Monday, September 21, 2020

Marriage

Dr. Grumpy: "Have you had any surgeries?"

Mr. Chole: "I had my gallbladder out."

Mrs. Chole: "Wait, I thought I was the one that had my gallbladder out?"

Mr. Chole: "No, it was definitely me. Remember? I had to miss your sister's wedding?"

Mrs. Chole: "Like you regretted that, anyway. But I thought that was for a business trip, and I had my gallbladder out at Christmas that year because your mother cooked that horribly greasy turkey and made me sick."

Mr. Chole: "At least she could cook. I'm pretty sure I'm the one that had it out, though."

Mrs. Chole: "No, it was me. I have the scar to prove it. See?"

(pulls up her shirt)

Mr. Chole: "Let's ask the doctor. Dr. Grumpy, which of us had our gallbladder out?" 

(pulls up his shirt)

Dr. Grumpy: "Uh, I'd say you both did. Can you please put your shirts down?"

(they both pull their shirts down)

Mr. Chole: "Anyway, besides that, I didn't have any other surgeries."

Mrs. Chole: "Your mother still couldn't cook."

Monday, September 14, 2020

Seen in a chart


 

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Kindness


Hi, it's Frank, reporting from Local Grocery.

Since my dorm is closed and I'm doing college online, I've kept my job bagging groceries and collecting carts for the time being.

One of the things we do are the occasional grocery carry-outs, where we lug stuff out and load bags into cars. Generally the only people who need this are the older customers or those with disabilities, though we offer it to all.

It's not a hard part of the job, and certainly we don't ask for tips (in fact, there are signs telling customers not to tip us) but if the rare person hands us a dollar or two, we thank them.

I spent the Labor Day weekend working all 3 days, and Monday afternoon I was assigned to the parking lot. It was roughly 100 degrees, and Grumpyville's usual late-summer mosquito-laden humidity. While I was collecting carts from a corral in the back of the lot, some guy pulled up and asked me to help him swap out a few of the big white propane tanks.

He had 4 of them in his trunk, and as anyone who's had to carry them knows, they're heavy. It took me 2 trips, carrying a pair of them each time, to get them up to the exchange rack at the side of the store. He went inside and paid for 4 more, so I got the keys from the manager and rolled out 4 full ones for him. Then I carried those back to his car (which he had near the back of the lot for whatever reason). This took another 2 trips, and the full ones are, obviously, heavier.

After I put them in his trunk I asked if there was anything else I could help him with. He said no, so I wished him a good day and went back to the cart corral to pick up where I'd left off. A minute later he came over and said "Hey, kid, thank you for doing that, I know they're heavy" and handed me a folded $20 bill. I was gratefully surprised, and said "thank you" as I shoved it in my pocket.

I pushed a line of carts back into the store and the rest of my shift was uneventful. I wasn't expecting the extra money, but it would certainly come in handy since I need some new parts for my computer.

When I got home I went to transfer it to my wallet.

Upon unfolding it, it was a fake $20 bill, with a picture of Yogi Bear on it.

Monday, August 31, 2020

Civil servants

An NPI, for those of you unfamiliar with medical billing, is a government-issued magic number that registers doctors and practices with health insurers.

Occasionally my billing agency has to make a change in payment settings, which requires me to call Medicare to authorize it because only the actual NPI holder can do that. Fortunately, it's only every few years I have to deal with such because it usually involves long hold times. In fact, I plan it for when I have a lot of reading or writing to do, so I can work while listening to endless repeats of "your call is very important to us, please continue to hold" mixed with generic synth-pop music.

Last week was one of those times, so after being on hold for a while...

Music: "bee-bop-shooby-do" CLICK

Fred: "Thank you for calling Medicare. This is Fred. How can I help you?"

Dr. Grumpy: "Hi, this is Ibee Grumpy, I'm calling to verify my NPI for case number 8675309."

Fred: "What is your NPI number, please?"

Dr. Grumpy: "6EQUJ5."

Fred: "Thank you, one moment please... That number isn't in our system, can you repeat it?"

Dr. Grumpy: "6EQUJ5."

Fred: "Thank you... I'm still not able to find it. What state are you calling from?"

Dr. Grumpy: "I'm in Ohio."

Fred: "I'm sorry, you've called the wrong number. Ohio is in the Midwest region, and you've called the number for the Southeast region."

Dr. Grumpy: "Oh, are you able to transfer me?"

Fred: "No. You'll need to call 1-800-MID-WEST for Ohio practices."

Dr. Grumpy (sighs): "Okay, thank you."

Fred: "Thank you  for calling Medicare, have a nice day."


I get another Diet Coke to brace myself for more hold time, which this time was a surprisingly short 15 minutes.


Music: "bee-bop-shooby-do" CLICK

Fred: "Thank you for calling Medicare. This is Fred. How can I help you?"

Dr. Grumpy: "Hi, this is Ibee Grumpy, I'm calling to verify my NPI for case number 8675309."

Fred: "What is your NPI number, please?"

Dr. Grumpy: "Um, didn't I just talk to you about 15 minutes ago?"

Fred: "Yes. I'm answering phones for both Midwest and Southeast regions today."

Dr. Grumpy: "Then why didn't you check my number in the Midwest system when I called earlier?"

