“Words like violence
Break the silence
Come crashing in
Into my little world
Painful to me
Pierce right through me
Can’t you understand
Oh my little girl
All I ever wanted
All I ever needed
Is here in my arms
Words are very unnecessary
They can only do harm”
- Lyrics to “Enjoy the Silence” by Depeche Mode
It’s 9:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning. I just got home from working 24 hours at the hospital and on call. I went to work yesterday quite sick, not sure if I would make it through my shift. But alas, by the grace of caffeine and cold meds, I did.
I enjoyed my overnight time the most. I met president Obama’s cousin (he was white), who was also apparently a secret ops agent working in conjunction with the CIA. He asked me to palpate his lymph nodes.
I also met a young woman who was attempting to attack other patients on the inpatient psychiatric unit. I ended up having to order a STAT injection for her. Once she realized that I was the doctor responsible for her being medicated against her will, she unleashed her anger (rightfully so) upon me. She wanted to beat me to a pulp. She screamed a long stream of obscenities and threats of violence at me.
It got me thinking. I don’t mind when patients curse at me and threaten me. I don’t even mind when they attempt to physically hurt me. There is always a valid reason in their minds to do so. It’s also a part of my job. Which also got me thinking. There are not tons of jobs where someone gets paid to take verbal and physical abuse on a daily basis. Perhaps correctional officers? S&M slaves? McDonalds workers? Is there a common thread?
I actually think there is a part of me, which kind of appreciates the intensity and anger. Perhaps I actually need to experience that level of anger in some way. Maybe it’s cathartic. The moments of violence punctuate the otherwise mundane daily routines. I’m not sure. But I do know that my skin is thick when it comes to my patients. I’ve been called more horrible names than many people might ever in their life. And I’m more than okay with it.
It’s time to sleep. Enjoy the Silence.
Photo: Taken on my walk home from the hospital this morning.