Saturday, January 9, 2010

On Call Follies

There is nothing more fun than standing at the bedside in ICU, with a teenage patient who was found passed out somewhere. The patient has a blood alcohol level of 0.374 and piss that tests positive for marijuana, opiods, cocaine, and a host of other illicit substances.

And the parents, Mr. & Mrs. DeNyel, are arguing with me about the lab results.

"My kid doesn't do those things!"

"Someone must have put it in her drink!"

"Your lab must have gotten her specimens mixed up!"

People, I've heard it all. Wake up and smell the crack.

The best part is when they find out her pregnancy test was positive, and go fucking NUTS! Our daughter is a good girl!

Comically, this pisses them off even more then the drug issues and possible brain damage. Apparently, because my hospital did the revealing labs, it's OUR fault that we've brought shame and disgrace on her family for generations to come.

And they keep insisting that she "doesn't do those things". Sorry gang, its, 2010, and her name ain't Mary.

33 comments:

ER's Mom said...

Yeah, we see that all of the time in OB.

I just LOVE telling the soon-to-be-grandparent that their baby is pregnant and 7 cm dilated.

This has happened on more than one occasion...

ER's Mom said...

Oh, and good at what?

Sorry, the cynic in me is coming out.

Old MD Girl said...

Hopefully she hasn't caught any incurable diseases. THAT'S what they should really be worried about.

oddharmonic said...

I see a chat with the hospital chaplain and a social worker in their future.

I hope the experience convinces the patient to exercise moderation in the future, but I feel squicky about the parental denial. My folks were of the "we'd really like you wait until you're an adult but we also want you to know you can tell us anything" camp.

wv: emisjee. Something fast-food restaurants assure customers their food does not contain.

Anonymous said...

Oh, my. Been there, seen that. When I had two teenage daughters of my own this was my worst nightmare, but I did know that there's no such thing as what kids "don't do." Thankfully they're grown now.

Phillipia said...

Hey, I my name IS Mary...

And you're right, I don't do those things - not in 2010.

My kids would never do those things and tell me about them either...

Ann T. said...

Dear Dr. Grumpy,
It seems quite obvious they've taught their offspring the value of sloughing off the responsibility . . . and therefore she is irresponsible.

You didn't get the blood alcohol on the parents, but I can guess.

Sincerely,
Ann T.

w8ng2retireRPH said...

god i wish i could be there to witness those moments

Anonymous said...

I'm dying to know - do these parents ever dawn a clue? Do they eventually pull their heads out of the sand (or hindquarters) and actually do something positive (like look into treatment facilities)? Or do most simply deny it to the bitter end?

Are you obligated to contact the authorities about these kids?

Just curious.

Anonymous said...

Um, assuming the pregnancy was unrelated to the teen's current condition, doesn't informing her parents violate her rights to privacy and confidentiality?

Miss Kismet said...

.374....that's like 1/5th of booze in a normal size person O_o.

Referring to Anon at 7:48's question...if the teen is underage, isn't it mandatory to tell the parents?

Phillipia said...

It's a blog, anonymous...not everything happens exactly as it is written...trust me...or I would be in some hot water with some people...

Sorry, doc, I just had to say that...I will be quiet now...try practice playing deaf and illiterate...my NY resolution...

jtn said...

sounds like they should be at least grateful they weren't at the morgue.

ERP said...

Let me guess. She is also Muslim?

KateA said...

If she is a minor, I think that they can be told. Or if she has signed something allowing her parents to have access to her medical records.

Anonymous said...

Aw, poor Dr. Grumpy, it is entertaining to read your ups and downs, but sometimes I forget that this is non-fiction.
Stupid denying parents/people.
You must deal with a lot of fucks.

Love Jen:Lowly Pharmacy Tech

Have a nice week, and tell us a nice story when you get back. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

There are so many different ways that families get into this bind with teen-agers, but I suppose the first thing that needs to be understood is that IT happens to the 'good' girls and boys by first not thinking that it could happen. Kids are kids. There is temptation all around, everywhere. There are no guarantees in anything. The best defense is presence and education ahead of time, it's physiological, just as there is no pill to substitute for sleep or stupidity or being with the kids.

Anonymous said...

Denial isn't just for parents. How often do we see people who think their mother is perfectly normal when she can't remember the names of her own children?

She's just getting old..

No, that's not just getting old...

Anonymous said...

I thought as long as the kid was a minor that it was okay to tell the parents....? but I could be wrong. but I suppose if the girl does have brain damage they'd have to tell someone.

John Woolman said...

The good thing about this case is that the findings were made in ICU not in the autopsy suite.

stacy said...

wait. this is a tragedy, a common one. it can happen just like this in any family. the arrogant mocking is sick. have some kids of your own before you cast stones. even total awareness is no insurance.

The Good Cook said...

