Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta patients. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta patients. Mostrar todas las entradas

jueves, 25 de junio de 2015

Crazy shit

   Everything had been put into place, every single document had been acquired, and every single detail had been on point. Nevertheless, the consulate had decided not to give Richard the visa to go and work in Canada. He never heard a reason why he had been denied the visa, only that he could challenge the decision with the Canadian justice system but that could take, at least, three months, time that he didn’t have. When he notified the company that had offered him the job, which was the reason for his trip, they didn’t really say anything. Days later, they said they couldn’t guarantee the job to be there in three months so they “advised” not to go ahead with the challenging of the consulate’s decision. They backed up from their proposal, after so much praise and kindness, and eventually choose someone less of a problem.

 For Richard, that was it. He hadn’t had a job in his life. This was going to be his first shot at anything and in a foreign country! But for some reason, it didn’t happen. At first he was just shocked and disappointed, mainly because he had spent so much time and money in order to get the damn visa. But the days passed, and he started to feel worse. He lost his appetite and wouldn’t come out of his room, not for dinner, not for showering, not for anything. Slowly, Richard had descended to a depressive spiral of which he did not know and didn’t even want to get out. He kept thinking about the reasons why this hadn’t worked and blaming himself was the only way to make it all have any sense.

 Days passed until one-day Richard’s father had to topple the door, only to find him lying in the ground, barely breathing. He had cut himself several times on his arm and was bleeding profusely. They called the paramedics and the staff at the hospital was able to stabilize him, not before he had lost even more blood. He was week for several days in which many of his relatives, the kind that are never there but come flying back just to see what has happened, visited him as he was still in an induced sleep. When he finally woke up, he became violent, demanding to take everyone out in the act or he would repeat what he had done before.

 His parents only cried and cried and did not much else. As he had woken up already, he was given painkillers and some others medications to keep him calm but they did not seem to work a lot. He would refuse any food or anyone coming in being falsely nice. He didn’t really want to live anymore and he didn’t want people to be fake near him, it bothered Richard a lot when all they had were kind words that they didn’t mean or lies to calm him down. He stayed in the hospital for several weeks until it was decided he would be better off in a psychiatric facility, where they could try to cope with his behavior. Their parents cried again and did nothing else and he wasn’t surprised.

 The day he got transferred to the sanatorium, they didn’t even try to say goodbye or to be there. They just disappeared leaving only nurses and unknown people behind. Maybe it was for the best because any familiar face made Richard unstable and prone to violence. His cell, or room as they liked to call it, in the sanatorium was small and with just a tiny window to look towards the garden. The view was nice because there were lots of flowers and birds would come in the morning. At least that had improved from the hospital, were his window faced a wall. Even his room at home face a fucking wall, so it was difficult not to like this room better, even if it meant taking lots of drugs and just looking out the window a couple of hours a day.

 It was only after a week that he realized that, since he had been taken to the hospital, he had never spoken to any friend or anything like it. Which goes to show you how people are. Some run to see the train wreck happen and others just avoid it completely, even denying the whole thing. Anyway, it was best that way. He made a couple of friends in the sanatorium: a kid who had tried to jump off a bridge because his mom had punished him for being gay (he showed Richard his scarred back one day) and a girl who suffered of some weight related problem. She was very skinny and would always look like a ghost gliding all over the ward. There were a lot of other people in his area but they were all pretty harmless. But sometimes they could hear people from the other ward, the most dangerous one, yell or howl or do some kind of noise that would make everyone nervous.

 People there, on the other side, were really crazy. Richard thought he was crazy but he had realized those other patients were just above that. They were people who had killed others or who were just absent from reality. It was a pity though because no one really deserved to be there permanently. Although Richard had settled fast and liked to be around his new friends, he knew that living there permanently would not be as fun or enjoyable. During lunchtime, every single person would have a story about one of the patients of the neighboring ward. It was kind of a tradition to sit down and just tell stories about those others that were there with them. It was easier than talking about personal issues.

