August 24, 2009

Gall Bladder Removal.

One Saturday Elvira was keeled over in the bar holding her stomach in excruciating pain. She was sent home early because eventually she couldn't even hold herself upright. She called in sick the next three shifts. Nobody knew what the hell was going on, so on her fourth missed shift Manager C told her she needed a doctors note. Upon visiting the doctor she learned she had cholesterol gallstones, and would need a Cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal).

Prior to the surgery, she had some lab work done, as is a common practice. She had a tox screen, a UA, and a CBC. After reviewing the results, the doctor warned Elvira about the dangers of her particular habits. To which she replied "It's my life, I will do what I want."
Classy Elvira, classy.

Post surgery Elvira was in a recovery consultation. She was once again urged to discontinue all drug, tobacco, and alcohol usage, as these could dramatically effect her
rehabilitation. She once again irresponsibly declined.

As their meeting was drawing to a close, he quickly wrote her a prescription for 1000mg Ibuprofen. She immediately announced that she wanted something stronger, to which he replied that she would not be in much pain, and that anything stronger then the ibuprofen could possibly do more damage to her digestive system.

Frantically she tried again, demanding that she absolutely HAD to have something stronger for the pain. Leaning back in his chair, he removed his glasses, and said...


"You're clearly an alcoholic, you reek of stale pot, and your uncontrollable jitters and grumpiness would suggest that the last two days without a cigarette have been anything but delightful. I will NOT be giving you anything stronger. You really think its wise to get addicted to another substance?"

Kudos on your bed-side manners Dr. House, I'm sure you wont be to surprised to find out she's working on a case to sue your honest ass. I know I wasn't.




17 comments:

JustTheReceptionist said...

He said the right thing tho! she needed to hear it.

hoppytoad79 said...

That may be exactly what she needed to hear, but, like you, I wouldn't be at all surprised if she went out to find someone to help her kill the messenger. Keep us updated on Elvira Winehouse. ;) I wonder how long before her substance abuse totally burns her ass.

Carrie said...

It sounds like what she needs to hear, to be honest. Sometimes, it's all in hearing it from someone else.

Or... perhaps she'll just keel over dead.

seryan said...

You know what, though? He said it in a harsh manner, but it's obvious that nothing nicer was going to get through to her. Hopefully this gets no farther with her lawyer than "You don't have a case. Hourly fee, please."

Anonymous said...

I hope the doctor wins if he is sued. Addicts need to hit bottom before they will start to recover and maybe that will help her to that point. He may have been harsh but what is the point with someone whose attitude is "I will do what I want".

hikingat05 said...

If we want to reform our health care system, making it harder for idiots to file frivolous lawsuits because they don't like what they hear is a great place to start. She probably doesn't stand a chance to win, but someone has to spend money to defend the case, and who knows, they might end up settling just because it's potentially cheaper than dragging it out. Disgusting.

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Another Michael Jackson????????

Wendi said...

Yikes.
Out of curiosity, do you call her Elvira because she has big cleavage and a black wig?

Pademelon said...

My husband's doctor (who is normally a lovely man) was reluctant to write him a prescription for Ritalin last time we were in, which was odd because Hubs has been on it since like the age of 5 and uses it legitmately and is under doctor's supervision. We were concerned because this is highly unusual for him (he always asks Hubs lots of med-monitoring questions like he should but he's never unsure about writing the scrip) so we asked if anything was wrong. He apologized and said it had nothing to do with us. Turns out he'd had a patient come in an hour earlier demanding narcotic pain-killers. When our doctor spotted signs of drug-seeking behavior and refused, the guy started rolling around on the floor and screaming about all the pain he was in and the injustice of it all. Apparently, he kept this up for a little while and then, realizing our doctor was not going to provide him even a single Vicodin or whatever, he picked himself up, quietly said he'd try the ER and left without a fuss. Your Elvira sounds like she'd fit right in with this guy. I hope she drops the case against her (ex)doctor. The man was just doing his job properly.

eternalcarryoutgirl said...

That poor doctor; he said exactly what needed to be said. Now his insurance will go probably go up...

I hope the case is thrown out or the doctor wins. Elvira is clearly a textbook case of drug-seeking behavior.

The Bitchy Waiter said...

Hey there. Can we exchange links? Do you mind?

Bella said...

that is what addicts don't realize, is that when they truly need narcotic pain meds for a condition that warrants it, they have already cut their nose off to spite their face! but never fear, I'm sure they have a 'connection!'

Anonymous said...

Why were her gallbladder symptoms so bad

Anonymous said...

Sue him for what? Being rude?

Espy said...

Doctors aren't therapists, or psychologists, or self esteem builders. They're under tremendous workloads, and while most think they're overpaid, they are most definately not. Total up school loans and the ridiculous work load / assembly line of patients and they make peanuts. Granted, there are good doctors and bad doctors, but a doctor's job is to heal and do no harm. It is within their discretion to refuse treatment that will not benefit the patient.

Suing because of stupidity or not getting one's way is the reason why doctors are they way they are - they have to purchase malpractice insurance and constantly have to worry about some douchebag patient wanting to sue them for the tiniest discrepancy.

Most doctors don't have much time to waste, and while I do think a good bedside manner is important, it is certainly not a pre-requisite to being a good doctor. I hope Elvira comes to her senses.

leymoo said...

:-(

I had gallstones this year and got my gall bladder removed in August. I was crying bent over in pain, and nothing worked as it caused vomiting as well. I was eventually alternating every few days between tramadol + ibuprofen and codeine and paracetamol (both on prescription) combined with anti-vomiting medication and they weren't working to remove the pain.

I don't drink or take recreational drugs, and my BMI is 26, so I'm not in the "excessive lifestyle" category like this woman was, but I would have never survived the wait for the operation (including the jaundice) without stronger painkillers - Even with this help I pretty much lost my year of studies (and thus wasted fees) to attacks.

Doctors are there to treat, not to judge. If the woman was in pain that wasn't relieved by over-the-counter painkillers, he should have prescribed something for her. There are non-opiate based painkillers he could have tried for her that aren't chemically addictive. There are obviously grey areas (eg if this woman was waiting for a liver transplant due to alcohol over-use, should other people get priority over her?) but this was a fairly unrelated issue. Would you refuse insulin to someone with diabetes that required it because it was the type that tends to be triggered by lifestyle choices?

(sorry for ranty: I've read your posts and I think you're fantastic, and I hope you post more!)

leymoo

Female. Mid 20s. Alive. said...

Hm, actually this was post-op: I didn't need anything stronger than ibuprofen after the operation (keyhole, went perfectly), and iirc policy round here is to prescribe something stronger if needed, but only 3-4 days worth to stop dependency - maybe that was the middle road he should have taken?