Tuesday, April 2, 2024


 A History of Anxiety

The ER wanted me to admit the patient to my service. Young, otherwise healthy male with appendicitis. No medical problems except for a history of anxiety. Anxiety? I asked. Is he anxious right now? Well yes, Dr. Parks, I just told him you would be his operating surgeon. Better admit him to psych then, I said. His sigh whistled through the phone like a sirocco wind. I just mean that feelings are weird. Your mom or your pet dies and you’re sad and that’s ok, everybody understands. But if you’re sad all the time, for no particular reason, you now have a history of sadness. Which doesn’t seem fair. Because there’s lots of things to be sad about if you concentrate and really think about it. Just because your mind blanks when someone asks why doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. That you now have a diagnosis. You know what I mean? There’s a long pause on the other end. So I’ll put in a request for a bed under your name, Dr. Parks. Zosyn has been started. Can I give the patient an idea of when surgery will happen? But the phone is glowing from my bed. I’m already standing, pulling on pants I found on the floor. It’s 3am and I’m about to drive back into the hospital. And I don't mind at all. Looking forward to it, actually. I’m grinning and I don’t know why. I daresay I suffer from a history of happiness, not otherwise specified.  


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