We see lots of patients with belly pain, so the 4 AM visit for abdominal pain didn’t surprise me. What did surprise me was his description of his illness that brought him to the emergency department. “every time I eat, I get gas” He had been drinking a bottle of laxative every day for the past four days to try and get rid of the gas. I got an xray. he had no stool left in his colon, just…you guessed it…gas. It was 4AM. I told him he didn’t have any conditions needing emergency medical treatment or surgery and he should see his regular doctor.
He started yelling, jumped out of bed, half naked, got dressed and stormed out, yelling. He returned about 5 minutes later demanding to talk to the Doctor in charge. THe nurse asked if he wanted to see the doctor that treated him. “THat girl??? I don’t want to talk to that girl! I want to talk to whoever is in charge !@%&*@!” That would be Dr. Jones. “Is that the man with the gray hair? I don’t want to talk to him either” More expletives. Dr. Jones went to see him after asking me what he should tell him. Dr. Jones told him that we don’t treat gas, only emergencies. Some people have unreasonable expectations. That patient exhausted most of the patience I had left last night.