Saturday, March 19, 2011

Weekend reruns

Due to the usual crazy amount of kid stuff, I'm re-running this from about 2 years ago.


Being a neurologist means sometimes being LOUD. In residency, no matter how quiet and soft-spoken you may be, you learn how to SHOUT, yet still be polite.

Is this because we deal with little old deaf people? A little. But the main reason is because we are frequently consulted to wake the dead (or at least try) and evaluate the comatose. In order to do so you need to make sure that this person definitely isn't responding. So you learn to be able to shout into their ears in the gigadecibel range, to see if they can actually hear you.

And you yell simple commands, trying to break through a wall of brain damage, drugs, and loud ICU machines to see if there's anyone in there. "MR. JONES! CAN YOU WIGGLE YOUR TOES FOR ME?" or "MRS. SMITH! CAN YOU SHOW ME TWO FINGERS?"

If you don't believe me, just ask any ICU nurse. They often carry their own earplugs for when they see a neurologist going into a patient's room.

This morning I got called in to evaluate a guy with brain damage named Mr. Dick.

So I did my usual shouting routine to try to wake him.

"MR. DICK! CAN YOU HEAR ME? CAN YOU HOLD UP TWO FINGERS?"

No response.

"MR. TOES! CAN YOU WIGGLE YOUR DICK FOR ME?"

Mercifully, the patient didn't respond. The nurses' station, however, broke down in hysterical laughing. So did the patient 2 doors down. I'm sure I turned bright red when I realized what I'd said.

Leave me alone. It's 5:00 a.m., and I haven't had a Diet Coke yet.

23 comments:

Julie said...

lol ... needed the laugh, thanks

Anonymous said...

time for some sensitivity and workplace appropriateness training, grumpy.

Sheila said...

Loved it!! Thanks for the laugh!

Aura said...

I wonder if the family would have got the joke, had they been there....

I can imagine a patient coming out of a coma just to hear that and faint.

randompawses said...

Well, if that didn't get through to the patient, nothing will! Too funny!

bobbie said...

LMAO!!! And I'll vouch for the loud neuro dox...

Anonymous said...

Spooner would be proud!!

a.generic doc said...

Did he?

Just Thelma said...

Loved it when I first read your archives, still loving it today! Awesome! LOL

Watercolor said...

omgosh! They are probably still laughing about it 2 years later.... lol

jimbo26 said...

2 years , and still going strong . ;-)

kytica said...

Sometimes, after running around med school the entire day and doing the crazy student thing, this is the laugh I need to remind me what I have to look forward to in a few years.

heterodyne said...

And you won't forget this. Ever.
Thanks for sharing, now I can close this day with a big grin ;-D

Morris said...

"broke down in hysterical laughing"

So did I, just now!

Thanks, needed that.. :)

pharmacy chick said...

LOL, like the time I filled a viagra rx for a man and told him that breaking 100mg tabs is more BANG for the BUCK. Life needs a rewind button...seriously.

Magus said...

lol..
Reminds me of the awkward moments spent with our teacher named Dick !

Anonymous said...

Well at least you knew he wasn't faking his lack of response...because if he had been, he would have broken down giggling too. Either that or sat up and punched you in the nose (depending on his degree of homophobia).

Cstolworthy said...

ROFL. Thank you so much, I needed that laugh

pharmacy chick said...

wow, makes my faux pas not so bad...LOL

Tee said...

It's safe to say that the only reason I would have laughed harder is if he had obeyed your command!

Anonymous said...

It could have ben worse. He could have yelled back "NO I CAN'T".

Anonymous said...

What's funny about taking advantage of a patient so you can get some laughs?

Grumpy, M.D. said...

I didn't take advantage of anyone. The patient did nothing wrong.

I'M the one who said something incredibly stupid.

 
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