Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I'd Rather Have A Heart Attack

Man comes to triage complaining of chest pain.

Me: What sort of medical history do you have?
Man: I have high blood pressure but I haven't taken my pills for a few days. I ran out.
(Man's blood pressure is 192/113)
Me: What other history do you have?
Man: I have high cholesterol.
Me: And what do you take for that?
Man: Well I used to take statins but I stopped taking them a few months ago because I didn't like all of the negative publicity around them.
Me: (pause) Oh-kay. And what about all the negative publicity around heart attacks? Have you ever seen or heard any of that?
Man: Yeah I guess so.

Guess my lecture was too late. The man was having a huge heart attack. Practically preventable had he been taking his cholesterol pills.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Nothing Gets By This Kid!

I live in the 'burbs. A very WASP-y 'burb. It's not that my kids have never seen anyone who isn't white (we travel into the very multicultural city on a regular basis), it's just that they aren't used to seeing anyone who doesn't look like them on the outside in their neighbourhood very often. The other afternoon we were at the local swimming pool. A couple of kids with dark dark dark ebony skin swam by. My one 2 1/2 year old looked at them as they swam by. I watched as he sat for a minute observing them. Then he said to himself "dat black"...and swam on his merry way.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Timeout Corner

Accountability. Something that I am trying to ingrain in my children. For everything you do in life there is a consequence - negative or positive. Sometimes you may not like the outcome of your decision, but regardless of your choice you have to take ownership of it. If you choose to hit your brother when he steals your truck instead of asking for it back, you go into timeout. And as you sit in timeout, you can think about your action and it's consequence. I seriously wish there was a timeout corner for ER patients. The lack of accountability that a great deal of these people have is outrageous. The man who has a tempertantrum because he has to wait for 4 hours to be seen for the back pain he's had for 2 months (and naturally hasn't taken anything for since last Tuesday) or the lady who was given a prescription for high blood pressure that hasn't had time to fill it in the last three weeks who now presents with a headache and a blood pressure of 215/112. Our health care system could save hundreds of millions of dollars a year if the general public would just learn how to be accountable for their health. The 63 year old who didn't want to spend $20 on Accucheck strips is now costing the health care system thousands because he is now hospitalized for a week with a blood sugar of 68. Not only is there strain on the finances of the health care system, but on his household as he is now off work, his family has to pay $20/day for parking, the emotional strain of the family is unmeasurable, plus who really wants to spend a week in the hospital??? The timeout corner when you are 2 1/2 is horrible because you can't play with your toys or your brother plus it totally sucks having mom upset with you. The timeout corner for our unaccountable patients should have glaring bright strobe lights, be blasting that stupid "Friday" song full blast and smell like a combination of c-diff and a stage 3 pressure ulcer. One hour in the timeout corner. I would love to think that this would change the health accountability of most patients although I would also love to think that my son will not spend anymore time in timeout for hitting his brother. Needless to say there has been more than one timeout in our house.

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Lesson For All

A very intoxicated 16 year old enters triage:

Me: So what can I do for you today?

Drunk 16 yr-old (slurring her words): I had a lot to drink....only Sir Sam' drugs...I don't do that and I was outside and now my hands are yellow. And before my face was yellow.

Concerned Mother: Yeah, it's weird. She was outside for a long time and now her hands are yellow! They aren't going to fall off are they???

Me: What were you doing outside? Where were you?

Drunk 16 yr-old: Just at McDonalds. Nowhere else. I had fries and a milkshake. But no drugs. Are my hands going to fall off?

Me: Did you try washing your hands?

It was at this point I grabbed some cleaning solution, put them on a gauze and started to wipe the patient's hands...and amazingly whatever yellow crap was on them wiped off onto the gauze!

Me: Maybe you should have washed your hands.

Concerned Mother: So her hands aren't going to fall off?

And this boys and girls is the reason that some people should not be allowed to reproduce. I thank you for your attention.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Gas Exchange

This really doesn't have anything to do with anything but thought I would share this with the world. I am sitting here catching up on my blog readings and listening to my 2 1/2 year old twin boys fake burp in bed. They "burp" then say "fart" (apparently any source of gas is a fart) then start giggling. Ok, honestly, I don't know who is giggling harder right now - me or them.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Brilliance Personified

Me: So what brought you to the ER today?

Brilliant Mother: Well my kid's been coughing a lot since last night and I thought I should bring her in

Me: It says on the chart here that she had Ventolin at 0500 today.

Brilliant Mother: Yep. And it worked for a while.

Me: Well it's now 10 pm, has she had any since then?

Brilliant Mother: No and she's still coughing

Me: Really? (inside voice: SHOCKING!!) Well you do realize that the Ventolin is to help with the coughing that is related to her asthma. If you don't give it then she won't get better.

Brilliant Mother: Yeah....I guess.

Brilliant Mother left with her offspring with instructions by the doctor to use her Ventolin puffer. And the Canadian tax payers were charged $350.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

My Little Hypochondriac

One of my sons is a hypochondriac. Fabulous. A feather can brush against his finger and he will then carry on for the next ten minutes about his sore finger...about how he needs mommy to kiss it better...about how it is going to fall off...about how there is going to be a nuclear holocaust if someone doesn't stop the North Korean regime before it's too late. Ok - he might not use words like Holocaust...he is only 2 1/2 after all. He also has this new excuse when he doesn't want to do something..."my (insert body part) hurts". I looked at him the other day after his 42nd body part of the day had been injured/hurt and said "I know that you don't understand what I'm about to say to you, bust you really have the wrong mother to be trying to pulling such stunts. I am in a profession where I know what it means to have something hurt and believe me - you are not hurt. And trust me, it is only going to get harder and harder for you to try and convince me otherwise". My 2 1/2 year old just looked at me and ran off to play with his fire truck...his decrepit, painful, injured body suddenly and magically cured. For the time being at least.