Fred: "Because you called in on the wrong line."

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Thank you, I'll be here all week

Dr. Grumpy: "Have you had any problems walking?"

Mrs. Brady: "Well, a few months ago I felt like my feet were sticking to the floor, but that's better now."

Dr.  Grumpy: "Did it get better after you started Sinemet?"

Mrs. Brady: "No, it got better after I cleaned the floor."

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Seen in a chart

 

Stupid mistakes are nothing new. But they've really increased in the world of EHR. It's funny... But at the same time it's not.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Random pictures

Okay, time to hit the mailbag for stuff you guys have sent in.

 

First, from the "Those are definitely changing looks, Billie" department we have this headline-photo mismatch:

 


Next, in the "this way, suckers" category we have a pool product that claims to - I swear - make water moister.


 

For novel methods of self-defense we have this brass knuckles - iPhone case combo.

 


 

From the "No wonder the bison was mad" file:



 

Here's the mysterious, yet oddly prevalent, use of quotation marks to make you wonder what's REALLY going to be served.

 



Of course, sometimes even without the quotation marks you know there's something wrong.



At other times you Just. Don't. Want. To. Know.

 

 


Monday, August 10, 2020

Sixteen Tons

Hi, this is Craig.

So, while Frank has been bagging groceries for the summer, I've been working for Tiffin Deliveries, picking up food from various restaurants and dropping it off at a variety of houses, businesses, apartments, and the occasional parked car (really!).

Basically, I'm the messenger. So I get blamed when things go wrong. Restaurant burned your food? Hey, I didn't cook it. You didn't get enough ketchup? Again, that's not me. During this viral summer restaurants are stapling delivery bags closed and leaving them on a table outside, so I can't eat your stuff, sneeze in it, or toss in the extra 3 packets of pickle relish you wanted - especially since many of you seem to think of the extra mustard needed AFTER I've left the restaurant.

To get this job I had to go through an extensive background check, which consisted of me emailing my name to a guy on the other side of the planet. He responded within 30 seconds that I'd been cleared, so I'm pretty sure all he did was type "Craig Grumpy mass murderer" into Google to see if it returned any hits.

Of course, this job has its highlights, which explains why Dad told me I should put it on his blog.

The best part of the company's app is for special instructions, where people get to type in pretty much whatever. This has included requests for me to pick up laundry while I'm getting your lunch, asking if I happen to know a good roofing service, and if Local Grocery has hand sanitizer in stock (I texted Frank for that one).

I think my favorite set of instructions so far was this:



Orders like that make me wonder if I'm on Candid Camera. Then I have to go to the place's counter and put in the order, knowing how ridiculous I"ll look, since this specific dive won't accept them from the app. I felt like Jack Nicholson ordering toast.



Another great order was this one:


Fortunately, that order was pretty easy to fill, though I have to wonder where this lady previously got her tacos from.


I also got an order from a guy who lives across the street (literally) from a McDonald's to get him a Big Mac and fries (simple, huh?). BUT he wanted it from a specific McDonald's that was a 20 minute drive from his apartment.


Lastly, I got an order to run to Blazing Ketchup. They got the order right, and I made it to this guy's office within 10 minutes of picking it up. So I'd like to thank him for recognizing my effort:




Friday, August 7, 2020

Diary of an ER doctor

I have no idea who wrote this. I wish I could take credit for it, but I can't. But, since it's awesome, I'm sharing it. Thank you, Webhill, for sending it to me.


So guys, this is what my typical day at the hospital looks like now:

6am - Wake up. Roll off of my pile of money that Big Pharma gave me. Softly weep as it doesn’t put a dent in my medical school loans.

6:30am - Make breakfast, using only foods from the diet that gives me everlasting life by avoiding all fats, sugars, carbs, and proteins. For details buy my book and check out my shop.

7am - Get to work, load up my syringes with coronavirus before rounds.

8am - See my patients for the day. Administer the medications that the government tells me to. Covertly rub essential oils on the ones I want to get better. Flush down the toilet all the hydroxychloroquine tablets patients were to receive for the day. 

9:30am - Call Bill Gates to check how 5G tower construction is going, hoping for more coronavirus soon. He tells me they’re delayed due to repairs on the towers used to spread the Black Plague. Curse the fact that this is the most efficient way to spread infectious diseases.

10am - One patient tells me he knows “the truth” about coronavirus. I give him a Tdap booster. He becomes autistic in front of my eyes. He’ll never conspire against me again.

11am - Tend to the secret hospital garden of St. John’s wort and ginkgo leaves that we save for rich patients and donors. 

12:30pm - Pick up my briefcase of money from payroll, my gift from Pfizer for the incomprehensible profits we make off of the free influenza vaccine given every year. 

1pm - Conference call with Dr. Fauci and the lab in Wuhan responsible for manufacturing viruses. Tell them my idea about how an apocalypse-style zombie virus would be a cool one to try for the next batch.

2pm - A patient starts asking me about getting rid of toxins. I ask her if she has a liver and kidneys. She tells me she knows “the truth” about Big Anatomy and that the only way to detoxify herself is to eat nothing but lemon wedges and mayonnaise for weeks. I give her a Tdap booster.

