Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Dear Patient,

I know you did it. Why, I don't have a clue.

A blue sponge that I use once a week for cleaning Ed's bowl has been sitting on the edge of that sink for 12 years. The sponge changes every few years, usually when it starts falling apart. It's not used for anything else.

I'd noted it there when I took you in. Mary pulled me out for 5 minutes to take an ER call, and when I went back in it was gone. You were standing in the center of the room, zipping your purse closed. And the sponge had vanished.

I gave you the benefit of the doubt, but a search of the room didn't turn it up. So I took emergency measures, and brought a new one from home the next day.

I have no idea why anyone would want to steal a used sponge, especially from a doctor's office. I mean, it's nowhere near the kitchen, and since its sitting next to a fish net and bottle of Betta water prep I figure it's pretty obvious what it's for (sorry if I came back you before you could grab the net, too).

The sponge has been used to scrub off countless fish turds, the fuzzy goop that grows on the glass balls at the bottom during the summer months, and whatever other disgusting things are in Ed's water. I hope you aren't using it in your kitchen, or for personal hygiene.

I don't think you're so destitute as to be unable to afford one (they cost 25¢, FFS). I also hope you didn't mistake it for some kind of snack, and are now lying in ICU dying of some horrible fish shit poisoning.

Perhaps you're secretly planning on taking it to the state board of health, to see what they can culture out of it. If the plan is to get me in trouble with them, I doubt they'll care. I'm not preparing food or medicine in that sink, or washing anything. It's used solely for changing a fish once a week.

However, we know who you are. If you read this, and are currently overwrought with guilt from your life of crime, please confess at your next appointment. In exchange I will not press charges, but will gladly give you an unopened, clean, kitchen sponge, as I feel sorry that you must resort to such lawlessness.

Yours truly,

Ibee Grumpy, M.D.

p.s. I also have an extra fish net if you need one.

45 comments:

Rosie said...

Well, frankly this sponge mystery is going to haunt me for days. How long had they been planning this? What have they done with it? Did you get a ransom note?

Lisa said...

You leave me shaking my head in awe.

Anonymous said...

Kleptomaniac?

Anonymous said...

two words : emergency pessary?

Miss Liabilities said...

Oh god, hoping the patient isn't using it at home

aek said...

You should've stored the sponge and net in a transparent haz waste specimen bag.

I wouldn't want to get a whiff of the inside of that patient's handbag or wherever she secreted it. EW

PS - How do you code for this?

Anonymous said...

Maybe she found Ed spongeworthy?

Nurse Lilly said...

Fetish.

instant student said...

Maybe she lost a bet?
Or it's some kind of truth or dare?

Packer said...

Took it because they did not want some other immuno suppressed individual exposed to that hemorrhagic fever germ pool you leave festering in your examining room.

Or they are taking it to Lowes for a paint color match.

@Anon 7:40 did you star on Seinfeld.

Ami said...

One should not use a net for a Betta. Maybe she was trying to do you a favor but couldn't remember whether the net or the sponge was a bad idea?

What a nutty thing to do!!!!

Anonymous said...

Seriously?

No words.

Anonymous said...

ultimately I stopped decorating my exam rooms with little cute things for the holidays, mostly made by a crafty sister in law, my kids, etc becuase the would go missing! once EVERYTHING was cleaned off around the sink. I am not talking about clutter delux, just a few small christmas , easter, etc things that fit on the back ledge of the backspash around sink. BUT these were just purse/pcket sized.

in the pre-Craigs list decades, Every few years some friend would talk to me about helping or contributing to their tag sale. Anything I have is priced to get taken, and would give me a day with girlfriends. There was always some shoplifter.
all ages. all races. some very good, others brazen.

and I am not going into the holiday things taken from my yard (local high school annual thing...taking decorations. they were returned, typically the following spring...)

Anonymous said...

Coffee Klatch scavenger hunt?
"Ethel, you bring in a dead patient's chart from Dr. Pissy's office. Mavis, you bring in that blue sponge from Dr. Grumpy's office."

bobbie said...

I just threw up a little bit in my mouth...

Mad Jack said...

A scavenger hunt?

I'm betting kleptomania.

ronstew said...

Great moments in WTF.

MSGMD said...

Doctor's Offices are like hotels and towels, right? You charge a lot because you expect patients to steal your fish tank sponges...

Ms. Donna said...

Sounds fishy to me.

Li'l Azathoth said...

"Christ, I just remembered it's my kid's birthday today and I forgot to get him a present! Maybe something to do with that cartoon he's always watching! But Toys R Us is a mile away and I'll have to make a left turn at that big intersection I hate and I was hoping I'd have time to stop at Starbucks for a spumoni cheesecake latte before my appointment at the nail salon. What to do? Wait a second..."

Erin @ Sassin' Southern Style said...

I think a psychiatry consult is in order.

C said...

possible explanations: 1. she had some gross accident and grabbed the first thing nearby...if not in your office, maybe out in her car? 2. she thought it was Sponge Bob to whom(sic) she is uncontrollably attracted (yeah, he's yellow, but...) 3. Hoarders

Steeny Lou said...

There are indeed some strange people in this world. Maybe she is addicted to sponges. Hey, I'm not kidding - it has crossed my mind about people becoming addicted to dryer lint. Just read my latest blog entry to see what I mean:

http://holy-sheepdip.blogspot.ca/2012/10/dryer-lint.html

Anonymous said...

