Monday, October 24, 2011

How Do I Put This, Medically?

Patient on the phone: "Is Dr. C there? I mean, is he still THERE?"

Me: "The doctor's picked up all his messages for today, but I'd be happy to leave him a message for tomorrow."

Patient: "Is he still THERE?"

Me: "Did you leave him a message earlier today?"

Patient: "No, but..."

Me: "Is it an emergency?"

Patient: "Yes."

Me: "What is your emergency?"

Patient: "I have been taking high doses of iron pills. I'm so constipated. It's's impacted."

Me: "Ok..."

Patient: "I tried a suppository laxative...and it didn't work."

Me: "Ok...I can have the doctor call you tomorrow..."

Patient: "No. I'm sticking my hand UP MY ASS with a RUBBER GLOVE ON and PULLING SHIT OUT OF MY ASS AND IT'S HARD AS A ROCK."

Me: "Oh my!"

I take her name and number down with an "ASAP" on the top of the message for Dr. C.

I pretty much had the patient's story committed to memory, as if I could forget it. But I didn't know quite how to word the message to the doctor, which goes back in the chart as a matter of the patient's record.

I decided on the following:

"Patient is pulling stool out of her rectum with a rubber glove up her anus and her stool is very solid. Patient is complaining of a great deal of discomfort."

I was too busy to ask the doctor what became of the patient and her bowel troubles, but I have to say, I deal with an awful lot of "impacted crap" from people every day...

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