2:45pm - Help the FBI, CIA, and CDC silence the masses. Lament the fact that I can only infringe on one or two of their rights. Oh well, there’s always tomorrow.

4pm - One of my rich patients begins to crash. I laugh as I realize I’ve mismatched her spirit animal and zodiac moon sign. I switch out the Purple Amethyst above her bed for a Tiger’s Eye geode. She stabilizes. I throw some ginkgo leaves on her for good measure.

6pm - Go onto YouTube and see coronavirus conspiracy videos everywhere. Curse my all-powerful government for how inept they are at keeping people from spreading “the truth”

6:10pm - Go onto Amazon and see that a book about “the truth” is the #1 seller this week. Question the power of my all powerful government. Make a reminder to myself to get more Tdap boosters from the Surgeon General next time we talk. 

7pm - Time to go home. Before I leave, sacrifice a goat to Dr. Fauci and say three Hippocratic Oaths.

9pm - Take a contented sigh as I snuggle under the covers made of the tinfoil hats of my enemies, realizing that my 4 years of medical school and 3 years of residency training have been put to good use today.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Seen in a chart

"I feel SO relaxed right now."



Thursday, July 30, 2020

Social distancing

Mary: "Dr. Grumpy's office, this is Mary."

Mr. Zoom: "Hi, this is Mr. Zoom. My wife is a patient of Dr. Grumpy's. She's having all kinds of new neurological issues and needs a video appointment ASAP."

Mary: "Let me see... Your wife hasn't been here in over 3 years... You said she's having new problems?"

Mr. Zoom: "Yes! They just started a few days ago and..."

Mary: "I'm sorry, but after 3 years, and especially with her having new symptoms, she'll need to be seen in person."

Mr. Zoom: "Uh, there's a pandemic going on! It's not safe for us to leave our house!"

Mary puts him on hold, checks with me, I absolutely agree with her.

Mary: "I just double-checked with Dr. Grumpy. Because she's having new issues this really isn't something he's comfortable handling over the phone or on camera. He needs to be able to examine her in person, check reflexes, and all that other stuff he does, to get an idea of what's going on and what should be done. He wears a mask, and takes lots of precautions to minimize..."

Mr. Zoom: "This is criminal. It's unethical. Dr. Grumpy is needlessly endangering our lives by making us come to see him. We're both in our 80's and are a high risk group. He should be able to do this sort of thing over the phone. Can't he just order a bunch of tests and see what he finds?"

Mary: "He doesn't work that way, sir. You can certainly try to find another doctor to see her, or go to ER, or..."

Mr. Zoom: "No other doctor will be able to get her in before the weekend. She needs to be seen and have all the tests done before then."

Mary: "Why is this so urgent?"

Mr. Zoom: "We're flying to Miami on Friday night for a big family reunion."

Monday, July 27, 2020

Bliss

Dr. Grumpy: "Your MRI was entirely normal, which is very reassuring, so the next step..."

Mrs. Scan: "Oh, thank heavens. I was so worried I had a brain tumor."

Mr. Scan: "That is reassuring."

Mrs. Scan: "Isn't that wonderful news, Phil?"

Mr. Scan: "Yes."

Mrs. Scan: "What? You don't think it's good news?"

Mr. Scan: "I said I did. I said it was reassuring."

Mrs. Scan: "You could try to look a little more enthusiastic. Or happy. Or something."

Mr. Scan: "I am, what should I be doing?"

Mrs. Scan: "Why can't you ever be happy for me?"

Mr. Scan: "Why does this have to be a production?"

Mrs. Scan: "Dr. Grumpy, don't you think he should look happier about the news?"

Mr. Scan: "Dr. Grumpy, do you..."

Dr. Grumpy: "I'm staying out of this."




Thursday, July 23, 2020

That narrows it down

I'd like to thank my E-prescribing service for this helpful message to let me know which patient's script didn't go through.



Monday, July 20, 2020

Don't remind me

Dr. Grumpy: "What color is my hair?"

Mr. Curmudgeon: "There's not enough left to tell."

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Seen in a chart


Monday, July 13, 2020

Weekend on call

Dr. Grumpy: "Hi, I'm Dr. Grumpy. What's going on that landed you here?"

Mr. Paganica: "Well, Doc, me and the boys were playing golf. On the 6th hole I noticed my left leg was weak, and by the 8th hole my left arm wasn't working, either. It got better for a bit, but came back on the 12th hole, and on the 14th hole my buddy said my speech was slurred, too. It hadn't gotten better by the end of the 18th hole, so we decided to skip the drinks and they brought me to the hospital to get it checked out."

Monday, July 6, 2020

Clinical conundrum

Dr. Grumpy: "Wow, you look great for 94! Well, what can I do for you?"

Mrs. Methuselah: "Thank you! My daughter asked me to come see you, she was concerned I had a neck injury.

Dr. Grumpy: "What's going on?"

Mrs. Methuselah: "Well, I moved into a new place over the winter. Now that it's summer the air conditioner turns on, and if it blows on the back of my neck it gets cold there and I get a chill down my spine."


Pause. I'm waiting, figuring there has to be more than that.


Dr. Grumpy: "Is there, uh, more than that?"

