shit ER patients say

posted on: Thursday, September 20, 2012

i know you're not supposed to talk about religion or politics in public.
but if you ever find yourself in my parents' home,
they'll consider it a private residence
and open fire.

i kid. but seriously.
my dad is passionate about politics.
and we have differing views.

this time of year, every four years,

segue: day #3, a song that reminds you of one of your parents
Hotel California (Eagles).mp3 by Hotel California (Eagles on Grooveshark
i have a distinct memory of riding in the car with my dad...
and, as i told you before, we were a strictly-Christian-Contemporary-Music family
but this song came on the air
and my dad started singing every. single. word.
this was the moment i knew my dad was the coolest.
and it stuck with me all the way up till my wedding
and ill-fitting though it may seem,
this was the song my father and i danced to at my reception
it's a long-ass song.
so after 2 minutes or so, everybody joined in.

moving on...

without broadcasting my political views on the blog
(which, admittedly, are poorly thought out
and primarily based on knee-jerk reactions
and personal experience. i've been a little...busy...for the past few years.)
let's just say that i'm an advocate for the 47%
they are the reason i get up and go to work in the morning.
it is my honor and privilege to serve these people
who have nowhere else to go.
some may call them "freeloaders"?
pretty sure the words Jesus used were "the least of these".

but i digress.
they still find themselves in ridiculous situations.
rich and poor alike. insured and uninsured.
everyone has predicaments.
and i'm here to document them.
devoid of any and all identifying information, of course.

so without further ado:

patient: "i feel like a baby is sitting on my chest"
me: "a baby?"
patient: yeah. i know people usually say it's an elephant. but for me it's a baby.

me: do you have any medical problems?
patient: no.
me: then what are these 12 medications you're taking for?
patient: well i USED to have high blood pressure and high cholesterol and diabetes. but now i take all those medicines. so i don't have those problems anymore.

pregnant patient: is it true that if you do this [patient is standing. bends knees and gyrates hips as if using a hula hoop] then yo baby cord be wrapped around its neck?
me: no.

me: so tell me what brings you here today?
patient: this is the worst day of my life. i was just driving along and some dude sideswiped me and now i'm here.
me: the chart says the police brought you here...because you were driving drunk? and you wrecked your car?
patient: well, yeah.

me: tell me what happened?
5 year old patient: i got hit in the face with a soccer ball during my soccer game. then i got a headache. then i threw up.
me: i'm sorry you didn't feel good. why do you think you threw up?
5 year old patient with frowny face: i think i ate too many sweets.

God Bless America, friends.
and God bless us, everyone.


  1. i knew i'd love this just from the title.

    we won't discuss politics, because it's just unnecessary. however, really with the umbilical cord? woah. that is some ridiculous shit. i think the little kid is the cutest, naturally. he ate too many sweets. getting hit in the head had nothing to do with the vomiting. gotta love parents and their brainwashing...

  2. Oh my gosh that made me laugh. Got to love your patients.

  3. My Dad had Hotel California on cassette, We'd listen to it then I'd flip the tape over and fast forward it so that I could then flip it back again and listen again. Probably explains how I tried to learn the chords when I first learnt the guitar (my Dad made some comment about how I should learn the actual guitar solo!!)

    Love those comments from the ER patients. I've said in a+e and overheard some conversations. Then again having been into a+e on a spinal board and been one of those patients it's quite funny.

    Doctor (who looked like a British celebrity called Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen): "Does this hurt?" (as he squishes and pokes my ankle)

    Me: Kind of (well you are poking it and I just missed a car wing mirror by about two inches lol)

    Doctor: Can I have a yes or a no please?

    Me: Kind of (Dude I'm in shock here! I was in town and now I'm in A+E strapped to a spinal board having held up traffic through the whole of Bedford.

    I think I was then sent to x-Ray. Came back from X-ray and my neck had started to seize up with whiplash so I was given a collar - which was gorgeous lol. And my ankle was strapped because although it wasn't broken it was bruised and twisted.

