The Devil’s Playground

M.D. Laternstien. Psychiatrist. Age 34. Single. He was having an operation to have his gaul bladder removed. Of course, hospital’s make all sorts of mistakes, but this mistake would cost this psychiatrist, M.D. Laternstien his life. You see, just one room down, in the same wing of the hospital, lay a man- Paul- in a great deal of distress. He was Schizophrenic and placed in the hospital against his own will for an acute case of psychosis. It was the midnight shift and the attending doctor was miserably tiered. He was sipping his coffee while jotting notes in the patients file’s. He had been working a double shift with two hours of sleep in-between. HIs bloodshot eyes were barely held open by the caffeine, as they jumped back and fourth to the clock on the wall at the nursing station. He had ten minutes left on his shift and his pen was scribbling notes that were marginally legible. Perhaps he should have let the nurses place the charts on the hospital doors but he was in a hurry. He had an engagement with the restitution known as sleep, before his life as doctor resumed and he returned to work. However, little did he know that when he placed the charts on the door that night, he was going to change the course of a man’s life drastically. A man who had just gotten out of Med School and was eager to pursue his journey in psychiatry. The charts would get mixed up and M.D. Laternstien would, from here on after, be known as Mr. Paul, a very troubled Schizophrenic. As for Paul, he would leave the following day, without anybody paying the slightest of attention.

M.D. Laternstien arose from his bed. He was not in the same room he initially arrived in. Or at least, that is what he thought. There was no call button for the nurse and the bed was stationery, small, and uncomfortable. Yet, this did not worry him because hospitals would do anything to save a penny or two. He knew that. Yet, all the same, he did find it rather alarming. He stitched up his hospital gown as he exited his bedroom and just stood in awe. He was in the Devil’s playground. Yes, he quickly  recognized  that  he was ini an impatient psychiatric hospital. He walked down to the counter where a nurse gravitated towards him.

“You ready for your medicine Paul?”

“What is this? A joke. I find this in poor taste.” Doctor Laternstien said with authority booming in his voice.

“What are you talking about Paul?” the nurse said compassionately.

“What am I talking about? This is sick” Doctor Laternstien said with bent eyebrows and disbelief assembled upon his pale face.

:”My name is not Paul! I am Laternstien. Doctor Laternstien.”

“Yes, Paul, I believe you the nurse said as she quietly got a syringe ready. The other nurses behind the counter gravitated towards the situation, ,as they saw the situation getting out of hand and quickly.

Doctor Laternstien roared, “This is twisted. I am a psychiatrist. Yesterday I got my gaul bladder removed and I wake up in a psych ward.” He slapped his hand down hard on the counter. “Don’t you believe me?”

“Paul, it is okay, your mind is just playing tricks on you. I am going to give you a shot,” said the nurse very calmly. The staff had assembled around him and he backed up to the wall. Sweat ran down his face and his eyes were wide with alarm.

“No, I do not need a shot, I need to talk to the administrator on staff.”

Two of the nurses grabbed Laternstien’s arms and forced him on the ground.

“No! Wait! I am a Doctor. This is unethical!” He roared.

He was struggling to get out of the locked position as the needle’s contents were injected in him.

They brought him to a panic room where he was locked inside and observed. Although, the shot made him dizzy, tiered, and slightly euphoric Doctor Laternstien pounded on the window of the locked door.

Sad things in, for the rest of his life, Laternstien would pound on windows of locked doors. He fell victim to a system that was meant to be beneficial, and yet, in this case, it would unravel him until he truly was insane. He himself even began to wonder, “Am I a doctor?” He was. He must be. Or was this all in his head? Doctor Laternstien got a taste of his own medicine- how ironic.


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