Julie Holland thought she knew what crazy was. Then she came to Bellevue. For nine eventful years, Dr. Holland was the weekend physician in charge of the psychiatric emergency room at New York City’s Bellevue Hospital. In this absorbing memoir, Holland recounts stories from her vast case files that are alternately terrifying, tragically comic, and profoundly moving: the serial killer, the naked man barking like a dog in Times Square, the schizophrenic begging for an injection of club soda to quiet the voices in his head, the subway conductor who watched a young woman pushed into the path of his train.
Writing with uncommon candor, Holland supplies not only a page-turner with all the fast-paced immediacy of a TV medical drama but also a fascinating glimpse into the inner lives of doctors who struggle to maintain perspective in a world where sanity is in the eye of the beholder.
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|Title of eBook: Weekends at Bellevue|
|Release Date: 10-06-2009|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||Weekends at Bellevue|
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Weekends at Bellevue
Mother Nature’s Son
On a warm day in early spring, two New York City cops and two EMS workers roll a gurney down the hallway, escorting a man to the entrance of Bellevue’s psychiatric emergency room, where I work. Lying on the stretcher underneath a white sheet, with a head of dirty blond hair beaded and dreadlocked, he is naked, sunburned, and screaming. I walk out to greet my new patient as the drivers hand me his paperwork to sign.
“What’d you bring me?” I ask eagerly. I can see he’s a live one. I love the live ones.
Over the shrieking, one of the EMS guys gives me “the bullet,” the few pieces of relevant information when introducing a patient to a doctor: age, chief complaint, pertinent history. “This is Joshua Silver. Twenty-three. No significant medical history, no allergies, no meds. Also, he denies a psych history,” he says archly, shooting me a look.
“And how’d he get to you guys? Who called 911?”
“NYPD called in an EDP.” This is cop-talk for a psychiatric patient: emotionally disturbed person. “He’d taken off his clothes in Times Square and was parading around, barking like a dog. And growling,” he adds.
This gets the patient’s attention, and he interrupts the driver to clarify, “It was my way of showing them that I was not an animal. I am not a dog!”
Barking and growling to prove he is not a dog? His logic is lost on me, but at least he’s stopped yelling and started communicating.
“You can talk to me,” I say, turning my...