I was so exhausted tonight at work. The Valium had hung me over, and even my coffee wasn’t enough – six cups! I stopped by my parents to say hello before I started my shift. My mom had made a huge meal for Dad and a few cousins who had dropped over for a bit. I grabbed a few bites, but ran out quickly when mom began mentioning how ragged I looked and asking if I was ever going to marry Sarah. How little they knew about me these days. They were grandparents once again now and didn’t even know it!
So my evening at work was hectic as always. I started behind the eight-ball immediately. No cases were simple. No one had ‘just a sore throat,’ but rather everyone has a ‘sore throat’ and chest pain. Everyone has checked out google for their medical answers and each demands a work up based on their search. I just provide excellent ‘customer’ care and do whatever it takes to shut them up. It’s just a sore throat, but the patients demand a cat scan of their chest because they are certain it’s a blood clot! No sweat off my back – why piss them off? It’s the taxpayer’s money. I just give them the radiation to prove to them they are fine, and in the process, the hospital makes a lot of money off Medicaid and other Obama Care insurance. Meanwhile, I keep my job because everyone is happy. It’s all about those scripted patient satisfaction scores. I’m not seen as a good doctor or caring if I don’t tank ’em up with enough Dilaudid and get that CT scan done for good measure. Why should I care about the radiation risk? They don’t seem to care even after ten scans in the past year.
As for further annoyance, I got a call from a mother I saw several days ago at 3 A.M. Her child had a sudden fever, so she said, and came running into the E.D. Of course it was nothing but a positive influenza situation. When the mother asked me ‘How did he get that?’ I quickly scoffed that you need to get vaccinated to prevent disease. What a mystery! Anyway, I did prescribe Tamiflu for the illness, and the child did look perfectly fine. The mother hadn’t even given any Tylenol or Motrin to help with the fever at that time. Anyway, tonight, she calls to tell me that the pharmacy wouldn’t fill her prescription due to some insurance concern and asked me to call it in elsewhere. So here it is four days later, and she calls in the late evening about a medication for her ‘sick child’ that should have been started four days ago. As if she was wondering why the illness wan’t getting better? Clearly it was a crisis to come running in at 3 A.M. , but it was inconvenient for her to see the pharmacist that morning to get the prescription filled. So once again, late at night, she calls me to change the pharmacy of the medicine. She must sleep all day so her day starts at 10 P.M. as do her kids, whom I could hear running around in the background. Must be nice to get everything for free! I was even angrier when I called the new pharmacy to only find it was closed already!
I was a bit irritable about all the bad decisions that go into peoples’s decision-making when I went in to see an elderly cancer patient. Her name was Ms. Bethel. She was hard of hearing but very kind. She was in the department because of some chest pain tonight, so I did my evaluation and noticed her medicine bag under the bed. I rifled through it when I feigned to be examining her medication list in front of the computer. Ms. Bethel was somewhat inattentive anyway, so I hardly thought she would notice when I scooped out her bottle of Dilaudid pills. She didn’t notice, but one of the technicians, Phillip, was staring me down as I walked out of the room and placed the bottle in my pocket. Was he going to tattle on me? My friendly contact had sent a new person for me to call on to sell some pills to, and I definitely needed the money. In spite of Phillip watching me, I ran to the back room and stashed the bottle, holding a few pills on the side for Cherise, who asked me for some pain pills.