Today was a double woohoo day!
First woohoo: My first scene call on the helicopter (finally!). It was a Motor vehicle crash (not accident) south of here. THe patient we took flipped his car over while turning left into a driveway to drop off a check. I got out of the helicopter, walked to the scene of the accidnet, and a friend of mine was hanging out at the scene of the accident. Wierd! (How many friends do I have in this neck of the woods? Answer: just one, apparently). It turns out that it was her house this guy was driving to, and he got whacked RIGHT IN FRONT of her house.
Second woohoo: Speaking Spanish. it was about 1AM, and I was trying to wrap up my patients, when the staff doc asked the clerk to call the operator for a spanish translater. Now my spanish is not great. In fact, it’s far from good. But I know enough to ask what hurts, and I usually get long, verbose answers that I can’t understand. But in front of non-spanish speakers, I sound pretty good! So I felt a little bit like I was back in Honduras for a little while, that was pretty cool.
Wait, I just remembered one more…my first documented IUP (Intrauterine pregnancy) on ultrasound. How cool is it to glop some gel on someone, put a little plasticky probe on their belly and find a living creature inside? I could see it’s heart beating. Three woohoos!
Many other firsts this month…my first metatarsal head frature, my first metacarpal dislocation, my first garden variety hip fracture, my first torus/greenstick fracture (then 3 or 4 more in succession), my first fractured patella (kneecap)…summer is a great time for ortho cases.
Today I saw a 19 year old who had whacked his head a week ago, and today was unable to bat well at the batting cages. His mother wanted a cat scan to make sure he didn’t have a concussion. (If you’re a doctor or a nurse, or just read a chapter from my doctoring book, you’ll realize how absurd this is.)
“Ma’am, I can tell you without a cat scan that he has a concussion. ”
“Oh, my, then…maybe we’re doing wrong test, she said nervously. He works for a surgeon who thinks he might have a concussion. ”
“He does have a concussion,” I said, pained that she hadn’t read my book.
“Oh, then what should we do?”
“Well, we can do the cat scan to make sure he doesn’t have any bleeding to account for his slowed reaction times. ” (which I’m sure is why the boss/surgeon wanted him to come to the ED, not to see if he had a concussion.)
“Well how long does a concussion last?”
“Let’s just take one step at a time, OK?”
This last line is quickly becoming my most frequently used phrase in the ED…in particular when patients ask me how soon their hospital bed will be ready immediately after I’ve just elicited their cheif compaint.
Thank goodness that somedays the woohoos out number the ohnos.