Wednesday, September 10, 2008


She's pissed that he wrecked his car. What she should be pissed about is that he drank so much and then wrecked his car. She's known he's an alcoholic for years but that's not what she is upset about. I guess the hard reality of living with an alcoholic is too much to bear so it's easier to get angry about the wrecked car than his disease.

He is so annoyed that she is in the hospital again. She's here every week. She takes her meds, she goes to dialysis, she seemingly does everything she is supposed to do and yet she is still here. He is tired, he needs a break, he thought about not coming to the hospital with her today but decided that he should. So he yells at the doctor. It is the doctor that is responsible for this continual failure. It would suck to actually grieve about the fact that she won't get better because of her disease process and that eventually he will lose her.

They are so angry that they have been waiting for over an hour to be seen. Other patients have come in and seen the doctor already. Why is it that we have had to wait so long? Why isn't my sore throat a priority? The truth is, if they had done what they were supposed to when they were seen for the same thing two days ago it wouldn't have gotten worse and they wouldn't be back here waiting.

He is beyond furious that I won't give him a taxi voucher for him to get home. He got one last week that was for over $100. He hates the doctors where he lives, he took a bus to get here, he signed out AMA the last hospitalization, he refused the prescriptions he was given. His friends won't give him a ride home. In fact, they won't even answer the phone anymore. It is far easier to blame the establishment than take responsibility. It is far easier to be furious that acknowledge his loneliness and despair that he can't seem to stop drinking, that he is now alone, that he lost his leg last year, that he just doesn't care anymore.

She tries to hit anyone that goes by. Her eyes are wild. She is now in restraints. She howls like a wild animal caught in a trap. She lets loose a stream of expletives towards her nurse, the doctor, towards myself. "How dare you!" " I want out!" "Why didn't you just let me die?" She mumbles off into tears. "I just wanted some peace.............." and then, another stream of foul language and yelling. So angry, so disgusted that she is still here and we saved her from dying.

Anger directed inward or projected at those who tried to help. It is blatant, it is subtle yet frightening in it's intensity. It is misdirected, it is too hard to be okay with the sadness that came before the storm. To be sad is to acknowledge the loss of something, to be angry is to blame for the loss that has occurred.


Reas Kroicowl said...

Well said. Lovely post.

cb said...

Misdirected anger happens a lot in the field, I think. I know I've certainly had some fairly choice expressions thrown in my face but I think it's one of those things that's easier to understand. And makes me both glad and relieved that at least I can go home to relative peace at the end of the day.