A mind-numbing WTF. I know of one instance when a patient stole a used speculum from her gyno's office, though. How do I know? She sent it to me enclosed with a complaint about the doctor. The patient admitted she stole it as 'proof' of the allegations in her complaint. Tricia

Anonymous said...

I used to do plainclothes security for several retailers. Some people just have a compulsion to take things, it doesn't matter what it is or if it has any value or use to the thief. For example, we used to keep busting an old man who would always steal one earring off an earring display case (always just one earring, never a pair). When you would ask him why, he would tell you he had no idea why he kept doing it. He didn't wear them, didn't give them to anyone else to wear, just threw them in a drawer at home.

a.generic doc said...

We have rechargeable otoscopes walk off with great regularity. I'm not sure what they are good for after the battery dies.

In a medical office, if it's not tied down, it will walk off.

If it is tied down, it will be impossible to use.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry. I didn't mean to do it. It looked so pathetic there all by itself. Blue. As if it needed to be with someone or something other than a grumpy-looking fish, or in any other place than an office that doesn't even invite kids or people interested in blue sponges.

It was getting a little worn around the edges. Natural sponges don't wear as well as plastic-derived.

That little blue sponge looked like it deserved more. More life. Less boring. More excitement. A chance to really be something, go places, do things.

Yes, I took it. By gum. I did take it. And, I would take it again if it was there all alone and pathetic collecting nasty fish germs and whatever else comes into a doctor's office. Blue sponge liberator. If I'm no one in this world, they can call me that in the next. No, I guess I'm not sorry. Put the cost of replacement on my bill, but it make it an orange one this time.

Elmo said...

A transitional object? I think she might like you.....

Wendy said...

I think it is entitlement taken to a new level. "I've paid for this, so I'm taking some home"

Anonymous said...

We had a client steal an old, stained plastic storage bin. it was used to collect air conditioning run-off and probably had dirty water in it at the time of the theft. she then used it to store pinecones she collected around our business. when asked, she denied the theft even though the bin (labeled and undeniably ours) was visible in the backseat of her convertible.

Anonymous said...

Maybe she will return it, laundered?

cloudsofbeth said...

Working in retail management, we learned to keep only one roll of toilet paper in the customer restroom because the extra rolls always got stolen. People amaze me.

Jonah said...

Maybe she picked it up to look at 'cause she was board, panicked at the thought that somebody was coming and she shouldn't have picked it up, and attempted to hide the evidence by putting it in her purse.

Anonymous said...

Wow. My mother (who is undeniably anything but sane anyway) has been known to randomly play with and steal gloves or try to insist I need them (Um, I can get all the gloves I want from my home infusion company but. Uh... Thanks for thinking of me?). She doesn't handle any amount of wait time. Give her 30sevonds and she's opening cupboards and whatever she can in doctor's offices too... But she'd probably steal Ed, not the sponge. :P and you'd need to open up a new box of gloves.

That stuff is genetic or something, my 92 year old grandmother is the type to load her purse with sugar packets, dinner rolls, etc. And my grandmother... Yikes she WOULD take that sponge and she WOULD use it in the kitchen or to clean with but she might scrub down your office first because despite being 92 she flat out loves cleaning...

With all that said, I'm no longer scratching my head on who would steal a sponge and thinking an anonymous comment is in order... ;)

BTW, can we see a picture of Ed? Once you get a new sponge and clean off the tank, that is.

Anonymous said...

For birth control?

Anonymous said...

And this woman is out there driving a car on our streets and highways not even aware that she is crazy!

Crazy RxMan said...

Other possibilities include:

1. It grew legs and walked out.
2. Aliens beamed it away.
3. The fish is to blame.
4. The butler did it.
5. Dr. Grumpy is hallucinating.
6. You're experiments with cloaking devices has gone horribly wrong.
7. It's still there.
8. The staff is playing with your head.
9. The patient is pranking you.

Did anyone question the fish?

Anonymous said...

Am reminded of my parents during their dementia related declines =

dad would take silverware. just like during milary service, when the GIs put utensiles in their shirt pockets during chow... anywhere he was eating....at some point , after he got home with the silverware, Mom would recongnize them "not hers", and put them in zip lock bag for me to "return wherever". You have to realize I was getting sets from who knows where.... I kept the last set (taken from hospital by Dad) in mom's zip lock return kit, in my car for two years after he died. Just looking at them would alternately make me laugh or cry ( did return to hospital eventually, since I round there sometimes and could ID that set).

Mom now accuses me of stealing her stuff, when I have her at my house, as she is going through my cabinets....

I can't wait to see how I'm going to tortue offspring..... 1/3

Dan said...

Wait a minute, you have a sink dedicated for fish use? That's impressive. Was that a special request you gave to your architect, or did he throw that in as a design fillip?

Charles said...

Maybe she thought it was an artisanal sponge? And just "had to have it."

Steeny Lou said...

I want to see a picture of Ed, too, as well as "his" sink.

Frantic Pharmacist said...

The nurses in our clinic tell me that patients will take anything in the room that isn't nailed down. Personally, I don't wish to leave any medical setting with anything I didn't come in with..!

Anonymous said...

I confess. I tore it in half and gave half to Snowball and half to Mello. Can you say, 'dog party?' They love the smell of fish sh%t in the morning.

Brittles15 said...

Next time Dr. Pissys dog shits in your exam room just leave it for a patient to pick up.

Jenn said...

*an extra fish net*

You are too kind, sir!

 
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