‘I’ll be back in a minute.’

Reality?  This is a reflex statement usually followed by several hours of labwork, x-rays, CT scanning and consultation.

‘Hey, I have this fascinating case for you…’

Reality?  This is what we say to other doctors when we don’t know what to do.  Sometimes it really is interesting.  Actually, after about 10 PM, nothing is interesting at all until the sun comes up.

‘Just a little pinch and a burn.’

Reality?  ‘Ouch!  Ouch!  What are you doing?  Is that a hot iron?  It’s a 10!  It’s a 10!  Morphine!!!!’

‘You have very rare, and I must say fascinating, condition.’

Reality?  ‘Better you than me.  I don’t know who to call first, the infectious disease consultant or the coroner!  Don’t breath on me please.’

‘It might be a little while before we have a room for you.  You know how busy the ER can be!’

Reality?  If the staff doesn’t get to eat a little bit, everyone is going to hit the floor.  You can wait a few minutes.

‘I know you’re having pain, and I appreciate that it’s a ten out of ten; but let’s look a little further so we’ll know what to treat.’

Reality?  ‘You’re pain isn’t even a 0.10 out of ten.  And I don’t intend to treat your hangnail with Demerol, so just let go of that little dream.’

‘So, you have chest pain?  Well, let’s look and see if your EKG and heart labs are normal, shall we?’

Reality?  ‘You and the rest of the free world have chest pain.  Odds are, at 19, your chest pain has more to do with the argument you had with your girlfriend than with any real disease.’

‘I can’t imagine why you’re still short of breath!’

Reality:  Quit smoking, goofy-head!

Just a few that came to mind on today’s shift!  Liars all of us, I guess.


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