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Things I Learn From My Patients

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ljpm8224

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back when i was a naive young emt-ling during my medic internship i inadvertently walked right into asking my bariatric ex-con back pain pt (called us 2x a week around 3:00am) about his tattoos... particularly what was the meaning of the ones of scantily clad hot women coating all over his forearms.... :uhno::uhno::uhno:

my preceptor and his partner laughed their *sses off at that one...

so yeah. my pt taught me in the most awkward way possible why men get tattoos of teh secksy womens on their forearms. :oops:
 
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Kittenmommy

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back when i was a naive young emt-ling during my medic internship i inadvertently walked right asking my bariatric ex-con back pain pt (called us 2x a week around 3:00am) about his tattoos... particularly what was the meaning of the ones of scantily clad hot women coating all over his forearms.... :uhno::uhno::uhno:

my preceptor and his partner laughed their *sses off at that one...

so yeah. my pt taught me in the most awkward way possible why men get tattoos of sesky womens on their forearms. :oops:

OMG. It didn't even occur to me until just now why the cliché of sailors with tattoos of scantily clad girls on their forearms exists. Now I know what those sailors were doing while they were out to sea with no women in sight... :oops:
 

ljpm8224

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OMG. It didn't even occur to me until just now why the cliché of sailors with tattoos of scantily clad girls on their forearms exists. Now I know what those sailors were doing while they were out to sea with no women in sight... :oops:

lol... i know, right?! makes total sense once you make the connection, but not something i would just put together! we got into the conversation because he was telling me the meaning of the enormous tats of his daughters over his chest while i took LS.

now just picture a 380lb bald man pantomiming exactly what they're for at you in the back of the ambulance while your preceptor looks on silently cracking up at you from the jump seat and you have a degree of my foot-in-mouth syndrome at that one. :eek::smuggrin:
 

Kittenmommy

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lol... i know, right?! makes total sense once you make the connection, but not something i would just put together! we got into the conversation because he was telling me the meaning of the enormous tats of his daughters over his chest while i took LS.

It makes so much sense that I can't believe I never made the connection!

now just picture a 380lb bald man pantomiming exactly what they're for at you in the back of the ambulance while your preceptor looks on silently cracking up at you from the jump seat and you have a degree of my foot-in-mouth syndrome at that one. :eek::smuggrin:

LOL, that's hysterical! :laugh:
 

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This came up in a stumble (oriental article: http://www.neatorama.com/2008/05/10...-on-toilet-told-kids-shell-come-back-to-life/).

I know Wisconsin is full of weirdos (I'm from the Milwaukee area), but this one gets a gold star. If grandma dies on a toilet, please get emergency help, or at least call the police, rather than simply let her decompose there for two months. Then, when the kids start wondering why grandma smells so bad, tell them that it's the devil trying to test your faith in God. This will surely cause severe mental anguish for said children and probably require decades of psychiatric intervention to correct.

...wow.
 

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The best way to "cure" a periapical abscess is to take big drags off a cigarette and hold the smoke in your mouth.

Needless to say, it didn't work and she ended up in the ED.
 

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First of all I want to thank everyone who's posted here for making my 3 days off with sinus infection much funnier. Read through the whole thing. On to the story. In college I had shingles. Campus medical center couldn't dispense narcotics, so I made do with ibuprofen while I could. Eventually it got to be too much and I called my godmother (nurse at local ED in town) to meet me at the hospital because the pain was too much. She joked that she'd be teased because she was bringing in someone for drug-seeking behavior. When we got there and the doctors and nurses saw the six-inch wide oozing weeping rash across my stomach where my pants would usually go, they pulled in nearly everyone from the department to ask why I hadn't been in sooner to get anything. I shrugged and told them that if I was sleeping and wearing pajama pants it hadn't bothered me too much yet. I also only rated my pain as a 6/10 because I figured I could still walk, drive myself around, and wasn't dying yet so it couldn't be too bad, right? Also, as a patient I've learned that the absolute best time to visit the ED is about 5 am. At least the local ones where I live. I'm always triaged in and seen within twenty minutes, the waiting room is usually empty, and there's no crazies wandering around. But maybe I'm just lucky like that...
 

namnai

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The proper course of action for severe worsening ankle ulcers that are weeping horrible smelling pus is to use Bounty, the Quicker Picker Upper, to bandage your legs...for 15 years. Of course, this would never lead to an xray like this...

