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Happy Valentine’s Day, Med Nerds!

February 14, 2012

My heart is beating in Normal Sinus Rhythm, i.e. yes, I’m still alive even if I haven’t posted a blog entry in ages. I’ve been working more than I should. Speaking of, I’ll be working the evening/overnight shift as a Hospitalist tonight. With the boyfriend – who sets my heart aflutter (s. tach) – on the other side of the country, I’ll be counting on entertainment sourced from my evening spent skulking around the ER and the ward rooms.

Even when it’s not a lovey-dovey holiday, the evening shift usually includes some hilarious but inappropriate statements from the elderly gents, some of whom have a dementia so profound that they can’t remember if they can remember. Their jovial come-ons are halfway between charming and uncomfortable: “If I knew you’d be my doctor, I would’ve tried harder to be sick,” “Pardon me, I think my blood pressure will be a little high if you’re the one taking it,” or “If I were 50 years younger, well I . . . you had better watch out! Well, anyway, I’m 82 now, I’m just a little slower than I used to be.”

The acutely psychotic younger men and the drunk teenagers are more direct, and that stuff is far too scary to publish here. There was however one teenager who tried to take a page from the old man’s book. He’d been drunk on a bike and hit his head, not wearing a helmet. I was examining him in the ER and when I asked about diplopia (double vision), his response was “well, I’m only seeing one of you, and you are looking mighty fine!” It was hard not to snicker the whole way back to the charting area.

Hopefully tonight will provide some new gems to smile about. And for your smile, I give you this highly-educational mnemonic dance video for various heart rhythms:

6 Comments leave one →
  1. February 14, 2012 12:46 pm

    Haha.. I was observing a few surgeries last weekend and we asked the patient if he had a job (he was around 19 or so), his answer: “I work the ladies…” Then he goes under! It’s too funny the things you hear people say.

    • February 15, 2012 3:20 am

      That’s pretty clever for a 19 year old! He’s gonna turn into one of these smooth nursing home lads when he’s 90. Most of the other men will be dead already, so he’ll have the run of the place to… work the ladies.

  2. February 14, 2012 1:17 pm

    Hi Jessica,
    Drunk or not, the young fellow’s observational powers were not impaired if my 75 year old memory serves me well..
    Happy Valentine’s day.


    • February 15, 2012 3:24 am

      very sweet Marco, thanks!

      As it turned out, I spent the better part of the evening chatting with an interesting old guy about his time with the Kreigsmarine. Not very romantic, but practicing a wee bit of German and relating his stories to my own German grandfather’s was a nice way to spend an evening.

  3. February 14, 2012 9:37 pm

    I once admitted an octogenarian for a colonoscopy to see if his rectal bleed was colon cancer. He kept running about the hospital with his open gown flying in the breeze to see lassies his age on the other wards. We’d have to keep tracking him down and bringing him back. He kept asking when he was going to have his procedure even after he had it done.
    ; ) Alas, sometimes senility has its advantages. I am starting to appreciate that more with each day that passes. Getting on is not for sissies. Of course we have to consider the alternatives.

    • February 15, 2012 3:30 am

      Every day, I am impressed by 85 year olds who wonder if maybe their diverticular bleed was exacerbated by their 30 minutes a day on the exercise bike, 95 year old ladies who say “hey, I’m 95, I know I can’t walk 3km a day any more – I had to stop last year because I was going too slow,” or 82 year olds with metastatic cancer who complain that they turn a little to the left while swimming since suffering a stroke.

      If I’m half that spry (and sharp!) at 70, I’ll be so pleased! That would be great, but if I have to have an MMSE <20, it might be fun to be the frontally-disinhibited Betty White of the nursing home.

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