Friday, March 5, 2010

Spousal Abuse

A particularly vicious strain of gastro is making its rounds in my ER and most of the staff has taken time off to puke and shit their guts out. Charming, I know. Being one of the only healthy staff members left, I got a call asking if I’d be willing to work two overtime shifts. I readily agreed, not because I LOooOoOove my work, but because student loans are a bitch to pay back. The first shift was a regular run of the mill shift – drug seekers, some legitimately sick people, more drug seekers and a few hypochondriacs. The second shift was pretty much the same except for when a 70 something year old gentleman was brought to the ER. I greatly respect the particular triage nurse who was working that day so when he said that he suspected elder abuse, I was immediately alarmed. Sure enough, the man had multiple bruises in various stages of healing and he had the demeanor of a man humiliated and frightened. I called the social worker to assess the situation and tried to stay by his side in case he wanted to talk. An hour later, his wife arrived and asked if she could have a few moments alone with him. And that’s when I heard swearing that would make a sailor blush. Turns out his wife had caught him watching porn multiple times and this time she used his cane to beat him rather than her bare fists of fury. Most days it’s a privilege to be to able to peek inside other’s lives so closely – other days, I’m just left shaking my head as I head towards my latte.

9 comments:

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Yeah, sometimes I just don't want to know.

minimedic said...

And I thought being a newlywed had problems...

It's times like these when you realize that your problems aren't as bad as you thought they were.

Spud said...

Oh wow...i wonder how the social worker reacted to that.

StorytellERdoc said...

Great enlightening post. But sad. Watching porn at 70, though? I'm not sure I wouldn't get a cane out and smack the heck out of someone, either! LOL Give me Fried Green Tomatos anyday! LOL That was a joke, you know...

jwg said...

So then what happened? Did someone intervene. Was something done to protect him from it happening again? I hate unfinished stories!

Halie said...

Ha! Some old men just get dirtier with age!

Nurse Nya said...

old men watching porn.
old ladies beating with a cane.
yuck.
sad.

Andrew said...

For the folks going 'ewww gross, old guy with porn': the sex drive doesn't go away with age, even when the ability to do anything productive about it does. Nothing about this suggests a wife who is helping her husband out; she's just being controlling, posessive, and violent. I'd watch porn too. It doesn't hit me with a cane and try to distroy my self esteem. Hope the social worker got on these two and got them sorted out.

rheumablog said...

How terribly sad for that man. He did nothing deserving of such violent and hateful treatment. I hope he's being protected from her now as a result of his visit to your ER.