I never thought i'd actually see such an xray in the US...

I'm sorry, I'm probably going to sound like an idiot. Other than the translucency whats so special about this x-ray?
 

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I'm sorry, I'm probably going to sound like an idiot. Other than the translucency whats so special about this x-ray?

bad chronic osteomyelitis. osteo's usually much more subtle because it doesn't fester for a lot of years. there's raised periosteum, reactive calcification, calcification int eh space between the tibia and the fibula (name's blanking me), and very ragged jagged edges to bone. compare to a normal tibia fibula xray. nice smooth surfaces of teh bone.
 

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If a patient who's had minor hallucinations before is trying to sleep, but hears voices and something breathing behind him, sees something in his closet and feels something sit down on the bed....hrm....

:idea: Clearly, he's being visited by demons.

I didn't learn this from the patient, who thankfully didn't believe it, he learned it from his friend, a psych RN.
 

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I'm not a doctor, although I'm wanting to be, but I've got a few too,

Never step in front of your sister when you are playing with boomerangs.

Duct tape is never an acceptable replacement for bandaids.

If your wife is a knitter, watch where you crouch.

Cats are not an acceptable method to pierce your nose.
 

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back when i was a naive young emt-ling during my medic internship i inadvertently walked right into asking my bariatric ex-con back pain pt (called us 2x a week around 3:00am) about his tattoos... particularly what was the meaning of the ones of scantily clad hot women coating all over his forearms.... :uhno::uhno::uhno:

my preceptor and his partner laughed their *sses off at that one...

so yeah. my pt taught me in the most awkward way possible why men get tattoos of teh secksy womens on their forearms. :oops:

There are also the prison tats (on the back) depicting either a sexy woman or Jesus. I think I would go with Jesus.
 

Pharmavixen

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When stealing someone's phone, be sure to cram it in your waistband next to your gun. Gun fires, blowing off your testicles.

Quipped a corrections officer: "I hope it was an iPhone 4. I mean, if it were a Blackberry, what a tragedy."
 
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ManBroDude

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A (quite embarrased) middle aged guy came in with vague complaints of rectal pain or something. He eventually admitted he liked making a home-made ass dildo with a piece of thick PVC pipe with balled-up sock at the end of it, and a condom wrapped over the whole thing. At the moment of climax, he liked to yank the contraption out, only this time the condom with the sock didn't come out with the PVC pipe. For you folks that are working in the OB: when an ED doc asks for one of your "special forceps", this is what they're using it for.
 

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Not from an A&E this time, I'm not a medical person but have thoroughly enjoyed this thread - my own stupidity here, though I at least had the good sense to just clean it and stop whining afterwards, instead of rolling into hospital. But I think this at least comes close to the standard of ridiculous behaviour present in this thread...

When you've had a bad day, there's nothing per se wrong with deciding you want a drink. Upon discovering that the only alcohol in the house is an unopened bottle of wine, you might think things are looking up - that's until you discover that you bought a corked bottle by accident, and don't have a corkscrew. Since the shops are shut, the obvious solution is of course to dig the cork out with your swiss army knife.
After about half an hour of work, feel free to forget that swiss army knives are hinged, and snap the blade shut with your finger between it and the body of the knife. Once you've managed to open the knife again and get your finger out, revealing the 1cm gash directly into the tip of your dominant index finger, which has split your fingernail cleanly in two, the appropriate response is "**** it, I haven't embedded a knife into my fingertip just to end up without a drink".
It is only twenty minutes later, when you've succeeded in doing exactly the same thing again, this time to your dominant thumb, that you should head over to Google and discover that all you ever had to do to get the cork out was pour hot water over the neck of the bottle. What with the two bisected fingertips, you won't even feel the scald.
 

mabindaby

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I am not a doctor, but I work as a scribe in the ED.

If you get in a fight with your buddies, do not try to hide your drugs by stuffing them up your butt. When things cool down and you realize your precious contraband is stuck and you can't get it out, do not go to the police station to have them remove it. When you are with the police, especially do not tell them the foreign object is meth. However, do have them cart you to the ED where, while you stink up the entire floor, the staff will have an uproarious laugh at your utter stupidity.
 

med2UCC

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When you're brought to the ED with tachycardia due to the coke you were doing earlier that day, do ask to speak to the police so you can press charges against the M----r f----r who spiked your coke with something because it can't possibly be the coke making you tachy. Do be quite insistent about it, to the point that your attending will bring you a phone so you can report your own illegal activity to the police. Act surprised and really indignant when the cops fail to take you seriously.
 

mabindaby

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lol

35 year old otherwise healthy patient claims his "chest pain" is caused by his body not being able to keep up with his mind.

