Not my patients, that is. The dental resident.Let’s start with the patients: the main one this afternoon was a young man, apparently in benzodiazepine withdrawal, but so lethargic, and with such significant neurological findings, that my resident can’t believe it’s just drugs, and spent a good hour chasing radiology around to get stat MRIs and CTs (not always available late on the weekend). The intern, on the other hand, thinks the guy is faking it for legal purposes, so we had a nice running argument. I, of course, have never seen a regular benzo withdrawal, so I played both sides against the middle.

Rounds is next morning at 7:30, so I insisted on staying; I’m not going to drive more than one and a half hours round trip at this time of night, and probably miss the code that’s bound to happen as soon as I leave the hospital.

The creepy part is the dental resident who showed up in the lounge this afternoon. I was sitting in a corner, trying to read a book without being noticed. He sat down, turned on the tv, and then started talking to me. And talking to me, and talking to me. I don’t know why; he must have been bored; I was staring at the floor and giving short answers. Finally, I told him what I really like to do is argue about politics, hoping to turn him off. Instead, he turned out to be a Republican, and we started discussing the war in Iraq.

Then he turned out to be a Mormon, and we speedily descended (or ascended) from politics to religion. He went on and on about how wonderful it is to have a prophet, and how the church disintegrated for 1800 years after Christ for lack of a prophet, and how the prophet brings revelation up to date. I know if I want to talk to Muslims I better get a good answer for this one, but off the top of my head the only verses I could think of against new prophets were the ones about everyone having an anointing from the Holy Spirit, and knowing the truth on their own.

Eventually that line seemed to be drying up, and that was when it got weird: he started to tell me about how confidently he believes in the current prophet, and in Joseph Smith having actually seen God in person. That’s horrible blasphemy, but at least I was sure what to say: No man has seen God at any time; God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. And he went on, rhapsodizing about this revelation of Smith’s, and how God has a feminine side, and how we’re all going to become powerful immortal beings of the same kind as God; I don’t even want to repeat what all he said.

Which was actually ok; the other Mormons I’ve talked with mostly stuck to how they believe in Jesus, too, and salvation by faith, and wouldn’t really talk about the weird stuff, so it was hard to disagree definitely with them. This stuff was creepy, but I knew for sure what the answer was. Then we both got paged, so we went down to the ER, arguing by fits when there weren’t other people around us. I think he thought he had a chance of persuading me, so I got blunt, and told him he couldn’t get to heaven thinking like that. So he told me to read the Book of Mormon, and I told him to read the Bible, and we went to see our patients.

So now we’re sitting around the lounge again, and he keeps trying to talk to me. How do you make a guy stop talking? It’s going to be a long night.

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