Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Monday night, 9:27 p.m.

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

Mrs. Cabinet: "Yes, I'm one of your patients, but I'm calling about my husband. He was putting cole slaw away after our Memorial Day barbecue, and he bumped his head on a cabinet."

Dr. Grumpy: "Did he get knocked out? Or is he sleepy? Or weak anywhere?"

Mrs. Cabinet: "No, but he has this big lumpy bruise on forehead. I want an MRI on him, immediately. We can do it tonight. Just tell me where to go."

Dr. Grumpy: "Well, I really can't order that on him. I mean, he's not my patient, and I can't set up tests after office hours. The best I can suggest is that you take him to an ER, and let them assess him, and see if they feel he needs further testing."

Mrs. Cabinet: "I don't want to take him to an ER. He only bumped his head. Going there would be overkill."

24 comments:

Julie said...

well i guess the ER thanks her ... but seriously some people are STRANGE!

Anonymous said...

A Shout Out to your mighty pager...it brings us all a little closer to the insanity. Or humanity. Either one.

Mr-Mobius said...

I'd like to know the thought process that went into her choice.

RehabNurse said...

Doc:

You have to tell her one of these days that your state would call what she's doing practicing medicine. And I'll bet this stuff makes that boutique practice stuff sound really, really good right about now, doesn't it?

And besides, an MRI costs a hell of a lot more than a ER copay for most insurance...assuming ColeSlaw Mrs. has it.

Oy! I just tell them I'm a nurse and cannot diagnose. See your favorite healthcare provider.

Scraps said...

Wow, that's a special kind of logic in play there...

Her insurance must not have a copay for MRIs is all I can figure so, you know, one of those HAS to be simpler than an actual ER visit.

Anonymous said...

"Just tell me where to go."
Tempting?

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Oh yeah, I thought of the same thing.

Erin said...

Maybe she's the one who hit her head and is therefore as confused as she claims her husband is.

It makes me wonder sometimes, being a patient myself, if my doctors really would think I was nuts if I called them for medical advice regarding every single person I know. That just seems entirely unfair.

As a future MD, there's something to be said for compassion, but holy crap. With some of the things you deal with, I don't know how you keep your cool!

Anonymous said...

"Going there would be overkill." But calling Dr. Grumpy asking for an urgent MRI is perfectly fine.... jesus.

arzt4empfaenger said...

Ahahaha. Lady, don't make sweet baby jesus cry with your strange (and not at all logical) logic.

terri c said...

What's with the whole MRI thing? Seems like everyone wants one. Is this the aftermath of Natasha Richardson's death?

I hope you told her to wake him up evey two hours all night--or maybe every 15 minutes, that might keep them both too busy to page you.

Living It, Loving It said...

Overkill, huh?

Albinoblackbear said...

I am pretending to be shocked and surprised by this story.

It's just too common.

I had a man threaten to kill me at triage if I didn't ensure his son got an MRI for his (previously dx by three MD's) Bells palsy.

He didn't get the MRI but he did get escorted off the property by security.

The Mother said...

Oh, that brings back memories. The school would always call me when my rambunctious kids bonked their heads.

My standard questions, "Did he lose consciousness? Is he bleeding? NO? So why did you call?"

...earned me the "callous mother of the year" award.

terri c said...

To "The Mother"--my mother always said I had a thick skull, as in "Get that through your thick skull." So if I bumped my head she'd just say, "Well thank God it was just your head, we know no damage was done!"

Anonymous said...

spinal tap first. for the wife at her next visit.

mcduckvet said...

Pager goes off during church on Sunday. It's a patient of Dr. Cheapo, who practices 2 counties away. Seems Fifi has been coughing for 3 days. "Why don't you call Dr. Cheapo?", I ask. "Well, I know he's a good Christian. He's probably at church with his family." I felt like yelling, "Where the eff do you think I am?"

When I told her what I charge for an emergency call, she decided Fifi could wait to see Dr. Cheapo on Monday.

outre said...

Stick him in one w/o ear plugs, tell the tech to use the loudest and the most annoying sequence, and scare the wife with some facts about the rare renal-impairment related Gad. reaction (excluding the detail about it happening in renal-impaired peeps). Hhahah!!!! >:O. Hm... no one should ever let me work in a position with direct patient contact.

Anyway, if anyone wants an MRI STAT, don't they need to goto the ER? I don't know of any plans that allows complex radiology imaging w/o a pre-auth except in an emergency...

Sarah, RPh said...

Your pages sound like mine - I'm the pharmacist on call for the hospital and so far I've been called to supply a premixed IV bag that comes from stores, not pharmacy, and a non-formulary medication that the patient was using their own (it was at the bedside).

Common sense...

Gloria P said...

She qualifies for "Unclear on the concept."

ERP said...

Grrrr!!!
Entitlement Disorder!!!

ausduck said...

arrghh! And some relatives would wonder why the patient would be triaged to the waiting room.

And yep, ERP, entitlement disorder is alive and well here in Australia as well.

You are extremely restrained at times, Dr G, I envy your control :)

Sandy in Pa said...

Tempting not to tell this one where to go, doc!!

KeepSmiling said...

Oh wow... calling you for an MRI isn't overkill, but going to the ER to see if he actually needed an MRI at all is overkill...

My brother hit his head while at school before. He was the unlucky victim of a stray basketball. Got his head hit from the front by the flying orange sphere, and from behind because the blow from the front caused him to slam into the brick wall behind him. Nurse called saying he had a concussion because he was dizzy and puking all over her office. Sounded like the nurse was having fun. Dad took him to an urgent care clinic, where the doctor looked him over and pretty much said he'll most likely be just fine and just to watch him and if it got worse take him to the ER and whatnot-- oh and don't let him hit his head again haha. He got better-- but he still hates basketball....

 
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