The rage Within

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Chapter 3

In the end the medical staff couldn’t find anything wrong with their new patient. Physically that is. A few of his tests that came back were out of the ordinary, but nothing that showed he was in any danger. After a thorough exam the doctor felt as though he was ready to be moved. He had refused to talk to any of the medical staff after he woke up, which only verified the fact that this person needed help, just not from this section of the hospital.

The Psychiatric Center had always been a very small part of the hospital with little fanfare in respect to the budget and notoriety, but that all started to change when a new doctor arrived and started to make national news with her unorthodox treatments and methods.

Dr. Emily Richards had made the move to Franklin Mercy Hospital just over a year ago. She had done her internship in Chicago and by a simple twist of fate she found herself in rural North Carolina, a small town just south of Asheville called Franklin. She was a city girl to be sure, but she had come to appreciate the small town life and the great people of the community. They had taken her in as one of their own, and she appreciated the family feel of it. Something she was not accustomed to.

She was offered the job by Stephen O’Rourke, the hospital’s head administrator, after they had met at conference in Chicago. He could see right away after her presentation that she was something special and made Emily an offer a new doctor could not refuse. The hospital was expanding the psychiatric section and they only had one attending psychiatrist.

Emily had Carte Blanche to treat as she saw fit. She had made some real strides in the field that had become rather stagnant over the past decade or two. With the grants she had personally applied for and received for the hospital she was able expand her experimental treatments as well as obtain extra funding for staff and building expansion.

Her combination of homeopathic medicines, with limited pharmaceuticals, started to gain notice amongst her peers and the national press after a small story in the local newspaper had gone viral. She treated and helped a patient who had severe bipolar-schizophrenia, who many had thought would never leave the psych-ward, re-enter the world as a working contributing member of society. This had done wonders for her reputation. Everyone was impressed, except the current Director of the Psychiatric Center, Dr. Spencer Kaufland. A steadfast traditionalist, Spencer hated change, and didn’t seem to care for the new doctor or her new ideas about treating the mentally ill.

He had tolerated the new doctor at first, presumably because she is very attractive, but when his advances went nowhere he began to resent her, which morphed into a more adversarial relationship. It had finally got to the point that Dr. Richards had had enough and put in her thirty day notice. Mr. O’Rourke did everything he could to convince her to stay, but she has fed up.

Emily had grown to love her small town, but she felt that she would have to get back to the city if she wanted to build her own private practice one day.

It was Monday morning and like most mornings Emily stopped at the coffee shop to get her usual large black coffee. If she was particularly tired she would have the barista throw in a shot of espresso to help jump start her morning. Like most young doctors she was caffeine junky.

She was running late and the line was to the door. Emily was impatient when it came to certain things. Not treating patients of course, but she hated waiting in long lines. She would rather buy most of her groceries at the party store just to avoid them.

Emily doing her best to wait patiently when the Barista caught her eye, held up her coffee and wiggled it slightly, letting Emily know that she had it ready. It paid to be a regular customer in the country.

Emily walked to the front of the line and dropped a five dollar bill on the counter.

“You are an Angel Becca.”

“I’s getting worried about ya doc.” She said with her country accent.

“It’s going to be one of those days I can already tell.”

“Chin up Doc. It could be the best day.” Becca said. She was the eternal optimist.

After finally getting her coffee she nearly broke the sound barrier in her truck getting to the office. She knew she was risking felonious small town speeding, but she really did not want to be late today. She had a meeting with Mr. O’Rourke.

The new patient had finally made his way to the Bin, as some of the locals called it, and it seemed to catch on. The obvious reference to Looney Bin made it a somewhat taboo, but Emily saw the humor in it and even used it from time to time.

“Good morning Doctor.”

“Morning Nancy. How are you?” Emily said as she entered the office in a rush.

“Old and irritable honey.” The secretary said as she was filing away some paperwork.

Nancy was not very tall and filing away patient records in the higher cabinets made her more cranky than usual. It didn’t help that the only step-stool was wobbly. If Becca the Barista was the optimist, Nancy would be her polar opposite. It was part of her charm though, and she was always good for a laugh.

Nancy Womack was country to the bone. She worked at the hospital for over twenty years and she knew everyone and everything that went on. If you wanted information you didn’t go to the director, you went to Nancy. Nancy worked in the medical section for most of her career before requesting a transfer to the Psych Center. She called it her retirement job. It was slower and she didn’t have to deal with the public near as much. The hospital would probably shut down if she were to quit with no warning. Her replacement in the medical wing came to her repeatedly for help, as did many others.

“Glad to see everything is Status Quo. Anything new today?” Emily said distractedly.

“What is it? You sound funny.” Nancy said as she stopped filing and looked straight at the doctor.

She did not miss anything.