Maybe the parents should worry less about how all this is going to look and care more about the reasons their daughter is using alcohol and drugs. Oh yeah, and their future grandchild, what effect does all this have on a developing fetus.

They were probably just pissed that you tore them away from the country club and their 5th. martini.

danielle said...

well, at least she is one that cannot turn up in L&D saying "I didnt know I was pregnant". Yeah right. Sounds jsut like the type of baby we all love to see in the NICU....as others have said, better (if she recovers at all) to find out in the ICU than in the morgue - or have the other kids in the morgue because she was driving...

The Mother said...

Ah, ostrich parenting.

There is, unfortunately, no cure for "stupid parent" syndrome.

The Bus Driver said...

Sounds like those same parents who come storming in the school bus shop demanding to see the video of their "angel" committing a heinous act on a school bus. Even funnier still is when they're presented with little John or Jane's action on video (hitting, spitting, cussing, jumping over the seats to pummel another child...) they STILL deny it. "But he/she is a good kid, he/she goes to church!!!"

Albinoblackbear said...

Whenever women/teenagers tell me there is *no way* they could be pregnant so why am I dipping their urine? I inform them that in my career I have seen many *immaculate* conceptions.

Because it's true.

And yes I also love when the tox screens come back. My favorite reason for cocaine in the urine was "I shared a cigarette with a taxi driver...he must have sprinkled cocaine in it."

Mmm hmmm. That seems very likely. I've heard that about cabbies...they LOVE giving out free cocaine via cigarettes with their patrons.

Gert said...

Teenagers, when given too much space and privacy (and really, minors don't/shouldn't have any right to privacy as it's the parents who are responsible for their actions), are prone to testing their boundaries.

My daughter was always a good student, had wonderful friends, went to church every week, and seemed to make good choices. Until around her sophomore year in high school. Then we caught her in a couple of lies and found out she wasn't always going where she said she was. And then she angrily accused us of violating her privacy by checking up on her. Damn right!

Teenagers need more supervision, not less.

She's grown now and we are very proud of her. She's attending a high-falutin' university back east, going to nursing school. She hated our 'interference' in high school and it was pretty rocky. But we have a great relationship now!

We come to mock... said...

I was going to hold my tongue on this one, but after stacy's post re: "the arrogant mocking...", I decided, what the hell.

SEX - check

DRUGS - check, check, check (and check)

ROCK 'N ROLL -

"Girls Just Want to Have Fun"

Michelle said...

In NY at least, you wouldn't be able to reveal pregnancy status without permission of the child...unless she is doing something to harm herself (and she clearly is).

pelican said...

Yo, reality check everyone ... it's a blog, so the facts have likely been skewed.

But, you have an unconscious and therefore incapable individual in ICU, so some serious medical problems are going down. She's not just wasted in the ER, looking to wake up with a bad hangover in a few hours.

At this point, medical treatment decisions need to be made urgently, the pregnancy is likely relevant in these treatment decisions, and her next of kin need to be making these decisions on her behalf right now. Whether she's a minor is totally irrelevant- if she was a 36 year old single woman found in the same state, the same situation would happening, perhaps even with the same level of parental denial.

Always worth thinking about ... who is my legal next of kin, and if I did stroke out (for whatever reason), would I really want her/him/them in charge?

xtine said...

Grumpy, you sure you don't live in the bible belt? These are the same type of parents who shat bricks here last year when the school system wanted to move from abstinence-only to letting parents have a choice between comprehensive and abstinence.

Stacy, try this on for size:

wait. this is a tragedy, a common one. it can happen just like this to any reader. the dearth of anything resembling a clue is sick. Read the blog on which you comment your own before you cast stones. even total awareness is no insurance.

Because, see, Grumpy has spread his seed effectively. He even writes about his children on here - to our great amusement (Go Marie!)

If I were not such a nice person, I'd tell you to shut your damn [pejorative term for a female] mouth, but it really wouldn't be nice of me to do that ;)

Moose said...

When I was a teenager my parents told me that they'd rather find out I'm pregnant than on drugs. Sadly I was so startled (my parents never talked about such thing) that I didn't have the presence of mind to thank them for the choice.

I got them back, though. In my early 20s I was with them after an extended family gathering. They mentioned that {Uncle/Cousin/Auntie/whatevery} So-and-so was in rehab for cocaine. I chirped up, "I tried snorting coke once." You could have heard a pin drop, and we were in a restaurant. Then I continued, "But the bubbles got up my nose, it was nasty. I've heard diet coke is worse."

Anonymous said...

Stacy- I don't think anyone is mocking the tragedy of this young lady's choices, but the actions of her parents. Some people just aren't cut out to be parents and this tragedy is a prime example. A good parent would have threw a fit and then asked the hospital staff for a list of help centers/rehab for their daughter. These two are NOT good parents.

 
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