Mrs. Methuselah: "Nope. That's it. My daughter insisted I come in because she thinks I need an MRI of my neck. I think she's nuts."

Dr. Grumpy: "Does, uh, does anything make this better?"

Mrs. Methuselah: "Yeah, I don't sit near vents. If I have to, like in my reading chair, I wear a scarf.

Dr. Grumpy: "Does that work?"

Mrs. Methuselah: "It works fine. I told you. I think my daughter is nuts."

Dr. Grumpy (sets down pen): "I think you can tell your daughter that I said you're fine."

Monday, June 29, 2020

Random pictures

Okay, time to hit the mailbag for stuff you guys have sent in.


First, from the "nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more" department:







As Jake and Elwood would say, "Baby clothes... This place has got everything."








In a furniture store ad, one of these things is not like the other: 


"What would you like for the new digs, Mr. Scaramanga?"





In the "it's our name, so let's see if the DMV notices it" file:






And finally, from the "Gee, I'd never have guessed" department:



Thursday, June 25, 2020

Take me home, country roads

Dr. Grumpy: "How was your father's day?"

Mr. Mountaineer: "It was fine, I went back to West Virginia to see my Dad."

Dr. Grumpy: "Was it a good visit?"

Mr. Mountaineer: "Yeah. They live out in the boondocks, and the only restaurant is a Denny's. He wanted to go there for breakfast, so I took him."

Dr. Grumpy: "It's nice you got to spend time with him."

Mr. Mountaineer: "The guy in the booth next to us began filing down his teeth while we were eating.  That's when I realized I was home again."

Monday, June 22, 2020

Seen in a chart




Thursday, June 18, 2020

Huh?

Dr. Grumpy: "Any other questions?"

Mr. Patient: "Yeah, do you have any idea what this means?"


He took out a small piece of paper with "WANGLES SLAGLON" written on it and held it up.


Dr. Grumpy: "Uh, no. I have no idea what that means."

Mr. Patient: "Neither do I. Okay, doc, see you next month."


He threw the paper in the trash and left.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Department of Redundancy Department

This is on a form I have to fill out to get a patient's migraine drug covered:

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Texting with Frank

As my longtime readers know, texting with Frank is an exercise in tapping keys on the phone while simultaneously slitting my wrists.

Of course, Frank is now in his 3rd year of college. During non-pandemic times he lives in a dorm. He has a job bagging groceries and collecting carts at the store. So you'd think this kind of insanity would wane, right?

Oh, hell no.

The other night I texted to remind him that I'd be picking him up at the store when his shift ended at 8:00. This is what came back:



Like Mary says: "I can always tell when Frank texts you because you suddenly start swearing."

Monday, June 8, 2020

Panic

While dealing with the myriad of stuff she does - answering phones, copying insurance cards, scheduling appointments, telling people to put their damn masks on, asking drug reps what samples they have - Mary occasionally isn't able to grab a call as it comes in.

So last week someone left this on her voicemail at 8:34 a.m.:

"My name is Perry Thesia, and I need to get into Dr. Grumpy ASAP! Please call me back! My right arm is numb and tingling and feels weird!"

So Mary was able to grab a moment to return the call at 8:46 a.m., 12 minutes later.

Mary: "Hi, this is Mary at Dr. Grumpy's office, I got your message. We had a cancellation later today, and an opening tomorrow, too at..."

Mr. Thesia: "Oh, never mind. Sorry, just ignore my message. I'm fine now."

Mary: "So you don't need an appointment?"

Mr. Thesia: "No, I must have slept on it funny. It was numb when my alarm went off at 8:30, but I shook it out after calling your office and it's fine now."

Monday, June 1, 2020

Phone calls

I'm with a patient when Mary knocks on the door. My call partner, Dr. Nerve, is on the phone for me.

Dr. Grumpy: "This is Grumpy, what's up?"

Dr. Nerve: "Hi, do you know that new guy, the one who's doing locum tenens for Dr. Outforbacksurgery?"

Dr. Grumpy: "I've heard the name, but don't know much else. It's not like we've ever shared call with that practice."

Dr. Nerve: "Are we covering his hospital patients this weekend?"

Dr. Grumpy: "I'm pretty sure he doesn't even have hospital privileges, but let me check the system... no he doesn't have any privileges."

Dr. Nerve: "I know he doesn't have privileges. I'd already checked."

Dr. Grumpy: "Then there's no way he's going to have patients, either. So why are you asking me if we'd be covering for him?"

Dr. Nerve: "I'm trying to be thorough."


Thursday, May 28, 2020

Marketing

To try and stay afloat busy during the pandemic, I've been doing more market research surveys. As usual, these have some interesting questions.


This example is from the "I failed geography" department:




Next up is this one, apparently hoping that I'm a good guesser:





This one, I can only assume, was written by a person practicing the Jedi mind-trick:





The next question apparently wanted to see how much I could nitpick, or be indecisive, or have a fetish for capitalization:







And last was this, from the "so what happens if I do?" department:




For the record, nothing happened. It was actually kind of disappointing.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Internet

For all of its pros and cons, this, to me, is the best part of the internet.

It brings me stuff it had never occurred to me was out there, and that I'd never have heard otherwise.







Thank you, SMOD!

