Not Quite That Stupid
Case Study 1:
[Frail, emaciated patient sitting in her hospital bed, bug-eyed and awaiting our help]
Patient: It’s the strangest thing. I just woke up one morning, and I had these two huge spider bites on my arms, one on my left and one on my right. They kept getting bigger and redder, and I guess they got infected, so now I’m here.
[A quick inspection of her arms reveals two quarter-sized lesions on opposite sides of her arm, mirror images of one-another]
Me: So you say you got these two spider bites in the exact same place on each arm at the exact same time?
[Patient begins scratching her neck]
Patient: Yep. Strangest thing, eh doc?
[Toxicology Screen: Positive for cocaine, heroin, etc.]
Me: Ya, I guess there’s some crazy spiders running around LA these days.
Case Study 2:
[Patient in the ER, in an immense amount of pain]
Patient: I don’t know what happened. I was fine and all, and then suddenly I lost my strength and just fell down. I didn’t see it as I was falling, but I guess it was there the whole time. I fell right on it, and it went right through me. I am in a lot of pain, doc. It hurts so bad.
Trauma Team: OK, so we’re going to take a few X-ray’s and get to the bottom of this. Hopefully the pain medications will kick in soon.
[Trauma Team reviews the abdominal X-ray, which reveals an approximately 5-inch long metal object, clearly resembling a nail file, lodged partially in the sigmoid colon and rectum, and partially outside this space. It has perforated the colon.]
Team: Sir, it appears as if you have a nail file stuck in your anus and colon.
Patient [in feigned disbelief]: You mean to tell me I fell on a nail file? And it went through my butt into my colon?
Team: Umm…do you mean to tell us you fell on a nail file and it ended up in your colon?
Case Study 3:
[Patient presents to ER, blunt head trauma, but still conscious, awake, alert, and oriented. A team of medical students is called to evaluate this patient. Time: Approximately 5 AM]
Team: Do you remember what happened?
Patient: Ya, so, I was just setting up a bed, putting the frame together, and something went wrong.
Team: What happened?
Patient: I don't remember how it happened, but the next thing I know, my head is being propelled right into the wall. My head went through the drywall, and it got stuck there. I was just trying to put the bed together for my friend, he just got a new mattress and everything. Oh, man, it hurts so bad.
Team: So let me get this straight: you were putting a bed together at 4 AM?
Patient: Umm…ya so-
[We receive a tap on the shoulder by an ER nurse, who shows us the patient’s original history he gave to the ER doctor, apparently after intensive interrogation:
“Patient was performing a sexual act with his partner involving repeated back flips. Patient did a back flip and accidentally propelled his head into the drywall.”
We leave the patient's bed.]
Right. So anyways, I just thought I’d share these brief tales as a cautionary piece of advice for any of you who might think you can get away with not telling us the real reason why you’re in the hospital. In general, it will be painfully obvious, and your lying to us will only make you look like a bigger idiot. And if you think the doctors don't sit around the doctor lounge telling everyone about the massive deuce you tried to feed them, then you've got another thing coming. And by "another thing" I mean a nail file right up your rectum.
As an aside, if anyone can explain to me how doing backflips while having sex enhances the sexual experience, I’d love to hear it. Then try it out, of course.