Sunday, June 30, 2013

Diagnosis Of The Week

Your child is sick.
We know this because you've dragged the little troll here, under the general precept that "If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."

Okay, well played.

But you know what undercuts any shred of compassion we would otherwise have for someone who's visited us so often that your registration now consists of the clerk typing "F12", and your entire life history is instantly uploaded to the sign in paperwork?

It's that you brought your other 5 kids, and signed yourself in as well.

Crack medical professionals that we are, we know that the correct diagnosis is not "Mass Casualty Incident", "Attempted Mass Murder", nor even "Multiple Food Poisoning" (though your aunt's two-week old casserole has almost reached the status of agar as a culture medium in microbiology circles).

No, gentle reader, the correct diagnosis of this ailment is "Family Plan".

Now, we understand that the economy is tough, so it's hard to resist bringing your entire brood, because babysitters cost money, whereas to you, the ER is free. And we know we have better cable than you, and more video consoles. We also know it's hard to resist the free $5 universal remotes in the rooms, despite the docs having replaced them three times, and having sash-chained them to the walls, along with the free crayons we buy by the bucket, rather than see your spawn reduced to actually waiting quietly while the TV plays.

But what boggles our collective minds is that you frequently show up with both parents, grandmama, and your 7 kids, when you, we, and every person in triage can tell that there's only one sick kid among the bunch (if that, but I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt).

Allow me to be so unfeeling as to suggest that next time, 1 parent brings one kid in your 1 car, and the other stays at home with the other 11 not-sick kids. Sociologists have a name for this: they call it "parenting".

I know I'm being unfeeling, because, really, how could I possibly know at a single glance, before a single vital sign is taken, that all 17 of your offspring don't each have Dengue Fever? It could very well be exactly that, and who am I to assume otherwise? And I apologize for thinking that you brought them all because you cleverly noted that since the doctor's already in the room, why not let him do 25 full physical assessments instead of wasting his precious time with one actually minimally sick child?

Clearly, yours is the superior outlook on the proper role of the ER in your life.

So the next time your big yellow bus rolls up, and you, your spouse, his brother and sister-in-law, their 9 kids, your grandmother, and 32 of your kids tumble out of the Clowncarnucopia of Fail, I'm not going to bother to explain to you why, on a 5-level triage system, where 1 is dying, and 5 is minimally acute, you're all the only "6"s on the tracker, and the entire Western Hemisphere will be evaluated first (including the guy who signed in with lycanthropy), before I even consider shuffling you along to the clinic side.

And thanks for bringing your entire village all the way here, because nothing says reasonable health care usage like seeing the entire chorus of Les Miserables descend on my desk simultaneously, grab an entire bucket of pens and sign in forms, occupy every seat in the waiting room, and turn a busy waiting room into a school field trip for the entire district, while they run around, scream and yell, and eat half of 117 bags of Flaming Hot Cheetos, while scattering the other half of each bag all over every horizontal surface as a sacrificial offering to the Mayan God Of Faux Corn Products.

The only thing rolling in my favor is that the day they authorize a minimal $5 co-pay for your nonsense, one of these trips will wipe out your EBT card balance for the month, and you'll have to sell the Mercedes.

But until then, you're on notice: the next time you pull this crap, I'm not telling the Fast Track Doc we have a Family Plan.
One more visit from the Bratty Bunch, and I'm upgrading you to a Flash Mob.
And on my 5-point triage scale, that's a 32.
Be warned.


  1. Amen. That is all.

  2. Bwahahaha, must remember to offer regular sacrifices to the Mayan God of Faux Corn Products!

  3. OMG, I am totally dying right now, laughing so hard not only because your writing is pure genius and hysterical, but I can totally relate to this on every level, being an ED nurse for 20 years! Tears are rolling...seriously!