Sunday, March 28, 2010

Better than Halloween

On Halloween one can play at assuming an identity of choice. When hanging out with people who are delirious or confused, the element of choice can be lacking.Ob a recent night there were several confused patients on the unit. At some point the team members conpared notes. The charge nurse had been mistakeb for a priest. One of the nursing assistnts was mistaken for a physician.I, the chaplain, was thought to be qa physical therapist. And one patient, trying to reconcile the information that Mike was his nurse with an old belief that nurses are female, asked me if Mike was a bearded lady...


Blogger MFA Mama said...

My dad, a clinical psychologist, was running the psych ward at Cedars Sinai during night-time for a while during the 1960s. The had a patient with a God complex who'd been there for YEARS (nobody could convince him he wasn't God) and one night the ER let my dad know they had a guy claiming to be Jesus who was pretty resolute in his conviction and needed a team to come and get him because he needed to stay a while. My dad did the intake and yeah, sure enough. So before he left in the morning, my dad decided to take Jesus over to meet God (he claimed to be hoping one of them would get some therapeutic benefit, speck, plank, etc. but I think it was all in bad fun really) in the day room. They were very cordial with one another, and my dad (probably disappointed) was getting ready to leave when God beckoned him over (Jesus had moved on and was trying to resurrect a catatonic). God nodded over toward Jesus and said "that is no son of MINE!"

Forty years later, my old Jewish granny was dying and the nursing home sent her to ER at the nearest hospital (which happened to be a Catholic one). As the staff was scurrying around her bed doing their jobs, Granny regained consciousness and responded that yes, of COURSE she knew who she was, but HIM (she pointed at the crucifix on the wall), HE was confused. "GET DOWN FROM THERE!" she screeched, to my father's utter delight, "YOU'RE NOT WHO YOU THINK YOU ARE!"

Your story reminded me of those two things and I thought you'd get a kick out of them :)

8:40 AM  

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