"Uh....they seem to like me?"
"Good. Come with me. I'm having problems and I need some help."
So off I went with the New Dude to see what, exactly, problems he was having. I was expecting somebody who really needed a psych consult rather than the run-of-the-mill patient I was introduced to.
It was the same old story: four pages, single-spaced in a small font, obviously drawn up over years and years, listing a couple hundred drug allergies. A list of surgeries, complete with editorial commentary ("Not necessary" and "Surgeon cut in wrong place" and "anesthesia overdose, nearly died")(you'd think, after having something like twenty surgeries, if *everybody* kept fucking up, you'd just quit having surgery). Two additional pages of complaints and demands, including that plastic anything was unacceptable because of chemical transfer and only organic food should be offered.
Behind all of that sat a vaguely plump, vaguely pale, vaguely average-looking middle-aged woman without much facial expression. She had an electric widget in her hand, which I had seen before: it's sold, at great cost, by one of our local guys, who claims it'll prevent everything from poisoning to anaphylaxis. She held the widget protectively, no doubt ready to press it to her temple at a moment's notice, should I whiff of perfume or dioxin.
We had to get a history. Some sort of usable history, sans editorializing and without extraneous detail about what houses Jupiter and Vulcan were in at the time of her last gut surgery.
It took an hour. One solid hour from start to finish, with Dude noting things down on his little pad of paper, and me practicing the most therapeutic forms of redirection and point-keeping-to-ing that I could. Turns out there's not a lot wrong with her: no hypertension or hyperlipidemia, no diabeetus, no chronic anything except a general malaise and dissatisfaction with her life. Nobody died in her family of anything but old age, and she'd never really been sick to speak of, at least not sick enough to be in the ICU or anything, but there were those multiple chemical sensitivities and all the allergies and....
And, and, and, and. And fucking and.
At the end of it, I didn't think to ask what she came in for. Probably something with a name like "generalized pain syndrome" or "rule out lupus" or just "boredom".
As we walked down the hallway to get some coffee, the New Dude thanked me profusely. "I'm going to start calling you my Mental Health Nurse," he said, in an attempt at Neurologist Humor.
"Don't even," I said. "I am so not making a habit of this for you."
"D'you think it's just boredom, that makes people do that?"
"Dude, I don't know. All I know is that every time I see somebody like that, it reminds me of what I do not want to grow up to be."