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Thursday, July 10, 2008

It is not nice to laugh at your patient's expense...

I started off the morning with a doozy of a consult. As specialists in pulmonary medicine and critical care, our practice is consulted on a large majority of the patients in the hospital. Some of these consults are genuinely needed others are more mindless. This one was a DOOZY.

I walked in the room and was told by the patient (before I even introduced myself): "I do not have Munchausen's Syndrome". (For those of you unfamiliar with the disease, the patient makes themselves ill for attention...). Right off the bat, I am thinking that this is going to be, at the very least, amusing. We continued with the routine questions about shortness of breath, cough, fevers, chills, chest pain- and then got to the social aspect of her life. I asked her what she did for a living (I had read the chart and knew she was disabled and had been living in a motel because her mother had kicked her out of the house). She told me she was a clinical psychologist (REALLY!). This woman has had more admissions to psych units than I can count on two hands but I played along.

What type of patients did you treat?
Famous people.
Really, hmmm.
I have counseled every age- children, adolescent, adults, couples, inpatients, inmates...
That is a wide range, you must have gotten many degrees.
Duhhhh. I also counseled the OJ Simpson jurors but that burned me out and I had to leave the state of California. Actually the state asked me to leave for my own health.
Mmmmhmmm.
I also was on staff at General Hospital.
What hospital?
General Hospital- I was good friends with the Quatermaines.

Ladies and Gents I had to leave the room to stop shaking I was laughing so hard. The sad thing is she was dead serious....

10 comments:

the dragonfly said...

Wow.

I'm so impressed you didn't (openly) laugh until you left the room!

amanda said...

Oh Dragonfly, it was hard. I started coughing to stifle the snorts coming from me... (Definitely not one of my more professional moments!)

painted maypole said...

what's wrong with that? i used to hang with the quartermaines every day after high school

;)

Helen/Dudley said...

With all the crap you have to deal with on a daily basis you deserve one of these every now and then. Good job not laughing out loud!

HappyWifeHappyLife said...

I got to know my son's 5th grade teacher fairly well this year and she told me that, before becoming an elementary school teacher, she had worked in a state psych hospital, and OH THE STORIES.....

But at the same time, you gotta feel sorry for folks like this... I'm sure in their own mind, they really believe all this stuff.

Aliki2006 said...

Thanks so much for your kind comment yesterday...

And as for that patient--whew!

Magpie said...

You can't make that stuff up.

Catherine said...

Oh...my...!

ewe are here said...

General Hospital.

heh heh

Are the Quartermaines still running that place? heh heh

suz said...

yeah, it is not nice to laugh at crazy people...but that was funny. Reminds me of the movie "Nurse Betty"