Saturday, January 23, 2010

On Call, Again. Live the Adventure

Dr. Grumpy: "This is Dr. Grumpy, returning a page."

Mr. Cabbage: "Yeah, I see Dr. Nerve for my back problems, but for the last 2 hours I've had this heavy chest pain, too."

Dr. Grumpy: "Sir, you need to go to ER for that. NOW!"

Mr. Cabbage: "I don't want to. Can't you give me a pain pill or something?"

Dr. Grumpy: "NO! I'm a neurologist, sir. And chest pain is scary. You need to get it checked out ASAP. Do you have a cardiologist?"

Mr. Cabbage: "Yeah, but I already called him. He told me to go to ER, too."

Dr. Grumpy: "Then why are you calling me?"

Mr. Cabbage: "I hate going to ER, so I thought I'd call some of my other docs for ideas.

Dr. Grumpy: "You need to go to ER."

Mr. Cabbage: "My internist said that, too."

Dr. Grumpy: "Look. This could be serious. If you don't go, that's your business. But ER is the best advice I can give you."

Mr. Cabbage: "You're no help at all. I'll call some of my other docs. Thanks for wasting my time."

(click)

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear god, how many doctors need to tell him to go to the ER before those brain cells connect and he'll actually go?!?!?

axl said...

I think he's an imbecile, maybe his veterinarian will tell him to take 5 aspirin with a shot and a beer chaser.

EdRPh said...

I'm sure it will be a lovely funeral....

Bella said...

Ah, a future nominee for the Darwin Awards.

Moose said...

I'm horrified to say that you are probably going to be short one patient soon.

Cabbage, eh? Obviously someone shoulda made cole slaw... a long time ago.

Ann T. said...

Dear Dr. Grumpy,
I say this about second opinions all the time. you can just keep going and going, and eventually you'll find somebody who will tell you what you want to hear. But that's not the real criteria.

Run fast,
Ann T.

Anonymous said...

axl..

A veterinarian would tell him to go to the ER as well. We aren't stupid. But thanks for your vote of confidence. We get our share of dumb emergency calls as well.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what he perceives is causing angina. Maybe he thinks it's just a cramp in his myocardium or flatus in the aorta.

student dr. blaze said...

That's just plain pathetic. Wish I'd had the example for my Gender and Medicine course, though. The US government did a study that indicates that one of the biggest barriers to healthcare in men is their refusal to seek care until the problem becomes so bad that the cost of fixing it is like 10x more than it would've been if they'd just seen the doctor when symptoms 1st appeared. This guy definitely proves their assertion. How much should we bet that he's living off disability and has Medicare/Medicaid? Ah, the joy of seeing our tax dollars at work....

Helen said...

I occasionally visit an online implanted defibrillator forum, where basically everyone has at least a somewhat dangerous heart condition.

A week or two ago one guy actually posted that he was having the worst chest pain in his life, trouble breathing, shooting pains down his left arm and a sense of impending doom. I know he was scared, but I just couldn't believe he took the time to go online and tell people.

Flavius said...

ask him what he hates more, going to the ER or dying.

-Flavius

Anonymous said...

What's so damned scary about the ER?

*foncused*

j said...

Is it possible for a doctor to call in an ambulance for him?

Or is there some very complex legal/ethical situation at work in that case.

thegooddrlaura said...

I hope he's DNR.

Anonymous said...

Holy shit.

little d, S.N. said...

contrast that to MY patients, who WANTED to go, but really REALLY didn't need to. ~sighs~ people are dumb.

Anonymous said...

What's that i hear? Oh, i think it's Charles Darwin spinning in his grave fast enough to generate a magnetic field.

By the sounds of it, he'll have some company soon.

Anonymous said...

Just let natural selection take it's course.

Anonymous said...

That is what we call natural selection, folks.

Anonymous said...

Should have told him Dr.Uncle Darwin thinks it's a fine idea to sit the hell home with chest pain.

