I feel like I've been letting the readers down lately, posting inspirational stories and thank-yous and such. BUT NO MORE! I'm getting back to stupid patient stories, and this one certainly qualifies. I'm not really sure what to make of this next patient though. Maybe some of you can help me. I'm truly at a loss for words.
A 30 year old woman was brought to me having fallen down the stairs. She apparently struck the front of her neck on the banister and passed out briefly. When she arrived she was awake and talking normally, and she was complaining of a headache and neck pain. She also said that she had just found out a week ago that she was pregnant.
And she also admitted to having several vodkas that night. And to smoking marijuana.
She must have seen the ire rising in my face, because she quickly explained that she didn't even like the taste of the vodka, so it was ok.
That's when the steam started to shoot out of my ears.
In my mind, I started beating the shit out of her for being such a clueless cretin. In reality, I quickly and firmly explained that alcohol is extremely dangerous at this early point in the pregnancy. Despite the pregnancy, I told her that we needed to get a CT scan of her brain and neck to make sure she hadn't seriously injured anything, and we could shield the fetus with a lead shield to minimise any risk.
"Oh no, I can't expose my baby to radiation! I won't get those scans. Uh uh, no way!"
But dousing the embryo in vodka is ok??
I just asked the nurse to have her sign "Against Medical Advice" papers and leave. Then I walked out of the room without another word.