Tuesday, May 24, 2005

And the hits keep on coming

I told myself that I needed to mix it up a little bit and not just post about the hospital, but then things happen there about which I need to write (with proper grammar apparently).

Today a woman who I will call Donna saunters in and with an incredibly bored voice says to me, "I need to see a doctor, I feel like I'm gonna die." Wow, sure sounds like it. She repeats this to the triage nurse with no urgency, pain, or anxiety in her attitude at all. The nurse is awesome though and says, "Can you be more specific about why you think that?" Clearly nobody is buying her story and Donna drops the "I'm gonna die" thing.

This is everyday occurence in the ER, people whose complaints are out of proportion to their problem. There's also guys who maintain a steely exterior when they've got to be hurting badly, but they're a minority. One of the things that medical staff ask patients is to rate their pain on a scale from one to ten with ten being the worst pain they can imagine. It's annoying to the nurses and doctors when patients immediately and casually say, "Ten," while smacking their gum.

After waiting a couple hours, which is really not a long wait for minor problems in an ER, Donna tells me she's going to leave because she doesn't want to miss her bus. I didn't, but I longed to say, "Good luck with that dying thing."

The other noteworthy thing that happened today was a guy whose girlfriend hit him with a hammer. On the dick. Yeah.

He comes in, sees there are quite a few people around the triage desk, and says to the nurse, "I don't want to say it out loud." Quickly realizing that the nurse isn't going to lean in so he can whisper his problem, he says, "Uh, she wasn't quite Lorena Bobbitt." Gotta love a guy that maintains a sense of humor while wincing mightily from a smashed penis.

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