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With thirty years in nursing, you can well imagine I have my share of strange stories. I worked in acute dialysis in the hospital, so knew my patients very well. We talked about their lives, familis, dogs, whatever was on their minds. One of my favorite patients was Curtis, a huge man, perfectly delightful, but developmentally challenged. His thinking was about on the level of a eight-year-old. Curtis had somehow gotten credit at a furniture store, bought a houseful of furniture, and not made a single payment. He was being hounded for payment, so decided the best course of action was to go in the hospital, where he wouldn’t be bothered. When he told the nurse at the outpatient dialysis clinic he needed to go to the hospital, she explained he couldn’t be admitted unless sick. He did some thinking and called her back to his chair telling her he had something for her. (I can’t imagine how she fell for that.). He dropped an impressive lump of excrement into her outstretched hand and was admitted into the psychiatric unit of the hospital in short order.
He was happily ensconced at the hospital, soon moved to the medical floor. One day he walked into my unit asking for a large patient gown. He went on his way. Curtis was not on my mind when I heard a lady out in the hall exclaim. “Oh my God! Take it!” It seems she had been bringing a pecan pie to her hospitalized friend from church when she encountered seven-foot-tall Curtis, walking naked down the hall, looking for hospital staff to help him with his gown. Curtis, hadn’t seen a pecan pie in way too long. He dropped the gown, grabbed the pie and raised a clumsy fist when the poor woman resisted. She gave up on the pie and fled shrieking. Eventually, the whole thing smoothed over. Curtis had his pie and his gown. The hospital gave the lady another pecan pie and an apology. By the time Curtis got home, his furniture had been repossessed, so he wasn’t harassed any more. They all lived happily ever after, except of course for the nurse who got a handful of doo-doo.