 Some said there was this lady who had killed all of her children (the number varied depending on who told the story). They talked also about a guy who used to be a butcher and had gutted a client because he had paid only in coins. There was the serial killer of pregnant women and the men that had just gone insane in an elevator, killing at least ten people with just a pen. The stories were gruesome and more often than not the guards would come and break the meetings off in order no to let the patients get too excited over a bloody story. But the gathering was a tradition and they only interrupted when too many were involved.

 Besides that, Richard got to have sex with the gay kid, who also happened to be obsessed with sex. Richard didn’t identify himself as gay but it had been so long since he had done anything with anyone that he didn’t really care. Apparently others did care because he was sent to the infirmary to get tested for HIV. Luckily, the gay guy wasn’t positive so nothing happened, but Richard refused to have sex with him again. Although for him oral sex wasn’t real sex but whatever. The guards, again, didn’t really seem to mind if patients visited other patients in their rooms. They only intervened if violence was imminent, whether it was against themselves, others patients or even the security staff.

 The funniest thing was when this rather big girl decided to jump on one of the guards because she had heard him called her “fat”. Everyone laughed and cheered on for the girl but the result was that games and entertainment were cancelled that night after dinner, so everyone had to be behind bars in their bunks, looking at the moon like Richard or howling at it like the prisoners in the other ward. When something like that happened. Richard felt strangely alive. Somehow, those crazy fuckers made him feel alive, more than anything or anyone had made him feel before. Yes, they were insane and dangerous but he felt close to them and he could have conversations with them, even with the gay guy when they were not… You know. It was great to feel like he belonged somewhere, even if it was in such a place.

 Then, after some months, his family came for him and it was the worst day in a long time. It was crazy to think he wanted to stay there but he felt he couldn’t be himself again if he just left them all there. He decided to get the email addresses of every single one of them and he gave them his so they could chat anytime and just be there for one another. It was a sentimental moment, a real one, and then he left. As the car left the premises, he realized that his life wasn’t over at 27. He had no idea of what to do with his life, that was certain. And he now had something to explain in every single job interview or even in dates.

 But he thought of it as something fun. Maybe he would end up being a failed human being. But he wouldn’t be the first or the last. The honest thought he had as he entered his room was that he didn’t want any of the shit that people had always wanted for him. He didn’t want the usual silly love or shitloads of money or paying job or any of that bullshit. He just wanted to feel needed, to feel that someone cared and to experience life as everyone should. He wanted to feel the world around him and just live to experience it all and not to submit himself to slave labor.

 So he just started writing. He wrote everything that had happened to him in recent times. Every single story, every single kinky moment in the sanatorium’s bathroom, every crazy thought, every suicidal decision. He wanted to sum it all up and just do something with it someday. But that day hasn’t come yet. Someday, though.

lunes, 20 de octubre de 2014


Flora Summers was a psychiatrist. She worked in a facility, the biggest in the country, that treats different types of disorders.

She decided to study this field as her grandmother suffered from senile dementia and had died during her last year in high school. She loved grandma and the ineptitude of the people in understanding her condition had been essential in the decisions Flora made from then on.

Now over forty, she married a gynecologist and had a young son. She watched over her mother with great care as the probabilities that she would suffer the same illness her grandma did, were very high.

Everyday, she was in charge of watching over the patients in ward C. In the mornings, she made her rounds, checking them out, talking a bit, watching over their diets and recent behavior. She had lunch in an office with a window towards the patients dining room as she liked to see them in different kind of situations. She thought that was pivotal in understanding their diseases.

One day, she realized Thomas, a patient suffering from depression, had been moved to ward D. Ward D was reserved for those that were deemed "untreatable". She hated to go to that place as the people that attended the patients there were rude and did not treat anyone well.

A week later, Thomas's room was taken over Rudy, another young man. As psychiatrist of the ward, she had to interview the patient so they could now what kind of medication, diet and treatment he should follow.

