Saturday, April 27, 2013

Telephone Advice

{Medicolegal boilerplate warning: Reader(s) of the following advice scenarios acknowledge(s) in a legally binding manner that by following any of the advice given below , he/she/they have stipulated to being dumber than a box of hammers, and accept full responsibility for all subsequent results, included, but not limited to, death, dismemberment, ridicule, and/or subsequent Finalist status on the Darwin Awards Website Hall Of Perpetual Fame. They further assume full responsibility for all government legal costs for recovery of penalties related to posthumous prosecution and conviction under the Air Theft and Skin Waste statutes of the Omnibus Ohmygod Howinblisteringhell Did You Ever Make It Onto The Internet Without Setting Yourself And Nine Contiguous States On Fire Act of 1972, as amended in U.S Code.}

RINGRING!!...RINGRING!! [which double ring designates an incoming call from outside the hospital].
“Thank you for calling Emergency Triage.”

“I have a thing on my whatsis, and it looks horrible? Should I come to the Emergency Room?
“Describe the thing please.”

“Oh, it’s ginormous! It’s multicolored, and gives me transient attacks of anaphylactic fibromyalgia and intermittent pseudosiezures, with cranial impaction to my sigmoid colon. And it’s excruciating!”
“Sorry, as you’ll know from reading WebMD all day, the alien larvae have almost reached full gestation, and they’re about to rip through your sternum and go in search of a new host for the next subbronchial  egg implantation. You should probably just book the cruise you’ve always dreamed of, and max out all your credit cards. B’bye. [Click]”

“Thank You for calling Emergency Triage.”

My child looks sick. What should I do?”
“You mean besides taking your child to the doctor?”

“We tried that. The doctor’s office is only open Monday to Friday from 8-6, and 6 hours on Saturdays, and I’d have to miss my soap operas AND wait almost 45 minutes to be seen for a $25 co-pay.”
“Gotcha. We can’t have that. Let me take a look. Hold the phone up to your child’s face so I can have a look.”

“What?? You can’t see my child over the phone!”
“Wow, ma’am, lazy and smart is a rare combination. So you must have figured out how this is call is wasting my time and yours, and I’m getting paid for it, whereas you aren’t. B’Bye! [Click]”

“Thank you for calling Emergency Triage.”

“How long is the wait there?”
"Twenty seconds longer than it was before I answered this call. B’Bye! [Click]”

“Thank you for calling Emergency Triage.”

“I ran over my foot with the lawnmower, my toes are in a tree, and I can’t get the bleeding to stop spurting. Should I come to the ER?”
“Oh heavens no. Just soak that extremity in  warm running water in the tub until the pain goes away, and you start feeling sleepy. And tell St. Peter I sent you. B’bye. [Click]”

“Thank you for calling Emergency Triage.”

I’ve had this headache for 47 years. Should I come to Emergency?”
“Wow, I know exactly how you feel. I’ve had this headache for 20 years, three times a week, whenever I answer the phone here at Emergency. So honestly, I think Emergency CAUSES the headaches, and you should stay right where you are. But if the headaches ever stop, rush right down here, m’kay? And promise to donate your body to scientific research after you die, so maybe next century, neuroscientists can find a cure for headaches like you, er umm, I mean like yours. B’Bye.[Click]”

“Thank you for calling Emergency Triage.”

I need help right away!”
“No problem. I’ll tell the 47 people in the waiting room, including the two febrile pediatric leukemia patients, the 70 year old guy with crushing chest pain and blue lips, and the 37 people hurling into trash cans with flu to just hang on while I deal with you. Let’s start with your phone number.”

“In case we get disconnected?”
“No. I’m posting it on a 3x5 card I’m sticking up in the front window under the heading “Complaints Hotline”, so that when people here wonder why we’re taking so long to get their sick family members into rooms, they can get right to the source.”

“You’re crazy! I’m not giving you my number for that!”
“Wow, with diagnostic skills like that, you should seriously consider a career in the psychiatric profession. B’Bye.[Click]”

 Morals of the Story:
Dear Beloved Telephonic @$$clowns Of The Universe:

1)      Make an appointment with your doctor.
       2)      Keep the appointment with your doctor.
       3)      Follow the doctor’s advice. (Yes, that includes GETTING the pills, and TAKING the pills, until you’re FINISHED with the pills. What a concept, right?)
       4)      If it doesn’t work, either repeat steps 1-3 with that doctor, or get a second opinion by repeating steps 1-3 with another doctor.
       5)      If this is a real life-and-death emergency, call 9-1-1.
      6)      This includes when it takes 5 of you to drag grandma’s comatose body down 5 flights of stairs, bringing her to the drive-up door, and expecting all 1 of me to pry her out of the backseat of your MiniCooper.
       7)      If you’re too stupid to figure out if this is a life-and-death emergency or not, don’t call me or anyone like me. Just sit down and wait. If it isn’t a life and death emergency, and you refuse to try steps 1-3 above, you’ll be fine.  And if it is, we’ll be fine without you. Remember, all bleeding stops, eventually.

And note for reference that in Eternity Hereafter, if I don’t find Florence Nightengale and Clara Barton kicking Alexander Graham Bell in the junk forever, know that the line for that will be forming right behind me.
Thank you for calling Callous Bastard Hospital ER.

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