Sunday 1 September 2013

Stupid things people say

I have said some STUPID shit in my life.  Everyone has.  And anyone who denies ever saying something mind-bogglingly stupid is saying something really mind-bogglingly stupid.  But have you ever said anything so stupid that as soon as it comes out you wish you could turn back time about 2 seconds and then actually use your brain before opening your mouth?

This next ER doc had just such a moment.

He woke me at 2AM to tell me about a woman in her 40s with acute appendicitis.  He went through his whole story about her pain and how it had progressed over the past few days, and then in my drowsy but increasingly-alert state I asked him if she had any other medical problems or surgeries.

"Well yes, she has metastatic Stage 4 breast cancer."  {The 5-year survival of patients with metastatic breast cancer is about 15%}

"Ok," I replied.  "Unfortunately for her, that doesn't change the fact that she also has acute appendicitis and needs her appendix out.  Anything else?"

His exact words were, "No, other than that she's completely healthy."

I actually paused for a moment while I tried to process that statement.  Then  I said, "So other than her terminal cancer, she's healthy?"

I guess he finally realised the absurdity of what he had said, so he gave a nervous chuckle and said, "Um yeah, I guess."

That wasn't just stupid.  That was ER Doc Stupid.


  1. I don't know what you want... It's not THAT stupid. He said "other than that".

    1. Yeah, I second this. The only thing I can think is that doctors are, well, doctors so maybe they're just held to a higher standard. So their stupid moments are most people's normal moments. But he *did* say "other than that"...So I don't know... Still not that stupid. Come on Doc, I *know* you can't be running out of material. The handful of times I've been in the emergency room I've witnessed a gold mine of potential stupid-people-doing-stupid-things stories. It can't be too different in Siberia/North Korea/The Bermuda Triangle (the three most likely places you live I've narrowed my list down to).

  2. Why just why ...I was about to forget my similar shameful umm ...I am sitting alone in my room and I feel heavily embaresssed remembering such moments. I had called my male consultant : dad, teacher, miss( I survived, no major trauma) and finally love. All before bursting out questions, that make people think I underwent brain extraction.
    Oh great lord!

  3. You would be surprised how often medicals make that mistake.

    Anesthesiologist: So you have Long QT, metabolic syndrome and stage 3 breast cancer. Other than that, are you healthy?

    Me: O_O I think that alone just knocked healthy off the table. #worriedaboutthisguy

    That seriously happened right before my 8 hour surgery.

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks for pointing that out. If everyone wouldn't mind, please send me any grammar and spelling errors via email rather than with a comment.


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