Highly trained tabby searching for Morphine in toilet!

Highly trained tabby searching for Morphine in toilet!

You need a pharmacoplumbologist…stat!

A patient called the ER today, while I was walking through for a meeting.  He asked a nurse, over the phone, the following question.  ‘Uh, yeah, I dropped my Morphine in the toilet.  Can I use my daughter’s Demerol?’

I would have responded, ‘sir, you’ll have to call a pharmacoplumbologist to answer that question; it’s really quite beyond the scope of emergency medicine.’

This is the world we inhabit today.  A world in which multiple generations of families take multiple controlled substances for all too many factitious illnesses, diagnosed by physicians with a twisted sense of compassion (or a perverse sense of greed).

A world in which prescription narcotic users share and experiment, shift and switch, adjust their own doses and adjust their own prescriptions as quickly as they adjust their complaints and diseases to find the right formula for life-long disability.  A world in which ER patients who came together stand outside and compare their prescriptions.

A world in which we, as physicians, are damned for giving too few narcotics and causing patient satisfaction scores to drop; even as we are damned by medical licensing boards for giving too many.

I’m just guessing, but I’ll bet the guy on the phone had  pain that was a 10/10, even as he fished the morphine from the toilet and looked at it with vague regret.


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