  4. So...that person thought it was possible that they could do something to wrap the cord around the baby's neck....and they did it? ha! That's what kills me most about that one!

  5. you are hilarious! i love your blog. And now that you made that tiny statement about your political beliefs, i like you even more!!! thank you for being that person who wants to serve the least of these, because i firmly believe that is WJWD (what jesus would do). you're awesome!

  6. my FAVORITE quote form my momma:

    mom: so what seems to be the problem today..
    patient: my child's tummy is grumbling SO LOUDLY, the dog looks at her funny..
    mom: when was the last time your child ate?
    patient: oh.. yesterday.. (mind you, it's like lunch time now..)

    orrrr.... every patient who comes into the EMERGENCY ROOM for things like a common cold... thanks to my mom, i'll never ever go to the hospital unless i'm physically dying. nope. just pop an advil, rest, relax, and feel better..

  7. If this was Facebook, I'd "like" this post.

    I had some funny -- awkward? -- moments from when I worked in a psychiatric hospital...Or does the location make it not funny? In poor taste to share?

  8. This makes me want to work somewhere that people say crazy and hilarious things!

  9. Never a dull moment for you I'm sure! These are all so funny! And Hotel California reminds me of my parents as well! My mom is a big Eagles fan. That records was always playing in our house! ha.

  10. I want to laugh but I know I've said a dumb thing or two as an ER patient in my day...:p

  11. i so want to write this about the ish my personal training clients say, but they all read my blog... and would be pissed. nice one here.

  12. My brother is in psych at the VA in Los Angeles...I could spend hours listening to his stories.

  13. Love every bit of this and as a social worker I also feel privileged to work with the 47%. :D

  14. :) Today a patient was telling me about her ability to converse with and banish ghosts. I thought she was joking but she was completely bloody serious. I finished up her treatment as soon as I could.

  15. Oh I can only imagine!! Wow.

    I know it would be so hard to witness some of the crazy things that come your way so its probably nice to have some comic relief once in a while!

  16. "The least of these" for sure ... I like that you see all of your patients as people who just need care. And those quotes are great :)

  17. Hahahaha :)
    These are so hysterically funny Em, I am rolling around with laughter! You could write a book with all these ridiculous things they say...

  18. Hi dear!
    Love so much you're blog, is amazing!
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    Hope u follow back :) :)

    A lot of kisses.

  19. Those were funny :) I espcially like the patient that said how once he/she took all those meds then they didn't have any problems anymore!

  20. Hi, new commenter here! Love your blog, especially this one! I understand all too well. I work at the county hospital in Dallas! I work in L&D now, but spent a good amount of time in the ER before....I could write a book on the crazy things people say. My hands down favorite would have to be

    Dr: sir, what brings you to the ER today?
    Patient: well, I've been to a lot of strip clubs in my life.....and I'm depressed.
    Dr: ok....and what do you feel depressed about?
    Patient: I can't stop thinking about strippers.....

    I can't make this stuff up.

  21. I love your segues. Who knew a post about your father daughter dance would lead to quotes from patients! :) As someone who used to work in health literacy, I'm not even surprised anymore at what patients don't understand. My husband once had a pregnant patient whose husband convinced her that they had to have sex to feed the baby. :/

  22. I heart things patients say posts! The one about the twelve Meds cracked me up!

  23. your blog entires are the freakin' best.

  24. you have an interesting life, em. and from the number of comments here, it seems a number of people agree :)

    regarding the "least of these"... i agree with you in the same breath that i disagree. i agree with your heart for people, your compassion. i agree with your desire to meet needs. i agree with the idea that we should use what we have to serve those who have not. how could i not and still call myself a Christian?

    what i disagree with is the implication that government can or should compel those feelings or actions. if a man's needs are met because another man was compelled to meet them, then compassion of the kind you speak is absent. forced compassion is like the calvinist conception of irresistible grace; it is oxymoronic.

    god gave us freedom to choose whether we will live righteously. government reflects his image if and only if it follows suit. we must urge compassion, but we must resist the urge to compel it.

    that's all i have to say about that :)

  25. haHA i love this post. more please.


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