The brain is a miraculous organ. There are around 100 billion neurons all interconnected and firing various neurotransmitters. This allows us to move. It allows us to see, smell, feel, taste, and touch. It allows us to have a full range of emotions. The only problem is that the brain only works when it's used. This seems to be a problem for many people who appear to forget that this brain exists inside their heads, and that using it makes them look and act smarter.
I was on trauma call this past Saturday night, and my phone rang at 2:30 AM. My heart immediately started pumping - a gunshot? Stabbing? No. A car accident? Pedestrian struck by a car? Nope, none of the above. It was a patient that I saw in the hospital about 2 months ago for a skin infection who apparently had been readmitted a few days before. Surely he was having a heart attack, right? Or his intestines were hanging out of his body, right? Actually, he was being discharged with a prescription for oral antibiotics, and he was just worried he wouldn't be able to afford the pills.
I literally paused for several seconds to gather my thoughts and to wait until he told me the real reason he was calling. This was the only way I could think of to avoid screaming "ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?" Because that was the real reason he was calling. The cost of his antibiotic. At 2:30 in the morning.
During my pause, I realised that there were three possible responses I could give him: I could A) be nice and ask him politely to call back during regular business hours during the week, B) I could be a bit harsh and tell him that it's inappropriate to call a doctor at 2:30 in the morning for this issue, or C) I could simply hang up on him. I chose to combine A and B - I harshly told him it was incredibly inappropriate to call for such a frivolous reason in the middle of the night, and to call back during regular business hours.
Shockingly, he hasn't called.
That brain sure is a fantastic organ, but only when used properly.