Chapter 23 in Rainstorm

  • July 3, 2022, 1:18 a.m.
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Doctor Santiago studied Rain Rudkin’s medical records on the medical group’s computer system. She wanted to make sure that everything was up to date. She was just about to log off the portal when she noticed something strange. Doctor Linden had recently prescribed Prozac. The first tendrils of alarm ran throughout the young Doctor’s body. Why in the world would she do that? Rain hadn’t responded well to Prozac when she had taken it before coming to the state, and this was on record. The medication caused her, as it does with some people, to experience suicidal thoughts. So then why would the doctor even think to consider Prozac when it was on record that it hadn’t worked for her before?

Something wasn’t right. Something definitely wasn’t right. Had the doctor been secretly slipping her Prozac? It would make sense with the way Rain had been feeling lately. At first, she believed that the reason for Rain’s suicidal thoughts was because of the tragedy in her life. But maybe it truly did go beyond that. Maybe the doctor was enhancing her natural state of mind chemically, though she could not understand for the life of her why the doctor would do that to a patient, former or not.

Doctor Santiago pondered the possible reasons that Doctor Linden may want to make Rain suicidal and she couldn’t come up with anything that made sense. Then again, if the doctor was deranged enough to do such a thing in the first place, did it have to make any sense?

Doctor Santiago wasn’t sure what to do next. Should she confront the doctor directly and ask her why she would prescribe her something that was on record to have failed to be helpful in the past, and after she had dropped her as a patient? Or should she address the Medical Board first? The doctor decided the Medical Board would probably be the best bet. Sometimes it was better not to let someone know you were onto them while you were investigating them or having them checked out, and the Medical Board might not be too happy to learn that she confronted her unless it came up on its own before then.

She felt surprised and disgusted with the doctor and she also felt sad for Rain. She was sorry she hadn’t taken her claims more seriously. Whatever was motivating the doctor to mess with her emotions, Rain certainly didn’t need or deserve it after all she’d already been through. She had underestimated Rain. She really believed she had some serious psychological problems, but now she wasn’t so sure.

She wanted to contact Nurse Elizabeth. The nurse might have some insight that might be helpful in guiding her as far as what to do about what she had learned. One thing she knew she couldn’t do for sure was simply ignore it and sweep it under the rug. This was nothing she could pretend she didn’t see.

Doctor Santiago reached for the phone and contacted the psychiatric hospital and left a message for the nurse to call her back.

She was just about to leave the office for the day when the nurse returned the call. As was her job as Rain’s primary care physician, she asked the nurse how she was doing, saying that she wanted to follow up both with notes that were left online as well as talking to people directly.

“Well,” Nurse Elizabeth said hesitantly, “she really seems to suspect that the doctor was doing something to her to make her feel suicidal. She also was bound and determined to get it together enough in order to get out of the hospital and find the woman that she believes is responsible for murdering her husband. There was a woman back in her home state that broke into their house that was never identified. According to Rain, she and her husband moved out west because the woman kept stalking and finding them wherever they went. Well, apparently she found them out here, too.”

“Oh,” said Doctor Santiago in a dubious tone of voice.

“I just question Rain’s safety at this time. If we’ve got a doctor who’s obsessed with her along with this killer chasing her across the country, then I don’t feel comfortable letting her out just to go to a shelter.”

“Why would she want to go to a shelter?” asked Doctor Santiago.

“She doesn’t. She said she couldn’t afford a place of her own without a job and saving some money up first.”

“That could take a long time,” said the physician. “This is California. Things are expensive here and they usually want you to have had a job for a year. Certainly, it isn’t practical for her to remain in a shelter that long.”

“I agree with you, Doctor. I just don’t think she’s thinking clearly right now as determined as she is to bring her husband’s killer to justice. I think that’s all she’s focusing on and not the details, but don’t worry. I will personally make sure she has a place to go. We just haven’t talked about that yet. She’s not only in danger when she goes out there, but so is anyone she might stay with and that’s something that has to be taken into consideration as well.”

“It most certainly does,” the doctor agreed. “I have found something interesting, however, that I thought I would share with you and for now I think it should remain between the two of us until I go to the Medical Board.”

“Okay,” the nurse said curiously and a touch warily as well. “What’s up?”

“Well, as you might know, having been Doctor Linden’s nurse at the time she treated Rain, it’s on record that she didn’t respond well to Prozac.”

“Yes, I do know this,” said the nurse. “She said it made her have thoughts of dying.”

“Well, here’s the strange thing. Doctor Linden wrote her a prescription for Prozac just recently not long after she had dropped her as her patient.”

“My God,” the nurse exclaimed with shock and dismay.

“Did the doctor ever seem, well, off to you in any way?”

“No, not at all. She could get moody and a bit stern at times, especially on stressful days when she would run late, but nothing serious.”

The physician gave a deep and audible sigh. “Elizabeth, what do you think, in your honest opinion, might have motivated the doctor to prescribe Prozac?”

“I couldn’t even begin to guess, Doctor, but if I absolutely had to, I’d say that in her mind she might have thought it would cause Rain to feel insecure enough to want to stay with her. Rain said that she has become more and more demanding of her time and that whenever Rain had to cancel their plans, the doctor seemed upset enough to really irritate Rain, but she wasn’t concerned. She said the worst she got up until she moved in with her was that she would get annoying at times. She said she liked the doctor very much otherwise and also that she had a mix of feelings about it. She was flattered by all the attention but perplexed, saying that she just didn’t think the doctor would want to spend so much time with her since they were very different and had very different interests. But like I said, according to Rain, the longer she lived across from the doctor, the more she seemed to want her company. Rain described her as getting to be rather smothering. The doctor didn’t seem to like the idea of her spending time with other neighbors or other people in general, and she was always wanting to know what she was doing, and this started to make her feel like the doctor was a nagging mother or something like that.”

“I see,” the doctor said dubiously.

“Oh, no,” Nurse Elizabeth suddenly said.

“What is it?” asked Doctor Santiago.

“I absolutely hate to even think of this, like really really hate to think of suggesting this.”

“Suggesting what?”

“What if it was the doctor behind the shooting and not this madwoman from the east? What if the madwoman was only a scapegoat? What if Doctor Linden knew that the madwoman would be the first one she would suspect? Or the guy who tried to rape her in the woods?”

“That is a horrible possibility,” said the Costa Rican doctor. “But at this point, I’m willing to accept that anything is possible as much as I hope you’re wrong. Some things just don’t add up and they must be addressed and dealt with accordingly.”

“The question is what the best way would be to go about that?” asked the nurse. “Any suggestions?”

“I think it would be best if you didn’t say anything to anyone for now, but definitely get all the information you can from Ms. Rudkin.”

“I’m a little surprised that the doctor didn’t delete that prescription,” said Elizabeth.

“The pharmacy would still have it on record.”

“Yes, they would.”

“After I inform the Medical Board of what I found, there is a chance that Doctor Linden may be forbidden from seeing her. I might even casually question her about the order and mention that I was questioned by the Board just to throw suspicion off myself. If Doctor Linden is doing anything dangerous, then I don’t want to risk myself or that of my family.”

“I understand, doctor, and hopefully the doctor won’t visit Rain anytime soon. Rain told her to stay away.”

“So, the doctor knows that she suspects her of something?”

“I’m pretty sure she does, yes.”

Doctor Santiago cringed. That was all the more reason to take action against the doctor.

Before she could bring more harm to Rain.

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