Where Did that Tampon Go?
A 34-year-old lady came in after attending her hypnosis session earlier in the day. She said she was on her period so, before going to hypnotherapy, she remembered changing her tampon, placing a fresh one.
When she got home, however, she was surprised to discover there was no tampon. She was unable to remember everything that happened while she was under hypnosis so she was worried. Where might her tampon might have gone? Was she molested while under hypnosis?
Using a vaginal speculum, I looked and could clearly tell there was no tampon. Every thing was normal. I was unable to tell her where the tampon may have gone or under what circumstances.
This put me in a position of having to make a decision. If there is reason to think someone may have been sexually assaulted, we call the police. They come, take a report from the patient and decide whether to call in the Sexual Assault Response Team to do a forensics examination. Since the only reason to think this patient may have been assaulted was that there was no tampon in her vagina when she thought there should have been, I chose not to call the police. In this sort of situation, I often wonder if I made the correct decision or not.
A 43-year-old man was seen for shakiness, which was determined to be a side effect of his psychiatric medicines. He was discharged and, while walking out of the emergency department, tripped and fell. He was reexamined and found to have no injury. As he was trying to leave the second time, he was walking backwards, smiling, waving good-bye and thanking our staff when he tripped, fell backwards and hit his head. This required a third evaluation before he was finally discharged without problems. It was tempting to write on his discharge instructions: “Don’t walk backwards while smiling, and waving good-bye.”
I Just Want to Kill Someone
A young man tried to stab someone and was apprehended by the police. Rather than arrest him, they put him on a psychiatric hold, called an ambulance and sent him to the emergency department. He told me, “I just have to kill someone.” He needed no medical care so he was sent to the emergency psychiatry.
The police later called the emergency department. Apparently, after sending him to us, they came up with more information about him. They asked that we keep him until they could come and take him into custody. We immediately called emergency psychiatry to let them know the police wanted him. We were told he had been discharged less than an hour after arriving there.
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