Liar of the Week
"I just can't take the pain anymore. I called my doctor and he told me to come to the ER."
This heavily tattooed scruffy young man had a history of multiple ER visits for a variety of painful yet clinically subtle conditions, so I was naturally suspicious.
"Where is your pain?" I asked.
"It's this hernia, doc. Right here."
"Hmmm. I don't really feel a hernia there. It seems more like a little lymph node in your groin." He did have a scar from a previous hernia operation, however.
"My doctor told me it was scar tissue pressing on a nerve. My extra strength vicodin isn't helping a bit. I'm scheduled for surgery in 2 weeks. It really hurts, doc."
"So who is your surgeon?"
"Dr. Madeitup, in a little town an hour away."
"So why did you come all the way up here? It seems to me like your surgeon would want to take a look for himself."
"I come up here every weekend. Besides, I like this hospital. Y'all have always treated me real good here."
"Well, I guess we should do a CT scan and see what's hurting so much. I'll try to contact your surgeon and discuss things with him too."
"He's out of town all week. Can I just get a shot for the pain? And a prescription for some sleeping pills? I can't sleep because of the pain."
"Maybe he's got his beeper on. I'll be back in a couple of minutes and we'll see what we can do for you."
"I'm just gonna leave. I've waited here long enough."