The Call Gods have many different ways of torturing me. Sometimes they send me nasty surgical cases, sometimes they send me nasty patients, and sometimes they send me nasty patients with nasty cases. And then there are those exceedingly rare occasions they send what seems like the entire city's population to my trauma bay all at the same time. But whatever they do, they always seem to do it with an evil sneer. I can almost see them laughing in pure murderous glee as my third gunshot wound to the head and/or abdomen of the day is dropped on my doorstep. I swear I can hear them snickering as they drop off yet another drunk spitting asshole who fell and bonked his head on the street while leaving the pub.
I definitely heard them loud and clear when Mr. Screamer (not his real name™) came in.
It was a typical warm Saturday during the summer. My kids were outside playing, enjoying lemonade and a run through the sprinkler, while I was trapped under the warm glow of the fluorescent lights in the trauma bay.
Oh, the joy.
The patient load was typical: a motorcyclist had lost control and crashed into the ground (the ground won, as usual); several car accident victims were brought in; a middle-aged couple had been brought in, both of them having been stabbed multiple times by their PCP-using son. In the midst of all the barely-controlled chaos, I heard a blood-curdling scream followed by a string of expletives that would have made even Tyrion Lannister blush. It was coming from elsewhere in the department, and I realised with a smile that all of my patients were (surprisingly) behaving themselves, so this bad character was apparently not one of mine.
The emergency docs must be having a fun time trying to corral that mess, I chuckled to myself, reveling in the fact that it wasn't my problem (this time). Better them than me.
If you aren't hearing the dramatic "dun dun DUN" foreshadowing music yet, then you haven't been paying attention.
A few hours later when the next fall victim was brought in, Mr. Screamer was still at it, flinging obscenity at anyone who came near his room. At this particular moment he was cursing at the security guards who were tasked with making sure he didn't harm himself or anyone else. However, their presence seemed only to aggravate him further. One of the nurses came in to the trauma bay laughing and told me the guy was one of their alcoholic frequent fliers who was back for the second time that week.
"FUCK YOU, MOTHERFUCKERS! COME HERE AND I'LL FUCK YOUR ASS YOU PIECE OF SHIT MOTHERFUCKING FUCKER!"
I silently laughed once again, apparently still oblivious to the Call Gods' warning signs.
When my phone rang at 3 AM, it didn't seem any different than the 395 other calls I had gotten that day. (dun dun DUN) The ring tone was the same and the voice on the other end seemed the same, but it turned out that this was the Call Gods calling.
"Hey Doc, so you know that guy who's been screaming bloody murder all night? Dr. Dumbass (not his real name, though it should be™) just called me to say that he had apparently been beaten up, and he has a subarachnoid haemmorhage on his brain CT. He wants us to consult on him and admit him."
The profanity that came to mind would have been perfectly suitable coming out of Mr. Screamer.
The guy spent the next 10 days in hospital with me. You may expect that he calmed down once he sobered up, but HAHAHAHAHA no. For his entire stay his demeanor vacillated between "Fuck you, Doc" and "I'm going to shit on your floor" before I was finally able to discharge him.
I should have seen it coming, but I obviously was trying my best to ignore them.
Fuck you, Call Gods. Fuck you.