Sunday, December 13, 2009


"Ok, so I found the perfect candidate for the MTV show 'Made,'" the DNB emails me during his last shift in the Emergency Department. "She needs to be made into NOT A TOTAL DORK."

He explains the situation the next morning. An 18-year-old girl comes into the ED in a wheelchair with her parents at 11:30pm on a weekend. Her chief complaint is back pain. The DNB examines her, and learns that a kid threw a rock at her.

This seems horrible at first. Except that it happened THREE DAYS AGO. Oh, and the ROCK HIT HER BACK PACK. IT DIDN'T EVEN HIT HER.

"Well, it touched my back when it rolled down," the girl explains to the cops her parents have called to investigate.

The DNB coughs and avoids making eye contact with anyone.

"So let's just think through the physics of this," the DNB says to me, interrupting his story. "Let's assume the girl had SOMETHING in her back pack. A notebook, a textbook, something between her delicate body and the rock. How big did that rock have to be in order to hit her back pack and still cause back pain three days later?"

"A small boulder?" I suggest. "Did it knock her down?"

"No! I promise, in my expert medical opinion, it did nothing to her!" the DNB shouts. "My guess is that her World of Warcraft connection went down and she had nothing better to do with her Friday night."

"OH!" he continues. "And then she has asthma. Of course she has asthma. She has to have asthma. And she wants a nebulizer to take home. I suggest that, for an 18-year-old, an inhaler will be just as effective and work much more quickly. She tells me she wants the neb because SHE'S NOT COORDINATED ENOUGH TO BREATHE AT THE RIGHT TIME AFTER SHE PUSHES THE INHALER. Are you serious? You can't figure out how to breathe? You've only been doing it every few seconds for the past 18 years!"

Yeah, if you thought doctors don't make fun of patients, let's just put that myth to rest.

"What do you think, is she a theater kid?" I ask.

"Nah, she's too timid for that.  I'm guessing she played the clarinet in band her freshman year and then dropped out.  Band is already full of people who are social rejects.  If you get rejected by the social rejects, you may as well drown yourself."

"Yeah," I reply, "That wouldn't be too hard.  Just tie a rock to your back pack..."

No comments: