Today was the first day of shadowing, and although it's always been there, I suppose I just noticied it today.
There's this big drive on all the tower floors, to "reduce pain". Of course, that's not a bad thing, but most of the patients that come in there have been smoking for 40 years, and then expect to have all their pain removed by a couple of morphine drips. That was a bit irritating, because patients need to stfu, and stop sneaking out for smoke breaks.
1. 55 year old, Male, African American
Comes in with complaints of SOMETHING on his foot. This is Dallas, so everyone's expecting something kickaess. Naturally, it was kickaess, but probably not for the patient. It was this big pus-filled abcess. Yeah.. Then the doctor had to pop it. Whoo. There goes my lunch. Probably one of the nastiest abcesses I've ever seen. At least it didn't squirt. I tried my best to maintain a very stoic countenance, but I found the sides of my mouth clenching for relief. But that's not the weird part.
During the course of the procedure (draining + evaluation), he was smiling with this very pretentious looking top-hat, as if he was about to break into some dance routine. I later found out that he was a little mentally unstable. No one smiles when a metal probe is 4 inches into an abcess, because it hurts like hell.
2. 36 year old, Female, African American
This lady was also mentally unstable. Her wound was nothing new; small, chronic, easy to cure (for normal people, anyway). She kept talking about when she found out she got Diabetes Type I during her childhood and her friends would sneak her candybars and she'd end up in the ER. Yet, like an Alzheimer's patient, she continued to consumed pilfered candy. Oh well. Then she started talking about her podiatrist, and everyone got the feeling that she had a crush on him.
Beyond that, usual stuff, crazy people in the hospital (the above mentioned were clinic patients), some people being told that they'd lose their leg, and others being told that the only emotion their father/mother can feel is pain. Harsh, yes. Take care of your body. Although I'm probably not one to say that.
I remembered this one funny incident, which only resurfaced when accusations of being a stereotypical Plano elitist were directed toward me.
During one of the meetings, we were discussing "car safety". The RA asks "What's the best way to keep your car safe, from broken into, and possibly being stolen?".
Then answer was obvious. Not was. Is obvious. The answer IS obvious. Engine immobililzer technology. I promptly raised my hand. "A small magnetic chip inserted in your key will enable the ignition mechanism to lift the safety locks, allowing you to start your car". Rofl. At that time, I thought all (relatively recent) cars came with it, like passenger side airbags.
Apparently not. EI technology was (then) found on certain Honda models among others. Oh well. The accepted, "Big Brother" answer is "keep your valuables from being seen from the outside".
Just because Ford and GM make shitty cars doesn't mean you have to alter your behavior. Oh and some South African invented a system that sprays gasoline and ignites it to anyone carjacking you. We had much fun discussing this (Doctor + Me + Drug Rep). Then I mooched some free lunch from the drug company. Huzzah.