Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Over the past year I’ve tried very hard to dedicate myself to writing a novel. I make no pretenses of writing the Great American Novel, nor even the Great Florida Novel; and I’d probably be pushing it to even claim a try at the Greatest Novel Within My Zip-Plus-Four Code. I am so dedicated to this task that to date, I’ve got no pages whatsoever under wraps. I do, however, have lots of sticky notes scattered within the pockets of my lab coat and the front pocket of the backpack I take to work. These sticky notes are usually gifts of dug companies, emblazoned with logos for drugs I don’t recall and probably wouldn’t prescribe anyway because most are too expensive for our usual ED clientele. However, they are useful for jotting down writing ideas, which I have apparently done with aplomb over the last few months. And because I want this pile of gummed memorandi out of the house and into the great compost pile we know as the landfill, I have reviewed them for whatever gleanings of knowledge they contain. I have chosen to share these with you because many of them are funny, a few are pithy, and simply retyping these gives me a way to quickly cheat on a blog entry without having to burn any original thought. These selections are also the ones where I could actually read my own handwriting (I am a doctor, you know). So I offer these gleanings for your amusement:

Said by nursing staff to a particular obstinate physician: “They name streets after you. One Way.”

Gynecology nurse: “I’m the Queen of In-Between!”

Noted to angry patient demanding pain medications: “Here’s your requested 5 mg of shut the #$%* up.”

Patient who presented with difficulty swallowing, sore throat, and blood in his semen was considered to have Ron Jeremy Syndrome. (Note: if you don’t get it right away, don’t bother looking it up. Not worth your time.)

Nursing staff: “Just b---h slap me if I ever make the ED my primary point of care for constipation.

Emergency care is the one-night stand of medicine. It’s fun and satisfying, but it doesn’t last long.

Nurse: “I’m a professional mushroom. I stand in the dark and get fed s…t all day long.”

“AA is for quitters…and quitters never win.”

Psychiatric screener: “He’s Off The Wall, and not in the good Michael Jackson sort of way.”

Patient: “You have to give me a prescription for Percocet. I’ve got a (Florida Medicaid) Gold Card.”

Why is it that you cannot eat a Tootsie Roll without drooling? And why is it that we have no compunction eating a tootsie roll, fully recognizing that it looks like an overgrown rabbit dropping?

Nurse reading the newspaper: “I’m checking the obits to make sure it’s nobody we saw last week.”

There was a pop culture magazine on the desk with a picture of a pregnant celebrity on the front. The considerable joy of children aside, clinically pregnancy is a pathologic state. There are changes in hemodynamics, respiratory capacity, and a host of complications and problems unique to the gravid state. So if pathology is beautiful, why don’t we have pictures of tumors and skin lesions and mangled limbs on the cover?

ED Tech: “Let’s not order Chinese. Last time we had it I think I got Chicken Chow Meow. (Or Kung Pow Meow. Or Geneal Tso’s Meow.” ( Or, as the bumper stickers say, “I Love Cats. I Had Two for Breakfast,” and “Cat: The Other White Meat.”)

Parent: “My two-month-old can’t speak.” (Neither could mine when he was that age. Which reminds me, speaking of things that normally can't, of The Child’s favorite talking dog joke:

This 12-year old and his dog go into a restaraunt. The waiter says, "I`ll give you a banana split on the house if that dog can talk!" The kid agrees with this bet.

Waiter: What`s on top of a house?

Dog: "Roof!"

Waiter: How does sandpaper feel?

Dog: "Ruff!"

Waiter: Who was the greatest baseball player of all time?


The Waiter throws the kid and his dog out of the restaraunt with no banana split.

The dog looks at the boy and says, "Do you think I should have said Mantle?"

For the record, said joke was typed into blog by The Child)

Which, in turn reminds me of my favorite talking dog joke, openly stolen from the Bob and Tom Radio Show:

A guy sees an ad in the paper for a $10.00 talking dog. The guy is intrigued by this bargain, so he goes to the home of the dog's owner and asks if he really has a talking dog for sale. "Sure I do," says the owner. "He's out back."

The guy goes into the backyard and sees a dog. "Are you a talking dog?"

"Yep, that's me," says the dog.

The guy is flabbergasted. "You're really a talking dog! This is amazing! But how did you get here?"

The dog answers,"Well, it's kind of a long story. I started out getting trained as a K-9 and rescue dog, but I broke a paw sniffing out the injured on 9/11. Then I did some airport work for the DEA in Miami. Eventually the heat was too much...I've got all this fur, you I moved up north and was a guide dog for the blind. I also had a chance to do some summer stock theater along the way...perhaps you've seen me in Annie?"

The guy runs to the dog's owner. "Of course I'll buy the dog!' he exclaims. "But why are you selling him in the first place?"

"Cuz he's a big fat liar," says the owner.

Nurse discussing toothache patient: “She has summer teeth. Summer there, and summer not.”

Physician Assistant: “Patient is here with back pain after a slip and fall. Guess what store it was in?” (Answer: Wal-Mart. Always Wal-Mart.)

Nurse regarding moaning teenage patient: “She has a case of the IBD’s. You know…I Be Dyin’.”

Patient: "Last time I was here, they lost me twice." (Where? In the broom closet?")

Nurse to physician: "How come your Johnson's levels are up?" (Johnson was a patient. I think.)

Patient: "If the protection fell off, can I get pregnant?" (Yes. Yesyeysyesyesyes. And she was.)

And finally, a note that working in the ED can restore your faith in romance. Just when you think you might be alone in this world, just a look about the ED. When you realize who can get pregnant, and who might have participated in the process…well, it makes you realize that there’s really someone for everybody.

(Please feel free to add your own ED gleanings as comments! Thanks!)

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