If you are an elderly female who tries to ride a Harley Davidson motorcycle for the first time, make sure you can differentiate the throttle from the brake. When you accidently pull the throttle instead of the brake, zooming off at all of 8 miles an hour and plow through a fence, take your hand off the throttle so you can avoid crashing into several of the cars in the parking lot.
 

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If you are going to try to break into your drug dealer's house to steal some dope you should not disregard his numerous guard dogs that he beats and starves to keep mean because you had a dog when you were growing up and thought all dogs were "cool with you."
 

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If you breath a healthy 0.17 BAC and think that mouthing off at Uncle Leo is fun, just wait until Uncle Leo places you in the back seat of his cruiser with Bruiser the Drug Dog and you decide that barking at Bruiser might also be fun.
 

mabindaby

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C/C: nipples bleeding. An inexperienced marathon runner? No.

If you are a 30M who started taking coumadin for a dvt, continue to be an alcoholic. Decide to get your nipples one night and be surprised that they are bleeding. On the sixth day of bleeding, have your Jabba the Hut girlfriend haul your drunken ass to the ED. Refuse to let the PA remove your shiny new nipple piercings because you "only have a couple more days, man!" Leave with some bandaids.

PA so perfectly described them as "clearly from the land of extra chromosomes"
 
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Requesting to be started on oxycodone while obviously falling down drunk will not end with a pleasing result.
 
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mabindaby

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If you're a woman, and you decide to get drunk and tangle with some cops, cover your breasts before the tasers fly. If you're wondering why? Having those things removed from nipples hurts. Like hell.

God lord, owowowow. :laugh:
 

mabindaby

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As a woman who has "seizures" from feeling "angry and frustrated", be sure to get into a fight with the police when they show up at the library to look for your stolen purse. Yell "I'm gonna have a seizure!" so the police will call the ambulance to have you hauled to the ED. When the highly annoyed doctor comes to see your perfectly healthy, non-seizing self, launch into a diatribe about "Why is the world so cruel? Why can't humans just be nice to each other? etc". Don't be surprised that that the answer to "Well, can you refill the hydrocodone that was in my stolen purse?" is a big "NO."

"But I'll have a seizure!
"(I dare you.) No."
 

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I've just spent the last few days going through this, and you guys are hilarious! It does people good to have some humour, I think...

Anyway, my experience is more as a patient or family-of-patient (or an archaeologist seeing the results of old injuries), but I have a few good ones from my family...


  • Aged ten: if the fall doesn't break both bones in your arm, it is possible that your head will. Fell off a climbing frame and ended up with an indent the shape of my head in my left forearm.
  • Aged fourteen: borrowed bicycle + steep hill + sudden bend = bad times. Partially crushed lumbar vertebra and scar tissue all around the spine to this day.
  • Aged sixteen: beware of trombones stored in overhead lockers on the bus. The bus driver might just do a sudden stop, the trombone might fly down the bus, and might catch your arm and chip your olecranon process. On the plus side, you get to tell the radiologist, "I got hit by a flying trombone".
  • Aged nineteen: pole dancing is more dangerous than it looks. You will find this out a year into your practice by doing a dangerous upside-down move resulting in slamming your left foot into the pole. After trying to walk on it for a few days, you will finally be unable to stand and get taken to the hospital by one of your lecturers. The fx fourth medial phalanx and dislocated fourth and fifth distal phalanges will not be worth the wait to find out about.
  • Aged twenty: your colleagues on that archaeological dig may be trolls, and their "back a bit, a bit more, a bit more" routine when you are holding the measuring sticks may cause you to fall backwards into a trench, badly spraining your ankle. At least I didn't have to do any more wheelbarrow runs that week...


