Monday, March 24, 2014

The Difficult Patient

Story by Woodrow

It was 3am when Dr. James Levine's pager went off, and he was way too tired for this shit. 

James was in his mid-30s, with dark hair, medium build, and glasses. As a rehab doctor who only saw stable patients, he usually got very few late night calls, and that suited him just fine.

"Ugh. This better not be another page about Mrs. Stevens' aspirin dosage," he muttered to himself as the callback number rang.

"This is Jolene Richardson at Manhattan Rehab."

"Hi Jolene, this is James returning a page?"

"Hi Dr. Levine. It's our new patient, Mr. Fisher. He came in a few hours ago and he's been demanding to see a ~real doctor~ right away. Between you and me, he's kind of a jerk. But, uh, I think he has some sort of connections cuz we just got a call from upstairs asking us to give him the VIP treatment. Could you come by and take a look at him?"

James cursed under his breath as he got dressed. He had a strong suspicion that he wasn't going back to sleep tonight. 

As soon as he arrived at the unit, he heard was a loud, angry voice coming from room 104. 

"I swear to god if I hear you call me MISTER Fisher again you will dearly regret it!"

Jolene was beet-red and flustered. 

"I'm so sorry DOCTOR Fisher. Oh! Dr. Levine is here. I'll let him take over." 

James gave Doctor Ethan Fisher a thorough examination and took a detailed history. Ethan had blonde hair and piercing blue eyes. He had the confident mannerisms and arrogance of a successful college athlete and former Rhodes Scholar, both of which he was, and he was sure to let James know it. Ethan explained to James that, until recently, "I was a world-class surgeon" with an "amazing career ahead of me". It was "tragically ended" on vacation skiing the Swiss Alps. He swerved to avoid hitting a rock. Instead, he hit a tree and broke his neck. He was paralyzed from the neck down; no sensation, and only the most rudimentary motor skills. His girlfriend left him a week later. 

"Fuck that cunt, I didn't love her anyway. But you do realize, I can't be a world-class surgeon if I can't use my fucking hands!" Ethan angrily scoffed. "Screw it, I guess I'll  switch fields. Heh. I bet I could be a world-class rehab doctor. You don't look like you do much, anyway!"

James' icy stare made Ethan reconsider his words.

"Oh, don't get all offended. I didn't mean anything personal by it. When you get to know me you'll see. I say funny shit like that to everyone!"

James finished up his examination and left. What Ethan apparently didn't realize was that James didn't need to get to know him. James Levine already knew Ethan Fisher extremely well; 10 years ago, Ethan was the love of his life.

To be continued...


  1. good start. When are you going to post again? I hope it's real soon. I'll be looking forward to it.

  2. Wonderful new story. I can't wait to see where this goes. Thanks so much for posting!