Thursday, July 30, 2015

Heading out

All right gang, time for the Grumpy family blow-out summer vacation. You're free of me for a few weeks. Have fun!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


Nurse B writes:

I work on a telemetry floor. As long as I've been there, they've had a board called "Look Who's Coming to Tele." The original idea, I guess, was that when a new nurse was hired they'd put up their picture with some fun facts about them so people could get to know them.

Apparently, a supervisor got tired of doing this, so at some point just taped up a few random pics and forgot about it. She went on to another job, and either took the key to the display cabinet with her, or someone lost it, or whatever. Anyway, no one has been able to open the display for at least 10 years. This isn't a big deal, since it isn't needed for anything. Important nursing memos are put up in a more time-honored place: the bathroom.

As a result, people have generally ignored the display for years. One of those things that gets filtered out, even if you walk by it repeatedly at work.

Yesterday, for no real reason, I stopped and looked at it. And began giggling.

I think it's time someone gets the case opened to change the pictures.

Thank you, Nurse B!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Best of both worlds

Seen on a patient's info sheet:

The first name listed above it was "Chris."

Monday, July 27, 2015


Dr. Grumpy: "All right, so the test Dr. Hand has asked me to do is called an EMG/NCV. It involves running some shocks through your arm, and putting a needle into different muscles, to see if you have carpal tunnel syndrome."

Mr. Carpal: "Yeah, whatever. I know your game."

Dr. Grumpy: "Excuse me?"

Mr. Carpal: "You and he are in on this, right?"

Dr. Grumpy: "No, I mean, I've never met him, I just saw his name on the order you brought in as the guy who ordered the test."

Mr. Carpal: "We all know I don't need this test."

Dr. Grump: "Well, the reason for doing it is..."

Mr. Carpal: "Don't give me that. This is all part of you guys' get-rich-scam. You're bilking me and my insurance."

Dr. Grumpy: "Sir, you don't have to have the test if you don't want to. Certainly, you're free to leave now, and there won't be any charge to anyone."

Mr. Carpal "Yeah, but I need the hand surgery. And Dr. Hand won't do it without this test. So I have to play along with your cozy racket here."

Dr. Grumpy: "I'm sorry you feel that way, but it really is..."

Mr. Carpal: "Look, I'm here. Just get the greedy game over with."

Friday, July 24, 2015

My readers write

This was sent in from retired policeman Steve:

Officer Steve: "Okay, Mr. Smith. We got your fingerprint results back. Not only is there a warrant out for your arrest, but the name you gave us is phony. The fingerprint match says your name is really Jones."

Mr. Whatever: "Well, they're both right. Smith is my maiden name."

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Great marketing survey questions

"Hey, that's an improvement of almost one-half of 1 percent of a day you're getting back."

Thank you, C!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Mary's desk

Mary: "Okay, can I make a copy of your insurance card?"

Mr. Card: "Here you go..."

Mary: "Um... This is Sick National Insurance. We're not contracted with them. I told you that when you called, and you told me you were covered by Major Illness."

Mr. Card: "Yeah, I know."

Mary: "So are you going to pay cash for today's visit? We don't take this plan."

Mr. Card: "No, I figured once I was in your office you guys were obligated to see me for free."

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Neurologists are a quirky bunch. We all have our own ways of checking various cognitive functions. We ask people to remember things, name presented objects, draw figures... a bunch of stuff.

But, in training, I had an attending on rounds who beat everyone else.

He was missing the 4th and 5th fingers from his right hand. I have no idea how it happened. He told different people different stories, ranging from a hunting accident to being tortured by the Stasi to a patient attacking him with a knife.


He'd do the usual stuff like having people remember objects, answer historical questions...

And then he'd suddenly spread out his right hand and ask "which fingers am I missing?"

The reactions of patients varied from shock, to a calm answer, to one demented lady who began screaming uncontrollably (granted, she did that when the door opened, too).

At the graduation banquet we gave him an award for "Best Neurological Exam Making Use of a Physical Deformity."

Monday, July 20, 2015

Modern life

Dr. Grumpy: "Well, looking over the hospital records, I'd have to agree that you had a seizure."

Mr. Lingo: "I didn't have a seizure! You don't understand!"

Dr. Grumpy: "Well, they aren't that uncommon. Every year..."

Mr. Lingo: " I can't have had a seizure! Don't you see? It would really affect my brand."

Friday, July 17, 2015

Friday whatever

Ms. Vocab: "My Mom had breast cancer, so they did a vasectomy."

Dr. Grumpy: "You mean mastectomy?"

Ms. Vocab: "Whatever."