And if you need to know where I inherited this from, my father's greatest hits:

  • By all means, as a six foot tall person, dive into the three foot shallow end of a swimming pool. That will end well.
  • A few years later, it will be an excellent idea to go down the kiddies flume at the water park at high speed. There is no chance you will flip over, fracture your orbital and add enough blood to the water to close the entire pool.
  • When attaching the safety ropes to a climbing wall, don't worry about the possibility of falling off yourself. (Double scapulae fx)
  • Riding a motorcycle down a mountain road with hairpin bends is an excellent idea, especially in winter. There's no chance at all that the breaks will freeze and you will end up with double tib/fib fx.
At least all of that was before he was twenty-five. By that point, he had broken three foot bones, both tib/fib, three ribs, both scapulae, right hum, right hum/ulna x2, left hum/ulna x2, nose several times, both orbitals, and cracked his skull open. Luckily there's only one after that point:



  • If you are a mid-forties male out with your retired friend to show off said retired friend's invalid carriage (in this style of this) and the forklift truck that's supposed to remove it from the van gets tied up, by all means lift it out between the two of you. This will in no way result in another rib fx (though your retired friend is just fine).
Fingers crossed that I'm also reaching an age where the stupid injuries should stop, but you never know...
 

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If you're following your grandmother's ambulance to the hospital and accidentally rear-end the ambulance as it pulls into the trauma bay... As the confused EMT is coming to get your insurance info, the only truly logical response is to run out to the hospital parking lot, steal a truck, and GTFO
 

loveoforganic

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If you're following your grandmother's ambulance to the hospital and accidentally rear-end the ambulance as it pulls into the trauma bay... As the confused EMT is coming to get your insurance info, the only truly logical response is to run out to the hospital parking lot, steal a truck, and GTFO

I just... I don't even.. the logic... what
 

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When cutting paper in the dark room (photography), make sure your thumb is out of the way before sending down the guillotine-type cutter. If it isn't, make sure that it's on the knuckle so that a wound that otherwise wouldn't require stitches, would.
On the bright side, I got in and out of the hospital quickly; probably to my mom's credit (ER nurse, hooray!). Though the local anesthesia needle hurt more than any other needle I've encountered, in addition to hurting more than the wound itself.
 

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It's Good that you are learning from your patients because everyday we live a busy life so, we just have to learn something we all just do what we do daily that's it.
 

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It's Good that you are learning from your patients because everyday we live a busy life so, we just have to learn something we all just do what we do daily that's it.

Looks like somebody forgot the spam-link. Bad spambot...no fake Viagra for you.
 
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It's Good that you are learning from your patients because everyday we live a busy life so, we just have to learn something we all just do what we do daily that's it.

This sentence gives me a headache.

What a wanker sentence.
 

med2UCC

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If you`re coming to emerg to get pain meds for your fictitious broken bones (that you`ve even been enterprising enough to wrap up in the splint from your previous adventures, thriftily saved for a rainy day) it will blow the whole thing if you insist on being x-rayed 1st so you can show how bad the broken bones are.
Cheers,
M
 

Chip N Sawbones

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Do you feel like killing off excess liver cells tonight, but you're tired of the usual ED drinks (jus' two beersh, sterno, and Mad Dog 20/20)? You're in luck, because tonight I learned three exciting new cocktail recipes from my patients:

The Window Washer
Take a chilled beer mug and fill with Windex. Serve with a slice of lemon and a side of pretzels. Un-serve the same drink at high velocity in the general direction of the paramedic who brings your drunk self in.

The Sanitary Gourmet Chef
Fill a large plastic cup with five fingers of cooking wine, four fingers of hand sanitizer, and six fingers of lemon-lime mouthwash. Add an olive. Consume until your level of intoxication is high enough to start a betting pool among the nurses and techs on the outcome of your EtOH test.

Mop the Floor
Filter a bottle of Lysol through four slices of stale white bread. Dilute one part filtered Lysol with three parts water. Caution: May cause blindness and a ringing noise in the ears. Do not serve to children under the age of ten.

The liquor stores must have all been closed tonight. I never saw so many alternatives to cheap vodka before in my life, and I grew up in rural Alaska (motto: Where mothballs are not just for external use).
 
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dutchie000

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Well, I'm not a med student/resident/intern yet, but I'm an EMT with some good stories to share from it. Hope you guys don't mind me pitching in:)

1) Shake Weights make excellent weapons to beat up your younger brother
2) A patient high on something was telling me all about his Prince Albert. I had no idea what that was, so I asked him... "who is Prince Albert?" "ma'am, that's not a person, that's a piercing on my d***!"
3) While waiting in the exam room for a nurse to take my extremely altered patient from me, he goes "I swear I've seen you before. Oh I know, I seen you in a porno!" Awkward, I wasn't aware I made it into one....
 
