My life in pictures, stories and open letters.

My life in pictures, stories and open letters.
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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Just another day at the office

A couple of things happened today to bring Shelley soaring back into my head.

We had a walk-in this afternoon wanting to "turn himself in" for depression. I heard him tell the nurse that he was worried because his wife came home everyday scared of what she might find when she gets there. When the duty doctor came in I told him what I overheard. I finished by saying that my brother went through that with his wife. And one day, he did come home and find her. I like to think that is why every effort was made to keep this guy here (many patients and units had to be juggled), at least for a couple of days. It was a chance that Shelley didn't get the second last time, when she needed it. If only the doctors had talked to Buddy so he could tell them he was scared.

Statistics say that this man will eventually do what he has "turned himself in" to keep from doing. That one day, it will just get away from him. One day, his wife will come home and find him. One day, she will have to learn how to live with what happened, and wonder if the system failed him. Maybe wonder if she failed him. One day she will wonder what the hell happened. But not this time. This is not her "one day". Tonight she will sleep well, knowing he is safe from himself.

The other was an autopsy report. She was 43. She was Shelley's age. An overdose. She had herself a pharmaceutical cocktail and went to bed. Never Shelley's chosen method. She was someone's daughter, someone's friend. Maybe she was a sister, or a girlfriend, or a wife. Or maybe, God forbid, a mother. This is somebody's "one day". Her "this time".

My goodness, listen to me. Aren't I a ray of sunshine this fine day. I'm sure you will (both) wait in anxious anticipation for my next shift at AHE, so that you can know the random thoughts that float around this (often empty) head of mine when all is quiet.

1 comment:

Sandy said...

This is a heart-breaker Rhonda. So sad for us, so hopeful for somebody, so sad for someone else. Life is a circle isn't it, it just keeps going around and around and around. And you tell the story so well. I love you, baby girl!