My application form to University read as follows:
Application to read for the degree of:
1st Choice: MBChB (Academia. Medicine. Doctors. Patients. Studious. Saving lives)
2nd Choice: BA Film and Media.(Actress. Glamour. Oscars. Broadway. High heels. Fabulous)
Those were my two career choices.
Of course, I was more than fully qualified for both, being both studious and superglamorous.
However to my drama teacher's dismay, and to my hard-working parent's delight, I swapped Broadway for a different kind of theatre, the operating theatre.
And where my actress colleagues were cabaret-ing down the path to stardom, I was dragging my weary feet up and down hospital corridors for hours on end.
"Don't worry darling," my mother cooed, "You can always sing and dance for your patients! After all, they're the ones who need the entertainment the most."
*Which I've tried to do! For more info see my post entitled TLC*
A truism indeed,dear Mum, but not one which will bring me closer to my dream of making out with some hot Hollywood male lead!
Sometimes, when I get particularly nostalgic about being on stage, I go on a little journey into my mind to that happy place where I was adored by applause at the end of each show.
And sometimes, when I'm alone in the eerily quiet front room, it truly does seem that I'm involved in some kind of hospital horror flick...
*Insert MGM theme tune here*
Based on a true story...
The shocking blood-curdling tale of...
HORROR AT THE HOSPITAL!
Dr MB and Dr K are snoring in the tea room.
Things are unusually quiet.
Most of the patients are sleeping and the psychs are still heavily sedated.
A lonely little doctor keeps watch.
She sits forlornly at the large desk situated in the middle of the unit.
The temperature is bordering on freezing, so she has wrapped one of the blankets normally reserved for patients around her shoulders.
She can forget about closing the windows.
With the scourge of Tuberculosis ravaging the community she serves, it is better to risk hypothermia than catch TB by closing the windows and concentrating the dreaded germ in one space.
From her position she can spy on all parts of the front room, except for the small, dark chamber at the back of the unit where the psychiatric patients are kept.
Bad things have happened in there. Very bad things. Things the hospital has forgotten about yet which are still talked about in hushed tones, behind locked doors.
Suddenly she spies movement at the entrance to the psych patient chamber and an involuntary reflex forces her pretty head to look in that direction.
What she witnessed will forever be burned onto her retina.
A dark, vile creature had emerged from it's slumber and was crouched on the ground staring menacingly in her direction. Saliva dribbled incessantly from it's fangs and bubbled with each threatening growl.
It stood up, and stretched out it's arms. Gnarly filthy talons pointed in the small doctor's direction.
"Woman!" It hissed through its rotten mouth. "Woooman! Wooman!"
The beast took one giant step forward in her direction and began thrusting its festering groin in what could only be interpreted as a beastial mating movement.
"I want woman!" it screamed as it lunged in mad lust for the helpless beautiful health worker!
But luckily she was possessed of some mad ninja-type skills which greatly assisted in her evading rape by a psychiatric patient.
She managed to awaken her sleeping colleagues who took great delight in tackling, and maybe unintentionally eye-gouging, the beast to the ground, whereafter she got her own revenge by sedating it with 30 mg of Valium and 10mg of Haloperdol intravenously.
Suck on that, you psych beast bastard!!
Nobody get's near my goodies without my permission!
That was a true story, and not the only one involving narrow escape from physical bodily harm by psych patients.
The "beast" was a bona fide, hypersalivating, utterly psychotic psychiatric patient,namely Mr MX
The "two sleeping colleagues" were played by Dr MB and Dr K, who enjoy nothing more than a bit of psychiatric tackling sports.
And of course, the protagonist, the "stunning lonely doctor" played be me,Dr S.
*And...bow. Smile. And...bow again.*
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.
(W.Shakespeare, As you Like it)
Screw being an actress!
My reality is way more entertaining right now.
Who needs the flashing paparazzi lights when you've got the flashing ambulance siren signalling an incoming life-threatening emergency?
Theatrical emotionally draining diva's? I've got soul-sucking whiny still-smoking-asthmatics to deal with.
Drama, Comedy, Horror, Romance? Why, I can get all of that and then some in one patient alone.
Perfect Hollywood endings? Well, we don't always get those. Most of the time our endings are tear-jerkers.
But sometimes, we watch patients who were rushed in on stretchers on the brink of death, walk out of the hospital smiling.
And that's all the applause I need to ensure that I keep coming back to work, shift after shift, after show, after show...