Wednesday 15 May 2013

Truly remarkable

re·mark·a·ble (r -mär k -b l). adj. 1. Worthy of notice. 2. Attracting notice as being unusual or extraordinary.
Albert Einstein was truly a remarkable person because the way his mind functioned was extraordinary.  Nikola Tesla falls in the same category.  These were people whom most people have no possibility of understanding, simply because their brains worked on a different plane compared to the rest of us.

I had such a patient a short while ago.  She was truly extraordinary, but not in the way you might be thinking.

At 3 AM, my pager is the most vile, heinous object on the planet.  I wish I could throw it against the wall and shut it up permanently.  Unfortunately that night my good sense took over as it wailed incessantly, so I simply pushed the button to shut it the hell up, put on my shoes, and trudged down to the trauma bay.  What greeted me was a 30 year old bottle of whiskey.  At least, that what she smelled like.  The second thing was that she was at least 7 months pregnant.

Many people may not know that a drink every now and then is ok for pregnant women, but even the stupidest people know that getting drunk while pregnant is bad.  I felt my temper rising as I introduced myself and asked her what happened.  She had been in the car with her drunk boyfriend (presumably on a beer run) when he had lost control and the car had flipped several times.  Due to her seatbelt and the car's multiple airbags, she didn't have a scratch on her, but she told me "All I need is a CAT scan, and I can go."

I resisted asking her how she knew that and where she went to medical school.  I did, however, ask her how much she had to drink.  "I didn't drink nothing!  I did some cocaine and pot, but my boyfriend was drinking, not me!"

I suppose she saw the aghast look on my face, and I'm guessing she thought that look was because I didn't believe her.  In fact, I was trying my hardest to process what she had just said because it was almost beyond belief.  I was trying almost as hard not to slap her.  She was vehemently denying drinking even though she smelled like she had bathed in vodka, but she had no problem admitting she had smoked marijuana and done cocaine.  While pregnant.  VERY pregnant. 

"Ma'am, you realise that alcohol is bad for the baby, right?  But the cocaine is worse."  My ire was probably plainly visible, though I did my best to maintain my composure.  She had no such luck.  She leapt off the bed, grabbed her shirt, and yelled, "THAT'S IT!  I DON'T HAVE TO LISTEN TO THIS BULLSHIT!  I HAVEN'T BEEN DRINKING!  I'M OUT OF HERE! "  And to make a point, she held up her shirt to my face to show me that it smelled like alcohol.  It sure did, but so did her breath.

She signed her papers acknowledging her right to leave against medical advice, and she whisked out the door. 

Just like Tesla and Einstein, I have no idea how this woman's brain works.  I'm frankly surprised it works at all.


  1. My jaw may be dislocated after that....people should have to pass a test before they reproduce!!!

    1. Interesting idea. Mandatory birth control for women until they have a 'birthing liscense' or something to show that they can responsibly bear and raise children. Or at least some strict laws against this kind of stuff, rather than just being able to let her walk out of there. Good luck getting drunk and high in jail.

    2. Funny how you mention mandatory birth control for women, but not the men who get them pregnant. You do realize that drugs can affect the health of sperm (and thus the fetus) as well, right? I'm going to assume that sense that didn't cross your mind, you aren't very smart and should be put on mandatory birth control.

  2. "I didn't drink nothing! I did some cocaine and pot, but my boyfriend was drinking, not me!"

    I have no idea how you restrained yourself Doc. I think they won the Most Stupidest Person of The Year Award. I hope to God the child will have brains.

  3. I feel so bad for the kid in horrible as it is to say, only God knows how that child will be (mentally and physically) after all the stuff she's putting it through. If she doesn't manage to kill herself and the baby due to her own stupidity. I honestly was so disgusted by this! You have brilliant restraint, Doc.

  4. And the next Darwin Award Nominee is...

    1. Well she didn't die…. At-risk survivor? =P

  5. After spending many months in NICUs and PICUs with my own child, I have seen premature infants, born addicted to opiates, going through withdrawal while the mother sneaks out of the hospital to buy drugs. The way those babies scream will stay with me forever. It's almost enough to make me in favor of mandatory sterilization.


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