, a few of them have been a little overly friendly. When I got there today a patient told me I'm "a whole lotta woman"--I took that to mean I was looking good, but he may have just been calling me fat.

Susanlee said...

*laughs and laughs* I cannot even believe that you didn't completely freak out...I'm not the kinda girl who can handle lots of things that this situation involved: 1. being not in total control. 2. being in a small enclosed space. 3. being stared at...You're such a rock star.

Maria said...

I'm smiling because can you imagine the conversation on THEIR side of the glass?

"This laughing woman is our new doctor?"

And I'm surprised that one of them didn't tell you exactly how to jiggle it to get it to work since you will find that they know EVERYTHING about how that ward functions and then some.

Sassy Sundry said...

Did you get out, or are you posting from inside the room?

Terroni said...

I'm posting from inside the room.

Rich said...

It's hard to tell the patients from the medical staff sometimes. Yukk yuk!!