Archive for August, 2012

Brat-Boy’s Reign of Terror

August 11, 2012

// During my last stay in the hospital a spoiled rich kid was admitted. Brat-Boy’s disability was miniscule in comparison to some of the rest of us but he thought he was the only one on the planet with a hard life.

He lived with his Mom and Grandma who had babied him. Until his arrival we had a pretty mellow Ward. We were now constantly in some kind of trouble. Desserts taken away for a week, early bed times, staff mad at patients, and patients mad at staff. This kid was constantly angry at someone. Usually his anger was about his erroneous interpretation of things said or done by others. “They are picking on me” would be his interpretation of a discussion where he didn’t want to play some game by the “house rules”. He would act out inappropriately, eventually another boy or group of boys would have a belly full and also do or say something inappropriate. Brat boy would tattle and get off Scott free … others would be punished. Others would apologize, only to receive yet another tirade from Brat-Boy. There was constant turmoil. Peace and harmony did not prevail.

At 15 years and the oldest patient I had the title “King of the Ward” and it was my responsibility to restore peace and harmony. I tried a little whispering of wise counsel in his ear so to speak. He was having none of it, becoming angry, verbally abusive, and tattling his warped version of what took place. While no punishment resulted, I did receive a sound scolding and a couple days worth of angry looks from one of the nurses. Decades later a wise man pointed out to me the folly of trying to reason with an unreasonable person. I have made that mistake very few times since.

One of his violations of ward etiquette was refusing to grab a bottle from the next room for a “down” patient who had to pee. During the day the bottles were removed from the night stands and another patient would grab a bottle for you if you needed it … or at least go get a nurse for you. Staff and patients alike were not happy with him about this. After his surgery when he was bed ridden he was gonna be in a world of hurt should he need a bottle.

His surgery was scheduled but on the Monday morning he was to become a “down” patient, he woke up with major allergy issues. He was wheezing and his face was all red and puffed up like a toad. The surgery was postponed till they could determine the cause. They ran tests but found nothing. By evening he was fine and the surgery was rescheduled. Surgeries took place Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. For three days he would wake up looking like a toad, tests were run finding nothing and the symptoms would be gone by late afternoon or early evening.

On Thursday they sent him home. Peace and Harmony was instantly restored.

So a few of us were discussing our good fortune and joking about it being an answer to prayer, yet at the same time disappointing because we had plans for payback. One of my hospital brothers had this look like a poor poker player who is holding a good hand. I got him alone and here is what I found out. We all knew Brat-Boy had some allergy issues … but this hospital brother had somehow gotten a look at his chart and found out he was very allergic to baby powder. So Brat-Boys pillow was getting swapped out every night just before bedtime and while he was making his first bathroom visit every morning. The pillow was of course powdered liberally.

Removal of this one hospital brother turned a dysfunctional nightmare into a place where you could actually find enjoyment if you chose. There were no doubt better solutions but our options were limited.