I know, I know, the more information the doctor has, the better.  But with that in mind,  there are some things I’d just as soon not see in the ER.  Here’s a partial list:

The snake that bit you.  Despite what the books say, most of us are just, plain scared of them.  Irrational?  Probably.  But phobias are phobias.  So, in America at least, we know that pit vipers make two holes, and everyone gets the same kind of antidote.  Coral snakes make different wounds.  Leave it at home and have it mounted by a taxidermist.  In other parts of the world, this rule probably doesn’t apply.

Things you coughed up.  I promise I’ll believe you if you say you coughed up:  blood, pus, bits of tissue or even a fur-ball.  Odds are, you’ll cough it up again.

Things you passed in your stool.  If it’s blood, I’ll believe you and blood will probably remain when we examine you.  If it’s anything else, it’s fine to leave it at home.  Preferrably, disposed of properly, along with the thing you coughed up.

Unless you were, heaven forbid, the victim of an assault, don’t present us with your underwear with some questionable contents.  Describe it.  Don’t bring it.

Your MRI.  We can’t read them.  You don’t want us to read them.  Tell me you had one, that’s enough.  MRI packets are heavy.  I might strain my back lifting it.  So might you!

Your disability papers.  I’ll give you a little time off if needed.  I won’t fill out the disability paperwork.  Not now, not ever unless I change jobs and lives.

Your wife and girlfriend at the same time. Always a prescription for trouble.

Your husband and boyfriend at the same time.  Ditto above.

Your pet in need of veterinary care.  People may be animals, but I’m not likely to repair that open fracture or treat heart-worms.

Your video-camera capable cell-phone.  Please, don’t film the patients.  And don’t film your friends.  Eventually, you’ll be drunk or asleep also.

Any large container of toxic chemicals.  Unless you’re hoping to make the news by incapacitating everyone in the emergency department. 

Just a few little guidelines I thought of at work today!

Have a great day! 

God bless and guide our president elect, Sen. Barack Obama.