Well, sorry to disapoint my faithful readers, but not too much exciting happening today. Maybe that’s a good sign, that I’m feeling more comfortable with my role. Although, I have to admit that I never had more than 2 patients at one time today, which isn’t very taxing at all. Let’s see…a corneal ulcer, a 4 (yes, that’s four) pound weight gain from a nursing home, a post tonsilectomy pain patient, a thumb laceration that I made a mini splint for, a cat bite, a 22 year old lady with diabetes and hypertension who came in because her morning blood sugar was ‘through the roof’ at 236. She checked it 10 minutes later and it was still high. After dinner she checked her blood pressure and it was 155/159 with a pulse of 126 on her home blood pressure onitor. I told her that was impossible, and that her blood pressure monitor was not working well. I asked her how she was feeling, she said fine. OK, do you get this? She came to the emergency department for blood pressure reading that wasn’t even real.
The most interesting patient came in because he thought he had been told he had stomach cancer today. I looked at his medical record, and one of our residents who had discharged him from the GI service called to tell him that the tests were positive for H. Pylori infection, which is the bacterial that has recently been found responsible for a large percentage of ulcers that in the past were attributed to stress. The resident told him that if left untreated, there is a link to gastric lymphoma (stomach cancer). That’s not what the patient heard on the phone. He heard that he had stomach cancer. When he asked the resident what to do about it, the resident said, take these antibiotics and just wait and see–referring to the infection of course. The patient thought he was referring to the (non-existant) cancer…take some antibiotics then wait and see. Needless to say, the patient ws upset and thought the resident was a big inconsiderate, uncaring jerk. I reviewed everything, including the biopsy report and reassured him that there was NO CANCER. He felt much better after that and went home. Sheesh. Doctors can be jerks sometimes.