They come through her letter box every day at three o’clock, they are very punctual. They start off small then get larger as they approach her. They are mean and nasty and she sits in terror as they dance in front of her calling her foul names. They nip and kick her but are careful not to cause any bruises. She looks at us tearfully, hoping for help, an explanation at least as to why she should be plagued by these devils. “They are hallucinations Mrs Ramsey.” says the consultant loudly. “You have Charles Bonnet Syndrome.” He sits back, obviously pleased with himself and crosses his legs carefully, trying not to crease his immaculate suit.
She looks at him blankly. “But they have green hair – Mohicans,” Mrs Ramsey continues woefully. “And I can see the bristles on their chins, the dirt under their nails, everything. You have to stop them doctor. I’m too old to deal with punks, even little ones.”
He smiles indulgently and pats her hand, “I’ll give you some medicine to take them away.” – “Drugs?” She looks alarmed. “Yes” he says, “yes, drugs.” She looks a little doubtful then nods quietly to herself, “well, that might do the trick right enough. Yes they’ll probably like drugs.” – “Not for them Mrs Ramsey, the drugs are for you” the consultant says, a little distracted as he writes in her medicine chart. “You want me to take drugs to make them go away?” – “Yes that’s right” he says. “I think you’ll find it will work,” and he dismisses her with a nod to me – to bring in the next patient.
As I lead her back to the day room, she looks at me with disappointment, “he’s a nice man, but I don’t think he knows anything about punks.”