Friday, November 20, 2009

Sir, You Have a Spear in Your Chest

Whatever you do for a living, I'm sure you can sympathize with the following... A person infiltrates your place of purveyance only to completely frustrate you because they, apparently, want nothing to do with your opinion or your services. In this case, I was reminded of the Monty Python 'Dead Parrot' skit, included above. Had the following patient walked in with a spear in his chest he would not have believed me either.

Me: Sir, how can I help you today?

Patient: I have chest pain.

Me: I see here you recently had a heart attack and had a stent placed?

Patient: Yeah, but I think it's my heartburn again... And my heart keeps racing... Maybe it's the vitamins I'm taking.

Me: Sir, I see the cardiologist wanted to put in an AICD/Pacer because of a cardiac rhythm problem... Why didn't you get it?

Patient: That's why I stopped taking my metformin... I think that was making my heart beat too fast.

Me: And why have you chosen to come and see me today if you have it all figured out already?

Patient: So you can write me a work note.


  1. What on earth sort of job did you take? All this note-writing stuff ... ?

  2. I love the "Dead Parrot" skit, it's brilliant!
    We all find ourselves in situations that make you wonder where the hidden camera is.
    But really, would a spear in his chest have convinced you to write him a work note ?
    Sigh.. what a patient has to go through to make a Dr comply ;-)
    Poor man must have been exhausted and you probably did not even give him the darn note for which he worked so hard.

  3. Can I have a note too? I don't really need one. I just want one.

  4. So... in denial? scared shitless? wants to slow things down-just can't process it all? doesn't have $? work is overwhelming: fear of job loss (thinks maybe he just needs a few days to feel better vs procedure that would label him as liability and put him on "expensive employee" list).

  5. Reminds me of the patient I met recently who complained about his ER care at a very reputable hospital. Seems this patient (who has no insurance) went to the ER with an infected wound to his knee. His knee was swollen, the wound draining pus even though he was already on an antibiotic. The ER doc gave the patient a prescription for another antibiotic, but the patient tore it up in disgust. Seems the ungrateful idiot didn't go to the ER for a prescription, he just wanted his bandage changed!

    Just another example of what's swimming around in the shallow-end of the gene pool.

  6. 911DOC,

    That is priceless. Had a young woman come into the ER chief complaint - my R breast implant is coming out. So of course that sparked my curiosity. Turns out she had an abscess 2 weeks ago that she drained herself, because she has no insurance, and the abscess had formed an 1.5-2cm hole and approximately 1cm of the implant was sticking out of this abscess wound. The woman refused local sedation and wanted the implant out now. So we accommodated her wishes and removed the implant. Shortly afterward, asked if we could write for some Percocet since she ran out. Don't you miss the ER?

  7. LOL...too funny. Nice site, nice post. And funny interaction. I will be following.

    Started my own site so checking out other medical blogs. Check it out.

    Enjoy the holidays.

  8. In the spirit of the holiday: Sir, You Have A Turkey Stuck On Your Head!

    Eat, drink, be merry, and stay out of the ER, folks.

  9. scut-dog,
    i miss the ER only in that i feel, in acute care medicine, like a pro ball player forced to play with the family at Thanksgiving. feels a bit of a waste if you catch my drift, but it sure is less irritating.