Thursday, May 21, 2020

My readers write

My colleague, Dr. O, writes:


"I’m in the breakfast line at the hospital cafeteria, because today is the one day of the week they offer the decent ham and cheese scramble. But the line is being held up by this person who is leaning over the sneeze guard, mask open, near the pre-made croissants (which thankfully are wrapped). He’s complaining to the staff.

What COULD be the problem? Did he find a hair in something? Was something raw? Was he concerned that his sausage came from a Tyson plant??

Fuck no. This guy was complaining that there was a typo on the menu. And spent ten minutes pointing this out. Being a psychiatrist I was terrified this was going to be a consult before I could have my morning Coke."

Monday, May 18, 2020

Seen in charts










Thursday, May 14, 2020

Side hustle

Annie: “Dr. Grumpy’s office, this is Annie.”

Mrs. Grave: “Hi, how much does Dr. Grumpy charge to do public speaking?”

Annie: “Um, I’d have to check with him, I’m not sure he does that. Is this for support group? He does those on occasion, but doesn’t charge.”

Mrs. Grave: “No, it’s for a funeral.”

Annie: “Excuse me?”

Mrs. Grave: “It’s for my grandfather’s graveside memorial service. My mom asked me to find someone to conduct it, and since grandpa died of a neurological disease I thought maybe a neurologist would be the person to call.”

Annie: “Was he a patient of Dr. Grumpy’s?”

Mrs. Grave: “No. I already called his neurologist, but they told me I should try a member of the clergy, but I like my idea better so am going through the phone book.”

Annie: “Hang on...”

Annie puts her on hold, walks down to my office, pulls me out from a patient visit to make sure I haven’t started some new business sideline she didn’t know about, tries to keep me from breaking into hysterics, walks back to her office.

Annie: “No, he doesn’t do this sort of thing.”

Mrs. Grave: “Do you have any suggestions? I mean, you’d think doctors should be the ones doing this sort of thing, wouldn’t you? I thought they teach this stuff in medical school.”

Monday, May 11, 2020

Breaking news!

From around the globe, Dr. Grumpy's crack team of reporters bring you the news that shapes your world.

DATELINE: CALIFORNIA



A tanker truck carrying several thousand gallons of red wine was going down the freeway when another driver signaled the truck's operator to pull over. The truck driver did so, concerned there was a mechanical problem with his vehicle.

When he stopped, the other driver climbed out of his car. This fellow, clad only in underwear and a face mask, ran over to try and get into the truck's passenger cab.

The truck driver started to pull away, but underwear man ran alongside the truck and jumped on.

As the truck sped down the freeway, underwear man climbed under its frame until he reached the tank's main valve. Hanging there, in a position the CHP described as "like making a snow angel," he unscrewed the covering. Red wine began pouring out. He stuck his head into the stream and began chugging the vino in a "drinking from the fire hose" moment.

The driver, alerted by a gauge showing him the tank was losing fluid, pulled over and called 911.

Roughly 1000 gallons, enough to fill 5000 bottles, of red wine was lost. How much ended up on the freeway and how much was in underwear man is unclear.

The almost-naked suspect attempted to flee on foot, but was caught by police.

A highway patrol spokesman said "I've listened to thousands and thousands of calls. This one's up there in the top 10."



DATELINE: CONNECTICUT




Mr. Jason Daddario was thrown out of a McDonald's for refusing to wear a face mask. Upon leaving he threw a rock at the building, breaking a window.

He then went to a nearby Walmart and stole several pairs of womens underwear.

He surrendered when he encountered a police dog.

It's unclear if he was planning to use the underwear as a mask to obtain a Big Mac, or if he was simply going to eat them instead.



DATELINE: LOUISIANA





Police in Walker, Louisiana, are on the lookout for "an aggressive chicken" that's been terrorizing people trying to use a bank's ATM and drive-thru.

Per the report, the culprit has attacked & chased customers, tried to enter cars, and "failed to engage in proper social distancing.”

The suspect is described as being reddish-tan in color, roughly 18 inches tall, and weighing between 6 and 8 pounds. It's wanted on charges of “assault, attempted battery, attempted burglary, terrorizing, and ignoring an order of the Governor."

To date, in spite of patrols, the chicken has not been caught after repeatedly fleeing on foot. Police warned that “given the chicken’s history of aggressive behavior, the public is urged to avoid confronting the fowl and to instead, contact Walker Police if seen.”

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Seen in a chart


Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Modern life

Dr. Grumpy: "What have you been up to?"

Mr. Home: "I took my blood pressure this morning. Then I took my pills and had a BM. These days that's keeping busy."

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Phone calls

I'm with a patient when Mary knocks to say there's an ER doctor on hold for me.

Dr. Grumpy: "This is Dr. Grumpy."

Doctor Er: "Oh, crap, I didn't think you'd pick up so fast. Hey I need to talk to you about one of your seizure patients."

Dr. Grumpy: "Sure. What's up?"

Doctor Er: "It's a guy, I think in his 40's, he's on one of those newer seizure meds? He says he hasn't seen you for about a year?"

Dr. Grumpy: "Do you have a name?"

Doctor Er: "I, uh, don't have the chart in front of me. He takes an epilepsy medication? Does that sound familiar?"

Dr. Grumpy: "It could be quite a few patients. Do you have a date of birth?"