Missed a shot of cleaning up the gene pool.

Are the addicts out in full force? I love addict logic.

LD50 Rat

Miss Kismet said...

Was he drunk? Honestly....Darwin should win this battle.

terri c said...

Well if he decides to drive himself you have another patient who could loan him a broom handle to work the pedals.

Julie said...

ditto EdRPh

Leah said...

Did he think a heart attack would just *go away* if he had pain meds?
You'd think one doctor telling him to go to the ER would be enough. Two at most. But it seems it wasn't.

...ugh....people...

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Unfortunately, I doubt the Darwinian principles apply here. The guy is old enough that I suspect he's already lived long enough to pass on his genetic code.

Outrider said...

>>I think he's an imbecile, maybe his veterinarian will tell him to take 5 aspirin with a shot and a beer chaser.>>

Axl: As the other, anonymous veterinarian said, I would have told him to go to the emergency room. In fact, a client once called to make sure I had a technician with me to handle the horse because she had fallen, was dizzy, had vomited, and was going to lie down in the dark because she also had a bad headache. I told her to call an ambulance, or I would. (Thank goodness her husband came home during this phone call and drove her to the hospital.)

At that point I'm the one who needed the beer.

Chrysalis Angel said...

Unbelievable! Sometimes I read these kinds of posts, and feel my own blood pressure shooting up. What the heck?

Nurse K said...

I just want to point out that I got the "Cabbage" joke...

Goes back to my thing that if you're > 50, male, not a drug-seeker nor drunk and going to the ER at 0300 or so, you're having an MI...

Anonymous said...

His wife told him to go to the ER and he told her she was being overdramatic. Now he needs a doc to back him up.

Lynn said...

The chest pain must not have been that bad huh?

King J's Queen said...

That's the one benefit to a doc-in-the-box type joint. People with chest pain love to go there instead of the ER, to get that magic pill, of course. Then, when they are no longer to answer for themselves, the ambulance is called and they get to go to the ER like they should have in the first place.

We should have just stationed an ambulance at each one and saved a few minutes per call.

webhill said...

another veterinarian who would have sent this guy to the ER. I've had to call 911 twice on my own clients - one was a LOL who became deeply cyanotic and SOB while mourning the impending loss of her poodle, and one was a moron who sustained a seriously bad cat bite to the neck and was bleeding all over the floor. As to stupid phone calls - I get plenty of people who call with emergent problems and don't want to bring the animal in. I recommend an ER visit because "seems like her tongue is purple and she isn't really breathing very much," and I get "Well, I'm going to just see how she does at home, doc." You can't cure stupid.

GB, RN said...

His next call was to Dr. Darwin, who, I am pretty confident, told the man to stay home and eat a Big Mac and some cheese fries.

Anonymous said...

But, tch! The ER docs keep refusing his requests for narcs, and that's just so inconvenient!
Maybe next time he'll get smart and not c/o chest pain....another subjective complaint might be a quicker route to narcs. Just sayin'.

Shoebee said...

Just think, you caould have all this fun every weekend like me. Isn't being on-call fun?
I especially love the 2am calls from nursing homes to report that the labs were all normal....gggggggrrrrrrrrr

PharmJam said...

We get this stuff at the pharmacy. They call describing symptoms that point to an emergency and when you tell them to go to the ER immediately they just get mad. Darwin has a theory about these people but do to advances in medicine, the theory is not working as well.

Doctor D said...

This dude's kids are probably gonna sue every doctor he talked to for not driving to his house and physically dragging him to the ER.

They figure doctors these days are so advanced we can save folks determined to kill themselves.

Dragonfly said...

His chiropractor may have him come in for some manipulation...

ERP said...

I am glad he did not go to the ER. He sounds like a pain in the ass.

Anonymous said...

I would've been more blunt, because I'm kind of a major asshole:

"Sir, you're probably having a heart attack. If you don't go to the ER you will die. Do you want to die? You can only die once."

 
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