When he entered her office, she couldn't help being sad: he looked like a ghost, very pale with big dark circles beneath his eyes. He had beautiful eyes, the color of honey. She started by telling him that. She had read he suffered anorexia and depression had already kicked in: he had attempted to kill himself twice.

The boy wasn't very talkative. Not uncommon to be honest, except in those with diseases like persecutory delusion. He looked at his hands all the time, answering only in "yes" or "no" and sometimes just shrugging. When he left, she realized it was yet another one of those cases, the kind you never knew how to solve or how it would end as they depended highly on the patient and their surroundings.

The days passed by and Flora tried harder to make Rudy come out of his shell. She had been sent information about his school and other activities and had even visited his parents. No, she didn't blame them although it was clear he had never felt like he could talk to them, as they only found out about his condition when he committed suicide the second time.

After that, she summoned him every other day to talk and she started, after having read every piece of information, with a blunt question:

 - Why did you tried to hang yourself?

This time, he looked at her, nervous.

 - I have seen many patients that have attempted to take their own lives but hanging is quite  uncommon.

Then he talked, the words just poured out as if she had said a magical word. He told Flora that he wanted people to feel bad for him been dead, even his parents. He wanted all to see him as miserable as he was.

Over the course of many sessions, Rudy told everything the doctor already knew and more. She had learned he was a TV fan, watching all shows and watching all kinds of movies with his friend Robert. He said he loved candy and specially ice cream. Flora told him she could bring her some next time but that threw him over the edge and she had to call a nurse to calm him down and take him to his room.

Rudy was visibly upset by something and had decided not to eat. But what was it? Flora knew that he had a profile in many social networks, that he didn't liked sports and that he had just finished high school. So, what was wrong?

In the next session, Rudy told her he was sorry to have lost his temper but that he didn't like to talk about food. Flora answered they had to, as that seemed to be a part of the problem. She told him he had anorexia and depression, and that the combination was hard to live with.

Flora asked him to give her his hand and, with a bit of hesitation, he did: she pulled up his sleeve and made him look the marks the cuts had left there.

 - That was the first time, yes?

He nodded. Next she asked him to take off his shirt and take a look into a mirror on one of the corners of the room.

 - What do you see?

He knew what she meant: the skin covering the bones and little more. Rudy did not say a word. He pulled down his shirt and cleaned off a tear from his face.

 - Do you see a healthy person or an unhealthy one?

Rudy answered he saw a fat person, a person no one wanted to be with, someone that felt ashamed. Flora told him she was going to change his diet a bit as he needed many vitamins and nutrients to be healthy. He didn't care.

On the weekend, the doctor thought of Rudy while watching her son play in the garden with her husband. She thought of how awful it would be if her son felt like Rudy, misplaced and ugly. She was brought to reality when the phone rang. From outside, her husband watched her cry and went in with their son.

Months later, she continued to work in the facility but had also started a venture of her own: at least once a week, she would visit a school or a college's auditorium and then just talk with young and older teens. Her subject: the destructive beauty standards in our times.

As it happens, the day of Rudy's burial, his parents approached Flora and thanked her for her help. They told her that Rudy wanted to get better but just couldn't. His sister, a young and beautiful twelve year old, talked to her after her parents just couldn't do it anymore. She told Flora they had found things in Rudy's laptop: apparently he had been bullied as he had uploaded pictures all round and he had been attacked for being "ugly".

Even more, he had written somewhere he felt bad because of what he saw all around, the beauty standards that were impossible to follow and that he had felt more and more guilty because he wasn't like everybody else wanted to be.

Now Flora knew why what happened, had taken place. She had decided to make something for her community and started the talks, to teach teenagers not to feel obliged to be something they weren't and to love yourself. She always said "being healthy is not the same as been skinny or muscular. It's about loving your body and doing the best for yourself".

Now, she really felt she was helping people and not only keeping them safe or sane. She thanked Rudy for this and always made sure her son knew he could talk to her.