Emily dropped her bag on the ground and sat in Nancy’s guest chair. Nancy followed suit and sat down with her.

“Out with it.” Nancy prompted

“Well, I didn’t want to say anything until I was sure, but I’ve decided to move on.” Emily said, not sure what kind of reaction she was going to get from her most trusted co-worker.

Nancy gave Emily that grandmotherly look that was part sad and part worried.

“I figured this day was comin. It’s because of that A-hole down the hall ain’t it?”

“Not completely, but in part yes.”

“I knew it. I’m so sorry. We sure are gonna miss ya. Where you goin?”

“That’s a good question. I have two offers and they couldn’t be more different. One is at the top psychiatric hospital in New York, and the other is to start a private practice out west. Both offers would be a dream come true for any psychiatrist.”

“When is your last day?” Nancy asked.

“I gave Mr. O’Rourke my thirty day notice two weeks ago, but I wasn’t sure I was actually going through with it until just last night. That’s why didn’t say anything. Sorry for the short notice. Am I a terrible friend?” Emily said.

“You know better than that dear. We all have our paths to follow. I’m just a little ol’ country girl, always have been. I always wondered what it might have been like out in the world. I’m sure it sucks, but I always wondered.” Nancy said.

Emily smiled as Nancy walked over to her and pulled her up from the chair and gave Emily a good ole county hug. She was the one person who knew her better than anyone. She would miss her

“Okay, enough of this mushy stuff, time to get back to work. Did we clear the seventy two hour patients from the weekend, or did he leave me with more of his work to finish up?” The doctor said as she walked back to her office and turned on her computer.

“Most of the weekenders are cleared.” Nancy yelled. “Except for the mystery man who came in yesterday. Your boyfriend tried to talk to him when he came in, but didn’t get anywhere. The patient didn’t say a word. I think he decided to leave him for you in hopes you fail to make progress with a higher profile patient. Anything to knock you down a peg or two.” Nancy said.

“You mean Dr. Dipshit failed? I wish I could have seen that.” Emily said.

“I doubt he will report it that way. My guess is that he will say he checked on the patient, found him sleeping, and did not attempt to talk to him. I know damn well he tried for an hour.” Nancy said grinning.

“High profile?” Emily said,

Nancy motioned down the hall with her eyes.

“He’s the talk of the hospital. Can’t imagine why.” She said suspiciously.

“Small towns.” Emily muttered under her breath as she made her way to the holding rooms with the patients file in hand.

“I heard that Doctor.” Nancy yelled as Emily walked away.

“You were meant to!” She yelled back.

The doctor read the new patients file as she made the long walk down the hall. When she arrived at the first room she put the file into her folder and made her way into the room. She could see the young woman sitting in her chair staring out the window. Emily was making quick progress with Abigail, as she had only been her a week. It was this progress that almost kept Emily from leaving the hospital, but she knew that there are always going to be patients in need. She had to cut the ties eventually. That being said she wrote Abigail’s parents and advised them that she would be leaving the facility, and though Abigail would get great treatment in her absence, if they chose to relocate her after her move that was their choice. She would email them when she decided where she was going.

Emily knocked on the door and slowly walked in, making sure not to make any quick movements or loud noises. Both seem to make Abigail a little anxious.

“Good morning Abby. How are we this morning?” Emily asked.

“I haven’t heard from my husband and I’m getting worried. Has he arrived yet doctor?” Abigail said in her sweet innocent voice.

Abigail’s husband died in car crash along with their four year old daughter Annabelle. Ever since their passing she had developed psychological problems that were a mirror image to Alzheimer’s. She was transferred here from Texas after her family doctor heard of the advancements Dr. Richards was making in the field. Abigail’s family had money and paid to have a room set up for a longer stay.

“I’m sorry, I have not.” The doctor said as she sat next to Abigail.

“That’s okay. I’m sure he will stop by soon. Anne has a birthday soon and we have to make plans.” Abigail said.

Then Abby directed her focus outside where a Blue Jay was enjoying the birdbath in the courtyard.

“I lowered the dosage of the last medication Abby and I have added some newer vitamins. It may help with the dizziness you were experiencing last week. I also have a few more physical exercises for you to try if you are feeling up to it?”

“Thank you Doctor. I feel good today. Be sure to tell my husband what room I’m in when he gets her, okay?”

“I will Abby. Let the nurse know if you need anything. Is there anything I can get you right now?”

Abigail smiled and nodded.

“Maybe some those candies I like. If you have any?” She said.

“You got it. I will make sure you have some with your lunch. Get some rest and I will come back later so we can talk.” The doctor said.

Abigail smiled, but kept her gaze toward the courtyard, watching the birds playing in the bird bath. She loved birds.

Emily left her room and slowly made her way down the hall to room B, as she looked over the suspiciously thin file for the patient. The name plate on the door read John Doe.

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