Doctor Er: "Honestly, I figured I'd be on hold for a few minutes, so I'm not at the computer. Actually, I'm sitting on the can right now. How about I call you back in a few minutes when I'm done?"

Dr. Grumpy: "That's fine."

Doctor Er: "Thanks."

(click)

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Quarantine day whatever - seen in our fridge


Saturday, April 18, 2020

Stand-up COVID comedy

Today Marie and I went out for a walk.

After several blocks we came to a police crew cleaning up an intersection from an accident. The damaged cars were already gone, but there were a few guys sweeping up car debris and measuring distances.

One officer was filling out paperwork and Marie asked him what happened.

Without looking up he said "someone coughed on the road, that's all."

Monday, April 13, 2020

"Uh, no thanks, I don't want that either"

Yet another not-so-thought-out healthcare worker appreciation idea:



Thank you, M!

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Strange substitutions

No idea how the store's shopping software thought these were equivalent, but here ya go:



Thank you, H!

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Guest post

Hi, it's Frank writing today. Dad is talking to a patient on his computer, which involves him putting on a nice shirt for 10 minutes.

After my school closed the dorms and I came home, I got a job at local grocery as a courtesy clerk.

For those of you who don't know, we're the people who bag your groceries, carry them out to your car if needed, collect carts from the parking lot (and spray them with bleach these days), tell you where  applesauce is, clean up the latte you dropped and your kid's mess after he puked in the cereal aisle, sweep the floors, clean and restock the bathrooms, put back the detergent you left by the bread because you changed your mind, and occasionally stock shelves if that team is overwhelmed.

Obviously, this ain't a fun job, but it's a job. When I signed up I was just looking for some extra money and didn't expect to be on the front line of the toilet paper wars, but that's life.

My shift is usually with Stephanie, Mike, and Pete. Pete has Down's Syndrome, but does as good a job as anyone else and is a hard worker.

Anyway, at the end of the checkout row is an area with extra bags for us, the straps we use to bring in a train of carts, paper towels, and a bottle of hand sanitizer (chained down nowadays).

Yesterday Mrs. Bagg came in. She wanders in about twice a week and is always yelling that we bagged her groceries wrong and accuses every cashier of shorting her a penny or two.

This time she was angry that she couldn't find hand sanitizer (like ANYONE has it right now, unless you go one of those websites charging $35 for 8 ounces). Of course, she called over the supervisor to complain about it. Then she got angry that she couldn't have the bottle that's chained down for us and the cashiers to use.

While she was yelling about us not being able to provide her with a bottle, Pete walked in from collecting carts and spraying them off. He went over and spritzed some of the hand sanitizer on, then headed for the break room to get a drink.

Mrs. Bagg went over the edge. She blew up at my supervisor and yelled "YOU'RE LETTING WORTHLESS RETARDS USE IT? AND WON'T SELL IT TO PAYING CUSTOMERS? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? WHAT KIND OF SCREWED UP COUNTRY IS THIS?"

Mr. Lettuce (he's the head of produce) immediately came over and told her to leave the store and that she wouldn't be allowed back. Stephanie, who was on her way out to get carts, began applauding (Mrs. Bagg accuses her of scratching her car almost every month). I went into the break room to make sure Pete was okay (he was). My manager gave Mrs. Bagg's cart to Mike and told him to go put her stuff back, since she wasn't allowed to buy it anymore and would have to go elsewhere.

As my Dad would say, "Fuck you, Mrs. Bagg." No one deserves to be treated like that, no matter what else is going on.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Seen in a chart

"Is that a back problem or are you happy to see me?"





- Thank you, K!

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Shipping

I'll try to post when I can, but can't guarantee when. I'll do my best.

Anyway, I'd like to thank my reader SMOD for sending me this. He was trying to ship a package to a friend and was using the U.S. Postal Service website to figure out the cost. It had some, uh, surprising questions.


Sunday, March 15, 2020

Insanity

Hey, gang due to the current state of insanity, and indefinitely having all 3 kids back under the same roof for the first time in years, and all that, I'm going to have to stop blogging for a while. Mainly because I have no time to write. See you in a few weeks!

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Seen in a chart


Monday, March 9, 2020

Wednesday morning

Dr. Grumpy: "The next step will be..."

(Mrs. Paper digs through her purse and hands me a post-it note with a name and phone number on it).

Mrs. Paper: "I'd like you to call that doctor to update them on my case."

Dr. Grumpy: "Um... is this your internist?"

Mrs. Paper: "No, she's a specialist in the condition I think I have. I want you to coordinate my care with her."

Dr. Grumpy: "Okay. I've just never heard the name."

Mrs. Paper: "She doesn't practice here. She's the chair of neurology at Ivory Tower Hospital in Farfaraway."

Dr. Grumpy: "Does she know you? Have you seen her as a patient?"

Mrs. Paper: "No, but I saw her interviewed on TV this morning and she seemed to be pretty smart."

Dr. Grumpy: "I..."

Mrs. Paper: "Why aren't you calling? I think you should have her on speaker phone for my visit today."

Dr. Grumpy: "Look, in all fairness, I'm not going to call a doctor who's never seen you, who doesn't know me, who's in another state, at the drop of a hat. This person is likely very busy. If you want to set up a second opinion appointment with them and have me send records, that's different."

