Notes from an emergency room doctor: Working
in an E.R. is a daily rehash of sickness, pain,
fear, death, sorrow, and grief. For those of us
who work there, it would soon become unbearable
if not for the humor people bring along with them.
Though that humor is often unintentional, I'd
like to thank all of the following anonymous patients
for bringing a little smile to a lot of bedraggled
emergency health care workers and for making work
a little more tolerable. The following dialogues
"Do you know your blood type?" an
R.N. asked her patient, a 38 year old Hispanic
gentleman who spoke limited English. "Rojo,"
The doctor finished examining his patient who
had pain in her pelvic region. "You have
an abscess," he told her. "Oh?"
she answered bewilderedly. "Is that a human
thing or a woman thing?"
A patient was asked if she took any medication.
"Only a vitamin for my nerves," she
replied, holding up a bottle labeled Valium.
A prostitute presented to the emergency room
for evaluation of a generalized rash. She couldn't
afford to pay because business was slow, obviously
hampered somewhat by her awful looking rash. The
question at check-in was, "is this covered
by Workman's Comp?"
A twenty-five year old male walked into the
emergency room holding a flashlight and shining
it into his right ear. When asked "why,"
he replied, "there's a cockroach in my ear
and I want it to be able to see its way out."
An intravenous drug abuser, on his way to the
emergency room to have an abscess on his left
arm drained, was assaulted in the hospital parking
lot. Punched in the arm, the abscess ruptured
and drained. His diagnosis on discharge was "Therapeutic
"I've had surgery on my breasts and testicles,"
the transsexual responded when asked about "her"
medical history. But when the doctor ordered some
blood tests she complained, "Why do I always
feel like a guinea pig?"
"He was sick and almost died when he was
a baby," the child's mother said. "What
was the problem?" the doctor asked. "He
had 'Sweet Mother Jesus,'" the mother answered
and was somewhat perturbed when the doctor didn't
know quite what to make of this "common ailment"
that almost killed her child. "You know,"
she said again, 'Swee' Motha' Jesus,' 'Swee' Motha'
Jesus.'" The doctor mulled over those words
again and again until the insight finally came
to him. "Oh," he smiled, "he had
spinal meningitis." "That's it,"
Mom said, ecstatic that she'd finally found a
doctor who wasn't totally ignorant about medicine.
That's all folks!!