An old-fashioned bitch session: What not to do if you are a patient of mine.

Remember the halcyon days of HN? Back before I was on this higher dose of antidepressants, when every little thing used to bother me, and I would expend insane amounts of electrons on complaining?

Those days are back.

Herewith, then, a list of things you Should Not Do if you are one of Jo's patients:

1. Please do not have bitchy family members.

Really. I'm doing all I can. I cannot make the patient suddenly remember that the left side of the universe exists, or that words have form and meaning. I can relieve pain, manage emergencies, act in therapeutic ways far beyond your puny imagining--in short, I am your only hope, and I am helping the fuck out of you--but I cannot work miracles. So don't be nasty. If you're nasty, I may forget that the economy is in a hole and respond in kind.

2. If you are simultaneously over six feet tall and over eighty years of age and have extinction of one side, please do not throw your remaining leg over the bed rail in an attempt to get up.

Because, honestly? That's the last thing I need. Your attempt to get out of bed without taking one side of your body along will lead to a whole lot of running around and me pulling a muscle in my ass that I can still feel two days later.

3. Don't abuse your elders.

Again, this is a tip for the family rather than the patient, but don't families make most of our problems? If you abuse your elderly aunt or mother or whatever, I will take you down.


I had one situation I tried to solve in the Manglement-Approved Way. Now I just dial a nine and a one and a one on the phone and go straight to the cops. You really, *really* don't want to deal with Bigtown's cops. They're used to crackheads and college students and other folks who are not amenable to reason, and they will put the hurt on your lousy geriatric-starving ass before you can blink.

4. Don't abuse me.

I am helping you as much as I can. (See point one, above.) The food service, doctors' rounds, and way the room is decorated is beyond my ability to control. And yes, I am making bank taking care of you.... .... ....which is the only thing that's keeping me, right now, from strangling you. I am here to be the last, best defense against mistakes and complications that might harm you, as well as to help you heal. If you're nasty, I'll notice a sudden dimunition in my enthusiasm. I'll still do my job, but I might not be as happy about it.

5. Don't smoke weed in your room, or consume large amounts of hydrocodone cough syrup, or otherwise fuck with your care.

I cannot tell you the number of otherwise intact people I've had through my hands in the last eight years who've done something really, really dumb that interferes with their care. From the woman who used to bring back homeless people for parties (and the homeless folk in the Miracle District are hardcore) to the weirdo who pulled out a crack pipe during his assessment, I have officially Seen Most Of It.

If you have to ask me when you can go back to snorting coke or taking large amounts of meth, there is a problem. I don't care what you do post-discharge: just please don't ask my advice or do anything stupid while I'm with you. Okay? Thanks.

Thus endeth the trip down memory lane. Coming soon: The Ballad of Pinky Prosthetic and Fun Links To Read!