Long pause

Mrs. Paper: "You realize I'm going to have to mention your unhelpful attitude in a Yelp review."


Thursday, March 5, 2020

Department of Redundancy Department

Seen in a chart, in a section about a patient's fluid intake:


Monday, March 2, 2020

Breaking news!

From around the globe, Dr. Grumpy's crack team of reporters bring you the stories that shape your world.

DATELINE: Scotland

Matthew Davies, age 47, failed in his attempt to rob a Bank of Scotland office in Dunfermline.

Armed with a meat cleaver (which he'd hidden inside a pillow case) Mr. Davies approached the counter, pulled out the meat clever, and demanded money.

At that point he cleverly tried to conceal his identity by pulling the pillow case over his head.

Unfortunately, Mr. Davies had forgotten to cut eye holes in his disguise, and therefore now he couldn't see. So he removed the pillow case allowing the teller, and cameras, to get a good look at him as he brandished the cleaver.

He escaped with almost £2,000, then walked home, followed by a witness. On the way he stopped to briefly play with someone's dog before going upstairs to his apartment. Which is where police arrested him a short time later.

In a moment of understatement, his defense attorney said his robbery plan was "one that, when looked at objectively, was unlikely ever to go successfully."

Mr. Davies pleaded guilty and has been sentenced to 4 and 1/2 years behind bars.

It's unknown if the dog will be allowed to visit him.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Quote of the day

"I am not a hypochondriac. I am being proactive about my health. Back to my list, item 27..."

Monday, February 24, 2020

Mary's desk

Ms. School: "Hello?"

Mary: "Hi, this is Mary, at Dr. Grumpy's office. We need to reschedule your appointment."

Ms. School: "When is it?"

Mary: "July 16, at 2:30. Dr. Grumpy was notified today he has to spend that afternoon at a research department meeting."

Ms. School: "Well, this is inconvenient."

Mary: "I'm sorry, but fortunately it's scheduled for July, so we have plenty of slots still available then. We can see you that morning, pretty much anytime between 8:00 and noon. If mornings don't work I have every other afternoon that week open right now, too."

Ms. School: "I really don't like you calling me at the last minute to reschedule this. I have a life and plans, too."

Mary: "That's why I'm calling you now, not at the last minute. It's February 7th. The appointment is over 5 months away, so there are plenty of other open slots around it. You can also move it up to next week if you prefer."

Ms. School: "I'm not happy about this... I think I need a more reliable neurologist. I can't do last-minute changes. Just cancel the appointment all together. I'll send you a release when I find a more considerate doctor. I have a life, too, you know."

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Hmmmm.......

I was doing a marketing survey last night.

This is a treatment for depression that hadn't occurred to me...



Monday, February 17, 2020

Annie's desk

Annie: "Dr. Grumpy's office, this is Annie."

Mrs. Shaking: "I saw Dr. Grumpy last week, and he sent my refill to my mail order pharmacy, and IT STILL HASN'T GOTTEN HERE! They say they deliver within 3 days. This is unacceptable."

Annie: "Have you called them?"

Mrs. Shaking: "Yes! They said they're still waiting for you to give them more information! This is very upsetting that your office has dropped the ball like this. I demand you call them right now and fix this! I need my medication!"

Annie: "Let me put you on hold while I call them."


Annie puts her on hold, dials the doctors-office line to the mail-order pharmacy.


Phone person: "Thank you for calling BigAzz Pharmacy physician's line."

Annie: "I'm calling from Dr. Grumpy's office. We sent you a script last week for Mrs. Shaking? She's called here and says she hasn't received it yet."

Phone person: "Let me see... It looks like we haven't shipped it yet because she's refusing to give us any payment information."

Annie: "WHAT?"

Phone person: "Yes... She's called 3 times in the last 2 days, each time demanding we send it, but then refuses to give us a credit card number so we can bill her the copay of $40."

Annie: "Sorry, I had no idea."

Phone person: "In fact, it looks like yesterday she told us to bill your office for it, and we refused."

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Artisanal overload

Okay, time to hit the mailbag for more examples of "artisanal" crap you guys have sent in.


First we have this flour, which is so uniquely handcrafted that it was being dumped off sold at the dollar store:









Next, for the health conscious, we have these "nourishing" pork rinds. They're apparently not only artisanal, but "epic," too:

Being antibiotic-free didn't do the pig much good, I guess



 If you're into artisanal junk and buy a lot of it, what better place to store it in than this:









Here's this sandwich, whose description ominously ends without telling you what, specifically, is artisan, making you wonder if the prosciutto is from the classic 1980 horror-movie Motel Hell.






Lastly, to my disgust, is this: A neurology hammer (a Trömner, no less) being advertised as artisanal:





Let's keep in mind that, no matter what it is, if it's made from "high density plastic" the odd are that it isn't really artisanal.

Dr. Grumpy's personal Trömner, for the record, was bestowed upon him by a drug rep pushing brand-name Naprosyn. Which dates me more than I want to think about.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Marketing

There's a new drug on the market in my field (hell, I could say that every month), so my partner Pissy and I are getting the usual drug rep visits, lunches, glossy brochures, and samples.