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Online CME

Gee, how'd I miss that one? I was sure it was "B."

Thank you, SMOD!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Monday afternoon

Dr. Grumpy: "Looking at these reports, the MRI of your neck is normal. So is the CT scan, and the X-rays."

Ms. Ichabod: "That's what all the neck surgeons say, too! But I know something is wrong!"

Dr. Grumpy: "Okay, but..."

Ms. Ichabod: "This is why Dr. Sousaphone said he was referring me to you! He said you specialized in cases like mine."

Dr. Grumpy: "Well, I'm not sure there are any further studies to be done because..."

Ms. Ichabod: "You realize my head could completely fall off my shoulders and I could die at any time due to the uncaring attitude of doctors like you, DON'T YOU?!!!"

 After 20 years, I still don't know how I manage to keep a straight face at these times.

Monday, July 13, 2015


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

Mrs. McDonald: "Hi, I'm on my way there for my appointment, but I'm running late."

Mary: "Okay, well, the one after you just cancelled, so come on in and he'll see you when you get here."

Mrs. McDonald: "What a mess. The neighbor's asshole rooster came into my yard, and my dog got it. Feathers every-fucking-where."

Mary: "We'll see you soon."

Mrs. McDonald: "The bird had it coming, too. I mean, every day he struts around on top of MY fence like he fucking owns the place, and taunts Bitsy. If he was stupid enough to come down to the ground, he deserves whatever she did to him."

Mary: "..."

Mrs. McDonald: "My goats saw the whole thing. They were probably cheering for Bitsy the whole time. And then, when I finally got the damn bird away from Bitsy, and it was still alive, I handed it over the fence to the bitch owner. And you know what she said? She said that if he dies, I owe her a new rooster. The hell I do."

Mary: "I..."

Mrs. McDonald: "I told her she could get her ass over and clean up the feathers that are all over my yard. If it's her bird, then they're her feathers, aren't they? So she better have them all picked up and gone when I get home."

Mary: "Okay..."

Mrs. McDonald: "Anyway, I can show you the pictures of the feathers and the bird when I get there to prove I'm telling the truth. I took a lot of them for evidence, because, you know, this is probably going to end up in front of Judge Wapner or something. I'll be at your place in a few."


Friday, July 10, 2015

Overhead hospital page

"Will the owner of a red fire truck parked in front of ER please move your vehicle?"

Thank you, Marsha!

Thursday, July 9, 2015


In 1995, in the usual tradition, my nephew was circumcised.

The ceremony was at my parent's house. Mom placed the foreskin in a Ziploc bag and put it in her freezer. Her plan was to give it to my sister on the kid's first birthday...  I'm still not sure why.

When my nephew was a year old, Mom went looking through the freezer. She couldn't find the bag. Multiple attempts at moving things around, looking through piles of frost, etc. were unsuccessful. The foreskin had vanished into some sort of interdimensional void.

This became a running family joke. Was it accidentally slipped into a quart of ice cream? Mixed in with the Thanksgiving stuffing? Served with a brisket? Inquiring minds wanted to know.

My mother never gave up. It was wrapped in gauze, in a Ziploc bag with the kid's name on it. No one else in the family said they'd removed it. Repeated searches were unsuccessful.

Last year, after my nephew moved away for college, Mom decided to get rid of the old freezer. She defrosted it, carefully removed and inspected everything in it, and checked every single corner and shelf.


We have no idea. And likely never will.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Beware of the Dragon

Sent in by a reader, seen in a cervical spine MRI report.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess what was said in the first line was "the lesions are as follows."

If the report is accurate, then it's the worst case of wandering uterus ever.

Thank you, Diane!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


Dr. Grumpy: "You're lucky to be alive. Looks like you had a pretty serious head injury."

Mr. Patterson: "That's what they told me. They had to open my head up 3 times in the first 2 days to get the brain bleeding to stop."

Dr. Grumpy: "Yeah... I'm looking at the CT scans here... How did this happen?"

Mr. Patterson: "I was on vacation, and my wake-up call was for 3:30 a.m. I don't normally get up that early, and when the phone rang it really startled me. I jumped up in bed, and knocked this heavy painting off the wall and it cracked me on the head. Then, when I was trying to get the phone to stop ringing, I fell out of bed and hit my head really hard on the night stand. When I tried to get off the floor I knocked that over, and this metal lamp landed on my head."

Dr. Grumpy: "Wow. Why were you getting up so early on vacation, anyway?"

Mr. Patterson: "I had to meet my group at 4:15. I'd signed up for a tour to search for Bigfoot."
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