Wednesday, 16 January 2019


This is what it looked like on the weekend.  Sunny.  Nice.  Today is a crap day so I thought I would share some of the things that get said at work, by me and by my patients.

"I have a good kind of cancer."  Patient.

"You're an over achiever."  Me to a patient with three completely different kinds of cancer.

"I have six children, well, no, seven.  I adopted my great grandson when he was a month old.  He's nine now."  An eighty-four year old patient.

"Where would you like to shit?  I  mean sit!"  Me to a patient in a packed waiting room.  Everyone laughed, thank goodness.  I have no idea where shit came from.

"I have the JBL gene."  A patient said.  I had no idea what that gene was.  "Just bad luck", she told me.

"Why do patients have to pay for parking anyway?"  Patient to me.  I agree.  I told him, "It's not like you come here for your health."  But it is.  They don't come because they want to.  They have no choice.  The patient laughed.  He was frustrated yesterday because one of our two scanners went down and there was a two hour wait for scans at times.

"You have twenty minutes to live."  Me to a patient.  What I meant to say is that you have twenty minutes to drink down to this line on the cup.  WTF!

"Before I started coming here I thought it would be a depressing place but it's not."  Patient.

"Can I have vodka in my drink?"  Patient.  "Maybe, I'll check.  Usually the nurses drink it all first thing in the morning."  Me.

"The drinks are on the house!"  Me.

Awhile back I had a young man who told me he faints sometimes when he has an IV put in.  I put in his IV, no problem but before he stood up I wanted to make sure that he was okay so I asked him, "Are you going to go down on me?"  It's hard to embarrass me but I did it that day.

"I like anal."  Said very loudy by a lovely, sweet young co-worker who was trying to say she liked anal retentive people, because they're tidy.

"I'm ready to die."  Patient.

"My wife died of mesothelioma.  I brought the asbestos home on my clothes and she washed them."  Patient who also has mesothelioma.

"I've never done this before but I've always wanted to try."  Me to a patient as I start his IV.

"I'm so sorry."  Me.

"That sucks."  Me.

"I love my patients."  Me.



12 comments:

  1. Humor can be your saving grace, can't it?
    What an incredibly tough job you have.
    What did the young man reply to your question?

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  2. This is such a poignant insight into life inside the hospital. You've conveyed a whole world in these quotes, humor, resilience, sorrow, love.

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  4. I enjoyed this post so much. Sometimes you just have to laugh and forgive the universe for all the hiccups.

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  5. Fantastic post -- I laughed aloud and winced. Each one could be the start of a short story. I think you should try that. A bunch of short stories that begin with a quote.

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  6. Medical staff is so overwhelmed these days I am delightfully surprised that any can maintain a sense of humor. Good on you, and anyone that can bring a smile to an ailing person. I think it is a rare talent these days.

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  7. Humor is so important in medical situations.

    Good kind of cancer. That's a funny idea.

    If you joked with me that you were trying to start an IV for the first time, I'd wig the fuck on out. I'm assuming it wasn't a needle phobe!

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    1. No, it wasn't someone with a needle phobia. Usually I can spot those patients pretty easily and I gauge my humor to the patient.

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  8. Those are amazing comments made in tough circumstances, some of them are funny in a dark humor way. If it helps get through the treatments it is worth it.

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  9. Oh goodness I enjoyed reading these.

    Every summer I drive my son to a week-long camp for the disabled, and stop at a coffee shop that makes wonderful pecan pie. One time they didn't have any left and the man behind the counter advised me to stop in next time I was in town. I loudly replied, in the hearing of everyone in the restaurant, "I only come once a year!"

    Surprisingly, no one laughed out loud. They were probably feeling very sorry for me.

    -Kate

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