Misunderstood

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a little story about trust. We trust many people as we go through life, not least the ones who look after us when we are sick. But what kind of person is doing the caring?

Submitted: September 04, 2019

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Submitted: September 04, 2019

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Misunderstood.

 

The first thing you have to say about being a psychopath, is that nobody really understands you. They all think that it's about killing. Really it's not. People who are very high on the psychopath scale do not kill. I do not kill. Psychopaths are attracted to a wide range of professions where they can do a lot of good for society. Anything where tough decisions have to made quickly suits our temperament, so no surprise that business is popular, as is law enforcement and joining the clergy. All jobs in the top ten list of preferred professions. I myself am a surgeon which slots in nicely at number five in the top ten. So rather than take life, I save it. Or should I say some of it. The picture of the frenzied maniac with a knife is not typical of people like me. I am an educated person who has devoted their life to their chosen field. I have to deal with people and gain their trust. They have to respect and admire me. I'm not going to achieve that by leaping out on them like Jack Nicholson in The Shining. No, it's the long game I'm interested in. People come to me with serious abdominal problems. I am a gastroenterologist. I repair guts. Some of the patients have injuries and others have disease and I mend them. For the most part I mend them. Sometimes it's just not possible or desirable. A child who has been born with a twisted bowel or a malformation deserves our best attention. Humans are never more innocent than when straight from the womb, and it takes a long time to gather a history of wrong doing or prove you are a feckless person. It's the adults where you have to be more pragmatic. The hard working family man with bowel cancer, or the drunken, violent profligate who has been in a fight on Friday night and got himself stabbed, who deserves the most help?

Then there is the surgery itself. I enjoy the surgery very much. That moment of suspense where everyone watches you prepare for the first incision. The atmosphere is electric in the operating theatre. It's called a theatre because surgery is a performance. You don't do surgery, you perform it. There is nothing so empowering as making that first cut and watching as the beautiful blood starts to flow. I am in complete control of it all. The patient no longer belongs to themselves and is completely in my hands. Of course with modern techniques you can do so much more. I sometimes wish I had been a cardiologist. To take out a human heart and replace it with another one must be the greatest achievement. To hold it in your hand and then watch it revive in the chest cavity must be thrilling. However I chose to spend my days searching through guts, entrails and offal. There's miles of it in every body and it's so very complex. If things go wrong you can lose a patient very quickly. They cling to the last shred of life while anaesthetised and I decide their fate. Do I do a good job so they can go back to a normal life, or do I inflict a little inconvenience on them? Are they a good person or not? Do they have anything to offer the world when they leave the hospital?

Don't be shocked. It's a public service to make sure that criminals and wastrels are stopped. My family man with bowel cancer for instance. Is he as innocent as he first seems. People tell me everything, far more than they would tell the police. Is he just a man who has been unlucky? Did he smoke twenty cigarettes a day and refuse to eat vegetables? Does he treat that family well? There is much pressure to treat every patient equally, but I don't think that is my job. I have to eke out the resources for my department so I have to be sure we aren't wasting our time and energy mending defective people. It has to be patients who are worthy of our skill.

I'm very particular who works with me. The main thing is were they top of their class in medical school? I don't want an inferior intellect beside me in the theatre. They have to be clever. They have to be attractive. I can't work alongside objectionable looking people, male or female. They have to be aware of my reputation and want to work with me and nobody else. I know it has been said I can be difficult and not always a team player, but sometimes the team is wrong. I believe in myself so those around me have to as well. If I make a treatment plan it has to be adhered to. I will not tolerate insubordination from the juniors.

I think maybe this makes me sound like a tyrant. Somebody has to be in charge and make these calls. Not everybody want to do it. So that is when you need people like me. Mopping up the mess that you have made of yourselves with gluttony, violence or self neglect. You may not like to admit that you need me. You may think that a more humble character will be easier to deal with. That may be true, but when you need an emergency operation at three in the morning who do you want in charge? The meek and humble person who apologises to everyone for waking them up, or someone who can organise the resources and get the job done?

Let me know when you are ready to sign the consent form. I look forward to making you better. Possibly.

 

THE END


© Copyright 2019 Petula Mitchell . All rights reserved.

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