Monday 20 August 2012


In my line of work, we have to be tolerant of a lot of things, stupidity being one of them.  There are so many stupid things I see, many of which I share here.  But there are a few things I just can not tolerate.

  • Drunk drivers
This one is fairly self-explanatory.  There is no excuse for drunk driving.  Ever.  The only people who do this are the ones who put themselves in this situation, and there is always a way around it - call a cab, call a friend, walk home, sleep in the bar, whatever.
  • Grown men crying 
Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with men crying when there is a reason - his wife has died, his leg is dangling off his body, his favourite team lost the World Cup or the Superbowl.  But I just saw a man in the trauma bay who had been in a car accident and had a sprained ankle and a sprained wrist.  No broken bones, no one in the accident was seriously hurt, nothing.  But he just sat there and cried.  And cried.  He spent over an hour in there, and he was sobbing the entire time.  Not even his wife could calm him down.

  • Women who howl
I don't have a problem with women crying either.  It's a normal response to something very stressful.  But DO NOT sit in my trauma bay and howl like a wolf in heat.

  • Pregnant women who use drugs
Also self-explanatory, but I see it way more often than I'd care to.  One woman who was 7 months pregnant explained that she didn't think the heroin she snorted would affect the baby because it was "just like Tylenol, right?"

  • Patients who spit
This is just common decency.  Most of these people are drunk, but some of them just seem to think that spitting at people who are trying to help them is ok.

I'm sure there are more, but this is a good start.  If you happened to be one of the few who saw the repeated post that I deleted, I apologise.  I couldn't remember if I had told that story yet or not, so thanks to the two people who reminded me.


  1. I completely agree with you on every one of these, but women using drugs while pregnant especially hit home for me. My ex used meth while she was pregnant with our daughter. I didn't find out until the urinalysis performed when she was born. I think it's pretty self-explanatory as to why she's my ex now.

  2. Crybabies are certainly annoying, and people who spit are the grossest of rednecks...or so my lifetime of living in the South has taught me, but there is absolutely no excuse for drunk driving or doing drugs/alcohol/smoking while pregnant. I could give two shits if people kill themselves with these substances, but putting other people in harm's way by using them just makes me view them as the scum of the earth.

  3. You know, Doc, there do exist some people who can't help themselves crying. I have a sneaking suspicion I've misread this, but I just want to point out that, for example, I cry whenever I get angry. It's nothing I can really help. So it's not really fair to blame someone for crying.

  4. I totally agree with you, except for the crying part. Crying isn't something you can control. To you, a sprained ankle doesn't seem so bad, compared to everything else you've seen as a doctor, but to that man, the crash may have been the most painful or traumatic moment in his life. Some people just get overwhelmed and can't stop themselves from crying. Howling on the other hand, is unbearable.

  5. The man is probably crying for the loss of his lovely car that he will be covering the repayments on for the next 5 years!

    I agree with all of your points Doc - but I do think the guy crying needs a little patience. It's impossible to know exactly what the circumstances were behind his reaction. It's unlikely, but not impossible, that this one day he will be late for work, which will see him fired, which will mean his wife will leave, taking his kids, and who-knows what else.
    Just occasionally it takes only a little thing at exactly the wrong time for it to appear that your whole life is going to unravel. He may be crying because he was driving his mistress' car rather than because of the injury!

  6. I'm reading backwards so I realise this is old as heck, but I have to mention that after I had my car accident, I couldn't stop crying. No particular reason, and I did keep it quiet, but every time someone was nice to me, I burst into tears. It continued from the time I was in the ambulance, to when I was admitted to hospital, unable to see (lost my glasses in the accident) and unable to walk (bonked my leg on the dash) and unable to breathe well (cracked my sternum on the wheel) to when my dad had to come and pick me up from the next city over due to all of the above and also my car being wrecked. My seatbelt saved my life (just another stat for you to add) and I cried...a lot. It was very embarrassing.


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