I tend to be more sympathetic than most to reps. I understand they have their job, like I have mine. They're just trying to support a family and pay the mortgage like any of us. So, if I have time, I listen politely and sign for samples, and try to give them a few extra minutes if their boss is shadowing them that day.

But this time there's a new tactic me and Pissy haven't encountered before. The reps for this product have all pushed this idea:

"When you send a prescription online, or hand one to a patient, call me with the patient's name and their pharmacy. I will personally go to that pharmacy and demand they order it, so it's in stock when the patient needs to fill it."

So far I've been called on by 3 separate reps for the drug, and all have given me the same spiel. So it's a pretty safe bet to assume the idea is coming from their corporate masters in training sessions.

And no, I ain't doing that.

To me, this is wrong on a couple of levels.

1. Privacy.

Mrs. Patient comes to me hoping I'll keep her health issues a secret. Granted, that also includes my staff, like Mary and Annie, because they have to know what's up.

Her pharmacist is also, at least partially, in the know. They don't have access to my charts, but they know private things about her health from the medications she takes and what she tells them. Which is fine. They're as much involved in her health care as I am. They need to be able to advise her properly about her medications and protect her from any multitude of errors I might make in prescribing stuff (and, for the record, I'm eternally grateful for you guys bailing me out on one in particular last week).

But the drug rep? No. Their job is to make me aware of, educate me about, and convince me to prescribe, their product. Which is fine. But they aren't part of the medical chain between me, Mrs. Patient, and her pharmacist. To give them her name to bandy around Local Pharmacy is, at least to me, a pretty serious breach of her privacy.

Not only that, but my loyalty, and my staff's, and the pharmacist's, are on her side of the equation. We are working for her benefit. The drug rep may claim to be doing so, and some may even believe they are. But at the end of the day, they work for a large publicly-traded pharmaceutical company. Once I give them her info, they have a snippet of personal data on her. Who's to say it won't be used to send her mail about great offers on their other products, and/or sold to clothing companies and banks that want to mail her ads for underwear, new low-fee once-in-a-lifetime credit card offers, or robocall her with great deals on trips to Bermuda?

Obviously, if she gives them this information herself as part of an assistance program or freebie offer, that's different. Then it's her call and informed consent. But I'm not going to.


2. Have you ever watched a pharmacy staff at work?

You don't have to stand there in a creepy I'm-casing-the-joint way, but next time you're at the supermarket, just look over and see what's going on in the pharmacy. Odds are there's 1 pharmacist and 1-2 techs working. At least one of them will be on the phone, the other will be at the patient window or getting something off a shelf, the phone is ringing, there will be lines at both the drop-off and pick-up windows, and some random guy at the counter interrupting them to ask where ketchup is.

They're swamped.

So pretty much the last thing they need in their daily shit storm is for a well-coiffed drug rep to wander in and demand they order & stock their latest and greatest drug (currently $95 a pill per Epocrates), when there's a reasonable chance the patient may never even show up for it. Mrs. Patient could wind up going to a different pharmacy, or find the sample didn't work and she doesn't want to pick up the script, or suffer a nervous breakdown when she hears the price and calms down by strangling the ketchup guy.

In summary, I'm pretty sure the pharmacy doesn't have time for this idea.


I know there are drug reps reading this. Don't take it as an insult. I know you're just doing your job, and that's why I meet with you. I really do appreciate the samples for the product so my patients can try them and see if they're worth fighting with insurance over. Me and Pissy and our staff enjoy the lunches (although if you go to that vegan wrap place again we'll put a restraining order on you).

But don't expect me to betray my patients' confidence to you. You can ask me, if that's what your company requires you to do. I understand that. But don't be too upset when I don't. At the end of the day, I work for their best interests, not yours.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

I wish it was that simple

Seen in a chart section on improving patient medication compliance. The spelling error and bad grammar only make it worse.




Monday, February 3, 2020

On call

Mr. Angry: "I demand you order an MRI of my abdomen."

Dr. Grumpy: "Sir, we've been through this before. I'm not the doctor seeing you for those issues. I was consulted because of your headaches. The GI doctor saw you yesterday, and has ordered a work-up for those issues."

Mr. Angry: "She didn't order an MRI of the area, and I want one. She ordered other stuff."

Dr. Grumpy: "I'm going to have to defer that work-up to her. It's not my specialty."

Mr. Angry: "This is ridiculous."


I left the room, wrote a note in the chart, and moved on to the next patient. As I scrolled though some test results my cell phone rang.


Dr. Grumpy: "This is Dr. Grumpy."

Officer: "Hi, doctor. This is Officer Badge of the Grumpyville Police Department."

Dr. Grumpy: "What can I do for you?"

Officer: "I'm sorry to bother you with this. Our 911 desk just got a call from a Mr. Angry. He says you're refusing to order tests on him, and called the emergency line to ask that we arrest you."

Dr. Grumpy: "I..." (I started giggling)

Officer: "Yeah, I know... But we have to address each call."

Dr. Grumpy: "I understand..."

Officer: "I'm just going to note that I spoke to you and nothing further was indicated. Have a good Sunday."

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Seen in a chart

On a patient with a heart attack.

Time to light up, apparently.



 
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