Thursday, November 11, 2010

NaBloPoMo Day 11

"The ED is like a box of chocolates... you just never know what you're gonna get...!"

One of the reasons I got into Emergency Medicine is the constant variety.  I have no idea on any given day what may walk in the door.  I don't like Urgent Care so much because, for the most part, you see the same people every day:

1.  Chronic back pain
2.  Chronic headache
3.  Abscess
4.  Sore throat
5.  Feeling ill
6.  Tooth ache
7.  Ear ache
8.  any combination of the above which has been going on for the last 2 months

Today's shift was a little more interesting.  Even though we didn't see the large volume (80+) that we saw last week, we had some very interesting cases today...

 - a patient on blood thinners who fell and bled into his knee.  I got to stick a big needle into it and drain out a little more than a cup of blood
- a patient who fell and broke their wrist a couple of days ago.  They took off their splint to take a shower and managed to twist their arm somehow....  the wrong way.  They came in when they couldn't straighten it back up.
- an adult patient with chicken pox
- a patient with a growth on their back that I had no idea what it was but I suspect had been there longer than they were letting on
- a homeless patient that had developed a rash from probably bed bugs who came in wearing flea collars
and, finally, did you ever see that Seinfeld episode where Kramer takes a dog to the vet because it had the same cough that he did?

I had a grandparent today that I am sure brought in their grandchild under the pretense that the child had a sore throat so that the grandparent could get antibiotics for their own sore throat. The child was happy and playing with a reported fever over 103. Tonsils were normal. When I suggested that the child had a viral illness and didn't need antibiotics, the grandparent suddenly became very concerned stating the child went from really sick to feeling fine. They were concerned the child would get worse over the weekend, and that they "really needed to make sure they had antibiotics." The grandparent was looking pretty haggard themselves, and they let me know that they didn't have insurance and were close to losing their home. OK. OK. Antibiotics for everyone.

Seriously, box of chocolates, and I get to indulge several times a week.  


betty said...

It is like a box of chocolates, isn't it? And of course no day is ever the same as the day before. It saddens me when I type ER reports with people desperate because of being homeless, losing homes, etc and they are contemplating suicide. I'm sure you hear your own horror stories and I am sure it is hard to deal with it all some days.

(I helped myself to a piece of chocolate on the way out :)

enjoy the weekend (unless you are working :)


Lori said...

Um. This was a very interesting post. But I had to read it twice. That picture of the chocolates kept me from concentrating the first time through. I got to the end and realized I had no idea what you had written; all I could see in my mind's eye was that box of chocolates. And now I really, really, want some chocolate!

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