A little venting is in order. Having a 2-fer (two members of the same family sign into the ER at the same time) is head-scratching enough, but when they complain about the wait, it makes my blood start to boil. Had a lady come in for a UTI, which is a reasonable complaint. But she figured that she may as well sign in her son too, for his rash that he’d had for 5 months. It had been treated by his doctor already and was getting better. In fact, I could barely see it. But hey, what the heck? Let’s get it checked out. She must have mistaken the call button for a video game controller. In fact, it reminded me of that old-school arcade game, Decathlon. Anyone out there remember that game? Sometime after Pac-Man and Donkey Kong, but before Gauntlet. Contemporaneously with Joist, perhaps. Well, in case you don’t remember, for a quarter, you vied for supremacy in 10 Olympic events, the essence of which was to slam the adjacent buttons as fast as you could, with the culmination being the third button to throw or jump. So yeah, this lady was playing Decathlon with the nurse’s call button. But as she fired away on the buttons on her way to a high score, her impatience to be seen right away only served to shift my gear into low and make sure every other patient in the ER was seen first.
I’ll probably get some hate mail for saying this, but there are some hard truths about 2-fers.
1. They are the least sick people in the ER. If you are even considering signing in that second or third person for that runny nose or sore throat, none of your “emergent” complaints constitute a real emergency. If you have a real emergency, you aren’t worried about little Billy’s hang nail.
2. They don’t have insurance or they have taxpayer-funded “insurance”, a.k.a. Medicaid. So they don’t have the admittedly exorbitant co-pay to deter them from signing in for even the most trivial problem. I’m not saying that people should just waste away without medical care, and I’m not saying that Medicaid isn’t worthwhile when used appropriately, but abusing the ER because you can is another story.
3. They are some of the most impatient patients. There is something illogical about getting all the family’s tires kicked in the ER. So I suppose the logic by which the septic-baby-next-door-is-not-as-dire-as-your-plantar-wart might actually be . . . logical.
I actually did see a 2-fer the other night, at 2 a.m. for a plantar wart. But that paled in comparison to the 2-fer I had in residency whose mother signed him in because he was hungry. I got him a packet of Saltines and an apple juice. When I informed him that there was a cafeteria and vending machines down the hall, he replied, “Oh.”, and headed that way.
Here is a video of the descent of Flagstaff. Last time I was on Flagstaff, I took Snoop up in the trailer. He was pretty sick then. Well, I broke down and decided to start him on chemo, even though I’ve always said I’d never do such a ridiculous thing. It was just too hard to see him like that. He got to feeling a fair bit better, and he wouldn’t sit still in the trailer anymore, so the tour of Boulder was put on hold. He’s about at the point again where he’d be happy lying in the trailer, so I may take him back up again. In any case, I mistakenly erased the video I shot of the descent with Snoop. I reshot the descent, but he didn’t come on this one. I’ll probably take him up tomorrow morning if anyone wants to join a really slow spin up Flagstaff. Yes, the tune is Justin Timberlake. Yes, it is music that appeals to pre-teen girls. It’s my guilty pleasure. Enjoy.