Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Memories...

Back in residency, I occasionally had to round with Dr. Levodopa on weekends.

Dr. Levodopa, in a field of pathological personalities, had more odd mannerisms than I could count. But his strangest was that he carried a cup of black coffee... in his white coat pocket.

Not a travel mug, or even a generic cup with a plastic lid on it. But an open styrofoam cup. He'd fill it about 3/4 to the top at the nurses station, take a few sips, shove it in one of the coat's lower pockets, and start rounds.

So he had a large collection of white coats, all with dark coffee stains running from the right front pocket to the hem. As he'd walk, or move, or cough, coffee would slosh out, running down his white coat, pant leg, and to the floor. He never seemed to notice.

He was, though,  clearly aware of it, because he'd change into a clean coat as soon as he got to his clinic.

Like in "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," the resident on rounds with him would carry around a large towel (we kept several old ones in the call room for this purpose) to keep the floor from being slippery and wet as Dr. Levodopa wandered to and fro. He was, as best we could tell, completely oblivious to our efforts. Or, more likely, just didn't care.

25 years later... and I still don't understand why he did this.

14 comments:

SMOD said...

Dr Levodopa can't function without a dose of coffeedopa. Somewhere, long ago, he had heard about how some medicines come in coated tablets, and misinterpreted that.

Packer said...

Sexual Gratifiction, you guys need to bone up on your fetishes.

Anonymous said...

I half wonder if he eventually slipped in a wet spot of coffee due to his own making and ended up with a broken hip.

Ivan Ilyich said...

Some people just want their coffee, anytime, anywhere.

Stacey Gordon said...

Maybe he was waiting for someone to say something? Testing your neurological phenomena observational skills?

Tarquin "R.J." Toffeebridge V said...

He was just trying to share and enjoy.

Jack Bruce said...

In a white coat, with black coffee, at the nurses' station...

Anonymous said...

LOL. Cachinnate.

You know, Dr G., if you put all the words that are in the National Spelling Bee study guide together with these interesting observations about humanity, you could write a bestseller for the children that want to grow up to be neurologists some day. Maybe like that bestseller Harriet the Spy.

Well.

Maybe.

Maybe not.

It would be a memorable way to learn how to spell some of these illogically spelled American English words. Or, schoolchildren might improve their vocabulary in time for the SATs or learn how to spell one new word that they might not ever use in their lifetime.

Anonymous said...

Oh Jack Bruce @2:23, you just made my morning!

Me said...

Geesh! Why didn't you just ask him? I'm now going to be bothered by this until another similarly unanswerable question lands in front of me.

Moose said...

Once upon a time, back during the times of spells and fairies and many things still on paper, I worked for the original Absent Minded Professor.

He would be talking to you and suddenly pull a sandwich out of a random pocket and take a bite. Then he'd put it away in a different pocket.

You'd be sitting in his office and he'd suddenly turn around, grab a book, flip through a few pages, nod, and then put the book back on a different shelf.

He'd leave his favorite coffee cup somewhere and spend an hour trying to hunt it down. And he did that classic bit about "lost my glasses" while they were on top of his head at -least- once a week.

When he retired, the person who had to pack up his papers found an ossified sandwich in a folder in a file cabinet. And, no, it wasn't filed under "S" or anything obvious. His 'filing' was really just shoving papers into folders and the folders into drawers. Half the time he was looking for papers he already had at least one copy shoved away somewhere.

Christine Cortese said...

Passive aggression. Classic.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if this guy came of age before lids to coffee cups were a common thing,so he went to med school and had to carry a non-lidded coffee cup/mug around. The splashes were part of the routine of medical school and he clung to that time the way a drowning man clings to a bit of broken ship. The splashing coffee cup was his youth, his idealism, his hopes and dreams for the future. But like the broken ship his dreams were broken, leaving drips upon the hallway of his life.

Anonymous said...

Must of made sure he wasn't around when Joint Commission came calling. But as ZDogg, MD noted, they are only after the nurses anyways.

 
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