Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Patient Of The Month Award

I suppose I should have a patient of the year award, but since I've only been doing this for a week I'll start with a patient of the month.

The winner is (drumroll): Bill and friends!

Bill is a pleasant 90 year-old fellow who's blind in one eye and has severely impaired vision in the other. He's also mildly demented.

Because of the vision and cognitive issues, I sent him for a driving evaluation last month, which he failed miserably. So he lost his license.

So today he had a follow-up appointment. He came in to my office (which is pretty small) with a bunch of friends from the VFW (like 8-10 of them). All were well over 80 and were wearing their VFW hats. All came to give me glowing testimonials as to what a wonderful driver Bill is (I suspect he's the chauffer for the group).

My favorite line: "Doc, Bill drove a tank all over Germany. He's perfectly safe".

Today's mail

An envelope in today's mail, sent by a major pharmaceutical company, contained a single piece of paper which only said:

"Error! Not a valid filename."

Monday, December 29, 2008

Today's tip for patients

Okay, if you are trying to hide from the doctor, DON'T answer your phone.

Guy who's trying to hide from me, because a friend of his tipped me off that he'd had a seizure, and the patient is afraid I'll tell him to stop driving.

So I called the patient to find out what happened. He answered the phone. I said "Hello, Steve, this is Dr. Grumpy. What's going on?"

He said "hang on, Doc..." then hands the phone to his wife, who tells me he isn't there.

Sorry, Steve. You've been my patient for almost 10 years. I know your voice.

Patient gifts

The following was posted on Sermo (a physician chat room and message board) yesterday. It is not from me, but it's a good story, so I thought it was worth putting here. I've edited some of the "doctor talk" and length.

"An unusual gift from a patient.

"Two weeks ago a grateful patient on whom I have performed surgery gave me a nicely wrapped present after thanking me profusely for having helped him so much.

"When I got home and opened it, I found a sandwich baggy with a small quantity of marijuana and a thank you note!!!

"I called him the next day and told him this was not appropriate and probably illegal and I wanted to return the "gift". He reassured me that it's perfectly OK because he is on prescription marijuana (I have no idea why) and I should keep it. It's not easy to talk to him and he is not due back in the office for a few months."

After reading that story all I could think about was those crappy hand-shaped cookies the physical therapy place dumped on me a few weeks ago.

Bad start to the day

Back at my office after 5 days off.

Microwaved water for tea. Heard buzzer go off, so I went to go get it. Spent a few minutes looking in the refrigerator for it before I realized what I was doing.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Waste of time

Here is an example of why your doctor may be grumpy:

This morning I got a consult at my local hospital. So I drag myself out of bed on a quiet Sunday, tell my kids I'll be back in a while, and drive in.

I get there around 8 a.m. to find a little old lady in a hospital bed, with the room otherwise empty. I introduce myself, and ask her what her symptoms are, etc.

After about 2 minutes she says she doesn't want to see someone in my specialty, and asks me to leave. Great. So I politely leave, write a brief note in the chart to document that I was there, and that the patient refused my services. And then, ticked about the waste of time and gas, go home.

10 minutes after I got home another doc goes in to see the patient, and asks her why she refused my consult. The patients husband has shown up at this point, and told the other doc that he'd been there since 6 a.m. (there was NO ONE but the patient when I got there), that no other doc had been in the room, and that they'd never refused any consult. He told the other doc that my documentation was all a lie. And the patient, of course, defers to whatever her husband says. So the other doc calls me.


And that's why your doctor may be grumpy today.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Stupid phone calls

Okay, my office is closed for the holiday, but that didn't stop this bright lady from calling and leaving a message on my office voicemail this afternoon:

"Hello. I'd like my husband to see Dr. Grumpy. Could someone please call me back to tell me what phone number I should call when your office is open so I can make an appointment for him?"

She didn't leave a phone number, either.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Grumpy Pharmacist

The following message was left on my office voicemail last night (December
24th) at around 8:30 p.m., by a pharmacist who was obviously less than
enthusiastic about having to work on Christmas eve.

"Hello, I'm calling from Local Pharmacy about a refill for Dr.
Grumpy. It's on patient Mrs. Smith, for her Cartia. The idiot's at
her nursing home didn't realize she was all out until 5 minutes ago,
and then were stupid enough to think they could just waltz down here
and get more. But no, there were no refills.

"So if someone could please call me to refill this, this bunch of
bozos at the care home want it tonight. And I'll be here, tonight, on
Christmas Eve, at Local Pharmacy, all damn night. so you can reach me
whenever you call. My name is Joy. Thank you."

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My Respectful Office Staff

Okay, so at this time of year we get tons of cookies, candies, fattening stuff in general, dumped at the office.

A few weeks ago a local physical therapy place that specializes in hands dropped off a bunch of hand-shaped frosted sugar cookies.

My staff was pigging out on the cookies. I kept asking them to set one aside for me and set it next to my coffee in the break room, but they kept ignoring me, while the cookies gradually decreased in number.

Finally I said "Somebody put a cookie in back near my coffee, or I'll have you all shot!" Then I went in to see my next patient.

When I wandered back to the break room 20 minutes later, they had saved me a cookie. This is what greeted me.

Stupid People at the Store

So last night I had to stop at the grocery store to pick up some stuff for dinner on the way home from the hospital.

Like most grocery stores, they have a big bin in front for food donations, half filled with cans, cereal boxes, etc. that people had dropped off.

While I'm walking out, a woman ahead of me with a little kid stopped at the bin, reached into her grocery bag, and PUT A CONTAINER OF ICE CREAM IN THE BIN!!!

She then went on to her car, and left.

While I was standing there a bagboy, equally incredulous, fished out the slowly melting container of ice cream and went in to ask the manager what to do.

Monday, December 22, 2008

What the hell has the world come to?

We thought this was a joke at first. But no. It's horrifyingly real.

Men's cologne by Burger King.

Stupid patient quote

Didn't have to wait long! My first patient of the day said this (not joking, either):

"I'm a fitness nut. I exercise at least seven days a week. Sometimes more."

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Starting out

Why am I writing this?

Because my patients drive me NUTS!

Some days I want to stand on the roof of my office and scream “ I HATE MY PATIENTS!!!”.

Okay, I really don’t hate them. But some days I’m so sick of their shenanigans, the stupidity of insurance companies, the moronic behavior of some other healthcare professionals, and just the daily insanity of this field that I am now going to try writing this blog as my gripe forum.

I’m a medical specialist, seeing pretty much anything in my field that walks in the door. Maybe I’m just special, but it seems that I attract some remarkably “special” folks. I have no idea why. I don’t advertise (although my staff often accuses me of handing out flyers in trailer parks).

Either that, or it just seems that weird crap happens to me or my patients. If it seems like I’m laughing at the misfortune of a decent person, I don’t mean it that way. Sometimes things are just funny.

In 10 years of practice I’ve learned that, contrary to popular belief, being trailer trash has nothing to do with money. It’s a state of mind. Either that or a personality disorder.

Maybe I just see things differently. Maybe I really am a magnet to crazy people. Maybe no one really cares.

So since my staff and friends are sick of listening to me, I’m going to start venting online. My stories are true. The names and dates of occurrence have been changed to protect the innocent.

If I entertain you, I’m glad. If I offend you, I’m sorry. I’m not a very politically correct person. I tend to be profane, opinionated, and willing to call it as I see it. I don’t claim to be perfect, or even right. I’m just me.

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