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I forgot this little gem...

While off duty and waiting in the hospital for a friend, the hospital received a gold alert. He walked in looking pretty much like normal, so I asked what was up and it turned out this kid went to a local bar that is well known for giving kids flaming shots on their 21st birthdays. The smart kids remember to blow out the flame or drink the shot with a straw. This kid drank the fire and ended up burning his throat, resulting in him getting RSId and transported to the nearest burn center.
 

Apollyon

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I forgot this little gem...

While off duty and waiting in the hospital for a friend, the hospital received a gold alert.

If you are going to use jargon, please explain. That is not intuitive. At first, I thought this was about huffing paint (because gold and silver paint has the most toluene to inhale).

26092d1122004815-man-gets-busted-sniffing-gold-spraypaint-0721051gold1.jpg
 

dutchie000

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Since you asked so nicely:)

Gold alert is the next step up from a trauma alert at one of the hospitals I transport to. Gold alert normally involves a serious mechanism of injury and compromise of one of the ABCs, in this kid's case clearly his airway.

"Gold Alert A message announced over a hospital’s public address system, indicating an incoming patient(s) with multisystem unstable trauma"

If you are going to use jargon, please explain. That is not intuitive. At first, I thought this was about huffing paint (because gold and silver paint has the most toluene to inhale).

26092d1122004815-man-gets-busted-sniffing-gold-spraypaint-0721051gold1.jpg
 

Limetime

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2) A patient high on something was telling me all about his Prince Albert. I had no idea what that was, so I asked him... "who is Prince Albert?" "ma'am, that's not a person, that's a piercing on my d***!"..

Did he have Prince Albert in a can? :D
 

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And please, make sure you don't have breast implants. The taser barbs stick extremely well there. And, once the barbs are finally removed, your implants will leak. (sigh... this was my patient)
 

mabindaby

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If you are moving, know where all your stuff is. If you don't know where your stuff is, at least take a peek at your seat before getting into your car. You might just sit on that glass framed wall hanging your friend threw in there last minute and give your butt a nice, deep 8 inch laceration. On the triage screen the c/c was abbreviated to BUTTOCKS LACE. The super mature attending thought something happened with their lingerie :D
 

mabindaby

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If you are going to use jargon, please explain. That is not intuitive. At first, I thought this was about huffing paint (because gold and silver paint has the most toluene to inhale).

26092d1122004815-man-gets-busted-sniffing-gold-spraypaint-0721051gold1.jpg

This guy looks basically the same as a patient that came through our ED. Dude with blue paint smeared all over his face, violent, incoherent etc. Medics picked him up and thought he was huffing but it turns out he had actually been to the Air Force football game earlier and it was just poorly applied face paint. Strangest part though, in trying to get to his country home north of the AF, he somehow walked >20 miles south and ended up in the middle of the city yelling, raving and disturbing the peace. He was just drunk. Well, whaddaya know.
 

mabindaby

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Yesterday, I learned that you should not let youself be run over by your demented elderly wife as she backs out of the garage. Not only will your pelvis be crushed into bits, among numerous other injuries, but after receiving 36 units of blood, you will pass away in the ICU. And your wife will be detained by the police for vehicular homicide. I feel so bad for the kids.
 

med2UCC

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If you double doctor with your PCP and 2 psychiatrists, don't come to the ED where they all work for more drugs when they cut you off. Someone might notice. Happy Benzo Withdrawal!
M
PS: For bonus points, don't tell the ERP who worked with your PCP in the department last night that she's been away for 10 days. Again, you might get caught in a lie.
 

mabindaby

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If you double doctor with your PCP and 2 psychiatrists, don't come to the ED where they all work for more drugs when they cut you off. Someone might notice. Happy Benzo Withdrawal!
M
PS: For bonus points, don't tell the ERP who worked with your PCP in the department last night that she's been away for 10 days. Again, you might get caught in a lie.

Man, there are dumb drug seekers and then there are REALLY dumb drug seekers. Your tax dollars at work folks!
 

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If you get a liver transplant at age 35, try really hard to drink yourself to liver failure by age 50. You won't be put at the top of the transplant list, even though your eyes look as yellow as egg yolks.
 
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